Friday, July 31, 2009

FEATURED AUTHOR: LaToya Stevenson Watkins

LaToya lives in the Dallas/FortWorth area of Texas with her husband and three children. She works as a writer and an editor for various publications, including North Dallas Gazette. She is a literary studies graduate from the University of Texas at Dallas, where she currently attends graduate school as well.

In Love with Losers offers a positive perspective toward common African American struggles. As three women set out on a mission to find a suitable man, each embarks on her own journey of priorities and self-discovery. Each of the women has to fight her own battle of love, yet they must all wrestle with determining whether or not the men in their lives are losers or lovers; real or fake. As the truth slowly reveals itself to each of them, they start to realize what love and relationships are really all about, expelling the losers within themselves.

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

I would like for readers to be entertained if nothing else after reading In Love with Losers. In a perfect world, my readers would walk away and say to themselves “dang, the only person that I have the power to change and the right to judge in my own relationship is me. I feel what LaToya is conveying here.” But since our world is imperfect, all I want to do is provide my readers with rich and enjoyable entertainment.

Why did you choose to write this book?

I was tired of looking at the losers in my life and in the lives of women around me and not seeing us. Women can be losers for some of the stuff we put up with just to have a man, but we can also be losers by not knowing how to treat a good man when God does send him along. I wrote this book after discovering and shedding some loser traits of my own.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that I was an artist. After years of college and writing for others, it took actually creating my own art to realize that I am—always was, an artist.

What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?

My favorite scene has to be when Zora reveals to Will’s wife that they have been sleeping together. She was expecting to sabotage this man’s marriage, but she actually ended up gaining respect from a not-so attractive woman who was willing to stay with her man after being put through major drama by him. For me that scene showed different stages of strength from two very different characters.

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

That a work of fiction does not have to be based on someone close to a writer. A writer can create things about a guy sitting in the car next to him/her or a couple at a bowling alley. All stories don’t point to family or personal secrets.

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

Feedback and criticism—if constructive, are some of the most valuable tools for growth.

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

Being rejected. When I was younger and more vain, I’d list rejection as my greatest fear. Even now rejection is jarring, but I still press forward.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I am really shy.

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

That a deep love for literature is really worth something, that a person must go through to in order to get TO (something), and that if I let God lead, life is not pain or challenge free, but it’s a lot easier than if I don’t.

How do you reach new readers?

I reach new readers through old friends, new friends, and the internet.

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

Alice Walker- I’d want to know where the inspiration for characters like Grange Copeland and Celie derived. I’d ask her how she jumps from one beauty to another (Third Life of Grange Copeland to Warrior Marks) both so different, yet so free; J.R.R Tolkein-How does one imagination stretch across so many different worlds?; I’d ask Langston Hughes to write a poem for today.

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

Be you. Don’t follow the crowd, follow your heart when it comes to your work.

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

Mail-7801 Alma Dr#105, P.O. BOX 156, Plano, Texas, 75025; email--;

Tell us your loser story for a chance to win a copy of In Love with Losers.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Blue Like Play Dough - Blog Tour

In the everyday stretch and squeeze of motherhood, Tricia Goyer often feels smooshed by the demands of life. In Blue Like Play Dough, she shares her unlikely journey from rebellious, pregnant teen to busy wife and mom with big dreams of her own. As her story unfolds, Tricia realizes that God has more in store for her than she has ever imagined possible.

Sure, life is messy and beset by doubts. But God keeps showing up in the most unlikely places–in a bowl of carrot soup, the umpteenth reading of Goodnight Moon, a woe-is me teen drama, or play dough in the hands of a child.

In Tricia’s transparent account, you’ll find understanding, laughter, and strength for your own story. And in the daily push and pull, you’ll learn to recognizes the loving hands of God at work in your life… and know He has something beautiful in mind.

Tricia Goyer is the author of numerous works of fiction and nonfiction, including Generation NeXt Parenting and the Gold Medallion finalist Life Interrupted. Goyer writes for publications such as Today’s Christian Woman and Focus on the Family, speaks to women’s groups nationwide and has been a presenter at the Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS) national convention. She and her husband, John, live with their family in Montana .

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

FEATURED AUTHOR: Dr. Thomas Lindley

Dr. Lindley is a Scientist and a Technical Consultant for NASA and commercial companies. He has a doctorate in mathematics, masters in engineering and certification in computer technology. He has been engaged in astrophysics, cosmology and aerospace design/engineering. He has applied these disciplines to Space Systems, Human Factors, Quality Assurance, and Artificial Intelligence. He is writing about his research toward the purely scientific proof that the entity, described as God, in the Holy Bible, the Qur’an, and the Tanakh, must exist. He has lectured on Cosmology, Statistics, and Supercomputers. He is a member of the Association for Symbolic Logic (ASL), The National Space Society (NSS), and The Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE).

He has extensive experience and professional relationships in the physics, engineering, and logic communities.

Eternal Origin: Observation’s Solution to the Riddle of Existence

Something must always exist, or there must have been a time when nothing existed. If there was a time when nothing existed, it follows that what now is, has come into existence from nothing.

Eternal Origin: Observation’s Solution to the Riddle of Existence, shows how observation gives the answer. Observation is the result of experience, the information from senses, mental reasoning, and the reminders from memory.

Through science, we define time, existence and reality such that they conform to normal experience. We then combine all of this through cosmogony, (the study of the origin of the Universe), mathematics (the way numbers behave), and reasoning (the way the human mind comes to conclusions).

The book proves that at one time, the universe was a collapsed object that could not expand. There was no material Universe before that. In determining how it came into existence, we look at the impact of gravity. Gravity should have prevented the Universe from coming into existence.
Yet, we’re here.

Eternal Origin examines the consequences that must exist if something-from-nothing could ever occur. For numbers, this condition necessitates that every number be equal to zero. For mental reasoning, it forces everything to be equal to nothing.
Would you like to giveaway a copy of your book? (if so, I’ll send you the winner’s name and address later)

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

The ability to duplicate the proof that something having the attributes the bible gives to God, must exist

Why did you choose to write this book?

In my work as a scientist, the world of mathematics and astrophysics kept telling me that the universe did not always exist, yet there must be something that does always exist. Once I put the information together, I wanted everyone to know.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned much about the universe itself, the elements that surrounded its coming into existence, and the procedures by which humans determine what must be true.

What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?

Chapter 5, Opposites Are Never the Same. This chapter contains the basis of human reasoning, that opposites cannot have the same description so can never be the same. So, something and nothing cannot be the same. You and Not-You cannot be the same. Zero and any other number cannot be the same.

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

Writing is boring, dry, and shallow unless the writer puts the reader in the position of being the recipient of the action. The reader must care. Caring is subjective. If the writing is objective, the reader is forced to be an objective observer, instead of a subjective participant.

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

To find out what publishers want to buy, read the kinds of writing you intend to write: magazine articles, short stories, books, based on the. Spend time in bookstores, observing what is being read.

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

This subject, ‘Something must always exist’, is not a subject that technical scientific sources, who say it cannot be proved, will accept. It is difficult to present this type of material to readers while being prevented by the science community and their scientific journals.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Continue to learn from the bible even after 45 years of studying it.

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

1) The Four Categories of Nonfiction Writing:

2) The Outline Structure of Nonfiction Writing
a. The Beginning
Introduce the subject

b. The Middle
Prove the subject

c. The Ending
Benefit of the subject

3) Sentence to Summarize The Piece of Writing

a)Who did it, or to who did it happen to
b) What Happened
c) When did it happen
d) Where did It happen
e) Why did it happen

How do you reach new readers?

I look for locations that would be frequented by those I believe to be my audience. These locations can be virtual (websites, blogs, chat rooms, etc.) or material (conventions, appearances, book fairs, etc.)

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

(1) Margaret Atwood

She writes about the impact of conditions just out of balance to what we usually experience to cause us to reason about our behavior. (Example: A Handmaid’s Tale)

(2) James Baldwin

He never gave up. His writing continued to present our ‘not-yet-equal’ resistance against the ‘you can’t win if we don’t let you play’ circumstance through different stories and characters. (Example: Giovanni’s Room)

(3) Ray Bradbury

He has a way of speaking in metaphors that convey understanding in pictures. He can present the way humans feel, their motivations, and their reactions to life, in very few words. (Example: The Martian Chronicles)

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

Don’t use clichés.

Do use auxiliary processes to enhance your writing capability (Use techniques for accessing the right side of the brain.)

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

Our theme for this month is AGENT HUNTING. Do you have any advice on finding a good agent?

Find an agent that has represented writers that have written items in the same genre and/or theme as your writing. Determine what the agent wants, and their rules. Send a query to them. Keep writing

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

My next book: Is Evolution Proved By the Scientific Method?
(The procedures for scientific proof show Evolution cannot be true)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

In Memory Of E. Lynn Harris

My deepest sympathy goes out to E. Lynn Harris’ family, friends and fans. He will be missed.

As you know I’m a sucker for romance. I’d picked up the February issue of Essence and they featured a few romances and included the excerpt of Invisible Life. I read the excerpt and was intrigued, it was about two men. WHAT?

This was my introduction to E. Lynn Harris. I read the book and was hooked to his writing.

As a person who loves to meet authors, he was a hard person to meet because I didn’t have the right contacts. In 2003 he came to St. Louis and I made it my business to go to his book signing. Instead of the normal book signing, he did a short speech and answered questions from the audience. He also brought a model with him who was in the calendar he was selling. They both stayed until the last picture was taken.

The path E. Lynn travelled to publish his story was different than others, but it didn’t stop him from introducing his books to readers. I admired him more and looked forward to doing an interview with him.

I got the pleasure a few years later when I did an online radio show. I finally had a chance to talk with him.

He was getting over a cold, but it didn’t stop us from chatting. It was like catching up with an old friend. He didn’t mind that we went over our allotted time. I hung up the phone again in ah over this great writer.

One of the best things about being a writer is that you always leave something behind, your stories. They are here forever which means your memory lives on and on.

E. Lynn has gone on to his glory, but his words will stay with us forever. If you have an E. Lynn book pick up your favorite this week and revisit his words and remember the writer.

More Tributes to E. Lynn

Please share your special memory with E. Lynn.

Monday, July 27, 2009


In this sequel to THREE SIDES TO EVERY STORY, daring and acclaimed writer Clarence Nero takes us back into the lives of Johnny and James in a powerful novel about fraternities, family, and college drama.

Johnny and James survived the tough streets of New Orleans, but when Hurricane Katrina lays waste to their beloved Ninth Ward, they are forced to begin a new chapter in Washington DC. For Johnny, this means finally pursuing his dream of a becoming a student at the historic Wheatley College. James soon joins Johnny in the Nation’s Capitol but the strong connection that brought them together in prison is strained by the pressures of their new lives. Then Johnny’s brother Carl and his wife, Tiffany, introduce Johnny to the beautiful, sexy, and smart, Sheila Doggett with the intent of steering Johnny in a different direction. The entire family rallies around Johnny and Shelia’s budding friendship and Johnny prepares to join the frat that is a legacy in his family.

But once James gets wind of what Johnny’s family is up to, he decides that he’ll stop at nothing to save his relationship. Meanwhile, Johnny is struggling to keep the peace with everyone and keeping a potentially deadly secret that could stand in the way of his dreams. Everyone is soon confronted with the truth that the havoc in their lives has only just begun…

How far will you go for love?

Our heroes and sheroes wrestle with this question as they struggle to do right by themselves and those they love and the result is a fast-paced, thought-provoking roller coaster of a read.

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

Of course, I hope they are entertained. If you buy a book or a go to a movie, you should be entertained. But I want the readers to understand that I have a message and a bigger purpose then simply entertaining. I also to want to educate, inspire, and expand the reader in some way. Get them to think beyond their world—their comfort zone. It’s all about breaking down barriers and opening up yourself to understanding that there are other people on this planet besides me and you. There are many social issues that I address in the book and I hope the reader will think about these issues and walk away with some knowledge that may change their lives for the better. We have to stop hating one another and learn to love everybody like God loves us all.

Why did you choose to write this book?

It’s a sequel to “Three Sides To Every Story” and I felt that I still had more ground to cover from the last book. The characters are now displaced from Hurricane Katrina to Washington, DC. They are dealing with a lot of drama surrounding that issue as well as in their own personal lives. It’s really about Johnny, a young man coming of age and trying to find the courage to love despite his family’s disapproval of his lifestyle.

What did you learn while writing this book?

That I have to allow the characters to speak through me no matter how hard or difficult it may be. You see, sometimes the characters and I don’t see life the same way. Sometimes I hate how they may react in a particular situation. But I learned to allow the characters to be who they are and then the story will become or rather be more authentic.

What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?

The scene where Sheila and the principal are meeting with Lester’s father, Mr. Toole, about his allegations that James molested his son. I love it when James and his momma Flo show up on the scene and Flo is raising all kind of hell about what her son is being accused of. I love the way Flo stands up for her son although his gay and feminine. I think that’s unconditional love and we all should strive to be that type of human being. To accept people as they are. I love me some Flo.

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

Maya Angelou recently told me not to read reviews. Because if you get a really good one then you may think that you are too good and don’t need to grow. If you get a bad one, then you might just stop and no go forward when you very well need to. I’m going to try to follow her advice and lead, but I have to admit I love to hear what people think about my work.

What is the toughest test you’ve faced as writer?

When my editor didn’t like my first draft and I had to rewrite the whole book from start to finish. It was hard to do this, because I had worked so hard on that draft. I didn’t want to start completely over. Writing is hard. But I did start over and the second draft was much better. It’s hard sometimes to accept criticism. In some cases, it really helps you become a better writer.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

After I finish a chapter of a book, I print out the pages and sleep with them. I love to see those pages coming off the printer. I rocked them like a newborn baby.

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

1. That sometimes you can’t take everyone with you along the journey. What’s meant for you ain’t necessarily meant for other people.

2. That everyone is not going to support what you do or see the vision you have. “Everything ain’t for everybody,” my mama always say.

3. That the road would be hard and that many sacrifices would have to be made in order for me to obtain the success I’m seeking.

How do you reach new readers?

I’ve been on facebook. It’s a great way to reach people and tell them about my book. Also blogs and Blog ADS.

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

Maya Angelou, E. Lynn Harris and Alice Walker. These are three writers who I admire and have inspired me in some way. I would love to sit down with them and just shoot the breeze sort of speak. To hear them talk about their struggles and laugh about the success they now have obtained. And listen to the advice they would have for me.

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

One do is to finish novel or book no matter how busy you are. Never stop writing. If you don’t finish, you will have nothing but regrets.

Don’t try and copy another writer’s style. Write from your own voice and experiences.

How can readers get in contact with you?

They can go to website at and sign my email list and/or email me at

Our theme for this month is AGENT HUNTING. Do you have any advice on finding a good agent?

Finding an agent is sometimes just as hard as finding a publisher to publish your novel. But if you believe in your work and have a really solid story than you will ultimately find someone interested in representing you. Do some research on books that might similar to your book. Go the acknowledgments and see who the person’s agent is. Most writers thank their agents in the acknowledgments. Contact the agent with a query letter explaining how your work is similar but different the author the agent currently have under contract.

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

It’s the final installment in the trilogy and it picks up where “Too Much of a Good Thing Ain’t Bad” ends. Tonya from the first book returns and one of my main characters die! It’s juicy and hot and exploding with drama. Things get really intense as everyone is after the sexy and hot Johnny Lomack. Everyone wants Johnny but loving him will come at a high price!

Friday, July 24, 2009


S.D. Denny began writing poetry and short stories at an early age to escape the harsh realities she faced while growing up in a Brooklyn housing project. On her journey to becoming a published author, she has written and edited training material for national organizations and volunteered as a journalist for a church magazine. In addition to her debut novel, The Baker’s Dozen, she is the author of an erotic anthology, and the forthcoming novel, Half, which is scheduled for release in 2010. She currently lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her two sons. You can visit the author on her website at

The Baker’s Dozen

Breanna Baker felt as though her life was under control as long as she was in control of her life, but the moment she makes the startling discovery that she’s five weeks pregnant, things start to spin out of control for sure. To add fuel to the fire already burning in her life, her grandmother passes away and she returns home where she’s compelled to turn her attention to issues other than her untimely pregnancy. Breanna feels obligated to save everyone from themselves, but when she uncovers the dark secret that had been hidden by her family for years, she is forced to face herself in the mirror to discover a truth that must be reckoned with before she can go any further in her life.
What would you like readers to take away from your book?

Too often we become paralyzed and stagnated in life by our fears. I’d like readers to walk away knowing that sometimes it takes a confrontation with your greatest fears before you come to discover that they’re not so powerful after all.

Why did you choose to write this book?

I wanted to write an inspiring story which demonstrates that no matter what you’ve been through in your life, there’s always hope for a brighter tomorrow. The main character, Breanna, is like many other women who have taken on so many roles in her life that she neglects some of the things that need nurturing the most. Breanna’s story will leave you feeling renewed and possibly ready to face some challenges of your own.

What did you learn while writing this book?

From my research, I learned a great deal about depression and denial, and how they can both have a tremendous, trickling affect on our lives. Writing this story has also forced me to take a long look in the mirror at my self, and as a result, I’ve accepted that there are some things I need to work on.

What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?

My favorite scene took place in the chapter where Breanna learned of a secret her family had been keeping. Her reaction and the conversation leading up to it were the highlight for me. That scene, in addition to the scene where she comes face to face with one of her greatest fears, is my favorite part of the book.
What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

I wish they could understand that you can be as creative as your mind will allow you to be. Not everything has to be about you or someone you know. A writer’s mind, that is free, is a mind with infinite capabilities.

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

I’ve learned that the value of a good editor cannot be measured. It’s a step that must not be skipped over in the process. I believe editing can greatly influence your credibility as a writer to those who read your work.

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

Managing the job of being a single mother with writing deadlines has been challenging, but the passion I have for both pushes me to my limits.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Readers would be surprised that I’m a closet singer. I can sing, but I am much too shy to sing in front of an audience.

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

There’s a lot more foot work involved in publishing and marketing a book than I imagined.

Organizing your information as you acquire it will cut down on a great deal of time you spend searching for it later.

There are many opportunities outside your local area, and having a travel budget would enable you to take advantage of those opportunities.

How do you reach new readers?

I strike up conversations and hand out postcards or flyers about my book to strangers at the mall, book stores, grocery stores, gas stations, anywhere! I try to make it a point to carry marketing material at all times.

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

Stephen King - I’m a die hard sci-fi and horror fan and think he’s the most creative storyteller I’ve ever read.

Toni Morrison - I find her to have the most intriguing writing style.

Mitch Albom - I’d like to pick his brain about how he came up with the idea to write Five People You Meet in Heaven.

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

Do set aside time to write because there’s always something "else" that needs to be done. Writing has to be a priority if you plan to get anywhere.

Don’t be discouraged by nay sayers, and take every opportunity to grow and perfect your craft.

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

I can be reached by email at or on the following sites:

Our theme for this month is AGENT HUNTING.  Do you have any advice on finding a good agent?

When I’m looking for any type of service provider, I like to see a portfolio of their work. I believe a literary agent should have a verifiable track record of book sales, and be willing to disclose it if asked. If they aren’t able to disclose it, you may want to continue your search.

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

My next novel, entitled HALF, is about a bi-racial woman’s struggle through life to find her identity. My goal is to pull my readers into her life so they can experience the struggle with her and see life through her eyes. It will be released in 2010.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Deidre E. Berry is the author of the hilarious romantic comedy THE NEXT BEST THING, as well as the Screenwriters Marketing and Resource Directory.

She currently has a two-book deal with Kensington Books, and is also a much sought-after freelance writer who provides web content for major corporations such as Reed Eisner and Time Warner.

In addition to writing novels, Deidre is also a screenwriter with several feature film scripts under her belt, one of which was optioned in 2006.


The Next Best Thing is a romantic comedy that asks: What do you do when the life you planned, is no longer part of the plan?

Tori Carter is an event planner, who is considered to be the absolute best in the business.

She has built a reputation on throwing lavish, over-the-top events, and for the past year, she has been planning her own wedding to her fiancée, Roland.

On the day of the wedding, the stage is set for this huge fairy-tale, Princess Diana-type wedding extravaganza, when Roland figures that now is a good time to let Tori know that he's in love with a woman he had previously claimed was just a good, platonic friend.

Tori spirals into a depression, which causes one of her close friends to give her a journal which she uses to help her process her emotions and everything that she goes through as she struggles to pick up the pieces of her life also learning to accept that no amount of planning can prevent the curve balls that Life sometimes throws your way.

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

That you can make all the plans you want, but God is ultimately in control. Stop trying to hold on so tight to something that God wants you to let go of, because 10 times out of 10, He has something much better in store for you somewhere down the road.

Why did you choose to write this book?

Because I wanted to write the type of book that I like to read, and I like books that make me laugh as well as feel like the characters are real people who this could have quite possibly happened in real-life.

As a matter of fact, The Next Best Thing from a real-life experience. Years ago, I was newly engaged to a guy who shall remain nameless, (but he knows who he is!) when I discovered that he was cheating on me with a mutual acquaintance of ours. Talk about drama!

Of course we broke up, and I was devastated but in the long run it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened to me, because years later, I met the greatest guy in the world, and we've been married for almost fifteen years, now.

I do have to say though, that The Next Best Thing is not autobiographical. The only thing that happened in real-life versus the book is that I had to call off a wedding before it actually took place, everything else is pure fiction.

What did you learn while writing this book?

That the cliche "You're going to be laughing about this years from now" is true. Time really does heal all wounds.

What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?

All of them! LOL... isn't that what everybody says? But if I have to pick just one, I would say the scene in the beauty salon, when Tori is getting all this conflicting advice on how she should carry herself on her first date in years. Then the blind date goes horribly wrong, and she realizes that "Wow, I'm really back out here, and this is going to be an uphill battle."

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

When the non-writer leaves their workplace, their job is done for the day, but a writer's work is never done. We're always writing, even in our sleep.

Also, The greatest gift that you can give the writer in your life is to respect the time that they have set aside to write. If you know that your relative, friend, or spouse, writes everyday from 5-9 pm every day, then respect that enough not to call tempting them with offers to hangout and go do something else.

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

I read somewhere that Maya Angelou said "it takes courage and honesty to write a book. You have to just put it all out there. Don't worry about who may be angry or hurt by what you've written. Keep it real, and don’t hold anything back. That is the reason why you went through what you went through, so that you can process it, get over it, and then help somebody else get over it."

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

I had been working on a project for about a year, and then suddenly realized one day that I had over 300 pages worth of nothing.

Some of it was good, most of it was bad, and none of it fit the particular story I wanted to tell.

It was very humbling to have to scrap all those pages and go back to the drawing board.

That was a point where I almost gave up writing altogether, but then I realized that
everything you write serves a purpose. It may not get published, but the good news is that you got some good practice in. And it takes a certain amount of practice to be good at anything.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I'm an amateur pastry chef. I'm not quite Sylvia Weinstock, but I am good enough to the point where people come and ask me all the time to bake something for them for holidays, and church, or work functions. I bake everything from pies and cookies, to cinnamon rolls and 7-layer cakes. It's very cathartic for me, especially when I am going through a period of writer's block.

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

1) That writing a book is doable. For years, I had always wanted to write a novel, but stuck with writing screenplays because with a script it's 105 pages, and you're done. Easy! Writing a book seemed so daunting and challenging to me at the time, but I discovered that a book is written one sentence, one paragraph, and one page at a time... It is doable. You just have to give yourself time and permission to do it.

2) Respect your craft enough to set a schedule and stick to it. People with office jobs can't just show up to work whenever they feel like. If you saying you're writing for three hours that day, then write for three hours. Don't show up late, and don't leave early

3) Rewriting is NOT is an option.

How do you reach new readers?

The Internet has been valuable in helping me to reach readers in every corner of the world. I have also been doing a lot of radio lately, talking to DJs at the top 100 radio stations in the country, as well as going to literary conferences and talking to book clubs.

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

I would invite Toni Morrison, Zora Neale Hurston, and Gloria Naylor all for the same reason, and that is to pick their brains on the craft and find out what their process is for writing a book; from toying around with the idea, all the way up to the final manuscript.

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

Do you, and don't chase trends. Meaning, just because a particular genre is hot at the moment, don't put aside that mystery or romance novel that you really want to write, in order to go jump on the Erotica bandwagon, or the Christian fiction bandwagon, or whatever happens to be the flavor of the month.

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




Our theme for this month is AGENT HUNTING. Do you have any advice on finding a good agent?

Actually, I can't add much to that conversation, because I don't have an agent at the moment, which is totally by choice.

Alot of people think that you need a literary agent in order to get your foot in the door, but that's not entirely true. I'm very proud to say that I sold The Next Best Thing to my publisher without the help of an agent. I think that if I had sat around waiting for an agent to say "yes" to me, I probably wouldn't have a two-book publishing deal right now.

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

ALL ABOUT EVA which will be published in April of 2010, and is about a New York socialite who is also the pampered girlfriend of a wealthy Wall Street executive. She's living the good life, but it all comes crashing down when her sugar daddy boyfriend is busted for shady business practices, and faces a long prison sentence.

So, now that the gravy train has stopped for her, Eva is forced to reinvent herself in the midst of being destitute, and shunned by all her high-society friends. As she struggles to put her life back together, Eva crosses paths with a bunch of endearing characters who in one way or another, help her learn the lesson that unconditional love and genuine friendships will always be worth more than money.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


EDITOR’s NOTE: My apology to those waiting patiently for reviews. Due to a series of issues, our reviews were on hiatus. We are currently catching up with the reviews and will be posting more as they come in.

JUNE 2009

Best Foot Forward
Michele Sudler

Indigo Love Stories
Genesis Press, Inc.
ISBN 13 DIGIT: 978-1-58571-337-0
ISBN 10 DIGIT: 1-58571-337-6
Published JUNE 2009
Mainstream Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars – SUPREME
Reviewed by: Vicki Brooks

Author Michele Sudler put her “Best Foot Forward” when she wrote this novel. I was pulled into the story from the very beginning, starting with one of the many nightmares Tonya Perkins had been repeatedly having for years. In the dreams, she witnesses her fiancé being beaten and killed by mobsters – so she thought. This real life event has been haunting her for 3 years now and has left her a young recluse. Because of this incident she hasn’t left the doors of her home in 3 years. This is an illness she has been struggling with and working to overcome. She doesn’t have much success until her brother’s handsome frat brother, Jaimer Lambert moves in next door. He is enjoying his new place of residence while assisting Tonya with her daily struggles. Along with Jaimer, she gets lots of help, wanted or not, from her nosy family members. With both of their help she begins to make progress. She really puts her best foot forward when one of the family members gets shot and she needs to go to the hospital to ensure there’re okay. Without giving away too much of the story, it is a worthwhile read.

MAY 2009


May 2009
ISBN: 13-978158571338-7

Rating: 4 Stars - EXCELLENT
Reviewed by: Dianthia R. Lemons

Garrett Martindale is an R&B singing sensation. Born and raised in a strict Christian home, he was not allowed to listen to secular music. Once exposed to the sounds of Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding , Garrett knew his future was singing R&B. Garrett is coming home to get a little rest and relaxation after the NAACP Awards show. He wants time with his family and there is someone else he would love to see again and her name is Trinity.

Trinity Blake is an old childhood friend of Garrett’s and is now a fifth grade school teacher. Growing up together and singing in the church choir both found happiness together. After Garrett left the church for the secular world, Trinity stopped singing and got on with her life. She has never forgotten Garrett and wants to fall in love, get married and have children. What Trinity does remember is the only date they had and wonders what would have happened if they would have remained in contact with each other.

Garrett and his sister were both raised in a strict Christian home. Instead of being a parent, their father preached to his children and for a while, they made what their father felt were horrible mistakes. Their father had to learn that children grow and have to be responsible for their own actions in life. Trinity had to learn to trust again after having her heart broken and to trust in love.

Set in Columbus Maryland, Los Angeles, and Atlanta, the story has a consistent pace that allows the reader to be in every situation and to want the good to triumph. Hoping for a good outcome and believing in the characters and the story made IT’S IN THE RHYTHM a great book for reading.

Sammie Ward did a great job writing a wonderful story.

MARCH 2009

That Devil’s No Friend of Mine
J.D. Mason

St. Martin’s Press
ISBN: 0312368852
Published: March 2009
Mainstream Friction

Rating: 4 Stars – EXCELLENT
Reviewed By: LaVern Perscell

Bishop Fontaine dies and oh how his death affects so many people. His daughter, Kristine is looked at as the poor, sheltered child. What is she going to do with herself, her father made all the decisions for her. But little do we know the secrets that she and his business partner, Lamar are keeping. Also, little do we know that what Kristine wants, she usually gets with or without that person’s knowing what is happening. J.D. Mason manages to keep you on the edge of your seat wondering what is going to happen next. An excellent read!


Temptation and Lies
Donna Hill

Kimani Romance
Kimani Press
ISBN: 0373861001
Published: February 2009

Rating: 4 ½ Stars – EXECEPTIONAL
Reviewed by: LaVern Perscell

What happens when an orderly, precise person’s life is suddenly turned upside-down? Well, welcome to Mia Turner’s world. She is a very precise young lady who runs a successful event planning business, lives with her drop-dead handsome boyfriend and is a member of a secret organization who fights crime among the rich and famous. Everything is going great until she is given the assignment that involves a former lover who she never really said goodbye to. Will she try to relive the past or stay in the present? Dona Hill in her usual incredible writing style will keep you biting your nails to the last page. An exceptional read that I highly recommend.


What Doesn’t Kill You
Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant

A Division of Simon and Schuster, Inc.
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-6420-1
ISBN-10: 1-4165-6420-9
Published: January 2009
Mainstream Fiction

Rating: 5 Stars – SUPREME
Reviewed by: Vicki Brooks

It has been a long time since I’ve read something written in the first person, but needless to say Virginia and Donna did an outstanding job of getting (the reader) into the head of Thomasina Hodges – better known as Tee, the main character. Tee is very much real and like all of us, doing well, or so she thought until all hell breaks lose and she realizes she really controls nothing.

She has raised a beautiful daughter alone and given her the storybook wedding. She is now in the empty nest stage of life, but can’t really enjoy it because she just lost her job after twenty five loyal years of employment. Her life is turned upside down and inside out, but through it all she comes out on top. As the old folks used to say “What doesn’t kill you, will only make you stronger!” You have to read about Tee’s journey, it is one we all can relate to at one time or another.

Meesha Mink and De'Nesha Diamond

Touchstone Fiction
January 2009
2009ISBN13: 978-1-465-7709-6

Rating: 4 Stars - EXCELLENT
Reviewed by: Dianthia R. Lemons

If you like reading the series "The Bentley Manor Tale", then you will surely enjoy this installment titled THE HOOD LIFE. There are three different but intertwined characters in the book. Tavon, also know as Sweet is a pimp among pimps. He is so hard core, his mother hooks for him. Demarcus is an ex-con, trying to stay on the straight and narrow but a crime he committed ten years ago, haunts his very soul. Kaseem is the village drug man who has the life, clothes and money but wants more than anything to be free of the life. Lastly there is Rhakmon, the player man, who has women at his beck and call but his downfall is his player ways and a woman.

This book covers all the entities of life in the hood. You have your pimp all the way down to your player. The problem lies when the bad guy wants to reform him or herself and others either refuse to let them seek another future. There are those people who are out there because they want what you have and will do anything to obtain it. The one thing each character learns is that things from your past will always come back into play in your future. So you should always be careful how you treat people on the way up in life because on your way down, you'll see them again. Meesha Mink and De'Nesha Diamond have once again captured the attention of true readers and did a great job intertwining the characters lives and their stories.

Sinful Chocolate
Adrianne Byrd

Kimani Romance
Kimani Press
ISBN-10: 0-373-86097-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-86097-5
Published: January 2009

Rating: 5 Stars – SUPREME
Reviewed by Vicki Brooks

This story is about Charlie Masters, the player of all players. You know the one that has vowed to never give up his player card; the one that has vowed to never turn in his player keys; the one that has vowed to never marry. That is until he sets his sights on Gisella Jacobs, the new girl in town who happens to be from France. Not only is she beautiful, and sexy, but that French accent is to die for. She has her own bakery, Sinful Chocolate, and wow does it live up to its name.

Coincidently, she is hired to bake the birthday cake for Charlie’s surprise birthday party. When introduced, it’s love at first sight for both of them. He is attracted to Gisella and her delectable desserts. He’s hooked! She loves his sexy smile and broad shoulders. That is until she gets the scoop from the ladies of the Lonely Hearts Club and one of Charlie’s ex-scorned souls who is very bitter and out to get back at him.

Charlie is in love for the first time in his life, but along with love comes a life and death personal crisis. Charlie has to decide what is more important – falling in love with Gisella or dealing with his personal crisis.

This is a GREAT read. The chocolate descriptions were so good; I could taste and smell the chocolates while reading it.

The Reunion
John R. Williams

Xpress Yourself Publishing, LLC
ISBN-10: 0981809448
ISBN-13: 978-0981809441
Published: January 30, 2009

Rating: 2½ Stars – GOOD
Reviewed by: Vicki Brooks

If you like erotica, the first chapter starts out with a BANG! And if you like drama mixed with a little humor, this is the read for you.

This is a story about Sean and Eva. Sean is a bald, sexy chocolate drop with dreams of becoming the next writer extraordinaire. And Eva is his soon to be Ex; she just doesn’t know it yet. She’s smart, sexy and will do anything to keep her man. And I do mean anything. While Eva’s making plans to become Mrs. Sean Jiles, he’s making plans to drop her like a hot potato. But Eva’s not taking the break up seriously; she thinks they’re getting back together.

During all of this, Sean receives an invitation to his 10 year class reunion. Immediately his mind navigates to his high school sweetheart, Jade. You’ll have to pick up the book to see who wins the prize.



All The Way
Kimberley White

Publisher: Dafina
ISBN-13: 978-0758222091

4 1/2 Stars - EXCEPTIONAL
Reviewed by: Regina Hightower

This book was filled with action from the beginning to the end! I did not to put it down until I got to the end. I just had to find out the outcome for Payton and her adorable hero Adriano.

As the story goes Adriano Norwood was sitting in his news van minding his own business when Payton Vaughn jumps in demanding that he drive. Adriano is a gorgeous reporter and playboy in Charlotte on assignment. Never in a million years did he think he would end up in the mist of a mafia mess involving the most notorious family in Charlotte.

Payton is the only witness to her employer ordering a hit on someone. She is placed in protective custody, but flees because her employer's people are coming for her. Payton and Adriano end up on an outrageous and dangerous adventure. Somewhere between dodging bullets and high speed chases, they fall in love.

Ms. White keeps you on the edge of your seat with this one wondering what is gonna happen next and what would you do if this was you.

Tempting the Mogul
Marcia King- Gamble

Publisher: Kimani
ISBN-13: 978-0373860937

3 Stars - VERY GOOD
Reviewed by: Regina Hightower

Where is the chemistry between Salim and Kennedy? The author wrote that Kennedy was falling for Salim and Salim was falling for Kennedy, it felt more like a statement of fact rather than an emotion or a budding desire. My response was really how can you tell. Salim was mysterious and brooding, but he was not described as hot and sexy. Kennedy was strong and orderly, but as dull as the beige color in her apartment.

The love scenes were written functionally and lacked emotion. Their relationship came off more like a business deal that someone was trying to negotiate with or without fringe benefits instead of a budding romance. I just didn't feel it, but I kept reading it waiting for the excitement.

I don't want to say the story was boring, but it was hard to stay focused. They were just words on a page. The characters are definitely forgettable and so is the story. I give it 3 stars for being well written and structually correct.

Savannah J. Frierson

Interracial Romance Fiction
LULU Publishing
2008ISBN: 978-1-4357-5329-7

Rating: 4 Stars - EXCELLENT
Reviewed by: Dianthia R. Lemons

Tyler Carver is a beautiful full-figured sister who knows that she needs a little assistance in the physical fitness department. A beautiful woman in her own right, she has decided to work on the outer package with the help of her friend Damon. Gunnar Daniels is the owner of the gym where Tyler has come for training assistance from Damon. Poor Damon is sick and Gunnar has to step in for him but brings a bad attitude to the first session. What Gunnar gets is a taste of sister tude when you present yourself in the wrong manner. Little does Tyler realize the effect she has on Gunnar because she is too caught up in her attraction to him.

The book takes us on a wonderful look into people who look at the inside of a person rather than the outside. Tyler is concerned that she is developing feelings for a man of another race but can't deny her attraction. Gunnar Daniels is amazed that he can see so much in Tyler and is totally taken away from the tall blonde; he wasn't happy with the warm chocolate who has totally entrapped his heart. Gunnar helps Tyler not only learn a healthier lifestyle; he helps her see the beauty inside herself. Both characters have demons they have to facade from the past but the inside beauty radiates to the outside and they find love within themselves.

Savannah did a wonder job with the story and lets you go through the insecurities of the full-figured woman. The things she feels and the traps she will fall into because of the stigma attached with being bigger than a size 9. She also allows you to see the insecurities of a man who is attracted to a woman who is outside his race and taste if you would call it. When Gunnar stepped outside his usual comfort zone, he found the love of his life. How many of us can say that we are willing to step outside of what is politically correct and find true happiness.


Love T.K.O.
Pamela Yaye

Publisher: Kimani
ISBN-13: 978-0373860913

5 stars - SUPREME
Reviewed by: Regina Hightower

Well they say opposite attract and in this case they are right. Pam has paired Yasmin Ohaji & Rashawn Bishop. She is a marriage counselor and he is a boxer.

Yasmine is a beautiful woman, any man’s fantasy, is a marriage counselor too busy to find time and happiness for her self. With the help of her sister she set her up on a blind date with Cecil Manning. Cecil is a up and coming politician who through out the entire dinner only talks about himself and what other can do for him.

They both have some bumps in the road alone the way, ex-girlfriend, and ex-fiancé. Rashawn's ex wants to come back only he is ready to move on with Yasmine. Yasmin, is feeling guilty about her ex's death. Once she tells Rashawn what has happened to her ex he begins to understand and from that moment on Yasmine know's that Rashawn is in her corner and she is there for him as well. All is not well but in the end they will come together and I will tell you Ms Yaye did an excellent job writing about these two opposite attract because in their case it works and works well.


Sinful Too
by Victor McGlothin

Grand Central Publishing
October 2008
Language: English
ISBN-10: 044617811X
ISBN-13: 978-0446178112

Reviewed by: Shelia M. Goss

Victor McGlothin is back with another page-turner – “Sinful Too.” Only one word could describe Dior Wicker and its “trifling.” She will do anything to get what she wants regardless of the consequences. Dior’s twin brother begs her to change her ways, but she refuses to listen and continues to wreck havoc in other people’s lives.

When Dior world collides with Pastor Richard Allamay, trouble is not far behind. Richard’s inner spirit struggles with desires of lust and with the desire to be faithful to his wife. The decisions Dior and Richard make will forever alter their lives.

Nadeen, Richard’s wife, knows that being the First Lady comes with a price. A price she’s been willing to pay due to her love for Richard. A previous indiscretion on Richard’s part has her doubting herself in many areas. She struggles with insecurities verses the truth.

What happens during the course of the story will not only affect Richard and Nadeen, but the lives of their children.

Sinful Too has the perfect formula for an entertaining read – unforgettable characters and scenes filled with drama. McGlothin has delivered one drama-packed novel that will keep book clubs talking long after they close the book.


The Last Nights Kiss
Shirley Hailstock

Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
Publishing Date : September 2008
ISBN: 9780758213525

5 Stars - SUPREME
Reviewer: Regina Hightower

Ms. Hailstock! Thank you. Words will never be able to express how much I loved this series about the Clayton Family.

Last Night's Kiss is a sweet and special ending for Rosa and her family.

You gave us a chance to get to know more about Rosa and watch her romance with Adam grow. She meets Adam Osborne an ex-reporter who is friends with Davida and he instantly assumes Rosa is a diva and too beautiful. They bump heads on every hand and turn until he finally realizes that she is beautiful inside and out. Soon he finds he can't fight his feelings anymore for her and love blooms for the two with a happy ending. The other characters in the book , Vida, Mr. Bailey, Medea, and Joel, kept me going until the end. Having her brothers, Owen and Dean, drop by was a nice touch. Rosa let her man find her as the bible says ( Adam) She was able to let someone in her life and heart again.

Sex and the Single Braddock
Robyn Amos

Kimani Romance
Harlequin Books S.A.

Sept 2008
Mainstream Fiction

Rating 4 stars-EXCELLENT
Reviewed by Michelle Alexander

Shronda Braddock knew her father's death was no accident, and she takes a job at the company that seems to be the missing link to the puzzle. She eventually becomes involved in an interracial affair with her boss Conner Stewart who is known to be one of the playboy's of Houston elite. When Connor finds out the truth about Shronda from her brothers he is upset but not before realizing his feelings for her. But both must deal with threats and and secrets they both hide from each other that could destroy their love. Well written, characters are interesting and non stereotypical. Intimate scenes are well handled and tasteful. Readers will want to read the entire series.

Suite Temptation
Anita Bunkley

Kimani Romance
Kimani Press
Sept 2008
Mainstream Fiction

Rating 5 Stars-SUPREME
Reviewed by Michelle Alexander

Fans of Anita Bunkley will not be disappointed by her more contemporary works. Riana Cole finds that her college lover and study partner, Andre Preaux, wants to continue their relationship. But driven for her need for success, she ended the relationship and now needs him to seal a major business deal. Andre, let Riana go without a fight, but when she comes to him with a deal that he can’t afford to pass, he now has to win Riana’s trust, clean up his troubled past and handle, the FBI, murder and intrigue in Jamaica all at the same time.

Titus Pollard

ISBN: 1-60162-969-9

Published: September 2008

Book Rating: 3 Stars - VERY GOOD
Book reviewed by: Camellia Varnado

Living Right on Wrong Street was good. Author, Titus Pollard was able to show how some men hold their feelings inside causing inner turmoil. Inner turmoil over time will result in bad choices.

Job Wright had a problem of believing that God could handle anything he had going on in life. Job thought his talent got him success. Monica, Job’s wife held his past before him which caused the division in their marriage. Fontella and Larry were the two well grounded friends that Job and Monica needed in their life. This novel shows how miscommunication, lack of trust and faith in God is a formula for divorce and temptation.

I enjoyed the road to redemption that Job went on to find God. I enjoyed how Monica proved she really had Job’s back in their marriage, career and life. I loved the fight in Monica and Job. I think marriages need to have the fight in order to stay married and love it.

Fair-Weather Friends
ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Young Adult
A Division of Simon & Schuster
ISBN-13: 978-1-4165-5876-7
ISBN-10: 1-4165-5876-4
Published: September 2008

Rating: 4 Stars EXCELLENT
Reviewed by: Ammie Brooks – Age 14

This was a good book about four girls who applied for a sorority, but when one of the girls was rejected, their friendship was at risk. When they realized the reason she was rejected, it caused the other three girls to decide whether to stick with their friend or to join the sorority. This was an excellent book on teen friendship and I encourage all teenage girls to read it.

Beacon Hills High
Monique & Sherri McGee McCovey

Young Adult
A Division of Harper Collins
ISBN: 978-0-06-112106-7
Published: 2008

Rating: 3 ½ Stars – GREAT
Reviewed by: Ammie Brooks – Age 14

This book is about Eboni who was just accepted into Millwood High School, the hardest school to get into in Baltimore. In the midst of her excitement, her Dad is relocated to Los Angeles, California. It takes awhile for Eboni to fit in at her new school. Eventually she meets friends and they encourage her to run for school President, but she finds out opposition was her true enemy – Maya. The book left us hanging with many unfinished questions at the end:

Did Eboni win the election?
Did Eboni’s friends ever settle things back home?
Did Eboni win G over?
Hopefully a sequel to this book is coming soon with much needed answers.



Cafe Au Lait
Liane Spicer

Leisure Books
August 2008
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0843960574
ISBN-13: 978-0843960570

Reviewer: Renee Motley

Shari Zamore is tired. She wants a break from controlling parents, ex-lover who happened to be married and her boring lifestyle. She decided to runaway to Trinidad, where she can be herself or so she thinks. Along the way she meets her match - sexy, but stubborn Michael Chancery. It appears that he is intrigued by the icy exterior and does everything he can to get past her icy demeanor.

Shari has other plans. She wants a no strings attached affair and to return home with no regrets. However Michael is looking for something more substantial. This is an entertaining novel set in the Caribbean with characters who are quite likeable. There is a lot of romance, mystery, and laughs in it. Their story is your typical romance novel, but what sets it apart is the Caribbean setting and the writer's attention to detail that draws you into the novel. It is an entertaining read for a cold winter's night.

JULY 2008

Trust in Love
Vashti Ann Reed

Noire Allure
ISBN: 978-1-60043-047-3
Publish Date: July 2008

Rating: 4 Stars – Excellent
Reviewer: Delores Hines

Danita Johnson and Cullen Powers literally bump into each other trying to bid for the same grant for their perspective companies. Sparks began to fly immediately. The fire burns even brighter when they realize they are fighting for the one grant available that can take both of their struggling businesses to the next level.

Cullen’s willing to work toward being objective about the grant while still pursuing a relationship. Danita isn’t very trusting because of previous mistakes with men. She’s willing to put the relationship aside until the decision about the grant is made. Life of course has different plans for the couple who can no longer deny the attraction. Is attraction enough when the dramas of life visit their street?

This book was a great show of realistic romance, it felt like taking a peek into the lives of a couple you know. The intimate scenes were very tastefully done and left some things to the imagination. Job well done on this debut book.

Power Play The Black Stocking Series
Dara Giard

Publisher: Kimani Press Pub.
Date: July 2008
ISBN-13: 9780373860746

4 1/2 stars - EXCEPTIONAL
Reviewer: Regina Hightower

This is my first time reading a book by Dara Girard. What an excellent read! I could not wait for the other three "Black Stocking Society" stories.

Mary and Edmund are two reluctant people who discover that love maybe scary but its worth the risk. Mary is a meek 'don't rock the boat' kind of gal who dons a pair of thigh highs and discovers her "Inner Diva". Edmund has power and money but no real or true happiness in his life. Edmund chooses Mary for the wrong reasons but she turns out to be the right choice for him for all the right reasons.

Those of you who are like me and want to know if this story has passion and sexual tension you won't be disappointed. I am anxiously awaiting the next story due out in October 2008.

APRIL 2008

Beverly Jenkins

Avon Books
Harper Collins
April 2008
Historical Fiction

Rating 41/2 - EXCEPTIONAL
Reviewed by Michelle Alexander

Eli Grayson a confirmed bachelor, must find a wife in order to secure the financing to save the towns newspaper. So he convinces his friend Jewel to pose as his wife for one night, but the story gets out and they must make it real to save his career and her reputation. Jewel, used to taking care of her rough and tumble brothers and father, now has to learn the ways of womanhood. She is unprepared for the passion she feels for Eli and learns just how much she will fight for her man, when deadly trouble from the past comes to town and nearly tears everything apart.

MARCH 2008

The Things We Do For Love
Xavier Knight

Grand Central Publishing
ISBN-13: 978-0446582384
Pub. Date: March 2008

Rating: 4 Stars – EXCELLENT
Reviewed by: Donielle Ruff

In The Things We Do for Love by Xavier Knight, we meet Jesse Law, a
man who has had the world at his feet. Jesse is a former high-profile
singer who has seen the top of the secular music charts. As a child,
he grew up the youngest of a gospel music family empire and has since
bought it all back to his roots and is now the head of a gospel group.
Jesse is married to Dionne, a woman with whom his chance encounters
have led to a marriage full of love. Jesse and Dionne have suffered a
few setbacks in their marriage as they deal with infertility. Jesse
thinks he has found the answer to Dionne's prayers as they find a baby
to adopt. But Jesse may soon realize his secrets can't be kept for
long. And to the mix, Dionne's friend Suzette and her marriage to
Coleman, Jesse's fellow group member, and the fact that someone is out
there trying to drop a bomb about Coleman's homosexual past. How will
so many secrets play out?

The Things We Do for Love is a very thought-provoking read. Xavier
Knight did an excellent job in creating a rich story with characters
who will definitely make you think. Secrets, infidelity, and
forgiveness are the topics that will make you wonder what you would do
in situations like these. Long after reading, you'll be taking a
really hard look at yourself. Highly recommended.

FEB 2008

Michelle Martinez

William Morrow
ISBN-13: 9780060899028
Pub. Date: February 2008

Rating: 4 Stars - EXCELLENT
Reviewed by: Donielle Ruff

Notorious by Michele Martinez is the fourth novel to feature
Martinez's heroine, Melanie Vargas. The story begins at full speed as
Vargas, meets with the lawyer of the rapper she's trying to put away
for murder. The lawyer is killed right in front of Melanie and now her
life is on the line. Come to find out, her relationship with the
lawyer was more than professional and she is determined to find his
killer. But as she searches for answers she realizes there's more to
it all than she can imagine. The deeper she delves the more dangerous
it becomes.

Notorious is a well-written, well-plotted novel that keeps you turning
the pages. Realistic characters and situations make this story edgy,
intriguing and a delight to read. Martinez is an excellent writer and
I can't wait to read more of her work.

JAN 2008

My Life as a Rhombus
Varian Johnson

Flux (January 2008)
Young Adult
ISBN-10: 0738711608
ISBN-13: 978-0738711607

Reviewed By Leah Mullen

For Rhonda Lee math terms are simple. She can easily say “Euclidian dodecahedron” and “deltoidal trihexagonal tiling,” but after a frightening encounter with a rich boy at her prestigious private school in Columbus, she can’t bring herself to say the word pregnant. At the opening of My Life as a Rhombus Rhonda who is a senior in high school has sworn off contact with all boys. Not only that, she has also resolved not to have anything to do with those she deemed as popular, spoiled, stuck up and superficial—like her ex-boyfriend. Instead she’s decided to focus on her studies and getting a much needed scholarship for her dream college—Georgia Tech.

What Rhonda hadn’t counted on was that perhaps some of her postulates were erroneous.

What happens to Rhonda is what happens to all of us when we swear to never do such and such ever again in life. For those who make vows it’s guaranteed that a test of our determination is on the horizon. While working as a tutor for younger children at the West Columbia Community Center, Rhonda is coerced into being a trigonometry tutor for Sarah Gamble, a classmates from her own school. Sarah is a popular cheerleader, daughter of a prominent judge and everything Rhonda is trying to avoid. An unlikely friendship between the two girls develops when Rhonda learns that she and Sarah have more in common than she’d originally thought.

Rhonda’s friendship with Sarah dredges up some unsettled issues Rhonda hadn’t dealt with regarding her own father. And close proximity to Sarah’s handsome brother David, triggers all sorts of complicated emotions and unresolved concerns as well.

Rhonda Lee accurately reflects the mindset of an adolescent female outsider and it was certainly nice to see a smart Black girl as a heroine. One of the things I found interesting about the book is that the author Varian Johnson is a guy! The author interview in the back was a nice touch, providing insight for young readers on how stories are actually written. They don’t just appear from thin air, a writer crafts them through a series of decisions. Johnson had originally attended to write the story from Rhonda’s father’s point of view, but then realized, this was Rhonda’s story to tell.

My Life as a Rhombus has a rather somber feel that is very unlike the other YA titles I’ve read of late. The novel is engaging; however this is not purely a “fun” book. It’s a serious story dealing with issues that are very important to this age group--fitting in, sexuality, teen pregnancy, friendship, choice, independence and healing fractured family ties. All of these issues are artfully woven into the story without any preaching. With teen pregnancy on the rise after a 14 year decline, My Life as a Rhombus would make a great discussion book for classrooms, teen book clubs and a great gift idea for parents who want something positive and interesting for their teen to read.


Deadly Sexy
Beverly Jenkins

Avon Books
October 2007
Mainstream Fiction

Rating 41/2 - EXCEPTIONAL
Reviewed by Michelle Alexander

When high powered sports agent, Jessi Theresa Blake’s Lexus breaks down on the highway, she has no idea that the truck driver rescuer is a partner in a multimillion dollar company, a former cop and lawyer who is investigating a murder in the midst of LA football. Reese Anthony has fallen for a tough sexy woman who now seems to be the target of a killer. Can he save her and solve the murder which goes to the top of pro-football? Jessi finds herself fighting for her business, her clients, her love for Reece and ultimately her life.

Beverly Jenkins has the amazing gift of tying her historical romance characters with the future. I encourage readers to pick up Topaz, Always and Forever and A Chance at Love to read about the characters who are the forbears of Jessi and Reece.

White Lines
Tracy Brown

St Martin’s Griffin
Jan 2007
Mainstream Fiction

Rating 41/2 stars - EXCEPTIONAL
Reviewed by Michelle Alexander

White Lines is the story of Jada who leaves home at sixteen to escape abuse from her Mother’s boyfriend who turns her eventually to prostitution. She ends up in a relationship with Born, the local druglord and lives a life of money, parties and the good life. But Jada becomes addicted to crack despite Born’s warnings that it would end their relationship. Jada’s addiction brings her to a relationship with Jamari, Born’s rival and pregnancy. Losing everything, Jada with the help of Sunny, the wife of Born’s supplier, finds her way back, but not without having to boldly navigate the world of gangs, drugs and murder without getting caught. A realistic, fast paced read!

Monday, July 20, 2009


20 Love Poems and The Economy Crisis

The book contains Twenty Love poems and the poem for the global economy Crisis. The book consists of 20 great romantic poems, inspirational poems and love poems for those who are in love or for those whose heart is broken in love. In addition, there is one great poem for ongoing economy crisis in the world. Book has life of its own, it speaks to the reader and shouts, "5th book releases with title, 20 love poems and the economy crisis, international bestseller in book's heart but hardly people read poetry these days, my lord." Book has been really appreciated and praised strongly by Paulo Coelho's readers in his official blog. You can read few praises on the back cover of the book but you need to open the book to read them all. The book is Fifth self published work, after "Nature God (2008)" and "Human Behavior on the Internet: Master's thesis (2009), A Very First book of Poems: Heartbreak (2009) and ...109 Quotes, 07 Poems and a song of despair (2009)".

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

There are six books which I have written and each book is different from one another. As the title of the book will say, the first book which I wrote was about the collection of articles and columns which were published in the National newspaper of Nepal, The Kathmandu Post and The Himalayan Times. In addition, there were many opinions which were written for the book in “Nature God” (2008), My Second book entitle, and “Human behavior on the Internet” (2009) is a book crafted from the Master’s thesis work carried out at Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland, where I am currently doing research on anxiety, social engineering and internet technology. The third book entitle “A Very First book of Poems: Heartbreak” (2009) was written when I was personally going through the same in my own life. How does feels when your heart is completely broken? What happens in your heart and mind?. My fourth book was a collected quotes and poems on title, “…109 Quotes, 07 Poems and a song of despair” (2009)…, similarly my fifth book was “20 Love Poems and the Economy Crisis” (2009) and finally the last book on title, “25 Sexy Poems” (2009). In short, I would say readers can take away great inspirations, love and knowledge from my books.

Why did you choose to write this book?

Most of the times, I write for myself, I wrote 20 Love Poems and The Economy Crisis, simply because of love, there is some kind of barrier between those who we love and those with whom we want to stay forever and also because of current recession. In case of love, especially in multicultural environment, I imagined a guy who comes from developing world into the developed world and falls blindly in love with teenager. The problem now is that the guy is adult and the girl is teenager. Especially this circumstance is a great hindrance and barrier in the starting of relationships. Therefore, most of the poems are based on this theme. I choose to write this book for such kind of lovers. In addition for also those lovers who just love and don’t see anything else except love.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I don’t know what I learned maybe courage, enthusiasm and persistence.

What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?

For writers each character and words are a favorite which is generally true from me as well, but if you want some specific lines for the readers then here is the one stanza from the book.

“So many poems on love,
So few touch me in heart,
I am no poet, life teaches it all
There are thousand love gurus,
There are millions love book,
I am simple ordinary lover,
All I need is, you!”

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

What is true for me could be false for others and what is false for others could be true for me. Therefore it depends on every individual taste. Many books are there on how-to-write or many coffee table books but I think those are just useless. Just follow your heart with love, courage and persistence. Finally, Writing is …… (Fill in the blank yourself.), Similar to love.

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

I can write.

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

To Selling your book, marketing and finding traditional publishers.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I can write 54 poems in two days and create a book.

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

1. I will end up writing six books currently living here in Finland within two years of time.
2. I would work in Nokia Research Center, Helsinki as a trainee and lose it all over again.
3. I will travel 500 kilometers like a crazy guy just to see someone who likes me a lot.

How do you reach new readers?

Social networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads and Youtube. Sometimes I give away my books to friends and relatives in certain occasions and festivals.

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

William Shakespeare, Pablo Neruda and Paulo Coelho

William Shakespeare for his work on Romeo and Juliet, Personally I would like to talk with him did he had such experience himself or was his just imagination? Secondly with Pablo Neruda because of his desperate melancholy tones in most of his poems And Finally, Great Paulo Coelho simply because of his inspirations and support for all new writers like me.

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

Do: Write, write and write

Don’t: Think too much before putting your golden words into blank paper.

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






Our theme for this month is AGENT HUNTING. Do you have any advice on finding a good agent?

Best possible way is to get in touch with publishing company directly and they can recommend you some agent. Or, just try your luck. Hopefully someone out there will be really interested to see your work.

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

Now, my seventh book could be semi-autobiography of myself from traditional publisher or else it could also be a collection of poems from self publisher But I don’t know yet. I believe every book has the beginning and end and when the life will begin for the book even creator does not know sometimes. It is just out there somewhere in the air, it has to come in my mind and then slowly the fingers will automatically start moving along the keyboards which will create the yet another book for readers.

Friday, July 17, 2009


Mesha is originally from Oklahoma City, OK. She credits her creativity to God and her strong matriarchic linage. Each woman in her family has both a creative spirit and the tenacity to withstand any obstacle they face. Some authors are born to write while others acquire a love for writing along life’s journey. Author Mesha Coleman has always loved to write poetry but not until attending a spoken word event was she inspired to write a play which turned into her first novel "A Big Girls Blues". After creating the first novel the flood gates opened and the creative spirit of writing came rushing in. Her works will support both original writings under her given name as well as writings under her alias or what she calls her alter ego: Zephyr Rose. As a new author Mesha is excited about the opportunity to share her fictional creations with you and looks forward to an adventure filled ride.

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

I want readers to be inspired to look within themselves and pursue their dreams and goals. I want readers to learn to love themselves from the inside out. I would like readers to see themselves for the wonderfully made individuals that God created them to be.

Why did you choose to write this book?

I was inspired by a poem that I heard at a spoken word event. The book was initial a play but after a good friend read the play for inspiration for a book she said I should turn it into a book so after that A big Girl’s Blues was born.

What did you learn while writing this book?

The editing portion is very difficult especially when you are doing it yourself. Also it is very hard to write in 1st person.

What was your favorite scene/chapter from the book?

My favorite scene is when Jasmine overhears her husband praying. It was very important for me to portray a strong, supportive male figure, similar to my father and husband.

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

It’s truly hard to sit down and just write.

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

Pat Simmons has been very helpful in recommending different types of promotional material.

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

Staying true to who I am and what I want portrayed in my writing. I want my writing to be a legacy to my children. I want my mother and father to be proud of what they read from me and knowing the type of morals that I’ve been raised with and I want that to be reflected in my writing.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I am a very adventurous soul. I recently bungee jumped!

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

Really, this has been a roller coaster ride. I didn’t really have any expectation. So currently I don’t have any regrets, I’m just enjoying the ride.

How do you reach new readers?

Most of my exposure is a result of word of mouth. Because this is my first book I am still learning the ropes regarding promotions.

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

I am a big fan of Nora Roberts and Jacqueline Thomas.

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

Share your writings with friends and family. Get opinions from any one that will provide one. The more eyes the better. Don’t limit yourself. Open your mind, dig deep and let your creative juices flow freely.

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

I can be reached a I can be emailed at
Our theme for this month is AGENT HUNTING. Do you have any advice on finding a good agent?

I am currently not represented by an Agent but I am interested in any information you have that may help in this area.

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

There is actually a sneak peek of my next book in the current book. I am still working on the direction of this story but I believe it should be published late this year or early next year. This novel deal with how individuals can grow apart in a marriage if it’s not your main priority after God.

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