Thursday, January 31, 2013


Renée Watson is the author of the children's picture book, Harlem's Little Blackbird and A Place Where Hurricanes Happen. Her middle grade novel, What Momma Left Me debuted as the New Voice for 2010 in middle grade fiction by The Independent Children's Booksellers Association. Renée's one woman show, Roses are Red, Women are Blue, debuted at New York City's Lincoln Center at a showcase for emerging artists. When Renée is not writing and performing, she is teaching.

Renée has worked in public schools and community organizations as an artist in residence for several years, eaching poetry, fiction, and theater in Oregon, Louisiana, and New York City.

One of Renée's passions is using the arts to help youth cope with trauma. She has facilitated poetry and theatre workshops with young girls coping with sexual and physical abuse, children who have witnessed violence, children coping with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, and children who relocated to New York City after the 201 0 earthquake in Haiti. Renée graduated from The New School, where she studied Creative Writing and earned a certificate in Drama Therapy. Renée currently lives in New York City. Visit Renée at
Can a voice stop the rain?

Can it take you around the world?

Can it change people’s minds about justice and equality?

Growing up in Washington, DC, at the turn of the twentieth century, Florence Mills knew that she was blessed with a gift—a sweet, birdlike singing voice that everyone loved. But she also knew firsthand the profound ache of racism.

When she moved to New York City, the stages got bigger, the lights grew brighter, and offers that could make her an international star were hers for the taking. Instead, Florence chose shows that helped promote other black performers. And she sang songs that heralded the call for civil rights.

Together Renée Watson’s gorgeously evocative prose and Christian Robinson’s stunning mixed-media art shine a light on this little-known but much-loved member of the Harlem Renaissance elite—a performer whose story may have faded from the history books, but whose influence resonated long after she sang her last song.

Read Renée's interview in the NOV/DEC issue of SORMAG Digital

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013


Tanita S. Davis is a 2004 graduate of the Mills College MFA program, a 201 0 Coretta Scott King honored author (MARE’S WAR), and a traveler who these days reads and writes from sunny California.

Twins Ysabel and Justin Nicholas are lucky. Ysabel’s jewelry designs have already caught the eyes of the art world and Justin’s intelligence and drive are sure to gain him entrance into the most prestigious of colleges. They even like their parents. But their father’s secret has the power to destroy their happiness – and neither sibling knows what to think.

Forced into a Spring Break visit, Ysabel and Justin struggle to come to terms with their dad’s new life. Their task is to decide if there’s still a place for them, with someone who is suddenly a stranger, and if there’s still a chance to be a happy family again.

HAPPY FAMILIES is a love story to families, and a testament to the power of unconditional love.

Read Tanita's interview in the NOV/DEC issue of SORMAG Digital

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013


Born in Canada, Zetta Elliott moved to Brooklyn in 1994 to pursue her PhD in American Studies at NYU. Her poetry has been published in several anthologies, and her plays have been staged in New York, Chicago, and Cleveland. Her essays have appeared in Horn Book Magazine, School Library Journal, and Hunger Mountain. Her first picture book, Bird, won the Honor Award in Lee & Low Books’ New Voices Contest; it was named Best of 2008 by Kirkus Reviews, a 2009 ALA Notable Children’s Book, and Bird won the Paterson Prize for Books for Young Readers. Elliott’s first young adult novel, AWish After Midnight, has been called “gripping,” “a revelation…vivid, violent and impressive history.” Her latest novel, Ship of Souls, was published in February 201 2 and was included in Booklist’s Top Ten Sci-fi/Fantasy Titles for Youth.

Zetta Elliott is Assistant Professor of Ethnic Studies at Borough ofManhattan Community College and currently lives in Brooklyn.

When Dmitri, an 11 -year-old bird watcher and math whiz, loses his mother to breast cancer, he is taken in by Mrs. Martin, an elderly white woman. Unaccustomed to the company of kids his own age, D struggles at school and feels like an outcast until a series of unexpected events changes the course of his life.

First, D is asked to tutor the school’s basketball star, Hakeem, who will get benched unless his grades improve. Against the odds, the two boys soon realize they have something in common: they are both taunted by kids at school, and they both have a crush on Nyla, a beautiful but fierce eighth-grade girl. Then Nyla adopts D and invites him to join her entourage of “freaks.” Finally, D discovers an injured bird and brings it home from the park.

D is stunned when the strange bird speaks to him and reveals that she is really a guiding spirit that has been held hostage by ghost soldiers who died in Brooklyn at the start of the American Revolution. As Nuru’s chosen host,D must carry her from Brooklyn to the African Burial Ground in lower Manhattan, but the ghost soldiers won’t surrender their prize without a fight.

Read Zetta's interview in the NOV/DEC issue of SORMAG Digital

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Featured Author - Alexis J.

Alexis J. is a young storyteller who's always had a way with words. Writing is her favorite subject in school. She enjoys creating characters who go against what people in their lives would expect, and who even surprise her. Alexis' hobbies are singing and playing soccer. Bailey and the Bully is her first book.

Eleven-year-old Bailey Baxter and her friends, Camillaand Aaliyah, are bestfriends who have formed the ABC Club, ABC being the first letters of their names. Bailey has always been known as the nice girl in school . . . that is until she develops a crush on schoolmate Josh Leroy. While trying to impress him, she takes on undesirable behaviors that disappoint her family, and could threaten her cherished friendships.

Will Bailey come to her senses before it's too late, or will the pressure of being accepted cost her all that really matters, and damage the life of a fellow classmate in the process?

Read Alexis interview in the NOV/DEC issue of SORMAG Digital

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

BOOKS OF THE DAY: Truly Mine/Mine Forever

Truly Mine (formerly Remembrance)

Radio talk-show personality, Charlotte "Charlie" Canfield has her share of admirers, but one fan appears to have become obsessed with her. Needing a break from work and what now appears to be a stalker, Charlie doesn't hesitate to go when she's invited to her class reunion aboard a cruise ship. She's delighted to see old friends, but her former love, Devin Spencer, causes a wave of mixed feelings leaving Charlie wondering – who is this man? Despite this confusion, Charlie can't help but fall into Devin's open arms when the obsessed fan surfaces. But a secret that Charlie has kept for years may jeopardize her and Devin's happiness together.

Click HERE To Order Your Copy TODAY

Mine Forever (formerly A Reason to Love) Dr. Niki Hamilton has given up on men and focusing her attention on her patients. After three kids in her care die, she is determined to get away from nasty threats and ugly reporters, Niki goes to the Jersey Shore to visit her friend, ex-playboy centerfold, Kim. She ends up running Kim's dating service, "Coffee Mates."

Cary Thomas, a hot gardener (or so Niki thinks) arrives with plants, a sexy smile, and lots of personality. Whenever he's near Niki's hormones go into overdrive. Common sense aside, Niki embarks on a relationship with a man she thinks she has no business being with. But can love survive long distance and the threats on her life?

Click HERE To Order Your Copy TODAY

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