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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Monday, February 29, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: Jamie Pope



Jamie is an award-winning romance writer, teacher and boot-buying addict who sometimes goes by the names of Sugar Jamison and Ginger Jamison. When she isn't juggling her split personalities, you can find her hanging out on social media or at www.sugarjamison.com.



Passion's hideaway

Ever since enduring a possibly career-ending injury, Miami superstar shortstop Carlos Bradley has retreated from the world. His life undergoes a radical makeover when he's convinced to hire a designer to restore his secluded island mansion to its former glory. Completely different from the women Carlos has known, interior decorator Virginia Andersen captivates him with her infectious spirit and the sensuality beneath her coolly professional demeanor. 

The owner of a struggling design firm, Virginia can't believe her new employer is a baseball legend. But Carlos wants more than just her expertise. And when he insists she move into his tropical getaway during the renovations, Virginia soon finds herself sharing the irresistible playboy's bed. But when the media descends, she's thrust into the limelight and her past becomes an open book. Is she ready to overcome her doubts to fight for a future with the man of her dreams?

INTERVIEW

What inspired your book?

It was last January and I was cold! I live in the Hudson Valley and by January I'm longing for white sand and warm weather. SURRENDER AT SUNSET takes place on a fictional island in the Florida Keys. I got to spend hours looking at beautiful beaches and oceanfront homes.

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

I would just like for readers to escape for a little while when they read this book. Sometimes escaping into a good book can make life a little less crazy.

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

My heroine Virginia! She is spunky and fun and probably one of the bravest characters that I have ever written. She not afraid to take a risk and always follows her heart, even when the world tells her not to.

What did you learn while writing this book?

That I could write a book in a month. Some books take forever to write this one seemed to come together perfectly. It's a rare phenomenon that some writers call a "gift book." 

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

There's nothing that I wish I would have known before. I don't think I would have changed anything. I don't have any regrets.

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

Enjoy the ride. Don't worry so much about sales, or Amazon rankings or how your book compares to another author's. You only have one first book. Just be proud you of what you accomplished.

What’s the most interesting change in your life as a result of being a published author?

I've met so many lovely and kind writers who are always willing to offer advice and share their knowledge. It's nice to have so many wonderful friends.

What’s are your three favorite social media platforms and how are you using them for promotion?

Facebook and Pinterest are by far my favorite social media platforms. I feel the most connected with my readers through my Facebook fan page. I'm not just there to sell my books but to share little pieces of my life and I think readers prefer that instead of constantly sold to. I love Pinterest because I'm such a visual person and it helps me to conduct research and allows my followers to see the kinds of things I like. I also follow a lot of authors and they are a great inspiration to me. I'm on Twitter. It's not my favorite though. It feels too big to me.

Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure?

I know that I will always be an educator. I love to teach. Children, adults, animals... Everyone! I don't think I'll ever fully retire from the classroom.

Anything you'd like to say to the readers of SORMAG?


I'm happy to be here and I hope you always keep reading!

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Tuesday, February 23, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: Sharon Lucas




The “Ex Chronicles” is an anthology, or collection of short stories, written by twenty talented writers. These stories are about relationships between spouses, lovers and friends that wane, fade and ultimately fail. My story, “The Circle of Life”, explores the relationship between Jill and Jason, intense but doomed from the beginning. And it is not until Jill is faced with the inevitable, that she realizes the circle of life never ends but is continuously reborn through the seeds of other lives.



After her retirement in 2010, it seemed the natural next step for Sharon to combine her passion for event planning, reading and book clubs. Much of her time is spent planning literary events in support of the often overlooked and underrated African American author and the books clubs that sustain them. In 2015, Sharon answered a longing to share her “best practices” in her first published book, “Plan It! The Complete Resource Guide for Authors, Book Clubs & Literary Event Planners”.
She and her husband and partner, David, live with their two cocker spaniels in Bowie, MD as they savor what has proven to be, the most exciting time of their life.


Readers can contact me on:

  

What inspired your story:

My first book is a non-fiction resource guide that from the first time it was read by my mentor, Victoria Christopher Murray, she encouraged me to try my hand at writing fiction. This short story book, selected from more than 300 submissions, is my leap of faith to enter the realm of fiction writing.

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

The stories in this anthology are about the lost loves in a person’s life. I would like the reader to take away from my story that life can and does go on after a relationship dies.

What character did you have the most fun writing about?

Jill, who is not only one of the main characters, also narrates the story. 

What did you learn while writing this story?

That I love writing but it isn’t easy – it’s something you must care an awful lot about and stay with if you want to be successful. There are no shortcuts when developing a good story.

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

I believe there is a reason for every season of one’s life and that all I have learned to this point has helped to make me the woman I am. There is nothing I wish I had known before.

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

I would advise them to research and think long and hard to identify their target audience, how to best reach them, and then to promote to that audience fearlessly. To always trust their instincts, find a knowledgeable mentor and never underestimate what a supportive book club or group of book clubs can do to help advance their career. 

What’s the most interesting change in your life as a result of being a published author?

For years, I have supported and advocated for African American authors. The first time I realized I am now one of them, it was startling and I still have to remind myself that it is no less important for me to support and advocate for myself and for my work as well.

What are your three favorite social media platforms and how are you using them for promotion.

I love and use Facebook, Twitter and blogging on my various websites. I post something on at least two of these sites each day, sometimes several times a day. Jacquelin Thomas of Brown Girls Publishing, and also a mentor, told me before my first book was published that in order to establish myself, I needed to share my knowledge on my blog and Facebook in order for people to want to follow me on these different mediums. I took her advice and it has proven to be “on the money”!

Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure.

I know for sure that I love what I do and that I am happy!

Anything that you’d like to say to the readers of SORMAG?

It is a fact that the African American author is often overworked, overlooked and underrated. While I encourage readers to be well rounded in their reading choices and genres, we do need and appreciate all that you do to support us and to keep African American literature alive.

CLICK To Get Your Copy Today


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Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Sherman J. Howard: Football and Beyond – The Legend and Legacy of an African American NFL Pioneer by Vietta L. Robinson







Inspiring Generations To Do Great Things In 1952 Jet Magazine described Sherman Howard's performance in a game between the Cleveland Browns and the Washington Redskins as "sensational." In his own words the author highlights her father's journey from Jim Crow south and World War II to his role as a pioneer in the early days of the NFL, and beyond to family, retirement and a sound mind. Throughout this book the author reflects on her father's influence in her life as well as the spiritual and historical significance of his journey.

Currently, the oldest living African-American NFL alumnus at age ninety one, the narrative includes: Howard’s recount of cultural experiences of the segregated South; serving on the battlefield during World War II; and being a trailblazer in college athletics and professional football. Other important influences in Howard’s life outlined throughout the book’s passages include his faith, mentors, family, and a well-regarded twenty-six year teaching and coaching career.

Howard’s outstanding skill as a player at the University of Nevada-Reno, in 1948, placed him as a catalyst for removing rigid racial barriers in sports that were prominent during that time.  With a performance level labeled “sensational” during the early days of the NFL, Howard’s professional football career included playing with the New York Yanks (later becoming New York Giants) and the Cleveland Browns, from 1949 to 1954.

 Currently residing in Chicago, Illinois, Howard continues to be highly regarded for his significant historical contributions to sports and football and for being a source of inspiration to many people.


About the Author

Author, Speaker, and Consultant Vietta L. Robinson is a Chicago native and a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently residing in Altamonte Springs, Florida, Vietta is owner of Holistic Home and Body Care, where she works as a Holistic Life Coach, Master Herbalist, and an Emotional Freedom Techniques practitioner (EFT).

Sherman J. Howard: Football and Beyond – The Legend and Legacy of an African American NFL Pioneer, can be purchased online through Amazon at http://amzn.to/1P0Oizt, Barnes & Noble at http://bit.ly/1RPDgQf, and also on the author’s website at www.shermanjhoward.com. 



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Friday, February 12, 2016

FEATURED AUTHOR: J.L Sapphire





Finding out the man she planned to marry is already married, losing her job, getting kicked out of her apartment unless she sleeps with her perverted landlord…Naomi thought her luck couldn’t possibly get any worse…until she’s forced to move back in with her widowed father and finds out he’s remarried Donna, a younger white woman. As if that isn’t a hard enough pill to swallow, Donna’s very handsome nephew, Matthew comes to live with them for a few weeks while his place is being renovated. 

No matter how much Naomi wants to dislike Matt, the romantic tension between them is undeniable. When the kissin’ step-cousins decide to take things to the next level, Naomi will quickly learn that while love may be blind, color isn’t. She’ll be forced to choose between finding happiness with Matt, and a society that still isn’t accepting of interracial relationships after racism rears it’s ugly head.



J.L. Sapphire is the pen name and alter-ego of Joyce L. Blalock-Thomas. She was born and raised in southern Arkansas, and she still lives there with her two children. 

She is the self-published author of several books, short stories, and novellas including My Secret Life: Confessions of a Housewife, Two Can Play That Game, Masquerade: Nina's Revenge, and Sweet Taboo (a BWWM romance) In 2016, she joined the Brown Girls Publishing family when her short story, The Ex Factor, was chosen to be included in an anthology titled The Ex Chronicles.

Writing is Joyce's version of Calgon. By locking herself in her room, she can get away from everything & everybody (at least for a little while) and lose herself in the lives of the characters she creates.

Contact info: Website: ladyvirgobooks.wix.com/jlsapphire


What inspired your book? 

I like to read and try my hand at writing different genres. With all the racism and injustices that happens to Black people daily- such as unlawful arrests and/or killings while unarmed- I wondered what it must be like for couples who are of a different race to discuss issues such as these at home if/when they have different opinions about the situations and how hard it must be to be an interracial couple in a society that's still very racist, even in 2016.

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

To learn to agree to disagree when it comes to race. It's certainly understandable for us to be mad and protest and speak out when another Black life is taken, but to realize that not everyone who's white is out to get us. There are good and bad people in all races.

Which character did you have the most fun writing about? 

Naomi. Going into detail about her dating history, which led her to getting down with the swirl. Since I've also had a quite interesting dating history myself, it was easy to relate to her at times.
What did you learn while writing this book? 

Again, to not judge people by the color of their skin. Naomi was ready to find a way to get rid of her father's new wife, simply because she was white. As time went on, she realized they actually had a lot in common and she wasn't the bad person she'd thought she was.

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

(1) To always stand up for myself, because there are people out there who will walk all over you if you let them. (2) To not take bad reviews to heart- everything isn't for everybody, but just because a reader gives your book a one star review, it doesn't mean you're doomed as an author. (3) The last thing is something I've always done, but to continue following my own heart, mind, and gut instinct, and not go with the flow just because everybody else is doing it. 

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

To write what you feel, what's in your heart, and don't worry about how it will be received. Again, some people will love your work, some won't, but don't take negativity personal. Also, being an author- especially a new or self-published author-  can be a difficult process. People don't know you at first, so you have to build a following for yourself, which can be discouraging sometimes. Be patient and don't get sucked into bad publishing deals or attach yourself to a certain publisher because you think they can get you to where you want to be faster. Also, DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH and learn as much as you can on your own. Google is your friend. Don't rely on other people to tell you everything 

What’s the most interesting change in your life as a result of being a published author? 

I used to be so shy and soft-spoken. I've always been very sensitive, and the smallest thing could make me cry. I worried a lot about what people thought of me. All of that has changed. I no longer care about other people's opinions of me. Shy is no longer a word people associate with me. When I began writing romance novels, I was a little hesitant to write certain things, because it's not expected of me. I thought, "Will people think I'm a freak if I write this erotic love scene?" Once my mama read my books and she was cool, I got over it. Now, I get told often, "Oh my word...girl, who knew you had that in you!" and statements similar to that. LOL. Most importantly, because I like to write female characters who are independent and confident, it's made me feel better about me. I demand respect, I no longer tolerate people thinking they can treat me any kind of way and I'm supposed to just deal with it. Those days are long gone. 

What’s are your three favorite social media platforms and how are you using them for promotion?

I am a social media junkie. My favorites are Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. I promote my books on all three platforms. I post giveaways, reviews, and informative articles about writing and publishing, which can help other authors or aspiring authors. These sites are also great for connecting with readers and potential readers.

Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure? 

That regardless of whether or not I ever become famous for my books, I am super proud of myself for taking the step to make my dream of becoming an author come true. It's not always easy, but I wouldn't change a thing. Sometimes, I wish I hadn't waited until I was almost 40 to start my literary journey, but everything happens when it's meant to. 

Anything you'd like to say to the readers of SORMAG? 

Thanks for reading my interview and check out my author page on http://www.amazon.com/J.L.-Sapphire/e/B00KM0B5AC

There's something there for everybody to enjoy.



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Tuesday, February 09, 2016

BOOK SPOTLIGHT: Stuck On You (Stoneworth Series Book 1) by Michelle Stimpson







Back in college, Braxton Stoneworth and Tiffany Warren were just friends...until one spring night heightened their feelings for one another. Yet when they returned to school in the fall, Braxton made a decision that drove Tiffany to transfer schools and never look back.

Now, nearly a decade later, they meet again as business experts vying for the same contract at a prestigious school. In addition to their professional competition, tensions mount as Braxton and Tiffany discover that they have two different versions of what happened to their romance so long ago.

Can they overcome hard feelings and pick up where they left off?

Tiffany’s father passed away a few months ago, just as she was founding her new project management firm. She wonders if her leap of faith was a good move, and her doubts only increase when she learns that someone from the firm she left is trying to undermine her independent efforts…not to mention her possibilities with Braxton.

Braxton thought he might follow his father’s footsteps into ministry. His wild fraternity days caught up with him, however, causing Braxton to give up the idea of teaching anyone to follow the faith he so obviously neglected. Can he win back his own self-respect and the heart of the woman he never forgot?

Stuck On You is the first book in The Stoneworth Series by bestselling Christian Fiction author Michelle Stimpson. The family history is briefly established, and then readers are off to experience the Stoneworth family's rich legacy of faith and integrity within the context of contemporary romance. Come grow with the family as couples fall in love with each other and discover their God-given purpose for being together throughout the series.






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