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|Would you play tennis this high up? In 2005 a helipad 650 ft above the ground on top of the Burj Al Arab hotel in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates was temporarily converted into the world's highest tennis court.|
|(clockwise) Joanne Gabbin, Nikki Giovanni and Maya Angelou|
|By Slawek Milanowski|
Vogue, born April L. Blanding, is a 2007 graduate of Winthrop University possessing a Bachelor's degree in Social Work. Born and raised in Greenville, SC, Vogue moved to Rock Hill, SC in 2003 to attend Winthrop University and decided to make it her home after graduating.
Upon entering college, she began focusing her attention on songwriting, but eventually birthed the idea of The Diamond Collection. In 2003, she challenged herself to write ten novels with the first being Diamonds in the Rough, which was not completed until 2007.
In March of 2010, Vogue signed with Passionate Writers Publishing to release her first novel, Diamonds In The Rough. Currently, she is writing and editing Black Diamonds, the fourth book in the series.
Denise Turney, has over 36 years of writing experience. She is a full-time writer whose works have appeared in: Essence, Ebony, The Network Journal, Madame Noire, Bahiyah Woman, Today's Black Woman, Parade, Sisters In Style, Your Church Magazine, and Modern Dad Magazine to name a few. Denise has spoken at major festivals, conferences, colleges and universities, including Black Herstory, Spelman College, Emory University, Take Our Daughters to Work Day, Philadelphia Bible College and the Philadelphia Community College. She is a newspaper and magazine columnist and the editor of the literary periodical The Book Lover's Haven which you can subscribe to by clicking Subscribe BLH.
Denise host the international radio program Off The Shelf which airs on Blog Talk Radio live from 11AM-12PM on Saturday and 24/7 throughout the rest of the week. She has interviewed New York Times bestselling authors like Zane, Francis Ray, Roland Martin, Omar Tyree and Tracey Price Thompson and Grammy Award nominee, Awiatka.
Interview with Raymond Clarke, of Love Pour Over MeDenise: How are you able to love Brenda so deeply considering the fact that your mom, the most important woman in a man’s life, left you?
Raymond: If you’ve ever known something was right deep in your gut, you’ll understand when I tell you I knew, I instinctively knew, Brenda was my woman. Despite all we went through, nothing could disturb that.
Denise: Did you ever go looking for your mother?
Raymond: (Sigh). No. I thought about her a lot, especially when I was a kid, but I never took off and starting looking for my mom. I wouldn’t even have known where to start.
Denise: Why did you choose UPemb?
Raymond: Coach Carter (he’s probably the closest thing I had to a loving father) and the school’s awesome track and field program. Track is my passion. Thank God, I’ve been very good at the sport since I was a kid. Plus, I got a scholarship to UPemb and with Coach Carter’s help I know I can earn a gold medal in the Olympics.
Denise: You hang out with a cool group of friends. What do these guys mean to you?
Raymond: Oh, man. Anthony, Patrick and Doug, these three dudes are my brothers. Sure. We’ve had our close calls, especially me and Anthony. The two of us have damn near cheated death and more than once. But we always work things out. I love those dudes. They’re like family. (shaking his head) We have some good times together! Our ladies get along pretty good with each other too, well. . . most of them.
Denise: Do you keep in touch with your friend from high school, the guy you ran with back in the day?
Raymond: If you’re talking about Paul, no. We don’t see each other that much. I don’t even know if I’d recognize him if I saw him today. Life happens so fast, you know.
Denise: What’s Anthony up to these days?
Raymond: (chuckles) Aw, he’s doing his thing in the NFL. He always had it in him. Too damn bad we had to keep that secret for so many years. It got to be a heavy weight, but, yeah . . . to answer your question, Anthony’s good. He even got married.
Denise: Still go big dreams, Raymond?
Raymond: Yeah. I definitely want to marry Brenda and have a family. And after the Olympics, I’d love to run Master’s Track. It’s in my blood. But, we’ll see. Already so much has happened sometimes I wonder how I get through many days. But, yeah, I’ve still got big dreams. The hard times aren’t gonna beat the life out of me. I’ll keep pushing . . . I’ll keep pushing forward. God, Brenda’s love and my boys . . . it’s enough. I swear it is.
To stay up to date with Denise Turney visit her at the following:
|Photo by Astro Twilight|