- Phyllis Wheatley Award for Fiction
- African Americans on the Move Book Club Award for Breakout Author
- Independent Publishers Book Award 2017 Multicultural Fiction Medalist
- USA Best Book Award for African American Fiction
- New York Times Bestseller- Race & Civil Rights
- PEN Literary Award-Shortlisted
- Eric Hoffer Award for Excellence in Independent Publishing.
- 2010 Publicist of the Year, awarded by AAMBC
- National Indie Excellence Award (NIEA)
- 2019 Next Generation Indie Book Award
Social Media Engagement
College and Community Speaking Engagements
Warrior Rising by MaryAnne Howland
Published by TarcherPerigee/PRH
Debut author MaryAnne Howland needed support with events and press. Her book tour was hijacked by Covid-19 in March. We managed to get the author, radio and digital profiles and features with:
The Network Journal (TNJ.com)
GlowStream TV (GlowstreamTV.com)
The Tennessee Tribune
WFKX-FM Jackson TN
WHCR-FM, NYC, NY
and several social media discussions on Instagram and Facebook LIVE
An eye-opening look at one mother's determination to provide positive male role models for her son, and the power of great mentoring to change lives.
When MaryAnne Howland's son was turning thirteen she organized a "Black Mitzvah" rite of passage celebration for him. Max is one of the one-in-three children in America being raised without a father in the home. Among African-Americans, that number is reported to be as high as 72 percent. To help fill the father-shaped hole in Max's life as he transitioned from boyhood to manhood, MaryAnne invited four men from different corners of her life --an engineer, a philanthropist, a publisher, and a financial planner--to become Max's mentors.
Max has faced many challenges. As a boy without a consistent father figure in his life, as an African-American male in a time when race relations in this country continue to be fraught, and also because Max was born premature and as a result has cerebral palsy, he has had to be a true warrior. On the brink of manhood, his mother wanted to give him the benefit of men who could answer some of the questions she felt that she, as a woman, might not be able to answer.
Through his adolescence, Max's mentors have shared valuable insights with him about what it means to be a good man in the face of life's challenges. These lessons, recounted in this book, will serve as a powerful roadmap for anyone wishing to support boys as they approach manhood.
The Noisy Classroom (In progress Summer 2020)
The first day of school is coming... and I'm going to be in the noisy class. Any class but the noisy class will do!
A young girl is about to enter the third grade, but this year she's put into Ms. Johnson's noisy class. Everything about the noisy class is odd. While all the other classes are quiet, Ms. Johnson sings and the kids chatter all day. The door is always closed, yet sounds from it can be heard in the hallway.
With summer coming to an end and school starting, the girl realizes that soon she'll be going to the noisy class. What will school be like now?
Featuring the honest and delightful humor of debut author Angela Shanté and the bold, graphic imagery of debut illustrator Alison Hawkins, The Noisy Classroom encourages those with first-day jitters to reevaluate a scary situation by looking at it from a different angle and to embrace how fun school can be, even in nontraditional ways.
Black Girls Must Die Exhausted by Jayne Allen
What do you feel separates your novel from others in contemporary women’s fiction?
In Black Girls Must Die Exhausted, I task myself with filling a void for modern black narratives, particularly black female concerns from a realistic perspective—not overly dramatic or hyperbolic, and not race centered. My writing gives readers what they would expect from Chick-lit, but taking it deeper—making it rich and full of soul with highs and lows of the contemporary black experience.
My protagonist is a 33-year old, single, upwardly mobile professional woman who happens to be black. Race is not the center of her life, but it does affect her. I think that’s really the contemporary experience for black people. We don’t sit and contemplate being black all day and it doesn’t control our lives or intersect every moment of every day. My protagonist’s grandmother and closest relative happens to be white. In the space of their loving and transparent relationship, readers get to experience dialogue about race to learn to what degree it has shaped the characters’ respective lives and to what degree it has not mattered at all. My characters, through pure love offer a perspective on race that seems to have deeply resonated with readers.
FROM THE AUTHOR: "Dawn you're a rockstar!"
Behind the Mask: Linebacker edition
Author's debut book. Self-published.
“Readers are in for a treat to hear from some of the most impactful and passionate linebackers to enter the National Football League.”— Peyton Manning
“BEHIND THE MASK is a riveting read that takes you inside the minds of some of the greatest linebackers to set foot on an NFL field. If you’ve ever wondered what motivates truly elite-how they think and feel and approach life as well as football-BEHIND THE MASK has some answers.”—Jim Trotter, ESPN NFL Insider reporter and writer
Only a linebacker with the skill and wisdom of Takeo Spikes could produce such a compelling book about the fierce position that he played impressively for 15 NFL seasons. BEHIND THE MASK is as intimate, compassionate and warm as it is insightful. In the process of exploring linebackers like never before, this brilliant work provides valuable life lessons about success, at work and at home.” – Jerry Brewer, Sports Columnist and Author of Pass Judgement: Inside the Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl XLIX Season and the Play That Dashed a Dream
15-Year NFL Veteran Takeo Spikes Publishes 'Behind the Mask' Photography Book on Elite NFL Linebackers
Two-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time All-Pro Takeo Spikes makes his book publishing debut with the release of his photography collection titled BEHIND THE MASK. BEHIND THE MASK combines personal narrative, iconic images and original photography captured by Spikes himself. The former player gets first-hand accounts from some of the National Football League’s most prominent defensemen spanning generations as they each discussed their personal drive, hurdled obstacles and secrets to greatness.
BEHIND THE MASK profiles linebackers because they are football’s fiercest gridiron warriors. This distinctive collection of both black-and-white and color portraits includes London Fletcher, Harry Carson, Ted Hendricks, Bobby Bell, Rickey Jackson, Willie Lanier, Kevin Greene, Mike Singletary, Derrick Brooks, Cornelius Bennett, Takeo Spikes and the late Chuck Bednarik.
Linebackers are to the defense what the quarterback is to the offense: the on-field coach, the team leader, the heartbeat.
Counting Descent by Clint Smith
Educator, activist and poet Clint Smith, whose two TED Talks, “The Danger of Silence” and “How to Raise a Black Son in America,” have been viewed more than 4 million times, will present his latest poetry collection, Counting Descent, here at the Schomburg. In Counting Descent, Smith explores the cognitive dissonance that results from belonging to a community that unapologetically celebrates black humanity while living in a world that often renders blackness a caricature of fear. A 2014 National Poetry Slam champion, Smith’s writing has been published in The New Yorker, The Guardian, The American Literary Review, and Harvard Educational Review.
Hailed by Michelle Alexander, author of The New Jim Crow, as “incredibly beautiful and powerful,” Counting Descent is sure to be one of the most talked about literary works this Fall. It is Smith’s coming of age story that seeks to complicate our conception of lineage and tradition. The poems move fluidly across personal and political histories, all the while reflecting on the social construction of our lived experiences. The cultural references are thought-provoking and vehemently real with timely flecks of humor.
The Perfect Find by Tia Wiliams
Author's 4th novel. First with indie press.
With The Perfect Find, Williams focuses on a topic to familiar to the millions of career women who follow the lively discussions about leaning in, dating, marriage and desiring motherhood after 40. Additionally, Williams focuses on a topic that many in the magazine industry have found themselves faced with: managing the downsizing of print journalism in an increasingly digital world.
About The Perfect Find
Jenna Jones, the It-girl fashion director at Darling magazine, was at the top of her game – until, in one nightmare week, everything fell apart. When she gets fired and her longtime fiancée dumps her, a shattered Jenna fled to her rural Virginia hometown for a Xanax-zonked sabbatical from her luxe NYC life (no internet, no sex, no heels). Finally, broke and desperate for a comeback, she begs for a job from her old arch nemesis, Darcy Vale, evil publisher of. Darcy hires her old rival, only because her fashion site needs a jolt from Jenna’s old school cred. But Jenna, whose never even “Twittered,” is soon lost in an alien world of hashtags, filters and millennial colleagues who think she’s a dinosaur. She also discovers her that her fiancee has moved on – news that leads her to a drunken makeout session with a deliciously hot, but much younger guy. Jenna’s life soon spirals out of control when she finds out that the sexy stranger is not only her new coworker, but also, Darcy’s 22-year-old son, Eric Combs.
Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson (Atria /Simon & Schuster)
Author's debut book. Publishers Weekly selects Kent Babb’s Not a Game: The Incredible Rise and Unthinkable Fall of Allen Iverson for Top 10 books in Sports for 2015.
Nothing could stop Allen Iverson’s rise—not trends or rules. The only thing that could stop him was himself.
Through extensive research and interviews, Washington Post sports writer Kent Babb shows a rarely seen side of one of America’s most famous athletes. From his high school years through the present day, first-hand accounts reveal Iverson’s true character from those who know him best: the people who played basketball with him, who coached him, who signed him to monster contracts—all the while ignoring signs of deeper problems. They are the people who saw him daily, ignoring his hangovers and staying quiet about how late he’d been out the night before, how much money he’d spent, or what he had said or done to Tawanna, his ex-wife and the mother of his children. And throughout this fascinating biography, Babb explores not only Iverson but a nation so enraptured with sports that it regards deeply flawed superstars as heroes.
Not a Game shines a spotlight on the factors that led to Iverson’s spectacular rise as a professional basketball player and the troubling circumstances that plagued him throughout his career and after. But above all, it examines Allen Iverson as the man who had a heart and drive so powerful, he kept us mesmerized and cheering for him no matter what.
The Beastside: Living and Dying While Black in America by D. Watkins (Hot Books/Skyhorse Publishing)
Author's debut book.To people in the Obama era, America finally succeeded in “going beyond race.” And then 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was shot by a wannabe cop in Florida; and then Ferguson, Missouri happened; and then South Carolina hit the headlines; and then Baltimore blew up…Suddenly the entire country seemed to be waking to a stark fact: African American men are an endangered species.
Now the country’s urban war zone is brought powerfully to life by a rising young literary talent, D. Watkins. The author fought his way up on the eastside (the “beastside”) of Baltimore, Maryland—or “Bodymore, Murderland” as his friends call it. He writes openly and unapologetically about what it took to survive life on the streets, while the casualties piled up around him, including his own brother. Watkins pushed drugs to pay his way through school, staying one step ahead of murderous business rivals and equally predatory lawmen. When black residents of Baltimore finally decided they had had enough—after the brutal killing of 25-year-old Freddie Gray while in police custody—Watkins was on the streets when the city erupted. He writes about his bleeding city with the razor-sharp insights of someone who bleeds along with it. Here are true dispatches from the other side of Obama’s America.