Questions and Answers
Q: At what age did you begin writing?
A: I started writing at the age of 17.
Q: Is the Hurting Women the first book you have written?
A: The first book I wrote was called Poems of Prayers an Inspirational poetry book . It was a book a lot of people told me they were able to relate to. Real situations such as A Struggling Mother, A Prayer For My Father, Poems for soldiers that were deployed . Just poems and prayers that touch a lot of bases with people lives.
Q: What or who Inspired you to write?
A: I always enjoyed writing and always expressed myself to others better on paper. I would have to say God has blessed me with this gift and had touched my heart to write . And from there I knew one of my purpose would be inspiring others through my writing.
Q: What made you write a book about A Hurting Women?
A: Seeing and knowing how a lot of women have had relationship problems and always thinking there’s situation is worst off than the next. I wanted to inspire and let others know they are not the only one that’s been abused, cheated on, Or left alone to be both mother and fathers and etc. We all have a story to tell some just have more than others.
Q: Are you working on anything else at this point?
A: Yes, I’m working on a play about the Hurting Women as well as writing the sequel to the Hurting Women book which is called The Spiritual Warfare.
Q: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now as an Author?
A: I want to have at least one book come out a year. So in the next 5 years I would like to use my writing as the opportunity to start a youth organization for our future father and mothers. Ensuring that they stay on the right track. Rewarding them by giving out scholarships .
Q: What would you like to say to your readers?
A: Although we may experience difficulties in life, take it as a lesson learned. If we didn’t go through hard times how would we be able to help and relate to others. Reading my work is Inspirational and will always have a purpose behind it. Thank you to all that has and will support my work
The Hurting Women-Synopsis
Trice’s family always had high expectations for her. Growing up in the church she was always taught to live life righteous and be an example for others. When Trice found herself falling for her boyfriend Chris, she tries to mold him into being the man, she wants him to be. A man that Chris himself finds hard living up to. With friends and family constantly trying to warn her of the man Chris really is she has a hard time seeing it and tries everything in her power to prove them wrong. Not paying attention to the warning signs Trice could possibly lose her health and insanity.
Sharon, Trice friend is a strong women , but life has the tendency to making even the strongest become weak. Sharon, secrete child hood has a lot to do with how she perceives men to be. Always wanting a man with good looks and money has always clouded her judgment with her relationships. Because of it, she meets men that constantly lie and manipulate her. Fed up Sharon realizes she has no choice but to turn to the God. However, before she does nothing would make Sharon feel better than to pay those men back for wasting her time. Revenge is sweet she agrees but how far will Sharon go to get revenge on the men that made her life miserable.
Tracy the youngest friend has always tried to live her life perfect. Her parents are always putting her on a pedestal and bragging about how well she is doing in life. However, Tracy knows better than anyone her life is far from perfect. Afraid for her life, Tracy struggles and hesitates to tell family and what’s going on knowing that they too have problems of their own. However, time is running out for Tracy, and if she doesn’t say anything she could lose her life.
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Sunday, November 22, 2009
When did you begin writing, and who nurtured you as a writer? Do you write for children only? What inspired your decision to write children's books?
Unhappy with the ending of the many of the books I read, I began creating my own endings in elementary school. My efforts were nurtured by my teachers and my family, especially my grandmother. Since I’m a middle grades school teacher and deal with children on a daily basis, I’m always on the look out for a great book for my students. What better way to know what they’re reading than by writing the books myself.
Who are some of your favorite children's authors? How do their works differ from the children's authors of your childhood?
I don’t read a lot of books by “new authors”, but if I do read something, it is usually a Walter Dean Myers novel or something by Sharon Draper. I’m still drawn to the classics, I guess, of my childhood. By classics, I mean books that I was introduced to in school.
What are you currently reading?
I am currently reading (and for the second time) Hill Harper’s Letters to a Young Sister. It’s such an amazing novel.
As an educator, what do you feel that we children need to see more in their books? How will you help fill this void?
As an educator, I just want children to read; it doesn’t matter to me what they read. Still, I would like to see more humor and less seriousness in books. To me, books have always served as an escape, and in this world, I think children need all the hideaways they can get. I also believe that there is a great need for more children’s books with African American characters. When I go to the bookstores, it’s always hard for me to find good stories (for my children) that revolve around the lives of African Americans.That’s why in THE HUNTS, I created a funny story around a group of African American siblings.
Briefly tell us about The Hunts and where did you get the idea for this story.
I have a colorful cast of nieces and nephews, eight of them, who keep me in stitches. They inspired the mischievous bunch of Hunts.
What is your targeted age group audience? How are readers and their parents and/or teachers responding?
My targeted age group is 9-12. So far the response to my book has been positive. Parents and teachers are telling me that they are laughing just as much as the children.
What advice would you like to share with aspiring writers?
Write down every idea you have, no matter how crazy or whacky it seems to you or other people. The best stories come from unusual ideas. Don’t be afraid to take a risk. You only fail when you talk yourself out of trying. And of course, good luck!
Natasha Usher is a wife, a mother, and a middle grades teacher who lives outside of Atlanta Georgia. When not writing or nurturing young minds, Natasha enjoys reading, watching movies, photography, and cooking. She is a graduate of Mercer University where she majored in Business and earned her initial teaching certification.
At seven years old, after being denied a role in an elementary school play because of a lack of character roles, Natasha decided she wanted to be a writer. She wanted to write plays and stories that had enough roles to keep all children happy. Since then, she has been sharing her stories with family, friends, and anyone who will listen. The Hunts is her second novel for young adults.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Monday, November 9, 2009
Even Sinners Have Souls Too
Introduction by National Best selling author, K'Wan, with four stories by Darrell King and Essence Magazine bestselling authors, Michel Moore, Tysha and Victor L. Martin.
Meet author and editor E.N. Joy
E.N. Joy is the author of Me, Myself and Him, which was her debut work into the Christian Fiction genre. Formerly a secular author writing under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY, this author has fully dedicated her writing to Christ. She is currently working on the “New Day Divas” series as well as completing the “Sinners Series” project.
Intimate Conversation with Ella Curry of EDC Creations
Ella: Introduce us to the book, Even Sinners Have Souls TOO.
E.N. Joy: Even Sinners Have Souls TOO is book two from the “Sinners Series”. As editor and publisher of this project, it was my goal to share with the reading audience well written and compelling stories by some of the industry’s most respected and authority authors in the Urban Lit genre.
Ella: Why was it important to produce this work today?
E.N. Joy: Books and authors of books that are categorized as urban, erotic, street, ghetto, gangster, Hip-Hop fiction, or whatever else they are being labeled, are taking hard hits in the industry, especially by these so-called “literary writers”. Why is it that whenever black people bring the life they live front and center and turn it into art, society goes crazy? Are we that afraid and offended of the ghetto and the projects to the point where we ridicule those who talk about it? Is growing up in the hood that taboo?
E.N. Joy: Despite popular belief, everything that comes from the ghetto isn’t all bad. There are some good products of the ghetto. It produces great individuals, some even authors. But because of the type of genre that these authors choose to pen, they are stigmatized and rumored unable to create literature without glorifying a trigger happy, drug dealing thug, or a burgundy micro braid wearing, gum poppin’, promiscuous gold digger, or a television stealing crack head (in addition to at least two curse words per paragraph).
Ella: Will this book change how Urban Lit is protrayed as a industry?
E.N. Joy: There is a huge misconception that authors who write Urban Lit, referred to as Street Lit by many, can’t pen a decent story that doesn’t include foul language and explicit sex scenes. These authors are even often accused of glorifying street life. The “Sinners Series” forces critics and skeptics alike to take a different stand when they read the storylines contained in the “Sinners Series.”
Ella: What are some unique aspects of the Sinners Series?
E.N. Joy: Even Sinners Have Souls Too offers more of Urban Lit's finest take a walk on the other side in book two, Even Sinners Have Souls Too, of the three book Sinners Series. Darrell King and Essence Best-Selling authors, Victor L. Martin, Tysha and Michel Moore bring you four smashing tales, but not before National Best-Selling author, K'Wan, hits you with the powerful introduction, "Oh Sinner Man."
E.N. Joy: The authors bring to life the same raw and gritty characters found in some of their other works. There are the dope boys, the hood rats, the promiscuity, homosexuality, the gang bangers, abuse, drugs, alcohol, etc...; all the things that exist in real life on the streets. But what makes these tales so phenomenal and unique is that in the midst of it all, just like in real life on the streets, there is also, God, prayer, and sometimes a praying grandmother. What pleased me the most about each and every story is that they never, for one moment, lost their authenticity. The authors still walked away from this project with their street credit, so to speak.
Ella: What impact with the Sinners Series have on the community?
E.N. Joy: The “Sinners Series” is going to shatter the myth about urban and street literature and its authors once and for all. This project is not so that authors have to defend their work, or even compromise it.
The purpose is to show that they are multi-talented with a natural gift to pen what flows through their spirit and not just what’s selling, and at the same time to add a creative twist on their already original writing styles. In doing so, we pray that readers will be touched and moved by every single character; every single story…that they won’t be the same person as they were before reading these works.
ISBN-10: 0970672659 | ISBN-13: 978-0970672650
Pick up a copy at Amazon
Please join in the discussion by leaving comments or congrats below.
Black Authors Culture Center-- Twitter with Ella
Labels: Book Spotlight
Thursday, November 5, 2009
I would like to introduce you to a fantastic new book, Color Me Jazzmyne. Readers of Color Me Jazzmyne have been captivated by the depth of the emotional journey that the book takes them on. It digs deep into what it takes for women to embrace who they are no matter what size, color, educational background or social status. Sisters will learn to love themselves despite what society says or the voices that surround them!
Marian L. Thomas is native of Chicago but currently resides in Atlanta.She first awakened her desire to write while in her second year of high school. She majored in Journalism but received her Bachelor of Art degree in Business Communication, graduating Magna Cum Laude. 2009 the dream of becoming a published author was realized when she was able to debut her first title Color Me Jazzmyne. She is a wife and supporter of victims of abuse and was recently featured in the Atlanta Skirt! Magazine as one of Atlanta's 9to5 Women in the Media Industry.
Motivation Behind Color Me Jazzmyne
Color Me Jazzmyne addresses a major issue in our society today..."Rape is often the "hush" word in our lives. It's the thing that we prefer to put into the closet of other skeltons that we pray no one has the key to.
Child abuse often occurs at a young age and more than often it is done by someone that is very close---a family member or friend of the family. It's a difficult thing to get over, it's even more difficult to explain.
According to one statistic.... one out of every six women will be raped over their lifetime and 73% of all rape victims know their assailants. In fact, studies have shown that 60% of all sexual assaults are not reported. I hope that women who read this book and have gone through something similar will find the courage to reach out and talk to someone about it."
Color Me Jazzmyne Book Excerpt
Read Chapters 1-3 and give us your opinion.
Intimate Conversation with author Marian L. Thomas
What impact do you want your book, Color Me Jazzmyne, to make on readers?
Marian: "I hope that women who read this book and have lived the life of Naya Mona in some form or fashion will find the voice, strength and motivation to push past the pain and live."
Why do you write? Is is healing or to create awareness in our community?
Marian: Both! For me, writing is more of a release from the reflection of the world around us. It is a way to express the obvious using tones that soothe,excite, uplift and allow the reader to step out of their comfort level. That is my goal when writing. That is what drives me to create characters such as Naya Mona.
Are your characters, in Color Me Jazzmyne, a portrayal of real people?
Marian: Reality is always a part of us and as such what we read must adhere to some form of it in order to make it so that one can relate to the story that is being told. Naya is clearly a reflection of the many women that I have met over the years and the struggles that they have gone through. I do not remove myself from that reflection. Misty represents all the so-called friends that revolve in and out of our lives and Chris is what I term the 'life-time' type of husband. He represents the compassion and love that we as women need, want and deserve.
Contact Marian Online
Author's Blog: http://findingmycolorwithmlt.blogspot.com/
Pickup Your Copy Today!
ISBN-10: 0615270670; ISBN-13: 978-0615270678
Barnes & Noble.com
Monday, November 2, 2009
Intimate Conversation with Pamela Samuels Young
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Where are you from? What is your favorite book?
I grew up in Compton, California, which gave me a very grounded perspective on life. When I mention my hometown, people automatically assume that I dodged bullets on the way to school every day. But it was nothing like that. I had two strong, hard-working parents, who still live in Compton today. The foundation they laid – faith in God, hard work and education – is responsible for who I am and what I have achieved.
I'm an avid reader who enjoys reading both commercial and literary fiction. I enjoy a broad spectrum of writers, so it's impossible for me to pick a favorite book. But if there's one book that impacted me more than any other, it would have to be Claude Brown's Manchild in the Promised Land. I can still remember stumbling across a copy of the book at my aunt's house when I was about twelve. It was the first book I remember reading that had African-American characters and I was thrilled to be reading about people who looked like me. It was also a very gritty and graphic coming of age story. I promptly "borrowed" the book without asking for permission for fear that my aunt would think I was too young to be reading such a sexually graphic book. After that, I developed an insatiable appetite for African-American fiction. That led me to James Baldwin, Maya Angelou, Richard Wright, Toni Morrison and many, many other great writers.
• How did you feel when you saw your first book on the shelf?
I still have a very vivid memory of seeing Every Reasonable Doubt on the shelf at the Barnes and Noble near my home in February 2006. I went to the store on the book's scheduled release date, not really expecting to find it. My stepson and I searched the shelves but couldn't find it. I was about to leave, but decided to, ask for it at the reception desk. To my delight, the clerk found it and led us to the book. I just stood there staring at it. So much blood, sweat and tears led me to this point. My stepson took out his cell phone and snapped a picture of me holding the book. And just as I started to started to tear up, he promptly warned me not to embarrass him by crying in the store.
• What is your process for creating a novel? Do the characters speak to you?
I will spend any where from a few weeks to as long as three months outlining a book before I sit down to write. I also mull over my story a lot. I'm thinking about it in the shower, while I'm standing in line at the grocery story, during my 45-minute commute to work. I can almost see each chapter as if it were a scene in a movie. Only after I have a completed outline do I start writing. And when I write, I go from page one to the last page without doing much editing. For me, it's psychologically motivating to complete that first draft, even if it's so bad I'd never dare show it to anyone. Once I have a finished first draft, then the real writing starts. I revise, and revise and revise some more. That process can last six months or more.
• How do you spend your free time?
Free time? What's that? Writing is how I spend my free time and I love every minute of it. I still work part-time as a lawyer and when I'm not at work, I'm usually someplace writing – be it at home, the library or the nearest Starbucks. Sometimes I write early in the morning before work, other times I'm up until one or two in the morning typing away on my laptop. My most productive writing time is when I can get away from home and lock myself in my timeshare in Palm Desert for a weekend. When I'm in that environment, the writing is non-stop. When I'm writing, I'm happy.
• Share with us your latest news and book releases.
I’m extremely excited about the upcoming release of my fourth legal thriller and first stand-alone novel, Buying Time, which goes on sale November 1st. In Buying Time, Waverly Sloan is a down-on-his-luck lawyer who comes to the aid of terminally ill people in desperate need of cash. Waverly finds investors eager to advance his dying clients thousands of dollars—including a hefty broker's fee for himself—in exchange for rights to their life insurance policies. Once the clients take their last breath, the investors reap a hefty return on their investment. When Waverly's clients start dying sooner than they should, both Waverly, and a high-powered lawyer who’s bucking to become the next U.S. Attorney General, are unwittingly drawn into a perilous web of greed, blackmail and murder.
You can read excerpts from all my books at my website: http://www.pamelasamuels-young.com/
To schedule a visit with Pamela, email her at email@example.com
Pick up a Copy Today at Amazon
Pick up a Copy Today at Barnes and Noble
Bookclubs, select one of Pamela’s novels for your book club meeting and she will join you in person, via webcam or via speaker phone. Read more book excerpts here: http://www.pamelasamuels-young.com/books/index.html
Labels: Author Interviews
Sunday, November 1, 2009
Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young
Genre: Legal Thriller; Mystery; Suspense
“Pamela Samuels Young takes her place among the top tier of legal thriller writers with her latest, Buying Time.” —Sheldon Siegel, Bestselling Author
Labels: Book Spotlight
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Diary of A Stalker by Electa Rome Parks
ISBN 10: 160162199x
Never judge a book by its cover. . .
Xavier Preston is tall, dark, and handsome, and the problem is that he knows it. He's a bestselling author who is accustomed to adoring female fans, both young and old, flirting with him, throwing themselves shamelessly at him, and trying to get between more than the covers of his novels. He has always been more than willing to accommodate their needs and desires; however, his womanizing days have finally ended. He's engaged to a beautiful woman, Kendall, and he's decided to walk the straight and narrow. Or has he?
From outside appearances, the very stunning Pilar has it all: a great career, a beautiful home, and a trust fund that keeps her financially secure; however, looks can be deceiving. All that glitters isn't necessarily gold. Pilar is searching for her perfect soulmate, and she thinks she has found him in Xavier. She believes in going after what she wants with a vengeance . . . and she wants Xavier. That is not negotiable. She will have him, even if it kills him.
When Xavier meets his fanatical fan, Pilar, he gets much more than he bargained for. What starts out as an erotic one-night stand quickly spirals out of control into a dangerous game of obsession and pain with both parties playing to win.
Think you know what goes on behind the literary scene? Think again
I'm your #1 fan.
It's funny how one's life can forever be changed with the utterance of four simple words: I'm your #1 fan. Well, actually, they weren't spoken, but sent to my favorite male author, Xavier Preston, by way of e-mail. Man, I love the World Wide Web.
I couldn't believe it; I had recently finished reading his latest national bestseller, Secret Desires, and to put it mildly, I was simply blown away. I felt like the main character was speaking directly to me, like she was inside my brain, picking it apart, piece-by-piece. I could relate to the storyline . . . totally . . . and the ending was spectacular, took my breath away. Secret Desires stayed with me, languishing inside my soul, like a sweet kiss that lingers into the early morning hours as dawn approaches.
Even though I am an avid reader, I should be since I'm a freelance writer; I typically do not contact authors about their books. I don't get caught up in the entire groupie side of the literary industry. Yes, it exists! Surprise, surprise! There is an entire circle of women all across the country, sometimes entire book clubs, who follow the lives and movement of African-American male writers the same way groupies chase after rappers, rock stars, athletes and actors.
In the book industry, it is just a bit more subtle. For example, the book club president might fly the handsome, fine, articulate male author into her city for the weekend, to discuss his most recent hot release at the monthly book club meeting and to perhaps get the added bonus of getting up close and personal between the sheets. It happens.
For me, however, this was different; Xavier Preston made a lasting impression. And generally it took a lot to impress me because I wasn't into the ordinary and I was determined to tell him, how impressed I was. That is, after I went out and purchased all his previous novels. I had a bit of catching up to do.
A week later, after devouring his other six novels from cover to cover like a delicious gourmet meal, savoring every word, I knew I had to make contact. I simply had an unrelenting urge to speak with him. I couldn't get his lyrical, rhythmic, flowing words out of my head. This man moved me. Moved me like I had never been moved before. I felt a connection. A deep connection.
Early one morning, before I began writing an article for one of the local magazines I frequently wrote for, I sent Xavier Preston my sincere, honest thoughts.
“Mr. Preston, I'm your #1 fan. I know you hear that all the time from readers, but I really, truly am. Your characters stay with me long after I've consumed the last page of your books. I never want your stories to end; they move me. You are super-talented, put these other authors to shame, and I'd love for you to autograph my books. By the way, I have all your novels. When will you be in Atlanta? A true, die-heart fan, Pilar.”
Much to my surprise and pleasure, a couple of days later, I received a simple response.
“Pilar, what a lovely name. Thank you, for the sweet e-mail. I'm so pleased you've enjoyed my books over the years. I'd love to meet you as well. I enjoy meeting and greeting my readers. I will be signing at Medu Bookstore, at 5:00 PM next Saturday at Greenbriar Mall. Please, stop by if you get the opportunity. I would love to see you there. Xavier.”
With a pounding heartbeat, I couldn't believe what I was reading and I re-read it a few more times for clarity. Wanted to make sure I was reading correctly that Xavier Preston asked to meet me. Me. Next weekend couldn't arrive soon enough
Connect with Electa online:
Monday, October 26, 2009
Ingredients for Prayer
by Eric Lambert
In times of economic turmoil in the lives of so many, people are turning to whatever financial bailout that comes their way. These stimulus packages include reduced costs for services, rebates, two for one deals, and even prayer. The Rev. Eric A. Lambert Jr. believes prayer is the stimulus to improving people’s lives not as a gimmick but by, for one, giving them peace even though they have a bleak financial outlook.
“Through prayer we find a place that guarantees peace,” Rev. Lambert says. “God wants to solve our problems and give us peace.” In his latest book, Ingredients for Prayer: A Practical Approach for Maximizing Your Time with God, Rev. Lambert, pastor of Bethel Deliverance International Church north of Philadelphia, details what he believes is the true purpose of prayer in contrast to the ‘give me syndrome’ of prayer that so many with financial woes seem to have.
“We are often challenged by the worldly view of prayer, and we fall into the trap that makes us think that we are able to use prayer to bully the Lord into doing what we want. Yet I believe prayer is a time for intimacy and connection with God,” Rev. Lambert says. “Prayer by definition is worshipful oratory. By hyper-definition, prayer is an act of intercourse with your soul and God’s spirit. It is you connecting with God until your desires have been replaced by His heart.”
By using “The Lord’s Prayer” as a framework, he examines pieces of this prayer model to show ways to connect with God, like understanding the mind and will of God and becoming dependent upon and receiving the peace of God. Rev. Lambert says having a God-centered and not self-centered focus on prayer helps you to know that “[p]rayer is not about you. It is about the will of the Lord being done through you. To make supplication means that you should bring your request to the Lord; however, you must be sure that your request does not go against the will of the Lord.”
Rev. Eric A. Lambert Jr. responded to God’s call to Jesus Christ in 1971. From that time he was active in Christian ministry, serving in a variety of capacities at Deliverance Evangelistic Church, under the pastorate of the Rev. Dr. Benjamin Smith Sr. In 1987, after God’s leading, Rev. Lambert established Bethel Deliverance International Church in 1987 with seven committed believers, just north of his hometown of Philadelphia. In addition to pastoring, Rev. Lambert is fulfilling his apostolic calling, having planted a number of churches and developed pastoral relationships with both new and seasoned pastors. He remains committed to spreading the love of God to those who do not know Him while stabilizing and fortifying believers. This is evident not only in his church but in the messages of his books. For more information, visit www.betheldeliverance.org.
For more information about Ingredients for Prayer: Maximizing Your Time with God, visit http://ericlambertministries.com.
Follow the Ingredients for Prayer blog tour at http://bitly.com/IngredientsforPrayer.
Friday, October 23, 2009
One Night with You by Francis Ray
New York Times bestselling author Francis Ray continues her captivating series about the Grayson family and their circle of friends with One Night With You, as two people with no plans for romance find themselves blindsided by desire…
THE THRILL OF THE CHASE...
Cougars, brush fires, snow storms—rancher Duncan McBride tackles it all without a flinch. But the archeologist who’s come to authenticate cave drawings found on his property is the kind of trouble he’d sworn to avoid. Far from the aging academic he was expecting, Raven La Blanc is a stunning woman…and definitely not sticking around this small Montana town once her job is done.
THE PASSION OF A LIFETIME…
The primitive drawings at Duncan’s ranch are Raven’s ticket to the tenured position she’s worked so hard for back in Santa Fe. But there’s no denying the attraction between her and Duncan. Maybe, just this once, she can put her work aside and explore the depths of her own heart and soul? One night may be all it takes for Raven to really find what she’s looking for…
“FAST, FUN, AND FULL OF EMOTIONAL THRILLS AND SEXY CHILLS.”
—Roxanne St. Clair, bestselling author on Nobody But You
Latest Release: One Night with You
November 03, 2009
Series: Grayson Friends Series
ISBN-13: 9780312365066; ISBN-10: 0312365063
When you first started writing, did you think you would ever write as many books as you have and have such a loyal following? Did you know this would become a "business venture" for you?
Francis: I had no idea I would write this many book or have such a loyal following when I started writing. I simply keep trying to write the best book possible, and was blessed to find an editor who kept buying my books. Yes, I always knew that you had to take the business side of writing seriously to stay in this industry for years. It requires a great business head for book promotions and even more professionalism to handle the contracts.
What has been the best and the worst experience you've had on your literary journey?
Francis: The best is after I sold my first book, I've never had a book that was rejected. The worst was walking away from one publisher and unsure if I'd find another publishing house that wanted my books. Scary. Scary.
How long does it take you to write a novel?
Francis: The time frame differs. I wrote ONE NIGHT WITH YOU, my November 03, release in 3 months. IT HAD TO BE YOU, Book #4 in the Grayson Friends series, and the last book I wrote took six weeks.
Do you remember the very first story you ever wrote? What age were you when you wrote it? Was it romance even then?
Francis: I had no idea I wanted to write until Woodewiss' third book. The first story I wrote was Wife For Hire for Black Romance. I was an adult.
Since romance novels have a pretty set formula that they follow, how difficult do you find it to continue to write stories that will make loyal romance readers overlook that aspect of the book?
Francis: The only set formula I can see is that hero and heroine are at odds, but by the end of the story they're in love and the writer has tested that love so the reader knows that whatever happens in their lives their love is strong enough to endure. I'd say the possibilities are endless. My plotting skills, not the parameters, is the challenge I face.
Several romance authors have ventured into writing in other genres such as mystery, etc. Have you ever considered taking that step also?
Francis: I wanted to write Christian fiction and was blessed to have been given that opportunity when Harlequin publishes, HOW SWEET THE SOUND. I've thought of writing young adult but I haven't gotten past three pages.
What challenges have you faced in your literary journey? How did you overcome them?
Francis: Probably the biggest challenge in my literary journey was finding a publisher who wanted to publish African-American romances. Then, when I did find a publisher, distribution was spotty at best. If the book did make it to an outlet, the challenge was getting readers not to think the book was badly written because it was written by an African-American. I overcame the challenge by continuing to write and believing that I had a story to tell that people wanted to read.
What is the one thing that has surprised you the most during your writing career?
Francis: That people think all published authors are wealthy.
What authors influence your work?
Francis: Katherine Woodewiss, Elizabeth Lowell, Amanda Quick, and Nora Roberts.
What are you currently working on?
Francis: I'm working on BECAUSE OF YOU, Book # 6 in the Grayson Friends series.
How may we contact you online?
Pick up a copy at Amazon
Pick up a copy at Barnes and Noble
One Night with You by Francis Ray ---Read the First Chapter Excerpt
Link to read full screen:
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
by Loretta Faith Harris
Director Michael Bay has done it again! “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Ranked #1 in Top Box Office Hits bringing in over $112M in just one weekend. If you’ve never been a fan of the Transformer’s action figures or Saturday morning cartoons, this Sci-Fi Action movie is sure to hold you captivated with its noteworthy actors, Shia LaBeouf, Megan Fox, and Tyrese Gibson.
The setting is earth and the Decepticons will stop at nothing to take over the universe! With their leader Megatron revived from a deep sea nap they insist on retrieving the missing piece to complete their Power FEAT. Of course the Autobots isn’t having it and delivers an over the top combat led by the one and only Optimus Prime. Despite the metal uniforms and heavy weaponry, the Autobots are lost without their guiding light, Sam. Unbeknownst to Sam, he is the key element in this entire equation. Though small in stature Sam was predestined as the “One” to team up with Optimus Prime to take down the infamous Megatron and the Decepticon tyrants!
Isn’t this just like the human nature. We doubt and question our ability to CONQUER and OVERCOME life’s greatest obstacles. Little do we realize that we are destined for VICTORY!
Yes, like Sam You have to dig deep down inside and pull on generations of greatness. You did not just arrive at this mission…your forefathers have been fighting this Good Fight of Faith and it’s not over until You decide to do your part and CONQUER!
I feel this thing…! This word is seeping into someone’s heart and You finally realize that You are walking into your DESTINY. What Your ancestors could not do, the fulfillment of their deferred HOPES and DREAMS is dependent upon Your decision to Act. So Act Now! Step out on Your intuition and seize the moment to FREE Yourself from those DOUBTS and FEARS that’s been eating away at your ZEAL…! No time to wait - it’s time to TRANSFORM into that Man that Woman - You know – That Vision residing in the depths of your SOUL…it’s calling!
This is TRANSFORMERS The ReVeal-a-tion!
Loretta "Faith" Harris, M.Ed.
Children’s Heart Publishing, CCR certified
Author of, “The Journey Less Traveled: Choose to Turn Your Tragedy into Triumph”
Professional Reviews: www.myspace.com/chpublishing
Children's Heart Publishing where we are "capturing the heart of the writer"...™
Labels: Featured Articles
Saturday, October 17, 2009
Award-winning author Kimberley White resides in metropolitan Detroit. She’s a nurse practitioner currently pursuing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice. She uses her twenty years of nursing experience to address topics such as domestic violence, hypertension and sexual harassment in an entertaining and informative manner. Ms. White speaks at writing conferences and has taught writing courses at several Michigan colleges.
Kimberley White resides in metropolitan Detroit where she is a nurse practitioner during the day and a writer of steamy romances at night. Visit her website at http://www.kwhitewrite.com/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. White’s novels and awards include:
:: Sweet Tomorrows (Genesis Press, April 2001)
:: Dream Jobs To Go: Romance Writing (Intellectua ebooks, June 2001)
:: Lujon 1 (Best Black Women’s Erotica, Volume II. Cleis, February 2003)
:: Acquisitions (Genesis Press, May 2003)
:: Only In My Dreams (BET/Arabesque, May 2003)—Nominee, Best Romance of the Year
:: Tango (BET/Arabesque, November 2003)
:: Hard to Love (June 2004)
:: Forever After (BET/Arabesque, July 2004)—Winner, Steamiest Romance Book
:: Conquering Dr. Wexler’s Heart (Genesis Press, NOV 2004)
:: To Love A Ballantyne (BET/Arabesque, 2005)
:: Sweet Repercussions (BET/Arabesque, 2005)
:: You Never Know (BET/Kimani Press, 2006)
:: Ballantyne’s Destiny (BET/Kimani Press, 2006)
:: All the Way (Dafina, 2008)
:: I Need More (Dafina, 2009)
Community Discussion Questions
Please read Kimberley White's book excerpts and answer the following questions in this forum. Two commentors will be randomly selected to obtain a review copy of Kimberley White latest book. Leave your email addresses with comments here to enter drawing. All winners will be announced on the Black Pearls Magazine at Facebook on November 27, 2009, during Black Books Weekends with Ella.
1. Why are we willing to sacrifice what’s truly important in life—love, family, health & safety—for fame and money?
2. Role reversal: are men now marrying for money?
3. Are African-American men really portrayed badly in the literature?
4. Are female characters relatable? (Physically? Use of foul language and slang?)
5. Why would an author lose their voice in their own books?
Introduction to I Need More by Kimberley White
Preview Chapters from the book here.
She Has Everything She Wants. . .
Dr. Erika Johnson's life couldn't get any better. Her practice is flourishing and her hunk of a husband Brock can't keep his hands off her--until the day he suddenly leaves her without a word of explanation. Stunned, Erika has no choice but to cobble together a new life on her own. When she serves Brock with divorce papers, Erika is certain he'll sign them so they can both move on. But that's when the surprises really begin. . .
Except The Man She Loves...
Brock is sure he did the right thing. All he ever wanted was to bring joy into Erika's life, not pain and sorrow. But when rumors reach him that Erika is seeing another man, he's torn between what he thinks is right and what he feels is right. Despite everything, there's no denying the fierce attraction she and Brock have always shared is burning hotter than ever. And when Erika finally learns Brock's secret, they must decide if they will face the uncertain future together-or apart. . . ISBN-13: 9780758222107; ISBN 10: 0758222106 Buy the book, I Need More by Kimberley White, today!
Saturday, October 10, 2009
Sibling Rivalry at Its Finest
Got a sister? Got a brother? If so, you probably can testify to a few low-key feuds over the years. And some folk…well maybe a couple of jabs here and there. What about murder? Yes, I said it…Murder! It’s been done before more than you’ll ever know.
Family melt-downs go back to the beginning of time. Think about Cain and Abel, Marsha and Janet Brady, or even Latoya and Janet Jackson. Of course we hear about sibling celebrity feuds nowadays since every Tom, Dick, and Harry wants to be the paparazzi. Let’s take the Olsen twins, Mary Kate and Ashley. They have billions, yet still have that contention and competition amongst themselves. Now one lives on the West coast and the other on the East. The one thing they have over the rest of us…they have billions to fuss over, most of us don’t.
Sibling rivalry is just something that can’t be erased. If you’re human, chances are you have some crazy stories that come to mind. Do you want what he or she has? Jealous about how they look? Didn’t get your Mama’s shape…ended up with your Dad’s instead? What about being pissed because you are the sibling who didn’t go to college, or the sibling who can’t keep a good paying job?
Oh, and what about your love life. Are you the one upset because your brother or sister stole your man? Yep, I said it. This day in time you never know. You gotta watch your mate with both sexes. But let’s focus on sisters for a moment. Sister rifts are torturous; especially in black women. I’m sure you’re familiar with the saying, “Don’t let me take off my earrings”. Well in 2009, we don’t just fight anymore. What about, “I will kill you!”
Well for now, ingest what I’ve just said. Let author, publisher, Azarel take you behind the scenes and finish the rest in Carbon Copy, a new novel exposing Sibling Rivalry at its Finest.
Carbon Copy by Azarel
ISBN-13: 9781934230671; Read Chapter 1 of Carbon Copy
Website: http://www.lifechangingbooks.net/ and www.myspace.com/azareltheauthor
Thursday, October 1, 2009
Meet Vanessa Miller, author of Forsaken
Vanessa Miller of Dayton, Ohio is an Essence best-selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. Her stage productions include: Get You Some Business, Don’t Turn Your Back on God, and Can’t You Hear Them Crying and Abundant Rain.
To date, Vanessa has written the Rain Series and the Storm Series. The books in the Rain Series are: Former Rain, Abundant Rain, and Latter Rain. The books in the Storm Series are: Rain Storm and Through the Storm. These books have received rave reviews, winning Best Christian Fiction Awards and topping numerous Bestseller’s lists.
FORSAKEN is Vanessa’s newest book. Forsaken is the story of a fallen pastor’s journey back to God. Vanessa believes that each of her books will touch readers across the country in a special way. It is, after all her God-given destiny to write novels that bring deliverance to God’s people.
ABOUT THE BOOK
Pastor Jerome Tyler “JT” Thomas is charismatic behind the pulpit, charming to all he comes in contact with, and lethal to those who linger too long. Since the age of twenty-two, when he prayed for God to keep him out of prison, JT knew he would preach the gospel. Bishop Turner makes it possible; but there are strings attached, and now JT isn’t sure he can stay tied down.
Cutting loose causes more problems than JT anticipated. When an old friend from his days on the streets resurfaces and his extracurricular activity comes knocking on his front door, JT’s life and the lives of those close to him spiral out of control. Now he will need divine intervention to make things right. But how much help can a man hope to receive when he feels he’s been forsaken by God
Forsaken by Vanessa Miller (excerpt) - ">
Corey J. Barnes is a long time native of Lakeland, Florida. Currently he resides there with his son Corey Jr. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Education, a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership, and is currently working on his PhD in Instructional Leadership and Adult Education.
Becoming an author and also establishing the publishing company CJ Publishing has fulfilled a lifelong dream for Corey as he attempts to bring true romance and integrity back to urban fiction, from a male perspective, hence his moniker, “The Renaissance Man of Romance”.
In his debut novel What Is This Love Thing All About? Corey displays that chivalry is not dead and the thrill of the chase is still present in today’s world. Presently, Corey is working on his second novel. In addition to his work as a middle school administrator, Corey also coaches high school boys basketball and his son’s little league football team. When he is not writing, he enjoys spending time with his son and working out.
Be careful what you wish for….
Is what you think you want……
Really what you need?
Meet Rick Jenkins, who has everything that most would love to have in life. Great job, great looks, well educated, money, he has it all, except for one thing – a woman to share it with. A single and eligible bachelor, Rick can’t seem to even find a good woman to go on a date with, much less to think about take it to the next level. Rick is content to take life as it is until one night at a sorority fund raising function, he runs into Aphrodite Morrison and his fate changes forever.
Aphrodite is a mysterious, yet angelic woman who Rick is lost for from the first minute he talks to her. A partner in one of the top advertising companies in the Greater Atlanta area, she does not have a want for anything. There is another side to Aphrodite that looms under the surface. When she thinks she has met the perfect man, her past threatens everything that she thinks may be meant for her and happening with Rick. Fate collides with destiny and creates doubt; does anyone really know: What is this Love Thing All About?
Where were you born?
I was born in Lakeland, Florida.
I attended and graduated from Kathleen High School in Lakeland, Fl. I obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Education, specializing in Specific Learning Disabilities and Elementary Education from University of South Florida. I then obtained my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from Saint Leo University. I am currently working on my PhD in Adult Education and Instructional Leadership from Nova Southeastern University.
What's your inspiration or who is?
My inspiration in all that I do is my son, CJ. He is the very best part of me and is the reason I wake up in the morning. He is my heartbeat and my motivation.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
When I was a child I had dreams of either being a pro football player or a lawyer. As you can see, neither one of them took place.
Did you ever think you'd ever become an author?
I never thought I would become an author. I love to read, but I didn’t think I would ever do it myself, even though it was one of my goals. It was one of those things where you think about something but know it will never be, but it has and it is very exciting.
How long does it take you to write a book?
It took me a total of 8 months to write my first book. I actually wrote the first character in 5 months, and went back and added in the 2nd, which took 3 more months.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I wrote my first book, What Is This Love Thing All About at the age of 32.
Whose writing do you admire most?
The author whose style I admire the most is Eric Jerome Dickey. I also enjoy Dwayne Joseph’s style.
Were you a good student in school?
I was actually a very good student in school.
Tell me about your revision process.
I usually read from the back to the front for corrections needed. Doing it this way makes the story pretty much gibberish and in that sense, I can just concentrate on making sure that sentence structure and things of that nature are correct.
Did you like school? What was your favorite subject?
I enjoyed school. I am a life long learner and look to continually improve myself. My favorite subject in school was English, which helped me with being an author and the next subject was Math. I hated Science in school, but did it because I had too.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
The Distinct Ladies extends an invitation for you to celebrate this milestone with us. We have Memphis' Own Recha G. Peay, Best Selling Author Jihad and HollyGrove President and the Nation Best Selling Author Brian W. Smith.
When: October 10, 2009
Time: 4pm till 8pm Doors Open @ 3:30pm
Where: St. Paul Lodge on 423 East Georgia Street, Memphis, TN
Cost: $10 Per Person
Door Prizes, Food, Poetry and More
If you would like to purchase these books in advance or for more info, please email email@example.com
The Distinct Ladies Bookclub
P.O. Box 271415
Memphis, TN 38167
Josula Williams-Vice President
Intimate Conversation with the Distinct Ladies Bookclub
EDC: Share with us the history of the organization and President's biography.
DLBC: Tiffany Rainey is currently the President and one of the founders of Distinct Ladies Book Club. She was born and raised in Memphis, Tn and currently still resides there. Not only is Tiffany a member of DLBC but she is also a member of the Order of Eastern Star, Sirius Ladies Social Club, and she is also a usher in her church.
DLBC was founded in October of 2006 with 4 women who shared a passion for reading. When we first started little did we know we would grow to be such a tight knit family. DLBC doesn't just read books, but we attend movies, plays, book signing, and we just love to fellowship with one another.
EDC: What is the vision for your organization?
DLBC: Our vision for our sisterhood is to continue to promote authors who are not as well known as some of the greats like Eric Jerome Dickey or Kimberla Lawson Roby. We want to continue to give back to the kids in our community.
EDC: Finish this sentence: Living your best life includes...
DLBC: Living your best life includes being with our children.
On your nightstand now: We are currently reading The Dopeman's Wife
Book all readers should own besides the bible: The Survival Bible by Jihad
Book you've bought for the cover: Casanegra by Blair Underwood
Favorite genre, series or sequels: Urban, Erotica, Christian Fiction
EDC: Your top three authors. Why?
DLBC: Brian W. Smith, President of Hollygrove Publishing is one of our favorite authors. Brian is a very down to earth person. He keeps your interest is his books from the beginning to the end. He also brings new talent to his company, that makes you just wanna read everything he has written.
Memphis Own Sheila Lipsey, author of Beautiful Ugly is also one of our favorite authors. Sheila is a Christian fiction author who always makes you wondering what's going on next. She brings everyday problems and drama into her books.
Jihad, bestselling author of Wild Cherry is a favorite author. Jihad brings erotica to street to "I am gonna keep it real" to you in his books. He always makes you wondering which direction he's going to write in. We have a few more that we love, but since you only asked for 3. I think I am going to leave it at that.
EDC: Name three authors you would like to do a phone chat with this year.
DLBC: Kimberla Lawson Roby, Wahadia Clark, and Jane Jordan
EDC: Share your news or events with us. What's next for your group?
DLBC: DLBC is planning their 3year Anniversary Celebration. It will be held on Oct. 10, 2009 from 4-8. We will have Jihad, Brian W. Smith, Recha G. Peay, and other authors will be stopping through as well. DLBC will be having spoken word, music, and giving way door prizes. Admission is $10 and seating is limited. For more info you can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find us at:
We are also on Facebook and Twitter!!
Labels: Bookclubs Tribute
Thug Lovin is the 4th installment of Wahida Clark's series. 4****
I enjoyed the previous books in the series, Tasha ans Trae's relationship changed in Thug Lovin, which left me with questions. Wahida's style is her own unique voice and I admire her a lot. Her life has been a true testimony of what you can do no matter what
ISBN-10: 0446178098 | ISBN-13: 978-0446178099
Tasha and Trae, the hood's favorite couple, are still together following the events of Thug Matrimony. Even with their relocation to sunny Los Angeles, the drama of New York cannot be escaped. From running a nightclub to dealing with models, shady lawyers, big money, new kinds of temptations, seductions, and drugs-not to mention new love interests-can this infamous couple weather all the storms and keep it together?
Wahida Clark Homepage- www.wclarkpublishing.com
Wahida Clark Homepage MySpace- www.myspace.com/wahidaclark
What's holding your spot?.... Simply Said
The thong you want to show.....
I am doing the"Happy Feet" dance around my kitchen! Bernice McFadden gave Simply Said Book Thongs a shout out!!! And look who I'm in company with, Carleen Brice, Nina Foxx and Edwidge Danticat. Ahh Sookie Sookie Now is right! Thank you Bernice. This will be an awesome day, because I woke up to this!
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Saturday, October 3, 2009
Time: 10am-7pm EST
Boulevard at the Capital Centre
900 Capital Centre Boulevard, Largo 20774
Celebrating 5 Years of Strengthening Families through Reading
The authors talks include discussions with Nelson George, Tim Reid, Liza Mundy (Michelle Obama: Biography), Sonya Sones, Marita Golden, Lori Nelson, Ronald Cotton (Picking Cotton), Chef Gillian Clark, Sahar Simmons, Le Hinton, Victoria Christopher Murray, W. Ralph Eubanks, Lucille Clifton, Omar Tyree, Kimberly Seals Allers (The Mocha Moms Manual), Charisse Nunes (I am Barack Obama children’s book), and several teen authors.
This year, in response to President Barack Obama’s call to service, the Capital BookFest and the Prince George’s County Department of Social Services will team up to promote healthy homes for children in foster care. Meet Ella Curry of EDC Creations for live reader interviews! Visit http://www.capitalbookfest.org/ for a schedule of events. All ages welcome. Cost: FREE admission
Capital BookFest Founder
Kwame Alexander, a poet, publisher, playwright, producer, dynamic speaker, and performer, is the author of eight books -including the best-selling Do The Write Thing: 7 Steps to Publishing Success, Kupenda: Love Poems, Dancing Naked on the Floor: poems and essays, and The Way I Walk, a collection of young adult short stories.
He has conducted standing-room only publishing workshops, delivered awe-inspiring keynote speeches, and performed his cutting-edge brand of poetry to audiences at numerous conferences, colleges and venues throughout the world, including: Stratford-on-Avon, Brixton Town Hall, Oberlin College, UC Berkeley, Hampton University, Duke University, University of Maryland, America's Choice National Conference, Baltimore Writers Alliance, and the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers Conference.
Alexander has produced over two-hundred literary related special events, the most recent being the First Annual Capital BookFest, a major literary arts festival sponsored by The Washington Post, Chick-fil-A, and The Literacy Council of Prince George's County. Dubbed a "phenom" in the poetry world by The Charleston (SC) City Paper, Alexander has wowed audiences with his electric readings and performances at coffeehouses, theatres, and universities across the country and abroad. In 2002, 2004, and 2005 Alexander was selected as a special guest author for the Library of Congress Poets at Noon Series, and The Washington Post-Maryland Center for the Book Evening in The Stacks Gala.
The founder of two book publishing companies, BlackWords Press and Do The Write Thing , this publishing veteran of over fifteen years is responsible for some of the most progressive, original and exciting fiction and non-fiction on the shelves today. He has published over forty authors in different genres, including: M. Dion Thompson, former Baltimore Sun reporter and author of the critically-acclaimed historical novel Walk Like A Natural Man; Lalita Noronha, author of the short story collection, Where Monsoons Cry; and Michael Datcher, Today Show Book Club Awardee and editor of Tough Love: The Life and Death of Tupac Shakur . Kwame Alexander has served as a judge for several local and national literary awards, including the Georgia Writer's Awards, and the Washington, DC Parkmont Poetry Awards. Among his many board appointments are The CityLit Project, Baltimore's Artscape Festival, and the Hippodrome Arts & Education Committee. Alexander is a graduate of Virginia Tech, where he studied under renowned poet Nikki Giovanni.
He lives in Northern Virginia with his wife and daughter, where he hosts a weekly radio program, Word of Mouth, and serves as poet-in-the-schools for Crossland High School/Prince George's County Schools. When not working on several new and exciting book and TV/film projects, he enjoys reading, writing, and a good game of chess.
Labels: Conferences and Events