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New Beginnings with

Dhylles Davis

Healthy Holiday Tips from

Katrina Butler Hill

Dawn Michelle Hardy: The 411 on Finding Literary Representation

Winter Issue December 2012


Holiday Gifts Under $100



bronze magazine

Founder and Editor In Chief

Stay Inspired!

Shawn Chavis

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Contributors (This issue)

To advertise or questions/comments

Katrina Butler Hill Destiny DeJesus Jo Jo Harder Dawn Michelle Hardy

On the Cover: Dhylles Davis Photography: Horace Robinson Stylist: Harold Waight Makeup: Dennis Cokely



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Content s

7 Working with an Agent to Attain a Book Deal by Dawn Michelle Hardy 10 Healthy Holiday Eating & Drinking by Katrina Butler Hill 12 8 Holiday Gifts Under $100 14 Holiday Glitz & Glam 16 Tis the Season for Female Artists 18 New Beginnings with Dhylles


How to Throw an E-Book Party

20 She is Such... by Destiny DeJesus

Pictured L-R, Cynthia Gurino, Jo Jo Harder with America’s Top Dog Models Ž Princesses Giana and Zara

Working with an Agent to Attain a BookDeal by Dawn Michelle Hardy


n late 2010 I joined the award-winning Serendipity Literary Agency as an associate agent. As a literary agent I manage author’s writing careers. If you are genuinely interested in becoming an author you have already begun to research the marketplace and hopefully are gaining an understanding of the book publishing industry. For those who prefer the traditional route of having their work agented, here’s how you can go about finding literary representation.

Unlike the earlier years in publishing, agents are not as under the radar as they once were. I consistently tweet publishing news and advice via @dawnmichellepr. My first client Isoul Harris, author of Nicki Minaj: Hip Pop Moments for Life (Omnibus April 2013) connected with me via Twitter after reading some of my tweets on book publishing. Social media, writers conferences, agent guides (including The Guide to Literary Agents), writing magazines (including The Writer’s Digest and Poets & Writers), or websites such as ( (where you can subscribe to publishers lunch) are great resources to help find yourself an agent. Still even today, nothing beats an old fashioned referral. Once you have obtained an agent you now have someone who will operate as a business representative for your writing works. Your agent will negotiate rights, review your manuscript and offer advice to enhance marketability. Once the changes are made, then your work is ready to be shopped. Your agent will submit your work to the editors/publishers who best fit the kind of material you write. The editors will review your work. The review process requires reading full manuscripts or sample chapters and proposals to effectively make educated decisions on the viability of your work with that particular publisher. This is the time authors are encouraged to be patient and work on building their author platform by blogging, creating a website, connecting with other authors and researching the marketplace for speaking and signing opportunities while waiting for editors/publishers to respond. Success is opportunity meeting preparedness. When the editor contacts your agent with interest in taking your project to the editorial board, this is great news. You have reached the next step in consideration. The editor will receive feedback from fellow editors, sales staff, publicists, and marketing associates all of whom would be involved in the publishing of your book. The editor will prepare a P&L known as a profit and loss statement. This is an analysis that considers the costs to publish your book including the format (paperback, hardcover, e-book), author advance, print runs, page count, etc. Yes, they love your story or idea, but it still comes down to dollars and cents. Once a plan is put in place, mainly determining the profitability of the book, the editor contacts the agent and makes an offer. You and your agent have done it. A publisher wants your work. Congrats!

Dawn Michelle Hardy has dual careers in publishing. She is the President of Dream Relations, PR & Literary Consulting Agency and an associate agent at Serendipity Literary Agency where she is looking to acquire cool and creative pop-culture and sports books in addition to women’s fiction that encompasses exceptional story telling of a strong protagonist who gracefully conquers the obstacles of life. For more tips and advice follow @dreamrelations [Publicity] @serendipitylit [Agenting]


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How to Throw an E-book Party by Jo Jo Harder


ave you ever attended an E-book Party? To most people it is a mystery. And while E-book sales surpassed hard cover books in 2012, who do you know has ever hosted an E-book Party?

On September 6, 2012 I launched my E-book “How to Become a Top Dog Model.” It was a fun and fashionable event! Here is my plan for hosting a successful and memorable E-book party. Plan your event much like you would any other book party. Keep in mind that since there is no tangible book to display or sign, an E-book party must be strikingly visual. The Location of your E-book party will determine its success! The obvious location would be your home or a local bookstore. Hosting a party at your home would be most comfortable and would allow decorating according to your style. The disadvantage would be potentially limited space and the awkwardness of promoting yourself at home.


Pictured L-R, Cynthia Gurino, Jo Jo Harder, & Natascha Fasnakis

An E-book party at a bookstore would lend an air of literary credibility to your launch, and local media would be more inclined to cover the event if it is associated with an established bookseller. You would also have access to the retailer’s promotional resources like event calendars, website, in-store posters and newsletter. The drawback would be that you are limited to their designated space, decorations, timeline and store policy. A library is another possibility. However, the restrictions would be the same as a bookstore and this location may lack ambience. A creative solution would be to find a location that compliments the theme or topic of your E-book and cross-promote. When you approach the desired venue to present your idea, be prepared with a pitch and press kit. Explain why this book launch is not only good for you, but why it will help bring new business to this select location.

My E-book party location was Kiosk Palm Beach. This fabulous, concept store features open “Kiosks” designated to runway, jewelry, apothecary, millinery, and stationary. It was a perfect fit for my E-book “How to Become a Top Dog Model” and the pretty pink décor complimented my E-book cover. Next decide on Date & Time: You want the party as close to your release as possible but allow for enough time for your book to arrive at E-book retailers. The date chosen for my E-book party was September 6, Fashion’s Night Out! There could not have been a more appropriate Occasion for launching a book entitled “How to Become a Top Dog Model.” Be considerate of guest’s attention span. Your event should be no longer than 2 hours. Ninety minutes is ideal. Create a Guest List. Invite family, friends, fans, neighbors, professional organizations, and the media.

and a complimentary drink card from a favorite restaurant. Prepare a program. An E-book party should be a festive party with a limited program. Nonfiction authors can speak briefly about their book topic or plan an activity based on their topic. Children’s authors can do a short reading aloud and plan a fun activity for kids. Novelists can do a presentation based on the book’s story or a short reading. All authors should have their book available on an E-book reader for guests to view & order. My program consisted of a brief presentation about my Ebook and introduction of two special guests, America’s Top Dog Models ® Princesses Giana and Zara who flew in from New York, with proud mom Cynthia to make a guest appearance at my event. Guests were directed to view my book on an E-book device which was displayed at the store.

Focus on the theme. If your book has a theme or attraction that lends itself to a party, use it! Incorporate the theme into your invitations, menu, attire, decorations, and give-aways.

Get help! You will not have time to hostess. Enlist family, friends, and neighbors, or hire a professional. You will need someone to greet people at the door, show them to the refreshments, pour champagne, serve cake, & clean up throughout the event and afterwards.

Evites are appropriate for an E-book party as they allow mapping and reminders. Have a graphic designer create a fabulous, Evite which incorporates your E-book cover.

You will need to promote your event heavily. Remind guests about your E-book launch party via email, phone, in person, over social networks and newsletters.

My Evite incorporated the book cover of “How to become a Top Dog Model” and Kiosk’s logo. Our primary color was pink, and guests were requested to “Look pretty in Pink or white.” The option of white was offered for those who may prefer not to wear pink.

Print out your Evite and hang at coffee shops, Libraries, bookstores, community centers and select retailers. Include an evite in press kits and announcements to local and national newspapers, magazines, radio, & TVstations. Send out press releases to online event calendars & book bloggers. Hire a professional photographer & video-ographer for follow-up press & PSA for You tube.

The pink theme was incorporated in our menu which included pink champagne, sparkling raspberry water, and a photo sheet cake that was a replica of my book cover. No decorations were required at this event as the backdrop of kiosk was the perfect setting. It’s nice to have a give away at a book launch, whether it’s a raffle, gift bag or simply a book mark. The idea is that people have something physical to leave with. My gift bag contained a book cover postcard, doggie treats

Most importantly say thank you. Thank your host & guests. Show genuine appreciation for them. Personally present guests with a give-away as they depart. View Jo Jo Harder’s E-book Party PSA on You-Tube: For more information on “How to Become a Top Dog Model” visit:


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Healthy Holiday Eating & Drinking

by Katrina Butler Hill



the season for lavish holiday eating and drinking. Most would agree that it is one of the most difficult times to stay away from extra calories that will pack on unwanted pounds. No one wants to start the New Year with guilt and anxiety from holiday weight gain and increased waistlines. You must be real with yourself as you partake of the yummy goodness that will be waiting to tempt you at family dinners and office celebrations. Your ability to eat sensibly will make the holidays much more enjoyable. Working as a personal fitness trainer for KBH Fitness in Columbus, GA for the past ten years Katrina Butler Hill suggests a few simple and smart ways to navigate the holiday food and cocktail menus: Start of the day: Start the day with a wholesome breakfast, power packed with fiber (whole wheat toast), protein (turkey sausage/turkey bacon), veggies (diced peppers and onions) and fruit (melon, apples, oranges). If you don’t have time to cook opt for a nutritional protein drink that is low in calories, sodium and sugar. Snack all day: Many of us believe that not eating will help us avoid excess weight gain, but starving yourself does the complete opposite. It’s a false mindset that always results in extra pounds added. Our bodies need nutrients all day in order to function properly. Snack on unsalted almonds and drink water during the day. One hour before dinner or an event eat a large apple or medium green salad. Eating these nutrient filled foods will allow your brain to remind your tummy when it has had enough. This technique will help you avoid consuming too many calories. During the party be sure to eat your “greens” before eating carbohydrates or meats. For example, fill the largest portion of your plate with green beans or field greens before adding macaroni and cheese, buttered mashed potatoes or rice. You should only have a small fist size portion of meat. If the meat is heavily sauced or fried take away the carbohydrates all together. Spirit Drinkers: If you are a spirit drinker you can still enjoy! Alcoholic beverages have absolutely no health or nutritional benefits so be selective about your consumption. Did you know that fruity drinks carry close to 1000 calories for each? People who drink alcohol are more likely to eat more calories because cravings increase as you drink? Opt for low-cal drinks like Gin, Vodka, Tequila, Rum and Scotch which all have 65 calories per oz. Champagne has 92 calories per 4oz and a regular beer has 144 calories per 12oz. After each beverage drink an equal amount of water to flush and fill you. Sweet Eaters: Are you like me and live to taste sweet potato pie and red velvet cake during the holidays? If so you will want to try this “minty mouth” trick! Chew a piece of minty gum directly after your meal then wait about 30 minutes, drink a glass of water then sink your teeth into the goodness that awaits you. I guarantee you won’t eat as much as you would without the “minty mouth” trick! Another smart tip…enjoy the minis. Food design trends now make mini cakes, pies, cupcakes, ice cream cones and more. The sizes are smaller than half the traditional slices and scoops. Family Fun: Instead of lounging around after dinner involve the entire family in some type of physical activity. Take a brisk walk, crank up a kick ball game or get ready for touch football. Too cold? Raining? Jumping jacks and push up competitions are fun and burn oodles of calories! If you are a techie family, then power up the Wii or Xbox which have great dance games that shockingly require real physical energy. Remember always that portion control is still the smartest way to navigate the holiday spread. Don’t let your eyes overtake your tummy. Best wishes to you this holiday season! Katrina Butler Hill is the author of the novels When the Well Runs Dry and When the Well Runs Dry: Hushed Secrets. Follow her on Twitter @kbhwritesitraw




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‘Tis the Season for Female Artists This holiday season, give the gift of empowered women! Each of these talented artists are renouned for their strength, resilience and unique voices. Having marked their personal stamps in the music industry, they have each paid it forward by inspiring and empowering women through their creative musical journeys.

Tamia Beautiful Surprise

Alicia Keys Girl on Fire

Ashanti Braveheart

Karyn White Carpe Diem

Vivian Green Green Room

SWV I Missed Us


Whitney Houston I Will Always Love You

Monica New Life

Heather Hedley Only One in the World

Elle Varner Perfectly Imperfect

Faith Evans R&B Divas

Angie Stone Rich Girl

Brandy Two Eleven

Rihanna Unapologetic

Keyshia Cole Woman to Woman





New Beginnings with

Naturally U Photography by Horace Robinson:


all about new beginnings…Dhylles Davis is a Life Coach, Motivational Professional, Entrepreneur/Consultant, and she’s the inspiration for the cover of this issue; yet, none of these titles have come easily for her. After many years of enduring sexual, mental and psychological abuse during her childhood, Dhylles lived out her young adult years in a struggle and fight for self-love. Finally, at the age of 32 Dhylles’ faith in God transformed her pain into purpose. We had a chance to chat with Dhylles about her journey and here’s what she had to say:

What inspired you to become a Life Coach? I was inspired to help people at a really young age along with the compassion that God placed in my heart from the time I was 10 years old. I was the oldest sister who at 14 years old was the mom to my siblings while our mom went to work and school, at the same time while running away from my step-dad who would sexually abuse me every chance he had since I was 7 years old. I never let that experience change my gifts that God gave me to be His humble servant and to share my life experiences with others in order to help them in their own lives. I was placed here on this earth to be a voice for those who are afraid to take a stand for themselves. Throughout my life’s trials and tribulations, I never lost faith in myself and God and knew my career and calling was to help others but was not sure what that calling was until I found myself at 32 years old after running away from myself. I received an Aha Moment that I am to be a Life Coach and I have had so many life experiences in my life thus far; and it was important for me to do God’s work. Something in me changed and I felt at peace within myself and decided to do my work in self love, forgiveness, acceptance and approval in order to help others. I went to school and got my certification and I am now Dhylles Davis, Certified Life Coach & Entrepreneur Consultant. What is the purpose of your new column, New Beginnings with Dhylles? The purpose is to reach out to readers who are going through life’s struggles while in search of who they are; not yet having discovered their life’s purpose due to past negative experiences that still require healing. The column’s mission is to motivate and inspire readers to live their lives to the fullest while focusing on making their dreams come true, showing them that the possilibities in life are endless. How do you plan to help others achieve their life’s purpose? I plan to share my life experiences and things I have been through with others to let them know that they are not alone and that I can fully relate to what they are going through. I plan to also conduct motivational speaking engagements, life enhancing seminars and workshops, share my empowerment blogs as well as offer readers the opportunity to ask me any questions which I will glady answer in order to help them enhance, enrich and empower their lives. How has your own personal tragedies shaped who you are today? My personal tragedies have helped me realize my value, worth and strength. They have helped me realize to have faith in God no matter what is taking place; that He is always here with me. They have helped me to always take a leap of faith in making my dreams a reality and to not take anything in my life for granted. My personal tragedies have helped me realize I am not perfect and I have flaws and will make mistakes, but it is the lessons I learn that will continue to keep me on my path and walk in life. What is the one most important step you would advise someone to take towards claiming a new beginning in life? Why? The most important step is to have a relationship with God and seek Him out in everything you do and know that He will never leave you or fail you; He will always steer you in the right direction in your life. Even when things are bad know that God has you exactly where you are supposed to be and everything else in life will fall into place. I don’t do anything in my life without God. I praise him in the morning and every night. This is the only way I have been able to survive all of my trials and tribulations with a positive outlook. Use every experience you have in your life and know that it is never too late for new beginnings. The beauty of life is being able to make positive changes everyday.

Naturally U Photography by Horace Robinson:




She is SuCh… By Destiny DeJesus

Penny O Photography


you're a fan of timeless throwbacks, R&B Soul artist SuCh is certainly the girl to turn to. Though SuCh is a relatively new artist, her music definitely brings those feelings you get while listening to an old jam.The Haitian-American artist wants her audience to be able to listen to her music a hundred years from now and still think it is great.

"Of course I want Grammys and to tour internationally, but when I die, I can't take a grammy with me to the grave," SuCh said. "I want something in which people can still get a slice of who I am and a piece of my life, from my music." Su Charles began her singing career from the early age of three. She sang in her church choir throughout elementary school and by the age of 15, began to direct choirs. Later during her high school years, she participated in a program where she was able to attend the Grammys and record her own album. It was at that moment that Su Charles found her passion. You're probably wondering why Su Charles chose SuCh as her stage name. Thinking about her future, Su Charles came to the conclusion that she needed to focus her life on something that would keep her financially stable. She went to school for nursing and was using her degree as a way of making ends meet. When she dropped nursing to make her music a full-time priority, she sat down and wondered what people would call her. SuCh came about because not only does it resemble her name, its meaning perfectly fit her personality. The word "such" can be used in two different ways. First is to emphasize quality, and also to show similarity to. "Every performer has an alter ego. My name is an amplification of who I am," she said. On a regular day, SuCh is either working on songs, free writing or marketing herself. Aside from music, she enjoys going to the gym nightly and participating in turbo kick classes. SuCh rehearses with her band at least two times a week and says her inspiration for everything she does is not only her son, but also herself. "I have an exceptional husband and family as a support system" the Colorado resident said. "The only way I feel like I'm going to fail is if I give up. I am proving to myself that I can do what I was called to do." Her song, Robbed, was featured on iHeart Radio and SuCh is currently working hard to market her music and performing at different events. Check out SuCh's album, Stretch Marks, on iTunes and watch her video for her hit single, Mesmerized, on YouTube. Stay in touch with SuCh on Facebook, ; Twitter, and visit her website


Season’s Greetings & Happy Holidays From Bronze Magazine

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Winter Issue 2012  

Life Coach Dhylles Davis graces the cover of our winter issue, right in time for the launch of her new empowerment column on our website cal...