Saturday, January 31, 2009


Once You’ve Touched The Heart is an intriguing love story of J.D. Harrison and Tracy Washington. He is destined to be a force in politics. She is not sure where her life will lead. Once they meet it’s clear whereever they end up, it will be together. Life would be great if others accept the love they share. Between vengeful women, criminals and other interesting characters, their life becomes a living nightmare.

If your mind is what you want stimulated, and your heart is what you want captured, Once You’ve Touched The Heart is where you need to go.

Iris Bolling was born in Richmond, Virginia. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational Management and has worked with the Commonwealth of Virginia for the past 25 years. Iris has one son, Jon-Christopher and her great-niece Champaine.

To combine the areas in her life she enjoys the most, education, politics and romance, she penned her first manuscript, Once You’ve Touched the Heart, which was released in March 2008 and her second, The Heart of Him was released November 2008. Her passions are reading, writing, sports and politics.

For more information please visit;

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

After reading Once You’ve Touched The Heart I want readers to believe that true love does exist. That there is strength in integrity and following what you know in your heart is right regardless of the cost. And finally see that the good guy does not always finish last. I also want them to understanding the power of family and true friends.

Why did you choose to write this book?

This book was written in 2005 when I was disillusioned with our television programming and wanted something with a little more substance. My son became frustrated with my complaining and said, if you don’t like what’s on television change it. Agreeing with his solution, I sat down and began writing. I wanted to see characters with integrity and substance. It was important for me to develop men who cared not only about themselves but their community, family and friends as well. Thus the Harrison family and friends were born.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Research is the key to credibility. Since this series (The Heart Series) is based on a political career, a number of hours were put into researching political campaigns, gang interactions and our criminal court system. Pulling it all together was a learning experience.

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

It’s a process. The story may flow through your mind, but getting it from your mind to paper and then published is a process. It cannot and should not be rushed.

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

Never give up. If one door is closed, keep going until you find one that is opened.
What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Staying true to my characters, not being influenced by others opinions on how they believe your story should go.

Why did you choose to self publish?

I did not want my story shortened. I know a number of people that say a romance novel should fit into a certain number of pages. Well my story did not. But I believed in my story and did not want to short change the readers to force it to fit. So I decided to self-publish. It gave me complete control of the final product.

Did you try the traditional publishing route before you chose to self-publish?

Not really. I worked with a vanity press and was disappointed with the turnout. Then I decided to do the project myself. It wasn’t easy. I was given two books, “The Writer’s Market” and “The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing” and used that as my guide throughout the project. I did submit to several agents and soon discovered the glitch in the publishing system. You rarely get an agent without being published and you rarely get published without an agent. I would love to write for Kimini Press one day.

What were some of the mistakes you made with your first book, and what did you learn from those mistakes?

I underestimated the importance of editing. I will never do that again. Regardless of how good a story may be the editing can interfere with the enjoyment of reader. The problem for me is I’m a writer, not an editor and sometimes others will not put in the effort needed to ensure your product is the best it can be. Always get a professional to handle the editing on your product.

What financial and artistic considerations should you keep in mind before you begin?

Take all the cost factors under advisement before you start to self-publish. Don’t just calculate the cost of printing, editing, cover and page design, include the cost to promote, market, traveling hotel stays, mailing promotional material, shipping books to customers, the cost to have your books on Amazon or B&N. Self- Publishing is not for the weak at heart and it is not a quick turnaround, it is an investment in YOU. That’s the financial piece; artistically believe in your work enough to invest in YOU.

What was your greatest challenge in self-promoting your book?

My greatest challenge was and still is learning the dos and don’ts of the industry, marketing, promoting, networking, networking and networking some more.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Get very nervous when I have to talk about me.

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

1. How to market and promote my books.
2. How to network effectively.
3. The legal aspects of the publishing industry.

How do you reach new readers?

Usually through book clubs, book conference, book signings, advertisements, but mostly word of mouth. I dab a little with some of the social sites, when time permits.

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

Beverly Jenkins – The historical research and character development in her stories are amazing. Brenda Jackson –She does a wonderful job keeping her characters fresh in every series she writes. Julie Garwood – Adds a touch of humor to her stories that I admire.

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

Do write every day.

Don’t ever allow anyone to step on your dreams, regardless of what your dreams may be.

Our theme for this month is Family Literacy, what do you do to promote literacy in your family?

Everyone in my household are readers. My niece read series related to teen-age issues. For my son it’s the news, he very heavy into politics and for my sweetie it’s the bible. As for me I love suspense filled romance and historical romance novels with knights, barons, kings and castles.

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

My mailing address is: Iris Bolling c/o Siri Enterprises
P.O. Box 27991
Richmond, Virginia 23261

My e-mail address is

My website is: and

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

The Heart of Him is the second installment of The Heart series. Ashley Harrison sets her sights on James Brooks and sparks began to fly. This heartwarming story will have you laughing, cheering and wondering when someone will back-hand the Senator’s daughter, stomp the brother and kill the ex- boyfriend, just to put them all out of their misery .Just as “forever after” is within James and Ashley’s grasp the past comes back to haunt them threatening serious damage to a political campaign, an innocent child and Ashley’s life.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of Once You’ve Touched The Heart

Friday, January 30, 2009


We Take This Man

Terrinda S. Davidson
Gayla Clark
Tangela Williams

The Bishop’s Daughter

Beverly Cash
Beverly Taylor
Shandra Conner

Bring on the Blessings

Rosayn Lewis
Jacki Miller

FEATURED AUTHOR: Kimberla Lawson Roby

In THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, Alicia Black Sullivan, firstborn daughter of the notorious Reverend Curtis Black, is newly married to assistant pastor, Phillip Sullivan. All is well…until Phillip discovers that Alicia (who has been pampered by her wealthy father and is quite accustomed to owning – and buying – luxury goods) has burned through at least $20,000 by shopping on QVC and at Chicago’s finest malls, despite his warnings against spending more than she has. As the two argue their way through their first few months of marriage, Alicia’s shopping addiction begins to affect more than just their bank accounts.

New York Times Bestselling Author, Kimberla Lawson Roby, has published eleven novels which include, ONE IN A MILLION, SIN NO MORE, LOVE & LIES, CHANGING FACES, THE BEST-KEPT SECRET, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING, A TASTE OF REALITY, IT’S A THIN LINE, CASTING THE FIRST STONE, HERE AND NOW, and her debut title, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, which was originally self-published through her own company, Lenox Press. Her novels have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times and those in The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Barnes and Noble,, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few and both BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CASTING THE FIRST STONE were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997.

In addition, Ms. Roby’s first novel was nominated for Blackboard’s 1998 and 1999 Fiction Book of the Year Award, and she received the Blackboard Fiction Book of the Year Award in 2001 for CASTING THE FIRST STONE. She is also the 2006 and 2007 recipient of the Author of the Year – Female award presented by the African-American Literary Award Show in New York, the recipient of the 1998 First-Time Author Award from Chicago’s Black History Month Book Fair and Conference, and her fifth novel, A TASTE OF REALITY, was a 2004 finalist for the Atlanta Choice Awards sponsored by the Atlanta Daily World. Additionally, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING received a 2004 Patron Choice Award from the Central Mississippi Regional Library System.

Ms. Roby resides in Illinois with her husband, Will. Her twelfth title, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, will be released on January 13, 2009.

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

Unfortunately, a great number of people in our country spend tons of money they just don't have and then find themselves struggling with over-the-limit credit card balances and very low credit scores. So, my hope is that readers will see just how consequential financial irresponsibility can actually be and how devastating it can be on families and all other relationships.

Why did you choose to write this book?

I wanted to write about this topic because I think it is so important that we as Americans begin focusing a lot more on saving for rainy days and retirement and that we stop placing so much focus on keeping up with the Jones. I wanted to show the serious problems one woman's shopping addiction could cause on a marriage.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that shopping addiction is a real illness and that it has more to do with trying to fill some kind of an emotional void. Some people do it because they may not have had much growing up and now want to make up for it in their adult lives, some may have been given everything they wanted when they were a child and now as adults want that tradition to continue, and some may be lonely, depressed or dealing with other underlying issues.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?
That the biggest challenge for me is hoping I can satisfy every reader who reads my work. With every novel I create, I write straight from the heart and in the best way I know how, yet this is still my greatest worry. I know it isn't possible for every single person to love it, but I still hope for that all the time. It is also hard because sometimes reviewers and readers can be very cruel with their criticism.

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

That I should write at least something every single day. Walter Mosely gave me that advice three years ago, and it has stuck with me ever since.

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

Trying my best to meet my writing deadlines, all while taking care of my terminally-ill mother and ultimately losing her. She was very ill from 1998 through 2001, the year she passed away.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Wow, that's a hard question, but one thing I'm sure they might be surprised about is my sometimes uncontrollable sweet tooth. I love, love, love various cakes and pies, and sometimes can't get enough of them.

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

If I had it to do over again, I never would have used any words of profanity in my work just because it is sometimes used by people in real life---especially since I don't use words like that myself. In my first nine novels, I didn't use profanity on every page and not even in every chapter, but on occasion, if a character was angry, hurt or had been betrayed in some way, I did have the character say a select word here and there. But as I began writing my tenth novel, SIN NO MORE, I wasn't comfortable with using even one curse word in my work and haven't done so with any book since then. The other good news, too, is that I have felt very relieved about the change I made, and I am excited to be doing what I believe God wants me to do.

How do you reach new readers?

I spend as much time as possible, all year long, figuring out new ways to market and promote my work to lots of readers--those who have been very loyal to my work for many years and also to those I'm hoping will try it for the very first time. I also work very hard at communicating directly with my readers, both by e-mail when I'm home and then in person when I'm on the road doing events.

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

Bebe Moore Campbell because she wrote my favorite novel of all times, YOUR BLUES AIN'T LIKE MINE, Stephen King because he is an absolute genius when it comes to writing (I know this, and I'm not even a horror fan!), and James Patterson because I'd love to know how he continues to take his brand to extremely new heights, one year after another.

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

Do learn as much as you possibly can about the business side of writing and publishing.

Don't mimic the writing style of any other author.

Our theme for this month is Family Literacy, what do you do to promote literacy in your family?

I give books away as gifts. Also, last year, my ten year old nephew found a children's author he loved, and I immediately went online to see what other titles the author had written and then I purchased most of them for him.

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

Mailing address: P.O. Box 1264, Belvidere, IL 61008



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

My next book is a novella about a seemingly happy twelve year old girl named Jillian and how her stepfather (whom everyone loves and trusts) has been sexually abusing her for five years. It will be released on Tuesday, October 27, 2009.

Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy of The Best Of Everything.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Book Buzz 2.0 - Tyora Moody

Family Literacy in the Digital Age

Books. From the time I was four years old, I can remember being enchanted with books. My mom gifted me with a membership in the I Can Read Book Club. I don't remember how often the books were shipped, but I do remember reading them over and over again until I received a new shipment. The day I received a library card, you would have thought I struck gold. It's a good thing the library was within walking distance, because I would carry stacks of books home and then pour over them for days, especially during the summer vacations. I've always had a thirst for knowledge and adventure. You can find those two things and much more in a book.

The Challenge

Sadly, it seems in the age of computers, Blu-Ray DVD, X-box, Ipods, etc, there are quite a few challenges to keeping children interested in reading. It really does take a family effort, with the parent showing an interest and instilling a love of books in their child(ren).

Several years ago, I worked in a middle school and coordinated the Accelerated Reader program. It's a program where students earn points for reading. The more advanced the book, the more points earned. I kept a cabinet full of incentives when students reached a certain amount of points. I recall Harry Potter just starting to catch on as a favorite in the library and those who didn't normally like to read, really took a liking to this emerging character. That book and the Goosebump series were well-read.

There were those who were voracious readers and then there were students, who could care less about earning points. They simple had no interest or motivation in reading. That always struck me as sad because it was obvious those students didn't have the support system they needed at home. No one motivated or encouraged them to do the simplest of activities with the most benefits.

Ideas for Authors

As an author, it's imperative to remember those same children grow up to be adults who don't like to read. So, how do you reach non-readers, regardless of age? For starters, study successful programs like Accelerated Reader and Pizza Hut BOOK IT and think about ways you can encourage people to read your book and develop a love for reading period.

· Motivation. When you put together your marketing plan, is there a way you can provide an incentive or maybe a contest. One of the popular activities I've seen among bloggers are reading challenges. Can you set-up a reading challenge at your local church or community?

· Make it a family affair. Depending on your genre, is it possible to plan a local family event alongside a Children's Book and/or Young Adult authors around your book release date?

· Make yourself visible. Check with your local library or bookstore to see if they have any literacy events coming up. Develop a relationship and ask how you can help. Become known not just as an author, but a literacy advocate.

· Encourage dialogue. Does your book have topics that are great for family discussion? Be sure to include discussion guides on your website, if they are not alread in your book. Do you have themes that warrant more information? Be willingly to point the readers to articles and other resources. The more interest in a book and it's themes, the more an individual will want to read more.

· Use Technology. If you have the resources, make a video or a book trailer to go along side your book. It doesn't have to be fancy, but it needs to be an attention getter. People who are visual, might need a teaser.

In essence, remain open to trying out new ideas. All writers ultimately want to connect with readers. In this day and age, creativity is still needed long after the novel has been written.Ideas for the FamilyIn the last tip above, I mentioned using technology. Social media has it's place. Online bookspots like or may be fun. Depending on the age range, a parent would want to monitor accounts and maybe just create one main family account. It could be fun to add books read and write reviews. Families can even create their own book blog.

There are quite few websites, family can use to help them select books and make reading fun. You will notice PBS Kids is the "King" of Literacy television programs and they have excellent interactive websites.

Sesame Street (ages 2-4)

Super Why! (ages 3-6)

Between the Lions (ages 4-7)

Reading Rainbow (ages 6-8)

Word Girl (ages 4-9)

Here are a few other sites to check out!


Kids Read

Teens Read


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

Monday, January 26, 2009

FEATURED AUTHOR: Lutishia Lovely

A Preacher’s Passion

Passion Perkins is hot to trot. She’s been celibate for five years, and is beginning to wonder if God will ever answer her prayer for a husband. Just when she’s ready to give up, newcomer Lavon Chapman comes to Logos Word Church . He definitely catches Passion’s eye. Unfortunately, someone else catches his eye and needless to say, Passion isn’t happy about it, especially since the woman in his sights is already married. But this isn’t the only “passion in the pews”. Several other saints definitely need prayer, but by the time they call on Jesus…it just might be too late.

In addition to writing, Lutishia Lovely is an actor and motivational speaker. She enjoys working out, watching sports, fixing vegetarian cuisine and spending time with friends and family. The Hallelujah Love series: Sex In The Sanctuary, Love Like Hallelujah & A Preacher’s Passion, has received good reviews, several “best fiction” nominations and time on Amazon, Black Expression Book Club and MosaicBooks bestseller lists. When not being her best “Lutishia”, she writes as her alter ego, romance novelist Zuri Day ( Lutishia currently splits her time between Switzerland , Spain and Los Angeles .

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

I think there are different messages for different people. More than anything, I hope that readers are inspired, encouraged and entertained by my work.

Why did you choose to write this book?

I didn’t choose the work so much as the work chose me! I simply asked Spirit what I should write about. That initial question was posed several years ago. I am now working on book number five of this series and the storyline is still flowing strong…

What did you learn while writing this book?

From the very first novel, I’ve learned to let the story tell itself, to not get in the way of the character voices and storylines that are flowing, even when they are different from what I initially imagined. This storyline changed from the initial synopsis I’d submitted to the editor, and the one that wrote itself is much better than what I’d imagined!

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

That it’s not as easy as it looks.

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

Wow, I’m always learning from my peers. One of the best lessons would have to be to believe in myself, and what I’m writing.

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

Writer’s block. I’ve been writing non-stop for almost four years. This past spring, I hit a creative wall; nothing would come. I was looking at a blank screen, and had a due line! (I prefer this phrase to deadline because I want everything about my work to be alive!) It was a scary moment, but Spirit kept saying “it’s okay”. I was led to do the exact opposite of what it looked like I should do. I was led to do nothing, to go out and enjoy myself, take some time off, watch movies, have fun. “But my book is due soon!” I said. Spirit’s answer was always the same, “It’s okay.” And it was. I did as instructed and after a few weeks, the story started to flow again and my due line was moved to a later date.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Gurllll…there are probably a lot of things I do that would surprise my readers!

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

I can’t say there is anything because learning what I learn when I learn it is part of the journey.

How do you reach new readers?

The best thing an author can do is live their life as if it’s one big promotion. Along with the internet being a huge asset for us, especially yahoo, ning and other groups as well as Myspace, I always try to have promo pieces to pass out to everyone, everywhere.

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

Oh my goodness…only three?! Okay, I’d say Barbara Cartland, Deepak Chopra and Oprah. Barbara is the queen of the romance novel. Her career spanned six decades and when she died, in her 80s, she was still writing. Deepak has an all-encompassing view on God and spirituality—his writing is very insightful. And Oprah? I really want to be on her show talking about my writing! :)

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

Do…write! Studying and research is fine, but nothing is going to improve your skills the way practice will.

Don’t come into writing/publishing unprepared. Study the craft and the industry, and come correct. This is literary art, yes, but at the end of the day…it’s business.

Our theme for this month is Family Literacy, what do you do to promote literacy in your family?

Often when a gift is called for, I give a book. For instance, this past Christmas, most of my gifts were either books or gift cards to bookstores.

How can readers get in contact with you?

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

Book number four in this series comes out in August, ’09. In Heaven Right Here, it’s eighteen months after A Preacher’s Passion, and the focus is on Stacy Gray and her friends Hope and Frieda. Much of the storyline can be summed up in three words: baby mama drama! You’ll want to stay tuned…!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

FEATURED AUTHOR: Paulette Harper

That Was Then, This Is Now, This Broken Vessel Restored

A heart-wrenching account of one woman’s true story of determination, loss and triumph. In her book, she outlines how a heart attitude of surrender allows God to use a broken vessel for His ultimate plans of Glory.

Paulette Harper is a native of Pittsburg, Ca, Paulette travels as an Inspirational speaker teaching people how to overcome life’s unexpected experiences by delivering a strong message of hope.

Beyond her writing ability she has a passion to lead people to a clear and precise understanding of how life challenges can become one’s ultimate source of victory by sharing solid, biblical principles that will enable people to find a way out of every trial so they can reach their God given potential.

Paulette resides in Northern California and is a member of NewBirth Church in Pittsburg under the leadership of Pastor Carl Smith.

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

I want them to come away encouraged and inspired in spite of their current situation or challenges they may be facing as well as have a better understanding that life challenges are not meant to cause us to fail but to propel us into our destiny.

Why did you choose to write this book?

There are several reasons why I choose to write this book. First being on an assignment from God, secondly I wanted people to see the journey God had taken me through as painful as it was yet God worked out everything in my life for the better and third I wanted my life to be a blessing to others.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I was able to reflect back on how God had truly healed me from my past and how much I had grown from my experiences. I learned that my story was meant to be shared with the world.

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

I wish non writers would understand that writing is a job. It takes discipline, time management and dedication to see the finished product. I think non writers don’t realize that writing a book takes months of processing. A good book might be birthed in a day but the writing might take nine months!

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

That one of the most important things is marketing your product. Promote, promote, promote. You can never stop putting your book in front of people. Even when people get tired of hearing about the book, talk about it, show it off and always have copies available for sale.

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

Trying to bring balance to my life in the area of home, work and ministry while writing my next book.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I love playing spades. I’m the queen at the table and I don’t like to lose.

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

I wish I had known how to effectively market my book and reach my readers. I wish I could have had a mentor helping me get through some of the challenges of marketing and promoting my book.

How do you reach new readers?

I go up to complete strangers and introduce my self and ask if they like to read inspirational books. Those that say yes I show them my book or give them one of my post cards. I’ve written several articles on line to different magazines in which each magazine company has a different reader base. I’ve learned how to stretch and go outside the box. I also do social networking on many of the on line sites.

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

Kendra Bellamy, Mayo Angelo, Jerome Eric Dickey. All of these writers have put out multiple books which means they know what it takes to make it in the market and they have made a name for themselves in which I could glean from. I believe they are great teachers.

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

One of the things an aspiring writer must have is the passion to finish the book. I’ve talked to many people who just won’t commit to finishing the project. What I would tell an aspiring writer not to do is to limit them in one area of writing. Expanding the market will increase your reader base.

Our theme for this month is Family Literacy, what do you do to promote literacy in your family?

I encourage each member to try to read either a book a month or pick up several educational magazine of interest.

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

Readers can visit my website:, or

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

My next book called “Completely Whole” will be an inspirational book as well. I will focus on how God uses the experience in life to make us a whole person. I will deal with the complete man, spirit, soul and body.

Gabcast! Paulette Harper Excerpt #1

Friday, January 23, 2009


The Bishop's Daughter

Budding journalist Darrin Bainbridge is fascinated by the mega church world, especially when it comes to the ministers involved. Bestselling author Tiffany Warren brings us a beautiful love story in The Bishop's Daughter conveying a relentless young writer looking for his big break only to find himself in a helpless state of love with the daughter of the man he is trying to expose.

As a freelance journalist, Darrin is anxious to establish himself in the writing world. He becomes intrigued by the famous lives of television ministers and the excessive lifestyles that come along with this fame. They live in nice homes, drive fancy cars, and seem to have endless amounts of money and women to boot. Disgusted by this hypocrisy, Darrin sets out to the hometown of one of the industries most famous- Atlanta Bishop Kumal Prentiss. In order to get as close to him as possible, Darrin becomes a member of the church hoping to portray a clearer picture of what kind of man this Bishop truly is.

An unexpected twist occurs when Darrin’s recent membership comes with strings. Not only does this bring him closer to Kumal Prentiss, but to his daughter Emoni as well. Emoni Prentiss “hasn’t quite grown into her looks” yet, as her family likes to put it. Though not a conventional beauty, her heart more than makes for it and her wholesome ways are soon noticed by Darrin. As their relationship blossoms, it becomes increasingly hard to fulfill what he had originally come to Atlanta to do as Darrin is torn between excelling his career and surrendering to his feelings.

Tiffany L Warren is the bestselling author of "What a Sista Should Do", "Farther than I Meant to Go, Longer than I Meant to Stay", and "The Bishop's Daughter". Tiffany also writes young adult fiction under the pen name Nikki Carter. Her first young adult novel "Step to This" will be released in March, 2009. When she's not writing she's reading, cooking, or spending time with her husband and five children. She lives in the Dallas, TX area and is a Disaster Recovery Analyst by day.

What would you like readers to take away from your book?
That sometimes salvation is a process. Not everyone comes up from the baptism pool completely changed. Sometimes the Holy Spirit has alot of work to do in a person.

What is your favorite scene from your book?

My favorite scene is Darrin and Emoni's first conversation. In that moment they are completely real because their attraction is totally unexpected.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned alot about how men think. I ran some things by my husband, and he would be like, "No, a man would not be thinking that." I've been married for nearly ten years, and I'm still learning how men think! Darrin's journey was an eye opener for me.

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

That authors are artists, and they are almost always connected to their characters and stories. You don't have to like every story you read, but there is a way to say that and not be negative.

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

To never stop promoting my work and my brand. Longevity is hard to come by in this business, even if you have the talent.

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

I've faced a pretty tough financial crisis as an author. I had a misconception about how publishing works and got a reality check when I received my first royalties statement.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

That I watch sci-fi stuff on TV. Heroes, Star Trek re-runs. Anything futuristic.

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

I wish I'd known I would be successful, but that is part of a faith walk. I wish I'd known that the publishing industry is cutthroat. I wish I'd known that there really is no formula for success in writing. It would've saved me alot of time in trying to discover the formula!

How do you reach new readers?

I reach out to new book clubs on MySpace and Shelfari. I also share my books with Women's Ministries.

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

Octavia E Butler, because she is my all-time favorite author, and I know she had many stories left on the inside. Eric Jerome Dickey, because he has got to be one of the most prolific contemporary AA authors of this generation. The man is an endless sea of stories. And Victoria Christopher Murray just because she is HILARIOUS! She would make the entire conversation fun.

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

Please DO take a creative writing class. Don't give up.

Our theme for this month is Family Literacy, what do you do to promote literacy in your family?

My oldest two children are avid readers. I like to share books with them that I read when I was a child. My oldest is really a bookworm and she has enjoyed "A Wrinkle In Time" and "Where the Red Fern Grows" two of my childhood favorites. The most important thing I do to promote literacy is to let my children see me enjoying books!

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

Readers can email me at or on my two MySpace pages &

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

My next book is the first in my line of Inspirational Young Adult fiction and it's called "Step to This" (March 2009, Kensington Books). The book is written under my pen name Nikki Carter. It's a fun story about a girl named Gia Stokes, who is fabulous, but she doesn't know it yet! She's on the Hi-Stepper squad at her high school, but she has a plan to become A-list popular. But when her plan takes a horribly wrong turn, she has to lean on the ones who truly love her.

My next adult title is "In The Midst of It All" (2010, Grand Central Publishing) and it's about a young woman with the gift of foresight (prophecy) who escapes a cult. It is the most daring of my stories, and I hope my fans embrace it!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

COMING SOON - A Kiss Of Ashen Twilight

A Kiss Of Ashen Twilight
By Rae Lori

In the Dahomey mythology, the Aziza is a benign fairy race providing good magic and practical advice for hunters. In various mythologies across the world, vampires are depicted as vicious mysterious hunters. When Ariya, an Aziza fairy, comes into contact with a vampire named Jace Archane, she will either be a great benefit to the hunt, or the worst distraction for his heart.

Publisher - Lyrical Press
Month Published - February 2009
Genre - Multicultural Urban Fantasy Romance

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Ex-Free: 9 Keys To Freedom After Heartbreak

Getting over your ex is exactly that and such a process requires actions beyond crying, spreading rumors, stalking, ignoring or avoiding the situation. In order to better understand how you navigate the tumultuous sea of love, these 9 Keys allow you to determine the best way for you to overcome heartbreak and make the right decision.

Once you understand what makes you happy you will know what works for you in a relationship. The information and exercises will help identify the Boat You Float on the sea of love. Upon completing this book and integrating the 9 Keys to freedom, your perception of yourself will never be the same. You will view your ex as a formerly necessary but forever finished aspect of your past. Discover and find the treasures you're truly hunting for. The 9 Keys will also give you the ability to recognize the things that you shared with your ex and the importance that those experiences will have in your future relationships.

Troy Byer, one of Hollywood's successful writers, directors, and actors has had an impressive career in the entertainment industry since the age of four when she starred in the Emmy Award-winning PBS series, Sesame Street. She later went on to star in such prime time hit television series as Dynasty and Murder One. With an unbridled passion for writing, an exceptional visual eye and a knack for storytelling, Troy went on to write and direct major theatrical films for Warner Brothers and New Line Pictures with such stars as Martin Landau and Halle Berry.

Along with her passion for film making, Troy's commitment to the study and practice of Ontology has grown and deepened over the years. As a result, Troy began participating in Transformational Programs for global organizations at the ripe age of seventeen. After years of training, and pursuing her degree in Psychobiology, Troy has had the privilege of transforming the lives of thousands as a senior leader for the global organization. Today, when not tending to her ten-year-old son, Troy continues to transform the lives of others in her private practice. In addition, Troy has the ongoing opportunity to expand on her “Freedom” book series that is designed to liberate both individuals and communities; Ex-Free being the debut of the series, Troy has now turned her extensive writing skills towards helping others.

Today Troy lives in California with her son and her romantic partner, Hans.
She accredits her transformational work to the wonderful friendship she shares with her son’s father and his fiancĂ©.

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

I would look readers to take away the realization that Freedom is truly and inside job.

Why did you choose to write this book?

There are so many people who are suffering from heartbreak. It astounds me that although science has proven that love has the same impact on our brain as cocaine, there are still no formal withdrawal or recovery programs for those suffering from heartbreak. As a result of this insight, I realized that someone needed to right a book to support those who are inflicted with heartbreak so they could better understand; their pain is inevitable but suffering is optional.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that I the source of our healing would not be the result of finding the right answers. The source of our healing will be the result of being in the inquiry and asking the right questions.

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

I am a big fan of Zora Neale Hurston and in spite of the fact that she is a fiction writer, I admire the level of authenticity with which she portrays her characters and tells her stories.

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

Self-publishing has been very challenging. I’ve been wearing many hats from writer to messenger (delivering books). It’s all good...I’m having a blast!

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I’m a bike fanatic! I ride my bike everywhere...most people expect me to have a fancy car and although I do...I still prefer my simple beach cruiser orange bike.

What are two things you wish you’d known before you reached where you are now?
1. Books don’t automatically fly off my computer screen and onto the shelves at Barnes & Nobles.
2. Writing a book is 15 % of the job. Marketing the book is the other 85%.

How do you reach new readers?

I have a weekly segment on Steve Harvey’s Morning show. I am the relationship expert on the show and that enables me to promote the book when and if the timing is appropriate.

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

Franz Kafka, Dr. David Hawkins, Deepak Chopra

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

One do: DO Write. Write. Write. Write. Write anything, all the time.

One don’t: DON’T Allow procrastination to justify why you should quit and not pursue a career as a writer. I consider procrastination to be a big part of my “preliminary” writing process.

Our theme for this month is Family Literacy, what do you do to promote literacy in your family?

My son and I read books together like “Marley & Me,” “Harry Potter” etc...

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


Friday, January 16, 2009


Going Down South

When fifteen-year-old Olivia Jean finds herself in the “family way,” her mother, Daisy, who has never been very maternal, springs into action. Daisy decides that Olivia Jean can’t stay in New York and whisks her away to her grandmother’s farm in Alabama to have the baby–even though Daisy and her mother, Birdie, have been estranged for years. When they arrive, Birdie lays down the law: Sure, her granddaughter can stay, but Daisy will have to stay as well. Though Daisy is furious, she has no choice.

Now, under one little roof in the 1960s Deep South, three generations of spirited, proud women are forced to live together. One by one, they begin to lose their inhibitions and share their secrets. And as long-guarded truths emerge, a baby is born–a child with the power to turn these virtual strangers into a real, honest-to-goodness family.

What would you like your readers to take away from GOING DOWN SOUTH?

I want readers to think about the importance of family. Many things may happen to affect individuals within the family but there should always be some place that a person can call home – where she can find support when she needs it. Teenage pregnancy is an important topic in my novel. Olivia Jean, the main protagonist in GOING DOWN SOUTH, gets pregnant at fifteen and she and her family have to deal with the consequences. Family is a very important theme in both of my novels.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that writing is not an easy task but that if you work hard and take it a page at a time and don’t get disheartened in the process, you’ll become a better writer. I think I know more about the craft of writing now than I did before I began to write GOING DOWN SOUTH. I look forward to learning even more with writing my next novel.

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

I enjoy people and talking about my novels in front of an audience. I’m a ham. But figuring out ways to help people find your work within a crowded field of already released very good novels is difficult. Writing really is a business now and it’s not for the faint of heart.

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

I wish people could understand the depth of concentration that goes into plotting, imagery, and wording. It is not an easy task and it takes the full engagement of your brain to do it. Alone time is important. And, reading very good writers is also important.

What online marketing have you found that particularly works well for you?

Finding and working with bloggers that review books that may not be considered “mainstream” is a good technique. Working with groups such as SORMAG is particularly appealing because you have a such a following. Writers have to be creative in figuring out how we’ll market and where there will be an impact such that people will go out and buy the book.

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

1. Writing a reasonably well-received book will not make you successful. Marketing is super important these days.

2. Patience is a particularly good habit to develop while you wait for your book to actually be published. There are months in-between submission and the actual launch date.

3. A dedicated writer will start a new book as soon as the last one is done. I have to learn more dedication.

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

I’ve never seriously thought of quitting although I’ve threatened it.

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

Yes. Do some research about the type of prose you’d like to write – a novel, short stories, essays, whatever you’d like. And then sit down and do it. Nothing else is required. Practice makes perfect. Write as much as you can.

Are you part of a writer’s organization and if you are, tell us about the benefits?

Yes, I do belong to an online community for writers. It’s called Zoetrope. I found like- minded folks who critiqued my earlier work. A friend from this community referred me to an agent and I was able to get a publishing contract. Get involved in either an online community or a group that meets in person. It’s important for you to have some feedback during this journey.

Our theme for this month is Family Literacy, what do you do to promote literacy in your family?

Well, my sons are voracious readers and there are some afternoons where we sit together as a family and read. We discuss books all the time and I try to read books that they have read in order to talk with them about the ideas and themes embedded in what they've read.

In addition, right now I am working with 31 senior high girls on a reading and self esteem project. They are reading my latest book dealing with teen pregnancy. We've officially met. They will read my book and I'm returning to have some very REAL dialogue with them about being young women. Needless to say, it has been a great experience. I'm looking forward to the "post read" meeting because in the first meeting these ladies blew me away -- the talent, the energy, the motivation. We had a room full of women who just need a little extra push get them to where they should be in life!

I know that was a mouthful -- but that's what I'm doing my flesh and blood family and then with my sister-girl family. Reading is so very important. I'm happy to work with any group that wants to expand literacy!

Five questions about books:

One book you’ve read more than once.

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

One book you couldn’t put down until you finished.

ALL OR NOTHING by Preston Allen

One book that made you laugh.


One book that made you cry.

BILLY by Albert French.

One book you wish you'd written.

GEEK LOVE by Katherine Dunn

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

I’d love to get emails and would welcome the opportunity to correspond about my book or other books that I might have in common with readers. You can get an idea of the types of books I read by going to or


EXCERPT: Going Down South

by Bonnie J. Glover

ISBN# 978-0-345-48091-0
Publisher One World/Ballantine Books
Genre General Fiction
Copyright 2008
Published date July 29, 2008
Where it can be purchased Random House, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders,, etc. Available at all major outlets.


Part One

Olivia Jean

Her father, Turk, went down first, holding his work boots by the strings with his overnight kit tucked under one arm. He walked on his toes, taking the seventh step down with a side maneuver because he knew it creaked. He had learned his lesson the hard way from her mother, Daisy, waiting at the top of the stairs one night about five years ago. His foot strayed and pressed ahead when he should have gone to the left or the right. He might have made it past her if it hadnt been for that step. She had dozed off, and there were ways to get around Daisy when she was asleep. But he was in no state to remember all of the things he should have remembered. And besides, Daisy was sitting with her legs flung across the top of the landing just so she could catch him. Clutched in her right hand was a broom leaning forward at a cockeyed slant, straw bottom down and ready to do damage.

That night in March, Olivia Jean had just passed her tenth birthday and should have been asleep when he touched lucky stair number seven and it whined loud enough to wake her mother. Daisy grunted, choking on a snore, and was on her feet lightning quick without even rubbing her eyes or wiping the thin line of drool at the corner of her mouth. She gripped the broom in both hands, turned it upside down, and swung it at Turks copper-skinned head. He leaned away in time but she started at him again. Her robe fell open, and Olivia Jean saw long, thick legs under a nightgown that stopped near her coochie, and then one of her titties fell out as she lifted her arm and aimed again. Olivia Jean was crouched at the keyhole of her bedroom door, jaw wide, the scene surprising her so much that she banged her head against the doorknob as she tried to get a better view.

Daisy kept swinging as if she were trying to get at a spider in the corner or a big, fat cockroach that always appeared out of nowhere when company came to visit. There was rage in her swinging, rage reserved for bugs, bad impressions, and drunken husbands. Then her other titty bounced free, and Turk fell back, clutching the railing. It seemed as though he was as surprised as Olivia Jean was. In all her days Olivia Jean had never seen Daisys girl parts, and seeing them then, when her mother was in the middle of trying to kill her daddy, was enough to freeze Olivia Jean right where she wason her knees, peeking into the dim hallway when she should have been curled up asleep with her Raggedy Ann tucked under her arm.

That was when Olivia Jean took a deep breath, stood up, opened the door, and ran out of her bedroom. Turk wasnt grabbing the broom or telling Daisy to stop or trying to move away or anything. He had leaned back, dropped his arms, and let Daisy continue to hit him with the broom across his shoulders, moving him backward as if she were going to push him down the stairs. Olivia Jean knew someone was going to call the police if they didnt stop. At four in the morning people should be in bed, going to bed, or at least thinking about going to bed, not on a rampage like Daisy was, beating Turk with the straw end of a broom while she danced around the hallway half-naked.

So when Daisy raised her broomstick higher, above her shoulders, aiming for the top of his head, Olivia Jean jumped in front of her father. No one moved. The only sound had been the swish of the broom as it waved through the air and its connection with Turks bodya muffled whack, whack, whackand, too, the sound of Daisys heavy breathing from all the work she was doing beating Turk.

Now things were still except for Daisys heaving shoulders and breasts. Olivia Jean felt her heart pounding so hard that she thought it might thud out of her chest.

Then Daisy smiledone of those low-down smiles she used when she punished Olivia Jeanaimed the broom, and almost hit her daughter; the straw brushed the air, tickling the end of Olivia Jeans nose. Olivia Jean had felt the panic rising in the pit of her stomach as the broom swept toward her. Daisy laughed when Olivia Jean flinched. Daisys breathing was hard, and Olivia Jean smelled the last cigarette Daisy had smoked and the Ponds face cream her mother rubbed into her elbows every night. She dropped the broom as Olivia Jean tried to shield Turk, her arms thrown out so that she covered a fraction of his belly. Daisy was giving him the evil eye the whole time, but he was busy ducking behind Olivia Jean as though Daisy were still hitting him, his hands in the air trying to block the broom she was no longer swinging at him. He didnt know Daisy had stopped. All of his moving almost made Olivia Jean fall off the landing; his daughter had to plant herself in front of him, solidly, and not move. Olivia Jean was close enough to smell his body, which reeked of underarm musk and day-old pee. She wrinkled her nose and tried not breathing for seconds at a time.

Olivia Jean moved away once the broom rested at Daisys side. But she stayed near, trying not to glance at her mothers face, since it was frightening when the older woman tightened her lips, raised her eyebrows, and sucked in her cheeks. Olivia Jean was scared of what would come next, but she wasnt going to let Turk stand up to Daisy all by himself. He was her daddy, and even if Daisy did turn the broom on her, Olivia Jean was determined to take the beating. At ten years old, she loved Turk Stone with every ounce of heart she had in her thin body. And hated her mother with equal passion.

Daisy moved in close to Turk. She pointed a long finger at his chest. He had stopped twitching, but the eye he was able to keep open was streaked with red and the other was half-closed. He fell back against the wall.

Damn, girl, stop slingin them things around. I cant think straight watchin em titties jumpin at me all over the place. Close your robe, Turk said.

Turk, I aint playing with you, coming up in this house all hours of the night. You better stop this tomcatting around or Ima stop you. Her voice never rose. It whispered slick across the hallway. The righteousness of it made Olivia Jean tremble. Daisy turned with the broom and swished back into the apartment. The girl heard the dead bolt turn with a sharp click, and then Turk and Olivia Jean were alone in the hallway.

Dont worry, baby, he said as he sank to the floor on the second step. Olivia Jean sat down by him. He laid his head on her lap. Again she held her breath, because he smelled. As soon as he fell asleep, so that his head became heavy on her lap and his mouth opened with one long inhale that became a gasp for air, he woke himself up. She aint gonna stay mad. She let us in by day. Olivia Jean counted to 3,563 before the door opened.

Now Daisy was in flannel pajamas buttoned up to the top.

Next time, dont get in the middle of grown-folk business. Daisy didnt meet Olivia Jeans gaze. She held a half-smoked cigarette in one hand along with her favorite ashtray, the one she swore was good crystal given to them by a Mr. Shorty Long when she and Turk married. This was the same ashtray she would sometimes throw at him when he came home from work too late.

This ashtray, Daisy would say after each bout of throwing it at Turk, is a testament to good, quality workmanship. The kind you dont get these days. There were dents in the wall and chipped linoleum on the floor from where Mr. Shorty Longs present had landed, but never even a hairline fracture in the crystal itself. Olivia Jean didnt know if it was a testament to good workmanship or just plain dumb luck that nothing had happened to it. She did know enough to stay out of the way when Daisy aimed at Turk, since Daisy didnt have a good aim.

Holding the ashtray in one hand and the cigarette in the other, she twisted a thumb in Olivia Jeans direction, her signal for Olivia Jean to hit the road, go to bed. It wasnt easy moving Turks head from her lap. Daisy didnt help, but Olivia Jean didnt expect help from her.

When the girl crept out of bed the next morning and peeped in the stairwell, Turk was still there, a blanket thrown over him, now using Daisy for a pillow. Olivia went back into her bedroom, slammed the door, and got ready for school.

That night in late August as they slipped out of their apartment and down the stairs, Daisy made Turk carry his shoes so his footsteps were barely heard, but there were other noises coming from his body. Because he was so big and uncoordinated, when he walked down the stairs his shoulders bumped against the wall, and his breathing was loud, like a fish gasping for air.

Olivia followed him with her traveling bag, but not too close. She owned one suitcase, a pink one with a poodle on the front that had real hair and two glued-on pink barrettes. The suitcase kept bumping her legs as she walked down the narrow flight of stairs.

Daisy shored up the rear, and every few steps she told the other two to hush up as though Turk, a grown man, and Olivia Jean, a teenager, were children on a field trip. Daisy was dressed especially for sneaking out of their apartment; she wore a tan A-line dress cinched at the waist with a wide belt, a camel- colored scarf over her head, and big rhinestone-studded sunglasses. In the middle of the night. Olivia Jean wanted to ask about the sunglasses, but she already knew what her mother would say: Olivia Jean, the first thing people notice about you is your clothes. Youve got to learn how to make a good impression.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Jubilant Soul Series Book One
by Stacy Hawkins Adams

Rachelle Covington has it all. A fabulous home, a handsome and prestigious husband, two beautiful children, and a place in the upper crust that's quite comfortable. But her life is not all it's cracked up to be. When her husband goes away on business trip and the kids are sent off to the grandparents for a month, Rachelle takes up the challenge of a seriously-ill friend to start a list of things to do before she turns 50. She heads back to Jubilant, Texas, to reconnect with her past, her purpose, and herself. But when her ex shows up in town looking very fine and very single, Rachelle must confront feelings she thought she'd long buried. Will she give up everything to recover the past? Or will she find a reason to plan for the future? The Someday List is an honest look at what makes us who we are and what can throw us off track. Author Stacy Hawkins Adams writes with a voice that is fresh, sincere, and completely real. Her characters jump off the page and into her readers' hearts.

Stacy Hawkins Adams is a nationally-published, award-winning author and speaker. Her contemporary women’s fiction novels are filled with social themes and spiritual quests that take readers on journeys into their own souls.

She holds a degree in journalism and served as a newspaper reporter for more than a decade before turning her full attention to penning books, speaking professionally and writing freelance articles.

She is currently writing her sixth novel and her first nonfiction book, an inspirational title that will encourage women in their faith.

Stacy lives in a suburb of Richmond, Virginia with her husband and two young children.

For more information about Stacy, visit her at

Would you say you are an extrovert or introvert?

I am a 'people person' and enjoy socializing with friends and family, but I can be shy and reserved in unfamiliar situations. I also need my "alone time" after a while, to just relax and enjoy my own company, so I guess that makes me an introvert.

People are surprised when I say that, because I'm also a professional speaker, and because when I'm around friends and family, I can be the life of the party. Maybe I'm just complicated! LOL

Which social networks do you enjoy the most?

To be honest, my time is so limited between writing deadlines and caring for my family that I'm not on any of them often enough to have a true preference. However, I have a presence on just about all of the more prominent social networks, because I'm eager to connect with my readers and with friends. The ones I visit most frequently include Facebook, Twitter and the SistahFaith Network. There's also a Watercolored Pearls Ning site that was started by a Louisiana book club after they read my novel, Watercolored Pearls. I try to stop by there on occasion too.

Do you like to cook? If so, what are your favorite dishes to cook?

My mother was a professional cater before she passed away, and believe it or not, cooking is one of my least favorite things to do. LOL I'd much rather clean the house and bribe my husband to help with dinner. But just because I don't love it doesn't mean I don't cook. Nothing fancy for me, though. :) Among my favorite dishes to prepare is a salisbury steak recipe I discovered in a Cooking Light magazine years ago. I'm an excellent baker, and I regularly receive special requests for my chocolate cake and carrot cake.

What movie(s) have you watched recently that you would recommend?

Do kiddie movies count? :) If so, I could name just about anything that's out. I go to the movies often with my 7-year-old son and 10-year old daughter. I'm looking forward to seeing Seven Pounds, the new Will Smith movie. Other movies on my list for January are T.D. Jakes' new movie, Not Easily Broken, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

Do you like books being turned into a movie? If so, what is your favorite book-to-movie?

I always prefer the book over the movie; however, I enjoy seeing how screenwriters choose scenes from a book to translate onto screen, and how they're able to keep the heart of the story in tact, in less than three hours. My absolute favorite book-to-movie is The Color Purple. I also enjoyed The Secret Life of Bees and both Narnia movies.

If The Someday List was turned into a movie who would you cast to play your characters?

You got me on this one. If you had asked about the three novels in my first series, I could have typed the answers in my sleep. LOL For The Someday List, I'll have to think it through further, but initially, I'd say Boris Kodjoe would make a great Gabe Covington, and his real-life wife, Nicole Ari Parker, could play Rachelle. Sanaa Lathan would also be great as Rachelle. There would also be prominent roles for Hill Harper, Angela Bassett and Alfre Woodard. :)

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

Do you want the official answer or the truth? LOL Of course, every writer wants every review to be fabulous, and I'm no different. But realistically, I know that just as writing is subjective, so is reading. Just as every movie doesn't resonate with every viewer, and every song doesn't touch a chord with all listeners, neither will every book. As an artist, that's the risk you take in producing something to share with the world. I do pray over every chapter I write, however, that the people who need to read my books and who will be entertained and moved by them most, will be led to buy them.

~ ~ ~


Stacy Hawkins Adams is the author of four Women's Fiction books and has contributed to two anthologies. Read the question below to see if you can answer it correctly. Also provide the name of the book in which the answer is found.

~ ~ ~


Which real-life gospel artist shows up at a time when Serena most needs encouragement? In which book does this scene take place?

Leave your answer in the comment section. Entries with the correct answer will be entered into a drawing for the The Someday List Blog Giveaway. View the prize package below:

$50 American Express Gift Card

Autographed Copies of all of her books: Speak to My Heart, Nothing But the Right Thing, and Watercolored Pearls and the anthologies The Midnight Clear and This Far By Faith.

20% Discount Coupon from Tywebbin Creations. (May apply to one service)

Join Us for an Hour Long Chat with Stacy on January 30, 2009. We will announce the GRAND PRIZE WINNER of the THE SOMEDAY LIST BLOG TOUR GIVEAWAY during the call. Visit her blog for call-in details.

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Continue to visit other stops on The Someday List Blog Tour at:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

SORMAG Shout Outs

Introduce yourself to the SORMAG readers. Tell us a little about you and your world.

Post all of your news and information here that is off topic. Would you like to leave testimonials, book reviews or news? Leave it all here.

Ask LaShaunda questions, say hi to an old friend or may be share a birthday note with the family.

This is the SORMAG Shout Out Message Board. Tell us what's going on in your world.

In Memory Of - Andria Hall

Andria Hall author of The Walk At Work, died Monday. I was really sadden to hear this news. Her friend Pam Perry wrote a nice tribute to her. Please take a moment to read it an offer a prayer for her family.


POET: Patricia Neely-Dorsey

EDITOR NOTE: One of the best part of my job is I get to meet new writers. I love meeting someone who is excited about their book and their genre. I met Patricia online at the RAWSISTAZ online conference. She was everywhere and she was talking about poetry. She made me want to read her book.

Poetry is a hard sell especially when it comes to reviewers. Most people don’t want to read it which is why SORMAG stopped reviewing it. However Patricia enthusiasm has made me want to promote those hard working poets out there. If you like poetry and would like to be a poetry reviewer, please send me an email.

Patricia says she came on online in 2007, from her interview you wouldn’t believe it. Please say hello to our Poet of the month.

Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia- A Life In Poems is a celebration of the south and things southern.

Using childhood memories, personal thoughts and dreams, the author attempts to give a positive glimpse into the southern way of life

HEAR Patricia read a few of her poems.

Gabcast! Patricia Dorsey #2

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

There are so many negative connotations associated with Mississippi and the south in general. I want readers to see that there is a flip side of the coin. There is much to love about the southern way of life. I want people to know Mississippi in a different light and I want to introduce them. My slogan is Meet Mississippi Through Poetry, Prose and The Written Word.

On a more personal level, using my poems, I want the reader to connect or reconnect with some of the more enjoyable, pleasant memories and experiences that they have had in their own lives. For Mississippians and the youth in Mississippi especially, I want to encourage them to be proud of who they are, proud of where they come from and proud of the lives they live.

Why did you choose to write this book?

That’s funny. I must say, I didn’t choose to write the book, the book actually chose me (LOL). I woke up on Valentine’s Day 2007, with a poem swirling around in my head. I quickly got up and scribbled it down. So, I wrote my very first poem in 2007 at the age of 43, with no intentions for a book. After that, many other poems just started to flow in rapid succession. In a couple of months, I had well over 200 poems. A friend encouraged me to put them in print. I did and the rest is history, as they say. My book, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life in Poems was published In February 2008, exactly one year from the time I wrote my first poem, using about 75 of the hundreds of poems that I had written.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned how much I actually enjoyed and appreciated my life growing up in Mississippi, my childhood and the people who have played such a big part in my life. Also, in looking over the poems, I realized how obsessed I am with food (LOL) It seems like over half of the poems in the book have some kind of reference to food. But, anyone that knows anything about the south knows that food plays a very big part in almost everything we do.

What is the hardest part about writing poetry?

For me, there was no hard part at all. I simply, and I do mean simply, just scribbled poems down as they came to me. I have poems written on the back of envelopes, bills, receipts and everything.

I have been told over and over again and have found it to be true, that the hard work of this business is not in the writing of the book but in the marketing and promoting.

I think that for most writers, the writing is not hard because it is doing what they love to do. How does that saying go.. “Do what you love to do as a vocation and you will never work a day in your life”.

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

A writer’s work, especially published work is like his/her child. A writer has a very personal attachment to his/her “baby” and can sometimes be very sensitive about that “baby”. I think writers would love to stamp a little Handle With Care message on all of their books.

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

Believe in what you do.

Know that everyone will not necessarily like what you write or like your style of writing but someone will absolutely love it. Appreciate and nurture your own unique style and “gift”. Always keep reading and writing.

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

Oh my goodness, I am so computer illiterate, and so much of what goes into publishing and promoting the product is done by way of computer these days. I am so technically challenged. I didn’t even learn hw to log on to the computer or e-mail until January 2007, at the insistence of my publisher (LOL). It has been an uphill battle coming into the 21st century in that aspect of writing.

What was your greatest challenge in self-promoting your book?

I have been told many times, by people in the industry that poetry is a “hard sell”.

I didn’t really know what they meant until I started running up against brick walls in getting reviewers to even consider reviewing the book. So many people told me that they had “no poetry” policies in reviewing books. That was very surprising to me. Of course, I didn’t take no for a final answer and some of those same people who said that they did not review poetry eventually gave in and I received some glowing reviews from them. On top of that, self-published authors can , in many cases, are given so little respect. I have been told, again, by reviewing sources that they did not do self-published books. I have been told by some venues that they didn’t have self-published authors on the roster for even giving a book presentation. Of course, again, I didn’t take no as a final answer. My motto is always: If you can’t get in through the front door, go in through the window. Needless to say, some minds were changed and some policies were broken.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I write so many of my poems in my car. They just seem to come to me there. Maybe, I feel like it is a quiet, sheltered environment.

Who is your favorite poet and why?

I must says favorite poets. I love Maya Angelou and Nikki Giovanni. Nikki especially, wrote a lot about southern experiences when she would go to her grandparents’ home and overall her work is so gritty , soul bearing, transparent and in-your- face. As she says in one of my favorite poems… “I am bad”. That explains how I feel about her and her work in general. She is bad!!

Maya to me, is just the queen in the poetry world. I equate her as being to the poetry world what Aretha Franklin is to the soul music world. There is just a period behind it.

There is almost no explanation necessary in either case.

When did you start writing poetry and why?

Before I wrote my first poem in February 2007, I did not consider myself a writer or poet at all. I think that my first attempt at writing poetry was maybe trying to write an haiku for an assignment in the sixth grade.

In the literary world, I was strictly a spectator ..I just loved to read...not write.

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

1) how to type 2) a real working knowledge of the computer 3) marketing skills

How do you reach new readers?

I am very active on the computer social networking scene.

If you Goggle my name Patricia Neely-Dorsey. It’s unbelievable to see how many social sites I am on, for someone who basically just learned how to get on the computer (LOL). The connections that I have made have been invaluable. I really first came in contact with you through a RAWSISTAZ internet conference. (smile) Opportunities like this, to do interviews on well viewed sites, go a long way in getting the word out about the book to hundreds and thousands of potential readers. I would like to thank you for such a tremendous opportunity.

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

1) Maya Angelou 2) Zora Neal Hurston and 3) Alice Walker. Their lives and work fascinate me. I think that we would have a wonderful time together and I know that I could learn a lot.

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

DO: Believe in yourself, Believe in your dream…Just Believe!

DON’T: Be dissuaded by Anything and Anyone

Our theme for this month is Family Literacy, what do you do to promote literacy in your family?

Oh my goodness, my family is a family of readers. We have hundreds of books in the house and we are always reading and talking about the things that we have read. It has always been a tradition handed down in my family that on every gift giving occasion, any child in the family will receive a book, along with any other gift that they might receive.. One of the happiest days of my life was when my son, who was six or seven at the time, walked up to me with a book in his hand and said “ I just love to read”.

With tears in my eyes, I hugged him tight and told him that he had just made his mother very happy.

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


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

I have poems completed for at least 2 or 3 more books.

The next book will basically be a continuation of Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia. Because, the readers seem to be clamoring for that; more of the southern life, feel-good, back-down-memory lane sort of poems . I had at one time considered publishing the more intimate poems next in The Secret Garden of Love, but that one is one the backburner for now. My publisher is encouraging me to do an illustrated children’s book with about 20 age appropriate poems from Reflections. That is something that I am strongly considering at this time.

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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.

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