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BOOK COVER We Bring Authors and Readers Together

Magazine April 2014

Boss Lady Moves!

Tamika Newhouse Mom, Author & Publisher What Inspired You To Be A Purveyor Of The Written Word?

The BOOK COVER Staff Weighs In!

Spotlight On Book Clubs Executive Pastry Chef To The Stars, Chef Padua Player Shares Details On His Forthcoming Book!

YOU Could Be On The Cover… Details Inside!

www.bookcovermagazine.com

Inside… A Message from the Publisher, New York Times Bestselling Author JL King


Publisher’s Note Greetings! I am so excited about this issue. Why? Well…we are adding Christopher Beckwith’s new section that features LGBT authors and books. The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender market is huge and I want to support it by giving those writers and authors an opportunity to be discovered. In addition, we are announcing our first contest to find our June cover author. This is a great opportunity for an author to be exposed and expand their brand. Then we are introducing you to author Tamika Newhouse. She is a powerhouse broker in the publishing world. Her ongoing mission to bring books to the world is what we like to celebrate in BOOK COVER Magazine. I know you will enjoy getting to know her and I am asking you to support her by ordering her books. The book cover staff is so pumped about how we are growing. Every month we try to provide you with more about authors, writers and individuals who are changing the literary world. We are constantly looking for new authors so we can give them this platform to sell books. When a writer writes a book, he or she wants it to be read. The BOOK COVER Magazine goal is to bring readers to books. We have some exciting future issues in development and in the planning stages of various seminars and other events. I have asked the staff to step out their box and bring to you new information to expand your libraries. We also want you to join us by submitting ideas for future stories. If you know a new author that you want us to interview in our “spotlight on authors” section, we welcome your input. Thank you for your continued support of this magazine and if there is anything we can do to help you become a successful author, please contact us.

BOOK COVER www.bookcovermagazine.com FOUNDER AND PUBLISHER James L. King EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Reneé Lowe DIGITAL LAYOUT, DESIGNER AND COPY EDITOR OnyQueen Media (Graphics Division) CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Christopher Beckwith, Leah Dalton, Kevin McNeir, Felicia Younginer PUBLIC RELATIONS OnyxQueen Media (Communications) FIND US ON THE WEB! Official Website: www.bookcovermagazine.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/BookCoverMag Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/bookcoverfbpage Director of Advertisement Christopher Beckwith ADVERTISING SALES press@onyxqueenmedia.com MAILING ADDRESS 3570 Peachtree Industrial Blvd. Suite 340-175 Duluth, GA 30096

Until the May issue, keep reading and writing!

In the name of good reading, James L. King Publisher

BOOK COVER Magazine is published by James L. King Publishing, LLC. Views expressed in articles, photographs or advertisments are strictly those of the author and do not reflect any position of BOOK COVER Magazine or OnyxQueen Media. No part of this publication shall be reproduced without written permission from James L. King Publishing.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

15 How To Get A Literary Agent

17 Spotlight On Book Clubs

20

6 Cover Feature Story Tamika Newhouse is a selfpublished bestselling author who founded Delphine Publications, at the age of 21; Tamika appeared on various bestseller lists and won Self Published Author of the Year at the 2009 African American Literary Awards only 9 months after her debut novel.

9 LBGT Literary Link

11 Poetry Corner: Let Me Show You

13 A Love Affair With Words

Writing is My Passion: Musings of an Enlightened Black Man

22 Spotlight Author: Deon Davis

24 New Author To Watch: Epiphany Kendell

26 New Book Alert: A Mother’s Love

28 Foodie Corner: Executive Pastry Chef Padua Player


Cover Feature Story Meet Mom, Author and Publisher

Tamika Newhouse BY JAMES L. KING

JAMES L. KING: Where did you grow up? (hometown) TN: Fort Worth, Texas JAMES L. KING: When did you first discover you had a talent to write? Ans. I had to had been about eight years old when a short story assignment was assigned. I enjoyed creating a fairy tale and it just grew from there. JAMES L. KING: What kind of high school student were you? TN: I was a loner in high school but made complete A’s and B’s. Work was often easy where I never ad homework. I always completed it before class let out. JAMES L. KING: Was there anyone in your family who wrote or was into books? TN: Nope not one person, weird huh? JAMES L. KING: Can you remember the first book you read, purchased, or received as a gift? TN: Tamika and the Wisdom Rings by Camille Yarbrough. I use to lie and say the author was my aunt and that the book was about me. I was maybe ten years old JAMES L. KING: What do you do when you are not writing books? Hobbies? TN: I watch TV and dine out with friends. That’s about it. JAMES L. KING: Have you ever wanted to be anything else besides an author? TN: Yes I had hopes to go to the Olympics and be a track star. But hey we can’t have it all lol JAMES L. KING: Do you speak another language? If so, which ones?


TN: Besides slang and the fact that I am country and often mispronounce words I only speak English JAMES L. KING: Who makes better authors? Men or women? Why? TN: Women we tend to be more verbal and descriptive. JAMES L. KING: If you could write the great novel that would be turned into a movie (think Roots, War and Peace)...what would it be? TN: Cookie a Fort Worth Story a book I published back in 2011 JAMES L. KING: Why do you think the major publishing companies are not signing on new writers to big book deals anymore? TN: Because the industry is overly saturated and a lot of writers aren’t as active in their careers as they should be. Plus its easier for them to invest in already developed talents. To choose new is to gamble. JAMES L. KING: With bookstores almost being a thing of the past, what are some alternatives for book signings? TN: I create a lot of events that aren’t geared towards books. Socials and parties are ideal for me as I celebrate my writing and always want to embrace it with a celebration. JAMES L. KING: With eBooks being a major way people read books, how can we still keep traditional books in our lives? TN: You have to be supportive of events, stores, and be willing to consistent in that support. JAMES L. KING: When was the last time you have been to a library and why did you go? TN: Its been a while. I used to go for the free movies and books for the kiddos. I have been so busy that we hardly do that activity any longer. I need to start back actually. JAMES L. KING: Do you support young people becoming authors? TN: Yes I have personally published two teen writers Stone Erickson and Tori Turner JAMES L. KING: What are you reading and who is your favorite author and why? TN: I am reading Love on Death Row by Melissa Love but I love me some Zuri Day JAMES L. KING: Where do you do most of your writing? TN: At home in my bed. JAMES L. KING: Is there a secret to your success in this business that you have ever shared with anyone? TN: No secret I simply stay consistent and my passion tends to always grow. JAMES L. KING: Do you think that any of your books will ever be turned into a movie?


TN: Yes if the Lord says the same I plan to cross over into film. JAMES L. KING: What advice would you give book clubs or someone who reads many books? TN: Always be willing to support authors who are still writing full length novels with unique plots. JAMES L. KING: What advice do you have for the new author who thinks they know everything? TN: You don’t know everything. Not even the biggest vet knows everything. Be willing to humble yourself and listen. JAMES L. KING: Where do you see the book industry in 10 years? TN: I see myself as one of the top most recognized names in books. That’s the goal and I am making it happen. Tamika Newhouse is a self-published bestselling author who founded Delphine Publications, at the age of 21; Tamika appeared on various bestseller lists and won Self Published Author of the Year at the 2009 African American Literary Awards only 9 months after her debut novel. In 2010 she was inducted into Who’s who in Black San Antonio and she landed a major publishing deal without an agent and still continues to write independent projects. In 2011 her company Delphine Publications won an African American Literary Award for Best Anthology as well as Tamika won for the second time Self Published Author of the Year. She was also nominated by the National Women in Business Association for the 2011 Entrepreneurial Spirit Award. In 2013 she was honored with the Author of Distinction E. Lynn Harris Award. Her latest award for the 2013 African American Literary Award for self published author of the year. Along with Delphine Publications, Tamika is the founder and President of African Americans on the Move Book Club (AAMBC) – an online book club and radio show catering to avid readers across the nation. She is also CEO of Obsessive Soul Media. With future projects in the works from short films, stage plays and much more, Tamika is a young woman on a mission. She has been featured in Uptown Magazine, Essence, Hello Beautiful, Juicy Magazine, and in Vibe Vixen Magazine. Tamika presently tours the country speaking about overcoming her teen pregnancy to fulfill her dream, as well as teaching aspiring writers the publishing ropes. A former radio host, she hosted her own internet radio show (AAMBC) for over three years and continues to expand her brand. She is currently living in Atlanta with her son and daughter and is currently working on her next novel. Connect with Tamika: Web: www.tamikanewhouse.com |Twitter: @tamikanewhouse Book Club: www.aambookclub.com | Book Publishing: www.delphinepublications.com


LGBT Literary Link By Christopher Beckwith So why exactly is it so hard for independent authors to gain publicity? The sad truth is there really is no valid reason. Yes, the field of aspiring authors has grown exponentially in recent years but the real truth behind the unspoken fact that independent writers are often overlooked is simply because of an age-old myth. Many people mistakenly think that if a writer doesn’t have a major book deal their writing skills must be sub-par. This is no basis to exclude talented writers from the literary game but it happens all the time. First-time authors often find themselves faced with an uphill battle when it comes to exposing themselves to potential readers and generating a buzz for their work. With the ever-growing number of titles on the market, it can be a very daunting task to develop a following and convince readers to part with the coveted dollars slated for literature purchases. While it’s one thing for authors to woo potential readers with their dazzling personalities but at the end of the day, the factor that of the utmost importance is to make sure your product lives up the promise of a stimulating read! So why should readers support little-known writers? The answer is simple; there is an emerging wave of talented writers who may not have the means and/or resources to position their work alongside their contemporaries. When I was approached about writing for BOOK COVER Magazine, the first thing that came to mind was how I could utilize this opportunity to help other authors. I share the lessons that I’ve learned and the pitfalls that I’ve conquered of independently publishing my work, and also using the trials of my journey to inspire other writers to pursue their own dreams of becoming a ‘published author.’ Keeping this in mind, the team at BOOK COVER Magazine recognizes the need for a platform that offers both aspiring and seasoned authors the opportunity to showcase their talent. In the coming months, my monthly BOOK COVER Magazine column, LGBT Literary Link, will take on the task of providing insight into works of both novice and seasoned authors. The column will shed a light on new releases, accolades and promotional events of authors within and allies of the LGBT community giving readers the opportunity to learn more about writers that they otherwise may never encounter. It’s a win-win scenario for readers and writers alike! We invite you to take time with each new issued of Book Cover to stay in tune with the many writers that we are planning to spotlight in the upcoming months as we help blaze the trail of that lies ahead for your next favorite author. The bottom line is there’s nothing like a dream because it’s one of the few things that no one can ever take from you. At Book Cover magazine, we take pride in the fact that our mission, in part, is to help authors turn their dreams into reality.

Christopher Beckwith Bio:

Atlanta writer, Christopher Beckwith, is an author, editor and book design consultant. Irony comes into play when Beckwith reveals that he never anticipated becoming a writer, but a love for literature that developed later in life, led him to pursue career options he hadn’t previously considered. A true visionary, Beckwith states that he has never taken his literary gift for granted. What’s in it for me? is his introductory offering. It is a thriller that’s destined to become a classic. He also exhibits a passion for HIV/AIDS advocacy and strives to increase awareness of the condition.

Connect With Christopher: Email: chbeck0514@hotmail.com


Let Me Show You A Poem By Leah Dalton From The Essential Nostalgia: Love - Volume 1 Just from a few words u got my mind running thru a lot of scenarios Got me thinkin’ in all types of dimensions from my past to my present and thinkin’ about from here, where to go Being in the instances I’ve been in previously, my head got me weary tho- just got my heart feelin’ suspect Willing to embrace the new but never will my mental diminish my prior enduring of neglect New opportunities of love I want to inspect - I want to discover the new Thinkin’ of the false claims of love and all the time that I invested and blew Thinkin’...damn should I have just stuck it out with you- despite the connection filled with tension Riding the wave like I’m not new to this without any apprehension Let the emotion spread like an infection - on my part that was my intention But I think that our lives at the time was the interception yet we still managed to stay on a level connected Always maintained a friendship - always respected In my mind memories I collected- always thought of the time we shared Your smile, your style, your intellect- for you I always cared Clicked from when we initially paired- crazy chemistry like Einstein Electricity and spontaneous combustions when our bodies intertwined Why did we leave it all behind? - I know on my part I just felt that you were a bit passive As a result we failed to see how long this shit could have lasted The Distance we coulda surpassed it - I felt you always used it as a tool A means to mend the fact that the distance in a way made u hopeless- who was u really trying to fool? The Shit is deep! - but I woulda gone the distance Just for a chance to be in your presence n get my insides twisted!- never could resist it! More visits!- I always insisted- but my request always fell on the ears of the deaf Instead of embracing the feelings that felt so right you sent my shit to the left So many fouls we need a ref - just to correct the errors in the play We already had a scrimmage - I’m tryin’ to get into the real game today On time no delay - let me show you I can play all positions on the field effectively A Domesticated sexual homie and wifey collectively!

Leah Dalton Bio: Leah Dalton aka Lee Lee- a nickname that stuck since childhood, was born and raised in Brooklyn NY. As most born and raised Brooklynites, she has a strong love for her hometown. She started writing at the age of 13 years old. Initially, she started rapping with her friends on the stoop. She was always heavily influenced by music from different genres but specifically rap. At the age of 25 after she received a lot of push from her friends, she decided to put out her poetry and photography. Her future aspirations are in her words to “bring Brooklyn back!”. She looks forward to helping promote the love, unity and nostalgic culture in Brooklyn that originally gave it its culturally rich reputation through the promotion of young upcoming poets, artist, rappers, dancers, fashion designers and any other artistically driven individuals.

Connect With Leah: Web: www.theessentiallee.com | Facebook: Leah Dalton | Instagram: the_essential_lee


A Love Affair With Words By Felicia Younginer I've always had an obsession with words. Being the child of a teacher means I was introduced to books as soon as I was born. My parents instilled a love of reading in me that I have never been able to quench. As soon as I learned how to read my appetite for words has been voracious. Reading fueled my imagination. I began making up stories that I would tell to anyone who would listen. When no one was around I'd tell my stuffed animals. My friends began encouraging me to write some of my stories down. That is when my love of reading also grew to include writing. Writing became an escape for me. The pages of a notebook became the place where I poured out my emotions. Writing allowed me to explore the depths of my imagination. It freed me up to do things I couldn't do in real life, like talk to animals or fly across the sky. Instead of pursuing a career as a writer, I became a teacher so I could instill a love of words in others. When I was a teacher, my writing centered on children. I dreamed of becoming a famous author of award winning children's books. I would spend hours each week writing stories using assigned spelling and vocabulary words so that I could feed my desire to write. When teaching was no longer my friend, writing became my therapist and the book it produced gave the world a view of what life is like for a teacher during the course of a school year. 180 Days: How Ineffective Leadership Can Ruin an Excellent School (Amazon) was the first book I ever published. It was the culmination of a yearlong journey through one of the schools caught up in the test cheating scandal in The Atlanta Public Schools. Although I had dreamed of one day publishing children's fiction books, my first published writing was a nonfiction. I still had the desire to produce fiction but I now had other things I wanted to write about as well. 180 Days taught me that I did not have to be confined to writing one specific type of literature. As a result of having an overwhelming desire to write but no direction to go in, I decided to begin writing several blogs. Just My Thoughts (www.feliciay1.blogspot.com) bloomed out of my outrage over the verdict in the Trayvon Martin killing. That is where I go to write about a wide range of topics that affect the world around me. Gift of Teaching (www.giftofteaching1.blogspot.com) was born as a way to further speak out on things affecting education in America and to provide an outlet for educators and parents to bring attention to that which is negatively impacting the quality of education for our kids. Finally, I began The Spirit Within (www.thespiritwithin1.blogspot.com) as a way to feed my soul and allow others to do the same. In addition to my nonfiction book and my three blogs, I have completed my first horror book. Fractured (Amazon) is a collection of short stories that all center on characters that have had a mental breakdown of some type and the resulting mayhem that ensues. Fractured also features an introduction of My Supernatural Life, which features the recurring character Adam Johnson who has the ability to see and affect energy. My love affair with words has led to me being an editor, a ghostwriter, and a writing consultant that helps others achieve their writing dreams. My love affair with words has also led to my appointment as Director of Education and Development for the National Youth Writers to Published Authors Leadership Program where I will be instrumental in helping to create the next generation of bestselling authors. My love affair with words will take me on innumerable adventures that enfold whenever I put pen to paper or make those keys click on the keyboard. My love affair with words soothes me, excites me, challenges me, inspires me, supports me, immortalizes me, and improves me. What can a love affair with words do for you? Felicia Younginer Bio: Felicia Younginer is an educator, published author, and public speaker. She is the author of 180 Days: How Ineffective Leadership Can Ruin an Excellent School and Fractured. She writes three blogs: The Spirit Within, Gift of Teaching, and Just My Thoughts. She is currently working on a new book, Being Celibate in a Sex Crazed World. Felicia Younginer resides in Douglasville, GA.

Connect With Felicia: Web: www.180dayseei.com | Email: 180dayseei@gmail.com


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How To Get A Literary Agent Read Original Post: Here If you have a book-length work of fiction or creative nonfiction that you’d like to sell to a commercial publisher, an agent is crucial. Literary representation will increase your chances with editors, who rely on agents to present manuscripts that are polished and marketable, and that match their interests. CONTACT BOOKCOVER FOR A LIST OF AGENTS THAT WE RECOMMEND!! Literary agents take a commission of 12 to 15 percent from the sale of your book. Note that agents typically do not represent poets. What a Literary Agent Can Do for You As your representative in the literary market, your agent may perform a range of tasks, including offering editorial guidance, establishing contacts for you with editors and publishers, explaining the language of contracts and negotiating contract terms, selling the rights to your work, and helping you find new opportunities for publishing. Finding the Right Literary Agent The first step in finding a literary agent who is right for you and your work is to put together a list of recent books that you admire or that you think are similar to your work. Then, find out who represents the authors of those books. Many authors list their agents on the acknowledgments page in the front or back of their books. If you can’t find the agents this way, contact the publishing companies of the books on your list and ask their publicity departments who agented the books you are interested in. Once you have a list of agents you are familiar with, send a query letter to each one. A good practice is to send out five letters at a time, with each letter tailored to the specific agent you are querying. An interested agent will ask to see a few chapters or your full manuscript. Before you send it, find the agency’s submission guidelines, and follow them closely. A useful resource for finding detailed information on how to find and obtain an agent is Jeff Herman’s Guide to Book Publishers, Editors, and Literary Agents (Sourcebooks, 2010). The Query Letter A query letter to an agent should be extremely well written and very brief—three paragraphs that take up less than one page. In the first paragraph of the letter, explain why you are contacting the agent and why him or her specifically. In the second paragraph, give a three-to-four-sentence synopsis of your book. Avoid going into detail about the twists and turns of the plot. In the third paragraph, include a short bio, offering information about yourself that pertains to your work or your writing skills. Close the letter with a direct statement of your ultimate purpose, expressing that you’d like to send the agent your manuscript.


Spotlight On Book Clubs Sugar & Spice Book Club What is the name of your book club? Sugar & Spice Book Club Where is your book club based? In the 5 boroughs of New York City. We meet at different locations. How many members are in the club? Currently we have nine dedicated members. How does one join your book club? Potential members are usually invited to our open house that we have in June, but we do make special exceptions from time-totime. How often do you meet? We meet once a month, usually the last Saturday of the month. How are books selected for the club to read? The member who is hosting the monthly meeting selects the book of the month What are some of the titles that the club has read over the past couple of months? Our most recent books were Where Did We Go Wrong by Monica Mathis Stowe. The first book was so good we selected the sequel for the following month. Our March book of the month was Two Weeks Notice by Harold Fisher and our April pick is Anybody's Daughter by Pamela Samuels Young. What other activities does the club do besides reading books? Besides reading, we do some many other things. We are a family and we really love each other like a family. We like giving back to the community and have had coat drives, book bag drives, done food pantries, toy giveaways during the holidays in a hospital, Thanksgiving dinners and we went to Far Rockaway, Queens to give away book bags and cleaning supplies. We attend literary conferences and have had our own literary conference. The next literary conference we are having will be in September as we celebrate 10 years! What do you see as the future of books? The sky is the limit as far as future reads. We will continue to attend literary conferences and be exposed to both new authors and the veterans in the industry. How does an author submit a potential book for your book club to read? An author can submit the book for review by visiting our website and clicking on the get your book reviewed link.


Sugar & Spice 10-year anniversary event: Champagne, Chocolate & Books has a vision to be a decadent intimate affair between author, reader, publisher, and book lover. This idea was formed from the very intimate relationships that Sugar & Spice Book Club has with authors and book lovers. Close your eyes and take a sip of sweet, not too dry champagne, allow the bubbles to tickle the hairs of your nose as the corners of your mouth curve to a slight grin, paired with a bite of the finest chocolate that melts in your mouth to a creamy smooth sinful escape. Some may say the marriage of the two is utopia. A day

of Champagne, Chocolate & Books will take you away into a literary escape and leave you with a feeling of pure bliss. Join Sugar & Spice Book Club as we celebrate 10 years. Enjoy an afternoon with some of your favorite authors: Donna Hill, Rochele Alers, Ty Goode, Monica Mathis-Stowe, Pamela Samuels Young, Pat Sister Betty O'George, Renee Daniel Flagler, JM Benjamin, Eva Tremaine, Peter Chisholm, Faye Thompson and many more. Sip on some champagne while we savor some of the finest chocolates It will be an afternoon of author readings, panel discussions and a delicious lunch. This will be an intimate setting in which we will get to know our authors who have delighted us with their wonderful storytelling. Connect With Sugar & Spice Book Club: Web: www.sugarandspicebookclub.org | Facebook: | Sugar & Spice Book Club | Twitter: @sandsbkclub


Writing is My Passion: Musings of an Enlightened Black Man By D. Kevin McNeir

The first time I realized that I wanted to be a writer or understood that such a dream was even possible for a young Black male child to achieve was when I around nine years old -- a bespectacled, nerd-like bookworm who loved music, art and playing most sports, albeit not particularly well. I wasn't quite the Steve Urkel of Louis Pasteur Elementary School but I suppose for a few years I could have been his older brother. Still, I was quite comfortable in my own skin - something that my parents instilled in me from the very start. I was one of those little boys that was academically gifted and because books were almost like an extension of my arms it seemed only right that one day I'd be able to pick up my pencil and paper and share my thoughts with the world. However, saying that I would one day be a writer was tantamount to those absurd answers you gave when your teacher asked, "who wants to be a fireman, a policeman, a doctor or a sports star," and you raised your hand every time. Even at that young age, I knew the difference between wishing on a star and believing that your wish could actually come true. It was the late 1960s and while I had read about people like Langston Hughes, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Phillis Wheatley, and even read a few of their poems, I didn't see how someone Black in Detroit, or anywhere else in America for that matter, could write enough poems, short stories or novels to pay their bills - certainly not enough to live life the way white folks did on television, in the movies and in the magazines that came to our home. On one special Saturday afternoon, my mother announced that we were going to Detroit's main public library downtown on Woodward Avenue. I had been there before with her several times so returning wasn't anything particularly exciting. But then given the large collection of books it had versus the much smaller number of books that were housed in our neighborhood library, I figured I could really find some great treasures that none of my classmates had even seen. I would be the celebrity during Miss Abraham's "book report time." But this trip to the library was different and would impact me for the rest of my life. Upon entering the building, the first thing I noticed was that there was an exceptionally long line leading to the section of the library reserved for kids. Second, what struck me was that almost all of the children standing in line, and of course their parents, were white. I knew that Mama had made an error and, because I was encouraged to speak my mind, politely of course, I told her what I thought. My mother informed me that I was in for a special treat, adding that she knew full well where we were and what was going on - or rather, what was about to happen. Reluctantly, I joined her at the back of the line and like most nervous children will do when facing what they deem to be a crisis, I began to fidget. Then without warning and with very little fanfare, a dark-skinned Black woman stood at the very front of the line and introduced herself. Her name, she said, was Gwendolyn Brooks. I knew that name! I had several books that included her poems. I even had a Black history book that my parents had given to me that had her photograph and told how she had become a successful writer. Well, I was stunned! I was going to meet someone who had met with kings and queens, with presidents and ambassadors and had shared her words with them. Her words were empowering a new generation of Blacks in America.


Her words were helping little Black girls see themselves in a more positive light. Her words were reminding little Black boys that nothing could hold us back except our own limited vision. When I finally got my chance to talk to her, I was barely able to speak. But when she asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, I replied, "I want to be a writer like you Mrs. Brooks but I just don't know how." Then she pulled me closer so that I could smell the powder on her bosom and the perfume that she must have sprayed earlier behind her ears and said the most amazing thing. "My beloved young man, you are already a writer." And so, I write because God ordained me to do just that. But it wouldn't have happened if three people had not helped me to realize and then go after my life's passion: - Mom, Dad and oh yes, Gwendolyn Brooks. D. Kevin McNeir Bio: D. Kevin McNeir is an award-winning journalist, theologian and vocalist born and raised in Detroit. He recently stepped down from his position as the senior editor of The Miami Times in order to help his ailing parents in Virginia and to launch his own media-consulting firm. Kevin continues to write for newspapers and websites across the U.S. and is completing his first book entitled “Growing Up Motown: When Detroit Was A Little Like Heaven.� Connect With Kevin: Email: mcneirdk@gmail.com


Spotlight Author Deon Davis Bio

Author Deon Davis attained a double Bachelors degree in Business Management and Business Entertainment Management; she is currently pursuing her Masters. She’s a Guardian Ad Litem , Certified Life Coach, Advocate, Ambassador, Author, and most of all a dedicated Mother and Grandmother. As an author and advocate for equality she experienced joy and a sense of self-acceptance in writing I'll Find A Way (a mother’s journey of love and acceptance for her gay son). On this journey along with her son she realized that she had an obligation to other hurting gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer (GLBTQ) teens, young adults and parents, while acknowledging that she had a story that needed to be told. Deon Davis is currently on an anti-bullying campaign promoting non-tolerance of bullying, and violence within our youth community. Her latest titled book “ Beanie and the Bully” is geared towards elementary school age children grades K-5. Ms. Davis believes that no child should live in fear, if we educate our youth at an early age we all succeed. Davis is also a sexual orientation advocate, well known for her empowerment speaking sessions and family lifestyle relationship development models, turn author, releases a new book, I’ll Find A Way. I’ll Find A Way explores situations that parents may experience in dealing with their Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) child and, lends expert advice about acceptance, support, in addition to family empowerment tools. Drawing from her personal experience of coping with a Gay son who ‘came out’ to her when he was 16, Deon Davis is on a national campaign to emphasize the importance of raising GLBT children in a sound environment. I’ll Find A Way gives a poignant overview of GLBT advocacy concerns, healthcare issues and inclusion strategies to help eliminate the biasness that sexual minority persons may experience. The book is carefully laid out so that introductory commentary in the earlier chapters are developed and built on to help better understand how to support GLBT youth. I’ll Find A Way chronicles a mother’s journey of love and acceptance for her Gay son. Deon Davis launched a Southeastern motivational messaging and book review/signing tour at Florida area book stores, event facilities, business and community centers in Spring 2010. Expanding on the foundation of I’ll Find A Way, Deon is working on a second book about Gay relationships, coming out and the politics of sexual orientation issues in education. Deon Davis is a single mother of three and proud grandmother who lives and writes in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Connect with Deon: Web: www.deondavis.com | Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorddavis


New Author To Watch Epiphany Kendell Bio Epiphany Kendell, emerging public figure and fashion entrepreneur. Epiphany’s love for fashion started at a very young age, she and her mother often would shop for hours in and out of various thrift and boutiques stores. As Epiphany grew up in age, the passion for fashion followed her and this young mogul acquired gigs everywhere from visual merchandising, to interning with popular brands such as AKOO and pulling looks for various online publications. Through it all Epiphany still took time to engage in community events, from speaking at career day, mentoring, collecting prom dresses for underprivileged high school students and more. Growing up in Astoria Housing Projects Epiphany observed so many troubled young females and felt her efforts to encourage those around her was not enough. Seeing young girls who did not have self-esteem, and dated all the wrong men bothered her. At that moment she decided to compose a book, titled Hood Girls Do It Better: "The Hood Girls A-Z Guide To Success" released December 2013, which can now be purchased on Amazon. This book serves as a memoir and guide for young women going through tough situations that she herself has been th`rough. Young women were always coming to her for advice, she decided to write a guide to show them they are not the only ones going through tough times. She guides them through situations and help those who have not been through situations avoid them. Since then “Hood Girls Do It Better” (#HGDIB) has become a movement with branded merchandise and inspiring quotes young ladies throughout various inner city communities have formed a sister hood, one that represents confidence and provides the strength needed to combat stereotypes. Moving forward Epiphany plans to release more books and continue growing her brand as a fashion mogul. When asked what makes her stand out, Epiphany mentions “ I believe I stand out because I show the grind, I show the struggle as well as high points”.

Connect With Epiphany: Facebook: Epiphany Kendell | Twitter: @EpiphanyKendell | YouTube: Epiphany Kendell

Epiphany Kendall Photo Credits: Gaspar Marquez


New Book Alert! By Carla Woods Mothers day is coming up next month and what better way gift then a book. New Author Carla Woods has written a book that honors all mothers. Her new book also includes stories from her friends about their mothers. This is her first book and it is published by JL King Publishing.


Foodie Corner: Executive Pastry Chef Padua Player By ReneĂŠ Lowe

Where or who did your love for creating desserts come from? I must say that my family fueled my passion for desserts! I can remember during many family functions, my mom would make certain dishes. I loved the enthusiasm that my family had when she made her famous dinner rolls, or sweet potato pies etc. I wanted my family to have the same feeling when I made baked a dessert. In the beginning, my sister would help me to fine tune the flavors and decorations of my cakes. Of course, my first restaurant job encouraged me to peruse my dreams even more. There are so many cooking shows are on TV. Do they inspire you to create desserts? Absolutely! Seeing other chefs creating simple and complex dishes always inspire me. Whether it's a new technique or a new ingredient that I've never worked with. You never stop learning in the food business. There's so many new and exciting restaurant chefs that push the envelope when it comes to desserts. You can't help but be inspired! What chefs inspire you? In the beginning I would read tons of Maida Heatter's cookbooks. She's considered to be the "grandmother" of baking to me. Now I love chef's like Susan McCreight Lindenborg, Sherry Yard, Sunny Anderson and countless others. We are excited that you are writing a dessert cookbook. What has been your process to get ready to become an author? Tons and tons of research and recipe formulation! Did I mention countless hours of testing many of my favorite staple recipes? It's been a labor of love and I am loving every minute of it. It's always been a dream of mine to write my very own cookbook. I've had many conversations with collegues that have taken this chef to cookbook author journey. They keep me encouraged and inspired to keep writing and baking! What is the one, must-have in every kitchen? Hummm, that's a great question. I would say a must have for me is a great reference book. I always have my Kitchen Companion book next to my favorite go to cookbooks. If there's an ingredient or technique that I'm not familair with I simply look it up. Do you entertain a lot and what’s your favorite kind of entertaining? I don't! But I'm a great guest to have at a party lol! I will help you to clean, plan the menu etc. But my favorite kind of entertaining is simple and fun. Gather a few of your favorite people, cook or bake some of their favorite dishes and do a fantastic tablescape. Also, don't forget great dinner music. It sparks fascinating conversations and tons of laughter! Finally, what is your favorite dessert? I've been asked this several times. I must say that I love a great plated dessert preferably chocolate! With my restaurant background it has made me appreciate the chef or cook that creates a gorgeous plate for me to enjoy!

Connect With SuagaChef: Web: www.sugachef.com | Twitter: @sugachef | Email: padua@sugachef.com | IG: @sugachef


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BOOK COVER Magazine | April 2014