Monday, July 25, 2016

Announcing The New Release of Destiny’s Favor: Orlosian Warriors Bk. 2 by Dariel Raye




Destiny’s Favor
(Orlosian Warriors Bk. 2)


Destiny’s Favor Synopsis

His world shifted the moment she was born. Now, nothing can stop him from making her his.

Imagine meeting a man who looks like an angel, wings and all? What would you do if this man told you he existed with only one purpose – to claim you and only you?

Destiny Carter is a feisty, take charge, Rubinesque beauty with a tough façade, who finds herself in that age-old quandary, “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” A string of lackluster relationships leave her hopeless and ready to settle…Until she meets Japheth, the man her fiancé claims is his best friend! Japheth’s arrival is heralded by an attack on Destiny’s life, and instinctively, she knows this is just the beginning.

Born more than 200 years ago, Japheth looks like an angel but he’s far from it. In his world, the ratio of men to women is 500 to 1, and although he’s a superior being, he’s willing to break the most sacred law of his brothers, even drink human blood, to have one meant for him alone.


When he meets Destiny, he knows she’s the one he’s been searching for. To claim her, he will have to betray a friend, risk his life, and hardest of all, humble himself enough to win her love.


**Only $0.99 for a limited time**



Dariel Raye, Author


About Dariel Raye
  

Dariel is an animal lover who writes IR/MC (interracial/multi-cultural) paranormal and dark urban fantasy romance. She is presently writing a shifter series, “Dark Sentinels,” a reluctant hell-dweller series, “Kushiel’s Keep,” two Nephilim series with vampire-like heroes, “Orlosian Warriors” and “Cain’s Progeny,” “Lifegivers,” a paranormal romance series with a variety of beings, a crossover paranormal thriller shifter trilogy with romantic elements, “Gateway,” and an erotic fantasy newsletter serial. To learn more about Dariel and her books, visit her blog join her newsletter, and follow her on Amazon.


Dariel On The Web






Sunday, July 24, 2016

Tyler Perry’s “Too Close To Home” Series Coming To TLC

The story follows Anna, a young woman who escaped her working class upbringing in Alabama to start fresh in Washington, D.C. After making national headlines in a major political scandal involving one of the nation’s most powerful players, she is forced to return to her roots and face a past she thought she left behind.
Seeking help and forgiveness from the same people she abandoned for a “better” life, Anna finds herself right back where she worked so hard to escape…TOO CLOSE TO HOME.

Monday, July 18, 2016

When Karma Calls HD Trailer

Following the mysterious outbreak of parallel punishments, a blogger searches for answers to a supernatural force driven by karma.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Writing With Purpose Virtual Book Tour - Featuring Pamela Samuels Young, Author of The New Crime Thriller: Lawful Deception


The beautiful Bliss Fenton won't be winning any awards for Mother of the Year. Truth is, motherhood isn't nearly as important to Bliss as the cottage industry she's created: extorting wealthy men solely for the hefty child support she can collect. But Bliss' greed ultimately goes too far when she takes on Fletcher McClain. The handsome record industry mogul insists there's no way he's the father of Bliss' third child. But when the results of the paternity test are finally revealed, a stunned McClain refuses to take them lying down. He hires accomplished L.A. attorney Vernetta Henderson to sue Bliss for fraud. 

When an unscrupulous attorney from Vernetta’s past reappears to represent Bliss, Vernetta's faithful sidekick Special steps in to join the fight. While Special is hard at work digging up dirt on Bliss, she’s distracted by an investigation of a more personal nature, one that ends up challenging her prejudices as well as her heart.

As Vernetta goes head to head against her corrupt opponent, the stakes get higher and higher and in a flash, the lawsuit goes from contentious to outright deadly. 

 


"Pamela Samuels Young has crafted a page-turner that will keep you engrossed until the very last page. If you're a fan of smart legal thrillers with brisk pacing, crackling dialogue and edgy, intriguing characters, Lawful Deception is for you." 

--Dwayne Alexander Smith, Award-winning Author of Forty Acres


Bliss Fenton took a sip of champagne as she glared across the room at the obnoxiously happy couple. They indeed made a striking pair. Their slim, toned bodies draped in designer wear and expensive jewelry. So trendy. SoCalifornia chic. Setting her champagne glass on the tray of a passing waiter, Bliss snaked her way through the crowd, hoping to get a better view. As she moved, her blonde curls bounced as if lifted by a cool breeze. At 5'8" and 120 pounds, her delicate frame was all slopes and curves. A body specifically designed for exhibition.

The partygoers were packed like human matchsticks inside the gaudy Hollywood Hills mansion. The home, if you could call it that, was a testament to excess. Just like the couple. Too much of everything. Too many art deco chairs, too much bronze and glass, and so much artwork the walls could barely breathe.

Only a few feet away from the couple now, Bliss found herself shoulder-to-shoulder with a too-tanned man with greasy hair. He winked at her. She sneered back at him and moved on. A devious smile fractured Bliss' face as she returned her attention to the couple. She imagined the angst they would experience the minute they spotted her among the partygoers. Fletcher's lips would contort into an ugly grimace, but then coolly transition to a barely perceptible smirk. He was not the kind of man who was easily rankled. That was the reason he was a millionaire several times over. 

Mia, however, would not be able to hide her emotions. Fletcher's prissy little black princess would toss Bliss a snarl that bellowed, What the hell are you doing here? It was Mia she wanted to punish most. Bliss had pleaded with God to curse her former friend with a pain ten times more intense than her own. She wanted Mia to live it. Breathe it. Curl up in bed with it. Just as she had. Bliss refused to blame Fletcher for the poor choices he'd made. He was a man. And men, by nature, were weak. Still, he too would pay just the same. The call of vengeance tugged hard at Bliss' soul, urging her, daring her, to march right up to the couple and confront them. But she held back. For the moment. Patience had always been her most virtuous trait. 

Fletcher hustled to the front of the room and began singing the praises of the newest songstress to be added to his stable of artists, LaReena Jarreau. Bliss remembered cuddling in bed with Fletcher and listening to him brag about creating her stage name, since Janice Harris had no pizzazz.

"The first time I heard her voice," Fletcher said, throwing his arm around the bony twenty-something dressed in hooker gear, "I knew she was going to hit the music world by storm. You have to agree that what we heard tonight was-as the youngsters say-off the chain."

Everyone applauded as the hip, dark-haired CEO of Karma Entertainment grinned, happy to be on show. The only thing Fletcher enjoyed more than being rich was having everyone know it.

Mia remained off to the side, perfecting the look of the coy, supportive fiancée. That had been Bliss' mistake. Accepting her at face value. While Mia's visual package was quite alluring-all charm and beauty-on the inside, she was pure evil. Truth be told, Mia wasn't all that different from her. Bliss Fenton, not Mia Richardson, should have been on the arm of the music industry mogul tonight. It had never occurred to Bliss that her long-time yoga buddy could walk into a party and take her new guy's breath away. Literally. 

At the time, Bliss had been dating Fletcher for a short six months. She'd invited Mia to the party at Fletcher'sBeverly Hills home for the sole purpose of showing off her new man to her smart, uppity faux-friend. Bliss could still remember Mia waving as she glided into the party, the crowd parting so effortlessly it almost seemed choreographed.

Seconds before, Fletcher had been talking nonstop about his label's next release, but the sight of Mia had caused him to lose his train of thought. When Bliss had formally introduced them, the lust in Fletcher's eyes further telegraphed the gravity of her mistake.

Only days after the party, Bliss' time with Fletcher began to dwindle, explained away by late night meetings that couldn't be avoided or last-minute business trips toNew York. Mia, too, had started cancelling their after-yoga coffee chats and finally stopped coming to yoga class altogether. 

It was a month later, when Bliss saw Fletcher and Mia pictured together in Billboard, that she first learned of their betrayal. Her subsequent rage-filled calls to both of them had been ignored. And now, Mia was at Fletcher's side, while Bliss had been pushed right out of his life.

A burst of applause snapped Bliss back to the present. As Fletcher seemed to be wrapping up his speech, Bliss moved closer, stopping inches behind Mia. She leaned in, her lips almost grazing Mia's right ear. 

"Congratulations on your engagement."

Mia's head whipped around, her dark brown skin now ashen gray. "You ... you shouldn't be here." 

Bliss spoke in a firm whisper. "Neither should you. You backstabbing b^itch." 

Mia took a step back. "This is not the place to make a scene."

"Okay, then," Bliss said, moving into the space Mia had abandoned. "Shall we step outside?"

A second later, Fletcher wedged himself between them. "You walk yourself out of here right now," he said through clenched teeth, "or I'll have security carry you out."

Although no voices had been raised, all heads turned in their direction. Mia didn't move.

Fletcher, always cognizant of appearances, wore a stiff smile as he spat into Bliss' face. "If you don't leave, I swear I'll have you arrested."

After three long beats, Bliss winked. "You'll both be hearing from me."

Bliss couldn't help smiling as she sashayed through the buzzing crowd. 

Fletcher and Mia would suffer for their disloyalty. Bliss only wished she could be there to see their stunned faces when they learned what she had done and realized there was absolutely nothing they could do about it.

(Continued...)

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Pamela Samuels Young. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. 



Pamela Samuels Young, Author
When attorney Pamela Samuels Young, a NAACP Image Award winner, isn't fulfilling her duties as legal counsel for a major corporation in Southern California, you can usually find her penning her next legal thriller.

Her acclaimed novel, Anybody's Daughter, is what garnered Pamela her first NAACP Image Award win in the category of Outstanding Literary Work (Fiction).

Fed up with never seeing people of color, especially women, depicted as savvy, hot-shot attorneys in the legal thrillers she read, the Compton, CA, native decided to create her own. Despite the demands of a busy legal career, Pamela accomplished her ambitious goal by getting up at 4 am to write before work, dedicated her weekends to writing and even spent a large portion of her vacations glued to her laptop. In doing so, she discovered her passion for writing.

A graduate of UC Berkeley's School of Law, Pamela has a bachelor's degree in journalism from USC and a Master's Degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She formerly served on the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is a diehard member of Sisters in Crime-L.A., an organization dedicated to the advancement of women mystery writers.

She lives in Southern California and attends Hope in Christ Community Church. Visit her Website to see the more than 380 book clubs she has visited and to follow her online: 

Pamela is also a frequent speaker on the topics of writing fiction, discrimination law and pursuing your passion. Pamela loves to hear from readers, so use one of the avenues listed below to reach out to her.




*****

Monday, July 04, 2016

Descendants of The Sun | 태양의 후예 [Preview - ver.1]

A love story begins to form between Captain Yoo Shi Jin, from South Korean Special Forces and Doctor Kang Mo Yeon, who works as a Surgeon at Haesung Hospital in Seoul. They will find themselves in the middle of great events and deadly dangers, both in their Motherland and in the fictitious, war-torn country of Urk.

Friday, July 01, 2016

IndieLove Magazine, Issue 2 Book Blast


The publisher will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.



GENRE:  Magazine

BLURB: IndieLove Magazine is a publication promoting independent Authors, Musicians, Crafters, Artists, Film etc.

Issue 2 has some of the best, Authors. Mia Sheridan and Amy Harmon grace the pages as well as Goddess Fish Promotions, Artist Kim Walker, Actor Shawn Hawkins, Derek Webb, Co- Founder of Noisetrade, etc.

Mia Sheridan Interview
Mia Sheridan, Author
Question 1. Are you a planner or pantster kind of writer? Sort of both! :D I do make an outline (a very short bulleted list of main plot points), but then I just sort of let the characters take the path they will between points.

Question 2. Who are two of your favourite Authors and why? I really love Amy Harmon because she always infuses beautiful life lessons into her stories, and she just writes characters that are so easy to fall in love with. And I love AL Jackson because she writes with this intensity that always sort of puts me through the wringer, but in that way that has such a wonderful payoff in the end when you get your HEA. Love them both!


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

For 3 days only from the 1st of July to 3rd of July Issue, 1 will be Free for readers of the blogs! On My Website Facebook Page

Monday, June 27, 2016

90 Days Film Campaign

After ninety days of dating, Jessica and Taylor are forced to confront the realities surrounding living and loving with HIV after one of them reveals he/she is HIV positive. The film seeks to give people living with HIV hope toward finding love and intimacy while educating others. 


Monday, June 20, 2016

Great Summer Reads by Vivienne Diane Neal


If you plan to take that long-awaited vacation or spend those hot days on the beach or in your air-conditioned abode, we have selected our favorite eclectic stories that will stimulate, entertain and leave you asking poignant questions. Just click on the title, read, enjoy and stay cool.

Intriguing Women by Lakshmi Raj Sharma - The author presents an authentic depiction of women from wide-ranging backgrounds from the UK, India, and Afghanistan to New York, where cultural, ethnic, religious differences and one's economic and political standing can clash, and where marriage seems to define a person's status.

Wander This World by G. L. Tomas - A romance/love story with a twist of mystery, suspense and murder. The backdrop is a university in Minnesota, where Melanie Blue and Penley Green attend and are brought together to work on a class project but can't decide which subject matter to tackle.

Stone de la BRU Familia by Peter Mack - Set in Los Angeles, the reader is introduced to Stone Sweetwater, who is a puzzle to most as to how he really makes his money. Stone is determined to find the real culprit(s) who murdered his friend, Candi. But as the story moves on, Stone discovers that another friend of his, Misty, has also been murdered.

S'Murda at Sweetwater Manor by Peter Mack - This story continues where the introductory Stone de la BRU Familia leaves off. The setting is now Sweetwater Manor, a housing unit owned by Stone Sweetwater, who is no closer to finding the person responsible for killing his two friends and tenants, Candi and Misty.

Clarence Olgibee by Alan S. Kessler - In 1974, in a small Texas town, Jimmy Tate Sullivan watches his two friends club to death an African American man. While serving time for the crime, Jimmy is approach by a sleazy inmate, named Munson, who uses him as a pawn to join a secret cult known as The Church of Christ, Judea.

Alert by James Patterson & Michael Ledwidge - The backdrop is New York City, where several attacks, blackouts, and the assassination of an official have left the city in disarray, weaving historical events with the present, and where nothing is what it appears to be.

Dai's Dark Valentine by Dariel Raye - An endless love story. The tale deals with obsession, erotica, revenge, desire, danger, jealousy, betrayal and murder, which makes the story even more suspenseful.

Dead Lawyers Don't Lie: A Jake Wolfe Novel by Mark Nolan - A photojournalist witnesses the killing of an arrogant attorney and a savvy lieutenant inspector who works with the San Francisco Police Department and his no-nonsense partner is assigned the case.

Harry Lane is Innocent by J Scaddon - A mentally challenged young man faces the biggest ordeal of his life: being accused of murdering a wealthy young female in a supposedly safe park.

A Heart Not Easily Broken (The Butterfly Memoirs Book 1) by M.J. Kane - Explores what people truly want in a prospective partner as to what they end up getting, the assumptions individuals make, based on color, when searching for a soul mate, and how holding on to internal and external barriers can prevent people from finding true love.

Jinxed by Carol Higgins Clark - A private investigator is hired to locate a missing woman who must attend a wedding in order to receive two million dollars.

Deception in Plain Sight by Vivienne Diane Neal - A wealthy naive woman falls for a handsome, charming and cunning man who will awaken her sexual inhibitions and set into motion a sinister plot that will leave her and her parents financially ruined.

****

If you enjoy reading fictional crime stories with a touch of lust, betrayal, scandal, deception, sex, fraud, revenge, and all that good stuff, which make for a page turning, plot twisting, and surprise ending that will have people saying, “I didn’t see that coming,” then visit our sites at

Monday, June 13, 2016

Navigating The Online Dating World

Finding someone special on an online dating site can be very daunting. But selecting a dating site that will meet your particular needs can be even more of a challenge. There are millions of online dating sites vying for singles, but how does one select a site that will provide them with the service they are searching for? A site called Reviews.com is dedicated to conducting a fair and thorough research on various products, services, and industries, i.e. online dating sites.


Reviews.com is a website that has spent several weeks reviewing over sixty online dating sites and has provided a comprehensive guide to aid single men and women to find the best dating site for their specific needs, namely the best sites for long-term relationships, the best applications, and the best niche dating sites. The site offers tips on how to maximize your online dating experience by making it more meaningful and safer. To explore their advice, resources and guide for finding your way through the online dating world, please visit their site at http://www.reviews.com/online-dating-sites/.  

Monday, June 06, 2016

Writing With Purpose Book Tour - Introducing Leonard Pitts, Jr., Author of Grant Park


About The Book

Grant Park is a page-turning and provocative look at black and white relations in contemporary America, blending the absurd and the poignant in a powerfully well-crafted narrative that showcases Pitts's gift for telling emotionally wrenching stories.

Grant Park begins in 1968, with Martin Luther King's final days in
Memphis. The story then moves to the eve of the 2008 election, and cuts between the two eras as it unfolds. Disillusioned columnist Malcolm Toussaint, fueled by yet another report of unarmed black men killed by police, hacks into his newspaper's server to post an incendiary column that had been rejected by his editors. Toussaint then disappears, and his longtime editor, Bob Carson, is summarily fired within hours of the column's publication.

While a furious Carson tries to find Toussaint—at the same time dealing with the reappearance of a lost love from his days as a 60s activist—Toussaint is abducted by two improbable but still-dangerous white supremacists plotting to explode a bomb at Obama's planned rally in Grant Park. Toussaint and Carson are forced to remember the choices they made as idealistic, impatient young men, when both their lives were changed profoundly by their work in the civil rights movement.


SNEAK PEEK AT GRANT PARK - CHAPTER ONE

Martin Luther King stood at the railing, facing west. The moon was a pale crescent just rising in early twilight to share the sky with a waning sun. He leaned over, joking with the men in the parking lot below. A couple of them were wrestling playfully with James Orange, a good-natured man with a build like a brick wall.

“Now, you be careful with preachers half your size,” King teased him.

“Dr. King,” called
Orange in a plaintive voice, “it’s two of them and one of me. You should be asking them not to hurt me.”

“Doc,” someone called out from below, “this is Ben Branch. You remember Ben.”

“Oh yes,” said King. “He’s my man. How are ya, Ben?”

Another voice yelled up from below. “Glad to see you, Doc.”

As Malcolm Toussaint moved toward King, it struck him that the preacher seemed somehow lighter than he had the last time Malcolm had seen him. It had been late one night a week before, by the Dumpsters out back of the Holiday Inn. The man Malcolm met that night had seemed… weighted, so much so that even Malcolm had found himself concerned and moved—Malcolm, who had long scorned the great reverend doctor, who had, in the fashion of other young men hip, impatient, and cruel, mocked him as “De Lawd.”  But that was before Malcolm had met the man. That was before they had talked. Now he moved toward King, his mind roiling with the decision that had sprung from that moment, the news he had come to share. King, he knew, would be pleased. There would be a smile, perhaps a heavy hand clamping on Malcolm’s shoulder. “Good for you, Brother Malcolm,” he would say. “Good for you.”

Malcolm was vaguely amused to find himself here on this balcony, anticipating this man’s approval. If you had told him just a few days ago that he would be here, ready to go back to school, ready to embrace nonviolent protest, he would have laughed. But that, too, was before. Malcolm meant to raise his hand just then, to catch King’s attention, but a movement caught his eye. Just a reflected ray of the dying sun, really, glinting off something in a window across the street. Something that—he knew this instinctively—should not have been there. He wondered distractedly what it was.

King’s voice drew him back. “I want you to sing it like you’ve never sung it before,” he was calling to someone in the parking lot below. “Sing it real pretty.” And Malcolm realized he had missed something, because he had no idea what they were talking about. His attention had been distracted by… what was that?

“It’s getting chilly.” Yet another voice calling to King from below. “I think you’ll need a topcoat.”

“Okay, Jonesy,” King was saying. “You really know how to take good care of me.”

And here, the moment breaks, time fracturing as time sometimes will into its component parts, until an event is no longer composed of things happening in a sequence, but somehow all happens at once. And you can see and touch and live all the smaller moments inside the right now. This is how it is for Malcolm Toussaint now.  King is laughing. Malcolm is taking a step toward him. King is straightening. Laughter is echoing from below. King is reaching into a pocket for his cigarettes. He is becoming aware of Malcolm on his left. His head is coming around. There are the bare beginnings of a welcoming smile. And Malcolm knows. Suddenly knows. And Malcolm is leaping, leaping across space, across time itself, becoming airborne—he was sure of it, that detail felt right, even though by this time King is barely six feet away. Malcolm grabbing two hands full of expensive silk, yanking Martin Luther King off balance, yanking him down hard in the same instant they all hear the popping sound like a firecracker, in the same instant he feels the soft-nosed 30.06 bullet whistle past his cheek like a phantom breath, in the same instant he falls awkwardly across King’s chest.

And then…

And then time seems to reel for a crazy breathless moment, as if decide-ing what to do now. The fulcrum of history teetering, the future hanging, suspended in midair. Until all at once and with a brutal force, time decides itself and slams back into gear.

A woman shrieked.

Someone yelled, “Somebody is shooting!”

Someone yelled, “Doc, are you OK?”

Someone yelled, “Stay down!”

Malcolm’s breath was ragged in his own ears. His heart hammered like drums. Then from beneath him, he heard a familiar baritone voice say calmly, very calmly, but yet, with a touch of breathless wonder. “Oh my God. Was that a gunshot?”

Their eyes met. Malcolm didn’t speak. Couldn’t speak. “Brother Malcolm,” said Martin Luther King, his voice still suffused with wonder and yet, also, an almost unnatural calm, “I think you just saved my life.”

Malcolm was overwhelmed by the thereness of the man. He was not myth and mist and history. He was not a posterboard image on a wall behind a child dutifully reciting in a child’s thin, sweet tenor, “I have a dream today.” No, he was there, beneath 20-year-old Malcolm Toussaint, who had fallen crosswise on top of him. Malcolm could feel the weight and heft of him, the fall and rise of his chest. He could see his very pores, could smell the tobacco on his breath, the Aramis on his collar. Martin Luther King was there, still alive, beneath him. Malcolm opened his mouth to speak.

And then, he awoke.

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Leonard Pitts Jr.   Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


About The Author

Leonard Pitts, Author
Leonard Pitts, Jr. is a nationally syndicated columnist for the Miami Herald and winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, in addition to many other awards. He is also the author of the novels Freeman (Agate Bolden, 2012) and Before I Forget (Agate Bolden, 2009); the collection Forward From this Moment: Selected Columns, 1994-2009, Daily Triumphs, Tragedies, and Curiosities (Agate Bolden, 2009); and Becoming Dad: Black Men and the Journey to Fatherhood (Agate Bolden, 2006).

Pitts’ work has made him an in-demand lecturer.  He maintains a rigorous speaking schedule that has taken him to colleges, civic groups and professional associations all over the country.  He has also been invited to teach at a number of prestigious institutions of higher learning, including
Hampton University, Ohio University, the University of Maryland and Virginia Commonwealth University.  In the fall of 2011, he was a visiting professor at Princeton University, teaching a course in writing about race.

Twice each week, millions of Miami Herald newspaper readers around the country seek out his rich and uncommonly resonant voice. In a word, he connects with them. Nowhere was this demonstrated more forcefully than in the response to his initial column on the
Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. Pitts' column, "We'll Go Forward From This Moment," an angry and defiant open letter to the terrorists, circulated the globe via the Internet. It generated upwards of 30,000 emails, and has since been set to music, reprinted in poster form, read on television by Regis Philbin and quoted by Congressman Richard Gephardt as part of the Democratic Party's weekly radio address.

Born and raised in
Southern California, Pitts now lives in suburban Washington, D.C., with his wife and children.


Intimate Conversation with Leonard Pitts, Jr.


BPM:  When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing? People ask all the time: "Why did you decide to be a writer?"  It's a question I always struggle with, because I never decided to be a writer.  In other words, there was a never a decision process, per se.  I knew from the time I was five that this was what I was put here to do.  So the goal for the remaining years of my childhood and, indeed, my professional life, was simply about trying to become good at it and then trying to become better.  From the time I was young, I liked telling stories, I enjoyed getting reactions.  I think all of us are given certain gifts, certain aptitudes, certain things that fit us, that seem to come more easily to us than they do to other people.  For me, that was words.  In school, I sweated and worked my tail off for "C" I ever got in math.  But every "A" I got in English was as easy as pie.

BPM: Mr. Pitts, how did you get started as a writer? Well, I began to think of myself as a writer from the time I was five years old, which was a good thing, because it gave me a lot of time to be bad at it.  I started sending poems and stories to magazines when I was 12 years old, first became published when I was 14, and first got paid for being published when I was 18.  I spent the next 18 years working primarily as a music critic for a variety of magazines and radio programs.

I was editor of  SOUL, a black entertainment tabloid, did freelance work for such magazines as Spin, Record Review and Right On!, co-created and edited a radio entertainment news magazine called RadioScope and was a writer for Casey Kasem's radio countdown show, Casey's Top 40.

BPM:  Tell us about your passion for writing. Why do you write? What drives you? I write because it's my profession, I write because it's the only thing I've ever wanted to do.  I write because, if it wasn't my profession and nobody was paying me to do it, I know that I would still be doing it.  I write because this is what I love and it's who I am.  I think we tell stories to figure out who we are and what we are about and I am proud of being part of that continuum.  I am also driven by the need to see if I can better my best.  It's a never-ending game of "Can you top this?"

BPM:  Do you ever let the book stew – leave it for months and then come back to it? I've never left a book for months.  I've been forced to leave a book for weeks though, because sometimes, life intrudes.  But the best way to write a book is in one long push of consistent, daily effort.  A novel is, at bottom, an elaborate lie.  It's an unspoken bargain between writer and reader: I'm going to tell you this story of things that never happened - maybe never could happen – and in exchange for you suspending your disbelief, I'm obligated to make sure this tale I tell is entertaining, funny, gripping, suspenseful, emotionally involving, whatever.  But to sell the "lie" you're telling as a writer, you have to first believe it yourself.  And I've found that if you stay away from a novel for too long, it can damage your ability to believe in the "lie" - the situations and characters you're chronicling can start to seem cardboard, less real to you.  And if you don't believe in them, the reader definitely won't.

BPM:  Introduce us to your book, Grant Park and the main characters. Forty years ago, two young men had life-altering encounters with Martin Luther King.  Malcolm, a black kid, was a college dropout who scorned nonviolent protest, and embraced street violence as a way of bringing social change.  A chance meeting one night with King turned him around, forced him to see the limitations of street violence and convinced him to return to school.  He was on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, about to share this news with King when James Earl Ray fired his fatal shot.  He has never gotten over what he saw.  Bob, a white kid, was attending a Bible college in
Mississippi where he fell powerfully in love with Janeka Lattimore, a young black civil rights activist.  They attended King's last march – the one in Memphis that ended in a riot.  Bob was beaten bloody by an angry young black man in the crowd and right after that, Janeka left him, saying she wanted to go to a black school now, saying she wanted to "be with her people."  "I thought I was your people, too," said Bob.  He has never gotten over losing her.

Forty years later, Malcolm is a celebrated columnist for a
Chicago newspaper, burned out by one too many cases of police violence against unarmed African-Americans and white people not caring about.  He writes an angry column - "I'm sick and tired of white folks’ bullshit," he says – and when the newspaper refuses to publish it, he hacks his editor's computer and publishes it anyway - one the front page of the paper, on Election Day of 2008.  Then unbeknownst to anyone, he is kidnapped by two would-be white supremacist terrorists who intend to blow him up in Grant Park, where President–elect Barack Obama is scheduled to speak.  Meantime, Bob is now an editor at a Chicago newspaper and before dawn on Election Day, he gets a phone call telling him one of his columnists has hacked his computer to publish an incendiary, offensive column.  Bob gets fired for it.  The former civil rights activist was already sick and tired of black people always complaining, never being satisfied.  Now he's lost his job over black people's whining, and he's furious, ready to strangle Malcolm – if he can only find him.  Then he gets an email.  Janeka is back in town and she wants to see him.

Grant Park is a novel about racial disillusionment, friendship, and what I have taken to calling the “stupidification” of
America.

BPM:  Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences? Oh, yes.  Much of the frustration Malcolm experiences in dealing with white readers who will not engage on the subject of racial injustice is something I have experienced firsthand.  And the one reader email that sends him over the edge is cobbled together from hundreds of similar emails I have received over the years.  I identify with Malcolm's angst, though not with his chosen solution.

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Inspire? I think you write to entertain, first and foremost, to tell a story a reader will lose herself or himself in. You try to create characters that will seem real to the reader and then put those characters into situations of physical or emotional danger. Secondarily, you hope that in entertaining people, you can also manage to say something of value, make some observation that will touch them or inspire them or cause them to see old things in new ways.

BPM: What are some of the benefits of being an author that makes it all worthwhile? Writing a novel is a year, two years, or more of lonely work, staring at blank screens and not really knowing if what you're doing works or makes any kind of sense. So the best thing about being published is receiving feedback from readers. When somebody tells me they were hurt by something one of my characters did, or a situation a character found him or herself in made that reader cry, that is the highest validation and best compliment I can ever receive. It means the characters seemed real and the story works. Feedback is what makes that lonely year or two worthwhile.

BPM:  What’s the most important quality a writer should have in your opinion? Probably persistence.  You have to believe in and hone your talent as a writer and cling to it, sometimes against all odds and common sense.  You have to eat rejection for breakfast.

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from reading your book? I want them to gain enjoyment and entertainment obviously. I'd love for them to think about some of the issues the book raises.  If you or your readers would like to set up a Skype visit to discuss Grant Park or Freeman, go to my website and contact me there:  http://leonardpittsjr.com.  I'm available for blog tours as well.

BPM:  How may our readers follow you online? 
Books can be found at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/leonard-pitts-jr.

Keep up with Leonard Pitts Jr. at his website: 
http://www.leonardpittsjr.com

Read Miami Herald column at http://www.miamiherald.com/leonard_pitts

Like Leonard Pitts on FB: https://www.facebook.com/LeonardPittsJr

Follow on Twitter: Leonard Pitts Jr. can be found at @LeonardPittsJr1

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