Imani Wisdom's brainchild -- Pink Noire Publications -- has been known for her unpredictable style of storytelling. Now its founder is expanding the "pink and black" brand to shine on prolific artists. From the inspirationalist, Danica Worthy to bestselling author, Stacy Deanne, Pink Noire understand these talented individuals know how to express their craft through words, song, dance, and stroke of a brush.

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Starting in January 2016, the Pink Noire Lounge will go into hiatus – well, kind of. Authors, Jamesina Green and Tamyara Brown, will continue to feature talented people every month, and on occasion, I will throw in a few posts on healthy living and empowerment, and updates on my debut novel, THE JOURNEY OF RUTHIE BELLE.

Why the change?

As visionaries, we all have to grow; and sometimes, growth means taking on endeavors to help expand our ideas and dreams. So the Lounge will not stop bringing you great stories on gifted people, just not as many in one month.  

What about the Urban Ebook Fair?

In the final weekend of January is the fair’s first anniversary, and after that it will go from a monthly event to every quarter. This means the #UEBFair will be held every three months. Also, there will be major changes as far as the length of the fair. PN wants to be more inclusive when it comes to International authors and readers, and certain genres; so expanding the time is a must.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to write to us:

Merry Christmas,

Imani Wisdom and the Pink Noire family

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By Jami Greene

Pink Noire contributor, Jami Greene, was gracious to share an interview she did with Gospel singer and winner of season three,  BET's Sunday's Best, Le'Andria Johnson. 


So, it's my privilege and honor to also announce, Ms. Johnson, is Pink Noire's Artist of the Month. 

I couldn't let this one slip by and not award her with PN's honor. 

"On September 25, 2013, I was honored to be among a select group of Bloggers who were privileged to speak with Grammy and Stellar Award Winner, Le’Andria Johnson.  As most of the world knows, Le’Andria Johnson was the Season 3 Winner of the Sunday’s Best.  Since achieving that life changing milestone, Le’Andria continues to show us exactly what perseverance and faith can do.  Below are some of the questions and answers that were shared during this call.  Take a moment to receive insight into the heart and soul of this phenomenal woman.  Be blessed!"

Jami:  After all of the adversity you have faced in life, why do you think that you are still here?  How are you still standing?

LE’ANDRIA JOHNSON:  I am still here because I want to be.  I am still here because I want to see change for myself and for others.

What was the toughest part for you of ministering while you were pregnant with a child out of wedlock?

The toughest part for me was trying to reach women who were in a similar situation.  I wanted to encourage them that their life was not over because of this particular situation.  Please understand that the toughest part was NOT be concerned about what the Bishops, or Pastors, even my record label thought of me.  We are all human and we all make mistakes or make bad choices.  That’s life.

What advice would you give to other young woman who find themselves single and pregnant in the Church?

To have that baby and find a place where they are not judged and condemned.  To have that baby and find a place where they will be loved and supported as they continue to strengthen their personal relationship with God.

How do you keep from falling apart during your trials?

I keep from falling apart by appreciating the process.  I know that everything I go through has a purpose and it’s not just about me.  I also remember that He’s the same God in every situation.  Just like He brought me through before, He will do it again.

At what age did you become aware of your calling to ministry?

I have always known that I would minister in some way.  I also knew that elevations in ministry would come and that I just needed to be ready and willing to follow His lead.

As a PK (Preacher’s Kid), did you ever resent the requirements of ministry on your parents?

Heck yeah.  There was always something going on the required their time and attention.  Whether it was a 50 night revival, shut-in or something else.  There was no balance and I definitely grew to resent that.  Church was our WHOLE life.  I believe that growing up that way both protected and crippled me.  It crippled me regarding “life.”  That is one reason why I have done some of the things that I have done such as my relationships with men, my style of dress, etc.  I couldn’t wait to do the things that I had not been allowed to do.  However, in my process, I found God for myself!

What is the greatest life lesson you have learned since winning Sunday’s Best?

To trust God and NOT man!

What encouraged you to begin Pastoring?

I followed the leading of God.  I also followed my desire to look in the face of a Le’Andria Johnson and them them hope.  I want to speak life into them.  I want them to understand that they are so much more than their current situation.

Why do you sing Gospel Music?        

I sing Gospel Music because it provides a stream of life to people.  Gospel Music has historically inspired other types of music and continues to provide people with a connection to God.  Gospel Music changes lives.

Pastor Le’Andria Johnson unselfishly allowed us to look into her heart and hear her love for people.  She was very “real” and did not leave me feeling that I was speaking with an untouchable “celebrity.”  She is a woman who is secure in who God made her to be.  A wife, mother, daughter, sister, singer and pastor, she is one of a kind.  I was truly blessed by this opportunity and pray for continual manifested favor in her life.
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By Jami Greene

Pink Noire has a special treat: Former guest of The Lounge and now a contributor, Author and Motivational Speaker, Jamesina Greene will take the interview realms for today's guest: Author L.A. Lewis. 

I'm so excited to share with you this powerful interview. And remember, please follow Ms. Lewis on her social networking sites. The support of all artists means a lot. 

What is your name?
L.A. Lewis
What is your BUSINESS name?
L.C.L. Publishing
What is your PASSION?
Motivating others
What is your PURPOSE?
To be an example of God’s love
In what way(s) are you fulfilling your PURPOSE and using your PASSION?
I’m an author and a teacher. Through my writing I encourage others to live life to the fullest. It’s a gift that should be cherished and treated as such. When I’m teaching I’m constantly motivating my students to go above and beyond and to be the best that they can be. In my writing and my teaching I express love and encourage others to do the same.
Do you feel that your “voice” is just for a “specific” group(s)?  Why or why not?
My voice is for anyone who’ll listen. Young or old, big or small.
The message of love and life goes for everyone. The teacher in me and the creative part of me allows me to do that for all people. My delivery to a child would be different from an adults, but the message would be the same.
How long have you been using your “voice” in this manner? For as long as I can remember I’ve always had a need to encourage others. It wasn’t until I wrote my daily devotional “The Gift of an Abundant Life” that I really knew it was time to reach out to more people. That book forced me to study the Bible and I was able to really internalize all the promises of God. That was eye opening and I have to share it with others.
Was there a “specific” life event that pushed you to use your voice in this manner? If so, what was it?
There really wasn’t a specific event that caused me to use it. My dad did give me a Bible. It was a contemporary English version. It just all made sense to me once I started reading it. The writer and teacher in me had to share what I was getting from the scriptures and how we’re to apply them in our lives.
What CURRENT events/endeavors are you pursuing?
Right now I’m focusing on getting my books out there to more people. A part of me feel that I’m supposed to be a motivational speaker, but an even bigger part of me is so afraid of that :)
What UPCOMING events/endeavors are on your horizon?
I’ll be in New Orleans,La on July 3rd at the Writers and Readers Conference. I’m also planning my very first Love and Laughter Marriage Conference here in Baton Rouge, La. in February.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about your work, projects, etc, that I did not ask?
I currently have three published books “Dirty Little Secrets” which is about a school teacher and her husband. This story shows how lack of communication could cause some very serious secrets to be formed in the marriage. I also have the daily devotional “The Gift of an Abundant Life,” and I have a book on parenting titled “Things You Never Thought You’d Have to Teach Your Child.” This book reminds parents the importance of teaching the child how to have a positive attitude, time management, how to socialize, and other life skills they need to be successful now and as adults.
How can my readers contact you?
My website is and my Facebook page is Books By LA Lewis, and on Twitter @AuthorLAlewis
Get to know #PinkNoire's Jami Greene as she joined Imani Wisdom in The Lounge last year. It was an insightful interview. Visit here
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Pink Noire is pleased to have the author of Target and her most recent release, How Do I Choose, Sherry Robinson. Thank you for taking the time to join me. Now, tell us a little about yourself.

My name is Sherry Robinson, and I am a native Chicagoan. I was born July with a birth sign of Leo. I am a mother of two, and a grandmother of six. My love of reading is what sparked my interest in becoming an author. My favorite authors include Danielle Steele, V.C. Andrews, Stephen King, and Edger Allen Poe. With that interest, I began writing books in high school, and my dreams became my reality as I have now published a total of four books (Damaged beyond repair, Targeted, Targeted 2, and How do I choose). In my spare time, I enjoy crocheting, reading, and spending time with my grandchildren. My more adventurous side has led me to travel to various places, such as Canada and Puerto Rico, and my hopes is to someday have the privilege of visiting every state in North America; I have visited 21 states so far and counting.

Among your books, Damaged Beyond Repair, is your biography, detailing your life challenges and how you had overcome them. In the book, you’ve discussed a very sensitive issue: child molestation and the person who was responsible. I don’t want to ask you to divulge the details of that night; but to share the importance of trust and how that might have affected future relationships. 

After dealing with the issue of being molested as a child it has played a big part in my relationships. It has taught me to be distrusting of men, and once I feel them getting to close, I pull away. I have never learn to trust anyone, and maybe that is what led them to ultimately cheat. I have hidden from love for so long that I really don't know how to love anyone. 

When writing this book, what had you learn about yourself?

I have learned that there isn't any room in my life to share with anyone. The people closet to me didn't have any idea that I was caring around this burden. The shame of being molested is worse than the act. I had to live my life sleep deprived, and I couldn't trust anyone with my daughter because I had to shield her from this same act being done to her. Wherever she was I was.

What’s the relationship you have with this person today?

Me and this person is fine. I have forgiven him, but I haven't forgotten about the horror I had to endure at the his hands. He had transformed me into a person that is still hiding in the shadows of my imagination. 

Okay, let’s go from your biography to another work of yours: Target and Target 2. Briefly, tell us the premise of the story and its characters. 

This book is based on a woman{Danielle}. She was trying to befriend a man {John}. She later learned that John was Targeting her, and had ultimately he ended up raping her. She never got past the rape, because John started stalking her showing up every where she was, and he even killed the love of her life trying to keep him from getting close to her. Targeted 2 kept the story  line going because the man she killed ended up returning from the dead, and the stalking continued causing her to try and rid herself of the man that was making her life a living hell.

Your latest release, How Do I Choose, seems like a hot read. Tell us more about it. 

How Do I choose is a hot read it is intended for mature audiences because of it's sexual contents, and explicit language. It's about a woman{Mya} who had a man at home Treshawn who loved her dearly and worshiped the ground she walked on, but she met a man in the club {Marion} that she had one steamy bathroom scene with which had her wanting him more and more, so she started having sex with him every time he came to town. Treshawn bust her with Marion and they ended up in a fist fight where Treshawn asked her right out who did she choose, and she couldn't decide.  

Of all your characters, who would you gladly take out to dinner, and why?

I would take Treshawn out to dinner he was the kind of man that every woman dreamed of. He was loyal, trustworthy, and dedicated.

Are there any projects you’re working on? If so, do tell. 

I have a new release do out soon called "Sins Of The Cloth". This book is a must read because it depict how a pastor got caught up with a woman{ Tara}, and he started breaking all ten of the commandments just to be in a relationship with her.  He started killing, stealing, and everything else until she refused to see him anymore causing him to have a break down in front of the whole congregation. I am in the middle of writing How Do I Choose 2, because one of the readers asked me to, because she wanted to know what happened to Mya after she was unable to choose between Treshawn, and Marion.

From what I know, your challenges hadn’t defined you. So what advice do you have for that person who’s reading this and have gone through similar experiences as you? 

I would tell anyone it took me a long time to find myself. I am still struggling with being molested unable to live alone for fear that something like that will happen again. I say if you have a story to tell, tell it no matter who might disapprove. I had some family members that were in awe, then I had some that said get over it. I will tell anybody if you haven't been in my shoes get over it is harder than you think. I didn't write "Damage Beyond Repair" for the finger pointing, name calling, or for my attacker to be persecuted. I wrote it because I was hoping it would offer me some closure to my pain, and the sleepless nights. It offered me a little comfort, but it didn't help with the sleepless night. I also wrote it because I know this a struggle for many women, men, and children and I just wanted them to know that they are not alone in their struggle, and someone else feels their pain...

Describe your future in one word. 


Synopsis: How Do I Choose

Mya had a man at home that loved her, and supported her fully. Treshawn was a faithful man that gave her sex anytime she wanted it, but she met Marion in the club, and one blissful steamy sex scene in the bathroom had her wanting more of him. Mya knew that she wouldn't be able to stop seeing Marion even if she wanted to. He had her nose wide open, and her legs to. Mya knew she had to hide this romance from Treshawn, so the lies started getting bigger and bigger. She knew she couldn't tell her girls Latrice, and Ania, because they were trying to keep her from falling into the arms of what would be a terrible mistake...When the time came to choose how would she be able to choose between Treshawn, and Marion, because she has feelings for both of them…

Find Sherry at these sites:

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“Officer Spectacular” excerpt from Ebony Articles: Volume 2"

(EMCEE) “Ladies and gentle cats, welcome to the fifth annual poetry slam. I’m your host, your dee-jay and your emcee, Lady Nique. Without any further hesitations, we’re going to get this thing started. Up to the mic first we have a real treat for y'all. One of our city’s finest coming to the stage. Welcome JT Smooth.”

Everyone, including myself, applauded as I looked around for the poet. Justin let go of my arm and headed to the stage. I was immediately flustered yet intrigued. I loved poetry and a man who could use his words majestically. I moved the people in front of me out of the way so that I could have a front row spot to see what Justin was really capable of.

After all the applause, and by the amount and the snaps from the audience, I could tell he’d been doing this for a while. “Thank you,” he softly responded in a smooth jazz baritone voice. “I wrote this piece a few weeks ago. It was inspired by my date tonight.” All eyes immediately turned to me as I looked onward blushing.
He began:

I entered into my favorite coffee shop and sat in my regular spot
Watching all the patrons talk or browser the internet
When this magnificent mahogany colored cutie walked in the store
Cautiously approaching the cashier, while gazing up at the order boards
I admired her shapely frame, short, thick with her hair in a French bun
Succulent lips and I made eye contact with those almond shaped eyes
She smiled at me, with a slight invitation in her gaze
That’s when I made my approach.
I wouldn’t spit game at her, no she needed something smoother.
Introducing myself would be easy, but getting to know her is what I wanted
I told her I was Justin and that I wrote poetry
She said she heard those words before but entertain her anyway

So I began
All I want to do is write poems all over your body with my lips
Tangle your legs in word play, as your body dances from the rhythm of my tongue
Watch as you respond to the highs and the lows
When the words flow slowly and suddenly pick up
Let me slowly kiss your mind and make your thoughts squirt everywhere
Then let me know, if you’ve heard it all before.

He finished to the sound of multiple finger snaps, whistles and applause. I was impressed, but I couldn’t help but feel like he was subliminally hinting at me. As he walked off the stage, he headed to the bar. I wasn’t sure if I should stay where I was or meet him over there. I just assumed that he needed a minute to himself. Within ten minutes, he was by my side with a drink for each of us.

We sipped on our drinks and enjoyed the rest of the slam. He didn’t say a word to me, so I just let the rest of the night go on. Some people recited more poetry and there was even a woman who got up and sang. After a few more hours, the place winded down and it was time to go.
He still hadn’t said a word to me so I broke the proverbial ice.

“I didn’t know you had such a way with words. I’m very impressed.”
He looked me in the eye like he was searching for a hint of sarcasm. When he didn’t find it, he exhaled and responded, “Thank you. I thought it was too soon to say something like that.”

“No, but don’t think something like that’s going to happen… unless you really think you can make my thoughts squirt everywhere,” I teased. “You’re a very cunning linguist.”

He snickered until he realized my play on words. His eyes widened with shock and he looked at me with an inquisitive stare.

“What? You thought you were the only one who had a way with words?”

“Sneak Encounters 2” excerpt from Ebony Articles: Volume 1

The adrenaline surging through my body caused me to react in a way I never had before. Like a flash of lightning, I loosened his belt, unzipped and unbuttoned his jeans and pulled them down to his knees. I had waited far too long to savor his goods again. I needed to hold, caress, feel and taste him in the worst way.

I pulled out his manhood and ran my tongue slowly down his shaft, letting him feel the warmth from my mouth and the stainless steel of my tongue ring. I teased the tip of his head, only holding him in my mouth for short periods of time, while lightly blowing on it. I kept a steady pace, responding accordingly to every grunt and every moan he let out. Suddenly his grabbed my head and gave two long, hard thrust before relieving himself in the comforts of my mouth. He was ready to return the favor, and I obliged him.

He led me to my living room, grabbing the blanket off of the couch. As I lit some candles and turned off the lights, he laid the blanket on the floor and waited for me. He then eased me on my back down to the floor. He pushed my legs apart and took his finger, the same finger that caught me off guard the first time, and massaged my womanhood slowly. His finger roamed down into the warmth abyss. A deep sigh of please escaped my lips. Then the electricity of his tongue caused me to screech in a pitch I didn’t know I could achieve.

His lips and tongue touched every part of her. I closed my eyes trying to suppress the loud sounds trying to come out. The more I fought, the more intense he got. My legs shook violently as I moaned and came to the point of climaxing, I accidentally let “Magik” slip through my lips. That gave him life. He dipped his tongue into my center and my body gave way to earthquake like convulsions as I came, trying to push his head away. He wrapped his arms around my legs and locked me in place so I couldn’t run. In between licking and slurping her whispered

“Deadly Games” excerpt from Tyranny of Evil: Hearts of Men anthology (will be turned into a novelette)

“Good evening Leela,” his deep thick Mediterranean accent filled her foyer. As he reached out his hand to greet her, the heat rushed through Leela like wildfire and the faint smell of Armani Code surrounded him.
She shook his hand and responded, “You must be Aymil.”

He smiled and kissed her hand causing her to blush further. Maybe my co-workers have better taste than I originally believed, she thought to herself.

“Yes, I’ve heard a lot about you. And your beauty far exceeds the expectations our friends set. Do you mind if I drive? Or would you like to take separate cars?”

“I don’t mind riding you. I mean, with you,” she quickly corrected herself. He chuckled at her slip of the tongue.

He stepped outside and waited patiently as she secured her house for the evening out. She was excited about this fine specimen of a man driving her around Royal Oak.

She re-assessed what he was wearing and felt underdressed. When she saw his car, her insecurities struckeven harder. His freshly washed blue Lamborghini Gallardo LP 560-4 made her white Ford Fusion look like a hoopty. He’s out of my league, she said to herself but let out an indicative sigh.

“Is there something wrong?” Aymil asked, sensing her change in demeanor.

“No. Not at all. This is just such a beautiful car,” Leela responded, climbing into the passenger side after Aymil opened her door. He closed it behind her and walked to his side of the car, noticing it was slightly ajar.

“Where I’m from, a woman opens the door for her date while she’s in the car or she’s not a keeper. What if someone tries to attack you and I leave the door closed? I could have helped you by having that door open, even if only for a split second.”

C. Lynette's Bio

"I was born by the river, in a little tent. And just like the river I been running, ever since. It's been a long. A long time coming but I know, a change's gon' come!" That opening line from Sam Cooke describes her life perfectly. C. Lynette was born in Northwest Indiana but raised in Southeast Michigan. She knew she was destined to write from the age of 9 when she was just submitting short stories to her elementary school newspaper.
Upon graduating from high school, C. Lynette turned her attentions to Journalism. She has had 17 articles published in various Michigan newspapers and even in the South Bend Tribune. It took 8 years, but she finally took a leap of faith and decided to write, with some encouragement from her friends and family.

Ebony Articles: Volume 1 was her debut book and was released on April 1, 2015 and was heavily dripped in erotica. The date itself has held significance to her for over 9 years and counting. The follow-up, Ebony Articles: Volume 2, was released on September 7, 2015. She was also given the opportunity to be apart of the Tyranny of Evil: Hearts of Men anthology (suspense, mystery, thriller), in which she wrote the short story Deadly Games.

C. Lynette lives in Indianapolis with her 4-year old son and works for the State of Indiana. She is the quintessential and epitomical definition of a true Aquarius. She has several books coming out including expansion on several short stories that were included in the EA series, a third Ebony Articles, a standalone untitled short, "The Curse" - a psychological urban thriller and "Deadly Games: Revisited"

Follow C. Lynette at these sites:

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YouTube sensation, Nicole Ramos and I have been long-time friends, and I’m truly honored this beautiful diva has taken the time to join me in The Lounge.

As an outspoken advocate for the LGBT community, Nicole takes no mess when it comes to discrimination; she has a fiery spirit that can burn through any soul. And that same fire has brought avid followers worldwide.

However, there’s also a gentle side to this spicy Texan. Nicole is tenderhearted, giving, and a devoted friend through thick and thin. So I’m pleased to introduce you this up and coming talent – Nicole. 

Imani: Pink Noire is pleased to welcome, YouTube sensation, Nicole Ramos. What many of you don’t know, I’ve known Nicole for many, many years on MySpace as a sweet and multi-talented soul. So, Nicole, welcome to The Lounge. My first question: what makes Nicole Ramos the woman she is today?

Years of hormone therapy and plastic surgery (lol) only kidding! I think not only feeling comfortable in my outside body, but being comfortable with all of who I am makes me the woman I am. We all go through things in life that define who we are as a person. So, it's one thing to know your gender identity, but realizing that I am a woman and realizing what kind of woman I am were two different journeys.

Nicole: What was like growing up as a Transgender youth?

Terrible. It's never easy growing up LGBT. Growing up LGBT in southern Texas, is almost impossible. I battled with who I was and what I wanted the world to know for a lot of my childhood. I've always felt like I was a girl from my earliest memories, but I was constantly reminded that I was not. And what's worse than me not having been a girl, is that I wasn't allowed to even want to be a girl, which is something I remember being my first, "this I know for sure" moment. So the mixture of all of those things were a constant struggle growing up.

When did you know you were ready to make that transition to be a Transgender Woman?

When I realized there was no other way I was going to be happy. I spend years of my child/teen years thinking, "maybe I can just pretend to be a boy, it's not that hard". Or "maybe I can just be gay, at least I'll be with my preferred partner". But none of those ever felt right. None of those pieces fit into my puzzle that makes up me. So around 16 was when I realized, okay, I am transgender and I just need to accept it. None of us WANT to be transgender. We all want happiness, and this is how I've managed to get closer to my own.

How did your family react to your life-changing news? Was it positive? And did you receive the support?

So let's separate this into mothers side and fathers side. My mothers side was supportive. While it took time to deal with everything, in general, it was positive. Having been around me all my life, they knew I was different. My fathers side was a little less accepting. Something that kept me from talking to them for a few years. We're on better terms now, but I still rarely see them because of name/pronoun preferences. It's one thing when you need time to change the use of those, and a different thing when you're consciously choosing to not use the preferred name/pronouns.

Okay, let’s switch gears and talk about your success as a YouTube star and an activist for the LGBT community. I remembered you used to, on occasion, created video blogs on MySpace. Did that idea continued to stick and that’s how your fan base grew?

I've always been opinionated as I'm sure you remember (lol) I've always had a want to learn about different types of people and share the kind of person I am with people. So I think those three factors had a lot to do with it, but one of the biggest factors, was the trans YouTubers before me. Growing up, I saw no representations of myself in my community or in the media. There were little to no transgender people for me to look up to or even relate to. One place I did find this, however, was YouTube. So many transwomen telling their stories. It truly helped me get through, and remembering how this made me feel is something I wanted other young trans people to feel. The feeling of not being alone in a world populated with over 3 billion people. It's important.

You’re very opinionated when it comes to current events. So, tell me what you do think of the feud between Caitlyn Jenner and Ellen DeGeneres. Who has the point?

I think it's interesting. I think there are two ways to look at this. Ellen is looking at it like most people do, which is, you're transgender you should be the most accepting of people. Trans people aren't even fully accepted, so how could you not accept someone else. And Caitlyn is looking at it the same way she always has. With a traditionalist, conservative, set of eyes. It's a problem when people think just because you're transgender you have to accept everything and everyone. Granted, Caitlyn's viewpoints on gay marriage aren't right, I'm not co-signing it. But there's almost a sense of, "trans people are the bottom of the social barrel and should accept those things that are above them", and that irks me.

Next current event question – one name: Donald Trump. What are you thoughts on this presidential candidate? As a Mexican American, what do you think?

(Lol) in recent weeks I've tried to stop giving him as much energy though. If I got upset every time a privileged, wealthy, white man said something racist, I'd be upset all the time lol.

Who inspires you?
My family is a constant inspiration. But I would say that powerful, intelligent, women who never backed down inspire me the most.

Describe your future in one word.


Do you have any upcoming projects or plans you would like to share?

Not at the moment. I've taken a step back from YouTube to have some personal time. But I definitely want to do some big things in the near future.

If you were to go back in time to meet your younger self, what advice would you tell yourself?

Demand what you want out of life and don't be afraid to reach for it and take it. Tenacity is so important in this life. Be selfish when it comes to your idea of happiness, and don't stop until it's all you've ever wanted!

And finally, what advice do you have for a Transgender (or an LGBT) youth that has to face daily struggles – not just with themselves but with peer-pressures and bullies.

Again, I think finding people like you is so important. In the media or in your daily life, find an older LGBT person and watch them. Talk to them, find out about their mistakes, their happiness. And it doesn't always have to be another LGBT person. Just finding anyone who can help guide you through this thing called life by using their own lived experience as an example is really amazing.

To subscribe Nicole's YouTube channel, visit the link to catch her latest videos here
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LaToya Murchison was born and raised in Southern Pines, NC and started writing poetry as a junior in high school.  LaToya found that writing allowed her to be creative and eventually discovered her interest in becoming a published author.  After graduating from high school and uncertain of her career path, she attended and received an Associate Degree In Office Systems Technology from Sandhills Community College in Pinehurst, N.C.

LaToya’s life has been filled with very colorful people and experiences. With the stress of battling health issues and the loss of loved ones in her life, LaToya found writing provided her with a source of therapy and healing. LaToya serves as Media Director and Children’s Ministry Assistant at Love Grove Free Will Baptist Church.
courtesy of

Imani: Welcome to the Lounge. Let's start off with a simple icebreaker and begin with your story, just who is LaToya Murchison?

LaToya: Hi Imani and thank you for having me as a guest in your Lounge. I would describe myself as being seasoned and I say that because I am a mixture of many different things. I am a woman of God, a daughter, sister,  author, poet,friend, aunt, and caregiver to many.My passion is helping to build up and inspire others in everything that I do.  My life has not been easy and I have experience a lot of hurt, lost, pain, and sickness. The one thing that remined the same is God’s love for me. For most of my life dating back to when I was a young child I spent a lot of time in and out of hospitals and doctors offices. They never were really able to tell my parents what was wrong with me. At the age of 18 the doctors gave me what they thought was a death sentence and stated that I would not live to be 25 years of age. Little did they know God turned that death sentence into a life that I am still living almost 20 years later.  My hope is that God continues to use me as one of his chosen vessels to speak to his people about how good he is, and that he allows my life to be a living testimony.

Tell us more about your latest project. What's the inspiration behind this book?

My latest project is called Poetic Expressions which is a collection of poems that I have written over the years. Some of the poems are from my own personal experience and the rest family and friends asked me to write. For example the poem called Grandma was written on behalf of my sister after her grandma passed a few years ago. She asked me to write something that showed how much she loved and missed her. My sister is actually the one that pushed me into publishing this project because she said they needed to be shared with the world. She tells me all the time that my heart come out and shines through everything that I write.

Briefly, explain what makes your book different from the vast choices in the same genre?

What makes my book differentbfrom others in this genre is simple. They are my personal experiences and conservations that I had with others. My inspirational poems are my personal consetvations with God.

What were the challenges of writing this book?

The only challenge with writing my latest book was choosing which poems I wanted to include in the book. It was important  tomake sure that each poem fix my message and there was something everyone could relate too.

Everyone has a testimony and usually, that testimony is linked to some type hope. So, what’s your definition of this beautiful word?

At the age of 18 doctors stated that I would not live to see the age of 25. With God’s continue grace and mercy over my life I will turn 37 years old on August 2. Over the past few weeks my health has fallen but the hope that I have in God is what keeps me going. Hope is knowing that God has not given up on me and he has allowed me to live far longer than the doctors quoted to me. Hope is knowing this is just the beginning and not the end. Hope is knowing that though God’s I am healed and delivered because of his love, daily grace and mercy.

Tell me your hope in a few sentences.

My hope is that through sharing my past and present with others will encourage them to stand tall and walk into their futures knowing the best is yet to come. My hope is to be able to keep smiling and trusting in God no matter what I may face. My hope is to keep standing and shining when others say I should just give up.

Professionally or personally, where do you see yourself in five years?

In the next 5 year I see myself finally having my non-profit organization up and running which is called REACH Community Services. REACH Community Services is a organization that offers help to all persons in need. It was established with caring people, with innovative programs to empower men, women and children. We strive to inspire, enable and educate young people from all backgrounds and circumstances to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens. REACH stands for (Respect*Encourage*Assist*Commit*Hope). I also see myself as a nationally known author who travels the world empowering and encouraging others.

Share with us, your motivating song that gets you going?

I Know Who Holds Tomorrow by Kelly Price

A Praying Heart



You woke me up this morning to have a better day. Instead of praising you I disobeyed you and at times I am not sure what I am supposed to do. The sound of your name rings in my heart and I hope that it never stops.

Lord I pray that you forgive me for all my sins. Forgive me for passing judgement on others. Teach me to have forgiveness in my heart for those who have mistreated me. As you lead me to the riverside to leave all of my trouble behind. I look to the future instead of my past. Thank you for blessing me with the talent to express my feelings through your loving words. Lord it took me a long time to realize my gift now that I have I promise to use it to uplift your people. Thank you for teaching me that I had to fall before I would be able to walk and stand tall. Lord thank you for being the lover of my soul and the joy in my life. When I was down you allowed me to sit on your shoulders until I was able to get up and stand on my own. Lord with all that I am I offer up this prayer today and every day to come in. You precious name. Amen

Find Latoya at these sites:

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I’m baaaack…well, sort of!

I'm back as far the ebook fairs and overseeing my Facebook group, but The Lounge’s first interview for the season has been pushed to next week. I've learned over these few months since I opened the Lounge's doors, that trying to do too much at once is not impressive, just dumb. And for that, I've scaled back June's interviews while focusing on several projects. So my superwoman's cape is breakable after all.

Now let's talk about June's featured artist. In the past, I've announced the chosen artist by the realms of social media and email blasts. This time I'm turning the tide and have taken a different direction. I discovered that artistry does not have to be a person. And for that, the Featured Artist for June is Hope.

Why hope?

Well, why not. Most of you know I have another project in the works that include talented authors and their testimonies about their hope. So this is only a kickoff to what's to come.

Also, and more importantly, I have a few surprises up my sleeve for the summer, especially for July -- my birthday month. My goal is to have guest bloggers fill the calendar and discuss their project, along with their definition of hope and testimonies.

If you're interested with both projects I've mentioned, give me holla in my inbox: I'm looking forward to hearing from you.

Have a blessed day,

Imani Wisdom
Founder and President of

Pink Noire Publications, LLC
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Lakia Nichole strives on becoming better than she was yesterday. Never one to back down from a fight, she uses her personal challenges as motivation to become the best woman she can be. Lakia prays and have daily conversations with God for peace and understanding about what life throws at her.  It's her way of maintaining balance and as a Libra, that's important for her. She believes that life can be easier when we worry less and love ourselves more. Those are two major lessons that she's learned the hard way. As she implements those lessons in her daily life, she continues to embark on a journey to personal evolution.

Lakia is the type of woman who would see the good in even her worst enemy. She knows that a troubled soul stems from an uninviting situation or circumstance. Therefore, she offers a friendly hand without judgment or criticism. However, she'll kindly let you know not to take her kindness as a weakness. 

Imani: Welcome to The Lounge! Let’s get right to it: Share a little background about Lakia Nichole – what makes her the woman she is today?

Lakia: Lakia Nichole is the woman today, because of the perseverance over many trials and tribulations. In fact, I wouldn’t be where I am today had it not been for the “teachers” and the lessons I’ve had that taught me what I deserve, what I don’t deserve, what I’m capable of, what my purpose is, etc.

Your anticipated novel, Number One Fan, is all ready creating a buzz before its release in May. Can you give a brief synopsis of the story and its characters?

Number One Fan releases May 1st, and I’m so excited. Basically, it’s about an over-zealous fan and the extreme adulation she has for her favorite star. She’ll go to great lengths to be with him.

This book is centered on a mental illness called Celebrity Worship Syndrome. What exactly is CWS, and who is likely to get it?

Yes. One of the main characters “Kennedy” suffers from Celebrity Worship Syndrome, which is an obsessive-addictive disorder in which a person becomes overly involved with the details of a celebrity's personal life. Folks who suffer from this usually have trouble with relationships in their personal lives. Hence, the need to fill a void with the star they admire.

Were there any challenges of writing this book?

No. Not at all. In fact, I couldn’t wait to complete the story. There are a lot of “Kennedys” in the world. I wanted to create this story with an “out of this world” plot, but with the reality behind CWS, it’ll be a story that a lot of women and men can relate to.

"I wouldn’t be where I am today had it not been for the “teachers” and the lessons I’ve had that taught me what I deserve, what I don’t deserve, what I’m capable of, what my purpose is, etc."

You’ve written an eloquent and honest statement in a recent press release about your experiences of CWS with one of the members from a Grammy Award-Winning group. You said in the statement, that it began during a time you’ve suffered loneliness and hopelessness, and their music had helped you through the darkness. So when did it go from admiration to an unhealthy obsession?

I can’t recall when my admiration transformed from simple to unhealthy, but I do recall seeing things within myself that I knew I needed to change. Because of my actions, I couldn’t remain focused on my business. As a result, my publishing business suffered, because of my unstable behavior. I’m just grateful to God that I was able to recognize the characteristics I’ve adopted and deal with them accordingly before it became more detrimental.

Did you seek professional help once you knew it was going out of hand?

No. It wasn’t that severe that I needed professional help. I simply stayed off of social media. LOL. When I did go on social media, I spent time on it promoting my business.

You also said you friended with one of its members on social media. Are you still friends with him or you’ve unfollowed (or unfriended) him for the sake of your sanity? 

As of today, I am still connected with the group via social media. If you would have asked me four years ago, I would be filled with enthusiasm. At this point in my life, it wouldn’t matter if we did or didn’t. During my transition, I’ve learned that celebrities are just ordinary folks with extra-ordinary jobs. They feel, bleed, $h!t, eat, and think like we do.

You said also Chase’s number one fan, Kennedy, is 35 percent you. Is there the slightest percentage of Chase’s character as the aforementioned group’s member?

Not at all. The only thing they have in common is that they’re singers. I wanted Chase to be a singer, because I’m a little more knowledgeable about the music business. I’m not familiar with what goes on in the business of sports and acting.

Now I want to move on and discuss your other endeavors. You’re a radio talk show host for Baltimore FlavaRadio. How did you fall into this fascinating opportunity?

 I was actually a guest twice on Baltimore Flava Radio and that’s how I got to know the hosts. They are great people and so fun to be around. When I discovered that they were holding auditions for a new co-host, I jumped at the chance. I submitted a video of a mock entertainment news report and eventually became one of three finalists. I was chosen as the winner during their one year anniversary celebration and it’s been non-stop fun with these guys ever since. I love those guys dearly, and I’m proud to be part of a group that created a platform to highlight DMV talent, much like I do with The YOUnique Mag.

And speaking of The YOUnique Mag...What were the most interesting guest you’ve interviewed and the most challenging? (You don’t have to give names)

I want to say the most interesting to interview was Ms. (Superwoman) Karyn White. She was so candid and open about her transition from the music biz to motherhood. The most challenging was Allan McNeil from the group Troop. I really tried to pull as much as I could out of him about his departure from the group, which wasn’t under good terms. He touched on it, but not as much as I wanted him to.

Tell us more about New Breed Publishing LLC and its mission to its authors and readers.

My mission as the publisher of New Breed is to bring together a team of talented authors that will create stand out material in an industry where stories are seemingly duplicated.

Number One Fan is your fourth book, third novel. Of all of your characters from your novels, which one you would love to interview?

Hmmmm. Good question. Probably Matthew from my first novel Hidden Confessions.  I’m re-releasing that one and its sequel Unveiled this year. I say Matthew because my poor character has been through a lot. However, he remains strong.

I want to quickly ask about your biography, Unbroken: A Story Faith, Struggle, and Triumph. According to the synopsis, you said, “No matter the strength of the storm, your umbrella of faith will keep you dry, as well as teach you when to dance in the rain. Eventually, the sun will come back out.” How therapeutic for you to literally be an open book for the world?

It was very therapeutic for me, because it helped me release the nagging and negative thoughts I carried. Upon writing, I knew that what I was writing was going to be something most women could relate to. Some will say I put too much of my personal business out there. What I say to that is… My comfort level won’t allow me to share/post what I don’t need to share/post. I find comfort in being transparent. I think being self-aware and sharing your thoughts with others is a gift from God, because you are possibly helping in spreading the message that people shouldn’t be afraid of who they are.

Before we conclude the interview, I want to congratulate you on this project. Like any artist, accomplishing a creative work to share with the world is an awesome feeling. With that said, what do you want readers to get from this book?

I want my readers to get a better understanding of why people do what they do. Before you judge or criticize, try to find out the core issue because there’s always something that triggers an action/behavior that you would deem “abnormal”. As far as the story itself…I want people to get the same feeling they get after they watch a crazy plot from their favorite television show. I want them to get the same feeling they get when they leave from watching an anticipated feature film that met their expectations.

What is your next project(s)?

I’m working on my next novel titled Hip Hop, Love, and Everything in Between. I’m looking to release that by Fall of 2015.

Finally, if you were to have a dinner party and invited five people you most admired – living or passed on. Who would they be, and what one question you would ask each of them?

Michael Jackson -I would ask him how he remained so humble throughout his amazing career. Queen Latifah said it best during his memorial. He really is the best entertainer on planet earth.
Lupita N’Yongo -I would ask if she has more meaningful roles coming to her more since 12 Years a Slave, or is that still a struggle for her as a black woman in Hollywood.

Oprah- I would ask her did she ever expected journalism to take her this far. She started out in Baltimore as a local news anchor. 

Mary J Blige- I would ask her if someone did a movie about her, who would play Mary or would she play herself. I think a Mary Bio would be epic.

J K Rowling- I would ask her if she knew the Harry Potter series would blow up like it did. It just goes to show that children really do love to read!

I would like to thank Lakia for this great interview. To follow or friend this multi-talented jewel find her at these sites:

Coming May 1st

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