Saturday, June 04, 2011

SORMAG's ONLINE BOOK FAIR - Meet The Author Panel - Day One


Click on the comments and leave a comment or question for our panel.  Unless noted, the authors will drop in through out the day to answer questions or post comments.


Elaine Cantrell - 2- 5 pm

Elaine Cantrell was born and raised in South Carolina . She holds a master’s degree in personnel services from Clemson University . She is a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international honorary society for women educators. She is also a member of Romance Writers of America and EPIC authors. Her first novel, A New Leaf, was the 2003 winner of the Timeless Love Contest. When she isn’t writing or teaching high school social studies, she enjoys gardening, quilting, and collecting vintage Christmas ornaments. You can learn more about Elaine at her web site

Grayson Reyes Cole

Grayson Cole is an author obsessed with language, love and the fantastic. She is intrigued by the relationships people build and what makes them work. Grayson hopes to bring intense and engaging characters to life for her readers along with well-developed, interesting stories.

Born and raised in Alabama, Grayson considers herself a quintessential Southerner. She also has a longstanding love affair with travel. She speaks a smattering of languages poorly and enjoys sharing stories of her adventures across Europe and Asia.
On her nightstand at any given time, one can find a stack of books in a lot of different genres. Right at this very moment, she has two books by Stanley Bing, Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, one novel by Marjorie M. Liu, and a collection of short stories by Jorge Luis Borges.
Though a complete romantic at heart, Grayson's first major novel, Bright Star , flexed her fantasy/horror muscle and released to outstanding reviews with Lyrical Press, Inc in 2008. Reviews for this dark fantasy have been outstanding and it has consistently been a mainstream bestseller. The follow up, Domina, is much anticipated.
Expressing her softer, more romantic side, Grayson released The Builder and The Prescription Playboy, both of which are about strong women who recognize and welcome love, yet still have to struggle to acknowledge its place in their lives. She is expanding on this theme in her upcoming novel Inside Out from Genesis Press.

Shelia Lipsey

Author Shelia E. Lipsey is a multi-award winning author. Her novels are available at most bookstores nationwide as well as online. Lipsey’s books have been called gripping, life-altering, memorable and realistic. Lipsey was recently awarded the 2009 Top Shelf Award for Beautiful Ugly by Black Pearls Magazine. She also won 2009 Shades of Romance Readers’ Choice Awards for My Son’s Wife in the following categories: Author of the Year, Christian fiction Book of the Year, Christian Romance of the Year, Best Book Cover of the Year, Best Fiction Book of the Year, among several other awards for her novels, Into Each Life and Sinsatiable.
Lipsey is the proud mother of two sons and the grandmother of three blessed young men. She is president of, founder of Living Your Dreams Now a non-profit organization and MAAW (Memphis African American Writers). For more information, visit

Lutishia Lovely
LUTISHIA LOVELY is the bestselling author of the popular Hallelujah Love Series which includes Sex In The Sanctuary, Reverend Feelgood and Heaven Forbid. A professional writer for more than a decade, she made the leap from stage and screenplays with a children's book before writing her first full-length novel of contemporary fiction. The first book in her new series, All Up In My Business, is out now and she’s just completed her fourteenth work. Six are romances penned by her alter-ego, Zuri Day. Lutishia resides in wine country, between LA and San Diego, and in her spare time loves to create delicious, vegetarian cuisine for family and friends. She also enjoys sports, the arts, travel, and most of all hearing from readers. Contact her at

Kimberly Purpoz
Kimberly Purpoz has been a professional writer and author for over 12 years. Kimberly currently writes under the following pseudonyms: Kimberly Purpoz and Purpoz. She is the author of "Age of Innocence", "Foreshadowers: The Seeker of Legends, and the upcoming motivational book, "Purpose Lies Within: A Motivational Book for the Heart and Soul." Purpoz is a graduate of Georgia State University. She is a motivational speaker and speaks for Great Black Speakers Bureau.
Find out more about Purpoz @:

Lisa Watson
A native of Washington D.C., the city’s historic and political backdrop fed Lisa Watson’s romantic imagination. Her hobbies are as eclectic as her music collection, but her guilty pleasure is writing fan fiction based on the characters of the popular television series, Remington Steele for which she has a National and International fan base. Enamored with scenic beauty, the picturesque locales she visits always seem to find a way into her latest novels.
Lisa’s short story, The Reunion, was featured in Sun Magazine’s 10-Minute Love Story column. Her debut novel, Watch Your Back continues to receive rave reviews, and was nominated for a 2009 Afr’Am Literary Fest award in Contemporary Romance and listed in the 2010 Best Reviewed Books.
A subcontractor to ATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives), Lisa is also the co-publicist for RT Book Review Magazine’s annual RT Booklovers Conventions promoting National Bestselling authors that attend the conference via media outlets.
Lisa has just released Interview with Love (Urban Renaissance, December 2010) and is currently working on two exciting new novels, Brace for Impact and Off the Market.

Lisa lives outside Raleigh, NC and is married with two children.

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LaShaunda said...

Welcome ladies, I appreciate you taking time to participate in our book fair today.

I'll start the questions off by asking.

How do you save a sagging middle?

Lutishia said...

Good morning, LaShaunda and thanks so much for inviting me to participate in this, my easiest book fair ever! :) A shout out to my sistah-authors on the panel today as well.

Okay, a sagging middle? Are we talking books or body here? Ha! For the latter, I suggest crunches and the hula hoop. For a storyline, it's all about pacing. Various high points of the story should be spaced throughout, so that the reader never feels that the plot has dropped off. Ebb and flow...that's how I go!

Missy said...

Wow now this is something fantastic....LaShaunda you are such a blessing to the literary community. Thanks so much for bringing us this book fair. Its funny; I wanted to go to Printers Row book Fair here in Chicago which starts at 10am today but I didn't want to be bothered with the sun. You have absolutely solved that issue for me...Thanks.
Elaine on your website you have a phrase; Hope. Dreams. Life...Love

Grayson I too enjoy the semantics of relationship and people. How to make them last, where did it start and how did we end up here. People are intriguing...I'm looking forward to Caress in November.

Ms. Lipsey I have Beautiful Ugly on book shelf. I picked it up because I liked the cover, and then when I read the synopsis I had to get it. The cover reminds me of how we try to hide what is truly there.
I have not had a chance to read it but I'm moving it on up...LOL

Lutisha an author and vegetarian enthusiast wow I love creating dishes especially with veggies and pasta. I made a spinach alfredo lasagana which was delicious...LOL I have not had the pleasure of reading any of your titles but I see Kindle is offering a bundle deal for $9.99 on Kindle.

Kimberly its always a pleasure to meet folks and especially a new author it means new characters, and seeing how folks get in or out of their situations. I am going to take a look at your motivational book to see how we can use it for our Annual book club retreat. Our theme is "Exhale"

Lisa Lisa Lisa, you REALLY wrote the buggle gum outta "Interview with Love" by now you shiuld have received our review and seen it posted on Goodreads, Amazon, our myspace page and most other social network site there is a link for us to post it. I absolutely loved Vaughn and Charise' story. Executed in the true style or relationships and faith, no pretenses, no junk...I loved it! Thanks for the review book and the journey. I plan to read "Watch Your Back". I'll inbox you on facebook once I start it.

Fantastic day one of the fair, let me let me book club know you ladies are here.
New titles, new authors introduced to me. I'm going to review your titles and see where to begin this journey of discovery.

God Bless

Grayson Reyes-Cole said...

Good Morning, LaShaunda! and Thank you, Missy!

Saving a sagging middle in a novel? Plastic surgery! Snip, snip, snip! I am an over-writer by nature, so I tend to go on and on and on so that there are no mistakes of interpretation made about the story. But readers get it, they do. So before I submit a new novel, I go through with a rigorous cut to make sure I make my point is concise and the story flows well. THEN, if I still get carried away, an editor will tell me so! :) and more snipping will ensue. Inside Out, my new release, started at 95K words and now is right at 82K.

Shelia E. Lipsey said...

Good morning, Everyone. It's great to be part of SORMAG's second online book fair. Thank you for inviting me, LaShaunda. I look forward to networking with everyone.

LaShaunda said...


I love a sense of humor. I was talking about writing, but I guess deep inside I was talking about this tummy of mine that hasn't realized it's suppose to be flat. LOL

Thanks so much for both tips. Never thought about a hula hoop. I will be picking up one.

LaShaunda said...


Welcome, I so appreciate you stopping by instead of facing that hot sun.

Enjoy your day.

Shelia E. Lipsey said...

Ummmm...a Sagging middle. LaShaunda you started off with a good one this morning (lol). I have to remove my satin bonnet and put on my thinking cap! I believe a sagging middle is when the storyline becomes boring, dry, or instead of propelling the reader to want to continue reading, it makes the reader want to stop or rush forward. If this is the case, the easiest cure is to make sure your book flows and the ending paragraphs are exciting and almost like a cliffhanger. In addition, the middle should definitely be one of the strongest parts of your novel because it is where all the juicy, exciting, drama and details should catapult. I try to avoid this by having test readers before I publish my work, and I also know that if when reading my own draft, if it doesn't hold a fire to me, then it surely isn't going to keep my readers wanting more.

LaShaunda said...


I'm a long winded writer. I'm learning how to snip and cut. Thanks for your tip.

LaShaunda said...

Thank you Shelia,

I like the cliff hanging endings. That's what makes me have a hard time, when I'm reading at night. Can't put the book down, because its so good.

Shelia E. Lipsey said...

Hi, Missy, I'm glad you could join us today! Talking about all things working out for good, then this is certainly another one of God's blessings. Thank you for supporting me. It's always great to hear from readers who take the time to support my literary career and help me to live my dreams now. I look forward to hearing your feedback when you get the chance to read Beautiful Ugly. I also have a list of books that available on most of the various types of Ereaders too, so check 'em out. Hope you enjoy today's events.

Shelia E. Lipsey said...

LaShaunda, it takes effort, consistency and plain old skill to turn your ending paragraphs into cliff hangers. I'm still trying to perfect this craft myself. For example, my editor pointed out to me previously that many of my chapters were ending with my characters going to bed and going to sleep. She told me that this is one of the worse types of endings because it puts your readers to sleep too (sad face). I thought about what she said and have taken her expert advice to make sure that my ending paragraphs leave my readers with an exciting, gotta read more type of ending. I haven't totally accomplished it but I am aware of it and as I continue to write, I am getting better and better with ending paragraphs.

Grayson Reyes-Cole said...

Wow, Shelia! That's interesting. I don't think my characters ever go to sleep! LOL! I think that's my personality influencing the work, because I have a hard time sleeping. But they all end up eating quite a bit, lol! That's probably a little reflective, too :)

Lutishia said...

Hey Missy! I appreciate your plans to become a Lovely Lady! Now, about that includes All Up In My Business, the first of a new series and then two novels from my first series, Hallelujah Love. They are not the first two books in the series so while every novel is written to stand alone, if you are a series reader, you might want to start with the first one, Sex In The Sanctuary. Enjoy!

Lutishia Lovely said...

And just in case someone misses the author intros above...this is Lutishia Lovely!

Ladysilver said...

Thanks LaShaunda for doing this. I love finding out about authors I have yet to explore and seeing what's new with authors I have read before. I have a Zuri Day romance in my TBR pile.

Purpoz said...

If any did not see the authors info. I am Kimberly Purpoz or Purpoz. Grayson I have to agree with you on your comment on editing. Editing does make a huge difference in imsaving a sagging middle. My editor makes magical wonders in in cutting out parts. Going through tons of rewrites and rearranging parts and phrases within story. By the time the work has been editted. It becomes a total master piece.:-)

Grayson Reyes-Cole said...

Yeah, Kimberly, editors work miracles. Sometimes they make me want to tear my hair out and throw things, but I could not create a masterpiece without one. At least not and have it finished in less than a year or two.

Purpoz said...

Hi everyone. And thanks for inviting me LaShaunda! This going to be an awesome event!:-) I'm glad to be on board too with my fellow authors.

To answer the ealier answer the question about how you save a sagging middle? For me I like to add some comedy, suspense, and action. A love scene in the appropriate places can also add some flare to the story. Often times these thing adds a lot of spice and flava to the story.:-)

Purpoz said...

Thanks Sheila I am looking forward to networking too.:-) And Lutishia that's so true the flow is critical to avoiding sagging middles. Like Grayson said a good editor is key to a making it more polished. An editor that specialized in developing a story is very important. One of the editors I worked with help me to improve the flow of my novel and it made a significant difference. When I look at the old manuscript and the final product, it is like night and day! The final cut is 10 times better. That how it should always be. LOL!:-)

Lyn Cote said...

I was struck by your blog title: Perfect Stories about Imperfect People. EXCELLENT!

And LaShaunda, thanks for all you do for us authors.

I'm looking forward to reading your first book too!

Elaine Cantrell said...

Hey, LaShaunda and friends! I'm so happy to be here. Like SaShaunda, I love books. People sometimes ask me about my hobbies, and while it's true I do have some, I think my major way of amusing myself is with books. I started reading for pleasure when I was just a little girl. My mother took my sister and me to the library every Friday afternoon to check out some books. Then, she'd take us out for hot dogs. I promise it was the highlight of our week.

I remember several series I read when I was a child. I loved Trixie Belden and Anne of Green Gables, and I read anything with horses in it.

Readers, what about you? What was your childhood favorites?

Elaine Cantrell said...

Lutishia, Sagging middle. LOL. I've had a bit of trouble with that in the last few years. If we're talking books, I find a few deletions here and there will help a lot, for me anyway. My editors always cut my work which breaks my heart, but the end result probably is better. It's prety obvious when an author is floundering.

Sometimes I combine several sections into one in order to speed up the pace.

Like Sheila said, cliffhangers work well.

Lutishia Lovely said...

Ladysilver! My alter-ego Zuri Day thanks you! :) For those who don't know, Zuri Day writes sizzling romances where she takes a page out of real life and infuses it with love.

I must chime in on the value of an excellent editor. They are worth their weight in gold! I can't imagine there is anyone serious about this game still editing their own work. Writers are too close to the story and we read what we know should be there instead of what actually is. I worked as an editor for a magazine and still took my virgin MSS through THREE professional editors!

LaShaunda said...

Hi Elaine,

Going to the library as a kid was the highlight of my week. My kids feel the same way and I love that.

I was introduced to Anne of Green Gables as an adult and fell in love. I think the movies did it for me.

My love for writing came from the Little House on the Prairie series. Laura had a journal and I had to have one.

Elaine Cantrell said...


My characters are going to have to wake up. Now that you mention it, they do sleep at the end of some chapters.

Elaine Cantrell said...

I totally forgot the Little House books! After reading them, I dreamed of being a pioneer like Laura. My sister and I built a play house in the trees and pretended to be Laura and Mary.

Elaine Cantrell said...

I've been visiting some of your websites, and they are awesome. Lutishia, I'd buy Crush just because of the guy on the cover. Covers do sell books!

Lutishia Lovely said...

Elaine, that man's body is off the charts! I'm going to try and wrangle his name from the art department when I go New York next month! Ha!

And aren't libraries fantastic! I've always been a voracious reader and as a young child growing up in a small town, found that through the library I could travel all over the world. The first time I walked into one and found my book on the! I knew I had arrived!!! :)

LaShaunda said...

What are you ladies reading?

Elaine Cantrell said...

One thing that I give Stepehnie Meyer credit for is making reading fun for young people. Our local library has a good many copies, and they are all well used.

I'm a teacher, and one morning I noticed that four of the girls weren't paying me a bit of attention. They were reading. When I asked what it was, they all held up Twilight. Young adult authors, you are awesome. Keep writing things that are fun for kids to read, and we'll raise a generation of people hooked on books.

Lutishia Lovely said...

I have half-finished copies of Rochelle Aler's Butterfly and Brenda Jackson's Object of his Protection on my nightstand. They'll both have to wait...multiple due lines pressing...

Lutishia Lovely said...

In fact, regarding said multiple due lines, ladies I'm going to jump off for a bit and go deep in the writer cave. Back in a few hours. This is fun!

Elaine Cantrell said...

Have any of you read The Bronze Horseman? I just finished it and the sequel Tatiana and Alexander. I'm waiting for the third book that comes out nud June. I can't remember the name. Whil I wait for it, I'm reading Mongolian by Lisa Greer. It's set in the south and has mysteries and ghosts.

Elaine Cantrell said...

Hey everybody, don't forget to check out the book trailers LaShaunda posted. Go to Sormag Theater to watch them.

Purpoz said...

Thanks Elaine. I am going to check out the trailers!:-)

Purpoz said...

Hi yall I am back. I was stopping by. Well let's see I am currently reading five books during my spare time. I am reading Donna Hill's "Scandalous", Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Bad Moon Rising", Beverly Jenkin's "Night Song", Savanna Russe's "Dark Nights, Dark Dreams", and Rochelle Aler's "Twice the Temptation". And my wish list is L.A. Banks I am going to have to pick up one of her books.:-) I am stepping out to eat dinner. I will be back. This is so much fun! LaShaunda, this on-line book fair was an awesome idea!

Teresa B said...

Hello Ladies,
I want to say you all are wonderful writers that I truly enjoy reading. I have not read a sagging middle in any of your books. However, I have came across some and it makes me want to jump to the end to get it over with because the middle is so boring. I believe the middle is the most important part it makes or breaks whether I am going to finish it or put it back on my shelf.

LaShaunda thank you for hosting the online fair. It is great to be able to communicate with the authors I love to read.

Lisa Watson said...

Hi everyone!

I'm so sorry I'm bringing up the rear on comments for today!! I've have some technical difficulties with my ISP connection today. Now I know how much I depend on connecting to the Internet everyday. A LOT!!!

So far I've not been faced with a sagging middle. I've had a few issues here and there that my editor never fails to miss. My issues are more so with head hopping than anything else. I try to make sure my chapters start and end strong and keep that going throughout the middle. I don't like writing chapter outlines, but they do help keep me focused and on track.

Great comments, Ladies!! Thanks for setting this up LaShaunda!!

Lisa Watson said...


Thanks so much for your awesome review and kind words on Interview with Love! I had a great time writing Vaughn and Sienna's story. They had a great dynamic, and Vaughn's brother Pierce had me laughing aloud as I typed!! He really tried to take over that book, because we know it's all about Pierce!! ;)

Purpoz said...

Hi Teressa! I am glad you had a chance to stop by!:-)

Lisa see you made you made! I hope all is well with you.:-)

Purpoz said...

Well I am going to have to go check on the kids. I really enjoyed chatting with my sister authors! It has really been a blast. Thanks for hosting a wonderful event, LaShaunda. I look forward to doing it again!:-)

Lutishia Lovely said...

Hey y'all! Just wanted to stop thru one more time and say how much I enjoyed this chat. LaShaunda, this is a GREAT idea and I look forward to more SORMAG book fairs. Blessings to everyone...happy reading and happy writing!

Elaine Cantrell said...

LaShaunda, thanks for letting us come today. I've had a chance find some great blogs and add to my TBR pile. And, Lutishia, that cover model oh my.

LaShaunda said...

I want to thank our panel today, Elaine, Shelia, Kimberly, Lutishia, Grayson and Lisa. Thank you ladies for coming out and sharing with us today. Please feel free to stop in next week when the book fair continues.

Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Lisa Watson said...

Thanks, LaShaunda for doing everything you do to bring readers and authors together!!

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