J. L. Woodson
NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literary Work for Superwoman’s Child: Son of a Single Mother and Award-Winning Author for The Things I Could Tell You!
J. L. Woodson's writing career started with the critically acclaimed novel, The Things I Could Tell You!, an English assignment written at age fifteen that was published by Macro Publishing Group when he was sixteen followed by becoming a co-author of How to Win the Publishing Game with Avalon Betts-Gaston, Esq. and Dr. Trevy McDonald at sixteen; a contributing author to the NAACP Image Award-winning anthology, Breaking the Cycle at seventeen, and Superwoman's Child: Son of a Single Mother at age nineteen which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literature. Visit him on the web: www.jlwoodson.com
National Bestselling Author and E. Lynn Harris Author of Distinction Award recipient
Naleighna Kai, a Chicago native, is a Mercedes Benz Mentor nominee, author of the national best-selling novel, Every Woman Needs a Wife, The Pleasure's All Mine, coauthor of Speak it into Existence and a contributing author to a New York Times Best-seller. Naleighna started writing in December of 1999, self-publishing her first three novels before landing a deal with an imprint of Simon & Schuster. She is the mother of, J. L. Woodson, NAACP Image Award Nominee for Outstanding Literature (Superwoman's Child: Son of a Single Mother). Naleighna current projects: Open Door Marriage, Rich Woman’s Fetish and Slaves of Heaven are being shopped for a book deal with a major publishing house. Visit Naleighna on the web: www.naleighnakai.com
Your 2014 Authors
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is the national bestselling author of over two dozen novels, including several which have been RT Booklovers Best Multi-Cultural Fiction finalists. Her latest work, The Shady Sisters Trilogy that begins with a suspense-filled page-turner, The Perfect Affair, is already being entertained by Hollywood execs for film possibilities. As an actor herself, this would bring Lutishia’s career full circle! When not writing contemporary fiction, she lends her muse to her EMMA and African-American Literary Award-winning alter-ego, Zuri Day, and writes steamy romances. Lutishia resides in southern California’s wine country and loves to create delicious vegan cuisine for family and friends to go along with a good “glass of grapes.” She also enjoys sports, the arts, travel, and most of all hearing from readers. Contact her at LutishiaLovely.com.
With over one million books in print, Victoria Christopher Murray is one of the country's top African American contemporary authors.
Victoria Christopher Murray always knew she would become an author, even as she was taking an unlikely path to that destination. Victoria originally self-published her first novel, Temptation and in 2000, Time Warner published that novel. Temptation made numerous best sellers list and remained on the Essence bestsellers list for nine consecutive months. Since releasing Temptation, Victoria has written fifteen other adult novels, including: Joy, Grown Folks Business, The Ex Files, The Deal, the Dance and the Devil, her newest novel, Never Say Never and the popular Jasmine Cox Larson Bush series. In 2008, Victoria’s first novels in her Christian fiction teen series - The Divine Divas – were published and were optioned to become a television series.
Victoria has received numerous awards including the Golden Pen Award for Best Inspirational Fiction and the Phyllis Wheatley Trailblazer Award for being a pioneer in African American Fiction. Her 2013 NAACP Image Award nomination for Destiny's Divas was her second Image Award nomination. She is currently in negotiations for her novel, The Ex Files, to become a movie. Visit Victoria on the web: www.victoriachristophermurray.com
Jerome Montgomery Jr.
Debut author of Middle of Somewhere
Personal Fitness Coach * Salsa/Mambo & Stepping Instructor
Jerome Montgomery, Jr. is the author of Middle of Somewhere, an inspirational memoir that chronicles his journey from being the middle child of ten, to being thrown into a tumultuous stint at parenthood, and overcoming the challenges that was the result of some “interesting” choices and circumstances in his life.
He is an award-winning Stepper and a member of Frenesi Dance Company, one of Chicago's premier Latin dance companies. He is a Salsa and Stepping Instructor at various venues in the metropolitan Chicago area and is also a member of Black Diamond, an Elite Stepper’s Society. He is the founder and producer of the Windy City National Stepper's Congress which intermingles aspects of culture, performance and dance from all ethnic backgrounds. Jerome is a Team Beach Body coach who helps clients reach their health and fitness goals. His book, Middle of Somewhere will be released in October 2014. www.jeromemontgomeryjr.com.
Martha Kennerson is a marketing executive for a major healthcare company. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and has over 15 years of diverse experience in managed care health plan operations; senior management, strategic planning, fiscal budgeting and marketing.
Martha has spent the last ten years working within low and no-income communities trying to bring solutions to healthcare disparities and trying to help find solutions to those social service and emotional needs that prevents individuals from moving forward beyond their current state regardless of their ethnic, educational or financial circumstances.
Martha has written two gripping new novels about survival titled Choices and Consequences. While both books have elements of a steamy romance, the story is a cautionary tale that takes a look at what can happen when love doesn’t turn out the way we expect and what happens when we refuse to deal with the pain of loss.
Two books, but one story.
“You can’t hide from pain. When you don’t deal with those feelings, they’ll manifest themselves in ways you’ve never dreamed possible.
– Martha Kennerson
Martha has been married to her husband for 20 years and has four daughters.
Renee Daniel Flagler
Renee Daniel Flagler is a marketing professional, an award-winning freelance journalist and the author of three novels, Miss-Guided, Mountain High Valley Low, In Her Mind and Raging Blue. Renee currently pens a relationship column online at www.ximagonline.com and she is the founder of SheBiz.net (www.shebiz.net) a lifestyle blog for women pursuing their passions. Renee resides in New York with her wonderful husband and children, and is currently at work on her next novels, Still Raging, The Houseguest and Like it’s My Last. www.reneedanielflagler.com
Dr. Joyce Brown
Author and Inspirational Speaker
Author Joyce Brown uses her creative energy to give voice and meaning to challenges women face. She grew up in Rockford, Illinois in a household of strong women. Her professional career as direct services worker, Executive Director, program director for a major foundation and business owner has been in Rockford and Peoria, Illinois; and Battle Creek, Michigan. She has experienced many uplifting moments, trials, and tribulations as a professional and as a dedicated parent; bringing those experiences to life through her characters.
She brings everyday situations to life that touches all of her readers and leaves them with a thirst for more. The views she shares are her opportunity to explore contemporary issues in depth and encourage men and women to think more broadly rather than relying on snippets of information.
You can invite Joyce to join your book club for an in-depth discussion. Like Joyce on her Face Book page Dr. Browns Book Club. Browse her website www.drbrownsbookclub.com.
Gloria Franklin is a certified etiquette instructor. She is also an advocate for the Youth Against Anti-Bullying Campaign (YABCA). She is a motivational speaker and the parent of three children and has three grandchildren. She attended Columbia College, Taylor Business Institute, Barbizon School of Charm and Modeling, and has traveled abroad to Paris France, and Germany. She uses a commonsense approach in her workshops and seminars in teaching and reaching today’s teens. Gloria resides in Chicago where she is working on her next book, Everyday Tips for Teens Volume II.
Zuri Day snuck her first Harlequin romance from her older sister’s “off-limits” collection and was hooked from page one. Knights in shining armor and happily-ever-afters were fitting fantasies, and she could get lost for hours in this world of positive possibilities. That Zuri now creates these stories as a full-time author is a dream come true! She splits her time between the stunning Caribbean islands and southern California. Having written more than a dozen novels, she is currently busy writing the next. She loves to hear from readers and can be contacted at Zuri@ZuriDay.com.
Pat G’Orge-Walker is the Essence ® bestselling author of almost a dozen novels and contributor to anthologies, Proverbs for the People and Letters from my Mother. Growing up a preacher’s kid gave G’Orge-Walker a quirky perspective on the church community and inspired her to create a one-woman comedy show centering on Sister Betty, an elderly super saint whose un-Christian-like behavior blocks her blessings. With the success of the Sister Betty comedy show, G’Orge-Walker turned her humor and imagination to writer. She resides in Long Island, New York. Visit her online at Sisterbetty.com, patgorgewalker.com. Her latest novel Sister Betty Says I Do landed on several bestseller lists before its debut.
Monica Marie Jones
Monica Marie Jones is an author whose published works include The Ups and Downs of Being Round (Fiction/Self-Help), Taste My Soul (Poetry), FLOSS (Fiction), Swag (Urban Fiction), Sweet Soliloquy (Poetry), Monday Morning Motivation (Inspiration) and Momentum (Financial Inspiration). She is a contributing author in Chicken Soup for the Girls Soul, New Directions for Youth Development, 44th (A full color coffee table book about President Barack Obama) and Souls of Our Young Sisters: The Next Generation of Women Tell Their Stories, Overcome Their Challenges, and Heal Their Spirits. She has also contributed to several publications and youth development training materials for the High/Scope Educational Research Foundation and the David P. Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality.
She has worked as a columnist and freelance writer for various publications and websites including the Michigan Front Page Newspaper and is an active member of the Motown Writer's Network where she hosted her own radio show, “Marketing and Motivation Mondays with Monica Marie Jones” on the Michigan Literary Network Radio.
Monica received her Bachelor’s Degree and teaching certificate in Elementary Education from Eastern Michigan University. She also received her Masters of Social Work from the University of Michigan.
She is the owner of the publishing and literary consulting company, The Literary Loft; and the motivational speaking, training and consulting company, Inspirationista Ink.
For more information visit her website at www.monicamariejones.com
Author Sierra Kay, recently released her second novel “From Behind The Curtain”, a clever suspense fiction that will leave you on the edge of your seat, as you guess the outcome down to the very last chapter. In 2011, Sierra Kay won a Nuyorican Poets Cafe Short Story Slam in New York. In the fall of 2011, Kay released her first novel Unhinged, in which deception, friendship and betrayal took center stage. Sierra Kay holds a M.A. in Writing from DePaul University in Chicago. Over the last ten years, she has been focused on writing and digital marketing for energy and financial companies in the Chicago area. Kay’s other creative writings include short stories and poems. Visit her on the web at www.sierrakay.com
Valarie Prince, a Chicago native, started writing in the summer of 1992, after a hilarious temper tantrum with her husband. When the dust settled, he sat her down and calmly said, “Baby, you need a hobby, because big papa can’t give you no more attention.” That simple proclamation gave birth to her first novel, The Lair of the Python which she wrote in thirty-two days. Three more novels: Rhythm, Chick Magnet and in 2010, Decadent were all picked up and published by Extasy Books. Her next five novels: A Gentlemen’s Wager, Skank, Dominion, A Cougar’s Tale and His Secrets are scheduled for release Spring/Summer 2014. Where after, they will be combined into a special edition anthology called: Open—Tales of Sensual Awakening.
She is single and currently working for one of the largest on-line universities in the world. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and Script Writing from Northern Illinois University and a Master’s of Education from American InterContinental University. Valarie jumped into life with both feet and in 2010 lost one hundred twenty pounds. She is currently working on two new novels: The Virus—When Loves Turns Deadly and Smolder, the final novel to the Rhythm and Decadent trilogy.
Greatest Poet Alive
G.P.A. (Greatest Poet Alive) is the author of five books of Poetry (The Confessional Heart of a Man, The Book of 24 Orgasms, The Mind of a Poetic Unsub, Revenge of the Orgasm, and Revenge of the Orgasm (Soaking Wet Edition), contributed to several anthologies, and has released one CD (The G.P.A. Experience). He is the winner of the Moth Storytelling Slam, Poetry Pentathlon, and Black Essence Award, as well as having been nominate Poet of the Year for three years and Book of the Year twice. Currently, G.P.A. has added acting to his resume with two movies (Persian Version and Animals) and television shows (Chicago PD, Chicago Fire, and Mind Games). G.P.A. proudly claims Chicago as his home. Visit him on the web at: www.iblowyourmind.net
Susan D. Peters, a native of Chicago’s south side, is a graduate of DuSable High School and DePaul University. Always adventurous, Susan’s curiosity lured her to Liberia, West Africa for eleven years. Her family’s escape during the Liberian Civil War is the spellbinding account of her first book, a memoir, Sweet Liberia, Lessons from the Coal Pot. Sweet Liberia, received the 2010 Black Excellence Award for Non-Fiction by the African American Alliance of Chicago and in 2011 the book was awarded a prize for Non-Fiction from the Illinois Press Women's Association. A lifelong author of poetry, inspirational essays, short stories, and plays her writings will be featured in the IPWA’s May 2014 anthology, a collection of the works of twenty-three outstanding women writers.
Washington, DC author, Candy Jackson is a cosmetology teacher who loves to create poetry and short stories. Her reading rose to a brand new height with the discovery of many black writers whose work exploded in the ‘80’s. An avid reader, she began to tap into her own creative side and decided to write stories of her own. Candy is the mother of three young adult children and one grandson. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Lorna L.a. Lewis
Lorna "L.A." Lewis has always had an overactive imagination. This would probably explain her great love for literature. Reading literature allows her to go places she's never been and meet people she's never met. Writing literature allows her to really put her imagination to work. L.A. Lewis loves to write about things that people can relate to in their own lives. She loves it when people can enjoy a good story, yet leave with a very powerful message.
L.A. currently resides in Baton Rouge, Louisiana with her husband and their two children. Although she loves the fact that she's an author, the titles that she's most proud of are wife and mother. Her husband and children are her biggest cheerleaders. L.A. Lewis knows that this is just the beginning of her journey. She feels that there's so much more that God wants her to do. L.A. says she's just leaving herself open and available and allowing God to use her any way he chooses. Visit her at www.lalewisexpressions.com
Chicago native, DJ McLaurin, is the author of the provocative new novel, What if it Feels Good? A graduate of DePaul University and a Certified Public Accountant, DJ has worked in various fields including banking, auditing, a twenty-two year stint in radio, and, most recently, the Theatre Industry. Prior to venturing into the world of writing contemporary fiction, DJ wrote plays for local venues which are still in circulation today. She resides in South Holland, Illinois, with her husband and her two daughters, where she is working on Pretty Boy, a riveting follow up to What If It Feels Good? and Metamorphosis, as well as a new venture into the genre of the supernatural titled In The Company of Ghosts.
Art-Kitect - J. L. Woodson