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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Saturday, July 30, 2011

SORMAG's Editor - LaShaunda Hoffman - Interview with H.D. Campbell


 
I had the pleasure of having my first live interview with H.D. Campbell.

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Friday, July 29, 2011

FEATURE AUTHOR: Jacqueline J. Holness


Jacqueline J. Holness is a seasoned journalist with 15 years of professional experience. Currently, she is a correspondent for Courthouse News Service, an online, national news service for attorneys. Through her business, Selah Communications, Jacqueline has also written for several publications, web sites, and organizations including: UPSCALE magazine, the Atlanta Business Chronicle newspaper, Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine, and Atlanta Home Improvement magazine. Her work has also appeared on Citysearch.com and the New Georgia Encyclopedia web site. She has also written for the Atlanta Convention &Visitors Bureau.

Aside from her professional life, Jacqueline also relishes being involved in her church, Central Christian Church, having served as a Sunday school teacher and Vacation Bible School and play director.

Since health and wellness are important goals in her life, Jacqueline is also a fitness instructor for LA Fitness and has completed a marathon and several road races. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated.

While her family is of Jamaican descent, Jacqueline has lived in the metro Atlanta area since she was six years old and considers Atlanta her home. After the Altar Call: The Sisters’ Guide to Developing a Personal Relationship With God is her first book.

How did you start out your writing career?

I started my official writing career as an intern for The Christian Index, a Baptist newspaper and the nation's oldest continuously published religious newspaper when I graduated from the University of Georgia in 1996. I earned a bachelor’s degree in magazine journalism. But I started writing stories when I was six years old. In fact, my first grade teacher, Mrs. Roberts, gave me an award for “good story writing.” This award hangs on the wall in my office today!

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that writing a book is no joke…lol…I had heard about how hard it is to write a book, but hearing about it and doing it are two different things entirely. I have a brand new respect for what God has been able to accomplish through me!
What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

I hope to empower black Christian women to live a victorious Christian life through the inspiration of other black Christian women who may be further along in their Christian journey. These are real stories for real people!

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

Well, there were no “characters” as this is a non-fiction book, but I thoroughly enjoyed interviewing Melissa Summers, a formerly well-known DJ in metro Atlanta who walked away from a six-figure salary, notoriety and other worldly trappings to pursue her calling in Christ. It’s one thing to follow God when you ain’t never had anything anyway, but it is quite another level of sacrifice when you have worldly success and you decide to walk away from it all!

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

Well, my book will be officially published in February 2012 so I’m not quite there yet, but right now, I’m surprised about how totally consumed I am by marketing and promoting this book.

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

I love the actual act of putting everything together. It reminds me of cooking in that you put together all of these ingredients that don’t seem like much independently but together, they are extremely satisfying.
I don’t like the editing process. I don’t hate it because it’s necessary to produce a quality product, but it’s nerve-wracking because I don’t want any errors in the book.

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

I wish I would have known how long it would take to get here, that is at the cusp of having my first book published, but I don’t think God works like that. He may tell us where we are going, but He doesn’t necessarily provide a time frame -at least that has been my experience.

Other than that, I’m not sure because I’m still at the beginning of this journey. By next year this time, I’m sure I will have more to share. Check back with me then! LOL!

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

Do find writing mentors and network with other aspiring writers.

Don’t judge your work too harshly at the beginning. Write what you feel, and then go back and modify as you learn and grow more. Trust in God’s leading from the beginning to the end.

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

Non-writers are as important as writers because we need people to read and understand our work. We write to connect with you particularly since writers tend to be solitary people.

If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?

It would be fun to be Ludell from Ludell & Willie by Brenda Wilkinson. This book is such a treasure because it is tender black love story that takes you to south Georgia in the 1950s. I guess it is really touching because I grew up in Georgia , but I came along two decades later. This book provides a window to witness black life before integration. In spite of the challenges of being black in that time period, there was a beauty that does not seem to be matched in present-day life.  

When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

First of all, I adore reading. I also love to hang out with my boyfriend, friends and family. I thoroughly enjoy traveling as well. My family is from Jamaica , and I’ve also traveled to Puerto Rico, the Bahamas , Barbados and other islands. I’ve also been to England and Costa Rica , and I’m planning to travel more. And I’ve also grown to love working out!

What do you do to interact with your readers?

I’m working on that now. To date, I primarily interact with my readers at my blog, http://afterthealtarcall.com/, but I also interact with readers on my Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/jholness, but I’m also working on discovering more ways to interact with my readers.

Our theme for this month is FREELANCING.   What type of freelancing have you done and any advice for someone interested in breaking into freelancing?

I have written for several publications, web sites, and organizations including: UPSCALE magazine, the Atlanta Business Chronicle newspaper, Atlanta Tribune: The Magazine, and Atlanta Home Improvement magazine. My work has also appeared on Citysearch.com and the New Georgia Encyclopedia web site, and I have also written for the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau.  
Go to networking events hosted for journalists and editors. Most of my freelancing opportunities have come through networking. However, I also had many clips or examples of my work to show editors. So first of all, write, write and write some more so that you have examples of your work, and then go where you can meet editors! There are several publications that are looking for people to write for free. It may not be the ideal opportunity but at least you will have something to show when other more ideal opportunities are presented.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

I know for sure that God has a purpose for each us, and that He is the ultimate Creator and therefore loves and supports our creativity!

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

Not right now…I can’t even think about that right now since I’m in the midst of marketing and promoting this book! LOL!

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

Jholness7@hotmail.com
http://afterthealtarcall.com/
http://www.facebook.com/jholness

After the Altar Call: The Sisters’ Guide to Developing a Personal Relationship With God is a fresh, real and relevant how-to manual for black women who desire to move past “church speak” and to an intimate relationship with their Creator.
As a journalist, I have interviewed black women from diverse backgrounds to discover what having a personal relationship with God is truly about – beyond the initial “come to Jesus” moment typically associated with the altar call experience. I give readers a rare, personal look into the lives of these women, identify precepts these women used to develop a personal relationship with God given their life experiences, and create a plan for readers to craft their own relationship with the Father.

The book includes interviews with 24 women with compelling stories such the “The View” co-host Sherri Shepherd, & Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie, the 117th elected and consecrated bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church and the first woman elected to Episcopal office in over 200 years of A.M.E. history; and Valorie Burton, life coach, author and co-host on the Emmy award- winning show “Aspiring Women” and the former co-host of the national television program “The Potter’s Touch” with Bishop T.D. Jakes.

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Monday, July 25, 2011

FEATURED AUTHOR: Kiexiza Rodriquez


Kiexiza Rodriquez is the eldest of ten children whose lack of attention at home drove her to create a world were love was all around her. A pen and a blank piece of paper became her best friends, always there. Her love for all things creative became and she honed her skills in many genres of art.

A survivor of childhood abuse, in many forms as well as domestic violence, Kie has endured things that others may not have recovered from. Somehow finding the strength to pick her head up and move forward.

Professionally, she spent over ten years in the entertainment industry working for different companies assisting with things such as, marketing & promotions, A&R, event planning, street team promotions, and administrative work in the New England area. An impromptu run in with an old friend inspired her to join his team, where she currently heads their promotions & advertising department

Accepting that it’s her destiny to write, and share her personal story with the world, Kiexiza’s goal is to create more than just a fictional story or her pain. Her novels aspire to entertain and provide life lessons mixed into the drama, humor, mystery and romance of her characters journey.

How did you start out your writing career?

My career began as a child I suppose. I began to write down things as I thought them. I wrote about being sad, about what I wished my life was like, about what was actually going on. From there I began to write poetry, then songs, then back to poetry. Eventually with the people I was involved in – in my life at that time, from therapist to other poets, all convinced me I had a story to tell and should share it.

What did you learn while writing this book?

WOW, Beautiful, taught me if nothing else, PATIENCE. I’ve learned by doing things the quick WRONG way that with a little time, effort, patience, and research, things can go a whole lot smoother the first time around, with no need for do-overs, or costly errors.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

Originally this novel was meant to be my autobiography. But, I was unable to decide where to begin or get over the fact that some people may not remember things the way I did. So instead when I sat down to write, Beautiful is what was born. I still hope to share a story of victory, of self-growth and awareness from this novel. I pray that people see more than just a great story and grasp the message within the characters.

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

Tierra, the lead character, the women character are a lil of me and some people I know. There isn’t one that is solely me or solely anyone else, but a mixture, of us all. But Tierra was the most fun, probably because I related to her the most.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

The cost. When I first released this novel I just uploaded to lulu, no cost. And later when I realized all the things I had done incorrect and what it actually cost to do some of those things it was really eye opening.

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

I love the process, the creative freedom I have to plan and put into action a story a beginning middle and an end. There is no greater joy for me than creating this world for my characters to evolve inside of.

I am not a big talker face to face anyway and esp. not to strangers, so the promotions end of it is hard for me. Handing out flyers and possibly having people tell me no thank you they don’t want it, is terrifying.

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

The cost of money needed to create, publish, promote a book, How to handle those close to you who don’t support and knock your dreams as you continue to reach for higher levels.

The time it takes away from family and other things, to really put your all into your goals, when they are more than just a hobby.

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

DO your research, Google, library, amazon books. Etc, research B4 you start!

DON’T just take everyone’s word for what’s good, what’s not, who to use for this or that, or what not to use. Surely listen to advice but in the end YOU have to be happy with your choices. So make them accordingly and be happy with them.

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

That there are many many similarities to writing and authors books.

Writing a novel is hard, but a joy to most of the writers, and just as a musician put his heart sweat and tears into their work so does an author. Support doesn’t mean buy one book and share it between the whole office. Sometimes reaching out to an author to say you have 5 gals or 10 or so who want to buy can grant you a discount. But you cheat the author by doing the equivalent to bootlegging but for books.

If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?

I don’t think I have one, though I’ve read some great books. There isn’t one I’d say I’d love to be the character in. Most have gone through some rough stages and many don’t come out 100% on top.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Cook, I LOVE to cook and bake. I like to draw clothing, though I can’t sew. Spend time with my family. We have recently relocated to VA, so I don’t have the luxury as I did in my home town of cooking and inviting over the family and friends. But I can’t for that day to return

What do you do to interact with your readers?

Twitter is great and FB, is as well. I’m a chatter online and I’m easy to approach. We’ve done contest, and I have a group on FB that people can join and we talk about everything. As long as people introduce themselves for the most part I accept them on FB, and as long as they remain respectful I love to talk to anyone.

Our theme for this month is FREELANCING. What type of freelancing have you done and any advice for someone interested in breaking into freelancing?

I have written articles for publication in a few online magazines and blogs, soulful nights (Jahzara Bradley) Writerz Vibe (kasha Green) SheBiz.net, Christian X-Press, and others as well as with DSE we work with author, musicians, and entrepreneurs basically to help them spread the word about their business.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

I know for sure that it is my destiny to share my stories with those willing to listen. Whether it be through my novels, or eventually my autobiography or speaking engagements. I’ve been through hell and back and there is someone going through who needs to know they too can come out of the storm and survive.

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

Beautiful is Vol. 1 of a 5 part novel series. In beautiful you meet all of the characters of future books. Some have very small roles and some are larger. But the 2nd book Beautiful Seduction, goes into the world of seduction and desires. It talks about, I guess, mainly all that glitters isn’t Gold and how we can lose what is really important chasing after what appears to be what matters most.

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

kiexizarodriquez@yahoo.com
http://www.kiexizarodriquez.blogspot.com/

http://www.diamondstarentertainment.weebly.com/ (hopefully the weebly will be gone by the time the show is)
www.facebook.com/diamondstarentertainment

Tierra Rodriquez, is a successful business woman, who has worked her way up the ladder, despite being haunted by ghosts from her past. While she tries to juggle life, work, and friendship, her tightly wound cord of secrets begins to unravel. From trying her hand at love, to her estranged mother showing up at her doorstep, and more, Tierra is tested to the brink of insanity and lands in the one place she swore she'd never return seeking solace.

After enduring the tragic death of one he loves, Aquarian Skeene is confused and there is only one person on his mind, Tierra. Desiring to rekindle their lapsed friendship, he makes a phone call that seems to set off a series of events that takes them both down a path of unfamiliarity. As he tries to settle into his new job, and deal with his own secrets he is thrown into a life and death fight that brings everyone in their lives face to face testing their faith.

With everything they know put on the chopping block, will these two get their act together and figure out what path they are destined to be on? Or will they continue to fall apart and become victims of their own secrets and silent fears?

Beautiful Trailer-

http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared?p=ddad05a91b4f585ddf6a8d&skin_id=1802&utm_source=otm&utm_medium=text_url


Beautiful Seduction Trailer

http://www.onetruemedia.com/shared?p=de5e7ebd599059f859befc&skin_id=1802&utm_source=otm&utm_medium=text_url





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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

COLUMN: ARE YOU ON THE NET


Online Promotion Plan VI

10. Have you created at least five articles that focus on your books’ theme?

Articles are a great way to promote yourself online. There are many online magazines, sites or blogs that are always looking for new submissions. They always feature a byline and a short bio. This is an excellent way to share your knowledge with readers. It will introduce your writing abilities and place your name in reader’s minds.

You can write about your experience as a writer, the craft of writing, or maybe you're expert in a subject. Write an article about it.

BEFORE YOU BEGAN

Before you start, remember to do your research first.

  • Check out the ezine/sites/or blogs to see if their readership are the readers you want to reach.

  • See what types of articles these ezines/sites/or blogs are looking for. You don't want to submit a medical article to a poetry magazine.

  • Some ezines/sites/or blogs have a writing calendar with the themes for the year, which can help you in knowing what to offer as an article.

  • What is the word count? This will help you when you began to write your articles.

  • Who do you submit to?  I highly recommend knowing the name of the editor.

  • How do they want you to submit? Read over their guidelines.  Don’t send your article with permission.


LET’S CONNECT

A letter of introduction is a way to introduce you and your book to ezines/sites/or blogs.  You're offering your services to them and in return they let you know if they can use your services.

EXAMPLE: 

Greetings in the name of literature,

My name is LaShaunda C. Hoffman.  I'm currently promoting my new book and would like to introduce it to your readers.  I would like to write an article for you.  I have a variety of subjects to discuss (relationships, Christian life, blogging, natural hair care, online marketing or about writing).

Please let me know what subject you’re interested in, and I will send you an article.

I look forward to working with you.

LaShaunda C. Hoffman
writerlch@yahoo.com


BIOS

When you submit your articles, the publication will also want a short bio on you,  25 words or less. This is similar to your signature, with a little more info about yourself. Make sure to have a link to your site.

Sample BIO

LaShaunda C. Hoffman is a Christian Fiction author who enjoys reading and chatting online.  Debut novel, Trust in the Lord is due out June 2011.  Visit her online at -
http://lashaunda.blogspot.com

ADDED BONUS


Monthly Columnist – Some online magazine/sites/or blogs look for monthly columnist.  This is your chance to talk about your special topic only you know about.  Share your wisdom with their readership and at the end of your column, include your bio.   Check out your favorite online magazines/sites/or blogs and see if they’re in the need for a columnist and send an intro letter to the editor and offer your services.

You have your articles, your bio, and you're ready to send out your letters of introduction. Your purpose for the submission is to introduce yourself to their readers.  If you’re lucky some sites pay for content.

I highly recommend that you use this tool off the net too.

Next month we will break down more of these questions to help you continue to build your plan.

Can’t wait to next month, contact me –sormag@yahoo.com.  I’m available for private online promotion coaching.

Until then,

I’ll see you on the net.

LaShaunda C. Hoffman

LaShaunda is the creator of SORMAG – Shades Of Romance Magazine. She has 11 years of experience on online promotion, most she learned from trial and error. She has taught workshops on online promotion and is available for private online promotion coaching.

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Do you need help with your promoting? - http://sormag.com/advertise.htm

Monday, July 18, 2011

FEATURED AUTHOR: Melissa Wathington


Melissa Wathington has had over 20 years in the writing industry. A college graduate with both an AA and BA in Journalism, she has worked as layout editor and content editor for three college newspapers, as well as two county papers. Soap Opera Digest and Soap Opera Weekly have featured her writing and she's done numerous freelance editing jobs. She served as editor in chief for two national magazines, Street and Ultimate Black Hair, was a book reviewer for over 4 years at The Romance Readers Connection and has had numerous short stories and two books self-published under the pseudonym, Elissa Scott Kyle.

In 2007, Melissa, along with partner and fellow author Rae Lori opened up Lavender Isis Publishing, a print and e-book publisher which served over 20 authors. Some of their biggest sellers included "A Wild Love" by Rose Paisley, "The Red Storm" by Zinnia Hope and "Love to Behold" by Sammie Ward. Although they closed their doors in summer of 2008, the company is still well known and highly respected in the e-publishing community.

Melissa is now writing full time, seeking representation for her work. She does freelance editing, nanny duties and runs the Homebound Hugs website, a site for homebound kids. Her faith also plays a big part in her life and she looks forward to doing some motivational speaking to those dealing with disabilities.

How did you start out your writing career?

I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school. My biggest passion has been books since I learned how to read so I think it was a natural progression to go from reading them to writing them.

What did you learn while writing these books?

These six short stories cover such a large range of topis and were written over a span of time so, it’s hard to pinpint. But, what they showed me, and what I hope other people get from them, is that love is the most important thing we have in our lives and we need to honor and protect that love. And show it. Not enough people show how much they care, and then lose their opportunity. Always make love your first priority.

What did you hope to accomplish with these books?

These stories will be available in one book, in an anthology this November (Love Bytes). I really wanted people to get an idea of my heart and what matters to me, with these stories. I hoped I accomplished that and I really hope readers look for my future works because they liked what they read.

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

Out of all of my short stories, I’d have to say my favorite character(s) are Krystal from Sister Lost, Sister Found and Jordan from The Heart Never Lies. Krystal had a lot of heart and I really felt for her. That story is the hardest for me to read now because I have nieces who are twins and I can’t think of one without the other. They hadn’t been born yet when I wrote the story, oddly enough. And Jordan tickles me. He’s very persistant and very smooth. He spoke to me a lot and I found him interesting. If I hadn’t written it from her point of view, you’d know a lot more about his personality....maybe I should write a sequel from his viewpoint!

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

The amount of work that goes into the “after” process. Marketing is hard work and you really have to know what you’re doing to get maximum exposure. Being self published, this step is crucial because it could mean the difference of having 10 sales or 1000. It’s also not an easy thing for me to talk about myself and I hate to seem like I’m “selling” all the time. That’s been one of the most difficult parts about this career for me.

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

I love the beginning stages of developing a story, when an idea blossoms into a full arc and characters start taking shape. That’s the most exciting for me. The part I hate the most is crafting the end. Because I was brought up on soap operas, I love ongoing stories; it’s very hard for me to properly end a story. I usually end up leaving a few open doors so if I have more to write later, I can.

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

Write as often as you can and finish your projects before moving onto the next. This piece of advice would’ve been so helpful and I might not have the dozen or so unfinished short stories sitting on my computer. LOL

Don’t try to achieve perfection. Write your best and go from there. Writing is an ongoing process, a trade you continually grow in. The more you read, the better you write—at least that’s what I believe and so, the learning never really ends.

Take bold steps to achieve your dreams. You’ll never achieve any of your dreams if you don’t at least try. And by trying, you have to start somewhere. I wish I hadn’t let fear get the best of me. There are definitely some things I would’ve done earlier, like spending more time on my craft and submitting my manuscript to a few NY publishers. However, it’s never too late so I’m making my moves now.

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

DON’T expect to become a bestselling author overnight, if at all. The vast number of people out there who believe they’ve written the next NY Times Bestseller threatens to swamp the market with books that are poorly constructed and poorly written. Due to the new avenues opening up for writers in self publishing with Kindle and Barnes & Noble, everyone and their mama thinks they can write a book. Therefore, it makes it much harder for people to find quality writing from real writers—those who live and breathe writing. Not all self published authors will be Amanda Hocking.

DO love writing. Be all about the craft and make sure it’s your passion. You have to WANT to write more than anything else to be really successful because being a writer is a lot of work. Work that requires skill. Everyone has a voice but not everyone knows how to use it.

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

I think most non-writers think writing a book is equivalent to the kind of writing you did while in school. They believe it’s easy and doesn’t take much skill. I also think many non-writers don’t understand the amount of time and work that goes into being a writer. When someone hears an author writes full time, they usually believe that person is home all day, watching tv, relaxing, and having fun while spending maybe a few hours writing. They don’t understand the research, work, or amount of sweat it takes to be a full time writer. It is not an easy job, don’t be fooled.

If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?

I used to want to be Jo from Little Women because she was so strong and confident. And she fell in love with that dashing professor. : ) But, now I think I would either choose to be any one of the ladies who end up with a Westmoreland man in Brenda Jackson's series (because they are ALL seriously HOT!) or I'd be Bernadine Brown from Beverly Jenkins' Blessings series because she is helping to foster children and do all kinds of inspirational things with the blessings God gave her.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I spend way too much time with social media like Facebook and Twitter. I am a big fan of Korean pop music, as well as music in general, so I always have it on. I spend a lot of time with my teenage nieces and I like designing websites.

What do you do to interact with your readers?

I love to hear from my readers! Besides email, and my site, where I always reply to comments and questions, I also have a FB page, called The Story Corner with author Melissa Wathington. I try to maintain communication with my readers; I’ve even done a few chats. But, I would like them to know I am running a special Summer Lovin’ Giveaway, where the prizes are a Target gift card, personalized patriotic t-shirt and a gift certificate to the book vendor of their choice. For more details, visit http://wix.com/melissaw/summerlovin.

Our theme for this month is FREELANCING. What type of freelancing have you done and any advice for someone interested in breaking into freelancing?

I consider myself a freelance writer and most of the writing I’ve done over the past 8 years I’ve considered “freelancing”. I wrote book reviews for a few years and I’ve also done a few articles for different sites. You have to have a good grip on time and your schedule to be a freelancer. I’m not the world’s most organized person but I can stay on schedule if I make one. It’s important to set realistic goals and constantly work at them. Staying on task is my hardest job because I have so much going on healthwise but I do my best. Start with smaller jobs before you try to conquer a big one. It will help grow your confidence and give you a good reputation. There are all kinds of sites that promote freelancing opportunities but beware of any sites that may ask you for money before they will pay you. That’s never a good sign.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

I know I love my family and I’d do anything for them. And I live to honor God and spread His message. Those two things I know for sure.

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

My next release is a full length novella called Prescription For Love, about two people struggling to find peace in their lives and how their burgeoning relationship helps and/or hurts them in finding that peace. Publication date is set for October 2011. For good measure, here’s an excerpt!

"Oh, I came in to tell you guys we have a car accident victim being brought in. Male, mid to late 20's, semi-conscious. ETA 3 minutes"

Stacey looked over at Mario. "Now we have excitement, when we're supposed to go home in a half-hour!"

Quickly rising, they followed Judy out of the room, Stacey getting extra things out of the storage room, while Mario paged the doctor on call. They were ready and waiting when the loud scream of the ambulance siren announced its arrival. The automatic doors swung open, the wind blew papers from the desk and leaves followed. The attendants rushed in, pushing the gurney carrying the large frame of the patient. Stacey was momentarily stunned by the mere physical presence of the stranger, unconscious or not. He barely fit on the gurney, his feet dangling off the end and his wide shoulders outsized the narrow berth of the mattress. The attendants said they had been unable to find any identification on his person. They assumed it was somewhere in the wreckage of his Jeep.

Everyone quickly jumped into action as they moved him from the gurney to a flat bed, hooked him up to an IV, and made a quick survey of his vitals. The man's white button-down shirt was ripped and torn, and streaked with red. Stacey worked around everyone else, cutting the shirt from his body, silently assessing the man. The first most important task was to find the origin of bleeding. His tanned skin appeared slightly ashen from the trauma. He was at least six foot two, if not taller, weighing over two hundred pounds and Stacey found it difficult working around his frame to remove the tattered clothing.
His face compelled her gaze, as she took in the firm curve of his lips and the strong contours of his face, making his features seem as if they had been carved from stone. He wasn't conventionally handsome, but there was a sense of strength and virility that exuded, causing Stacey to want to continue looking. But she couldn't. She had to get the clothes off of him.

A jolt of warmth shot through her as her hand brushed the firmness of his stomach and she was appalled at her response. Glancing quickly at his face, she found his eyes still closed and feeling foolish, continued her work. She had a job to do so she had to stay focused. She didn't have the time to admire the overwhelming masculinity of the man. She finally found the source of the bleeding on his back and notified the doctor. It appeared some jagged metal had ripped into his skin, leaving a wound that, despite not looking deep, was bleeding steadily. Grabbing some sterile gauze, she pressed it firmly to staunch the blood flow. The stranger unexpectedly stirred, grimacing with pain.

"Sshh…it's okay," Stacey whispered, trying to calm him. For some reason, she felt a strange pull to this man and wanted to do everything she could to make him comfortable.

”Judy, page Dr. Carpenter. He needs a surgeon. Now!" ordered Dr. Crinson, the attending physician on call. Stacey had worked alongside him before and knew him as a competent man who was finishing up his residency in Emergency medicine. His talent in assessing situations quickly had earned him a good reputation and he realized this patient was in critical condition and needed to be stabilized immediately. "We need to type and cross him, get a SMA7, CBC, urinalysis and a dip."

Performing a quick abdominal exam, he found a tender spot on the lower left abdomen.

"We're also going to need an APG, DPL, and x-rays of the chest and extremities. I don't like the sound of his breathing. Come on, move it! "

The movement in the room seemed frantic yet controlled. Everyone ran around, doing what they could to help keep the patient stable as Stacey continued to keep pressure on his wound. Both Mario and Judy offered to switch places with her but Stacey declined, unwilling to leave his side. Sometimes she had a hard time separating her emotions from her work but it was that compassion and caring which helped make her one of the head nurses at University General.

Suddenly the stranger's eyes opened and he looked directly at Stacey. His searing, desperate gaze held her immobile in a state of surprise, her breathing suddenly erratic. She couldn’t fathom what was going on in his mind as his coffee colored eyes continued to fixate on her so intensely. He appeared disoriented, slightly frowning and confused but when she finally found her voice to speak, his gaze softened and his lips turned up slightly.

"Hey, I'm glad to see you're awake. Do you know where you are?" she asked softly.

They could not be sure how much trauma he sustained to his head in the crash. Memory loss was common and she needed to judge how much he remembered.
He frowned slightly, and then his eyes widened as he tried to answer her but couldn’t. Stacey sensed his distress and patted his arm in an effort to keep him calm.

"Don't worry about it. You're in a hospital and receiving the best care you could get. Can you tell me your name?" She was relieved when he shook his head in the affirmative.

"Jarrod..." The voice was deep and raspy, sending chills down her spine.

"Jarrod....King..." He paused, trying to take a breath when his eyes suddenly rolled up in the back of his head and he passed out. Stacey went cold as his blood pressure began to fall.

Before she knew it, they were wheeling him away. He needed surgery immediately to repair the internal injuries he suffered, but she felt surprisingly bereft and emotionally drained. Stacey let Judy know the patient's name so his family could be contacted and began cleaning up the cubicle, trying to calm her racing pulse. Looking over at the clock, she saw it was just a quarter to twelve. Only fifteen minutes had passed—funny, it seemed like much longer.

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

Readers can contact me through email- melissawathington@yahoo.com
My website — http://melissawathington.net/
My FB page — http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Story-Corner-with-author-Melissa-Wathington/189255451168

MySpace — (Which is going to be deleted soon...) http://www.myspace.com/melissasmagicalportal





A KNIGHT’S ILLUSION

After facing the loss of her parents and her first love, Lisette Adams meets Dr. William Conover and finally feels as if her life is turning around. When devastating secrets come out, she must find the courage to find where her heart really belongs.


SHADOW OF LOVE

Danae Collins never thought "happily ever after" would happen for her, but she couldn't deny God's saving grace and his ability to turn all her challenges into triumphs. Now, she's head over heels in love and confident in her future as an author and Gabe Lewis' wife. However, joy turns to heartbreak when someone from Gabe's past surfaces with shocking revelations. Will Danae's strong faith and Gabe's devotion to her be enough to hold them together or will their future together be destroyed?


SISTER LOST, SISTER FOUND

The loss of a sibling is hard to take but never more so when it's your twin. After losing her sister in a tragic car accident, Krystal Johnson finds herself heartbroken and on the edge of making an impossible, irreversible decision. Life without Karla doesn’t seem to be worth living until a compassionate stranger reminds Krystal of the true importance of faith and family.


THE RIGHT CHOICE

Having to stroll down memory lane was not on Jessica Allen's to do list when she attended Alexander's going away bash. Will run in with her ex cause her to shut down permanently or can she finally move on to a new future? He's waiting to see if she makes the right choice....

COMING IN AUGUST


MIRACLE OF THE SEASON

In the midst of getting ready for a busy holiday season with a planned family reunion, Sheryl Williams becomes concerned over daughter Briana’s mood swings. Ever since baby James was adopted into the family, Briana’s been plagued with bad dreams, and Sheryl - convinced it has to do with Briana’s history in foster care - is determined to find out what happened. However, when the truth is finally uncovered, will it give the Williams’ the peace they are looking for or destroy their family for good?


THE HEART NEVER LIES

As an unlikely couple crosses over from friendship to love, they find their true destiny Monique Wurlin should’ve been used to the unexpected happening in her life but the unbelievably hot kiss between her and her best friend Jordan rocked her world. Could she ever steer their friendship back to where it was or was it time to trust her heart?

All stories are/will be available at Amazon Kindle, B&N, and Apple and will be available through Kobo. You can also get different formats (like PDF or RTF) at Smashwords.

AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_18?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=melissa+wathington&sprefix=melissa+wathington

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/melissa-wathington

Apple: http://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/melissa-wathington/id393750099?mt=11

Smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/melissaw


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Friday, July 15, 2011

FEATURED AUTHOR: Janie De Coster



What My Sister Don’t Know

Passion, Betrayal, and a whole lot of drama, this story gives the readers what they want. Entertaining and thought provoking, it makes you ask the question: Is blood thicker than lust?

Saphire Michaels marries Clay Matthews, a down to earth and loyal man who loves the ground her designer shoes walks on. But no matter how hard she tries to love him, her heart yearns for another.

Gade, Saphire younger sister marries the man of her dreams. Lamonte Singletary is everything a red blooded woman could ever want in a man. And after the birth of their son, life has been picture perfect that is until…

Joe Burrels, a bittersweet memory from the past returns with a haunting secret he is determined to reveal. Now the bond of sister-hood could be destroyed forever in What My Sister Don’t Know.


Janie De Coster love of reading is what inspired her to take a step into the writing world. Her first novel Man of My Dreams released in 2006 and was featured in She Magazine, Community Times and Florence Morning News publication.

Janie is currently working on several projects including her novel Broken Commands with Parker Publishing which is slated for released in November 2011.

How did you start out your writing career?

My writing career began with my first novel Man of My Dreams? which was released in 2006.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Writing and publishing a book is very challenging. It takes a lot of hard work and patience. So what I've learned with this book is patience is defiantly a virtue.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

What I hope to accomplished with this book is not only to entertain my readers, but to bring awareness to the lack of trust and diminishing morals of today's society.

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

My favorite character is this book is Saphire. She is over the top but deep down inside she means well.

What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

What surprised me the most about becoming an published author is the fact that I am a published author. If you would have told me six years ago that I would be one, I would have looked at you as if you'd lost your mind.

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

Let's see, what I love most about writing is creating the characters. Giving them their own personalities is amazing. What I hate the most is revising which is very tedious

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

The first thing, I wish I would have known more about the publishing world. The second thing I wish I would have known is just because you've written a book doesn't mean your work is done. And the last thing I wish I would have known is how hard it was to get the attention of a agent or publisher.

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

The do for those aspiring to become a writer is to take your time. Don't be in a hurry to get your book out there. Make sure it is polished before submitting it to agents and publishers. The don't is not to sit idly by waiting on a response. Go on to your next story.

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

Now this is an excellent question. I can't tell you how many times a non-writer have said to me... Oh writing is not hard to do, or writing is not really a job. I have to take a deep breath, count to ten and exhale before I give them a response. If only they knew that writing is hard and it is certainly a job. We writers put in long and lonesome hours perfecting our craft to ensure the outcome is the best it can be.

If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?

Mary Monroe's Annette Goode in God Don't Play. She represents a strong woman.

When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

When I'm not writing I'm reading. I love to travel and collect elephants what nots.

What do you do to interact with your readers?

I love to do book signings and meet and greet parties. This is where I can meet my fans and get face to face feed back on my novels.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

What I know for sure is that I going to bring more stories to my readers.

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

Well all I can say about that is...If you liked What My Sister Don't Know, you're in for a real treat with Broken Commandments.

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

You can contact me through my web site http://janiedecoster.com, or http://twitter.com
 and facebook.


To place orders for the book What My Sister Don’t Know

ISBN 978-58909-904-1 Price $15.95

Contact: Bookstand Publishing

305 Vineyard Town Center

Suite 302

Morgan Hill, CA 95037

Toll Free 866-793-9365

www.bookstandpublishing.com


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Thursday, July 14, 2011

This Can’t Be Life By Shakara Cannon Blog Tour


Shakara developed her love for writing during her childhood years writing stories to read to her family at bed time. As she honed her skills, Shakara steadily gained notoriety in high school. She further developed her passion for writing at California State University, majoring in English. Later, writing fiction grew from hobby to therapy.

Her talent for creating colorful, sexy, and humorous characters, coupled with relative, relatable, and sometimes even controversial topics brings her novels to life. Each page has you thirsting to know what happens next!


Excerpt

“This can’t be life…at least not a life worth living, I thought, as I moved my aching limbs. I’d been in bed for days in immeasurable pain from a broken heart. I was literally past my breaking point and done with this life. How do you keep living when your best friend is brutally murdered and the love of your life may be responsible? Lying in the dark with nowhere to hide from my thoughts and emotions, I felt alone, betrayed, deceived, hoodwinked, bamboozled, and lead astray! I needed to release the pain by any means necessary.”

Get to know Shakara:


What do you love most about writing?

What I love most about writing is creating characters and developing them into people we can all relate to on some level. Writing fiction is like forming one huge make believe story in your head. Nothing is off limits or taboo. You can take a story wherever your mind and creativity will allow you to take it. I become so engrossed in my characters and the lives that I create for them, that I cry when they cry, I feel happiness when they do. There is a euphoric feeling, that I’ve never experienced before, that I get when I am writing. It truly is an amazing gift.

What inspired you to write This Can’t be Life?

I was inspired to write This Can’t be Life after I learned that I’d repressed memories from my childhood. That is the only part of this story that is directly related to me. As an adult I began having a recurring nightmare that made me aware that I’d been molested as a child. It’s really amazing how our minds work and how it will protect us from events that are too difficult to deal with.

Why did you decide to self-publish?

I decided to self-publish after having a hard time finding an agent after writing query letter after query letter, which was harder than writing the actual novel! In the back of my head I always knew that I’d self-publish. The politics involved in being with a major publishing house and the control you lose, is a bit alarming to me. Also, what people don’t realize is that even when you are published by a big publishing house you still have to do as much work as if you were self-published, yet you make less. You have to market and promote tirelessly whether you are with one of the big boys or not! Yes it takes some up-front money to do it on your own, but the control you have is priceless. Distribution on a large scale is possible when you self-publish you just have to do the research. My book won’t sit for a year or until they are ready to release it. It won’t go out of print unless I decide to take it out of print. I have the final say on the overall look and content of my book, and what is best of all, I’ve created a business for myself that will live on if I do things right.’

What can we expect from you over the course of the next few years?

Great question! You can expect a lot, I promise to live up to it! I’m currently working on 2 novels, one being the sequel to This Can’t be Life and the other being an experimental General Fiction novel that will cross all racial barriers. Both of those will be out within the next few years. I’m also working on a self-help book titled How Your Thoughts Can Ruin Your Life with hopes of teaching our youth the positive thinking concept. I truly believe that anything we want to accomplish is possible if we first monitor and control how we think. A lot of people don’t realize how detrimental negativity is especially in regard to our inner dialogue.

“This can’t be life…at least not a life worth living, I thought, as I moved my aching limbs. I’d been in bed for days in immeasurable pain from a broken heart. I was literally past my breaking point and done with this life. How do you keep living when your best friend is brutally murdered and the love of your life may be responsible? Lying in the dark with nowhere to hide from my thoughts and emotions, I felt alone, betrayed, deceived, hoodwinked, bamboozled, and lead astray! I needed to release the pain by any means necessary.”

When the repressed traumas of Simone Johnson’s childhood resurface through a recurring dream, secrets are unveiled that explain the negligence of her mother and her deep distrust of men. The support of her best friends, Stacey and Talise, gives her strength, but when tragedy strikes, leading Simone into a chasm of darkness, who will be there to help her find her way out?

Simone, Stacey, and Talise are your typical best friends navigating life. They brush shoulders with entertainment’s elite and experience great successes.

Simone is living an extravagant lifestyle, which some may say has come to her easily. She doesn’t trust men and is willing to remain guarded to protect herself. Even though star NBA player, Deon Bradford – a good guy, looking for a woman to love him for him – has her in his sights, and is making every effort to bring down her guard, Simone remains distrustful. She feels that she can do without a man’s love, until an unsuspecting man comes into her life and shows her what true love is really like, but is he who he portrays himself to be or will Deon win her heart?

Talise is the romantic, who dreams of a marriage just like her parents. When she meets a man that she knows is her soul-mate, but later finds out that they stand on opposite sides of religion, will this be a deal breaker?

Stacey is the brother, the shoulder, and the comic relief, but when Stacey falls in love, he falls hard. Will his need to give into his heart cost him the ultimate price?

Once the secrets start tumbling out of the closets and no door is able to contain them, who do you turn to when your reality feels like a dream and you are sure that this can’t be life?

Web links

http://www.shakaracannon.com/

http://www.facebook.com/fictionnovel

http://www.twitter.com/shakaracannon


email
shakara@shakaracannon.com

Purchase Links

http://www.amazon.com/This-Cant-Life-Shakara-Cannon/dp/0983574804/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1304004269&sr=1-1


http://www.facebook.com/FictionNovel?sk=app_135607783795


Coming August 19 at 7pm CST on AAMBC Radio the Book Launch Party for This Can’t Be Life Click Here


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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Money Can't Buy Love Virtual Book Tour


Connie Briscoe has been a full-time published author for more than 17 years. Her work has hit the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, Boston Globe, Boston Herald, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestseller lists.

Visit her online at http://conniebriscoe.com/.


About the Book

At age thirty-eight, instead of socializing with Baltimore’s A-list, Lenora Stone photographs them for Baltimore Scene, a glossy magazine filled with beautiful people who, unlike Lenora, never have to worry about car trouble and overdue bills. Lately even things with her boyfriend Gerald haven’t been right. They’ve been together for three years but he can’t seem to ask the one question she’s been waiting to hear.

Then just when she thinks things can’t get worse, Lenora wins the jackpot in the Maryland lottery. In a heartbeat, all her dreams become possible. She quits her job and indulges her every desire—starting with a shiny, silver BMW and a million-dollar mansion. Gerald is finally ready to put a ring on her finger, and the city’s most exclusive women’s group is dying for her to join.

Yet as her life starts to come together, the things Lenora holds dear begin to fall apart. Has her world really changed for the better, or does fortune come with a heavy price?


Tell us about MONEY CAN’T BUY LOVE.

Lenora Stone, thirty-eight-years-old, is a photographer for Baltimore Scene, a glossy magazine filled with beautiful people who, unlike Lenora, never have to worry about car trouble and overdue bills. As much as Lenora would love to slam the door on her overbearing boss,quitting isn't an option. She's barely making her mortgage payments and, though her condo might not be a palace, it's hers. Even things with her boyfriend Gerald haven't been right. They've been together for three years but he can't seem to ask the one question she's been waiting for.

But Lenora’s luck is about to change...

Just when she thinks things can't get worse, she wins the jackpot in the Maryland lottery and meets the man of her dreams. But has her world really changed for the better, or does fortune come with a heavy price?

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

Given the current tough economic times, I asked myself what might an insecure woman do if she suddenly won millions of dollars and met her ideal man. Would she smarten up and gain more confidence? Or would she blow it all?

Who are your main character(s)?

Lenora Stone, of course, her boyfriend Gerald, her good friends Monica and Alise, and her beautiful but domineering boss Dawna. And then there’s Raymond, who appears to be every woman’s dream come true. He’s the catalyst who sets everything in motion after Lenora wins her fortune, until it all erupts at the end.

Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?

Lenora because she’s vulnerable, stubborn, at times exasperating. You’ll want to throw your Louboutins at her if you’re fortunate enough to have a pair. Or maybe not, given how expensive they are. Still, I also think Lenora is very interesting, complex, and never boring.

I also liked working with Raymond. He’s the kind of man who lures in lots of vulnerable women who think they can be the one to finally tame him.

Did you have to do quite a bit of research for this novel?

A moderate amount. I purposely base my novels in locations that are familiar so that I won’t have to do too much research. I had to research the Maryland lottery and what happens when you win big since that has never actually happened to me, unfortunately!

What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading MONEY CAN’T BUY LOVE?

I primarily want my reader to be entertained with a good read. Anything more than that is a bonus.

Okay, a not-so-fun question. How important are reviews to you as a writer?

The good reviews are extremely important. The bad ones not so much. I’d be happy to have them buried someplace where no one could ever find them.

Purchase the Book Online at:

http://amazon.com/

http://barnesandnoble.com/

http://booksamillion.com/


For More Information

Visit the author online at http://conniebriscoe.com/.

Visit blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/MoneyCantBuyLoveBlogTour


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Monday, July 11, 2011

Master of Disguises Blog Tour


About the Author

James Benjamin was born and raised as a Christian in Winston-Salem, NC. While growing up, James succumbed to the street life and was lured by the many faces of the enemy. Through his trials and tribulations, his faith in God ended up saving his life and provided an impactful testimony to share with others in his shoes. James has dedicated his life to spreading God’s word through his unique prospective and hopes to help change others lives as He did for him. He is also enrolled at the University of Phoenix, acquiring his associate’s degree. James Benjamin is also a student at Apostle Fredrick Price Ministry Training School class of 2013.

About the Book

James Benjamin is a living miracle. He was on a path towards destruction, and through his faith in God, was saved. In his first, self-published book titled “Master of Disguises,” James guides readers through his compelling story of struggling in the street life, and finding sanctuary through The Lord. Most importantly, he unveils the enemy, and the many disguises the enemy has. He provides inspiration where many feel hopeless, and educates individuals who are lost as he once was. James lives to tell his story to help keep young men and women off the streets and away from the grips of the enemy.

Benjamin’s story is one that attracts the groups that are hard to communicate to: teens and their parents, prisoners, people living the street life and their families, and the African American street community. Those that are experiencing hardships can easily listen to James as he used to be in their shoes. His prospective is inviting, as he leaves no secrets and lays out his life for the readers. James exposes the many faces of the enemy that he experienced to help the next individual detect and defeat them. As he learned through his own struggles, James finds it essential that Christians be aware of the enemy’s disguises. In his case, it almost cost him his life.

Purchase the Book Online at:

http://amazon.com/

http://barnesandnoble.com/

http://booksamillion.com/


BOOK TRAILER for Master of Disguises

BOOK TRAILER

Add the link
http://youtu.be/0zlz64C8oyE




For More Information

Visit the author at http://www.masterofdisguises.com/ OR

http://masterofdisguises.wordpress.com/


Visit the blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/MasterofDisguises



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Friday, July 08, 2011

He Left Me Blog Tour

About the Author

C. M. Jones is well on her way to becoming a household name. She has just completed her third publication, He Left Me, a story about a close knit family from Ghana West Africa that faces harsh realities very different from anything that they have ever seen. She is also the co-owner of a publishing company with her family, HortonJones Inc. In addition she offers writing seminars and motivational speaking services. When asked about her endeavors, C. M. Jones has said that writing and mentoring is her ministry, and she does it all to the glory of the most high God, Jesus Christ.

Her debut novella, I Still Do, which was published through Author House but is now a part of the HortonJones, Inc. portfolio, sold thousands of copies in the United States and abroad as well as the sequel, Nothing Is Too Hard For God. This Christian fiction writer indeed is no stranger to writing creative and inspiring stories. She began writing at the young age of eight years old while acting in her elementary school drama club.
C. M. Jones has written countless poems, musicals and short stories that include themes of redemption, forgiveness and a real picture of the things that can happen in life, when you have faith in Jesus Christ.

C. M. Jones is committed to continuing to publish and promote her work with her own publishing company, HortonJones, Inc., and hopes to one day see her writings on the big screen. C. M. Jones is a wife and mother who draws inspiration from her husband, children and her relationship with Jesus Christ.

Visit the author at http://cmjonestheauthor.com/

Tell us about He Left Me.

He Left Me, like all of my work is a Christian based short novel. This book is about a family from Ghana West Africa with a lot of family secrets and issues that have plagued their family for years but no one wants to talk about it, not the grandparents, or the parents. However the children are different, they want to move on and pursue their dreams and love, among other things but because of the weight of the family secrets they are having a hard time. However, when one of the parents give his religious beliefs all of his attention, he finds out that what the family thought were just secrets are actually generational curses and he decides to do something about it.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

All of my work is inspired by my relationship with Christ. I write to entertain people and at the same time teach people, through fiction, how to deal with real life problems and this book is no different.

Who are your main character(s)?

The main character in, He Left Me, is Tete Abula. She is a beautiful Ghanaian woman who married her husband young and had five children but still maintained the spark and love in her heart that she had the day that she fell in love with him. But, when her husband leaves her she feels abandoned and she becomes a bitter woman but he does not realize it. Eventually, Tete unconsciously makes everyone around her miserable and now has to figure out how to change that.

Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?

My favorite character is Emoni; she is the oldest daughter of the family. I like her because she is determined to reach her goals no matter what. She has to go against her family, even her mother at times but she does not let anything break her spirit.

Did you have to do quite a bit of research for this novel?

YES! I researched for almost an entire year one-stop for this novel. I am not from Ghana West Africa but I have a lot of friends from their and I have read a lot of literature about the country and the continent as a whole. I interviewed five different people from Ghana and asked all kinds of questions; I had them read parts of the novel and tell me what they thought and so far I have had rave reviews. I hope that everyone else loves the story as much as my reviewers did.

What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading, He Left Me?

I want people to learn the difference between a family secret and a generational curse. I also hope that persons will learn that what we do in our lives does have the potential to affect our families for generations to come.

Okay, a not-so-fun question. How important are reviews to you as a writer?

As a writer reviews are very important to me. I wish that more people would log on to Amazon and Barnes and Nobles and document the great things that they have to say about my work. I really appreciate you coming out to the signings and telling me great things so don’t stop but also don’t stop there. Documented reviews is the avenue through which Authors travel to become bestselling Authors; this is how our books becomes films. So, for all of the readers that want to know when I am going to write a film script, I can finally answer their question. I need your help, log onto the retail book websites or at the least, email me your reviews on my website or on face book. This way, when I present my work to film companies I have your reviews to back me up, to show a demand for my books to become a film.


About the Book

Tete Abula was born into a wealthy West African family. Through an arranged marriage based on the customs of their tribes, Tete becomes Kenu’s wife. But several years and five kids later, a lot has changed including their wants, desires and religious beliefs. It’s not until Kenu leaves Tete and the children that they both begin to see what was right in front on them the whole time.

Kenu and Tete both believe they know how to rebuild their family and their lives, but the family’s generational curses have blinded their eyes. Is it too late? Are the children’s lives ruined because of their parents’ and grandparents’ decisions?

Destiny will have its way in their lives, but the question is, are they each other’s destined end.

Watch on You Tube: http://youtu.be/Rvw9PNUsWkc




For More Information

Visit the author at http://cmjonestheauthor.com/

Visit blog tour schedule at http://bit.ly/HeLeftMeBlogTour




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Thursday, July 07, 2011

FEATURED AUTHOR: Michelle Richardson


A wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, writer, life coach and marketing director, the roles of her life provided the inspiration behind this work, but none more so than those of wife, mother, sister and friend. Michelle Richardson born in Brooklyn, New York, now lives in Long Island with her husband, their two kids, and a prissy powder puff pomeranian named Madison.

How did you start out your writing career?

Writing has always been a part of my life; infused in my DNA perhaps. However, I never gave much thought to writing as a career. After all, I enjoyed it entirely too much and it didn’t feel like work. All of the “necessary elements” I was taught to expect when it comes to carving out my niche in the world were never present when a pen or pencil touched a blank sheet of paper for me. Writing was and still is my deep breathe—my cleansing moments. My perception of a career in writing changed subtly, yet significantly. Somewhere in the stillness of an unexpected moment the passion of my youth reconnected me with a purpose I had long since forgotten.


What did you learn while writing this book?

With writing this book I learned, yet again, that I am not in control; not even of the characters found within the pages. The moment I tried to control a scene instead of allowing it room to grow, organically, I suffocated the beauty of not only the characters, but also the story. I learned I had to let go and allow the characters the freedom to be their authentic selves. I couldn’t clean them up and stuff words into their imaginary mouths. The characters knew how they wanted to be portrayed, and it was my responsibility to be true to the process.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

Around just about every corner, we’ve been slammed with so much depravity we now tend to believe it the norm. Well, it’s not. This is the norm. While it may not be yours, work to make it so. I hope the reader walks away from this first book in the series with a belief that love exists in our community. It is not all drama; not all negativity. It is real. See it! Believe it! And most of all, want it for yourself. Be unrealistically positive about the relationships you can and will have, moving in a manner that allows greatness to manifest itself in all areas of your life. It’s time; you just need to wake up and step into it, embracing it.


Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

I enjoyed writing each character; getting to see how they handled various scenarios and interacted with the other players in the novel. Obviously, I have my favorite but shall refrain from divulging that bit of information since it speaks volumes. Suffice it to say, you’d be surprised.


What has surprised you most about becoming a published author?

I was surprised at how much I would love the process—every step of it. Each time one step was completed, the next two steps instantly appeared, pushing me forward until finally, here I am. But mind you, I haven’t arrived; I’m still very much on the journey.


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

I love the creative process; when the visual in my head is screaming to be written down; when the characters are engaged in some discussion and a scene plays before me. Accurately capturing and breathing life into this world is an indescribable feeling. I love it. Love adding chunks to their personalities that make them as real as a dear friend or someone you would say you know.

Hate is such a strong, negative word and couldn’t be used to describe any aspect of a craft I love so passionately. One of the most tedious and potentially never ending part of being a writer is the editing process. However, the beauty of your piece rests in how well you edit or polish the draft. The long hours of editing, easily doubling the time it took to write the piece, is the essential part that takes a book and turns into a masterpiece. Editing is where the story comes to life and if you venture outside your door, you actually believe you might walk right into it.


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


The joy that accompanies you in the idea phase is still present while you’re editing your work for the bazillionth time and remains even when your published baby has left the nest and seeks its own place in the literary world.

The butterflies / self-doubt never eases up. You fight yourself against the greatness pushing to be released from you into the universe. When your inner voice, usually the loud negative one, is reminding you of the impossibility in this feat, say thank you and proceed anyway. Amazing how in the doing you render the negative to the realm of insignificant ... for a time.

Pride cometh at the end! To have written a piece and hold it in your hands. The sense that I can accomplish all things with a higher power and the universe aligning your thoughts, ideas and best intentions to your pursuit is a remarkably humbling experience.



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

Think of yourself as an artist. You are in the business of creating a masterpiece. Your canvas, like all artists, is a blank page. Where others use colors and diagrams, you wield the word to construct your masterpiece. If you’ve painted with your heart, you can be certain you will have left your masterpiece on the canvas of many a mind.

Don’t follow what someone else has done. Do not become a copycat of the great American story. Set out to tell a story in your own voice, be authentic. Write a story that you would read multiple times over.


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

The non-writer is the writer’s best friend. If you love the piece, talk about it, leave a review on a blog or online retail website, walk up to a random person on the street and tell them, “Two words. It’s Simple. Look it up.” And don’t be afraid to reach out to the author letting them know the impact their piece made in your life. The non-writer has power, in my opinion, in the literary world. Put your mouth behind your dollars and let others hear your voice, your choices, your interests. You are only ever limited by your lack of ability or insouciance to make a difference.


If you could be a character from any book you've read, who would you be?

Edmond Dantes from Alexandre Dumas’ unabridged edition of The Count of Monte Cristo.


When you're not writing, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Spare time? What does that look like? Every minute of most days are spoken for. The things I enjoy would be working out, spending time hanging out and relaxing with family and friends. Can’t forget baking any and all things chocolate.


What do you do to interact with your readers?

We have Facebook and Twitter accounts where readers can leave comments or ask questions. Eventually, my website will host bi-weekly chat sessions to discuss various topics of interests to its members; a place for honest exchange. The idea is to share, not talk at, but to listen and exchange. There are also plans to schedule a number of book readings and signings at any bookstore in any city where there is interest. Drop us a line or visit your local bookstore and request a book signing / reading event.

Interaction with the reader is essential for me. I can be a pest when someone I know reads my material. I want them to give me access to their every thought, good, bad or indifferent. Sometimes the exchange sparks a discussion of one’s beliefs. What I’ve come to understand is the reader wants to be heard. Hopefully, I’ll be able to give them a platform where they will be.


Our theme for this month is INDEPENDENT PUBLISHERS. Have you ever considered self publishing your work? Why or Why not?


Independent publishing was the initial thought that entered my head when was I lead to pursue publishing this book. However, I quickly pushed that thought aside. I wanted my manuscript published via conventional means, after all there had been interest. I wanted the gatekeepers of the tightly guarded industry to select my piece and champion it for me. Yet somewhere in the midst of those thoughts and query letter submissions, the splinter in my mind grew louder through the voice of my husband and my sister-in-law. After much research, I decided to self-publish. I loved the autonomy and the opportunity to learn something new. The publishing industry was undergoing a major change, just as the movie, music and communication industry experienced years ago. The way writers were getting their material to their audience was nothing short of a revolution. They went directly to the people, not through the gatekeepers. This was in keeping with the splinter in my spirit and it was settled with the decision to more forward with self-publishing. Today a number of major authors are self-publishing because of higher royalties, autonomy, established fan base and their ability to reach a larger segment through unconventional methods.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

The journey never ends. You never arrive; you must always continue to press forward, listening to your heart, having faith in your dreams and being aware that of all the universe is conspiring to aid you in your quest for greatness. Remember the child of your youth and the dreams you held dear and endeavor to pursue them. Chase them down; slow and methodical or fast and frenzied. Just be sure to chase them.


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

It’s Simple continued. Many readers felt slighted when It’s Simple ended. They wanted more and there is more ... much more. So the next book picks up from where It’s Simple left off.


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

Readers can visit my website http://www.michellerichardson.co/
or link up with me on http://www.facebook.com/ItsSimpleMR.

It' Simple

The general consensus is that relationships are easy to start but challenging to maintain. Although we may not think so, our choices ultimately determine the types of relationships we have. It's truly funny how after we've contributed to the chaotic state of the relationship, we hire therapists to fix us, to tell us it's not our fault when it typically is. The truth? Therapists don't fix us; they provide tools that guide us. Ultimately, we find the solutions ourselves and, for the most part, we really need to forget what we've heard. Relationships can be complicated, littered with challenges and that preventable thing called drama. Just ask Tia and Chase.

They met as teenagers. Upon graduation from college, things got complicated. Chase was drafted to the Los Angeles Lakers; Tia was offered a position in the Obama administration. Despite the geographical distance, Tia and Chase stayed together.

But how easy is it to make love last? It's simple-if we can be honest, forgiving, and patient with each other. Here's a unique look at a progressive couple and how their choices impact their journey; providing a truthful and sometimes painful look at real life scenarios and how two fiercely driven and stubborn lovers choose to handle them. Experience life from a different perspective.




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About Me

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I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.

I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.

I’m available for:

Online promotion coaching
Lectures
Seminars
Freelancing
Contact me at:lchwriter@gmail.com

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