C. Highsmith-Hooks has been writing since she could hold a pencil. Her early works consisted of poetry and short stories. Her first book, “The Soul of a Black Woman: From a Whisper to a Shout,” was published in 2002. The collection of poetry earned her a mention in Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African-American Women in Literature, a 2006 Amber Books Publication.
Earlier this year, more poems were published in The Poetic Child anthology, an Inner Child Publication compiled by William S. Peters Sr. and the poet known as Poetically Spoken aka S-cents.
Born on the east coast, C. Highsmith-Hooks is the proud mother of one son. These days, she works a traditional 9 to 5 until the pen pays her bills. When she’s not writing, she enjoys watching crime thrillers, traveling , and surfing the internet.
C. Highsmith-Hooks is currently working on several novels, a few anthologies, and four screenplays. She lives in Las Vegas.
WHY I WROTE:
I was moved to participate in this project because I have seen domestic violence all around me for my entire life. Never a victim myself, I have friends and family who experienced it daily. So for me, the topic has never been far from my heart.
It's very important that we all speak out against it because while it's going on, it's hard for the victims to speak out. They're too busy fighting to stay alive-save themselves and their children. So we are their voices, their strength. Perhaps if they know they're not alone, they will fight to become survivors and encourage others with their example.
My name is Lavinia Thompson. I am a 22-year old hippie who is just embarking upon my life’s journey. I have emerged from the dark depths of domestic violence and abuse that ruled my childhood for so long. This road hasn't been an easy one but I am discovering my voice. Writing has always been my escape and my outlet from the abuse. Even in the years after it ended, it was therapeutic for me. It is now my voice and I want it to be heard, to let other victims and survivors know that they are not alone and the cycle can be broken. There is hope, help and there is a day when the words “never again” really mean, never again. I want to be a part of making sure we all see that day.
WHY I WROTE :
It is important for me to participate in this anthology because the issue has impacted my life in every aspect. Almost a decade of abuse and witnessing what my own mother went through left deep scars. Writing was always my therapy but now I want it to be a voice and I want it to speak to people. I persevered over my own struggles during those years and in the destructive aftermaths. I am doing my own poetry book about child abuse, but I feel it is vital to be as active as possible in raising awareness about the issue in the best way possible, and for me that is in writing. I love the idea that proceeds go to a relevant charity. This is an ageless issue and it is one that needs to have awareness drawn to it or it'll never end. I am honored to be part of this. It means so much to me.
I will be contributing poetry that is from my poetry book, "She Wasn't Allowed to Giggle". It is a self-publishing project I am embarking on to be released fall 2011. "Spellbound by Fire" is my other project, to be released Sept. 15, 2011 through Hellfire Publishing. It is about a young witch who loses the aunt who raised her to witch hunters and has to find a way to survive on her own. Spellbound has a theme about breaking and preventing the cycles of violence and abuse.
My writer's blog: http://laviniathompsonauthor.wordpress.com/
Blog for my book, Spellbound by Fire: http://spellboundbyfire.wordpress.com/
Facebook page for Spellbound: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Spellbound-by-Fire/164218530279552
Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lavinia-Thompson/155049924551916
Michele Tooles a parent and Chicago native is finding her way in the literary industry. She is a stunning woman of sheer intelligence and is the host of her own online radio talk show on BlogTalkRadio, where she is provocative and infuriating. To date she has over 30 years of experience in using her brain and speaking her mind. She holds no punches and is very candid and at times brash in her commentary of current events and social issues. She prides herself on being genuine and not an expert. Her literary venture is taking off as she has established a reading club and is working on promoting authors under her alter ego, Ms. Daring of The Daring Show.
WHY I WROTE:
I have a couple of reasons actually for wanting to participate in this anthology. First, thank you for the opportunity to express myself on this topic. Second, we have all been touched by the effects of Domestic Violence. I am no exception to this, I have had family and friends that received this treatment. My writings look at things from a segued angled approach of the outsider looking in as opposed to the abuser or the abused. I think it's important we acknowledge those that are looking in, that don't know what to do or how to do anything, because the whole incident effects them psychologically as well. Violence doesn't just stay in that person's house. The mindset and attitude permeate the eyes, ears and lives of all those in the vicinity. The other reason I would like to participate is to leave a legacy for my man-child, that there is nothing we do that doesn't have a direct or indirect influence over another.
Envy Red is a Washington DC area native by way of Birmingham, AL. A two time graduate of the University of Maryland, she resides in Southern Maryland with her two boys. A passion spawned long before she was diagnosed with and survived a rare form of cancer, she is driven by a firm desire to make a charitable mark on society. As the founder of the “Free Minds Project,” a youth and prison outreach program, Envy Red is dedicated to promoting literacy, helping individuals realize their potential, and achieving their dreams. As a board member of Homebound Citizens Non Profit, assisting Homebound citizens and the homeless population, the journey to help others shall be realized one person at a time.
WHY I WROTE:
I would like to be a part of the "Saving Lives Through Lit" project because it creates awareness of a social issue that I have first hand knowledge. As a child I bore witness to the effects of domestic violence on shaping a young mind into a troubled adult psyche. At a young age I went from witness to victim. Fortunately, I was able to quickly recover from that experience. Everyone is not blessed with that opportunity but this campaign can help change that. I would like to bring awareness to this troubling subject and assist others in overcoming and breaking this vicious cycle of abuse before it is too late. I am committed to helping individuals plant their feet on a path of new and promising beginnings. A path of greatness where the sky has no limits!
Tameika Raye'la Carter is a single mother of three beautiful daughters. She was born and raised in Springfield, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of the High School of Commerce class of 1993 and a graduate of Holyoke community college. She is no stranger to hard work being raised by a single mother of five children. She learned the importance of strength and endurance. She has been through many hardships that have brought her to the point where she is today. As a survivor of domestic violence and other areas of abuse, she decided to get into the Human Service field to help others who have been in similar situations as she faced in her past.
Tameika has prided herself in her role in helping various parents and youths to make positive changes in their lives. Receiving her degree in the Human Services field was a way for Tameika to give back to the community in a positive way and be that positive voice in the lives of youth, preventing them from making the same mistakes she made in her own past. The woman who gave Tameika the most influence and mentor-ship through this time would be Jane Gilman the instructor at HCC who taught the “Helping Relations course. Through this powerful woman, Tameika learned the importance of life and how every experience happens for a reason, and how I was an important tool to help others by what I have gone through. Her presence is still felt in everyday life even though she is no longer with us in the physical form.
Tameika is presently holding the position as the Youth Programs Coordinator for Valley Opportunity Council a non-profit organization based out of Holyoke, Massachusetts. In this role, she coordinates activities and finds employment for at risk youth who participate in the program; as well as leads a team of staff whose efforts together bring about a successful program. Working hand in hand with other vendors giving youth in the community an opportunity to wet their feet in the workforce and learn responsibility.
WHY I WROTE:
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Born in Springfield, Massachusetts, Tony is the eldest of 6, father of two, who currently resides in Virginia with his fiance, their son, and his step daughter. Tony leans towards his spiritual background and faith for direction when making decisions. Between his love for music that was planted deep in him as a youth, and his desire to help others, he took and nourished his skills turning his love of music into a business.
He created Diamond Productions to help youth with a desire to sing and make music. He began by lending his assistance in the church's music ministry. Later this led to giving vocal lessons and managing artist and groups, how to train and strengthen their voices. Tony's goal was to take those with a strong desire and steady focus and assist them in exploring how far their talent could take them.
Alongside Kiexiza Rodriquez, Tony is the co-host of a weekly BlogTalkRadio Show named the “TonynKieShow. On Monday's at 6 pm EST, the TNK show interview's authors, musicians, singers, models, entrepreneurs, businesses...etc, and introduces them to our listening audience. We also have host Hot Topic Discussions. In these discussions we talk about things ranging from eating disorders, to sex and relationships, raising children, the government, and all things in between.
The TNK listeners have dubbed them the "Baddest Fiance Duo on Radio", for their neighbors next door method of conversation and interviewing. "We like to keep our shows Real, Raw, and Relevant." TonyWade
Check them out: www.blogtalkradio.com/TonynKieShow
Tony is also a writer, working on the release of his debut novel "Vengeance Unleashed", which is scheduled to be released the end of 2011, as well as a book of poetry entitled, "From the Inside Out". Behind that will be several other novels as well as his participation in an anthology, with "Saving Lives Through Lit", that will deal solely with the issue of Domestic Violence & Abuse.
WHY I WROTE:
Carlet Horne, an Honor Graduate of Whiteville High School, attended New York University and Southeastern Community College, studying Business Administration and Education. Although her very first piece was written in 2008, she, thinking this was just a one-time occurrence, put her pen and pad on the shelf. In 2010, in the timing of God, the gift within her was unlocked, and she began to write under the unction of
God. “My writing has been used as a source of healing and recovery from hurts, wounds, and issues of my past and I pray that the same is true for those who read any of my work” states Ms Horne. Today, she is a Poet, Writer, and Aspiring Author, working on the publication of her first book of Christian poetry and a Contributing Poet Writer for Promoting Purpose Magazine. Other examples of her work can be seen on www.TimBookTu.com and in Black Pearls Magazine and Inspired Women Magazine.
WHY I WROTE:
First and foremost, Domestic Violence in and of itself is simply…WRONG! To be able to shed light, in some form, on something so dark as this is the reason I chose to participate. I have seen the aftermath of events related to Domestic Violence, and its affects can be long-reaching. If something that I write changes someone’s life for the better, then my mission in this will have been accomplished.
My name is Tamyara Brown born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. I now reside in Buffalo, NY. I am a single mother of six beautiful children and two grandchildren. I am a writer and my first novel Fat Girl Vigilante will be released winter 2011. I have love writing since I was eleven years old. I also have worked in Customer Service for a number of years.
The first time I saw abuse was when I was six years old. I saw my stepfather striking my mother with belt as if she was child. She lay there helpless a victim to the man she loved. I’ll never forget her words,“ I’ll change and do whatever you want me to do. Just stop hitting me. I too became a victim of Domestic Violence and mutter those exact words years later. So this is an honor to contribute my skills and energy to this Anthology.
Following the same pattern of being in an abusive relationship I hope to use my writing as a tool to inspire someone that they shouldn’t be treated less than a woman, that love isn’t being beaten nor mistreated. That life goes on after an abusive relationship and you too can survive. I use my writing to heal not only my soul but hoped it will help someone break free from being the victim and become victorious.
WHY I WROTE:Domestic Violence has affected my family and it all began when I watch my stepfather beating on my mother. Her words of stopping him were, “ I’ll change if you stop hitting me.” After a while it became my words.” I want to break the cycle of believing being hit or emotionally abused is okay
Now a day I see more and more teenage girls being called out of their name and beat on by a boy or girl. They have found this to be a form of affection. I needed to voice that it isn’t all right for anyone to pound on any individual man, woman or child to prove love. Joining this anthology is my way of sharing words of love and encouragement that you deserve to be love and touched with kindness and spoken to with words of love. That if you are victim of abuse you are not alone but also you can come out of this victorious.
As a child, Charron Monaye always relied on her pencil and notebook as a way of releasing her happiest moments, deepest secrets, and hidden desires without judgment. Her journal entries soon became poetic pieces she would later recite in front of crowds. At age 11, Charron Monaye made her first poetic debut at the United Negro College Fund's Awards Banquet, where she recited her award-winning poem “ALONE”, which made Charron Monaye realize her gift from GOD was writing and it was time for her to pursue it.
After dealing with anxiety and heart-related health issues in her twenties, she decided it was important to share her story with women worldwide. In October of 2010, she was introduced with Londa B. of Purposeful Publishing and Media Services and decided to publish her thoughts, feelings, and emotions in her book entitled, "My Side of the Story". On February 1, 2011, "My Side of the Story" was birthed and released to the world, making this Charron Monaye’s first published book of poetry and a dream of true. Tackling topics that include love, relationships, tragedy and triumphs makes this book of poetry unique and inspirational not only women of color but all women who have battled with emotional losses, life changing health issues, but survived. Her decision to survive and reclaim is spotlighted in my heartfelt poetic verses throughout the book. This book is not just her testimony, but it is her own advice manual for all.
Charron Monaye currently resides in Philadelphia, PA with her two sons. Charron is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc. and Order of Eastern Star, Ruth Chapter #66 PHA. Her educational background includes a BA in Political Science from West Chester University of Pennsylvania, Paralegal Certificate from Washington Learning Institute and a Masters in Public Administration from DeVry University.
WHY I WROTE:
"Being a survivor of Domestic Violence, this book really warmed my heart. Many women and men who are victims of this crime often times hide or remain quiet in fear of judgment, ridicule, or opinions casted that only sheds more hurt. My testimony and survival from Domestic Violence can be found in my book of poetry entitled "My Side of the Story" (available now on Amazon.com). My abuse was not physical, but emotional and mental, thus creating a confused and lost child who had no hope or direction, only seeing what he thought was right. After 2 heart attacks and countless anxiety attacks, the doctors gave me months, but after seeing my 2 children crying and asking, "Mommy are you going to be okay", I knew then, my road was life and survival was my direction. So with this, I feel honored and a great asset to this project because not only can my poetry heal someone else, they continue to remind me of what mistakes not to do again."