Monday, November 4, 2013

Book Tour: The School of Ministry by Braxton A. Cosby Interview & Giveaway

Genre: YA Paranormal
Publisher: Keith Publications
ISBN: 978-1-62882-002-7
Number of pages: 367
Word Count: 114K

Book Description:

A young man named Ziv struggles to find his place in life after both of his parents are murdered. Orphaned and alone by the age of six, he bounces in and out of foster homes hopeless and afraid, wondering if he will ever find a path to happiness. He resolves to accept a life of depravity, until one day he discovers he possesses the gift of sight: to see creatures from the afterlife, but not angels...demons!

Ziv is recruited by The School of Ministry, a secret society that promises to help him find his best friend Stephanie, who has gone missing. But there is one catch: he must agree to join them in their quest to eradicate evil and protect the weak. Ziv learns that he is a "Conduit," which allows him to cross over into the spirit world and transcend time itself.

When he is partnered with two other young men who have similar gifts, the unlikely trio is trained in the mastery of weapons and the art of Shouting, during treacherous challenges of the tortuous Quad in preparation for their mission: to secure the Windgate. Ziv becomes entrenched in a quest of identity, love, and will, until he comes face to face with pure evil itself--Akabod, the spiritual prodigal son to the School of Ministry and a master of talents.

It's Miss Evans!
I approach the tank and investigate it, looking for signs of movement from Miss Evans. She floats lifelessly in the water. Her hair flows, carried by the waves and her face appears angelic. I notice the softness of her eyelids and the elegant curve of her mouth as she floats. But the beautiful view is interrupted by a dramatic jolt of her body as her eyes open and a cluster of bubbles escape her mouth and nose. She stares at me and thrashes, eyes bloodshot as she slaps at the glass. I gaze back at her powerless, examining the tank for locks or levers; some way to release her from the watery prison.
I'm helpless as she continues to struggle for air. Then, an image flickers from the corner of my eye as a side door opens and Maxwell walks out, holding a staff of his own.
"Maxwell," I plead. "It's Miss Evans. Please help her!"
He shakes his head and lifts his staff in his hands, twirling it in a circle as he begins to slowly walk sideways, circling me like a predator, encasing me in a hedge of danger.
"Hold your ground. Make a choice: fight or flight," Maxwell bellows.
Miss Evans' banging on the glass behind me blends with the pounding of my heart. I lift my staff and spread my feet, turning my attention to Maxwell. As much as I'm afraid for my own safety, I find it impossible not to focus on Miss Evans. Her muffled scream comes from the tank and I look away from Maxwell to check on her. Her hands clutch her neck. Her face is bright red with a tinge of blue around her lips.
"No," I scream, stepping back away from the tank.
Raising my staff above my head, I crank back and rip it down, slamming it into the side of the tank, as I yell. The water explodes from the crack in the tank and glass shards crash to the floor below. I swing once more and this time the entire tank shatters, launching Miss Evans into the air toward me. I catch her in my arms and the force of the water propels us backward onto the floor. She coughs, gasping for air. I hold her in my arms and caress her head. Her sobbing brittles me and I'm relieved to see her skin color returning to its natural tanned shade.
We're here, an odd place, an unfamiliar place. But as I hold her delicately in my arms, it makes me feel like I'm heading back home. Not the place where I live now, but the place where I used to live, when mom and dad were still alive. The way she rests in my arms beckons me to a time when I used to hold my kitten, Priceless. She'd climb into my lap during the thunder storms. I was her comforter. Priceless would purr when I did it. And now, so many years later, I find myself feeling the same way as I hold Miss Evans. Her soft body pressing into my skin—warming me—calls me to hug her even closer with each passing second. The times when I needed someone to hold me reflect in my mind like a mirror as I stare at her. Her chest rises as her heart beat quickens, mixing evenly with her breaths. As warmth returns to her body, a subtle tremor comes over her; like a purr.
I can't resist. I have to do it. I must do it. I hug deeply, ignoring the senseless urge to pull away.
"Bravo!" praises Maxwell, exiting the room as the lights come back on.
Miss Evans resting in my arms and I comfort her, caressing her hair. She finally looks up at me and mouths, "Thank you."

1.     Where did you get the idea for the novel? It initially started at church. We have a class called The School of Ministry and I thought that would be a cool title for a book, but I had absolutely no idea what the story would be about. I started to sketch out the main character Ziv, with his being orphaned as the main stage to build upon. Any of his insecurities and shortcomings would branch off of that, but would ultimately make him feel more real to the reader and compel you to root for him in his plight. But he had to be greater than just an underdog, He had to have something that set him apart. His ability as a Conduit made his a reluctant superhero who undoubtedly must make the decision to choose his path and eventual fate. And of course there had to be a lady interest, or in Ziv’s case, lady interests. Once he was finished the rest of the character were easy. The Windgate is just the backdrop for the missions and trainings that Ziv will experience along the way. The supernatural story arc of demons in this book are just the start, with angels being added in the next story.
2.     Your title. Who came up with it? Did you ever change your title? I played around with the title only once. The existence of the Windgate felt so real to me. I couldn’t remove it from the title because it was the framework of the story, similar to the spine of a book. The pages and cover are extensions of it, but in no way deter from the importance of it. Beside SOM is set to be a five part series and I picked out all the titles already, but have not determined the 3rd-5th order. I know the second and started the outline already. When people get hooked on the first, they are going to love the second. I’m already salivating over the prospect of what’s to come, especially after the ending of The Windgate.
3.     Which came first, the title or the novel? The title. I have a strange way of writing in that I come up with the titles for the chapters and the books first, then I write a few lines for my outline. Then the chapters are birthed.
4.     Since becoming a writer, what’s the most exciting thing to ever happen to you? Doing the co-book signings with my Uncle Bill Cosby. It was unbelievable to hear the stories of the many people he’s touched over the years. Not just from his shows, but his comedy, books, and philanthropist efforts. It is truly a blessing to give people so much through something you love doing. Plus, he’s probably the funniest man on earth.
5.     What book are you currently reading or what was the last book you read? I’m currently going through Ann Aguirre’s Enclave series. Ann is a great writer with a very cool concept. But I keep listening to The Hunger Games on audiobook. 
6.     What was your first book that you ever wrote (very first one you wrote, not published)? I actually made a comic series called X-O Squad, very close to the X-Men series. I still have it. 10 pages of heroes I created with protagonists that were bigger than life. But you’ve heard that story before, haven’t you?
7.     What is your writing process? Outlines built from chapter titles, with main character plotlines and action set pieces loosely fitted in throughout. Then comes the twists and turns. Pacing is a big part of writing to me. As much as I’d love to give the reader everything at one time, I stay patient and spoon-feed it to them, tease them a little, to keep them interested in the outcomes. Hopefully, it’s worth the wait.
  1. Who are your favorite authors of all time? Fred Saber Hagen, Suzanne Collins, Edgar Allen Poe and Veronica Roth.
  2. At a book signing, do you just sign your name or do you write a note? How do you come up with stuff to say? I usually write a note. I learned that from my Uncle at our signing. He speaks to each person and makes them feel as though he’s known them for years; although most of them feel that way about him through following his career. I usually ask them their name and try to write something personal to express my appreciation for taking a chance on a new author and beginning the journey of my stories with me.
  3. What is something people would be surprised to know about you? Hmm, I’m not sure. I’ll throw out a couple of things. I have three college degrees, with the highest being a doctorate, competed in the Pan Am Games, survived a near death drowning episode off the coast of Brazil and I can make a mean cheesecake.
  4. How do you react to a bad review? I really try to dissect anything from it that I can that is honest and beneficial. If it is something about the story that I could have done better, I use it. Most times though, bad reviews really come down to people not reading the entire story and it makes it difficult to extract anything positive form it.
  5. How did you celebrate the sale of your first book? With a big, grateful, “Praise the Lord.”

About the Author:
A graduate of the University of Miami, Cosby earned his bachelors, masters and doctorate in physical therapy. He also is certified by the American Physical Therapists and is a Certified Sports Nutritionist.

And now he’s getting you in shape. “I feel that God has given me a calling to help people,” said Cosby. It was through his own injury that taught Cosby about “getting people back to their prior level of function.” He said he want to motivate “people to stay on the course” so they can meet their own individual goals.

Cosby is a personal trainer, nutritionist and physical therapist and is using his talents and knowledge to help bring attention to the health issues and disparities such as heart disease, diabetes and high blood pressure.

He was the featured keynote speaker at the 2012 Atlanta CARES STEMFest for Children and Young Adults event. He also was a presenter for Mercer College School of Medicine and the  Louisiana Medical Society’s Focus on  Exercise  and  Fitness. He has partnered with Emory University as a clinical instructor and worked with a major rehabilitation company in geriatrics.

The host of a weekly radio show – Ask the Fat Doctors, Cosby also is an award-winning author and has been seen on CBS, Fox and Atlanta Live. He’s teamed up with retired offensive lineman and NFL analyst Jamie Dukes to create a workout video for men called Chachersize (C_4).

Ask the Fat Doctors is where Cosby, Dukes and radio personality Tee Foxx where they cover a variety of topics from current events to obesity to disease prevention. Cosby also shares tips on how to lose pounds.
Cosby’s goal is to share information on how to create healthy habits and how they can counteract serious health ailments. His articles can be found in “OMTimes Magazine” and “Skinny Limits”. Cosby also posted regular workout tips on his YouTube page.

As the nephew of actor and comedian Bill Cosby, Dr. Braxton A. Cosby has charted his own path, but embodies his uncle’s creativity and vision for a healthier America. “Of course” he was an influence, the younger Cosby said. “He taught me how to develop a passion for what you do.”

And Dr. Braxton A. Cosby has a passion for fitness




  1. Sounds like a great book. Thanks for sharing it and the giveaway. evamillien at gmail dot com

  2. Sounds like a great read, Thanks for the awesome giveaway
    (Tammy Dalley)