Thursday, June 20, 2019

Featured Author: Tonya Franklin

Author Tonya Franklin has been writing since the age of 13 and has had a love for words ever since. She is the BrandCEO of Books by Tonya that provides branding, marketing, training, and empowerment services for authors, speakers, and coaches. She has also served as a contributing writer for various e-zine publications and is the author of Good Customer Service Tips for Entrepreneurs and Devil in Disguise, her award-nominated Christian fiction thriller novel. Tonya writes Christian fiction as well as business development and has introduced readers to Christian romance as well as suspense and mystery genres.

How can readers get in contact with you?:

Email -, web:

What inspired your book? 

I wanted to bring a faith-based flair to mystery novel writing where Mississippi black women are represented as intelligent and capable of being detectives, while give some spotlight to southern culture in coastal Mississippi. I mean, how many black women sleuths in Mississippi do we know? not many, if any. I wanted to present a picture of change for that.

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

Have fun. Enjoy the journey of traveling with Mandi to solve Mississippi gulf coast crimes.

Why did you choose to write in the mystery genre? 

I've always loved mystery novels and growing up I never saw a black girl as a sleuth; I wanted to see some more of us being represented in the genre and even Christian women having a place in the genre.

Why do you think AA readers shy away from mystery? 

Simply put - lack of representation in the genre.

Why should a reader try a mystery? 

Expand their level of creativity to journey with the author in solving murders.

Which character did you have the most fun writing about?

Carter's mother, grace. She's a cutting-edge southern belle that knows how to run a corporation.

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

That I cannot handle this writing journey alone, that I should not expect to write the book and think it would sell itself, that I should have jumped out on faith as a writer earlier in life.

What do you do to interact with your readers? 

I'm big on giveaways and sneak peeks on social media events.

What are you reading this Summer?

Not exactly sure. I am looking forward to hopefully reading something new from one of my fave supporters and author Ann Marie Bryan or a new AA author to support.

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

I love music and I have 3 wonderfully active children that have just as active and busy lives that calls me to be on duty.

Oprah always asks, what do you know for sure?

That writing is my outlet for all the crazy ideas I have floating in my head that I want to bring to life.

Anything you'd like to say to the readers of SORMAG?
Continue to support one another and authors, continue to pursue your dreams.

Returning back to the booming coast of Mississippi has been an awakening for former New Yorker, Amanda Peele. Reconnecting to her hometown roots and following her passion for horticulture and crafting breeds a whole new life and interest….including missing people.

As a homegrown sleuth and flower shop owner, Amanda finds herself combing through a tangled web of deception Southern Belle heiress, Grace Morrow and her missing son, Carter. But will Amanda realize that she’s bitten off more than she can chew as she uncovers the real mystery surrounding the missing shipyard prince?
Find out more of what happens with God’s Girl Detective, Amanda Peele, in the debut series novella, Come Home with Me Tonight.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Featured Author: Ingrid Brown

Ingrid Brown is an Oklahoma native and was educated in Illinois, Kansas and Oklahoma. She earned a Bachelor of Social Work from Wichita State University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Oklahoma. In addition to Village Vengeance, Ingrid is the author of Miss Sadie’s Song. She has one adult son and one grandson.

Contact Information:  Ingrid can be contacted at or  on Facebook @author.ingridbrown   

What inspired your book:  

Village Vengeance is inspired by actual events and was first written as a short story. When I shared the story with a friend of mine, she informed me that she and her husband were producing independent films and wanted to make my short story into a movie. The movie, by the same title, was voted Best Movie when presented at a festival entitled Bare Bones. During the filming process many people inquired as to where they might purchase the book. Because of that encouragement, I developed the story into a novel that was first published in 2008 with the second edition being printed in 2018.

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

In addition to being entertained by my story, I hope readers will empathize with the narrator’s emotional response to a series of traumatic experiences and can understand how the impact of these frightening incidents could result in remarkable changes in one’s level of trust and feelings of safety. I also hope readers will be amused by some of the harmless antics that the protagonist, her cousins and her friends enjoyed both before and after fear became a constant in the young lady’s life.

Why did you choose to write in the mystery genre? 

Although Village Vengeance is a novel, it is based on actual events and the occurrences were quite mysterious.

Why do you think AA readers shy away from mystery? 

 I have always enjoyed a good mystery in the form of a book or movie and I know many African Americans who also enjoy this genre. However, after publishing Village Vengeance I found that many men shy away from a “scary” book. I don’t know why but I think it’s funny.

Why should a reader try a mystery? 

For those who have avoided mystery works, I believe they may find that the story lines are often much more than fright and may sometimes not involve gore or other repulsive scenes at all. Very often it is an exciting, fully developed story that will hold your attention and keep you on the edge of your seat. A good mystery will certainly encourage one to keep reading until they find out “who done it.”

Which character did you have the most fun writing about? 

Henry was my favorite. He was a hero who was his cousin’s constant protector.

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

I must admit that I was extremely naïve in 2007 so far as writing development is concerned. I had no idea that there needed to be more than one edit and proof reading. I only knew I had a story to tell and I wanted to make it available to others as soon as possible. In 2018, I was more aware of the writing process but did not have a total understanding of the business aspects of publishing. My third hurdle has been marketing. I was not prepared to spend the amount of time and money needed to properly promote my work. I have been surprised by the intensity of the writing process, the numerous pieces of the business portion and the level of marketing that is required. However, if you truly love to create prose, it is worth the effort needed to master all portions of the writing profession; even those that are outside of your comfort zone.

What do you do to interact with your readers? 

This interview is one example of my efforts to connect with readers. I have had the privilege of visiting with numerous Book Clubs and have given some presentations to other literary groups. I’ve done several radio shows and podcasts and I communicate through my Face Book author page.

What are you reading this summer? 

I plan to read the second work by Dwayne Alexander Smith who is the author of Forty Acres and I have a great number of unread novels on my kindle; hopefully I will be able to finish a few of those.

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

Although I am retired, I continue to work as an adjunct at a local Community College.  The interaction with young people gives me some insight into our rapidly changing culture. Although my travel is limited at this time, I do look forward to an ever increasing number of voyages in the near future.

Oprah always asks, “What do you know for sure?” 

I know that no matter how much you may enjoy life and new adventures there are no short cuts. Every gain involves certain about of grueling work before experiencing a tremendous amount of joy. We must learn to enjoy the ride.

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

I have recently published the second edition of Miss Sadie’s Song. There’s a character in Village Vengeance who is presented as Aunt Sadie. Sadie is an intriguing, care free, finger popping woman that all of my readers love and constantly wanted more information about her life. As a result I wrote a historical romance entitled Miss Sadie’s Song. The story begins in the late 1920’s and spans the more than forty years of Miss Sadie’s marriage to her no nonsense husband, Joe.

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

I appreciate the opportunity to introduce myself and my work to you and I hope those of you who have not enjoyed mysteries in the past will give Village Vengeance a chance. In addition to the suspense and tension, you will find an opportunity to travel with a young lady as she embarks on a turbulent journey from adolescence to young adulthood.

Even though the setting of this story is in an urban metropolitan area, initially the neighborhood was one of familiarity and closeness. Young people walked freely from one house to another without fear. Friends rang the doorbell and opened the screen in one gesture, and surely no one was afraid to sit alone on the porch at night. However, one young man changed the atmosphere of the community into one of terror indicated by barred windows, weapons and barren streets at night. One man changed not only the neighborhood but the emotional state of all who were affected by his presence for years to come.

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