Category Archives: Press Release

Literary Spotlight: Homie, Lover, Friend by Shawn Thompson

 

H.L.F. Final Cover

 

2017 is starting off with authors dropping phenomenal books and Shawn Thompson’s newest work is no different! His novel Homie, Lover, Friend is a contemporary look at the relationships of real people with real issues. He touches on the issues of homosexuality, black hypersexuality and the hardships of a working woman. If the storyline doesn’t sound like Being Mary Jane and Empire rolled into one! I got a chance to talk with Shawn Thompson about the novel and all the tantalizing storylines.

What inspired you to write Homie, Lover Friend?

My novel “Homie. Lover. Friend.” was inspired by events in my own life regarding love and relationships as well as the actual song that was created by R. Kelly in the 90’s. My goal was to depict what life is like for twenty somethings in the world we live in today. Being in my twenties, I have gained experience in the art of love and loss, also struggling with what it truly means to have a “Homie. Lover. Friend.” within significant others and partners.

The book seems like a perfect blend of Empire and Being Mary Jane! Give us some details on these characters and the struggles they have to face in the novel.

Funny you say that; I am familiar with both shows and LOVE Empire. Cookie especially! There are three main characters in “Homie. Lover. Friend.” each with their own prospective struggles. Beau is a gay African American male that is anything but stereotypical, he values unconditional love over casual sex and has a hard time finding it. He also struggles with his personal affinity for his best-friend Roland. Roland is a domineering entrepreneur who has issues respecting those around him and uses women and power to boost his ego. Of course, karma has a way of humbling those who feel they can’t be tamed. Within his doggish past, he has dated and hurt Monae but they have remained friends after the end of their relationship. Monae is a successful career woman who seems to have everything going for her except the support of her fiancé Sterling. Over time she is forced to re-evaluate where she is in life and what is most important to her.

Is it easy to write relationship centric books? It seems like the only topic that continues to stay constant, even as life evolves.

I have always had an interest in relationships and love, part of the reason why I have pursued an alternate career in relationship counseling. It is easy for me to write relationship books because I have been in many relationships and friendships that have pruned me to be who I am now. People will always need one another, regardless of what some might think, which makes the relationship topic easy to relate to. Life may evolve but the yearning for others to care about us constant. Love is life and life is love!

Does “Homie, Lover, Friend” have a deeper meaning than it just being the title of the work?

The title “Homie. Lover. Friend.” was created based off the 90’s R. Kelly song. Each character is one part of the title. Homie being Roland because he is a homie to Beau. Lover being Beau because he wears his heart on his sleeve. Friend being Monae because she is a best-friend to the other characters as they all struggle to find their new selves.

What’s next for you?Headshot

Many things. I have a second book coming out in April called “Jaded”. It is a spin-off to H.L.F. and includes some of the main characters from my first novel. I am also experimenting with different writing styles and preparing myself to write my third novel. I currently co-host a podcast “Conscious Convos” which explores a variety of topics that are prominent to 21st century millennials.  

Where can we find you?

You can find me on Facebook and Instagram. My Facebook page is Author Shawn Christopher and my Instagram name is author_shawnchris

Available Now On Kindle Unlimited And Paperback

 

 

 

Meet the Insider: Joe Joe Jones

Joseph “Joe Joe” Jones was born and raised in New Castle/Wilmington, Delaware. After becoming a convicted felon, doing a three year prison stint for drug trafficking. Upon release fighting with the temptations of the streets Mr. Jones took his urban street knowledge and turned it into an actual business (Street Knowledge Publishing). Mr. Jones teamed up with a childhood friend and prison inmate, Leondrei Prince, who had written a series of black urban books. Leondrei Prince became the first author of SKP with Bloody Money, inspired by the writings of African American author Donald Goines, taking the book game by storm. SKP has released over thirty books to date and has recently engaged an investment partner to finance its acquisitions. With a new line up of hungry freshmen writers and his existing authors that has sequels has something to prove. We are looking beyond books. We are turning all books into films, music soundtracks, e-books, audio books, and plays.” says Joe Joe Jones Ceo of SKP. With the use of his hard work and the internet http://www.streetknowledgepublishing.com, Jones has taken writers from the streets to the board room of the best publishing companies in America. Game recognizes game and Jones is on top of this new game. Jones has his ear to the street.
 
When he finds a talent he is able to make decisions that can change a writer s life. He gets stories that are hot topics on the streets. Jones writers write about the street level criminal masterminds unlike Charles Manson and Bernie Madoff. SKP is run very much like a 1980 s music label. Jones is giving deals to writers and is now working with investors to back companies that he has idjoejoeentified as an acquisition target. Joe Joe Jones is a savvy businessman, book store owner, distributor, and now author with his new street novel Scandalous Ties co-written with one of his hottest freshmen authors Jermaine “Ski” Buchanan which is a four book series that is about to drop this fall. He is also is wrapping up a solo book that he dedicated a lot of time into “Imaginary Freedom” which he feels that will change the game and wake up some young brothers out here that is struggling to survive the best way they know how.

 

What inspired you to launch your bookstore?

What really inspired me to launch my bookstore is for a launch pad for my books to get exposure. There are really no outlets for paperback books and as myself being independent I like to control my own destiny. Also give an outlet for other inspired authors to make away to make money. Books, music, clothing, and whatever anybody trying to promote and to make a living. This is about survival for young black entrepreneurs like myself.

Can readers purchase books from you online?

Yes readers can purchase my books and other independent books online under http://www.streetknowledgebookcenter.com

What authors have you worked with and which ones you enjoy the most?

I’ve worked with Leondrei Prince, Kevin Bullock, Jimmy Dasaint, Gregory Garrett, Wasiim, Allysha Hamber, Parish Sherman, Sicily, Deja King, Eric Fleming, KD Harris, Divine G, Willie Dutch, Visa Rollack. I may be missing a few, but I would have to say I enjoyed working with Leondrei Prince the most he was the platform of how I got started with Bloody Money and forming Street Knowledge Publishing. I’m excited about all the new authors and new projects that we have up next for 2017.

What type of books do your customers enjoy most?

I have all kinds of customers of all genres. They enjoy the street lit, erotica, Christianity, history, Islamic, self-help, kids book. We have it all and it is all being sold evenly. I love it! Personally my favorite is the self-help and knowledge.

How do authors and publishers contact you for book signings and to pitch their books for placement in your stores?

Package your book with a press kit with flyers, posters, and book markers. Set up to do a signing. A lot of authors are lazy and don’t want to invest in their own project. My motto was and is I’m going to sale these units with you or without you. Create that buzz for yourself instead of depending on your publisher or bookstore.

What has been one of the challenges of running a bookstore?

The groundwork of getting the book store off the ground and finding the right people around you that you trust and make things happen like you would.

If you had any advice for future book sellers, what would it be?

Be creative and love what you do.. You have to promote and promote and promote. Lol!

Please share with us how authors can contact you via email and social media?

 Authors can contact me on info@streetknowledgebookcenter.com and social media street knowledge book center on twitter, facebook, instagram, and snapchat

Keep your Heart and Mind Humble

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Have you ever wanted to cuss somebody out because they said something to either put you down or your business down?  But you know deep down you can’t really buck back on them because you have to think about your reputation and your brand.  Those are the mistakes and regrets I made years ago when I found myself going back and forth with a whole bunch of authors and others on social media.  I was in the darkest place of my life and no one knew truly what I was going through.  I made soooo many enemies and even when I show my presence on somebody else’s Facebook page, they would talk about me to that person saying that they shouldn’t deal with me.  It’s ashamed that people will judge you based on actions without trying to get to know you.  What I did was my mistake and I brought it upon myself so yes I took full responsibility.  

But now since years have gone by and I’m getting better by not responding back to foolish people or situations, it has made it stress-free.  Sometimes it’s best that we don’t respond back, but to remain silent.  Even if we have to block certain people from social media or emails just to avoid those distractions, do what you got to do.  Some people would think I’m burning bridges or wrong for blocking people or cutting people off too quick, but for my sanity, I’m only doing what’s best for me!  Everyone handles distractions and negativity differently.  Whatever works for you, be yourself and do you!

Kill them with kindness without totally blowing your reputation or putting your brand on the line.  I am focused on re-branding myself as a person and building up my business.  It’s not easy because of the past people that I used to deal with on social media and I’m afraid that the new people I’m connected to or networking with may backfire.  So all I do is pray and continue to promote my magazine and recruiting new clients for my ads.  I can’t change what happened in the past and although I regret it, I have to live with it and move forward, because if I don’t, I will never be successful!

So remember the next time someone says something or does something that affects you, just remain silent and keep humble.  It’s not even worth the argument!

Just breathe and continue doing what you are doing!

 

patricerivers

Lil’ Woman on a Mission

 

Check out Patrice’s website at http://www.patricerivers.wix.com/iampatricerivers

Follow her on Facebook at Patrice Rivers and follow her on Instagram @patricerivers86

When Friends Go, Continue to Grow!

I always ask myself if I was friends-tv-show-bad-lessons-mainfriendly enough to attract the right friends in my life.  I am loyal, observant, sweet and have a strong opinion on things.  The fact that I’m observant and too straight forward with people, I find myself pushing them away.  Friends should never be used too loosely these days and times.  Anybody can talk to anybody and strike a nice pleasant conversation to ease the mind, body and soul.  But are we really examining the characteristics and personality of people before we start claiming them as a friend?

I always thought being friends with a male would be less complicated than with a female, but I was dead wrong!  They are too much opinion about certain things and don’t give you as many chances from my personal experience from a male friend I thought was a “friend”. We spent more time arguing over petty things that don’t even deserve a standing ovation in conversations via text. I have learned to just be by myself at times since I’m too opinionated I’m always think too deep into things.  But sometimes some people can be a little bit too toxic for your surroundings.  I want to enter into the new year with peace at my heart and a new beginning.  I don’t want people in my life that are toxic or dealing with professional people who are beefing with me about my services.  There has been too many times where I had to literally cut people off from my business because I felt like they weren’t taking it too seriously.  My small business is my baby and I’m not going to let anybody get between us!  I’m all about professionalism and business minded people who are always willing to invest in my future and in my business.  Sometimes I may be too hard on people without actually giving them a chance, but I feel like I’m doing what’s right to protect my sanity.

But friends, people, business partners, acquaintances come and go and sometimes you have to go through that to discover who is being real and who isn’t.  People come into our lives for a reason, a season or a lifetime.  Many people in my life was for a season and never for a lifetime.  I was born to stand out! And even if I don’t  have that special friend that stays in my corner when things aren’t going right, I just have to be strong and move forward with my life.  I’m no perfect saint so I don’t pretend to be one because that isn’t of my character; I still continue to think of the good things I am doing in my life.  Friends shouldn’t be used too loosely, but it should be a privilege to have someone who actually is considered your friend.  I can remember all the times in school where I only talked to people, but never considered them my friend.  I had a very hard time trusting anyone so I would always shut them out or try to say something to hurt them so they wouldn’t talk to me anymore for dumb reasons.

Don’t allow people, the world or so called friends stop you from growing in your life.  It’s all lessons learned, but just don’t make the mistake over and over again.  I have to admit, I have made some of the same mistakes over and over again and I’m always wondering why I continue to do this, but truth be told, it’s stressful and emotionally draining.  Just let it GO!  That should be the motto for 2017: “JUST LET GO!”  Don’t worry about the ones who aren’t a true friend to you; real colors will always shine.  Just learn from that person and keep going.  A bad friendship isn’t worth the great things you are doing in your life right now.

Patrice Rivers

Inspirational Blogger

http://www.fusemovement.wordpress.com 

Instagram @patricerivers

Facebook: I Am Patrice Rivers

Creating Business Fiction w/ Rich Marcello

Commercial Photography

By Randall Barnes

As a young entrepreneur, I love media about business. Shows such as “Survivor’s Remorse”, “Shark Tank”, “Black-ish” and “Being Mary Jane” entertain and motivate me to reach for the stars because success is possible no matter where you come from. But, where are the “Business Fiction” novels? Where are the books that takes the elements of the corporate world and make it entertaining? Where are the books about the business of the publishing and entertainment industry that are filled with eye-catching drama but still has enlightening content that makes you think? Rich Marcello has the answer to my questions with his new novel “Beauty In The Fall”.

“Beauty In The Fall” covers the unfortunate life of main character Dan Underlight, tech entrepreneur and create of the “RadioRadio” company. Dan is a realistic character, as he is flawed and the hardships of life have overtaken him. His ten-year old son tragically passed away and his long-time friend and business partner forces him out of RadioRadio. He feels alone, isolating himself from the world. His mind became a prison full of anxiety, doubt and worry.

Dan eventually garners help from Willow, a domestic violence survivor, and he moves ahead in his life, determined to make change. This novel is a direct reflection of life. Sure, sometimes life takes us on twists and turns that are unexpected  but we have to power through. That’s what being a man is. Quite frankly, that’s what being an adult is. I love this novel and it definitely should spark a trend in the industry where authors start to write novels with an overall purpose that focuses on business. Recently, I had a chance to talk with author Rich Marcello about the novel.

thebeautyofthefall

 

RB: Tell us about your new novel Beauty of the Fall.

Rich: The Beauty of the Fall follows Dan Underlight, a divorced, workaholic technology executive, who suffers lingering grief over the death of his ten-year-old son, Zack. When Dan’s longtime friend and boss fires him from RadioRadio, the company that he helped create, things don’t go well for Dan. He crashes and isolates himself, and for a time believes his life is over.


Then Willow, a poet and domestic violence survivor, helps Dan regain his footing. With her support, Dan ventures on a pilgrimage of sorts, to figure out how he wants to move forward with his life. When he returns, he recruits three former RadioRadio colleagues and starts Conversationworks, a company he believes will be at the vanguard of social change, a company that is the world’s first Problem Solving Network.


Conversationworks enjoys some early successes, but its existence is soon threatened on multiple fronts which I won’t give away now.  Suffice it to say that not everyone is excited about Dan’s company the way he is.  As a result, there are a lot of twists and turns as Dan tries to build his company.

RB: Did the novel come from any real life experiences?

Rich: In a way, all of my novels come from real life experience but almost never directly. I’m a believer in the idea that the best fiction comes from dreams, and so, to the extent that my real experiences inform my dreams, they inform TBOTF.  Or stated differently, there isn’t a scene in the TBOTF that happened in my life or anyone else’s life that I know, but there are fragments of real life throughout the book.

RB: In the novel, Dan Underlight has to deal with the death of his eight-year-old son. Even worse, he gets fired from the company he helped to create! What would you tell readers who are going through the same situation and are feeling hopeless?

Rich: One of the main themes of the book is dealing with grief. As you point out, Dan goes through three losses early in the story, and, in a way, the whole story is about overcoming the loss of his son. By serving a broader goal––the formation and growth of his company, Conversationworks––he takes a few difficult steps toward healing. But he also takes a few steps backward. I guess it’s fair to say Dan learns how to generate love in a broad community even though he’s not sure he deserves love himself. So I would say to your reader, the best way to manage grief is to go through it, and the best way to go through it is to serve a higher goal, and, in the end, to accept that everyone deserves to love again after a great loss.

RB: Writing a book with corporate business at the front of the plot is a trend I would love to see other authors hop on! What made you put that business element into the novel?

Rich: I worked in hi-tech for many years, so I’m quite familiar with what happens in a technology company. In literature, technology is often viewed as a negative and sometimes as downright evil.  I wanted to write a story that uses technology as a way to pull people together instead of dividing them.  That was especially important for me given the world we live in today. Conversationworks uses technology to reduce polarization between factions and helps create workable solutions to big problems.  Imagine what the world would be like if this technology actually existed.

RB: What is the main message you want readers to take from the novel?

Rich: To love, in whatever sphere of influence a reader has, and to act with kindness and compassion each day, even when it seems most difficult.

RB: Do your novels The Big Wide Calm and Beauty Of the Fall connect? If so, how?

Rich: Some years ago I got the idea to write three novels about different kinds of love.  

The first one, The Color of Home, published in 2013, is about romantic love. It follows the lives of a man and woman over six years as they figure out what it means to be in a generative, loving relationship.  The second one, The Big Wide Calm, published in 2014, is about a young woman, Paige Plant, who is mentored on her way to making her first album.  That one’s about platonic love.  The third one, The Beauty of the Fall, is about love in a wider sense, about love in community. But it’s also about fathers and sons, loss, technology, and about equality for women.

RB: Is there a consistent theme in the novels you produce?

Rich: As I mentioned above, all three of novels deal with love in one form or the other.  They also deal with overcoming grief, and with how folks might connect with each other with kindness and compassion in a difficult world. My characters don’t always reach a place where they consistently act from love, but they aspire to act that way.

Learn more about Rich Marcello and his novels at:

www.richmarcello.com

Available Now on Amazon!

Follow Rich on Instagram

https://www.facebook.com/richmarcelloauthor/

Twitter: @marcellor

 

randallheadshotRandall Barnes is an nineteen-year old author, social media influencer, HBCU Advocate and mentor who currently resides in Macon, GA. Randall is already renowned for his positive, realistic, moral driven writings. His first novel The Diary of Aaliyah Anderson has garnered over 59,000 reads on Wattpad.com and universal acclaim. He writes for the popular news website Urban Intellectuals, the relationship blog Courting Her and literary blog Urban Literary Review. Randall is also the author of the eShort Riverview High: Circumstances, which hit number #2 on the Amazon charts in the week of its debut, sitting right under bestselling author Zane’s I’ll Be Home For Christmas the weekend of the debut of her movie Addicted.

 

 

Literary Spotlight: Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War

Available now in Paperbackfighterpilots

Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War details author and Professor Mary Lawlor’s unconventional upbringing in Cold War America. Memories of her early life—as the daughter of a Marine Corps and then Army father—reveal the personal costs of tensions that once gripped the entire world, and illustrate the ways in which bold foreign policy decisions shaped an entire generation of Americans, defining not just the ways they were raised, but who they would ultimately become. As a kid on the move she was constantly in search of something to hold on to, a longing that led her toward rebellion, to college in Paris, and to the kind of self-discovery only possible in the late 1960s.

A personal narrative braided with scholarly, retrospective reflections as to what that narrative means, Fighter Pilot’s Daughter zooms in on a little girl with a childhood full of instability, frustration and unanswered questions such that her struggles in growth, her struggles, her yearnings and eventual successes exemplify those of her entire generation.

From California to Georgia to Germany, Lawlor’s family was stationed in parts of the world that few are able to experience at so young an age, but being a child of military parents has never been easy. She neatly outlines the unique challenges an upbringing without roots presents someone struggling to come to terms with a world at war, and a home in constant turnover and turmoil. This book is for anyone seeking a finer awareness of the tolls that war takes not just on a nation, but on that nation’s sons and daughters, in whose hearts and minds deeper battles continue to rage long after the soldiers have come home.

Click Here to read on Kindle

Reviews

Mary Lawlor’s memoir, Fighter Pilot’s Daughter: Growing Up in the Sixties and the Cold War, is terrifically written. The experience of living in a military family is beautifully brought to life. This memoir shows the pressures on families in the sixties, the fears of the Cold War, and also the love that families had that helped them get through those times, with many ups and downs. It’s a story that all of us who are old enough can relate to, whether we were involved or not. The book is so well written. Mary Lawlor shares a story that needs to be written, and she tells it very well. (The Jordan Rich Show)

Mary Lawlor, in her brilliantly realized memoir, articulates what accountants would call a soft cost, the cost that dependents of career military personnel pay, which is the feeling of never belonging to the specific piece of real estate called home. . . . [T]he real story is Lawlor and her father, who is ensconced despite their ongoing conflict in Lawlor’s pantheon of Catholic saints and Irish presidents, a perfect metaphor for coming of age at a time when rebelling was all about rebelling against the paternalistic society of Cold War America. (Stars and Stripes)

Fighter Pilot’s Daughter. . . is a candid and splendidly-written account of a young woman caught in the political turmoil of the ’60s and the domestic turmoil that percolated around a John Wayne figure who won the Distinguished Flying Cross, eight Air Medals and the Cross of Gallantry across three generations of star spangled blood and guts. … Among the triumphs of the book is Lawlor’s ability to transition from academic – she is the author of two scholarly books and numerous articles about American literature and culture – to popular writing. ‘I tried very hard to keep my academic voice out of the book,’ said Lawlor, who will be retiring as a professor and director of American Studies after the spring semester. ‘In academic writing, you explain and explain and footnote and footnote, and some of the life inevitably comes out of it. I wanted this to have life.’ In so many ways it does….[particularizing] her family, including her mother, Frannie, her older twin sisters (Nancy and Lizzie) and a younger sister (Sarah). . . . In many ways the Lawlor women drive her narrative. … Her principal focus, inevitably, is her Fighter Pilot Father, who, in her words, ‘seemed too large and wild for the house.’ Jack Lawlor was so true to fighter-pilot form as to be an archetype, hard-drinking, hard-to-please, sometimes (though not always) hard-of-heart. Mary does not spare those details.’ (Muhlenberg: The Magazine)

This engrossing memoir adeptly weaves the author’s account of growing up in a military family in the United States and Europe with domestic American and international Cold War events. Mary Lawlor’s descriptions of her parents’ origins and aging, and her perceptive, honest reflections on childhood and young adulthood between the 1950s and 1970s, are illuminated by the knowledge and wisdom that develop over decades of adulthood. In re-visiting her earlier life, the author reveals a process of arriving at a compassionate understanding of the significant people in it—relatives, friends, nuns, boyfriends, and draft resisters, among others—and through this, a clearer understanding of one’s self. She demonstrates that comprehension of the broad historical context in which one lives—in her case, the pervasive global rivalry between communism and anticommunism, and its influences on American ideals about family roles, political values, and aspirations, which she questioned and challenged as a young woman drawn into the counterculture—is crucial for attaining such self-knowledge. (Donna Alvah, Associate Professor and Margaret Vilas Chair of US History, St. Lawrence University)

Also in Paperback

About the Author

mary

Mary Lawlor is professor of English and the Director of American Studies at Muhlenberg College. She is the author of Recalling the Wild: Naturalism and the Closing of the American West, and Public Native America: Tribal Self Representation in Casinos, Museums and Powwows.

 

A Long Ways to Home

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I’ve always been the type to test the dangers of life and see what the solution is towards the end.  Rebellious you may say, but I didn’t want to listen to anyone by myself.  I always got myself in trouble, whether it’s with my mouth or making the wrong decisions that could lead to bad solutions.  

I’m realizing that I have to love myself more and care less about the world and that no one can’t take my happiness away.  I’ve tested the waters long enough and using my tongue as a weapon and now it’s time to put my big girl panties on and move forward with life and start loving me for ME! No man  isn’t going to love me for what I love to do or love me for me, so as the new year approaches, I have some serious decisions to make and write down goals that I am planning to work at to achieve.

When you have a dream and a vision, don’t allow outside distractions or get emotionally involved with a situation that is too deep and unnecessary for you to handle.  FOCUS is the keyword in this lifetime.  Validation and kudoos points aren’t needed for a job well done.  Celebrate yourself every chance you get whether others aren’t that supportive or you or aren’t happy for you.  I am still learning and I know that I am not perfect but my inspirational thought for you is to keep pressing on and keep moving forward in life towards your dreams and goals!  Don’t let the world or negative situations keep you from being happy.

 

Patrice Riverspatricerivers

Inspirational Blogger

Instagram: @patricerivers86