Lewa by:Luke Austin
“The single story creates stereotypes, and the problem with stereotypes is not that they are untrue, but that they are incomplete. They make one story become the only story.” ― Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Nigerian writer

“Lewa” (Yoruba for “beautiful”) is about the beauty of black skin. From skinny, wiry bodies to beefed-up muscles, Luke Austin’s portraits aim to showcase black men in a way that goes against the stereotype. The men in Lewa have been captured in a sensitive, gentle, peaceful, and vulnerable way, words that are not often associated with black male youth in the media and such. Often photographing his models against a pink backdrop, Austin aims to show a side of black masculinity we rarely get to see. Since moving to America three years ago, Luke Austin recognizes the beating the black man’s image has taken, and delivers this important book at a time where racism and fear mongering seem to be at an all-time high.

“For me, when choosing a model, the color of their skin does not come in to play,” says Luke Austin. “I see and treat everyone equally but I am not going to use that old line ‘I don’t see color’ because I most certainly do. Many white people like to use that line because they think it tells people that they treat all equally. Unfortunately, people of color do not get to ‘not see color’ as they are still treated differently every day because of it. I admire the way black skin glows, the way it turns a reddish hue of mahogany when its sun burnt, and the way it looks blue under certain light. Black skin is a beautiful thing, and even more so to capture on film.”
Release: 10/1/17
Click to purchase: (Hardcover)

The Perfect Present by:Rochelle Alers, Cheris Hodges, Pamela Yaye
Make your heart merry and unwrap these delightful stories of seasonal romance . . .

A CHRISTMAS LAYOVER Rochelle Alers
When Navy SEAL Captain Noah Crawford and elementary school teacher Sierra Nelson meet on a plane headed east from San Diego, they’re glad to pass the time in friendly conversation. But when a freak storm grounds them, Sierra offers Noah a place to spend the night—with her extended family, all of whom assume they’re a couple. And as the holiday spirit infuses every moment they spend together, they both begin to wonder if a relationship is a special gift they didn’t expect . . .

THE CHRISTMAS LESSON Cheris Hodges
Kayla Matthews isn’t looking forward to heading home this Christmas. Divorced and struggling, nothing has turned out the way she expected—including her childhood friend, DeShawn Carter. Now the high school principal, he’s also the kind of man she’s always dreamed about. But before the holidays are over, Kayla has a chance to reclaim everything she once thought she wanted—or prove to DeShawn that they have a second chance worth celebrating . . .

CHRISTMAS WITH YOU Pamela Yaye
Celebrity stylist Maya Malone can’t find anything joyous about the season, not since her ex-fiancé left her on Christmas Eve. But one look at suave, sexy sports agent Marc Cunningham is almost enough to change her mind. Their instant attraction feels like the best sort of present, except for one very large obstacle—Maya’s NFL star big brother, Marc’s new client. It will take more than holiday spirit to convince everyone involved that Marc and Maya’s connection will make the angels sing . . .
Release: 10/1/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle)(Audible)(Mass Market Paperback)

Passage by:Khary Lazarre-White
A slim, gorgeous, haunting and haunted novel of a young man’s experience living among the ghosts of his African-American past.

Passage tells the story of Warrior, a young black man navigating the snowy winter streets of Harlem and Brooklyn in 1993. Warrior is surrounded by deep family love and a sustaining connection to his history, connections that arm him as he confronts the urban forces that he faces—both supernatural and human—forces that seek his very destruction.

For Warrior and his peers, the reminders that they, as black men, aren’t meant to be fully free, are everywhere. The high schools are filled with teachers that aren’t qualified and don’t care as much about their students’ welfare as that they pass the state exams. Getting from point A to point B usually means avoiding violence, and possibly death, at the hands of the “blue soldiers” and your own brothers. Making it home means accepting that you may open the door to find that someone you love did not have the same good fortune.

Warrior isn’t even safe in his own mind. He’s haunted by the spirits of ancestors and of the demons of the system of oppression. Though the story told in Passage takes place in 1993, there is a striking parallel between Warrior’s experience and the experiences of present day black male youth, since nothing has really changed. Every memory in the novel is the memory of thousands of black families today. Every conversation is a message both to those still in their youth and those who left their youth behind long ago. Passage is a novel for then and now.
Release: 9/26/17
Click to Purchase: (Kindle) or (Hardcover)

Five Carat Soul by:James McBride
Exciting new fiction from James McBride, the first since his National Book Award–winning novel The Good Lord Bird.

The stories in Five-Carat Soul—none of them ever published before—spring from the place where identity, humanity, and history converge. They’re funny and poignant, insightful and unpredictable, imaginative and authentic—all told with McBride’s unrivaled storytelling skill and meticulous eye for character and detail. McBride explores the ways we learn from the world and the people around us. An antiques dealer discovers that a legendary toy commissioned by Civil War General Robert E. Lee now sits in the home of a black minister in Queens. Five strangers find themselves thrown together and face unexpected judgment. An American president draws inspiration from a conversation he overhears in a stable. And members of The Five-Carat Soul Bottom Bone Band recount stories from their own messy and hilarious lives.

As McBride did in his National Book award-winning The Good Lord Bird and his bestselling The Color of Water, he writes with humor and insight about how we struggle to understand who we are in a world we don’t fully comprehend. The result is a surprising, perceptive, and evocative collection of stories that is also a moving exploration of our human condition.
Release: 9/26/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle)(Hardcover)(Paperback)(Audio CD)

Abuse of Discretion (Dre Thomas Series Book 3) by:Pamela Samuels Young
The award-winning author of “Anybody’s Daughter” is back with an addictive courtroom drama that gives readers a shocking look inside the juvenile criminal justice system.

Graylin Alexander is a model fourteen-year-old. When his adolescent curiosity gets the best of him, Graylin finds himself embroiled in a sexting scandal that threatens to ruin his life. Jenny Ungerman, the attorney hired to defend Graylin, is smart, confident and committed. She isn’t thrilled, however, when ex-prosecutor Angela Evans joins Graylin’s defense team. The two women instantly butt heads. Can they put aside their differences long enough to ensure Graylin gets justice?

Unbeknownst to Angela, her boyfriend Dre is wrestling with his own drama. Someone from his past wants him dead. For Dre, his response is simple—kill or be killed.
Release: 9/25/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Paperback)

Yours Forever by:Sherelle Green
Mackenzie “Mac” Cannon likes her men the same way she likes her coffee. Strong, dark, and flavorful. However, while most women were trying to drink the entire coffee pot, Mac was more of a Keurig kind of girl, opting to have frivolous casual flings as opposed to meaningful relationships.

While attending one of her best friends’ weddings—in a moment influenced by too many mojitos—the Feng-Shui consultant foolishly agrees to a pact; to marry within the next year. Her friends don’t think she’s going to go through with it. Honestly, Mac is uneasy about the entire idea. But she doesn’t mind cuddling up with the most mouth-watering cup of coffee she sees in the meantime… the best man, Alexander Carter.

Alex is successful, talented, devastatingly handsome, and surprisingly celibate. At least, he was, until a beautiful bombshell rocked his world before leaving him with nothing more than a piece of paper with a kiss on it in her wake. It’s not that the CEO of an environmental engineer firm minds being used, but typically, if a woman wants him for only sex, he at least takes her to dinner first. Imagine his surprise when that same feisty vixen is placed into his life again, and as expected, she seems to be wearing her running shoes. Yet, this time, Alex is ready for the temptress. A little fun and games never hurt anyone, right? Unless fun and games starts looking a whole lot like promises and forever.

Once Upon a Bridesmaid Series:
Yours Forever by Sherelle Green (Book 1)
Beyond Forever by Elle Wright (Book 2)
Embracing Forever by Sheryl Lister (Book 3)
Hopelessly Forever by Angela Seals (Book 4)
Release: 9/26/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Paperback)

Beyond Forever by:Elle Wright
Ryleigh Fields has plans for her life that don’t involve weddings, marriage, or true love. Returning to her hometown is hard, but her agenda is clear: drink, eat, and leave as fast as she can. In that order. But when she stupidly agrees to a wedding pact with her besties and promptly runs into the one guy who could be a game changer, Ryleigh realizes that even the best laid plans can be derailed.

Martin Sullivan travels all over the world for Marshall and Sullivan Consulting. Each destination offers exposure for his software company, more money in his pocket, and a bevy of attractive women. But a trip to his cousin’s wedding, puts him in direct contact with the one woman he can’t stop thinking about.

After consulting on a project, Martin knew he’d met his match with Ryleigh. One perfect night in Brazil, and he was ready to let her know just how much she impressed him, but he never got the opportunity. Now, almost a year later, he has his chance. The problem? Convincing Ryleigh. And like always, he’s up for the challenge.

Once Upon a Bridesmaid Series:
Yours Forever by Sherelle Green (Book 1)
Beyond Forever by Elle Wright (Book 2)
Embracing Forever by Sheryl Lister (Book 3)
Hopelessly Forever by Angela Seals (Book 4)
Release: 9/26/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Paperback)

Embracing Forever by:Sheryl Lister
After a string of failed relationships, and with three months left on the marriage pact she foolishly agreed to, Raven Holloway has just about given up on love. To take the sting out of her latest heartbreak, she does what she’s always done—seek consolation in the arms of her best friend, Bryson Montgomery. Only this time, comfort turns to white-hot pleasure and a night she can’t seem to forget. But the strong-willed physical therapist doesn’t want to ruin a friendship and isn’t ready to trust her heart again.

Marriage is definitely not on Bryson’s radar. He has his hands full running his teen community center. Yet, he isn’t prepared for the passion Raven unleashes in him and now he wants more. Raven is determined to keep him in the friend zone, but he’s just as driven to show her how good they can be together. So, Bryson devises a seductive campaign to persuade Raven to embrace what he is offering…a love that will last forever.

Once Upon A Bridesmaid Series: 1. Yours Forever (Sherelle Green); 2. Beyond Forever (Elle Wright); 3. Embracing Forever (Sheryl Lister); 4. Hopelessly Forever (Angela Seals)
Release: 9/26/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Paperback) 

Hopelessly Forever by:Angela Seals
Hopeless romantic. Never did two words describe anyone more than Quinn Jacobs…or at least in her mind. Quinn refuses to believe that her fun-loving idealist ways and sentimental dreamer mentality can be mistaken for a creepy class A clinger.

When she makes a bet with her best friends from high school that she’ll be married within a year, her delusional skewed view makes her think the task seems simple enough. After, repeatedly misinterpreting her romantic partner’s affection for her, Quinn begins to think that maybe it isn’t ‘them’ after all. Maybe she’s the problem. And never has a person agreed with her more than the edgy and mysterious Paxton. They may be oil and water but if he can help her find a guy and accomplish her year-end goal, then who cares. But she slowly realizes that her whimsical ways may have agreed her to a world with Pax that she hadn’t bargain for!

Paxton Wolfe prides himself on “keeping it real.” Growing up in Orange Mound, Tennessee, taught him that if you want anything in life you had to work for it. When he starts his own flooring business, he kindly kissed away his thuggish lifestyle and entered the world of entrepreneurship. Women, money and full control are the perfect combination. Romance is just an unnecessary distraction and the last thing Pax is looking for. However; he hadn’t planned for the bubbly, outgoing and clueless Quinn Jacobs to walk into his life. He’s prepared to put in the work to help her land her dream man, but the one thing he didn’t count on is the slow burning affection he starts to feel for the neurotic – yet mesmerizing – woman. Her uncontrollable honesty, endearing cuteness and inability to not wear her heart on her sleeve, makes her the most dangerous woman to fall for. But he’s not in danger of that… right?

Once Upon a Bridesmaid Series:
Yours Forever by Sherelle Green (Book 1)
Beyond Forever by Elle Wright (Book 2)
Embracing Forever by Sheryl Lister (Book 3)
Hopelessly Forever by Angela Seals (Book 4)
Release: 9/26/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Paperback)

Going to School in Black and White: A dual memoir of desegregation by:Cindy Waszak
The school careers of two teenage girls who lived across town from each other—one black, one white—were altered by a court-ordered desegregation plan for Durham, NC in 1970.

LaHoma and Cindy both found themselves at the same high school from different sides of a court-ordered racial “balancing act.” This plan thrust each of them involuntarily out of their comfort zones and into new racial landscapes. Their experiences, recounted in alternating first person narratives, are the embodiment of desegregation policies, situated in a particular time and place.

Cindy and LaHoma’s intertwining coming of age stories are part of a bigger story about America, education and race—and about how the personal relates to the political.

This dual memoir covers the two women’s life trajectories from early school days to future careers working in global public health, challenging gender biases, racial inequities, and health disparities. LaHoma and Cindy tell their stories aware of the country’s return to de facto school segregation, achieved through the long-term dismantling of policies that initially informed their school assignments.

As adults, they consider the influence of school desegregation on their current lives and the value of bringing all of us into conversation about what is lost or gained when children go to school in black and white.
Release: 9/26/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Paperback)

Trouble In The White House by:Brenda Hampton
President Stephen C. Jefferson is back to shake things up once more. Now that his mistress has been put on ice, he and First Lady Raynetta Jefferson seem to be back on track. She has managed to hurdle over her husband’s affairs, but her mother-in-law continues to be the real thorn in her side.

The two women want the president to choose whose side he’s on, but President Jefferson has his mind on his job. Sweeping gun-control legislation has been passed, and terrorism is being dealt with in a major way. The president is riding high from his multiple accomplishments, until he’s told about a son he never knew he had, a son who has been classified as a dangerous terrorist.

The shocking news brings the president to his knees. His trials and tribulations are more difficult than any he could have ever imagined.
His world is crumbling right before his eyes, and a lonely, vengeful first lady is not the one he needs by his side. Neither is the Secret Service, and when an agent decides to make a move toward the first lady, mayhem erupts in the White House like never, ever before.
Release: 9/26/17
Click to purchase: (Kindle) or (Paperback)