At Crown Holders Transmedia our family is filled with book loving podcasters, bloggers, book reviewers, vloggers, indie bookstores, book clubs and librarians. We are one huge bookish community. We represent books from all genres and authors from all races and cultures. Diversity is our middle name! We would love to add even more diversity to our community by including BookTubers, Bookstagrammers and Instagrammers of color.
If you are a book lover and would like to be interviewed for this directory and for Black Pearls Magazine, email Ella D. Curry at: firstname.lastname@example.org for the questionnaire.
Click on any of the categories below to explore this directory. You can also list your book club, reading group, blog, Youtube channel, Instagramnetwork or website in the directory below. There is no charge to be listed here. Your email address will never be sold, rented or shared unless YOU list it on your profile below.
Your written interview will be posted to Black Pearls magazine online and in our printed Black Excellence Legacy Magazine.
Feel free to email Ella D. Curry at any time to arrange interviews with the authors featured on this website. Email Ella at: email@example.com
We are seeking blog tour hosts! If you would like to join the Seducing the Pen Online Book Tours, go here to see the authors and to sign up: http://smore.com/9yzf
SIGN UP BELOW AND BRING YOUR FRIENDS!
The Black Authors Network Radio Talk Show aims to support the African American community and to show people, through the radio show, that African American writers are more than just a niche. We bring wonderful stories to the minds and imaginations of everyone! We have stories to tell, using our voice and our experiences, that cross all races and cultures. Join us on Monday and Wednesday Nights, 8-10 pm EST.
Black Authors Network Radio Talk Show is a fee based Internet radio program that showcases small business owners, artists, authors, poets and other publishing professionals. We interview the guests for 30-90 minutes and we use RSS feed syndication to send this interview to thousands of readers twice a week.
If you are interested in becoming a guest on Black Authors Network Radio Talk Show for a product launch party or book club discussion, please visit our website to read more about us and to reserve your slot on the show. Be sure to read the FAQ section for a better look at BAN, in order to see who our fans are and how we reach them! We do not have any complimentary interviews on BAN Radio show. All shows are paid promotions.
BECOME A GUEST ON THE SHOW!
Go here to sign up today: http://crownholderstransmedia.com/radioshows
There are readers, individuals who may casually stroll from series to series as film adaptations have peaked their interest and driven them to the nearest bookstore or library. Then there are literary advocates, individuals who believe that books are as recreational as they are academic and socially impactful; these are individuals who have made it their life's work to foster and nourish the livelihood of literature despite society's shift and focus on media that can be absorbed quickly.
Opting to combine the base philosophy of literary advocates like herself with her personal beliefs, Yvonne Bailey has founded Book Pearls, a book club devoted to increasing readership within Black communities and uniting women through sisterhood and fellowship.
The Book Pearls meet monthly to discuss the chosen book of the month. Each discussion is different as these women have chosen to embrace all literary genres. "We love to read all genres, each book that we read carries a different message and has touched our lives in various ways".
Often, the monthly meetings carry the Pearls to various locations within their community and surrounding areas as they believe literature is a moving art form that reflects the world we live in. As the Pearls grow, they hope to become more involved within their local communities and reading communities worldwide.
BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month?
Whoever host for that particular month gets to choose the book. This gives each member a voice and a chance to pick a book they may have been wanting to read for some time. We generally do not read and discuss books outside of our book club pick. We may read other books during the month and suggest them to one another but we do not discuss them. We are currently on Facebook and will be branching out to Instagram and twitter within this month. We share our bookclub meetings as well as our featured books on Facebook.
BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers starting a book club?
The biggest advice to give to someone who is wanting to start a book club, Go for it! Life is too short to not live it beautifully, so why wait or let fear cripple you. Call a few friends who share the love of reading and choose a book. Interview submitted by Renee Bailey, president of Book Pearls Bookclub.
I'm Lutisha Bass from the Books and Booze Book Club. We are based in Chicago, IL. A few of us have known each other for years and knew we shared a love for reading. One day our founder, Jomonique Moore, posted a request online asking anyone if they'd be interested in forming a book club. The response was great and we've been meeting ever since. That was over a year ago to date. Our first meeting was August, 2014. We have 62 online members that join our chats via social media. However, we have 15 members who come out face-to-face every meeting. We have not elected any officials for the group.
BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore?
Usually I stick with the authors of books that I've previously read and enjoyed BUT if I step outside of that norm I seek the recommendations of friends/associates whose opinions I value.
BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read as a group?
The genre of our books vary. I would like to see our group venture off into possibly making our own 'Books n' Booze guide to 'Owning your own kind of beautiful, self love and empowering women' kind of guide. Some of the experiences we've shared with each other has the capability to reach other women in a positive way.
I really don't know if the types books have changed over time.
BPM: What are key factors that help a book remain on your mind long after the last page?
Great characters will help a book remain in the mind long after the last page. If you can't remember the characters you are less likely to remember what they did.
BPM: Have you faced any challenges as a group? If so, how did you deal with them?
The only problem we've faced is scheduling our meetings. With everyone leading fruitful and busy lives everyone is not always available. We are now trying to be a static date, like the last Sunday every other month, to meet so people can plan their lives around the block club date.
Tamela C. Todd founded Brown Girls Read in March, 2016. The program provides age and grade level appropriate workshops that are engaging and educational. There currently are 40 members enrolled in the program. Brown Girls Read operates out of the Northwest Activity Center on Detroit’s west side near Meyers Rd.
Brown Girls Read is a book club/mentoring program. Our purpose is to increase adolescent literacy and to empower our youth in the community. Our program strives to provide workshops that are both fun and educational. The members learn essay writing, tips for applying for college, best practices for obtaining financial aid, money management and more. Our clubs are divided into groups based on age and grade level for girls ages 7-15. The groups are as follows: Group Yellow: ages 7-9, Group Orange: ages 10-12 and Group Green: ages 13-15.
BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month?
Brown Girls Read has a theme for each month. Book selections are based off of that particular theme. Example: For November our members will read about voting, presidents, debates. We feature our monthly books, for all three groups, on our website.
BPM: Do you prefer to read books by authors of color? Do you borrow books from the library?
Brown Girls Read book club is open to all books as long as they fit the age range for our youth. We are very supportive of all authors. Yes, I personally borrow books form the library.
BPM: How do you feel about attending literary festivals and events?
I absolutely love any type of literacy event. Brown Girls Read was apart of the Motor City Book Experience where we met other book clubs and many wonderful authors promoting their books. In June, 2017 Brown Girls Read will be looking forward to attending the 9th Annual AAMBC Literacy Awards in Atlanta, GA. I would like to see more participation from the community at literary events.
We are the Chocolate Beauties Book Club located in Pontiac, Michigan. We were established in 2010 by our president and founder Angela Hunt. Currently we have 14 members. We are a sisterhood of fun loving, reading women. We are all African American women (single, married, mothers, working, 35 years or older) Our group is good hearted, comedians, some what serious – great combination that works together.
The Chocolate Beauties purpose:
- To have a strong, positive and divine sisterhood
- To uplift and not tear one another down
- To push each other forward when we are stuck in our situations
- To encourage each other to reach our goals
- To pray for one another
- To fellowship and have fun
- And of course to discuss the book of the month
BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore? Do you prefer digital books?
Members are responsible for purchasing their books. Most are purchased online and/or in bookstores. Some members use/have the Kindle reader. Cost/price does not play a part in book selection/purchase. Yes, we will continue to purchase printed books.
Priscilla C. Johnson, aka ‘Cilla, is the founder of Cilla’s Book Maniacs. Cilla developed a love of reading and books during childhood where she would spend hours in the library waiting for her mother and her brothers while they were practicing sports.
Having befriended the owners of a local AA Book store in 1999, Cilla began working there part-time just to be close to the books. It was at this time that she began building relationships with her favorite authors, scheduling book events and books signings. Cilla joined Beverly Jenkins’ Yahoo Group where she developed friendships with the women and they began traveling together to various book events. In 2015, Cilla began PCJ Consultant Group, LLC where she helps aspiring authors achieve their dreams of getting published, organize and build street teams, and introducing authors to new readers and book clubs.
Cilla’s Book Maniacs’ main purpose is to simply share our love of books, encourage and support each other and have fun. We travel together to various conferences, particularly the Romance Slam Jam Conference, where we have been named 2015 and 2016 Spirit Book Club of the Year.
BPM: How do you find new authors and interact online?
We find new authors at events and conferences. When we find or come across someone we think everyone will enjoy, we simple post the author and book in the group or we will post the review. Social media has introduced us to alot of authors we would not ordinarily chose to read. Current author favorites: Keith Thomas Walker, Eva J Brock, Beverly Jenkins, Brenda Jackson, all of our Club Authors (they know who they are ).
BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers who might want to start a book club?
Find a group of people that you like and enjoy to be with or have similar interest. Keep everything fun – leave the personal stuff outside. Remember – every book is not for everybody and its okay to not like a book.
Circle of Sisters of Columbus Interview with Helen Gibson and Georgette Martin—Helen Gibson, Circle of Sisters Book Club is a straight country girl from Alabama who currently resides in Columbus Georgia. She is a lifelong reader who honestly cannot remember a time that she did not have a book in her hand. She’s told that even as a toddler she was reading magazines upside down!
BPM: How do you make your book selections for the month? When do you select the books?
The first few months of the club, it was difficult selecting books. No one wanted to actually nominate a book; we got a lot of “whatever the group decides…”. After talking it over, my co-president and I decided to just make the selections ourselves since everyone wasn’t participatory in nominating and voting. For 2017 we made book marks for the year’s selections with no problems. Every other month we read an AA book; we decided early on that we would not limit ourselves to a particular genre of books. This has worked well for us during our first year. We read one book a month for discussion, but if we read a particularly good book in between we make sure we tell the others to get it.
BPM: Do you primarily purchase books online or in a bookstore?
Early on we made it clear that it did not matter how you read the book. We just encouraged reading; that was our main goal. We do, however, stress the importance of supporting AA authors, buying their books instead of sharing their books, and leaving reviews for the books we enjoy. So far, the price of e-books has not been questioned and has not hindered our reading selections. Although most everyone in the group has an electronic reading device, I don’t think we will ever stop buying DTB. I visit our local B&N store at least once a week.
BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for others who might want to start a book club?
If you want to start a book club…JUST DO IT….don’t wait for ‘whatever’ to happen or not happen. Just send out the invites and start your club. If only two people show up, meet and keep it moving. If you’re already in a book club, enjoy the experience and don’t stress about the rest.
Brought to you by EDC Creations Media Group
Crown Holder Treasure Boxes are book-of-the-month subscription boxes geared toward sharing independently published books as well as commercially published titles with readers who lack access to bookstores or other means of purchasing new books. We are here to introduce readers to authors they might not be aware of and to provide the reader with various genres of published titles.
We partnered with small press publishers, book wholesalers and major publishing imprints to bring our readers incredible books before they hit the shelves, out-of-print core books and books to fill your collection with the classics. We also offer digital selections too!
For those ordering the KID ZONE box, we aim to send your child books written by authors you may not know about yet, but should! Our selection of children books is phenomenal. Not just any children's books, but those that depict the diversity in children literature. We cater to our African American kids and the writers that represent them as well.
Sign up here today: http://www.chtreasurebox.com
Destiny Hawkins and Tiffany Booker are the Co-founders of Destined Readers Book Club. Destiny Hawkins is an Admin. Asst., a wife, a mother of two sons, ages 17 and 18, and the adoptive mother of two small furry dogs. Destiny enjoys attending book events.
Tiffany Booker is a children's author, a current middle school teacher, a wife, and mother to two young men. Tiffany hopes book clubs will some day become as prevalent as being a sorority member. Books are Tiffany's passion of choice.
Destined Readers Book Club was founded in Marietta, Georgia in August 2014 by Co-founders Destiny Hawkins and Tiffany Booker. We started a book club out of the sheer frustration from attending several meetings of another book club whose club seemed, to us, to be very snooty. They did not have a sense of genuine warmth, fun, nor true friendships in their club. Destiny and I are very down to earth people and have a lot in common, so we wanted to create a book club with like minded women as well. Destiny Hawkins is so humble that she makes it a point to ensure everyone knows that she WAS NOT responsible for creating the name of our book club. It was actually my idea to name the club Destined Readers Book Club. Due to our frustration with the other book clubs unwelcoming club culture, we WERE DESTINED to begin our own club. The rest as they say, is history or in our case HERstory. Although we are still a fairly new club, we are nine members strong with several prospective members awaiting acceptance. We want to keep our book club at a maximum of 15 dedicated members.
We have successfully developed a culture of a genuine kinship with one another, which has allowed us to forge ongoing, true and genuine friendships that we know will last a lifetime, all while having fun doing it. For example, one of our members took a teaching job in Japan, but she comes back every year to visit the club and facilitates a book discussion. This is a true example of what our club means to her. It's the friendships, the fun and the books that keeps her coming back.
BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book club conversation?
In Tiffany's opinion, what makes a good book club conversation is our unique Trivia Question segment of the meeting. It is our tradition to ask random trivia questions to our members as a good book conversation starter. This keeps members on their toes in reading the selected novel thoroughly and paying attention to key details in the book. This leads into a well prepared discussion. We either use the available reading guide the author has provided or we use our own to lead the discussions, but the key is having fun while doing it. Our trivia questions are the key to our book club discussions. Most times if the book is interesting enough, then we tend to keep the book discussion on topic, however, if for some reason we conclude that the current book was either boring or we didn't like the book, we tend to roam off topic, but our agenda keeps us on task to ensure we do not waste valuable time during the book discussions.
Diane Rembert is an avid reader of over 30 years, reviewer, promoter, branding coach and founder of Diamond's Literary World, a literary blog that highlights authors, promotes literary events and gives innovative reviews. In April 2016, she created Diamond's World, a Blogtalk radio show that bridges the love of words, sentences and paragraphs to whomever has a like passion. She shares this footprint with all avid readers who wish to have a voice. Her motto is "Conquering Life One Book at a Time."
The main focus of the blog and radio program has been to highlight African American authors (new and old), new book releases, literary events and all things book related. Hopefully, this will continue for generations to come.
BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book conversation?
Diane: In my opinion, a good book conversation consists of a few avid readers, a good book and a glass of wine. Many times the conversation will stray off topic, because one good book is often compared to another one or a movie. For the record, I very rarely use a reading guide, so I wouldn't know if they were helpful or not. Books that address controversial issues generate the most interesting discussions. Website: www.diamondsliteraryworld.com
My name is Toshona E. Carter and I am the Founder & President of this awesome book club. I currently reside here in Little Rock, Arkansas. My book club name is Divas Leaving No Pages Unturned Book Club located here in Little Rock, Arkansas. Divas Leaving No Pages Unturned Book Club was established on July 17, 2010. Our first meeting was held at the Texas Roadhouse Restaurant in Little Rock. We started with only four members. We have grown to 18 members and counting.
Divas Leaving No Pages Unturned Book Club was created to promote “Togetherness” among all Women of Color. When we thought of the word Diva, we thought of someone beautiful who knew what they wanted and would do what it takes to make things happen. Our invigorating club thrives to enrich the lives of Women “one page at a time” through literacy & community service. Our mission is to help uplift, magnify, encourage, respect and provide a nurturing environment for women of color; who are strong mentally, physically, spiritually by educating, encouraging and supporting each other while utilizing “POSITIVE” energy from one to another.
BPM: What has the main focus become over the years?
Our main focus over the years has been on community service. We have given financially and of our time to many local organizations such as Habitat for Humanity, the Union Rescue Mission, Arkansas Food Bank, Ronald McDonald House, The Dorcas House for Battered Women & Children, New Beginnings Pregnancy Resource Center, Fund-a-night Stay at the 20th Century Lodge in Little Rock for cancer patients and the Salvation Army to name a few. We have participated in numerous projects over the years.
We would like to leave the legacy of service behind to those watching in the community. We want to make a difference. At the end of the day, we hope that our contributions will positively impact our society. We would like to encourage every one to be a Drum Major as in the words of Martin Luther King Jr. in his sermon "The Drum Major Instinct."
Another main focus of our club is to promote literacy through reading and encouraging other to pick up a book regularly from local and well-known authors. Facebook: Divas Leaving No Pages Unturned Book Club
DRMRAB members have earned the nickname, “The Paperback Gang,” due to their high level of participation at the many book festivals held throughout the year, and their voracious appetite for purchasing paperback books. Members are proud of their expansive bookshelves, many of which hold books with personal, handwritten notes and signatures from their favorite authors. Their motto is: "We are not just a book club, we are a movement.”
Don't Read Me, Read A Book is based out of Columbus, Ohio, with chapters located throughout the United States and on Facebook. DRMRAB started online as a Facebook group in January 2015. I started the book club because I wanted my own group, instead of administering someone else’s. Fast forward to April of the same year, when I became acquainted with a couple of local readers and decided to start an in-person club that would meet once a month here in Columbus. A very good friend of mine, author Fabiola Joseph, suggested that I start offering readers in other cities a chance to organize under the DRMRAB umbrella. So, in February 2016, the first chapters began. Our Facebook membership has grown to over 2,000 members and our chapter members now total over 200 and growing!
DRMRAB promotes literacy in the African-American community, while supporting authors in a positive, judgement-free environment. We stand out from other groups for a few reasons. First, our members support the authors we read by purchasing thousands of paperback books. With the popularity of eBooks, common thought was that paperbacks were dead until we came along and showed everyone how false that assumption was. Second, we host and participate in face-to-face discussions with authors, and you really don't see that anymore. The name of our organization has a very special meaning to me. My favorite cousin (who passed away last year) helped me come up with the concept during a battle for my attention, while I was trying to read. That memory is so dear to my heart, that I give out a yearly award in his honor.
BPM: Do you host special events during the year or do you work for any charities?
Every year, we gather at the Sistahs on Lit Book Festival. Papaya Wagstaff, who happens to be our DMV chapters chairman is the owner of this great event. S.O.L is amazing because it gives book clubs a chance to mingle with fellow readers as well as different authors. Yes, we also participate in several charities. When we first heard of the Flint, Michigan, water crisis, we teamed up with Hood Books to send over 8,500 bottles of water to Flint’s residents. In 2015, we adopted a family for Christmas, and in 2016 we adopted two families. We've also donated countless books to children. This year, we will also assist families with back-to-school and Christmas needs, among other initiatives. As far as hosting event every chapter host several authors throughout the year.
A Detroit native, Ebony Evans has always had a knack for creating and implementing exciting out-of-the-box ideas. Quite the event planner, she has embarked upon many different endeavors; be it a shopping trip to the Big Apple, photo shoots of all kinds, pole parties or giving her time to charities near and dear, Ebony was and is doing it! Ebony Evans, EyeCU Reading & Social Network founder is an enthusiastic reader and self-proclaimed “book nerd” at heart!
EyeCU Reading & Social Network, is a combination of yet another creative idea, fused with one of Ebony’s dynamic passions…reading. She and a host of friends together developed this idea into a reality. Life has taught Ebony the value of surrounding herself with a close-knit circle of like-minded supportive friends, with whom she reciprocates compassion and that same support.
EyeCU Reading & Social Network is made up President Ebony, Secretary Samara, Treasurer Bayyinah and members Chineda, Monique, Rhena, Satanya, Stacye, Tamara and Tina.
BPM: What is the purpose for your organization?
The purpose of EyeCU Reading & Social Network is to promote literacy in the African American community with an emphasis on African American women. To support primarily, but not exclusively, the works of African American authors. To encourage community involvement through charitable endeavors, support and motivation. Our club was born from the vision of providing an avenue for women to fellowship with a primary focus on reading thought provoking books, networking with other book clubs, attending literary events and meeting fascinating authors. We also want to show our beauty and boldness in all that we do!
BPM: Do you support self-published authors?
Yes! We absolutely support self-published authors. Book club member Stacye Lewis aka Kaylynn Hunt is a talented self-published author of several books. Ebony is on the cover of two of her books, “Love With A Vengeance” and “Catching Dreams.” Not all talented authors have a big house book deal so we definitely support and acknowledge authors both small and large.
BPM: What genre/types of books do you prefer to read?
We pretty much read it all! From Christian based to the most erotic and everything in between. The diversity of our group and our variety of interests leads us to open our minds to literature of all kinds.
BPM: Have the types of books changed over time?
As our group, matures, it seems that yes, the types of books have changed over time. While we started out reading lots of urban fiction, we’ve evolved to reading pretty much everything! We’ve even indulged in and enjoyed Sci-Fi; a genre that wasn’t even on our radar at first.
The 4th Sunday Book Club was founded in the 1994 by six professional African-American women from the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Area . These women shared a desire to read books of quality and substance and formed a loosely structured book club simply referred as “the book club”. The objective was to read books written by African-American authors. Over time the club diversified to include at least one non-fiction book per year and has grown beyond solely African-American authored works.
The book club, which met on fourth Sundays, soon found that contemporary literature did not reflect them or their lives. Motivated by this realization, the club began writing its own book. The result is Fourth Sunday: A Journey of Book Club, which was written under the pseudonym B.W. Read and published in May, 2011 by Strebor Books for Simon and Shuster. In honor of the success of the book, “the book club” was renamed “4th Sunday Book Club.” The 4th Sunday Book Club has grown in membership and purpose. The club now has 13 active members. However, it remains an unstructured, intimate club where books are our connection and our bond is our strength.
BPM: In your opinion, why is reading important in our lives?
Reading is important because it exposes us to experiences and information we may not otherwise encounter. Reading helps us to become more educated and well rounded. Books, like "A Wrinkle In Time" by Madeleine L'Engle, influence lives at an early stage and have lasting effects.
BPM: What types of books does your group read? How do you select the featured books?
The club reads11 books per year. At least one non-fiction and a book with a romantic theme or undertone are read each year in February. The club meets only once during the summer months, for a co-ed meeting where spouses or significant others are invited. Books are selected at the January meeting and are selected by consensus.
BPM: Is there anything you would love to see more of in books?
YES. More diversity including, but not limited to mixed race couples, gay characters that aren't caricatures or stereotypes, people doing meaningful things with their lives that make them happy, and people being accountable for the decisions (good and bad) they make without blaming society, lack of money or their parents.
The Girl Fridayz Book Club was conceived in August, 2005 out of the founder’s love of reading. She brought together a group of “sisters” who also have a love of reading and on September 30, 2005, the Girl Fridayz Book Club was born. We meet the last Friday of each month with different members hosting the meeting. The founder’s name is Karyn Davis and she and the other members of the book club reside in Buffalo, New York. We currently have ten active members.
The main purpose of our book club is to strengthen our passion for reading, share our faith, explore quality works by African-American authors, share ideas and opinions and fellowship with like-minded friends. We have supported authors who have come to our city for book signings/workshops (Virginia DeBerry, Kayla Perrin and Beverly Jenkins), as well as other book clubs who host authors. Also, at least once a year, we contribute to a young adult pursuing his/her dreams. This year we contributed to a young athlete so that she would be able to attend the regionals for track and field.
Last year, we contributed to a young lady’s fundraising efforts for Jabberwock, an evening of elegance and entertainment that showcases the gifts and talents of the young women participating in the program while advancing the goals and objectives of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority’s scholarship program.
BPM: Do you feel as if African Americans are represented in a good light in the novels you read?
Our book club read mostly African-American Christian fiction. Although some of the characters get themselves into situations that are not very Christian-like, they usually find their way out through prayer and a willingness to do what is right. What we feel puts African Americans in a bad light is when characters consciously conduct themselves in a certain way without thought of consequences and repercussions.
BPM: Do you think digital books will ever replace a printed book?
We don’t believe that digital books will ever replace printed books. We love to turn the pages of a book and most of our members will not purchase a e-book priced more than $5.00 The majority of our members will NEVER stop buying printed books and the only way we could be forced to not buy them is if they stopped selling them.
My name is Shameka Latimer, President of Girlfriends Book Club Dallas Chapter. GBC was founded in 2004 by Tamika Shamberger, CEO in Sacramento, CA. Dallas Chapter Officers are: Shameka Latimer- President/Secretary, Tonya Henderson-Smith-Vice President and LeTanya White-Kennedy- Treasurer. GBC Dallas was founded in July, 2009 and is the fifth out of seven chapters. As of now we have a total of eight members.
Our mission is to promote sisterhood and utilize this book club for self, as a stress reliever and a motivational tool. We look forward to working with all local and mainstream authors as much as possible to promote their novels.
BPM: What impact has reading had on you?
Reading has been a stress reliever for us. It helps to take our mind off of things we may be going through. Reading has opened me up to new author and great discussions.
BPM: What impact has being in a organized group had on your life?
GBC has been more then just a book club, it has been an outlet for me. All women face challenges, everyday, be it at home or in the work place. When we get together we open up our hearts to each other. This organization has led me to meet some wonderfully encouraging women. It's like having an extended family.
BPM: What is your favorite genre of books?
This is a tough question. We enjoy Contemporary fiction, Memoirs, Biography, Self-help, Mystery, Romance, and other genres. Since we all have different personalities our taste in books varies. Books that relate to our everyday lives are the ones that remain on our mind long ever the books are closed.
BPM: How do you feel about electronic books?
As far as electronic book, I think its convenient and great. I think it depends on the person because some people want to collect the books they have read and some don't.
BPM: Do you think our authors are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations?
Yes, I do think the authors of today are leaving the same legacy as authors from other generations and some are leaving even better ones!
The Go On Girl! Book Club is the largest national reading organization in the U.S. for black women. Our national headquarters are in New York. In 1991, founders Monique Greenwood, Lynda Johnson and Tracy Mitchell-Brown decided to turn their office chat about the latest offerings from Black authors into formal book discussions with their immediate circle of girlfriends in New York City.
At the end of the club's first year, Evalyn Rose Hamilton relocated from New York to her native Washington, D.C., and the second chapter of the Go On Girl! Book Club was born. Since 1992, more than 30 chapters have sprung up across the country in much the same way — started by former members relocating to new cities or by members' relatives and friends living in other or the same cities. In 1995, the club became a legally incorporated non-profit organization, and it currently boasts more than 300 members in cities across the country. We currently have chapters in Alabama, California, DC, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Washington and Virginia.
The overall agenda, goals and duties of the organization are administered by an executive committee of 10 women: Lynda Johnson (Co-founder/Chair and Media/Author Relations Chair), Vivian Phillips-Husband and Shirley Coker (Co-Chairs); Valeria Porterfield (Recording Secretary); Evalyn Rose Hamilton (Historian); Tracy Grady (Treasurer); Willette Hill (Corresponding Secretary); Elaine Spears (Parliamentarian); Judy Ivory (Membership Chair) and Joyce Williams (Reading List Chair).
BPM: Do you host special events during the year?
YES! GOG hosts an annual Author Awards Weekend held in a different city every year and attended by all the chapters in the organization. Members vote for a winning author in two categories: New Author of the Year and Author of the Year. The winning authors are invited to attend our Author Awards Weekend. The chapter(s) in the designated city is our host chapter. At the author awards lunch (or dinner), the authors are given a handmade plaque especially designed for them.
Our Author Awards Weekend serves two purposes: it gives our members a chance to express our love and appreciation to the winning authors, and it provides all the chapters a chance to get together to meet/greet and express love for our literary sisterhood. Interviews of our winning authors are published in an annual GOG Magajournal and distributed to our members.
In between the author awards luncheon or dinner, GOGs enjoy the hospitality and activities that our host chapters plan for us. Our website, www.GoOnGirl.org has the details.
Many of our members socialize outside of our book club meetings. Chapter members also attend author readings and signings in their area to support our writers. For the past two years we have worked collectively with the NAACP by reading, reviewing, and voting for books being considered for their Literary Image Awards. Some of the authors on our reading list were discovered from participating in this project.
BPM: Which is the preferred way to find new books: a friend's recommendation; on social media; or advertisement for the book, such as: online radio, newsletter eblast, contests or tagging on FB?
Members of the Reading List Committee use any and all resources available to find books for our reading list. We scour the internet, read book reviews in magazines (online and paper), listen to interviews and check literary websites, publisher websites, blogs, etc. Sometimes we get book recommendations from GOGs, friends; sometimes authors reach out to us. We're forever searching for that next good book.
Indulge Book Club was started December, 2005. We are located in Washington DC. We currently have ten members. Indulge Coordinator/Founder is Micole Marbury, Secretary is Marcia Horton, Activities Coordinator Latarsha Reid, Photographer Chaquita Goode, Indulge little readers facilitator Mailka Watkins.
We started Indulge because we love to read and we wanted an outlet from our daily lives and to fellowship with friends. We are a group of individuals who meet every 1st Sunday at various member homes for book discussions. We are varied in age and are of numerous backgrounds. We are passionate readers who have been reading together for twelve years.
The mission of the group is to free our minds from the stresses of life and indulge ourselves in great books, food and conversation. Indulge was not originally established for community service purposes, but in the upcoming years we plan to start promoting the importance of reading.
BPM: What types of monthly activities do you enjoy as a group? Do you travel?
We meet once a month for our book club meetings. We have activities planned for every three months in the year. We have an annual game night, we see movies together, go to dinner together, and for our 5th Anniversary we went on a cruise on the Odyssey.
BPM: How do you feel about electronic books such as for the Kindle, Nook or iPad, etc?
These devices are good because it helps the reader now have so many books all over the place. But they do not hold the same substance as printed books.
BPM: What impact has reading or being in a organized group had on your life?
As the Organizer/Founder of Indulge Book Club, it has been a great pleasure to know and meet so many amazing people and to hear their thoughts and emotions. The experience helps us grow as individuals. The books are a bonus.
Janice L. Dennie is an Amazon.com Bestselling Author and Indie Filmmaker.
Mrs. Dennie’s Underwoods of Napa Valley series, has readers reaching for her books time and again as she delivers entertaining stories featuring tall, dark, handsome heroes and feisty heroines. Mrs. Dennie has thrown her hat into the film industry by making The Underwoods of Napa Valley into a feature-length Indie film.
Born in Denver, Colorado and raised in Northern California, Dennie graduated from California State University, before starting a career with a Federal Agency.
Kente Productions is an Independent Film Company that develops scripts, handles casting, filming and provides a platform for actors, and film crews to display their talent. Janice L. Dennie, formed Kente Productions in 2016 to bring her novels to life. Together with Producer, Donyale McCollins, they began planning season one of The Underwoods of Napa Valley, based on Dennie’s bestselling novel, Kenton’s Vintage Affair.
Kente Productions plans to release The Underwoods of Napa Valley in the theatrical market, or as a film produced for television, cable, Internet web-series, Digital HD markets, Blue Ray, DVD, “Made for Pay” motion picture. The Underwood’s of Napa Valley movie: www.TheUnderwoodsofNapaValley.com
The Underwood’s of Napa Valley is a feature-length film about an African American wine-producing family of four brothers and their grandmother who deal with internal conflicts, complicated love relationships, and obstacles in the competitive wine industry–a story that has rarely, if ever, been reflected on film or television.
The Underwoods of Napa Valley History
Henrietta and Frank Underwood worked as sharecroppers in Waco, Texas before moving to Napa, California during the Great Migration. They made a modest living growing corn and then in the eighties, switched to growing Cabernet grapes. After opening Underwood Hills Winery, they became independently wealthy. Although Frank has since passed away, Henrietta has turned over the running of the winery to her eldest grandson, Kenton Underwood. Henrietta’s focus these days, is on marrying off all four of her adult grandchildren to loving spouses, beginning with Kenton. She’s dubbed each one with a character trait.
TaNisha Webb is the president of the award winning KC Girlfriends Book Club. TaNisha is also the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Book Club 101 Magazine, founder of Book Club 101 University and author of The Ultimate Book Club Experience: How to Create & Maintain a Successful Book Club.
KC Girlfriends Book Club is located in the Kansas City Metropolitan area. Our book club was established in 2002 by a group of girlfriends that decided to create a book club to discuss their favorite authors’ books. In 2003, our book club dwindled down to two members due to various reasons. The sole original member and I decided to advertise the book club on a local social event calendar and our book club grew from two members to forty-one members within one and one-half years. We are now at a comfortable and dedicated twelve members at this time.
BPM: In your opinion, what makes a good book conversation?
The first thing that makes a good book discussion is when all of the members have read the entire book. Regardless if the book is good or bad you really can’t have any discussion if no one has read the entire book. Having a group in various age range also helps with having a great discussion because everyone has different prospective versus a group that’s the same age. Coed book clubs probably have better book clubs than same sex book clubs because men will bring an entirely different prospective to a discussion. These particular part of the discussions actually helps book clubs to become like family because we learn more about one another when we discuss our personal experiences. A good facilitator will know when to move the discussion along. Website: www.kcgirlfriendsbookclub.com
Keisha Hester is a librarian residing in Chicago. She connects readers with books on a daily basis, and is in the process of writing of her first novel.
BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for book clubs?
Decide the ground rules from day one. If your group will actually discuss the book at length, then requirement number one is that everyone reads it. If it will be more social in nature, then pick books that are light and quicker to read. Also, feel free to totally judge a book by its cover! If it is aesthetically appealing to you, chances are higher that you will read it to completion.
BPM: How do ebooks fit into libraries? Would you ever stop buying printed books?
Libraries now offer ebooks through various platforms to patrons, though not every ebook is available for libraries to purchase. The publishers have placed certain restrictions on their digital works, which is unfortunate. Personally, I would never stop buying printed books. Here’s why: you don’t actually own the digital book itself in some cases. Publishers can essentially encrypt files to self-destruct after a certain time period, as it were, which is what happens when you borrow it from a library. After the loan period is up, you can no longer access the ebook unless you check it out again. And the platform that you use to access that ebook could also go away. What would you do with the files then, if the platform used to access them no longer existed? With the printed word, all you have to do is go to your book shelf, pull it off, sit down, and read!
Black Page Turners was formed by Cleavester b.k.a. King Brooks in 2013. Before Black Page Turners, I hosted an online radio show and various other book magazines and websites. I am a team of one.
I was inspired to start Black Page Turners by the closing of Black Issues Book Review. I wanted a place where I could come and find out all about African Americans books, publishing information, writer’s tools, etc. The purpose of Black Page Turners is to inform readers about books written by and about African Americans.
BPM: Has social media changed how you feel about any authors?
No, I have learned how to separate the work from the person. So I want be disappointed. As long as you write a good book. I have no problem with you; but if the book is not good, then we have a problem.
In the words of Don Miguel Ruiz "Don't Take Anything Personally: Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering."
BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for others who might want to start a book blog?
In the famous words of Nike 'Just Do It.' If you are getting into this business to be about yourself or to be famous. Turn and exit now. Be prepared to invest long hours into your blog and be patient. The followers, authors, and publishers don't come overnight. If anyone tells you 'No,' don't take it personal. Just keep moving forward and be very creative.
Kisha Green is a published author, virtual assistant, literary consultant, promoter and book reviewer. She's the owner of DivaBooksInc. It's motto, ‘Turning literary dreams into published realities.’, she has a strong passion for assisting authors in their writing and making their dreams come true.
Aside from having a passion for supporting authors, Kisha is a well-established author. She's been writing professionally since she was twenty-one. Her most popular novel is, ‘And Even If I did’, released in 2006.
Kisha Green is also the host of Writer's Life Chats, an online radio show where she interviews aspiring and seasoned authors. Writer's Life Chats has been nominated multiple times for Best Blog Talk Show, winning the title in 2009, 2010 and 2011. As an avid reader and book reviewer, Kisha Green’s reviews have appeared on Urban Book Source, Shelfari, Goodreads, Amazon and other notable sites.
In 2016, she was nominated for Literary Activist by AAMBC and is the recipient of the 2014 and 2016 Literary Excellence Award presented by Black Pearls Magazine.
As a firm believer in "each one, teach one," Kisha Green launched Literary Jewels in 2011, an online resource for aspiring writers interested in self-publishing. Currently, Kisha resides in New Jersey and is a contributing writer for Urban Tymes, LitIsh, and Literary Jewels. Kisha can be found at: www.divabooksinconline.com
The Lady L.O.T.U.S (Loving Others Through United Sisterhood) book club began in July, 2013. They are located in Monroe, Louisiana. The Lady L.O.T.U.S book club consists of 20 sisters (members). The first book that they read was The Reverend's Wife by Kimberly Lawson Roby. Their first literary they attended was the National Book Club Conference in Atlanta.
Tammy Washington, Lady LOTUS Bookclub Founder, is a country girl at heart, with a love for reading that takes her imagination beyond the stars. She is a graduate of the University of Louisiana at Monroe. She is an Early Childhood & Elementary Ed. Curriculum Monitor. Most of her adult life has been dedicated to mentoring and servicing children and families. Tammy said, this is not just a passion, but her ministry.
She loves to encourage others with a famous quote by Dr. Seuss, "Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You." She shares this quote in an effort to help others embrace who they are in spite of what society says they should be. Tammy's very own quote is, "True beauty begins with the heart and mind, and then flows to be seen through the eyes and smile."
Amanda Presley, Lady LOTUS Bookclub Co-Founder, is somewhat of an Army brat. Both her parents were in the army. She was raised and still lives in Monroe, Louisiana. She currently works at an elementary school as a Pre-K Paraeducator. She has been in this position for the last seven years. Amanda also does after school tutoring through the school's tutoring program.
She is very active in the church. She sings in the church singing group and also work with the mentor program. She loves spending time with her family and friends, especially her girls. In her alone time, give her a good book and she is good to go.
BPM: What legacy will your bookclub leave for those watching in the community?
The lesson and legacy that Lady L.O.T.U.S bookclub purposes to leave is that reading is not only an outlet, but can unlock doors in the mind to build, strengthen, and enhance knowledge (spiritually, mentally and academically). They strive to model UNITY and SERVICE to our community. As God allows us to be a blessing to one another, so shall we be to our community.
Lines that Bind Book Club, based in Atlanta, GA, was established in February 2017. The group is comprised of 5 Grown Women who have chosen to remain small for the purpose of having deep, intellectually stimulating conversations that thoroughly dissect their monthly reads on various levels. Each member is an avid reader with a strong passion for a great read. For them, the best works are those that leave them hungry for the next book.
Lines that Bind Book Club originated with 3 young ladies who would discuss books in such detail during their leisure time that the idea for a book club was inevitable. Joined with an additional 3 members, Lines that Bind was formed to bond and interact on a Grown Woman’s level with a maturity that leaves the meeting refreshed and not drained. The interactions with these ladies is enlightening, they draw strength one from another from the wisdom that is embodied in them individually and collectively.
Our president, Melesia Tillman brings a thirst of reading with the perspective of reality, Ziyesha Kehinde is filled with an understanding approach of reason, Shy Armstrong is our no holds barred, abrupt and to the point perspective, Antanya Chung is not only inspirational but highly intelligent in her thought process of how and why things occur in the manner that they do and Norlita Brown enlightens the group with interesting perspectives from that of an author who is also an avid reader. With each meeting we evolve, we grow, we bond.
The purpose of our group is to come together and share not only opinions, but experiences, failures, skills, joy, pain and laughter. Lines That Bind, while a social outlet, is also a group that hopes to make a difference in each other’s lives, their family and community. What really makes us unique is the personality that each member brings to the group; to include the realist, inspiration, pessimist, optimist and the visionary. These temperaments bring about hearty discussions and passionate dialogue that we all enjoy and look forward to.
The focus of the group has been to gain understanding from the author’s writing that can be applicable to everyday life – some of which has brought forth an enriched knowledge and some has given delightful entertainment.
Marcus Book Club started in August of 1997, in Oakland, CA as a part of Marcus Book Store (the oldest, African American owned bookstore in the nation.) We gathered that first time as a group of 232 readers, divided into 6 “Chapters.” Each Chapter met once per month, at the bookstore. Over time the numbers decreased, eliminating the need for Chapters. Today we are 12-15 strong and meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. Meetings are still held at Marcus Book Store.
Our book club’s main focus is in alignment with the tradition of Marcus Books; to read and discuss books BY and ABOUT Black People everywhere. The book club has the name of the bookstore, which was named in honor of Marcus Garvey. We tend to be serious about great literature and sometimes have to remind ourselves to “lighten up” and make some “completely fun” book selections. We enjoy diverse opinions and lively discussions.
BPM: What types of books have generated the most interesting discussions?
Books that force us to address cultural and societal issues have generated the most interesting discussions because everyone has some level of investment in the topic. It is not out of the ordinary that we will “agree to disagree” during these discussions.
BPM: Do you have any words of wisdom for other readers starting a book club?
Have fun, give everyone equal voice and be open to reading books you might not choose on your own. There have been many times when we did not like the book and had amazing discussions or developed a different appreciation for the book.
Mississippi Magnolias Book Club was founded November, 5, 2012 in Gulfport, Mississippi by Antionette Gates, President. MMBC officers are Antionette Gates, President, Ethel Smith, Vice-President, Taironzika Wesley, Secretary, Angela McNair, Treasurer, Photographers, Lisa Ladner and Kimberly Robins. MMBC currently have ten active members. Our first book read was Money Can’t Buy Love by Connie Briscoe.
MMBC was created from avid readers that also happen o be members of Unity Festival, Incorporated, a non-profit organization. Yes, a few of us post reviews on Amazon. We contribute to all UFI events throughout the community; Thanksgiving baskets to needy families, books or prizes for the Children’s Book Jamboree, and sponsor Angel Tree children, at Christmas. MMBC members also volunteer at the organizations various functions including the neighborhood Unity Festival in March of each calendar year.
BPM: What type of books does your group read? Do you support self-published authors?
Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Erotica and Mysteries are group favorites. Some members thoroughly enjoy paranormal books as well. There is no genre that we absolutely will not read. A book excerpt does not help in the book selection. The majority of books read by MMBC are by authors of color, but books have been chosen by authors who aren’t of color.
MMBC members definitely support self-published authors. Any support given self-published authors help promote awareness of the book and enlighten other readers about both the author and their books. This action in turn will someday garner a larger following for the self-published author.
BPM: What factors help a book remain on your mind long after the last page?
A few key factors are great characters, realistic problems or events, and a fantastic location.
BPM: What legacy will your club leave for those watching in the community?
Our goal is to improve our community through literacy and literature. We hope to bring a sense of joy, hope, and adventure associated with the love of reading, and volunteerism to the youth on the coast. It is our goal to further these efforts in future through a youth reading group or book club.
I'm Alysia Allen. We are Mocha Girls Read an online and in person book club for Black women. We are located in five cities right now in Los Angeles and San Diego, California; Tempe, Arizona; New Lenox, Illinois and now Waldorf, Maryland. Mocha Girls Read started in October, 2011 after I looked all over the internet for a book club, I found two and joined them both. They were good and I have made a few new friends from them. But I noticed one thing about both of them…I was the only black, woman of color, African-American, mocha girl in the clubs. I thought about this for a while and finally said to myself, “Self, there has got to be some sistas in LA who like to read.” After much thought and discussion with family and friends MOCHA GIRLS READ was born. As of today Mocha Girls Read book club has about 2,000+ members world wide.
Mocha Girls Read members are all ages. Our youngest member in 21 years old and our oldest is in her 80’s. We have working mom’s, single women, grandmothers and newly weds. We even have a few non Black members who just love what we are about and want to support us in all our efforts.
We are a group of black women who love to read, want to read more and meet like-minded women. The books we read range from fiction, self-help, historical romance, best sellers, good ol’ short stories and basically anything we can get our hands on. Mocha Girls Read brings black women in the community together to read great literature, online and in person chit chatting about the monthly selection and a whole lot more. We are different form other book clubs because:
- We read all genres, by authors of all genders and races, and from any publication date.
- We are free to all women.
- We never close meetings and membership.
- We are ageless. We just ask that members under 18 years old have the permission of a parent each month.
BPM: What legacy will your club leave for those watching in the community?
Our main focus has been sisterhood. Our members are so diverse and have various reasons for joining but the end result seems to be the same. We love being in each other company. I hope Mocha Girls Read brings the joy of read to each community and uplifts the Black women in each chapter through fellowship.
One World Singles Blog, winner of The 2017 Black Pearls Literary Excellent Awards
A blog for people of all colors, ages (18+) religions, ethnicities, and lifestyles. Bringing you informative articles and advice on dating, romance, love, relationships, featured romance authors, virtual book tours, interviews, events, movie trailers, and so much more.
At One World Singles Blog, (OWSB) our visitors are the primary focus of everything we do. We want to provide the level of information that will best meet your dating, romantic and relationship needs and wants and to take this time to thank you for visiting our blog.
If you haven't done so yet, please visit and join our dating site One World Singles. And please tell your single friends and associates about the benefits of becoming a member of One World Singles. There are over one million active members seeking love, romance, a lifetime partner, pen pal and much more.
If you have any success stories in meeting someone on our blog or dating site that you would like to share, we would like to hear from you. Stories submitted become the property of HMCS and may be republished on our blog or in any other media without any compensation to the person submitting the story.
When submitting your story, please include your name, age, and country where you reside. If we publish your story, only your name and country will be mentioned. We have the right to edit your story for clarity. Send your stories to us and in the subject area, write My Success Story. To participate in any of our events, you must over 18 years of age.
About Professional Blogger Vivienne Diane Neal
My name is Vivienne Diane Neal. Born in 1946, I am a writer, blogger, and an author with a wicked sense of humor. I have been writing articles for over thirty years, started penning fictional short stories in 2007, and get my story ideas from observing people, places, and things and watching true TV court cases and talk shows.
I have been featured on Black Pearls Magazine online, SingleEdition, Black Love is Beautiful, A Book Inside, Susan Whitfield’s Blog, Cluculzwriter, Have Stress Relief Now, 1st Author Interviews, IMRR Bookclub Newsletter Fall 2011, Writers Get Together, Mary M. Forbes Blog, Romance Review Ramble, AuthorMePro, The Writer’s Voice, Polygirl Publishing, and Writers Get Together and was a contributing writer to NINA Magazine and Honey Magazine, Multicultural Media and Vocal.
Now, semi-retired, I continue to write articles on love, romance, relationships, and other topics of interest. Check out Vivienne Diane Neal, founder: http://www.oneworldsinglesblog.net
Orsayor L. Simmons is the founder of Book Referees. Book Referees spotlights/reviews/promote all genres in the literary world. She is the recipient of the 2013 Top 25 Literary Leader Award and 2014 Top 25 Literary Leader Award (presented by Ella Curry) and 2015 AAMBC Blogger of the Year.
Book Referees are here to serve the literary community by being committed to getting word out about the importance of reading, the importance of reviewing, and importance of supporting authors.
Book Referees was formed to get my book loving friends to read, review and to spread the word out about their favorite books, but now it seems to have taken on a life of its own. I'm now spreading the word through my blog, interviewing authors and getting books in the hands of celebrities. The blog continues to grow, so now I have added reviewers to my team. When readers log on to my blog they are able to read reviews from different perspectives. Because when it boils down to it - it's about the BOOKS! Books are the common denominator to bringing us together.
Read reviews: on the web - www.bookreferees.org | On Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/Orsayor