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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

ONLINE CONFERENCE 2007

SORMAG would like to invite you to our fifth online conference.
The only conference you stay at home for

When: August 26 - Sept 1st

Where: Here - online
Time: 24/7 stop by anytime

Price: FREE

Who can attend? EVERYONE
Tell your friends
We will have panels, workshops, critiques, contests, door prizes and FUN

The best part, you don't have to leave your home








FORUM

PARTICIPATING AUTHORS 2007

Nikki Arana
R. Barri Flowers
Rose Beavers
Andrea Blackstone
Margo Candela
Celine Chatillon
Ann Clay
Lyn Cote
Lisa A. Crayton
Barbara Custer
Dyanne Davis
Roberta DeCaprio
Anna Dennis
Shani Greene-Dowdell
Dara Girard
Bettye Griffin
Mary Griffith
Shelia Goss
J. S. Hawley
G. Miki Hayden
LaShaunda Hoffman
Sylvia Hubbard
Ayn Hunt
Edwardo Jackson
Rhonda Jackson Joseph
Tamika Johnson
Joylynn M. Jossel
Michelle Larks
Carmen Leal
Shelia Lipsey
Kim Louise
Susan May Warren
Leigh Michaels
Marissa Monteilh
Jill Nelson
Evelyn Palfrey
Alethea M Pascascio
Electa Rome Parks
Tee C. Royal
Roxanne Rustand
Marlo Schalesky
Dee Stewart
MaryLu Tyndall
Devon Vaughn Archer
Barbara Williams
Marina Woods

DOORPRIZES 07

NEW WRITERS – August 26, 2007

1 one year subscriptions Hope for Women magazine
LaTara Ham-Ying

NEVER ENOUGH
Angela Winters

The Street Life Series
Kevin M. Weeks

Between the Devil & The Deep Blue Sea – Romantic Suspense
Darline Dorce-Coupet

Roses are thorns, Violets are true
Sheila M. Goss

WHO WILL HEAR MY SCREAMS (2)
Anna Dennis

THE PUREST OF PAIN(2)
Anna Dennis

Special sneak previews of ONCE UPON A PROJECT
Bettye Griffin

Book by
R. Barri Flowers

Prodigal Child in e-book format
Shoba Mano

Book
By Brenda Novak

Where Souls Collide
Stefanie Worth

UNDERNEATH IT ALL
Margo Candela

The Aura of Love
Kathy J Marsh

ebook - Secrets Lies
Sylvia Hubbard

ADVANCE WRITERS– August 27, 2007

1 one year subscriptions Hope for Women magazine
LaTara Ham-Ying

My Husband's Girlfriend
Cydney Rax

Call It What You Want
Rhonda Jackson Joseph

The Street Life Series
Kevin M. Weeks

Deborah Donnelly


Donna M. Brown: The Essence Of Innocence...Undeniable Betrayal...Unforgiven Love
Donated by Lee Charles

Can I Get An Amen
Natalie Dunbar

UNDERNEATH IT ALL
Margo Candela

READERS– August 28, 2007

1 one year subscriptions Hope for Women magazine
LaTara Ham-Ying
http://www.hopeforwomenmag.org/

2 gift bags
Donated Tracee Garner

Call It What You Want
Rhonda Jackson Joseph

Backroom Confessions (2) Drama/Contemp
Donated by Rose Beavers

Sex on the Second Floor (2) Erotica
Donated by Rose Beavers

Ghetto Luv (2) Street Lit
Donated by Rose Beavers

The Street Life Series (2)
Kevin M. Weeks

The ins and outs of the fashion industry- from a fashion insider
Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo

Where Souls Collide
Stefanie Worth

UNDERNEATH IT ALL
Margo Candela

The Aura of Love
Kathy J Marsh

WRITING FOR THE LORD– August 29, 2007

1 one year subscriptions Hope for Women magazine
LaTara Ham-Ying
http://www.hopeforwomenmag.org/

2 copies of
Veil of Fire
Marlo Schalesky

The Pastors' Wife Does Cry" (2) Christian Memoir
Donated by Rose Beavers

A Hole in My Heart (2) Christian/teens and adults
Donated by Rose Beavers

Reclaiming Nick
Susan May Warren

Happily Ever After
Susan May Warren

Restitution
MaryLu Tyndall

Business Unusual
Linda F. Beed

Book by
Tricia Goyer

Be Encouraged
Lynn Emery

Book by
Michelle Lark

SELF PUBLISHING– August 30, 2007

1 one year subscriptions Hope for Women magazine
LaTara Ham-Ying
http://www.hopeforwomenmag.org/

The Aura of Love
Kathy Marsh

Bag Lady
Alethea M Pascascio

Ladies' Night Out (2)
Electa Rome Parks

lavish lines/luscious lies - Poetry
Saadia Ali Aschemann
Donated by Diane Dorce

Autographed galley of “Paige's Web”
Sheila M. Goss

WHO WILL HEAR MY SCREAMS (2)
Anna Dennis

THE PUREST OF PAIN(2)
Anna Dennis

IF THESE WALLS COULD TALK
Bettye Griffin

Special sneak previews of ONCE UPON A PROJECT
Bettye Griffin

Book By
L.A. Banks

Prodigal Child in e-book format
Shoba Mano

The Object of Love(2)
Sharon Cullars

A Serial Affair
Natalie Dunbar

CHEMISTRY
Kim Louise

UNDERNEATH IT ALL
Margo Candela

The Aura of Love
Kathy J Marsh

Ace of Hearts- by Jean Holloway, Romantic Suspense
Donated by Diane Dorce

Family Ties
Sylvia Hubbard

THE BUSINESS OF WRITING– August 31, 2007

BOOK - My Husband's Girlfriend
Cydney Rax

The Street Life Series
Kevin M. Weeks

These Are My Confessions
Electa Rome Parks

WHO WILL HEAR MY SCREAMS (2)
Anna Dennis

THE PUREST OF PAIN(2)
Anna Dennis

Special sneak preview of ONCE UPON A PROJECT
Bettye Griffin

Book By Dyanna Davis (2)

Love's Treacherous Terrain
Shoba Mano

Email course on Writing for Anthologies
Dena Dyer

Keepin' It Tight
Shani Greene-Dowdell

HEALING THE BREACH
Rosalind Stormer

EVER WONDERFUL
Kim Louise

Free 1-hour Author
Interview on Just About Books Radio Talk Show
Donated by Cheryl Robinson, Host of Just About Books Talk Show

Author Series eBooklet, "How to Get Booked on Radio Talk Shows and Sell Books"
Donated by Cheryl Robinson, Host of Just About Books Talk Show

Author Series eBooklet, "Radio Interview Tips for Savvy Authors"
Donated by Cheryl Robinson, Host of Just About Books Talk Show

Author Series eBooklet, "How to Write Great Query Letters and Pitch Letters"
Donated by Cheryl Robinson, Host of Just About Books Talk Show

Author Series eBooklet, "How to Create the Perfect Media Kit"
Donated by Cheryl Robinson, Host of Just About Books Talk Show

UNDERNEATH IT ALL
Margo Candela

The Aura of Love
Kathy J Marsh

PROMOTION – September 1, 2007

Gift Basket
Dyanne Davis

RAWSISTAZ Advertising

-- Top Shelf Ad (3)

-- Side Bar Ad

-- BlackBookReviews.net Ad (4)Donated by Tee C. Royal

WINTER PARK
Angela Winters

The Street Life Series
Kevin M. Weeks
These Are My Confessions
Electa Rome Parks

52 Broad Street – Urban drama
Diane Dorce

WHO WILL HEAR MY SCREAMS (2)
Anna Dennis

THE PUREST OF PAIN(2)
Anna Dennis

Prodigal Child in e-book format
Shoba Mano

CHEMISTRY
Kim Louise

The Aura of Love
Kathy J Marsh

CONTEST PRIZE DONATIONS

First Place Prize

The Writer behind the Words: Steps to Success in the Writing
Life" – Donated by Dara Girad

"The Writer's Tool Box." Audio Book – Donated by Patrika Vaughn

The Organized Writer CD - Donated by Dena Dyer

Second Place Prize

The Writer behind the Words: Steps to Success in the Writing
Life" Donated by Dara Girad

The 15-Minute Writer CD: Writing and Selling the Short Stuff Donated by Dena Dyer

Third Place Prize

The Writer behind the Words: Steps to Success in the Writing
Life" Donated by Dara Girad

Thursday, July 19, 2007

FEATURED AUTHOR: Linda Windsor

Linda, a native of Maryland's Eastern Shore, is the author of eighteen historical novels and nine contemporary romances for both the secular and Christian market. A Christy Award finalist, Linda has received numerous awards in both the ABA and CBA, including the Romantic Writers of America's Beacon Award. She lives in Salisbury, Maryland. Learn more!







WEDDING BELL BLUES

Wedding Bell Blues is the first in a new series, The Piper Cove Chronicles, that follows four women who grew up as best friends in a small community on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. They have returned home from their successes and failures at college and life, determined to pursue their dreams in the town they'd once vowed to leave in the dust. True love has eluded the four friends until one by one they encounter their soul mate. Next in the series is FOR PETE'S SAKE, on sale from Avon Inspire in April 2008.

Alex Butler is a successful home decorator who hopes she has finally gotten her life together. But when Josh Turner, the man who ran away and broke her heart sixteen years ago, returns to Piper Cove to be the best man in her sister's wedding, Alex can't escape the butterflies in her stomach. But Alex has no time for distractions. Her family has enlisted her to make this the wedding of the century. To pull the event off, she pools the talents of her three best friends - Jan, who creates desserts to-die-for will help with the cake and catering, tomboy Ellen, who works at a landscaping business will handle the flowers and decorations, and Sue Ann, who can…well, Suzie Q can give Alex a much-needed reality check in the course of the wedding planning chaos.

But fate won't be stopped in this small town as Alex and Josh keep running into each other at every turn. When sparks fly, Alex soon finds herself caught in a paralyzing battle of the heart between her old-fashioned Southern father, who fiercely resents Josh for breaking his little girl's heart, and her feelings for the one man she ever truly loved.

As the wedding approaches, the Butler family faces a threat to their reputation that will shake this Chesapeake clan to their very core. In the midst of it all, can Alex and Josh resist the many forces that seem to be drawing them together?

Read an excerpt

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

JULY EXCERPT: A Bona Fide Gold Digger


A Bona Fide Gold Digger
By Allison Hobbs



Milan Walden is living the high life. She has it all, a high-power career, respect from her peers, and unlimited business potential. But when she finds herself unemployed and facing criminal charges, she flees the only life she’s ever known to start again.

Milan accepts a position as a live-in companion to ailing millionaire Noah Brockington. Her hunger for glamour and luxury drives her to become involved in a twisted relationship with her employer that soon results in a bizarre prenup and frantic preparations for the strangest wedding anyone could expect.

Fighting off greedy family members, Noah’s obsession with quirky sex, and the yearnings of her heart, Milan finds a new zest for life as she strives to become the sole heir of the Brockington fortune. A Bona Fide Gold Digger is an addictive spin through scandal and temptation that will leave every reader dizzy, but wanting more.


Chapter One

Had her guard been up, Milan Walden would have sensed something was amiss. She would have noticed while gliding into her reserved space that there were more cars than usual in the company parking lot. But, seduced by the unseasonably spring like weather and still basking in the afterglow of a succession of mini orgasms and one major, body-quaking orgasm the night before, Milan felt lighthearted and carefree. It was February, but her mind was already on a new summer wardrobe, a new hairstyle with bronze highlights, and perhaps a new car. Something sleek and elegant - a Jag or a Ferrari. And breast implants.

Smart, competent, and accomplished, Milan damn well deserved a bigger set of boobs. But with her low tolerance for pain, she doubted she could suffer through surgery or the agonizing healing process afterward. So, on second thought, she decided to forgo breast augmentation altogether. She'd start wearing bras with more padding to give the illusion of a bigger bust line. Her extra dollars would be spent on something totally unrelated to pain-like the pricy anchor pendant, with its brilliant round diamonds that swung from a delicate platinum chain, that she'd been coveting at Tiffany.

After a successful nine-month stint as the executive director of Pure Paradise Renewal Center and Day Salon, twenty-six-year-old Milan Walden was earning a six-figure salary and would soon be eligible for a substantial salary increase. The board of directors was decidedly pleased with Milan's inventive ideas and vigorous campaigns to promote the spa's beauty and wellness services. They were particularly impressed with the quarterly profits.

Under Milan's helm, profits at Pure Paradise had tripled in nine short months. Business was booming! Though the wealthy elite were the target market, Milan had innovatively devised beauty renewal and well-being programs to fit the budgets of women from all economic brackets.

Of course, Milan had the good sense not to integrate the well-to-do with the hopeless bottom feeders. No, no, no. The streamlined programs for those of modest income were scheduled on specific days and time slots, and upon arrival, the less fortunate were herded down to the lower level - unseen by discriminating eyes.

Milan looked forward to her performance review. Certain that her salary would more than double, she smiled wistfully as she envisioned indulging herself with all the fabulous material things money could buy.

Not bad for a gangly black kid from the Raymond Rosen housing projects, she thought with smug satisfaction as she breezed through the automatic sliding glass doors. She caught a glimpse of her reflection as she passed the mirror that hung above the security station and had to admit that she looked damn good.

Impeccably swathed in a textured well-cut pantsuit and a pair of beaded mules, carrying a colorful trendy leather briefcase, and sporting an expensively coiffed hairstyle, Milan had used her fashion and beauty sense to change her ugly duckling status to that of a beautiful swan.

She was brimming with pride and absolutely pleased with her life as well as the glorious sunny day, which she perceived as a divine design to complement her charmed existence. She failed to notice the serious expression of the usually smiling and solicitous security guard as she whisked past him.

When she approached the company's reception area, the woman who sat behind the desk greeted Milan with a strained smile and a weak "Good morning." The woman was Milan's exact age. She had a nice figure and appealing facial features, however, being a lowly receptionist was probably as far as she aspired. The poor envious creature would never come close to reaching Milan's level of success. Feeling superior, Milan smirked at the receptionist as she briskly walked past. Don’t hate!

A few moments later, as she floated toward her secretary's desk, Milan couldn't imagine why, though she could smell the overpowering and sickeningly sweet fragrance of potpourri that always wafted throughout Pure Paradise, she was unable to detect even a hint of the wonderful aroma of her morning cappuccino.

Her secretary, Sumi, who also served as the center's tour guide for prospective clients, was completely incompetent, but being a young and flawless Eurasian beauty, Sumi was excellent advertising for Pure Paradise. Desperate women in their forties seeking to stave off the destruction of time flocked to Pure Paradise, where they were promised youth and rejuvenation with massage therapy, aromatherapy, yoga, Pilates, facials, seaweed wraps, colonics, and even journaling sessions, for pity's sake! What a crock!

Thankfully, a sucker had been born every minute during the wild sixties. Bless those grungy, down-with-the-establishment hippies for prolific breeding and for producing such materialistic and narcissistic offspring.

"Sumi," Milan hissed, banging her chic, lime-colored Italian leather briefcase on Sumi's desk. "Where's my cappuccino grande? You know I can't begin my day without my caffeine fix."

A look of extreme discomfort crossed Sumi's pretty face. "Someone snatched it," Sumi explained, her voice an apologetic whisper.

"Someone snatched it?" Milan echoed. "Who?" she screeched. In search of a cappuccino thief, she whirled around and assessed her secretary's work area in anger and disbelief.

Sumi pointed toward the executive office "Milan's office. Just as Milan cut her eyes in that direction, the door flew open. A stern-faced board member emerged from Milan's office and beckoned her.

Utterly surprised, Milan's jaw dropped. "Good morning, Mr. Billings," she said, quickly composing herself. "What a wonderful surprise," she continued in an unnaturally high-pitched voice.

"Yes, good morning, Milan." He gave her a tight smile and then with a pompous lift of his chin, he said, "We'd like to have a word with you."

We? Milan mouthed the word as she turned her head to meet the wide, doe-shaped eyes of Sumi. She grasped the handle of her briefcase and glared at her secretary, willing the frazzled girl to enlighten her.

"The board," Sumi finally responded. "They're all in there."

"All of them?"

Sumi nodded gravely.

What the hell? With panic mounting, Milan cleared her throat, donned a twitchy smile, and walked woodenly toward Mr. Billings. Wheels turned quickly inside her head and then it dawned on her - the board wanted to reward her for her amazing accomplishments. They probably wanted to present her with a monetary bonus a few months before her scheduled performance review. A genuine smile now replaced the painful spastic grin. With a feeling of great relief, Milan traipsed inside her spacious office and offered a cheery "Hellooo," animatedly waved.

________

Six entirely Caucasian Pure Paradise board members were convened. They all sat stiffly on the sofa, settee, and two chairs. The board's chairperson, Dr. Kayla Pauley, an attractive and fashionable, forty-something dermatologist, sat behind Milan's desk, wearing a classy Norma Kamali jacket and sipping the stolen cappuccino. Milan was reminded of how much she disliked the sickeningly self-assured Dr. Pauley. Still, she gave a delighted smile that welcomed the insufferable woman to her desk-and to her badly-needed morning java.

Milan cast a hopeful glance at a male board member who sat in one of the cushy chairs. Not only did he refrain from offering her a seat, the man had the gall to give Milan a look of contempt and then fixed a pleasant gaze on Dr. Pauley.

Irritation coursed through her body and threatened to make an appearance on her face, but she shook off the feeling and graced the board members with another forced smile. She supposed their solemn expressions and the stifling doom and gloom atmosphere was merely a facade, a necessary preface to glad tidings.

Dr. Pauley set the container of cappuccino upon the desk. "Good morning, Milan. I guess you're wondering why we're here." Dr. Pauley leaned forward in Milan's executive chair and began shuffling papers.

Milan nodded absently as she glanced disapprovingly at the blood red lip prints left on the cup. Her cup! Despite the monetary compensation she was about to receive, Milan couldn’t help feeling violated. Why did Dr. Pauley have to ruin the moment by brazenly guzzling her cappuccino and sitting at her desk?

"It's been brought to our attention," Dr. Pauley began slowly, "that you haven't been...how should I put it?" She paused briefly and then exclaimed with an extravagant wave of her hand, "Milan, we've discovered you haven't been forthcoming."

Say what? Milan kept her bright smile frozen in place, for surely she had mistaken the word forthcoming for rewarded. Of course the board was gathered to show how much they appreciated her. Her performance at Pure Paradise was stellar. They couldn't possibly have convened to accuse her of - what? Theft? Embezzlement? Why did white people always think blacks were prone to steal? How dare they even suggest that an intelligent, attractive, polished, and educated woman such as she would take something from Pure Paradise?

Hmm. On second thought, she had pocketed dozens of those cute little pastel-colored bottles of Hawaiian hand lotion. Sudden fear made her heart pump a trillion beats per second. Oh hell! she thought with relief and calmed down. The product was included in the gift bags - giveaways for new clients. You can't steal something that's being given away. She had a notion to inform the stuffy board members of that fact, but held her tongue. In Milan's opinion, the real thief was Dr. Kayla Pauley, the coffee-snatching, desk-stealing hussy.

Without a doubt, the board had made a mistake, and Milan was prepared to loudly protest any wrongdoing on her part. "Exactly what are you trying to say?" Milan inquired. Her broad smile morphed into a don't-mess-with-me-before-I've-had-my-coffee scowl.

Taken aback by Milan's sudden intimidating presence, Dr. Pauley drew back and nervously reshuffled the papers.

“Milan,” Mr. Billings said, rising from his position on the settee, “It’s come to our attention that you falsified your credentials.”

Milan’s mouth went dry. Her rising panic escalated to full-blown terror. She swallowed and took a peek at the papers on her desk. She squinted at her resume, scrutinized it as if there was some kind of mistake. But her name was right there in bold letters as well as her educational background. There were other papers on the desk. One was embossed with the University of Pittsburgh logo and another boasted the Temple University logo.

“There is no record of your ever receiving a bachelor’ degree from Pitt or an MBA from Temple.” Now emboldened, Dr. Pauley leaned forward. “Milan, your position requires a degree from a four-year college at the least.” Dr. Pauley sat shaking her head and scanning the papers in an annoyance. “Unless you can provide the proper documentation, we’re going to have to terminate you immediately.”

Dr. Pauley’s words were chilling. Milan’s knees, damn them, knocked together uncomfortably. She hadn’t heard what she thought, had she? She definitely needed a moment to process the information. She stammered, “I know I don’t actually have a degree, but obviously I’m a strong, dynamic leader. My experience speaks for—”

Before she could utter another word, Royce, the security guard, appeared. He glowered at Milan briefly and then said gruffly, “Come with me, Ms. Walden.”

Milan’s jaw dropped. “You’re kidding!” She twirled on her heels and faced the group of six. “Is this necessary? My accomplishments here have been huge,” Milan said, fighting for survival, trying to reason with the board. “I put in thirteen-hour work days and I’ve made this company a small fortune.” She paused to catch her breath. “And now you’re treating me like a common thief.”

“Please leave the premises, Milan, or security will have to forcibly remove you,” Dr. Pauley said, unmoved by Milan’s outburst. Slowly and gracefully, she picked up the phone. “Sumi, please pack up all Milan’s belongings.”

Milan opened her mouth to further defend herself, but she felt faint. The words necessary to halt this travesty of justice escaped her.

Smiling wickedly as she swiveled toward Milan, Dr. Pauley said, “We’ll forward your belongs to your current address. Hopefully, that isn’t a fabrication as well.”

The next three minutes were a blur of embarrassed gasps, chuckles, and outright slurs from subordinates who apparently felt Milan had it coming. A minute or so later, she sat inside her car, stunned and trembling, but very reluctant to leave Pure Paradise. Driving away obliterated her chance of being available should the board come to their senses and reconsider their absurd decision to fire her. As far as Milan was concerned, keeping her around—college degree or not—made good business sense.

Royce had brusquely escorted Milan through the sliding doors and returned to his station. From his vantage point, he could see that she was making no attempt to vacate the company parking lot. The once-friendly security guard stepped outside. With an angry expression, he motioned for Milan to get moving.

Could the day get any worse? Her mind was spinning, her head throbbed, and she felt queasy. She really needed something to calm her down. She imagined Dr. Pauley and realized that what she needed was a goddamn cup of coffee!

Blinking back tears, she pulled herself together, turned on the ignition, and careened out of the lot. The car, seemingly on automatic pilot, was pointed in the direction of the nearest Starbucks.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Online Conference - August 26 - Sept 1st

AGENDA

DAY ONE – NEW WRITERS – August 26, 2007

Panel Discussion: Debut Writers - Roxanne Rustand, J. S. Hawley, Michelle Larks, Jill Nelson, Margo Candela, Carmen Leal, LaConnie Taylor-Jones

Workshop: Basic Writing - Host: Dee Stewart

Workshop: To Plot Or Not To Plot - Host: Barbara Custer

INTRO: Debut Authors

DAY TWO – ADVANCE WRITERS– August 27, 2007

Panel: Meet the Editor - Monica Harris - Dorchester African American Romance, Stacy Boyd - Harlequin

Panel Discussion: Networking - LaShaunda C. Hoffman, Dyanne Davis, Shelia Goss, Nikki Arana, Ayn Hunt, Tee C. Royal, Andrea Jackson, L. Martin Johnson Pratt

Workshop: Editing/Revision - Host: Leigh Michaels

Workshop:Deep Point of View - Host: Jill Nelson



DAY THREE – READERS– August 28, 2007


Question/Answer Session

Panel: Meet the Romance Author - Dyanne Davis, Shelia Goss, J. S. Hawley, Dara Girard, Ayn Hunt, Roberta DeCaprio, Devon Vaughn Archer, Rhonda Jackson Joseph, Andrea Jackson

Panel: Meet the Christian Author - Marilynn Griffith, Nikki Arana, Michelle Larks, Susan May Warren, Marlo Schalesky, Jill Nelson, Cecelia Dowdy, Linda Beed, Stacy Hawkins Adams

Panel: Meet the Mainstream Author - R. Barri Flowers, Bettye Griffin, Marissa Monteilh, Margo Candela, Karen Duvall

Panel: Meet the Erotica Author - Celine Chatillon, Andrea Blackstone, Deatri King-Bey, Koko Brown

Discussion: What makes you throw a book against the wall?

Discussion: Do you have a site for readers?
Workshop: Palibra.com & the Digital Age of Self-Publishing - Host: Edwardo Jackson


DAY FOUR – WRITING FOR THE LORD– August 29, 2007

Panel Discussion:
Inspirational Writing - CBA vs ABA - Dee Stewart, Nikki Arana, Marilynn Griffith, Susan May Warren, Marlo Schalesky, Shelia Lipsey, Cecelia Dowdy, Stacy Hawkins Adams,Tia McCollors

Panel: Meet the Editor - Joylynn M. Jossel - Executive Editor Urban Christian

Workshop: The Spiritual Thread: Bondage or Blessing? - Host: Susan May Warren

Workshop: Tips on Pleasing an Editor - Host: Lyn Cote


Workshop: Children’s Writing: The Basics

DAY FIVE – SELF PUBLISHING– August 30, 2007

Panel Discussion: Self Publishing - Shani Greene-Dowdell, Anna Dennis, Alethea M Pascascio, Barbara Williams, Evelyn Palfrey, Rose Beavers, Dara Girard, Carmen Leal, Rhonda Jackson Joseph

DAY SIX – THE BUSINESS OF WRITING– August 31, 2007

Panel:
Meet the Agent - Tee C. Royal - Literary agent, Tamala Murray - Literary agent

Panel Discussion: Motivation - Dyanne Davis, Nikki Arana, J. S. Hawley, Dara Girard, Stefanie Worth, Yolanda Brunson-Sarrabo, Rhonda Jackson Joseph, Andrea Jackson, Marilynn Griffith, DeRon Smith

Workshop: Submitting - Host: Dyanne Davis

Workshop: The Naked Writer - Host: G. Miki Hayden


DAY SEVEN – PROMOTION – September 1, 2007

Panel Discussion: Why you need a publicist? - Pam Perry, Marlive Harris, Kathy Carlton Willis, Rebeca Seitz


Panel Discussion: Marketing - LaShaunda C. Hoffman, Dyanne Davis, Shelia Goss, Dee Stewart, Electa Rome Parks, Dara Girard, Ayn Hunt, Sylvia Hubbard, Cheryl Robinson, Andrea Jackson, L. Martin Johnson Pratt,Debra Owsley

WORKSHOP: How to Get Booked on Radio Talk Shows - Host: Cheryl Robinson

Critiquers - Anna Dennis, Joylynn M. Jossel, Cindy Appel, Bettye Griffin, Lisa A. Crayton, Dee Stewart, Barbara Williams, Marilyn Griffith, Kim Louise, LaShaunda Hoffman, Tamika Johnson, Marina Woods, Rosalind Stormer

Judges - Anna Dennis, Joylynn M. Jossel, J. S. Hawley, Kim Louise, Elenore Shields, LaShaunda Hoffman, Rhonda Jackson Joseph, MaryLu Tyndall, Shelia Goss

Door prizes are needed

Author's if you did not receive an invite, I don't have your email. Send an email to sormag@yahoo.com for more information.

Did you miss our last conference? Check it out see what you missed.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

SORMAG TOURS - Meisha Camm


Meisha Camm is twenty seven and currently lives in the Hampton Roads area of Virginia . She began writing in the year 2003. She is working on her third novel.

MISTRESS:

Mistress is a story about a woman named Alexis. She’s strong, feisty and has a good head on her shoulders. All throughout her childhood, her parents fought which at times got violent because of her father’s cheating ways. Her mother, Vivian accepted her father, Robert back almost every time.

When Alexis grows up, she meets a man named Jarrad Simmons, an executive producer who reluctantly fails to tell her that he is married. By the time, she does find out the devastating news Alexis is already in love with Jarrad. She has a choice to make stick it with Jarrad who claims to be in the process of getting a divorce or cut her losses short and find someone else who’s available one hundred percent.

You want to know what's funny? I truly believed in my heart and soul Jarrad was going to leave his wife for me. I watch Oprah and Maury daily. I should've known better. Each time he says, "Baby, I'm going to ask her for the divorce soon," I roll eyes and mumble to myself, "I'll believe that shit when I see it".

How to contact Meisha:

Mailing address is P.O. Box 41380
Norfolk VA 23541

skyhigh7911@juno.com (email)

http//www.actionmeanschange.com
http://www.urbanbooks.net (publisher's website address)

What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

I want my readers to take away from my book that whatever situations you may go through, you have the choice to stay or get out.

Summer is here, what fun activity do you do in the summer time?

I read a lot myself. It helps me to relax.



MEISHA is on tour all this week. Check her out on the rest of the tour.






Post a message to Meisha for a chance to win a SORMAG's Goody Bag
SORMAG TOURS would like to thank
Meisha for taking her online tour with us.
If you would like to take a tour or be a tour site,
check our site for more information

Thursday, July 12, 2007

FEATURED AUTHOR: Rachel Hauck


Rachel Hauck is the author of many books. Her current release, Viva NashVegas is the second in a series which began with Lost in NashVegas. She is also a Blogger and a CFBA member! She lives in Florida with her husband. Visit her great profile and learn more.



DIVA NASH VEGAS:


Even if you are not a lover of country music, you can enjoy this fun look at the Nashville entertainment industry.

What do you do when the past you’ve been skirting shows up at your door with cameras rolling?

Aubrey James ruled the charts as the queen of country for over a decade. She’d rocketed to fame in the shadow of her parents’ death-both of them pioneers in Gospel music. But while her public life, high profile romances, and fights with Music Row execs made for juicy tabloid headlines, the real and private Aubrey has remained a media mystery.

When a former band member betrays Aubrey’s trust and sells an "exclusive" to a tabloid, the star knows she must go public with her story. But Aubrey’s private world is rocked when the Inside NashVegas interviewer is someone from her past-someone she’d hoped to forget.

All the moxie in the world won’t let this Diva run any longer.


"Hauck once again takes us into the country music world, this time through the experiences of mega-star Aubrey James. Aubrey's life journey is filled with flaws, as well as a great deal of joy, and real life locales makes this highly original story authentic. The extra tidbits - from Aubrey's liner notes to quotes from the "media" at the beginning of the chapters - add extra sparkle to the plot."

- 4 Stars, Melissa Parcel, Romantic Times Book Club

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

E-tours: Walker and Lassiter


Cruisin' on Desperation by Pat G'Orge-Walker


“Pat G'Orge-Walker's Cruisin' on Desperation, a full-blown cure for what ails you. Her book of memorable characters will long dance in your head and laughing a torrential rain of tears.” —Bern Nadette Stanis (Thelma of Good Times)

Link to site: http://www.cruisin-on-desperation.com/



Right Here In The Middle

by Dr. Debbie Lassiter




You are following God and trying the way He wants you to. How do you hold on and stand firm when the enemy attacks? How do you do what you've told others to do for years?


What do you do when you are, Right Here In The Middle?

http://www.lassidministries.org/

Monday, July 09, 2007

JULY FEATURED AUTHOR: Toni Lee

SORMAG: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Toni Lee: I have a BSBA degree from the University of Central Florida and live in Central Florida with my family. I’m a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers Association, and I’m a member of the leadership team of the CIC (Complete in Christ) Singles’ Ministry of my church.

In addition to writing, I’m a Coordinator of Computer Applications. I analyze, design, implement, and maintain computer applications systems.

Besides being an avid reader, I also enjoy watching romantic-comedy movies and Bollywood/Hindu films. I’m a fan of Tyler Perry’s works, and listening to Urban/Black Gospel and Christian alternative music is a big part of my daily routine.

I love recreational travel.

Just prior to my work on Expectations, I published my first play, The Crown Mystery. I’m committed to communicating the message of Christ through my novels and plays; hence my motto: Spreading Truth Through Fiction.

SORMAG: Tell us about your current book?


LEE: Expectations is a romantic comedy-drama about a woman who prays for a husband and receives more than one unexpected answer. When Michael Greer barges into Daria Simpson’s home to avoid a belligerent ex-girlfriend, Daria is not impressed. Then Michael renews his relationship with Christ and begins attending her church. Suddenly, the atmosphere becomes electric, and despite her best intentions, Daria can’t get her mind off that man. Soon they’re having monster alerts that have nothing to do with ogres or dragons. Hilarious encounters, eccentric aunties, and a persistent ex-girlfriend give them plenty of action, but nothing prepares them for the arrival of a secret baby who reveals an awful secret.

The novel takes you on a roller coaster ride of laughter, drama, self-discovery, spiritual renewal, and love.

It’s a fresh look at the struggle for pre-marital purity and the power of forgiveness. Using recognizable characters, situations, and comedy, this novel addresses the impact of self-discovery, physical intimacy, and spiritual renewal on the Christian single man and woman.

SORMAG: What led you to the idea of writing this book?

LEE: There are many Christians harboring unforgiveness.

Some are even depressed and angry with God, because they’ve been praying for a long time, and haven’t received any answers. Or haven’t received the answers they expect.

There are folk out there just like the hero in my novel, Michael Greer. They are in a backslidden state and are miserable, because they feel God drawing them back to Him, yet they are resisting.

Christians know that pre-marital sex is not permitted. But it’s not an easy thing to love someone and not enter into that arena.

Using comedy, I wanted to address all of these issues. Not just address them, but offer solutions to the struggles.

In essence, I wrote Expectations to spread truth through fiction with a liberal coating of laughter.

SORMAG: What was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing this book?

LEE: It surprised me to learn that I could actually string words together and create an interesting story.

I discovered that I had a voice that people liked.

I learned that I could create characters on paper and breathe life into them.

SORMAG: What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

LEE: My novel has many interrelated messages. I would like readers to gain the following from Expectations:

· We have expectations, but God has a plan.
· The truth that God loves them and is concerned about every facet of their lives.
· Sometimes the answer we expect from God is not the answer we receive, but it will be the right answer for us. The timing of that answer will be perfect.
· Unforgiveness is a destructive force.
· Time for us here on earth is finite. Don’t put off having an honest and intimate relationship with Christ until tomorrow, because tomorrow may never come.
· It’s important to stay pure before God in thought and deed.

SORMAG: How did it feel to hold your first book?

LEE: I felt like a proud momma. It was awesome to hold a published copy of “my baby” in my hands. The labor was well worth it.

SORMAG: What aspect of writing do you love the best, and which do you hate the most?

LEE: It absolutely fascinated me to watch Expectations unfold at my fingertips. The characters became “real people” that I cared about and grew to love.

SORMAG: What did I enjoy the least?

LEE: Editing! I’m afflicted with a condition that I have heard referred to as God Syndrome: I wrote it, and it was good. LOL! Now, you can just imagine the struggles I had during the editing process.

SORMAG: What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
LEE: Writing is hard work. Publication doesn’t happen overnight.

SORMAG: What do you do to make time for yourself?

LEE: I’m an avid reader. When I want an escape, I will pick up a novel. Now that I’m a writer, some of the joy in reading has dimmed for me, because I can no longer just enjoy a story for the story’s sake. I read and critique. I hate that! LOL! It’s become instinctive.

When I start to feel overwhelmed by writing, church, work, and familial responsibilities, I take a timeout and watch Bollywood/Hindu films.

SORMAG: What was the last book to keep you up at night reading it?

LEE: My responsibilities—work, church, writing, family—don’t leave enough energy for late night reading. As I stated before, I’m an avid reader. If I list authors here, I’m afraid I’ll leave out some really good ones. I’ll just say that I like cozy mysteries and historical and contemporary romances. My only requirement is that they MUST give me a good giggle.

SORMAG: How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

LEE: Readers can find me on-line at the following locations:







They can contact me via snail mail at…
P.O. Box 677212
Orlando, FL 32867-7212

JULY EXCERPT: EXPECTATIONS


EXPECTATIONS
By Toni Lee

Chapter One



Blurb: Expectations is a romantic comedy-drama about a woman who prays for a husband and receives more than one unexpected answer. It takes you on a roller coaster ride of laughter, drama, self-discovery, spiritual renewal, and love.

Tired and feeling more than a little sorry for herself, Daria Simpson moaned her relief when she walked into her air-conditioned home. After walking from her office building to her car in Orlando, Florida’s sweltering heat, her blouse stuck to her back.

The fifteen-minute drive home from her job at the university wasn’t long enough for the car’s air conditioner to do much good.

Daria flung her briefcase into the nearest leather armchair and dropped a printed copy of the computer program—which had given her fits all day—onto a mahogany end table.

She kicked off her pumps and unbuttoned her suit coat as she crossed the living room and headed down the hall toward the bedroom to undress.

When she entered the room, her favorite fragrance, Morning Glory, floated around her. The familiar scent gave her some comfort, but not nearly enough.

Okay, here we go again. It’s Friday night, and all is the same—no date! One of these days, I’m going to have a life, she thought as she rummaged through her dresser drawers.

“Ah, there you are. You’re just what I need right now.” She buried her face in her favorite ratty old t-shirt before slipping it on. Pulling on a pair of baggy shorts, she stopped to look in the mirror that hung over her cherry wood dresser. She ran her fingers through her black, highlighted, shoulder-length hair, and then smirked at her reflection. Girl, you look like you’re having a serious bad hair day.

She pursed her lips, making her high cheekbones—a much-appreciated gift from a Blackfoot ancestor—stand out. “I’m not all that, but I’m not exactly canine either. So what’s the problem?” Dark brown eyes stared back at her quizzically.

Lord, why is it taking You so long to send me a man? I’m trying to wait patiently and contentedly for You to send me somebody, but it’s just taking sooooooo long.

The doorbell rang, startling Daria.

“I wonder who that could be?” she muttered as she walked barefoot across the beige carpet in the hall.

The doorbell rang again, followed by rapid pounding. A quick peek through the security hole showed her neighbor from the other side of her entryway.

She jerked back. What’s he doing here?

During the three months he’d lived in her condominium complex, they’d exchanged smiles and waves when their paths crossed, but he’d never sought her out before.

She snorted. Sought her out? He’d never stood still long enough for her to find out his name or any other important information such as marital status, current employment, number of dependents, soul status, church affiliation, and an approximate income range.

She peered through the security hole again.

A frown marred his dark, chocolate-brown face. He kept glancing back over his shoulder.

His strong, square jaw flexed as he knocked again.

She placed her hand on the doorknob, then snatched it back. Oh no, why’d he have to come to my door now? He’ll take one look at me and run for the hills.

Daria quickly tried to smooth her mussed hair before opening the door. “Hi. May I—”

He pushed his way inside.

“Hey, what do you think you’re doing?” Daria watched his every move as she backed up toward her kitchen.

He immediately closed the door, set his briefcase on the floor, and dashed to her living room window. He peered out at the sidewalk that led to their recessed entrance, and then turned to face her.

If he tries anything, he’s going to be sorry. Thank you, Aunt Lenore, for dragging me to that self-defense class.

She started to rehearse self-defense moves in her head.

Knees spread slightly apart. Wait. No. Not that far apart—shoulder width to maintain balance.

Get centered.

Arms raised. Not high enough. There, at the hips.

Fists clenched. Turn them over. No, the other way.

Okay, finally she was ready for his next move.

When she looked at him, he laughed.

I’m ready to do him bodily harm, and he’s standing there laughing at me!

Daria couldn’t decide if anger or embarrassment heated her cheeks.

He walked slowly toward her with both hands raised, palms out. “Look, my name’s Michael, and I’m not going to hurt you. Someone’s following me. If you’ll give me a few minutes, I’ll explain.”

Daria searched his face, trying to determine whether she could trust him. For some unaccountable reason, deep down, she felt she could—as much as she could trust any man.

Daria heard rapid footsteps outside on the sidewalk. Giving Michael a wide berth, she moved toward the window and looked out.

A woman scampered by in skintight black jeans and stiletto heels. She stopped at the door across the way, looked around, knocked on the door, and waited a few seconds.

She had long, black silky hair that probably came out of a cellophane wrapper. Her thick lipstick made her lips look too big, instead of just pouty.

“C’mon, boo, open the door. It’s me, Shaniqua. We need to talk,” the woman called as she knocked on the door again. She tossed her head, let out a big sigh, and placed her right hand on her hip just below the patch of bare skin flashing past the hem of her top.

Uh-oh, she’s assuming the pose.

“Uh, boo, there’s a very angry woman named Shaniqua knocking on your door,” Daria informed her intruder.

Michael rubbed his distinctive round-tip, flared-nostril nose. “That would be the ‘someone’ who is following me.” Frustration and a bit of sheepishness laced his answer.

Daria’s jaw dropped. “Do you mean to tell me you barged in here because you’re running from a woman?” Her eyes started at his neatly edged black hair, then traveled over his suit-clad form. “You’re no lightweight. You’ve got to be over six feet, yet you’re running away from her?” Daria pointed her thumb toward the window.

“I wanted to avoid a big scene. Shaniqua can be . . .” He grimaced. “I’ll just say she can be rather vocal at times.”

Shaniqua’s voice distracted Daria, and she turned back to the window to see what would happen next.

“See, you ain’t right. I know you’re in there. I followed you here all the way from your job. Open this door right now!”

Each sentence was said with increased volume and neck movement.

“See, you don’t know who you’re messin’ with. Nobody, and I mean nobody, kicks Shaniqua Brown to the curb. It ain’t over until I say it’s over. Just so you have the facts straight, I was about to write you off anyway. You know what Shaniqua can do for you, but don’t even come running back to me when you start feeling your itch.” Shaniqua walked away toward the parking lot, swinging her hips for all she was worth.

Daria looked back at Michael and lifted a brow. He winced and ran a hand across his forehead.

She turned back to the window and watched Shaniqua until she disappeared from view.

Feeling his itch? No, she didn’t just yell that out in public. Honey, have a little bit of class. No wonder I don’t have a man. Daria shook her head in disgust and shot Michael a disgruntled look. They’re out there hookin’ up with women like Shaniqua. At least now Daria knew Michael wasn’t for her. The guy obviously wasn’t a Christian.

And until I have a wedding band and a sizable rock sitting on my ring finger, I don’t do itches!

Daria turned away from the window. “Unbelievable.”

Irritation sparked in Michael’s eyes. He ran a hand over his low-cut hair, and then stroked his beard-shadowed jaw. “As you can see, I had a good reason for coming here.”

Daria could feel her anger begin to simmer.

He’s lived in this complex for three months. Three months! And not once has he come here. Not even for a lousy cup of sugar. The only reason he’s here now is because he didn’t want to face another woman!

Her anger erupted into a full boil. “A good reason? Let me get this straight. You came here because you didn’t want to deal with Shaniqua, right?” She continued before he could respond. “What if she’d seen you entering my place? While you were hatching this crazy plan of yours, did it ever occur to you that you could’ve put me in danger by bringing her drama to my door? What if she’d been carrying a weapon?”

“I didn’t think—” Michael began.

“Yeah, I know you didn’t,” she retorted.

“Honestly, at the time I didn’t think about that. I just wanted to avoid a scene. You’re right, and I’m truly sorry. It will never happen again,” Michael said.

His contrite look told her he was genuinely sorry.

Daria smiled. “Your apology is accepted, but you’ve got to answer just one question. Where in the world did you find that woman?”

“Don’t go there.” He chuckled. “You sound just like Moms and Sis.”

She extended her hand. “After all of this, I guess we should introduce ourselves. My name is Daria Simpson.”

A smile creased his even-toned face. He clasped her hand in both of his, searched her face, and then stared warmly into her eyes. “I’m pleased to have finally met you, Daria. My name is Michael Greer. I wish we’d met under different circumstances.”

He dropped her hand and looked around her living room.

“It looks like the basic layout of your unit is the same as mine: a galley kitchen and breakfast bar—except the window in my living room faces the parking lot.”

His eyes paused briefly on her small stereo system. She guessed it didn’t have enough gadgets to hold his interest because his attention moved on.

She sensed a change in him and glanced at his face. He was staring at a picture of her and her friend Peaches with a puzzled look. She and Peaches were wearing floppy, oversized hats and mugging for the camera. Peaches’ hat had tiny peaches dangling from it. The hats cast shadows over the upper half of their faces.

It really wasn’t a very good picture, but it reminded her of the good times they’d shared before things had changed.

He walked over to her fireplace and lifted the picture from the mantle. “Who is she?” He turned slightly and pointed to Peaches.

“That’s my best friend, Peaches. Why do you ask?”

“She looks vaguely familiar. I think I’ve met her somewhere before.”

Daria smiled fondly. “Peaches is unforgettable. If you’d ever met her, you’d remember.”

Michael replaced the picture and headed for the door.

Daria followed him with good-humored mischief. “You’re sure that you can make it home alone? You’re not afraid big bad Shaniqua is going to come back and pound you on your way home are you? If you are, let me know, and I’ll escort you.”

Michael laughed. “Not unless you have better moves than those you demonstrated earlier. By the time you got ready for her, she’d be all over you.”

Daria chuckled. “That’s what you think. I took a beginner’s self-defense class with my aunt. But my girl, Peaches, has taught me how to incorporate some serious street fighting into what I learned. I can do some real damage if I have to.”

“This Peaches sounds like a character.” Michael picked up his briefcase.

Well, she used to be, Daria thought sadly.

After she closed and locked the door, Daria stepped over to her window and watched Michael as he walked to his door.

She smiled. “He’s wearing that suit!” Her smile morphed into a grin. “He may not be for me, but that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the view. Mmm-hmm, he’s fine! He looks good coming and going.”

Tap. Tap. Tap.

Daria heard her before she saw her.

Michael stood frozen at his door with the key inserted in the lock. He was looking down the sidewalk that led to their entryway.

Daria laughed to herself. “She’s baaaaaack.”

Michael’s shoulders slumped in defeat.

“Why you trippin’? I was sitting right there in my car waitin’ for you.” Shaniqua pointed in the direction of the parking lot. “I saw you come out of that apartment over there. You heard me out here callin’ you.” She turned slightly toward Daria’s door and pointed. “Who lives over there anyway?”

Shaniqua turned back to Michael when he answered, “It doesn’t matter who lives there.”

“This is better than a soap opera,” Daria said gleefully. “I’ve got a movie right outside my living room window. All I need now is the popcorn.” Daria slowly widened the blinds to give herself a better view. “Humph, if they’re going to put on a show in public, I’m definitely going to watch and listen.”

“Look, Shaniqua, there’s nothing here for you. Please leave,” Michael said.

“I ain’t goin’ nowhere! You ain’t the boss of me.”

“I don’t want to argue with you. We’ve said everything that we have to say to each other. Please, just go.”

Shaniqua stared at Michael for a couple of heartbeats and then made a mercurial change.

“Boo, you know we’re good together.” Shaniqua ran a long fingertip down Michael’s chest and licked her lips suggestively. “Why mess up a good thing?”

He captured her wandering finger and removed it from his chest. “Shaniqua, you’re living in the past. When was the last time we were ‘a good thing’?”

“’Bout six months ago. And?”

“Six months? She ain’t been doing no itches either—at least not his,” Daria commented from her vantage point.

“Doesn’t that tell you something? I don’t want that anymore. It just . . . it just feels wrong. That’s all we had. I want more than that.” Frustration filled Michael’s voice.

“Yeah? Hmm . . . interesting,” Daria said softly.

“But I thought things would change when you moved here from Atlanta. I thought we’d get closer . . . you know . . . maybe get married. C’mon, let’s go to Jake’s and talk over a long cold drink like we used to,” Shaniqua cajoled.

Daria’s stomach clenched as though she’d been punched. References to bars and drinking caused that reaction sometimes—but not so often anymore. “Breathe, girl. Let it go. Different man. Different circumstances. Just breathe,” Daria told herself, as she took several deep breaths, and then refocused on Michael and his lady.

“Get married?!” The horrified look on Michael’s face was almost comical. He took a step backward. “I never, ever said anything to you to make you think I wanted more from you than what we already had.”

Shaniqua’s hand flew to her hip. “Oh, so I’m not good enough for you?” she huffed.

“Be honest, Shaniqua. You don’t love me. You love my wallet.”

The hand made a slow trip down her hip until it dangled at her side. She studied the fingernails on her other hand and shrugged. “Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a man takin’ care of his woman.”

“Well, this bank is closed.”

Daria chuckled softly. “Ooh, now that’s cold.”

Shaniqua’s right hand flew to her hip and the left started flashing in Michael’s face. “All right, be that way. You think you know me, but you don’t know me. I’ll cut you. You better watch your back.” Shaniqua turned and stalked off.

“Whoa! If that girl ain’t ghetto, I don’t know what is,” Daria exclaimed.

Michael shook his head as he watched Shaniqua walk away.

Just when Daria thought he was going to turn and enter his condo, his brown eyes swiveled to her window and pinned her to the spot.

Busted!

Instead of showing embarrassment at having been caught eavesdropping, Daria plastered a big grin on her face and wriggled her fingers at him in a little wave.

About Me

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