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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Friday, February 27, 2009

FEATURED AUTHOR: Minister Celeste

Reverend Celeste Tolliver-Kelley is a native of Hamtramck, Michigan, and has one son, LaMont. She was licensed and ordained by Dr. James L. Morman.

She is the Co-Founder and Director of The SISTAHS Ministry International (http://www.thesistahsministry.com/) and hosts the Write the Vision Radio Show.

The "Sister Girl..." Series was motivated by the calling of God to help women and girls. As her desire came to fruition by God’s grace, she is committed to carrying out His purpose. The Series is nationally distributed and she is living her dream in being a blessing all over the United States.

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

I would hope that reading "Sister Girl..." would ignite a fire to either (1) discover one's destiny, or (2) continue in the destiny one has. In either case, it is hopeful that readers would realize that it's more about themselves than it is about the sister (or brother) across the way. I also pray that it would ignite a sense of sisterhood that seems to be lacking in today's world. It should also be realized that one is not alone in working toward those dreams and visions and that "the sister across the way" had a hard road in reaching hers too. Just because she doesn't speak on the bad times, or "look like" she struggled, there is always some type of bumpy road when you're trying to accomplish goals - if no other reason, it is satan's job to put the obstacles there - so, there are definitely some struggles for everyone.

Why did you choose to write this book?

Because of the experiences I had in dealing with my sisterhood. From sister friends to "other women" in a relationship situation, there was always some type of hateration going on, and I was guilty to, to some extent. So as the Lord began to deal with me and my issues, I came to realize that there were "sister issues" that needed to be addressed, that might help someone else to get going on the road God has for them. For me, this book was my start, and the chapters basically lay out things I had to do to realize I could write a book and it was what the Lord wanted from me before He actually blessed me with the "one thing" I so desired (and I'm still waiting by the way, LOL).

What did you learn while writing this book?

That growth is continuous, and the very things we believe we've conquered the Lord will bring back to us for surety and/or so we can handle them better the next time around. I've also learned that the "hateraide" addiction is massive with some people, even moreso when you enter the destiny God has for you. However, the words of the book continue to propel me forward.

What was your favorite scene from the book?

LOL, the "sister accosting another sister" parable. I wrote that out of my own direct experience in a situation where I was accosted at a bowling alley, trying to do something nice for someone I was friends with at the time. I was standing there minding my own business and there the sister went into how she was dating him and not me - but the brother was not committed to anyone... Some sisters just don't know how to handle "dating" in the sense of meaning single people can date as many people as they like. I had to learn the hard way too. Actually it's made a lot of men say they're not "dating" anyone - he has "friends" (LOL), but the sisters did it to themselves with all the possessive traits we have. The days of "courting" for the most part are over and sisters need to get over it - when you go out on a date with a man that does not mean you are in a "dating relationship" unless it has been communicated directly from that man's mouth to your ears, and exclusivity happens the same way.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

It is a gift. It can be a developed talent, like any other thing also. Writing doesn't come over night and it's inspired. I believe, whether fiction or non-fiction, no matter what genre, the Lord has to inspire what is actually penned on paper.

What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?

You get out of it what you put into it. You have to "show up to go up". Being self-published is hard work, you have to be part of the "net" that "works" in order to get an established network wherein you can gain access to the wealth of information that some are willing to share. Furthermore, when you believe in the message of your book, getting out there and networking is continuous.

As a first-time novelist, how would you describe the first moment you found out that your book was going to be published? What did you do to celebrate?

I was amazed. Truly, truly amazed. Being that I never aspired to be an author, although I have loved to write all my life and hid behind it many time, I never thought about writing a book. As a matter of fact, I am known not to be an avid reader, so it was a joke to many of my friends (LOL). I never went back to read anything until I was totally done, but when I did I cried, cried and cried some more because what is in the book is what was in my heart, and what the Lord wanted me to share with those who read it. I've developed a passion for my sisters out there, so this was truly a paramount time in my life that I would get to share these things and hopefully be a part of changing someone's life or getting them to move in the things the Lord has for them.

As far as a celebration, beside the Book Release Celebration which was also a birthday party, it was a wrap. But, I did cut more than a few steps and holla more than a few times at home! I was more amazed at what the Lord was doing in my life and trying to learn the literary world. Plus, most of all, I was humbled that the Lord chose me to be a vessel in sharing with my sisters.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Reliving what I've written. As I said, the Lord will flip certain situations back on you just as you believe that you've conquered those things. One of the other things I've faced is writing at the "wrong" time. There is a wrong time to write. If it is not inspired, put your pen down. It then becomes a test of the wills, the Lord's or ours - are we writing for another "glorious" moment for ourselves, or are we waiting on God's timing as authors - even if it takes years to complete the next project.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Shoot pool. My father was an avid pool shooter, so I'm truly his baby.

Now that you’ve reached the published goal, what three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

(1) The Financial Obligation. As mentioned before, being self-published is literally a commitment. You have to be committed to get out there and network. That, in and of itself, costs money - to travel, to pay distributors, to reorder books, always have some in stock - money!

(2) Marketing and Public Relations. Again, it costs to have promotions and you have to have them to get your book out there.

(3) Literary Competitivess. The literary world is no different than any other industry. There are those with that "competitive" spirit, and it can be discouraging sometime being that I'm not competitive. I believe that the doors given to me are from God and how many doors He gives me is up to Him. However, some will try to close doors for you because of their competitive spirit.

If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?

Maya Angelou. She is an icon in the literary world. I would like to know how she developed the passion for her craft.

Juanita Bynum. She changed a lot of women's lives with her "No More Sheets" series. I would like to know how about her transition into ministry and becomgin an author, and how she handles her haters - being that she's a minister, author, TV host.

Steve Harvey. He's a debut author, so it makes me wonder about the process of his project. I also believe he has an awesome testimony about his career as a comedian.

What advice would you offer to someone whose book is about to be released?

Get ready to ride the wave! There is no limit to where God can take you, but He is NOT the co-pilot is HE IS THE PILOT. Never move on your own merits. Even if you're unsure about what you're doing the Lord will give you confirmation as long as you honor Him first in everything you do. Don't listen to haters. Use them as elevators.

Our theme for this month is Writing the book, what three writing books would you recommend a new writer have in their library?

Writing Nonfiction: Turning Thoughts into Books by Dan Poynter

Writing the Christian Romance Writers Digest by Gail Gaymer Martin

The Book on Writing: The Ultimate Guide to Writing Well by Paula LaRocque

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

Minister Celeste Kelley
E-Mail: MinisterCeleste@yahoo.com
Web: www.SisterGirlSeries.com
Booking: PraizPR Marketing and Ministry Consulting - PraizPR@yahoo.com
Web: www.PraizPR.com

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

It's called "The Drama Queen's Prophecy: Breaking The Chains to Breakthrough" - I'm still breaking some chains, so I'm still peeking into it myself (LOL), but there are some things people try to speak into our lives that just cause us drama. We must press on to breakthrough and the double portion of blessings the Lord will bless us with.

SISTER GIRL… IT’S NOT THAT SERIOUS

Have you experienced the Hateraide addict of jealousy? Scenarios are presented of the author’s own experiences. This is the self-empowering story of how people “hate” for no apparent reason. Most times we contribute by allowing “haters” in our lives, giving them strongholds on our livelihoods. This book teaches methods for dealing with Hateraide addicts, as well as the principles for Hateraide recovery. More importantly, it helps to learn not to lean to our own understanding. Upon reading these principles, you will be more apt to consider yourself and your surroundings as you grow and enter into your destiny.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

READER's CHOICE AWARDS
























RULES:

We invite you to vote for your favorite books for 2008.

SORMAG READER's Choice Awards, are awards voted on by the readers. You vote on your favorite books, the books with the most votes is the winner.

Authors can vote for themselves. Before you vote, take a moment to read over the categories, write down your nominations, then come back and vote. Please write down the titles of the book, an Author's name can not be substituted for a title. Placing someone's name in all the categories does not increase their chance to win. If we receive a ballot with one person's name down the whole ballot it will be deleted. Only valid emails are accepted, if your email is returned your vote will not count. This is due to ballot stuffing.

Deadline March 15, 2009

If the form doesn't work, copy and paste and send to sormag2@yahoo.com
You should receive a thank you response, if you don't receive one in 24hrs your vote wasn't received. SCROLL DOWN TO VOTE








































































Name:




Email Address:




City/State:





Age:




Romance Novella Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Romance Book Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Fiction Book Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Non Fiction Book Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Christian Romance Book Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Christian Fiction Book Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Christian Non Fiction Book Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Children/Young Adult Book Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Self Published Fiction Book Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Self Published Non-Fiction Book Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Poetry Book Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Best Book Cover Of The Year
(Book published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Author Of The Year
(Mainstream Author published Jan 08-Dec 08)





New Author Of The Year
(mainstream/self pub in Jan 08-Dec 08)





Self Published Author Of The Year
(Self Published Author published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Children/Young Adult Author Of The Year
(Author published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)





Poet Of The Year
(Author published Jan 2008-Dec 2008)










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AWARD WINNER



Cheryl Donovan present the first Legends Awards to:

SORMAG-Shades of Romance Magazine

SORMAG – Shades Of Romance Magazine was started because of editor LaShaunda Hoffman’s love of AA romance novels and the lack of support for them. SORMAG was an extension of an online forum called Aspiring African-American Romance Writers she started on delphiforums.com in 1999. In 2000 SORMAG became a bi-monthly online magazine. As the romance writers began to expand into the mainstream market the magazine evolved to feature not only romance but all literature. In 2005, SORMAG advanced to the blog concept which offers readers interactive freedom. The blog lead to SORMAG becoming a publishing industry legend! Website: http://www.sormag.com/

Mosaic Literary Magazine

Launched in 1998, Mosaic is a quarterly magazine exploring the literary landscapes of Black and Latino writers. Each issue contains a unique blend of essays, profiles, and reviews. Mosaic is published by the Literary Freedom Project, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt not-for-profit arts organization that supports the literary arts through education, creative thinking, and new media. Editor/Publisher Ron Kavanaugh. http://mosaicmagazine.org/

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Book Buzz 2.0 - Tyora Moody


Thinking Ahead
by Tyora Moody


When writing a book, one may think it's too soon to think about marketing. The impression I've been getting the past few years, it's actually a very good idea to not only start thinking about book promotion, but to study the various avenues. Whether published traditionally or self-published, too many authors concentrate all their efforts on writing the book. That's only half the process. The next half is selling the book.

I often receive emails from unpublished writers about whether it's beneficial to have a web presence. Yes, if you want to sell books in the future. It certainly doesn't hurt to have an established audience prior to the book contract. If anything, it may make you more appealing to a publisher who in all honesty is clearly looking for the dollar sign aspect of your book.

Think about celebrities who automatically get book contracts based on their name or reputation. I know, I know, but those are celebrities. Yes, but think about the concept. What was appealing about them to the publisher? Keeping that in mind, here are some simple tips for the "average Joe or Jane" to start to think about in terms of book promotion.

1. Complete the book.

Before you think too far ahead, you should have a manuscript under your belt. The most important step in your plan, is to be sure you can complete a book. It might not be the final version and you may still need to seek editing, but if you want to be a novelist, discipline yourself to write on a regular basis. Most agents and publishers want to see the completed manuscript from fiction writers.

You can also consider smaller projects like short stories, articles or blogging. The main point is begin establishing yourself as a writer.

2. Purchase a domain name.

It's important to nail down a domain name as soon as possible. The domain name is usually yourname.com. For branding purposes, it’s always best to use your name unless you are writing under a pen name. There are other extensions like “.net”, “.tv”, “.us”, etc, but most people recognize “.com” as a company and you are in a sense a company or a brand.

When you do a domain name search, sometimes the name you want may be taken so it’s good to have a list of alternatives. For example, an author I worked with, Monique Miller wanted moniquemiller.com for her domain name, but it was already taken. She opted for authormoniquemiller.com.

As you explore domain names think about whether people will have a hard time spelling your name or if someone shares your name. Author Tia McCollors ran into this issue with her last name and uses not only TiaMcCollors.com, but also TiaWrites.com. Both domain names are directed to her Web site.

3. Establish an online presence.

It's not necessary to have a full web site unless you already are (1) writing frequently or (2) have a platform. I will talk about having a platform later.

If you do decide to pursue writing articles, it will probably be a good idea to start an online portfolio. This could be your actual articles or links to where you may have your writing posted online. If anything, it provides you a place to keep track of your submissions and generate interest in the topics you are writing about.

4. Think about branding.

Have you noticed that some authors have tag lines. Others have certain topics or themes that show up in their books over and over again. Branding helps publishers narrow down where they can best place your book. I believe the better you know your brand, the better you can sell your future book. This means knowing and understanding the genre you have chosen to write in.

If you are a romance writer, what makes your writing different. Do you tailor it for a Christian or inspirational audience? Maybe you are interested in writing romance with paranormal elements. Now is the time to study other books similar to yours and set yourself apart.

5. Develop a platform.

Having a platform may be more important for nonfiction writers, but it's probably helpful for fiction writers as well. Do you talk about domestic violence, cancer, parenting, divorce, etc in your fiction or nonfiction book? It what ways can you develop spin-offs from your novel using the hot topics presented in your book.

Many writers are speakers. There is a possibility you can speak as an expert on this topic at a conference, on a radio show or on television. You can also write articles for print or online publications.

Last year on the NEXT LEVEL marketing blog, online publicist Marlive Harris, explained to our readers about using Hubpages.com and Squidoo.com as apart of their marketing. If you can establish yourself as an expert on a certain topic, this could help you sell and market your book later. So, be sure to store all your research in a file system. This may come in handy later or you might could make good use of it now.

With these five tips, I hope you will think ahead and plan accordingly for your writing career.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tyora Moody is a writer and web developer. The owner of Tywebbin Creations is also a social network enthusiast. You can find her online at two of her favorite networks, Facebook and Twitter. For more marketing tips and ideas, be sure to stop by the NEXT LEVEL Marketing blog at http://www.tywebbin.com/next.

Monday, February 23, 2009

FEATURED AUTHOR: Beverly Cash


Beverly Cash, a native Arkansan, is an Accountant with the State of Arkansas and holds a Social Science degree. She is also married and the mother of three children and resides with her family in Arkansas.

Mrs. Cash is an avid Romance reader and has always dreamed of becoming a writer every since she was in grade school. She has written a variety of poetry while in High School and College. She began her writing career in 2004 and in March of 2006 that dream of becoming a writer finally became a reality, her first book was released titled “Manhattan Rendezvous.” And the summer of 2007 the Sequel was released. She is currently working on her third Novel.

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

That some of your lowest points in life can bring forth some of your greatest strengths and to never give up on anything you feel you rightfully deserve no matter who tells you you’ll never be able accomplish it. If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it!
Believe me I know.

Why did you choose to write this book?

The story line chose me. It started out as a continuation of my first book then evolved into suspense / drama with a heart felt ending. And I’ve been beaming with pride every since.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I have learned that your imagination is priceless.

What was your favorite scene from the book?

There are so many to choose from. But if I had to narrow it down to just one it would be the scene where Lance and Sylvia are sitting at the beach in Staten Island watching the sunset in companionable silence neither said a word but they both knew what the other was feeling inside. It reminds me of just how important it is to enjoy the simple things in life; a quiet moment; watching the sunset or just sharing kind words with the ones you love.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

That being a successful writer doesn’t just happen over night. It takes practice, patience and much prayer…

What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?

Promote. Promote. Promote. You must be your number one PR agent. In order to be successful at your craft, you must be willing to make the calls and put forth the effort to make your own dreams come true.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Determining the right promotion techniques to get my work out to the public.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I love to interior decorate in my spare time! I enjoy finding ways to create something new and peaceful to help me relax at the end of the day.

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

(1) That becoming a published writer wasn’t as easy as it seemed.
(2) That every day wasn’t going to be filled with sunshine and that there was going to be some storms along the way.
(3) That knowledge was the key to success. The more you know about a subject the better you will be.

How do you reach new readers?

By self promoting with family and friend and also joining online writing forums.

If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?

Donna Hill – A big fan of Donna Hill. I admire her level of creativity and writing style.

Maya Angelo – I find her poetic wisdom to be greatly inspiring.

Terry McMillan – She has an amazing level of creativity in each of her stories and films.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

One do: Create a journal of where you want your story to take you. You have the power to create your own destiny.

One don’t: Don’t let the nay-sayers tell you that you can’t or that you are not good enough.

Our theme for this month is writing the book, what advice do you have for starting a book?

First and foremost research the genre you are writing about. Create realistic goals for your book and stick to it; Such as completion time frames and writing schedules.

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

http://beverlycash.com/



Love_writer_navah@yahoo.com

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?



My next book is still in the developmental stages. But I will tell you this; it will definitely be a continuation of my Rendezvous series…


Manhattan Rendezvous the Sequel continues the story of genuine love, deception, strong family ties and thick redemption that was started in Manhattan Rendezvous. It’s a constant reminder that things in life aren’t always as they appear, especially when it comes to love…From the back streets of Biloxi, Mississippi, to the bright lights of New York City comes a story filled with second chances. Janae Robinson-Callaway spontaneously invites her sister Sylvia to a much-needed vacation on the outskirts of New Jersey to hear a highly billed band perform at her husband Bernard’s supper club, Club Callaway’s near Atlantic City. Sylvia reluctantly agrees, turning over her highly successful beauty salon to her best friend and co-worker. But little does she know that her life is about to change forever. Sylvia has just been divorced from her high-powered husband of only two years, Parker Kelly, who is the owner and mastermind behind PK Enterprise, a top automotive design company in Atlanta, and the last thing that she expected to find miles away in a lavish, secluded place was love. But will the love that she has come to know be strong enough to endure what she discovers…?

Friday, February 20, 2009

FEATURED AUTHOR: Margo Candelario


Margo Candelario is a California native, who moved to Harlem at the age of 17 where her interest in the arts and culture flourished. Married ten years later, had a daughter and the three-some relocated to the state of Georgia seeking a slower pace and healthier environment for their family. Tragically her husband Phil suffered a massive heart attack at the age of 34 leaving three children with questions about fear, death and separation.

Ms. Candelario resurrected her talent for storytelling and writing to create an income while helping others who have or are presently suffering from the loss of a parent.

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

A method for children to cope with the loss of a loved one through dialog, memories and photographs.

Why did you choose to write a children's book?

There are many self help publications on grief but they are written in technical jargon, with an introduction to death & dying using age appropriate terminology. I couldn't find a realistic discussion between sisters about their heartfelt loss, and nothing representing children of color.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that children are more resilient then adults, and that the book was probably more therapeutic for me than my children.

What was your favorite scene from the book?

The scene with the girls dancing on their fathers foot, holding on and laughing.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

The importance of having a stress free environment, to nurture the creative energy necessary to connect thought, fingers and paper.

What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?

Not to force the creative process, allowing it to happen naturally, because whatever you internalize sets the tone for the script. The characters should remain separate from the author, always retaining their individuality.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Battling my EGO. Learning to accept that everyone will not appreciate, embrace, relate or love my style and the stories I choose to tell. I have a painting with a verse written on it that says " In the graveyard of memories, the toughest ones to keep buried are the ones where I'm rejected."

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

That I am a working visual artist, I paint and exhibit art professionally.

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

1. That having the gift of storytelling doesn't make you a good writer, practicing the craft and developing the skill gets you closer to "Better."

2. Even if you feel your book should be an over night success, media & publishers dictate public interest.

3.How little authors are paid for their years of observation, transcribing, recollection, research, and perseverance, $1.50 or less per copy.

What advice would you offer to someone whose book is about to be released?

Have a strong marketing strategy, have professional people executing your marketing plan, prior to the release of the publication, and rely on your intuition.

If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?

(Carter G. Woodson) "The Mis-Education of the Negro" I'd like to ask him how it felt to write about such a controversial reality, knowing that those who'd benefit from the information, would possibly reject it, while validating the European American stereotype of the Lazy Negro.

(Alexandre Dumas) " The Three Musketeers", Despite his success, allowed his bi-racial ethnicity to plague him throughout his life, inspiring him to make the comment "my father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro and my great grandfather a monkey." So i'd like to ask how he was able to write with racial anonymity.

(Sidney Sheldon) In his book Master of the Game how was he able to go back and forth in time, developing characters strong enough to carry their own epics, and yet tie them all together as a whole, without over powering the concept.

Can you give us one do and one don't for those aspiring to be a writer?

Write about subjects that move and inspire the writer to share that excitement with the reader.

Do not write on a subject you know nothing about .

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)
http://www.margocandelario.com/

Our theme for this month is Writing the book, what advice do you have for staying motivated to complete the book?

Seeing the finished product.



Looking to the Clouds for Daddy

This story is inspired by the real-life loss of the author's husband at an early age. She deals with her grief through the eyes of her three daughters, who share their memories of their daddy. They soon discover that he is always with them in many ways. They can even see him in the clouds!





Thursday, February 19, 2009

What (services) do you want? What do you have to give?”

Our country is in a crisis and its affecting everyone. I for one have seen how its touching SORMAG, so I can imagine how its touching you.

Money is hard to come by. Did you know that sometimes you don’t always need money to make ends meet?

Bartering has always been a system people used to get what they want. You give a service in return for a service you want. How hard is that?

What services do you have to offer? Think about your talents and what you can do and what you need done.

SORMAG will start a bartering service and we invite you to participate. ITS FREE, all you have to do is add your talents and I’ll list them and hopefully someone will contact you for your services and needs.

What do I need from you: In the comment section,

LIST: What you have to offer
What you need (if you don't have a need right now, just list your offer)
Email address to contact you.

Let’s get started helping each other and getting what we want without having to go into deeper debt.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

FEATURED AUTHOR: Timothy N. Stelly


Timothy N. Stelly, Sr. is a poet, novelist, screenwriter and essayist from northern California. Human Trial is his first novel, and is the first part of an urban sci-fi trilogy. His poetry book, Stories From The Black Side Of The Rainbow is currently under consideration for publication. He has also written more than 350 essays for Useless-knowledge.com and e-zinearticles.com from social and political issues to film noir history. In 2006, he won first prize in the Pout-erotica poetry contest for his poem, C’mon Condi, and he is a regular contributor to Oysters & Chocolate.

HUMAN TRIAL asks the question, “What happens when all that remains of the world is fear, distrust and desperation?”

A scattershot group of humans survive a thermal war initiated by intergalactic beings. Daron Turner and a pregnant co-worker Regina Jackson, lead this eclectic group that must overcome intense heat, attacks from rabid animals, and their fear of the unknown.

The aliens desire is to use the remaining children on earth for study and hybrid procreation. Daron and his cohorts must decide whether to give up or fight to protect the planet’s future: Regina’s unborn child.

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

One of the questions posed by HUMAN TRIAL is whether or not man is capable of saving himself from destruction; not so much by technological means, but in a survivalist state, can we put aside our fears and prejudices to do what is best for the survival of all?

The book has a little bit of everything—sci-fi elements, action, romance, and a smidgen of humor thrown in for good measure.

Why did you choose to write this book?

In books and movies we often see the theme of good vs. evil. That’s the sort of book I always wanted to write, along with one that explores group dynamics. Second, I had never read a sci-fi book with a black protagonist. Third, I’d never written a sci-fi story before, so it was stimulating to take on the challenge. Eventually, it evolved into a trilogy.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Like any writing that requires research, you have to be accurate. In HUMAN TRIAL, I received an assist from a sci-fi reader and writer who pointed out to me that the alien flotilla needed to be in low-polar orbit, and how such thermal devices might impact upon earth.

Second, that most sci-fi stories are return as serials, usually in a three-part format. Hence, HUMAN TRIAL II and III follow.

What was your favorite scene from the book?

There are two scenes I think that set the tone for the book. The first is when Daron and Regina are first introduced. Not only does the reader get a sense of their feelings for one another, but that these feelings will help them persevere through the dangers that are lurking.

I thought the scene with Rocks and Doris was important, because it focuses on betrayal and feelings of isolation, which would pose a threat to the cohesiveness of any group.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

The amount of work that goes into it, and that when a person loves to write, it is never “a waste of time.” How can creativity be a waste of time? There is a lot of struggle and learning that goes into writing, no different from learning how to play basketball or repair an automobile.

What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?

Credit for this goes to the marvelously mature novelist Minnie E. Miller: Do NOT try and edit your own work. I tried and boy, was that a lesson I learned the hard way. I have a book titled “Tempest In The Stone,” where it shows. You need an objective eye to peruse your work, and this is where writing and crit groups come in handy.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

The dread of a rejection slip, of which I have 23 to date. I got over it after I read that Stephen King’s book, “Carrie,” was rejected 31 times. If King can get rejected, it can happen to anyone.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Write poetry—all types, from Japanese verse to the old European styles. Such poetry forces you to “think inside the box”; to tell a detailed story while being confined to a certain number of syllables, words, lines or stanzas. Once I understood that, I became a better fiction writer by keeping my narrative from becoming mundane and clichéd.

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

I hate to bad mouth a company, but there is a certain author mill that “published” my first two books. It essentially turned out to be a sham. All I will say is that the company is based in Maryland;

Two, beware of agents who pursue you, then want to charge fees for reading and editing. Though I never bit on this one, I see a lot of it going around. Many of these so-called agents are fly-by=night companies. I’d advise any writer to check them out through sites like preditors&editors and Absolute write.

I wish I had learned more about the art of publishing. It is a field I am giving serious consideration to getting into. But I have a more unique concept. However, I have a lot more research and fund raising to do.

How do you reach new readers?

I have an e-mail and contact list made up of book clubs, bookstores, radio stations, newspapers, etc. that I contact. I also issue online press releases and keep informed the members of the writers groups I belong to. I also find that library discussion groups are a good way to get he word out, because like moviegoers, if a reader finds something they like, they will spread the word.

If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?

My list of influences is quite eclectic: Stephen King, Rene Guy De Maupassant (short story writer, 1850-1893), Richard Wright and Donald Goines. One of these would be left out, so I guess it would have to be Goines, since I don’t write a lot of so-called “street lit,” though I’m a huge fan of his.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Write every single day. I can’t emphasize this enough. Even when you have “writer’s block,” make up anagrams, do crossword puzzles, get on the buys with a pen and notepad, write haiku—write SOMETHING.

On the other hand, don’t let others’ criticism bring your career to a halt. Yes, we all get bad reviews and our work gets splattered with red ink, but those are the things you might want to work on. Learn your craft by writing and reading as many books on the subject as you can, and/or take classes.

Our theme for this month is Writing the book, what advice do you have for starting a book?

Take your time. If you’re in a rush, all you will have produced is the proverbial “quick job poorly.” Outline, and when you finish the first draft, set your manuscript aside for a month or so before you begin rewriting. You will not only come back with a fresh perspective, but you’re likely to see the flaws in your work, such as typos, bad syntax and key plot points that need fixing.

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

I am always responsive to e-mails, so one can reach me at: stellbread@yahoo.com. No website yet, but I am working on it. My Facebook account has suffered a malfunction.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

The tentative release date for HUMAN TRIAL II: ADAM’S WAR, is January 2010. The third part of the trilogy is still being written. I also have another sci-fi work, “A Junkie’s Paradise: The Crack-Melanin Factor.” It’s a “dramedy,” centering on a strain of avian flu that jumps species’ and kills more than half of the human population. When it ius learned that the one group with immunity is black crack smokers, U.S. politicians and scientists initiate a plan to create an army of crack addicted zombies--people willing to smoke the drug and supply the nation with the blood needed to combat the pandemic. Soon crack becomes a government-subsidized growth industry.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Human Trial

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

FEATURED AUTHOR: A. S. King


A.S. King (Amy Sarig King) has recently returned to Pennsylvania after a decade in Ireland . Her short fiction has appeared in numerous journals and magazines including Washington Square, FRiGG, Literary Mama, Contrary, Quality Women’s Fiction, The Huffington Post, and has been nominated for Best New American Voices 2010. The Dust of 100 Dogs (Flux, 2009) is her first young adult novel. You can find more at www.as-king.com or www.thedustof100dogs.com.

The Dust of 100 Dogs

In the late seventeenth century, famed teenage pirate Emer Morrisey was on the cusp of escaping pirate life with her one true love and unfathomable riches when she was slain and cursed with the dust of 100 dogs, dooming her to one hundred lives as a dog before retuning to a human body – with all her memories intact. Now she's a contemporary American teenager, and all she needs is a shovel and a ride to Jamaica.

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

My favorite kind of book is a book that makes me think – sometimes for days after finishing. So, if I had a wish for every reader, it would be that the book makes them stop and think about it the next day. (And maybe the day after.)

Why did you choose to write this book?

The idea came from my first explorations of Irish history. I used to walk my dogs down my small road [in Ireland ] and think of the people who had walked that road before me. The rest unraveled from there. My exploration of what the Irish endured, especially during Cromwell’s time, stirred feelings about the things that women have endured throughout history. That led me to reading about white slavery in the 17th century, which led me to read about the Caribbean , and its many eras of slavery. I think what pushes me to write all of my books is bringing something unjust and hidden [by time] into the light, so we can remember how dark things once were, and remind ourselves to stay in the light.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned a decent amount of Irish and European history. I learned about dog psychology and the history of dogs and dog breeding. I learned everything I know about pirates.

What was your favorite scene from the book?

I love the opening Saffron chapter (Chapter One) because her introduction is such a wow moment for me as a reader.

What one thing about writing do you wish non-writers would understand?

I am blessed with the coolest non-writer ever as a spouse. He has no trouble with me disappearing for hours while I do this sort of thing. When I'm working on something, he knows he has to be the every-parent and housekeeper while I type myself stupid here in the basement. Most other non-writers in my life don't understand that I just can't stop working if I'm working.

What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?

To enjoy every minute of the publishing my debut novel.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

The wait. Though there were many positives that came out of my fifteen-year-long journey, it was very difficult to keep the faith while I was on that road.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I think people might be surprised that I don’t like boats and presently have no pets.

What are three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

I’ve been really lucky in this respect. I have a great group of writing friends who have helped me along the way, and warned me about things on the path before I got to them. Because of these generous people, I cannot find three answers to this question. But in order to not cop out entirely, I will say that I had no idea how much time I’d have to spend here, promoting through the computer, during these pre-launch months. It can get a bit overwhelming at times, but it’s all worth it – and I can’t complain. It’s all awesome.

How do you reach new readers?

I publish short stories in literary magazines and participate in the blogosphere. I have a weekly writing contest on my blog and find my way to other blogs and meet new people. In the coming years, I hope to run fiction workshops in high schools.

If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite?

Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Walt Whitman, and George Orwell.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Do write because you love writing. Don’t expect fame and fortune.

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

asking(at)as-king.com
http://www.thedustof100dogs.com/

Our theme for this month is Writing the book, what advice do you have for staying motivated to complete the book?

I tend to hit a small low when I reach the middle of a book, because I know the hardest parts are yet to come. So, I take a few days off to daydream and draw a big time line and think about the timing of future plot points. I use either a white board or a big piece of paper, divided into POVs and storylines. It's usually colorful. This gets me excited for the end.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

I just finished a book called IGNORE VERA DIETZ, about a sensible girl who’s full of secrets. Now, I’m writing another YA historical/contemporary mix and should be done around August.

Thanks so much for having me!

BOOK WINNERS - Valentine/Black History

VALENTINE WINNERS

Isabel McFarland

Connie Quarles

Beverly Cash

Perry P. Perkins

Kristina Patrice

BLACK HISTORY WINNERS

ANGELIA MENCHAN

Kathryn Hardy Jones

Kim Westgaard

Laverne BROWN

Joan Burke Stanford

Monday, February 16, 2009

Literary Event

All the Buzz Online Reviewer Conference

February 16-20, 2009

Monday What it entails to be a book reviewer

Tuesday Negative reviews - constructive criticism or outright brutality?

Wednesday The benefits and disadvantages of being a reviewer

Thursday Readers: Reviewing the reviewers

Friday Authors: When reviewers don't like your book

http://allthebuzzreviews.com/

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Illusions Blog Tour

ILLUSIONS

After three years of marriage, Denise Hightower discovers that her husband, Pastor Bryce Hightower, has a secret addiction that not only jeopardizes his marriage, but impairs his ability to effectively preach the gospel.

Yielding to pressure from her mother and her husband, Denise agrees to keep his addiction a secret, although her self-esteem plummets. Her life as the perfect First Lady is falling apart at the seams. Denise suffers in silence until she is confronted with the addiction from a trusted member of the church.

Self-centered and determined to uphold his pastoral image, Bryce is oblivious to his wife's emotional state. He's convinced that he can overcome his "little problem" on his own, so he rejects the spiritual help God sends him. But when his secret is discovered, will he be able to come clean with himself, God, and his congregation before he loses it all?

For more information about Wanda, visit her at http://www.wandabcampbell.net/.

What If?

It's the oldest trick in the book. The Enemy slithers his way into the mix, tempting people to question God and ask the "what if" questions by planting seeds of doubt and confusion. Denise has always been a confident woman, quite satisfied with her curves. With the burden of carrying her husband's dark secret, her world begins to unravel.





MP3 File



Have you ever lost your self-esteem trying to please a man? Do you know a friend or relative who is in this same boat? We hope you will purchase Illusions to learn more about Denise' story. Leave your comments below and let us know your thoughts.


THIS WEEK: Celebrate Wanda's birthday & Valentine's Day

This week's winner will receive A Box of Sees Candies and a coupon for a FREE print design (choose a bookmark, postcard or business card) courtesy of Tywebbin Creations. Winner are responsible for printing.

Check Wanda B. Campbell's blog for the winners.


MEET WANDA B. CAMPBELL

Wanda B. Campbell is an extraordinary and talented writer who brings creativity, a new sense of hope, and restoration through the healing power of God to the Kingdom, by way of Christian fiction. She uses real life everyday issues to exhort, motivate, and give comfort.

An avid reader since childhood, Wanda recently responded to the voice in her head by penning and self-publishing her debut novel, First Sunday in October, (January 2007). A romantic at heart, Wanda uses relationships to demonstrate how the power of forgiveness and reconciliation can restore us back to God and one another.

Wanda currently resides in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband of nineteen years and two sons. She also has the unique position of being the oldest of five siblings and also the youngest of twelve. Her hobbies include writing and reading of course, traveling, and collecting magnets from around the world. Wanda is the self-proclaimed biggest Oakland A’s fan.

WEEK 2 – Inside Illusions (Denise Hightower)

Feb 9 -
Carla Nix, Kendra Norman-Bellamy
Feb 10 - Cecelia Dowdy, APOOO Books
Feb 11 - SORMag
Feb 12 – Dee Stewart
Feb 13 – Robin Caldwell
——
WEEK 3 – Inside Illusions (Pastor Bryce Hightower)


Feb 16 -
Pat Simmons
Feb 17 - Stephanie McKenny / Passion For Life Show (8:00 pm EST)
Feb 18 –
Cheryl Donavan
Feb 19 – Michelle Larks
Feb 20 - Maurice M. Gray, Jr.
——
WEEK 4 – What Readers Are Saying


Feb 23rd –
Linda Beed / WrittenVoicesPodcast.com
Feb. 24th -
Paulette Harper
Feb. 25th - Deena Peterson
Feb. 26th - Shana J. Burton / Something to Talk … Shawneda Marks (9pm EST)
Feb 27th –
Jenny Blake, Michelle Sutton

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Purposely Said – Dr. Linda F. Beed


Writing the Book

How often have you contemplated writing the next bestselling masterpiece?

Quite often the anxious desire to create a book overshadows the actual time and patience necessary to develop an impressionable product. Time is often elusive, yet without it and the application of patience during the process, writing a marketable book will never take place.

Writing is an entity unto itself. It cannot be allowed to run rampant without the appropriate measure of literary policing.

How you use time available to write is up to you. Fifteen minutes here or twenty minutes there can be as effective as two to three to four hour stretches. Again, it’s all in how you use the time.

Equally as important is the ability to exercise patience and accept sound advice throughout the developmental stage of writing the book. Steps include:

*The first draft
*Appropriate research
*Many revisions
*Submission to a critique group
*More revisions
*Proofing the work by you
*Proofing the work by someone else who is willing to provide honest feedback
*First final draft
*Selecting a professional content editor
*Note that every editor is not a fit for every project
*Several rounds of revisions with content editor
*Selecting a copy editor (same rules apply as with the content editor search)
*Several rounds of revisions
*Proofreading (by you and a professional)
*Final draft ready to be shopped to agent/editor who will represent you to publishing houses
OR
*Final draft ready for you to submit (check submission requirements)

This not a comprehensive checklist; however, what is listed gives you an idea of what is involved with writing a book. Each item on the list demands appropriate time and the exercising of extreme patience. Patience is the virtue you will need plenty of because there is much more to come in the journey to publication.

Your manuscript may journey through various publishing houses before you receive what you have been praying for—acceptance.

You are now on your way; emphasis on the word way. Someday, way down the road, your book will be published when your publishing house deems it appropriate for release.

It could be a year or more from signing to release. This is because the publisher has a process. That process varies from company to company, but usually includes another round of editing, development of a marketing strategy and waiting for your turn in the release rotation.

These words are not to discourage you. They are to encourage you toward your admirable goal. They are to enlighten you to the fact that whether traditionally or independently published, there are no short cuts to the goal line.

For those who believe that the suggested stages are too time-consuming, check out this visual assessment on the process of writing a book:
http://www.boingboing.net/2009/01/12/funny-contrafactual.html

Until next time, remember—Purposely Said words can destroy or create a life. Linda!

Dr. Linda Beed is an educator, speaker, children’s minister and author of Business Unusual. She co-moderators BWChristianLit, maintains its sister online blog and is the Review Editor for KDGospel Media Magazine.

You can find her on the web at:

lindabeed.com / MySpace / On Assignment Reviews / BWChristianLit

Monday, February 09, 2009

DEBUT AUTHOR: Kaye Dacus


Stand-In Groom
When wedding planner Anne Hawthorne meets George Laurence, she thinks she’s found the man of her dreams. But when he turns out to be a client, her “dream” quickly turns into a nightmare. Will Anne risk her heart and career on this engaging Englishman? George came to Louisiana to plan his employer’s wedding and pose as the groom. But how can he feign affection for a supposed fiancée when he’s so achingly attracted to the wedding planner? And what will happen when Anne discovers his role has been Stand-In Groom only? Will she ever trust George again? Can God help these two find a happy ending?

Kaye Dacus is an author and editor who has been writing fiction for more than twenty years. Pursuing her passion for writing, she earned a Master of Arts in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She is a former Vice President and long-time member of American Christian Fiction Writers, and is also a founding member of Middle Tennessee Christian Writers. Kaye lives in Nashville, Tennessee, and writes contemporary and historical romances.

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

There are several themes in this book, and I hope that different readers will be touched in whatever way they need to be encouraged through the story, whether it's remembering that compromising our Christian ethics leads to pain-for us and others around us-and that until we're willing to face our pasts, to forgive those who've wronged us and stop holding grudges, we're never going to be able to move forward into the happy endings God has prepared for us.

Why did you choose to write this book?

As many people have probably guessed, the inspiration for Stand-In Groom came to me after watching the movie The Wedding Planner. I wasn’t happy with the way that the romance in that story revolved around the breakup of an engagement. As a writer, most of my ideas come from asking “what if” questions. What if a wedding planner thought she was falling in love with the groom of the biggest wedding she’s ever planned . . . but then he turned out not to be the groom? And the story grew from there. But really, does an author "choose" a particular book to write? I think it's kind of like asking an adoptive parent why they chose to adopt that particular child when there were so many others available. I know it sounds trite to say so, but I felt as though God was telling me that this was the story I was supposed to write.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Not being married myself, I was amazed to find out just exactly how many little tiny details there are that go into planning a wedding. When I get married, I’m definitely hiring a wedding planner—or eloping! But it also made me seriously look at my own life, to see if I was holding on to any bitterness or pain from the past that I needed to deal with, and it made me look at my own sense of ethics and values and make sure that I am the best worker, the best representative of God, that I can be in all my business dealings.

What was your favorite scene from the book?

My favorite scene in the book would have to be when Anne and George dance to Dean Martin’s song “That’s Amore.” It was so much fun to write that scene, and now every time I hear that song, it makes me think of that scene.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?


One thing I hear quite often when I tell people I'm a published author is, "Oh, I've always thought about writing a book." The retort I always want to come back with is, "Oh, I've always thought about becoming a doctor (or whatever profession they hold)." What most non-writers don't understand is that writing is like any other profession---it takes years of training and study just to get to the point where we're ready to start thinking of ourselves as "writers." And that's just the first step on a long and arduous journey. There are so many aspects to the business of being a published writer that even I, as someone who worked in the publishing industry for years, didn't realize. It isn't just sitting down and writing a story. It's about learning and honing a craft, like an artisan.

What is the best lesson you have learned from another writer?

"Above all else---FINISH YOUR FIRST DRAFT" (Davis Bunn, 2001 Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference). I heard that at the first writing conference I ever attended, and it changed my life. Even though I'd been writing since thirteen or fourteen years old, and even though I had a "story" that was nearing the 200,000-word mark, I'd never written a complete draft. I'd never written "the end" with a neatly wrapped-up conclusion to the plot. Within a year of hearing those words, I'd completed one manuscript and was working on the second. And with each one that I finished, I learned more about the craft of writing than I ever did by sitting in a classroom.

As a first-time novelist, how would you describe the first moment you found out that your book was going to be published? What did you do to celebrate?

At first, I wouldn’t allow myself to believe that it was true until I had the contract in hand—we’d had a false-positive with another publishing house a few months before this (with another manuscript), so I was being true to my “Thomas” nature and not believing it until I touched it with my own hands. To celebrate, I called a few close friends (it happened close to Christmas, so I wanted to surprise my family then) and had a lovely steak dinner that night. To surprise my parents, I mocked up a fake book cover, complete with the publishing date, printed a couple of high-quality copies, and framed them---one for my parents and one for my grandmother. When my dad told me over lunch on Christmas Eve that the only thing he wanted from me for Christmas was a signed book contract, I knew I couldn't wait any longer. So when we got back to the house that evening, I gave it to them in private---the framed "book cover" to Mom, and the copy of the contract I'd brought with me to Dad. It will stand in my memory as the best Christmas ever because I know that I was finally able to truly give them what they'd always wanted from me.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

As someone who is equally as analytical as I am creative, it’s hard for me sometimes to turn off that internal editor, the critiquer in my head, who tells me as I’m in the writing process that what I’m putting down on paper isn’t good enough, that it’ll never be as good as so-and-so favorite author’s work. This has actually gotten worse since becoming a contracted/published author. So I just have to ignore those negative voices and keep reminding myself that until God tells me otherwise, this is what He’s called me to do, so I need to keep on writing.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I think most of my readers would be surprised by the fact that I don't like what are called "chick flick" movies. I avoid them like a muddy dog avoids the bathtub---most of the time have to be dragged kicking and screaming to see them. Yet that's the type of stories I write. But give me the latest spy thriller or fantasy or superhero film, and I'm there! College football on a Saturday afternoon? I'm your girl. Sappy, tear-jerker romance---no way! Now, that's not to say that I don't enjoy a good romantic comedy with intelligent humor, but those are so hard to come by these days that it's easier to just avoid them all.

Now that you’ve reached the published goal, what three things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?

First, I've always prided myself on being someone who works extremely well under a deadline. I didn't realize how much having a publisher's deadline, a deadline reinforced by a contract that I signed, would change not only how I work but how I view my writing---and my entire writing process. I've had to go from being a seat-of-the-pants writer to a loose-plotter. No longer can I just take my time and see where my ideas take me. Because I have deadlines to meet, I have to write every day; and because I have to write a certain number of words every day, I have to know where I'm going when I sit down to do it.

Second, my life, on whole, didn't really change that much. People don't look at me and instantly recognize that I'm a published author (not that I expected them to). The biggest change that's happened to me since reaching the published goal is that I went from being a full-time editor and part-time writer to a full-time writer and a part-time editor.

Third, even though I knew this would be the case when I entered this business, nothing happens on the timeline I want it to. Everything seems to take a lot longer than the amount of time I'm prepared to wait (and I hate waiting---not blessed with patience here), whether it's feedback on the manuscript I turned in before Thanksgiving, advance checks, cover art, or getting a copy of the actual book in my hands. I should have been prepared for this---I worked at a publishing house for a few years. I know what goes into the production process---and all of the details of the business end of things. It's just a lot different on this side of the fence.

If you could have dinner with 3 authors to talk with about their writing (living or deceased) who would you invite and why?

Aside from the authors that I have had the opportunity to do this with (at conferences or other gatherings), the three I'd choose would be Julie Garwood, Willo Davis Roberts (who wrote my favorite YA books that I read as a teen), and Madeleine L'Engle. Their books had a profound impact on me as I was growing up and starting to test my boundaries as a writer.

What advice would you offer to someone whose book is about to be released?

Don't have any expectations. Positive or negative. Enjoy any praise that comes your way; ignore the negative comments. Don't expect bunches of "fan mail" within the first few weeks of your book's release. Don't expect non-writers to get as excited about seeing your book on the shelf as you are; but the week your book is supposed to release, start carrying your digital camera around with you so you can get a picture of that very first book sighting. Figure out something you can say that's reflective of you, easy to remember/write, and yet doesn't sound like a stock-phrase for when people ask you to sign their copy of your book. And most of all, enjoy the experience of your first book coming out. It'll never happen again.

Our theme for this month is Writing the book, what advice do you have for starting a book?

As Obi Wan Kenobi put it in Star Wars, “Let go of your conscious self and act on instinct.” When you sit down to write, there can be nothing self-conscious about it. There can be no fear of embarrassment, no worry of what others will think of you. Stephen King puts it this way in On Writing: “write with the door closed . . . Your stuff starts out being just for you.” Even if you are intent on the pursuit of publication, you cannot be thinking about that when you sit down in front of that blank computer screen. You have to let go of every outside influence but the story. You have to let yourself go and allow yourself to become immersed in your characters, in your setting, in your plot. You have to let go of everything your left-brain is trying to trip you up with (You can’t use passive voice!; Are my critique partners going to ding me on this?; Does this fit with so-and-so house’s guidelines?), and be obedient to the story wanting to be told. Let go of the voices (internal or external) telling you that what you write will never be good enough. Let go (and banish forever) the thought that if people knew what you were doing, they’d laugh at you (just think about those hoards of people out there who “want to write” but never do). Let go of the notion that you have to write within certain genre guidelines or in the certain manner of a highly touted author or a particular publisher’s expectations. Let go of anything that limits you. (Excerpted from "Becoming a Writer: So You Want to Be a Writer?" on http://kayedacus.com/)

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

I love to hear from everyone!

Website: http://kayedacus.com/


E-Mail: kaye@kayedacus.com

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

I have two books coming out in July: Menu for Romance, a follow-up book to Stand-In Groom, and Ransome's Honor, the first book of a new historical trilogy with Harvest House.

Menu for Romance:



After eight years of unrequited love, Meredith Guidry makes a New Year’s resolution to find someone new and end her single status before the year’s over. Executive Chef Major O’Hara has foresworn relationships, knowing he could never saddle the woman he loves with a family situation like his. But when it seems he’s about to lose Meredith Guidry to another man, he realizes he must concoct a MENU FOR ROMANCE to win her back.

(Available for pre-order on Amazon.com and ChristianBook.com, in stores July 2009)

An excerpt of the first chapter can be found here: http://kayedacus.com/2008/02/20/introducing-menu-for-romance/

Ransome's Honor:

July 1814. The war with France is over, but the battle of hearts has just begun.

Julia Witherington swore she would never forgive the man who made her believe he loved her and wanted to marry her—then walked away. Royal Navy Captain William Ransome has convinced himself that not proposing to Julia twelve years ago was the honorable thing to do. When Julia is forced by a conniving aunt and wastrel cousin to forge an arrangement to marry William Ransome to protect her inheritance, she must set aside her anger and wounded pride to learn what love and honor really mean.

From the ballrooms of Portsmouth across the Atlantic to the hunt for pirates in the Caribbean, it’s not just the seas that are tumultuous in this historical romance trilogy!

(Available for pre-order on Amazon.com, in stores July 2009)
Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Stand in Groom.

Friday, February 06, 2009

POD CAST - Bring on the Blessings


Bring on the Blessings
by Beverly Jenkins

Avon A
January 27, 2009
ISBN-10: 0061688401
ISBN-13: 978-0061688409

On Bernadine Brown's fifty-second birthday she received an unexpected gift—she caught her husband, Leo, cheating with his secretary. She was hurt—angry, too—but she didn't cry woe is me. Nope, she hired herself a top-notch lawyer and ended up with a cool $275 million. Having been raised in the church, she knew that when much is given much is expected, so she asked God to send her a purpose.

The purpose turned out to be a town: Henry Adams, Kansas, one of the last surviving townships founded by freed slaves after the Civil War. The failing town had put itself up for sale on the Internet, so Bernadine bought it.

Trent July is the mayor, and watching the town of his birth slide into debt and foreclosure is about the hardest thing he's ever done. When the buyer comes to town, he's impressed by her vision, strength, and the hope she wants to offer not only to the town and its few remaining residents, but to a handful of kids in desperate need of a second chance.

Not everyone in town wants to get on board though; they don't want change. But Bernadine and Trent, along with his first love, Lily Fontaine, are determined to preserve the town's legacy while ushering in a new era with ties to its unique past and its promising future.

Gabcast! EXCERPT: Bring on the Blessings - Beverly Jenkins

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Valentine's Day Contest

In celebration of Valentine's Day, SORMAG is offering a selection of eleven books from Hatchette Book Group. Five lucky winners will receive the entire set of eleven books, to be sent directly from Hatchette.

Here are the titles you will win.

1. Love in 90 Days By Diana Kirschner ISBN: 1599951223

2. Sundays at Tiffany's By James Patterson , Gabrielle Charbonnet ISBN: 0446199443

3. Free Yourself to Love By Jackie Kendall ISBN: 0446580899

4. The Italian Lover By Robert Hellenga ISBN: 031611765X

5. Looking for Mrs. Friedman and Other Really Bad Ideas By Steve Friedman 1559708883

6. Getting Naked Again By Judith Sills ISBN: 0446582492

7. We Take This Man By Candice Dow , Daaimah Poole ISBN: 0446501832

8. Things I've Learned From Women Who've Dumped Me By Ben Karlin ISBN: 0446699462

9. Sexcapades By HoneyB ISBN: 0446582298

10. Love and Other Natural Disasters By Holly Shumas ISBN: 0446504777

11. Send Yourself Roses By Kathleen Turner ISBN: 0446699950

This contest will run until midnight on Valentine's Day, Feb.13th. Winners will be announced on Saturday morning, Feb. 14. Hatchette Book Group will send the eleven books to the five winners.
Hatchette Book Group restricts winners to the U.S. and Canada only. No P.O. Boxes.

To enter the contest, send an email to sormag@yahoo.com. The subject line should read "Valentine's Day Contest". Your message should include your name and mailing address.

SORMAG sends a big Thank you to Hatchette!


Their website is http://www.hatchettebookgroupusa.com/

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

January Book Winners

Congratulations to our winners

The Ledge
Jessica

Ex-Free: 9 Keys To Freedom After Heartbreak
PurpleZoe

THE BEST OF EVERYTHING
Rhonda McKnight

Once You’ve Touched The Heart
Missy - Reader's Paradise


Please send me your mailing address. – sormag@yahoo.com

Monday, February 02, 2009

Black History: Maya Angelou


Maya Angelou is an accomplished poet, an award-winning writer, a journalist, an activist, a performer, a dancer, an actress, a director, and a teacher. She is also a three-time Grammy Award winner for her autobiographical spoken-word recordings. Born in St. Louis, she was raised in Stamps, Arkansas, and then went to San Francisco. She lives in Harlem, NY, and Winston-Salem, NC. In addition to her bestselling autobiographies, beginning with I Know Why the Caged Bird Signs, she is the author of Letter to my Daughter; several poetry collections, including Shall Not Be Moved and Shaker, Why Don't You Sing?; and a number of books for young readers, including Kofi and His Magic; My Painted House, My Friendly Chicken and Me; and the Maya's World series.



Letter to My Daughter


For a world of devoted readers, a much-awaited new volume of absorbing stories and inspirational wisdom from one of our best-loved writers.Dedicated to the daughter she never had but sees all around her, Letter to My Daughter reveals Maya Angelou’s path to living well and living a life with meaning. Told in her own inimitable style, this book transcends genres and categories: guidebook, memoir, poetry, and pure delight.Here in short spellbinding essays are glimpses of the tumultuous life that led Angelou to an exalted place in American letters and taught her lessons in compassion and fortitude: how she was brought up by her indomitable grandmother in segregated Arkansas, taken in at thirteen by her more worldly and less religious mother, and grew to be an awkward, six-foot-tall teenager whose first experience of loveless sex paradoxically left her with her greatest gift, a son.Whether she is recalling such lost friends as Coretta Scott King and Ossie Davis, extolling honesty, decrying vulgarity, explaining why becoming a Christian is a “lifelong endeavor,” or simply singing the praises of a meal of red rice–Maya Angelou writes from the heart to millions of women she considers her extended family. Like the rest of her remarkable work, Letter to My Daughter entertains and teaches; it is a book to cherish, savor, re-read, and share.

Do you have a Maya Angelou moment? Share it with us.

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