In honor of Father’s Day, let’s talk a

In honor of Father’s Day, let’s talk about what Manhood is and what it isn’t.

It’s not about always being right.
It’s about being accountable.

It’s not about the notches in your belt.
It’s about having a full heart.

It’s not about carrying the weight of the world.
It’s about bearing your share.

It’s not about being unafraid.
It’s about moving forwards anyway.

It’s not about getting your way.
It’s about putting your family before yourself.

It’s not about being the strongest.
It’s about helping those in need.

In the final analysis being a man is about doing what needs to be done.

Happy Father’s Day.

Often when we think of love, we think of

Often when we think of love, we think of low hanging fruit love, like loving babies or loving those who love us. But are we not called to a higher love, have we not claimed this love? The love we profess is not an easy thing. In fact, it’s the hardest thing. To that end…

Love is…
Loving those who despise you
Loving those who use you
Loving those who mock you

Love is…
Taking time
Making way
Letting go

Love is…
Forgiving regardless
Seeking no apology
Keeping no account

Love is…
Looking past yourself
Listening without agenda
Feeling uncomfortable

Love…
Embraces
Defers
Sacrifices

Please share as you are led.

An entire year ago, I swore an oath of s

Tuesday’s Butler/Banks Blog Tour Author is Crystal Connor.  Check out below, what she has to say.

An entire year ago, I swore an oath of secrecy when I agreed to co-write a book with

paranormal-romance author Lori Titus under the pen name of Connor Titus. The reason, in the

beginning, for the vow of silence was simply for the sake of peace.

Now this is in no way meant to be a complaint, but my fans take their jobs seriously. It takes

about a year for me to write a book, but just a month or two after announcing a new WIP that’s

all my fans talk to me about, and writing is all they want me to do.

I know some of you remember me posting in ‘Walgreens incident.’ Two weeks after the release

of Book II: Artificial Light I was standing in line in Walgreen and asked the woman in front of

me where she got her drop dead gorgeous shoes. When she turned to tell me, I was recognized,

and she demanded to know why I wasn’t at home writing. Sadly she didn’t tell me where she got

her shoes.

If my fans had found out that I had teamed up with Lori their excitement would have been

too much especially because at the time we where both working on our own books which of

course held more priority than a joint project, so we didn’t even know when this book would be

finished.

About a 3rd

saver, because we started to realize that we were going to be writing two books. And at that

moment it stopped being about peace and immediately became a trade secret.

“One catastrophe. One Town. One story told two different ways.”

We co-wrote, two, stand alone books about the same thing.

We’d never heard of anyone doing that before and because it’s such an insanely original idea

or had been done which such infrequency that the concept isn’t widely known we didn’t want

anyone finding out what we were doing and beat us to the punch.

Once the decision was made that this story was going to be told from two different points of

views, we also made the decision to not only stop working together, but to also not to talk to

each other about what was written from that moment forth. I mean we went into complete radio

silence, we didn’t even see each other’s cover until they were revealed earlier this month as

part of our blog tour. We did this because we didn’t want to influence each and judging by the

reviews that turned out to be a really good move.

After our books were shipped off to the editor Lori and I decided to interview each other for our

own blogs. Those interviews turned out to be a blast and that’s what I am going to share with you

today.

of the way into the project, the fact that mum was the word literally became a life

The Wordsmith: Ok, 1st

that you prefer Pepsi over Coca~Cola. Is that true?

off I need to get something off my chest. I heard through the grapevine

Lori: Yes, I’m a Pepsi drinker,

The Wordsmith: Oh hell no, this is a crime against the Crown. This interview is over, we’re not

friends anymore. Lol I’m just kidding.

Lori: LOL! But I drink Coke if I’m at a place and that’s what they’re selling. I still get the

specific craving for Coca Cola now and again.

The Wordsmith: Oh, okay …good save cuz I was about to send you straight to the gallows. I

write straight up horror with a service of science fiction and dark fantasy on the side. As a rising

star in paranormal romance what was it that made you want to be a part of the Mt. Empyreal

project?

Lori: I think of dark fiction as being one genre, whether it includes romance or science fiction.

I love anything that challenges the characters with something greater than themselves, and

that was definitely the obstacle our characters faced in the Keep. Since I’m a huge romantic,

something of that always comes through. I couldn’t write you a cookbook without some

reference to romance in there.

The Wordsmith: OMG that’s so true! I knew from the beginning that the story would have

elements of romance but you do it really well so I wasn’t worried. That’s one of the things that

interested me in co-authoring with you is…

Sunday’s Butler-Banks Book Tour author

Sunday’s Butler-Banks Book Tour author is Davaun Sanders. Please check him out…!
http://ow.ly/i/5nlUn http://ow.ly/i/5nlUr http://ow.ly/i/5nlUu

Thanks for checking out the work of all the authors participating in The 2014 Butler/Banks Book Tour. This is a huge year for many of us, and we couldn’t do what we love without the support of YOU, our readers! I hope you’ve been exposed to your next favorite author and encourage you to leave honest reviews of our work wherever you purchased it! Your feedback to other readers who share your interest is pure gold for indy authors.
Please enjoy the excerpt from my first novel, The Seedbearing Prince: Part I posted below. You can download it for FREE on Amazon for a limited time! The Seedbearing Prince: Part II is also available—click here!
Dayn Ro’Halan’s adventures will continue in The Course of Blades, to be released this summer—the third of six total books in the World Breach series. I’m really excited about this novel, it’s going to be the best one yet.
That being said…let’s do a giveaway!
Rules are simple: send me a picture of yourself READING a novel by ANY AUTHOR on The Butler/Banks Book Tour. You use an e-reader? Great. Reading in costume, or upside down? Even better! Go crazy—just keep it SFW please! Share with me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
I’ll post your pictures to my Facebook and happily send you a FREE ebook of The Seedbearing Prince: Part II OR “The Course of Blades” when it is released this summer. We’ll all pretty much be famous together. It’s all so clear to me.
Let the photobomb commence, because this giveaway ends with the last day of the Butler/Banks Book Tour, April 30th!

The Seedbearing Prince Part I: Prologue

The torrent shifted again, and a thousand shards of onyx flashed to fire as Corian swept through a roiling field of ice and stone. The sheath on his worn black armor held, but would not last much longer. The stream of rock in the space between the worlds drifted slower here, and boasted several floating mountains large enough to hold a layer of air. Green ferns covered the surface of the nearest, providing plenty of cover. Corian was tempted to stop and rest, but crater wolves likely roamed in such thick foliage. The entire World Belt hung on the message he bore to the Ring, and he could rest after his task was done.
A field of red granite stretched in the space above him like the bizarre clouds of some nightmare, the individual boulders careening off each other by the hundreds. Only the hardest minerals and metals endured the endless pounding of the rock flow, and only the most foolish men would brave such a swath of torrent. They were moving the direction he needed to go, into the flow where the rock moved fastest. In the torrent, speed kills, he reminded himself. He was the best courser among the Ring’s Guardians, but the rock never cared.
Corian deftly attached a new talon to what remained of his silver wingline, then heaved it. The metal hook took hold, his wingline snapped taut, and the boulder yanked Corian into the flow. He repeated the process, each time roping a boulder moving faster, until his last guide rock pulled him along at hundreds of spans a second. A layer of white frost appeared on his armor and mask in a blink. He reeled himself in and clung to the red surface, like a flea riding a river bison in the middle of a stampeding herd. He watched every direction at once from his perch, digging his gauntlets into the crumbling surface. The boulder was actually some ancient rusted metal, not granite as he first thought. The torrent here was so thick he could barely see the stars, and it filled his ears with a distant roar.
He sped along this way for some time, until he spied a pockmarked mass of stone and iron, large as a dwarf moon. A cleft right down the middle threatened to split the entire thing in half. A tower in the northern axis had seen more than its fair share of rust, but the light strobing from it pulsed…

Tuesday’s Butler-Banks Blog Featured Author – Kia Leakes

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From Iowa, but later relocating to Alton, IL and St. Louis, MO, Kai Leakes was a multifaceted Midwestern child, who gained an addiction to books at an early age. Sharing stories with her cousins as a teen, writing books didn’t seem like something she would pursue until one day in college. Storytelling continues to be a major part of her very DNA, with the goal of sharing tales that entertain and add color to a gray literary world.

In her spare time, she likes to cook, dabble in photography, and assists with an internet/social networking group online. Loving to feed her book addiction, romance, fantasy and fiction novels are her world. Reading those particular genres help guide her as she finds the time to write and study for school.

Kai is the author of Sineaters: Devotion book one and the soon-to-be-released Sin Eaters: Retribution: Devotion book two, coming in June.

 You can find her at her website: kwhp5f.wix.com/kai-leakes.

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“The Light Will Always Prevail, but when the Light and Dark are at war, sometimes the Grey can only be your salvation.”  ~ Kai Leakes

Thursday’s Banks-Butler Featured Author is Milton Davis.

Milton Davis bio

Milton Davis is owner of MVmedia, LLC , a micro publishing company specializing in Science Fiction, Fantasy and Sword and Soul. MVmedia’s mission is to provide speculative fiction books that represent people of color in a positive manner. Milton is the author of eight novels; his most recent The Woman of the Woods and Amber and the Hidden City. He is co-editor of four anthologies; Griots: A Sword and Soul Anthology and Griot: Sisters of the Spear, with Charles R. Saunders; The Ki Khanga Anthology with Balogun Ojetade and the Steamfunk! Anthology, also with Balogun Ojetade.  MVmedia has also published Once Upon A Time in Afrika by Balogun Ojetade.

Milton resides in Metro Atlanta with his wife Vickie and his children Brandon and Alana.

Amber synopsis:

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Thirteen year old Amber Robinson’s life is full of changes. Her parents are sending her to a private school away from her friends, and high school looms before her. But little does she know that her biggest change awaits in a mysterious city hidden from the world for a thousand years. Why? Amber’s grandmother is a princess from this magical kingdom of Marai. She’s been summoned home to use her special abilities to select the new king but she no longer has the gift, and her daughter was never trained for the task. That leaves only one person with the ability to save the city: Amber! But there are those who are determined that Amber never reaches Marai and they will do anything to stop her. Prepare yourself for an exciting adventure that spans from the Atlanta suburbs to the grasslands of Mali. It’s a story of a girl who discovers her hidden abilities and heritage in a way that surprises and entertains.

 

Amber excerpt:

Aisha kicked the garbage can across the alley and screamed. She struck out with her fists, imagining Bissau’s face as the target for her frustration. A sound distracted her; she turned to see a group of people staring at her. She grinned maliciously then before the eyes of her unwanted spectators she transformed into a huge grey hyena. Her maniacal laugh sent them all scurrying away; Aisha transformed back to her true self before exiting the other end of the alley.

She underestimated Amber. Whatever powers she possessed manifested the moment they landed in the motherland. She had been overconfident when she knew better and now the girl and her mother were lost in Dakar. A quick sweep of the local hotels revealed they were not checked in. They were clever; they knew it would be the first place she searched. They weren’t familiar with the city, so they wouldn’t take a chance in seeking a stranger for help. Aisha was dumbfounded. Where would a person begin to look for another in this world? She would have to start with her own knowledge then go from there. In Marai each folk claimed its own section of the city. She would look for the American section of the city, if one existed. That would be where they would most likely go if they didn’t choose a hotel. Aisha spotted a man dressed in a large purple shirt and loose pants striding down the street towards her. There was a smile on his face; Amber smiled backed then approached him.

“Excuse me sir,” she said in her sweetest tone. “Where would I find the American compound?”

The man looked puzzled. “American compound? There is no…oh, you must mean the American Embassy.”

“Yes, that is what I mean.”

The man scratched his chin. “It’s a long way from here. Come, I’m walking to my car. I’ll take you there.”

“Merci, sir! Merci!”

Aisha followed the man to a dusty vehicle. She was used to automobiles now, so she climbed into the passenger side. They pulled away quickly.

“What’s your name?” the man asked.

“Aisha.”

“Well, Aisha, your Momma should have taught you never to get in a car with a stranger.”

The man’s sinister grin was barely on his face when Aisha snatched her wicked dagger  from her clothes and pressed the tip into his neck. It was her turn to grin.

“No, sir. You should be old enough to know not to try to take advantage of pretty young girls. Now take me to this American embassy.”

The man’s fearful eyes drifted down to the blade. “You won’t do it. I’m driving!”

Aisha pressed the knife into his neck just enough to draw blood. The man whimpered.

“The embassy, fool!” she spat.

The man drove to a building that flew a red, white and blue flag decorated with stars. Aisha leaned closed to her reluctant chauffeur then kissed him on the cheek.

“Thank you for the ride,” she whispered.

She nicked his neck with her knife as she exited the car. The man yelled at her and shook his fist. Aisha had already forgotten him.

The military man at the door greeted her with a smile before looking over her shoulder at the irate man.

“Is there a problem, ma’am?” he asked.

“No sir, but you are very kind to ask.”

Aisha glanced over her shoulder as her involuntary ride sped away.

“I hope you can help me, monsieur,” she said. “My friends from America came to visit me today but it seems I lost them at the airport. I think they would come to the embassy if they were lost.”

The guard looked at her skeptically. “There were two Americans that came to the embassy earlier today. You say they are your friends?”

“Yes, monsieur.”

“Yet you miss them at the airport and then come here seeking them?”

“I must make a confession,” she said. “My friends would not know me if they saw me. I was to meet them at the airport to assist them in their travels. They apparently grew impatient.”

“They’ve made other arrangements,” the guard said gruffly. “Have a nice day, ma’am.”

“Please, monsier, I must find them,” Aisha pleaded.

The guard studied her a few moments before answering.

“You can talk with the receptionist,” he said.

“Merci, monsieur. Merci.”

Aisha went to the receptionist. The woman confirmed that Amber and Alake had indeed come to the embassy, but she wasn’t at liberty to say where they were staying.

Aisha thanked her then left  the embassy. So the duo had taken refuge in a local home. It would seem to be a good move, but there were few homes in Dakar that could provide two lodgers the comfort of a hotel. Her search would not be as difficult as Amber had surmised. She had no doubt she would see them very soon. She found another alley, ran then leaped into the air, her arms spread wide. She transformed into a falcon, a cry of joy escaping her mouth. Of all the creatures she could be, the birds of prey were her favorite. Their powerful bodies’ combines with their keen sight and ultimate mobility fascinated her. If there was any creature she could remain for the rest of her life, it would be such a beast.

She beat her wings, climbing higher over Dakar. It did not take her long to find the city section she sought. A line of mansions rimmed the ocean side, houses resembling the lineage of Marai. She circled, seeking obvious sign of where Amber and the others would be but there was none. They were smarter than that, but still even the most intelligent person can make mistakes, as Bissau proved in Paris. She descended and found a perch on a nearby office building. The midday heat did not bother her; she was a child of the desert and the falcon she chose to be was well adapted to the high heat. Now was time for patience. She felt sure she was in the right place. She would soon have what she wanted.

It was dusk when she saw it. A mystical flash rose from a sector of town south of her. She jumped from her perch, flying as fast as she could to the source before it waned. Someone used nganga nearby and she was sure she knew who. Despite her speed by the time she reached the source of the flash it had dissipated. Two homes filled her view, both splendid compared to the other homes in Dakar. There was only one way she could find which house was which. She transformed into her human female form, this time wearing the clothes of a local. She waited until darkness settled on the city before walking to the door of the first home. She knocked for a long while before giving up and proceeding to the next house. Aisha knocked then took on a sad expression. The door swung wide and was filled by a large man with a disapproving face.

“What do you want?” he barked.

“Something to eat,” she replied.

“No beggars here,” he said. “Now go before I call the police.”

“Just a little something,” she persisted.

The man grabbed her shirt. “Didn’t you hear me? Be gone. You’ll disturb Miss Josephine and her guests!”

Aisha’s eyes narrowed and she smiled. “Of course I will.”

Aisha’s foot sank into the man’s stomach. He dropped her and she landed on her feet. She stepped over the groaning man into the house.

“Bundu, who is it at such a late hour?”

Aisha saw a light appear on her left. Another light appeared on her right. She looked right and a saw a woman she did not recognize walking toward her as she tied her house robe belt.

“Who are you, child?” The woman demanded. “What is the meaning of…Bundu!”

The second door opened. A woman stepped out, a woman whose face was very familiar. The woman saw Aisha and her hands flew to her mouth.

A third door flew open at the top of the stairs. Bissau rushed out, his face twisted in anger. He jumped from the top of the stairs. Aisha grinned.

She waited until Bissau was almost on the floor when she transformed back into the falcon and flew by him to the room. When she transformed she stood before Amber.

“You’re journey is over,” Aisha announced.

Amber stumbled back. The necklace about her neck glowed with a strange light.

“That necklace will be mine once I’m done with you!”

She struck at Amber’s neck and was shocked when the girl blocked her blow. Her foot flashed out and Amber blocked it as well. She almost laughed when Amber punched at her face until she realized the punch was a feint. She barely avoided the swinging elbow meant for her jaw.

“You have some wrestling skills,” Aisha said. “Your Grandma taught you well.”

Aisha glanced behind her; Bissau and Aisha’s grandmother were running up the stairs.

“Time to end this!”

Aisha reached for her pouch. Amber kicked her elbow and her arm fell limp.

“Damn you, girl. I’ll…”

Bright light filled her vision as Amber’s elbow crashed against her head then everything went dark. When she opened her eyes the back of her head throbbed and Bissau, Amber and her grandmother were entering the mirror inside the room.

“No you don’t!” Aisha yelled.

She jumped at the mirror. Bissau reemerged and slammed into her, knocking her to the floor. She tried to stand but Bissau pulled her back down.

“We have unfinished business, shape shifter!” he snarled.

“Then it will remain unfinished!” Aisha reached for her pouch again. Bissau dodged her and ran toward the mirror. Aisha smiled; as soon as he opened his portal she would follow him. He did no such thing. Instead he picked up a nearby chair and smashed the mirror. Aisha screamed then fell onto Bissau, pummeling him with hands, feet, elbows and knees.

“Up the stairs!” she heard a female voice yell. “They’re up the stairs!”

Aisha halted her assault on Bissau. He lay unconscious at her feet, his beautiful face beginning to swell. She ran to the edge of the stairs and saw four uniformed men climbing up to her followed by the woman and her butler. She hissed in anger; she was back to where she started. But at least this time she had a lead. She hurried over to Bissau, grasping his arms with her hands. What she was about to do would weaken her, but she needed him, at least until she could locate Amber and her grandmother again. The transformation took longer than normal; once she was done she was a falcon again and Bissau was a mouse in her talons. She flew upward as the uniformed men reached the top of the stairs then glided out of the door into the humid night.

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Milton’s links:

http://www.mvmediaatl.com/amber-and-the-hidden-city.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Amber-Hidden-City-Milton-Davis/dp/098008427X/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1397637761&sr=1-1

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/amber-and-the-hidden-city-davis-john-milton/1117794226?ean=9780980084276

 

#Afrofuturism, #blacksci, #diversityinsff, #amber