Melanie L. Houston

Inspiring Writer and Award-Winning Author

Melanie Houston began writing at an early age. Her short stories and poems gave her as much satisfaction as going to the library and coming home with a stack of books. Somewhere in all those pages she secretly dreamed that a special place was reserved for her name, her story, an appointed place, and a divine destiny.

Until recently, she kept much of what she penned to herself while serving as an executive editor for an award-winning national publishing house, an international magazine, and several independent publishers for more than 20 years. She has served as a ghostwriter for Supreme Court justices, CEOs and community leaders across the United States. In addition to publishing, Melanie has more than 30 years of management and business consulting experience across several disciplines with profit and nonprofit organizations.

A native of Columbus, Ohio, Melanie graduated from Capital University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in art therapy. She received a Master of Arts degree from The Ohio State University, with a major in labor and human resource management. She has volunteered with Future Possibilities, Inc. as a KidsCoach™, and served as a member of the Women’s Service Board of the King Arts Complex, and the Columbus Works board of directors. Currently, she serves as a member of the Pinky Swear North Carolina Advisory Board in Charlotte.

Melanie and her husband, Dan, travel and work with clients across Ohio, Pennsylvania, and North Carolina.

Awards And Nominations

Alabaster Box Media is a boutique Christian publishing house. Therefore, we are selective about the genre and authors we choose to coach or publish. We are blessed to have a capable circle of graphic designers, artists, writers and business professionals who skillfully guide our clients. Our success is your success!

  • National Indie Excellence Awards
  • Children's Literary Classics
  • Bahamian Art & Culture
  • Illumination Christian Book Awards - Silver Medal

Mining Diamonds

Lessons of Love, Faith, and Triumph

Dr. Augustus Garland Parker III was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He has served the Central Ohio community and now Charlotte, North Carolina, in the field of women’s healthcare. As an obstetrician, Parker delivered more than 8,000 babies. An early adopter of robotic surgery, Parker served as the director of robotic surgery and physician director of diversity and health equity for Mount Carmel Health Systems in Columbus, and as a medical director for Women’s Urgent Care for Novant Healthcare in Charlotte. He has served in numerous other leadership positions including, president of the Board of Health, department chairman for several hospital systems, senior medical director for managed care institution, and president of the local National Medical Association. A few of Parker’s past honors and accomplishments include, Columbus Man of Excellence, Black Leaders and Legends, Teacher and Physician of the Year, and the March of Dimes Community Health Leadership Award.

Parker lectures on several topics related to health disparities and has been featured as a motivational speaker for youth groups. He holds a patent on a medical device used in practice today and has made a film debut in a comedy movie playing a doctor. A member of Beta Delta Boulé, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., he is also a member of Friendship Missionary Baptist Church. His lasting legacy includes his lovely and accomplished spouse, Cheryl, and their three physician children, Dr. Augustus Parker IV, Dr. Jason Parker, and Dr. Krista Parker, and five grandchildren, Aviana, Naveia, Kailyn, Deshawn, and Lorenzo.

Dr. Iris Cooper

One of the Founders of Glory Foods, Inc.

Dr. Iris Cooper hails from Evansville, Indiana. From her career in business, she has developed an expertise in the management of a variety of projects for businesses, nonprofits, and government. Her principles are education, economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, and equality for all people.

She is the owner of JustAskIris!, an entrepreneurial consulting firm. Iris is one of the founders of Glory Foods, Inc., a national food marketing company, and has also operated a mortgage business and retail gift shop. Her column and radio show Just Ask Iris provided business information to the Columbus market for many years. She continues to speak nationally on business and economic development matters.

Iris is the former chair of the Economic Empowerment Committee for the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. She was featured in the October 2008 issue of Entrepreneur Magazine and chosen as a 2008 Woman of Economic and Leadership Development. Additionally, she was honored in 2006 as a YWCA Woman of Achievement. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., the Academy of Management, and the Central Ohio Chapter of the Coalition of 100 Black Women.

Iris obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and a Master of Business Administration degree in marketing from Indiana University, and a Doctor of Business Administration degree from Walden University, majoring in entrepreneurship. She teaches business courses at Franklin University and Columbus State Community College. Her family includes her children Mica and Malik, and her precious grandson Malachi.


I recently read My Afrikah Hair by Melanie Houston. The poems really did take me down memory lane and I enjoyed it very much. They were very well written and insightful. I also love the beautiful illustrations. This book is my new coffee table book. I give it five stars!

Nathan Harris
Guest Appearances
Presentations All Around The Globe
  • Mint Museum
  • The Unity Market
  • Small Business Saturday
  • Radio One
  • Pinky Swear Foundation