Saturday, February 2, 2013

Fall in Love with AAMBC

It's February and that means Love is in the Air and, it's Black History Month!  What better way to show your support of Independent African-American Authors?  Why not share your love of books with that special someone, or, perhaps you're that special someone?  No matter who it is, reading is a satisfying way to show your love for the written word and to pay your respects to the hardworking authors who pour their heart and soul into every novel they write.  Please welcome these AAMBC Authors and show your love~~Happy Reading!
Runaway Comeback’s heroine is Rose Thorn, a high school dropout who flees her native Jamaica after years of physical and mental exploitation and voyaging over intercontinental waters way too many times. She hides out in Brooklyn with her young daughter. Rose believes she was dealt an evil hand in marriage because she was a high school dropout, teenage bride and mother. In her quest to realize her dream of pursuing a college degree, she is reunited with her soul mate, Calvin Jones. Rose is ready to divorce her conniving husband, Donovan, but is she really ready to marry Calvin?
Forced to return to Jamaica, Rose finds herself trapped in a devastating situation that could jeopardize a lifetime of happiness with Calvin. With the help of her grandmother who raised her, Rose quickly realizes that in order to make a comeback she must turn around and go back to the place where it all started, the place where she first believed, the place where trouble had come and uprooted her.
Set against a backdrop of rolling hills in Jamaica and the pavements of Brooklyn, the storyline is thought-provoking and enthralling with true-to-life characters and situations. Runaway Comebacksizzles with secrets, payback, and redemption.
Excerpt:Rose Thorn tapped her heel impatiently on the aircraft’s carpeting. Was this plane ever going to land? She shifted in her seat against the confines of her seatbelt as fear slithered down her spine. She swiveled her head for the umpteenth time and let her eyes roam behind her midnight-dark shades as she surveyed the other passengers on board. She still didn’t notice a familiar face and no one seemed to recognize her either. Still, anxiety continued to hold her in its jagged jaws.

Rose tapped her heel some more and nibbled nervously on her bottom lip. She dipped into her handbag and retrieved a small mirror. The curly blond wig under her wide-brimmed Fedora was not her style. Even with the aircraft’s cool temperature her scalp was sweating underneath it, or maybe it was just her nerves, she thought. She pulled the hat halfway down her forehead, just above her professionally pruned eyebrows. She painted on midnight purple lipstick against her caramel-colored skin to add to her getaway disguise. The dark Addams Family–style lip color matched her strapless jumpsuit, but it wasn’t on her list of lipstick shades. She shrugged. Personal fashion was not a priority today. It wasn’t even an option. Today was runaway day, and she was dressed for the part.

In the window seat of the aircraft her daughter, Crystal, tugged at the floppy straw hat Rose had placed on her daughter’s head. Rose had helped her put on a change of clothes she had stashed in their small piece of luggage. On the way to the airport, in the backseat of the getaway car, Crystal had changed out of her school uniform and was now wearing a faded jeans pantsuit, white camisole and black strappy sandals.

She remembered the horrific story she had concocted and told Crystal’s teacher earlier that day just outside the classroom door while Crystal’s friends gazed up from their test papers at her with innocent, inquiring eyes. She had shown up at the school well over an hour before it let out. She had painted on the most distressing facial expression and told Crystal’s math teacher in a tear-jerking voice, “There has been an accident and my um…my husband…he’s hurt and… he’s asking for Crystal.”
Sandra Ottey is the author of two novels — Jamerican Connectionand Runaway Comeback. She earned a bachelor’s degree from Medgar Evers College of the City University of New York and a master’s degree from Polytechnic University. Sandra lives in New York and is working on her third novel.

1) What was the inspiration for writing Runaway Comeback and what do you expect readers to take away from it?
Response:  Inspiration, strength, hope and determination. I wrote this story as encouragement to high school and college dropouts to pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and still go on to achieve whatever educational goals and aspirations they had set for themselves before they dropped out.
2) Tell me more about Rose’s background and why she wanted to escape her marriage so badly.

Response: Rose Thorn was a high school dropout, young mother and bride, determined to get back on track to realize the dreams and ambitions she had set for herself before she met her controlling husband, Donovan. Determined to get back on track and get a college degree Rose endures blatant infidelity, emotional and physical spousal abuse and is even kidnapped and raped by her husband. Rose escapes the matrimonial home and travels back and forth from Jamaica to Brooklyn with her young daughter in tow, determined to realize her educational ambitions and to escape the abuse. But her husband, Donovan, relentlessly plants spiky hurdles in her way, both in Jamaica and in Brooklyn, New York, determined to keep her subservient while his sordid lifestyle escalated.
3) Tell me a little bit about the love story between Rose and Calvin.
Response: Rose and Calvin attended the same high school in Jamaica, and Calvin had been searching for Rose ever since she got pregnant and dropped out. Calvin had migrated to Brooklyn after he graduated. Rose is reunited with Calvin in New York after Rose left Donovan for the last time.
4) How do you manage to pull readers into the story?

Response: Readers in general have told me they are completely engrossed into the story because they feel as if they are actually in the scenes themselves because their five senses are completely engaged. Also, women from all walks of life can relate to the storyline and men can certainly learn from it.
5) What are you working on now?

Response: I am currently working on my third novel which will be published later this year.
6) How may readers purchase your books?
The book is available at, and on all e-readers. Autographed copies are available through my website at
7) How far would you like to see this project evolve?
ResponseSeeing my work on screen is my ultimate goal.

My email address is


Synopsis: Imagine all your life you were surrounded by poverty…When a life changing proposition is imposed on Marcus Williams he reluctantly makes a decision that would forever change his life. Leading into a life of blood mischief and crime, would his journey through the cold and gritty streets of Chicago end tragically? Or would he beat the odds and prevail? Experience these events at your own risk as you enter “The Holy City”.

“Marcus . . . Marcus! You don’t hear Momma back there callin’ you,” said Chris, his younger brother, as they both sat on the steps of their front porch enjoying a nice summer morning in June.“Huuuhhh!”Marcus responded to his mother’s calling as he snapped out of a trance “Boy, you know you heard me back here callin’ you!” Sylvia yelled as she stood at the back door in her famous all-black satin nightgown. “Get in here and take out this garbage!

 You know it’s too damn hot to be letting this trash pile up like that!” “A’ight, here I come!” Marcus replied, still not making a move toward the door. “Maaannnn, dat nigga gettin’ money,” Marcus said in a hushed tone while staring at Smitty glide down their street in his drop-top cocaine-white ‘79 El Dorado Cadillac with maroon leather interior, bangin’ Al Green’s “Love and Happiness” on his sound system that was so loud that you could actually hear him coming from three blocks away. Honk! Honk! was the sound of Smitty’s horn as he acknowledged the two brothers by throwing up the deuce.


“Yeah, dat nigga kno’ who I am,” Marcus muttered out with confidence as he threw up the deuce while staring at Smitty slowly drive down their block. “What make you think he kno’ you, you ain’t nobody,” Chris sarcastically blurted out. “What! You seened how dat nigga looked ova’ here. He know wassup wit’ me.” “The only reason he looked this way ‘cause he know Daddy stay here,” Chris said as he began to ease off the porch onto the sidewalk.

“Remember, dats yo’ punk-ass daddy, not mine,” Marcus replied offensively.

“Ahhh! You mad‘cause don’t nobody know you, nigga!” Chris taunted in a teasingly fashion while heading in the direction of one of his friends’house two doors down. “A’ight, we gon’ see ‘who know who’ when I start gettin’ ‘dis money.” 

“Don’t worry, dat ain’t gon’ happen no time soon,” said Chris as he continued to pick at his older brother. “Marcus!”Sylvia yelled harshly from out the house. “Okay, here I come!” Marcus quickly responded with a slight attitude as he reached out for the door while looking back at Chris.

On his dreadful walk into the house, Marcus was mumbling some pretty unpleasant words under his breath until his mother interrupted his train of thought. “How many times do I have to call yo’ name for you to get in here and do what the hell I told you to do!” Sylvia snapped as she stood in the kitchen with her hands resting on her hips.

Even though Sylvia only stood about four foot ten, she demanded her respect from anyone that associated themselves with her, especially men. Sylvia was determined not to allow her kids to disrespect her, but at times, she would show a little leniency toward their smart remarks. “You should’ve asked dat nigga to do it,” Marcus mumbled under his breath while grabbing the bag out the trash can.

“What’chĂș say?”Sylvia asked vigorously after seeing movement come from his lips.
Born in the intercity of Chicago, Michael found himself pulled in two different directions after completing high school. His dreams of becoming a basketball player was overwhelmed by the peer presure from the neighborhoods, young men who were famous for being street lords….Becoming a young parent, Michael chose the thug lifestyle, fast money, and cars to provide for his family. After a drastic incident that led Michael to a five year prison sentence, he recollected on past memories and began writing his debut novel “The Holy City”.

Q: Tell us a little something about yourself?
A: My name is Michael F. Blake…A native of Chicago Illinois. A father/husband, screenwriter, entrepreneur and the author of an amazing three part series “The Holy City” under Delphine Publication.
Q: How have becoming an author changed your life?
A: It have given me a more positive outlet to express my creativity, emotions, and past interpretations of some of my childhood memories.
Q: What was some of your biggest challenges writing “The Holy City”?
A: It’s kind of hard to believe that during the darkest time of my life, in the midst of serving a five year prison bid, God revealed to me a gift of writing. Often times writing in the dark, overcoming all the negativity that surrounded me and staying focused was extremely tough to do.
Q: When did you come to the conclusion of making “The Holy City” a series?
A: As I began to write my imagination and creativity took over the pen while recalling key childhood events, memories, and tragedies. I knew the movie that played in my head for years couldn’t be subject to just one novel.
Q: How can your book be portrayed in a positive light in regards to crime, gangs, and drugs in poverty-stricken communities?
A: Although “The Holy City” refers to one of the high crime area’s of the city, my goal is to bring forth awareness to the new generation about the dangers that the gritty streets hold if they take the path of gangs, violence, or any other crimes just to make a quick buck. I know it may sound clich`e but really their are only two ways out and we all know that’s death or prison.
Q: Do you see your novel becoming a visual?
A: Most definitely. To be honest my main objective was to write a movie but I really didn’t know how to construct a screenplay. After completing my novel and having it self-published while in prison, I was eager to learn how to write a screenplay. I eventually networked with a fellow inmate that had a book called “How to write screenplays that sell”. It’s safe to say from that point on “The Holy City” the novel was adopted into a completed screenplay, which can either be a T.V series, web series, or an actual full length film.
Q: What’s next for Michael F. Blake?
A: Continuing book tours in several cities across the country promoting and selling my book while building awareness toward high crime communities across America. In the near future I plan to start a non-for profit organization for troubled at-risk youths, to encourage and show them better opportunities outside of selling drugs and destroying their own community. After “The Holy City” series is complete I plan to drop a compilation of short stories to expand my writing genre.
“Like” my facebook company page: Michael Blake ” The Holy City”
Facebook page: Michael F. Blake
Follow me on Twitter @MFBlakeinc
Also visit my blog site…
“The Holy City” can be purchased at:
Personally signed copies at

Why bother to be his wife when you can never be his best friend? For Terrence, the best friend role has always been filled; wifey was the only available slot. Lani took that position with pride, but now she realizes that she has the entire game backward – she was foolish enough to think that the woman with the biggest diamond was the winner. Instead, she feels like just another obligation while Kenya, Terrence’s best friend, is where he has hidden his heart. But Lani isn’t your average house wife. And a smashed heart doesn’t make her lie down and die. Just the opposite, she jumps in the boxing ring with both gloves tied. But she isn’t fighting for Terrence or for love; she is going purely for self and taking no prisoners. In the end, neither Terrence nor Kenya can compare to her.

Excerpt:  He couldn’t believe Lani had undermined his life like this. Threatening to call Virginia police on a black man was tantamount to requesting he get lynched. After she already disrespected him in every way possible. An irrational burning began to explode in his chest. Hate. I actually hate her.

Terrence began walking backward into the garage. “How long were you with Christopher, huh? How long?” He turned his back on her, looking for the stones that were in the back somewhere. Terrence had bought them to line the garden; he could slam them through her windshield. “You were with him for days…” he whispered. “For days.”

He spotted them, right next to the old golf clubs. Damn the stones, the clubs will be better. The golf club pleased him, it was a better option. He swung it in the air like a baton as he marched back to her car.

“You were with that son of a bitch for days. You don’t have any respect for me. I mean none. Bet you’ll respect my ass now.” He pulled club above his hand and began beating the hood of the car and the windshield. “GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY CAR!

The Click Excerpt:
I slide out of the passenger side of the Toyota Corolla, the piece of shit that I ride around in while I am doing business. It was time to make my move. There was no need in even letting homeboy get comfortable in the spot. The white girl had been tracking him for me for the past week, once he stopped returning calls, stopped coming by the trap, stopped re-ing up.

I am a reasonable man, a business man. If he had found another supplier, that was his business…the probably was that he hadn’t paid me for the last drop. I rarely give out on credit; I am not a damn bank. But this one here, I saw potential in. I saw hunger in his eyes. His word was solid, the crew that he had was proven. He said he could move weight and could do it in half the time and make double the money. I knew that shit wasn’t true…but I put him to the test. Thought that I would give him a chance to at least make the expected profit, teach him a lesson about letting his mouth write checks his ass couldn’t cover. Might bring him on my team.

Instead, he played me. Took the load and thought he could disappear. Because I operate silent and small, young guns assume me weak. When they learn their lesson, it’s normally too late for them to spread the word. This one here was about to fall to that same fate tonight.

Kai is the author of Daughter of the Game, Daughter of the Game II:  The Secret Keeper, The Loudest Silence and The Loudest Silence, New Edition. She is president of Guaranteed Paper Publishing, Inc., and author of Peaceful Resolution, a poetry compilation and coauthor of Solo Shivers by Wilson, an erotic short story. Coming in 2013, Kai will be releasing daughter of the Game II:Burning waters, The Click and That Good Grind. Also, stay tuned for Kai’s short story in the upcoming anthology Gutta Mami’s by N’Tyse.

1. What is The Loudest Silence, New Edition about.
High drama! Lani is sick of playing the wife role while her husband Terrence confides in his best friend Kenya. In Lani’s opinion, Terrence has Kenya on a pedestal, Kenya doesn’t have to live with him or tolerate his foolishness, she can be the best friend and remain blameless. When Lani and Terrence have another fight and Terrence leaves, Lani assumes the worse. Not be be out done, she decides to match her husband step by step….but she takes her deception much farther than Terrence ever would.

 2. What was the inspiration for the book.
I see so many couples in that relationship “dead space.” Smiling at parties, very polite to one another, and it feels so plastic. The silence is so loud. I wanted to try to capture that emotion on paper. Poetry is my first love, so all of my books come from an emotion into a story. In Daughter of the Game, the emotion was the power of Armand and Monique’s love. In The Loudest Silence, its the frustrating anger of rejection and abandonment.

 3. Why read it? Why not?
Its a drama filled ride – you will “feel” something while reading this book, even if its disgust at the characters. I love when readers love my characters, but I also love when readers get angry at them and complain to me about them. At least they made you feel something and care about what was happening. I had one reader in Philadelphia who was so made at something that happened in the book that she didn’t want to speak with me. We finally got her to open up and her insight was invaluable. But more than anything, I appreciated the emotion.

4. Whats next?
Daughter of the Game III: Burning Waters and The Click are scheduled for 2013. I am very excited about this Daughter of the Game, we discover more about the family and go back to the roots of the family. And yes, Monique and Armand have a chance to work on some issues, but they have to discover themselves again. The Click is a new series that I am so excited about. It’s about the triple live of Mason, a business man who can’t keep himself out of the streets. But the streets can be like mud, you don’t dip in and out with some of it clinging to you. And once it sticks to him, he loses his “legitimate” life and has to find a way to maintain. I have attached an excerpt: Tell me your thoughts at

5. Where have you been?
I had to take the last year to refocus, regroup and strategize. I live to write, once writing became a hassle, then I knew something was very off. This year away resulted in a renewed dedication to my works – Daughter of the Game series and The Loudest Silence, New Edition. Also, it resulted in the creation of Guaranteed Paper Publishing, Inc., and other incredible writing opportunities. I am very grateful for all the support readers and the author community has shown me.

6. Last Words?
Again, thank you for your support. Please provide feedback – I love hearing what readers have to say!


Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet
Reading Is Stimulation of the Mind!