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Sunday, December 27, 2009

AAMBC Winter Tours w/ Sherrell Valdezloqui

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.

Interview w/ Sherrell

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.

Find More about Sherrell at www.ladyvbooks.com

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winter Tours w/ Marian L. Thomas


"Child abuse, rape and struggling to live are all things that women go through at least once in their lifetime. In this tale, Naya Mona takes readers on a journey through her crayon box of life. She shows us what her true colors are as she recounts her past to a son she is meeting for the first time. How do you tell your son that your father is his?

The Spiral of events that fill Naya's life provides an intimate look at the drama, romance and struggles that become her voice. On stage, she must become Jazzmyne-the Jazz singer. Naya no doubt commands your attention and takes you on a rollercoaster ride that is filled with the melodious tones that makes Color Me Jazzmyne a true reading pleasure."

Book Excerpt:

"My past however, is something quite different. It still haunts me, slaps me in the face and dares me to face the reality of today. Every day, it seems, I am forced to remember what color is Jazzmyne. Once upon a time the color of snow ran through me. It ran so deep that it blended with my insides, messed with my emotions and played with the deepest corners of my heart.

How can life do that to a woman? As I look into the mirror, I can quickly see the colors that answer that question.

Upon the walls of my office are newspapers encased in gold frames. I
glance at the writings, the ink still trying to hold on to the paper. So many years have passed. They all told a story. Each one represented a version of some reporter's dream. Some wrote that I become everything from simply nothing. Others wrote that my voice awakens them and breathes life into the deepest corner of their being. I wish it did the same for me. I could use an awakening."

Author Data:

Marian L. Thomas is a native of Chicago with a passion for the words that reflect the issues that face women today. However, the concept of putting her thoughts into written form wasn’t realized until her second year in high school when she wrestled with the thought of writing a book she then called What Color is Jazzmyne.

In fact, twenty years would pass before she finally debuted a more refined version of her original concept, calling it Color Me Jazzmyne. It was just a few years prior to this that she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Business Communication, graduating Magna Cum Laude.

Marian now resides in Atlanta, GA with her husband and their spoiled but playful dog. She enjoys writing short stories that have full impact and is currently working on her second novel.


Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MLT.ColorMeJazzmyne?ref=profile
Author Website: http://www.marianlthomas.com
Author Blog: http://findingmycolorwithmlt.blogspot.com
Book Trailer: http://www.onetruemedia.com/otm_site/view_shared?p=9575e0bebe84add8fd2af3&skin_id=701&utm_source=otm&utm_medium=text_url

Purchase Links:

Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/Color-Me-Jazzmyne-Marian-Thomas/dp/0615270670/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1238269178&sr=8-1

Barnes & Noble.com: http://books.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.aspx?WRD=Color+Me+Jazzmyne

Sample Links:

Read Chapters 1-3

Listen to Chapter 1:

Email: info@marianlthomas.com

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Get to Know Aisha Gant

Author Biography- A. Life... is a mother, author, poet, and entrepreneur. Among the many hats she wears such as, ‘Author-preneur’, Life has always loved to write and began at a young age; having had work published as early as the eighth grade. Her love for writing goes beyond just putting pen to paper. It is a part of her make-up. To her, it is life. And having gone through life's many struggles, A. Life... chooses to display in her work, characters of triumph. She considers her works not to be ones that push Christianity but words that flow from the mouth of a pen written by an author who is Christian.
Brief Synopsis- Secret Wounds and Hidden Pain by: A. Life... is a novel about four women; Charlene; a church-going woman who is married to an adulterous preacher, Denise; an exotic dancer who eventually finds out her ‘best customer’ holds the title of her rapist, Michelle; the wife of an abusive, jobless, porn addict, and Katrina; a successful businesswoman who secretly has abortions to maintain her status. All of them lead totally different lives while unknowingly wearing the same mask. Each woman believes no one else can see or feel what she is going through, but will individually find out that the painful wounds she is experiencing are deep enough to be seen and felt by the world.

Q: Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?

Charlene Brown is a wife of a minister and a mother of 2, who takes care of not only her actual family but her church family as well. She is also a successful businesswoman who ironically, failed to take care of the business of keeping track of her husband’s infidelity. She hides behind the false sense of security that her life’s many jobs give.
Denise McLeod is a single mother of five who is also an exotic dancer. Her life’s downward spiral began at the age of 13 when she was raped. She hides behind the mask of false strength because after all, she has to do so for her children.
Michelle Baker is a newlywed who married an abusive man because she didn’t want to be lonely and because she thought ‘a piece of paper’ would change his ways. Her decision to marry such stems from a painful childhood and she hides behind the pain of abusive love that repeatedly says, “I’m sorry.”
Katrina Dangerfield is a young woman who has it all together. She has taken care of herself financially without the help of a man. Yet, because her childhood too was painful, she didn’t and wouldn’t allow anyone to get close to her; to the point of having one abortion after another, just so she could continue to hide behind her fear of failure.
My favorite character is Denise. Although I can relate, in one sense or another, to all of the women; she has gone through individually what the others have experienced collectively and has triumphed though all odds were stacked against her.

Q: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?

All of my characters portray real people; not dead on; but I may use characteristics from five different people to create one character in the novel. I believe when and if you can make the character more life-like; it makes not only the character more believable to the point of relating to the reader; but it also makes the book as a whole; a better read.

Q: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp and share?

Depending on the book, I try or I will always try to indirectly relay a message. In the case of Secret Wounds and Hidden Pain; the message I think I want the readers to grasp is the fact that we all at one point in time, wear and have worn masks of fear to cover our ‘open wounds’ brought on by life. But in order to be healed we must be willing to remove the mask-like band-aid, so the air of life can act as a healer and ‘SWAHP’(swap) the wounds for scars of remembrance, so one maybe able to give God praise for all he’s done.

Q: What was the most powerful chapter or scene in the book for you?

I honestly believe there is more than one powerful scene in the book but one of the most powerful scenes to me is the ‘SWAHP SUMMIT’; when all of the lead characters colorfully describe the different ways that lead them to the putting on of the ‘masks’, why they wore them for so long, and how with the help of God; they were able to remove them.

Q: Do you write full time?

Describe your writing schedule for our readers.
I do not write full time but because my time is so full I write all the time, sporadically! I wear so many hats that I am grateful for spell check because without it, I probably would misspell the word ‘time.’ (LOL)

Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing?

I am a salon owner/operator, a product designer, and a fitness trainer, but more importantly, I have two reasons to get up every morning! Being a mother of daughters is a task in itself but it keeps me doing what I do!

Q: What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?

Just write but be authentic! Be truthful to who you are as an author and don’t try to mimic others because when it’s all said and done, the truth will come out in the wash!

Contact: A. Life... www.eborya.com ; aisha@eborya.com ; gantaisha@yahoo.com

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Conversations w/ AAMBC Author Rachel Berry

. Tell us briefly about the topic of your book

Family Pictures is a family saga about two women from different life, age, educational, and financial backgrounds, but bonded by blood. These women are confronted by a few past family secrets that changes both their present life but also their future. Together they learn about sacrifice, themselves, unconditional love and how life mistakes can be transformed into life lessons and growth. Family Pictures is also a literary visual of their challenges and celebrations with those people they call family.

2. Why do you want to be the book of the month?

I think this is a story that many people can relate to in many ways. We all have family, and we all experience our own celebrations and challenges both individually and with family. I want this journey to be an insight to some deep experiences that unfortunately some of us go through, but also to see how we all can grow in a positive way from things that affect us negatively. It is also my goal to show that the decisions we make in life often affect not only us but loved ones as well.

3. What do you hope to gain from the AAMBC members?
I hope to gain new friendships, perhaps mentors and mentees, and a kinship with other wordsmiths and wordfairys who have been gifted to entertain others with the stroke of their creative pens and minds.
4. How did you hear about AAMBC, and what do you like about the organization?
I heard about AAMBC while doing some research on the web in order to network with other author’s, literary organizations etc. I am also a BTR host and have listened in to a few shows hosted by AAMBC. What I love about my connection to this organization is that it’s reaching all over to many states and creative souls that might not ever physically come together but still hold an alliance by our literary connection. I also like the many platforms that this organization uses to promote authors and book clubs; its commitment to the promotion of reading, and all genres. I think AAMBC is embracing technology and all the available venues that are now open to authors and poets to not only learn their craft but in their promotion and exposure to their public. For all of this I am grateful. I continue to be thirsty for all I have yet to learn.
Promotional Info
1. Are you apart of a virtual tour, if not would you like to be?
I am not a part of a virtual tour, but would love to be able to work one into my budget.
2. Will you like to arrange a date to meet with one of the AAMBC chapters?
If there is a chapter that is not within a long driving distance of Virginia, yes I would.
3. Will you like to have advertisement and promotions done after your book of the months promotions?
Oh yes. Of course I’d like to know what’s available so I can fit it into my budget as soon as possible.
4. Would you like to attend the AAMBC National Meeting?
5. Tell us any general information that you feel will be beneficial to you to gaining a promotional month?

Web Links
Author’s site 1: http://www.RachelBerry.webs.com
Site 2: http://www.Lulu.com/RachelBerry
Book Trailer: http://www.YouTube.com/wordfairy4u

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Conversations w/ Nicole Dawson

Seven Questions

Why I started writing?

I started writing as a form of therapy and discovered hey I really can write. So I began to become intrigued by creating characters and bringing them to life through story telling.

Why I chose to write this book?

I wrote “Trapped” because I felt the need to exploit the misconception of troubled youth and the theory that these children are just born bad. Society unaware of the contaminates that our youth are affected by on a day to day struggle of just trying to survive in the hood. I feel often times they just need direction and someone who cares, and when they don’t get that or they feel threatened they are headed for destruction like my character “Black”

What’s different about Trapped?

The reason “Trapped” is different is because it exploits the lives of inner city youth and the metastasis of crime, prostitution, and drugs that run rampant in our urban communities. My novel portrays positives and negatives of choices made and paths taken. It will uplift and encourage, leaving the reader with the one and only solution to their day to day struggles. “Jesus”

What can listeners expect from you as an author?

They can expect to be captivated from beginning to end clinging to each page longing for more and more disappointed when they come to the end, yet not being left with wondering of what the purpose was for the read.

What authors do you like?

I love Victoria Christopher Murray she is one of my favorites. I will always love Zane, Jerome Dickey, and Terry McMillian. I have to admit I haven’t explored a lot of the newer authors because I have been pretty busy trying to polish my upcoming read.

What are some of the ingredients in your opinion a good novel should have?

I think it needs to be a page turner; it should have a good plot and a purpose. I don’t want to put a book down and be like what was that about. I have read books that had terrible editing, but I could look past it because the narrative was on point.

When you complete a novel what would you like your reader to take from your narrative?

I want them to be able to visualize it as if they were really there, so it has to be very descriptive. I hope that they can relate to the characters in some way and that they can be inspired and moved by the lessons learned and the metamorphosis that takes place through each character from the beginning to the end.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

AAMBC Winter Tours w/ Natasha Usher

Interview w/ Natasha Hunts

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 Bio-
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.

The Hunts Synopsis

Victoria, Luther V, Tyler, Tyger, and DougRoss Hunt. Sure these five African American children are named after their parents’ favorite celebrities, but they still have a lot going for them. Despite their young ages, the Hunts are very resourceful. They have managed to live alone ever since their parents abandoned them. Their survival strategy is quite simple - if it is not given to them, they simply take it.
When the Hunts decide life is too boring in their small town of Acon, Georgia, they decide a trip to the big city of Atlanta is just what they need. The fact they have no money for the trip doesn’t faze them at all.
After the Hunts’ attempt to raise money fails, the townspeople, eager for a quiet weekend, take up a trip collection fund for them. When most of the people hand over their credit cards, the Hunts are on their way. Atlanta and the Hunts will never be the same again.

Web Links

http://www.thehuntsstory.info – official book site

http://www.myspace.com/runningwildacon - myspace site

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Conversations w/ Julia Press Simmons

1. Why did you decide to become an author?
I am a writer simply because I write almost everyday and have done so since I was a child. My desire to become an author was a natural progression.

2.Where do you get the inspiration for your stories?
Oh, my God. The voices in my head… lol. I have an overactive imagination, and a wealth of dramatic life experience that keeps the words flowing.

3. We know that Strawberry Mansion is loosely based on your life, can the same be said about Begonia Brown?
No Begonia Brown is a purely fictional character. I met her while writing Strawberry Mansion, and I fell in love with her story. I struggled to make Begonia real. I wanted to create a novel based on what I knew went down on the streets. I’ve never been privy to the glamorous side of the hood that a lot of my peers write about. I’m not knocking it, mind you, I’m just not familiar with it and I like to write what I know,

4. Do you stick to a writing schedule?
How much writing do you do per day? Yes, yes, and yes. I have too. I am easily distracted and unorganized person. If I don’t stick to a schedule then nothing will never get done. I usually start with an outline and once that is finished I’ll write anywhere from 2 thousand to 5 thousand words a day.

5. Do you experience writers block?
All the friggen time. I usually get blocked when I try to make it perfect. I get stuck in an editing loop that can take a few days to get out of. When this happens I usually take a couple of days off, watch a few movies, and then come back to it with a fresh perspective. If I’m facing a deadline, I’ll just write through it until the inspiration bug bites me again.

6. Will you aver write in a different genre?
Hell yes! I am a writing a fantasy novel about African Dragons now. I love sci-fi fantasy and am a self-proclaimed nerd!

7. What’s next?
I have three novels in the works: “Hell Couldn’t Be Any Better” coming out in February 2010, the final installment of the Philadelphia Story series, entitled “Violet,” coming September 2010, and my first sci-fi fantasy effort “Adjua’s Fire” will debut in January 2011.

Begonia Brown: A Philadelphia Story

We were named for the flowers in Grandma's Garden. Begonias, Violets and Daisies, and much like those flowers, we were showered with a love that rivaled sunrays. We knew nothing of pain, or sorrow, or just how cruel the world could be until the day God saw fit to call Grandma on home. Her heart stopped two weeks after Daisy was born. My mother smoked us homeless two weeks after that. Now with Grandma gone and mommy on a constant crack high, it's up to me to keep our little family together, and you best believe I'll stop at nothing to do just that…

Begonia’s carefree world has been turned upside down. Forced to become the head of her household she has to trade her paintbrush in for a switchblade, and her love of art into a love affair with the hood. Lying, stealing, and turning tricks, Begonia will do any and everything she can to protect her sisters from the ugliness of the world. However, it just isn’t enough… When her younger sister Violet, desperate to escape the hell her life has become is seduced by an up and coming Corner boy, and their baby sister Daisy is riddled with disease that could be fatal if not cared for, Begonia is caught between the hard knocks of the streets and the nightmare of her home life.

From the critically acclaimed author of Strawberry Mansion comes the tale of Begonia Brown. Raised in the unforgiving streets of North Philadelphia, Begonia Brown is undoubtedly a product of her environment, young, ruthless, and criminally minded.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Get to Know Cherilyn Vonn

1. Describe yourself for our visitors.
The best way that I can describe myself is simply by saying that I am a vessel and a servant. I live by the mantra, that I may be the only Bible that someone else reads. First and foremost, in addition to the many hates that I wear it’s my passion to fulfill my God-given mission!

2. What inspired you to write Weekly Wisdom: 52 Ways to Live a More Fulfilled Life?
Pain was the guiding force that paved way for the conception of Weekly Wisdom. I finally got to a point in my life where I was “sick and tired of being sick and tired!” I knew GOD had a larger vision of me than I had for myself. I found myself on an emotional merry-go-round of complacency, failed relationships and negativity. It was honestly draining the life out of me.
I believe we all come to a point in our lives in which we question our existence. For me I knew there had to be more to life than merely working a j.o.b. that I hated, living paycheck to paycheck and spiritually exhausted! I started a journey of understanding and forgiveness that allowed me the opportunity to find myself and embrace the essence of who I am and not the illusion of others perception of who I was or should be.
I released self-loathing for self-love, self-sabotage for self-acceptance and self-criticism for self-knowledge and forgiveness. I wanted to help others. Weekly Wisdom is a life-enrichment tool that has information and insight for everyone who is ready to release the shackles and be free!
3. There are many motivational and self help books on the market today. What sets Weekly Wisdom apart?
I don’t consider Weekly Wisdom to be a motivational book! Motivation is based on how one feels and feelings are fleeting! Weekly Wisdom is a blueprint for making the necessary changes to be stress free, debt free and drama free. It’s an owner’s manual that never loses its value or importance. The wisdom embedded throughout this book is what I have used to transform my life as well as others who have used these very principles and are now reaping the benefits of living authentically and purposefully!
Many “motivational” books out today offer a sugar rush without giving you the “meat and potatoes” that will sustain the readers. It’s like eating dessert without the main course. This book is the dinner that gives you the valuable nutrients needed to live a healthy life.

4. What has been the most rewarding aspect of your publishing journey?
The entire process has been an amazing journey! It’s truly a humbling and amazing reward to go from having a dream to seeing that dream manifest, it’s incredible! I would have to say that the most rewarding aspect of my career as an author/speaker is when people contact saying that my book has changed their lives! When I open my emails and receive testimonial after testimonial how transforming and powerful my book is and how it is helping others to live an authentic and fulfilled life, that is the most rewarding aspect of my journey thus far!
5. What advice would you give our visitors?
The best advice I could offer anyone would be to know your craft! Research and study everything there is to know about the literary field, ask questions and seek advice from the ones that have already achieved some form of success! You must believe in yourself and have faith in your vision!
6. What’s next for Cherilyn Vonn?
I am currently working on my second book titled: Unveiling the Mask: Stripped & Silenced, Never Shattered which is due out March 2010 as well I have co-authored several books, Unleash the Passion for your Purpose and Sisterfaith: Believing Beyond Boundaries!
7. How can our visitors connect with you online?
This is the best part connecting with my readers!
Website: www.unveilingthemask.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/cherilynvonn
Twitter: www.twitter.com/cherilynvonn
Myspace: www.myspace.com/unveilingthemask

Sunday, October 25, 2009

AAMBC Author Monique D. Mensah

Q.1. What inspired you to write this novel?

A.1. I constantly have story ideas and characters flowing through my mind. A conversation I’ve overheard, a television show, or a news story may spark some ideas. Sometimes I pull from my own experiences or those of my friends. However, the concept of Who Is He To You emerged purely from my imagination. I was prompted by a close friend to get started on my first novel and shortly after I came up with a broad, general idea. I knew that I wanted to defuse some stereotypes and keep the readers shocked and guessing. I wanted to write about things, other authors have yet to explore. The rest unfolded throughout the writing process.

Q.2. What message(s) are you trying to convey to the readers?

A.2. When I started writing Who Is He To You, I did it with the sole intention to entertain. It wasn’t until after I completed the manuscript and read the story in its entirety did I recognize the underlying messages weaved throughout the plot. Women too often count on the men in their lives to validate or complete them. For Simone it was her father, Ryan’s boyfriend, and Jessica’s husband. Women have to learn to love themselves, recognize their self-worth and learn to be happy instead of expecting a man to fill the gaps in their lives.

Q.3. What do you want the readers to feel when reading about the struggles of the three main characters?

A.3. It is my responsibility as the author to create a unique experience for my readers. When reading Who Is He To You, my readers should feel as if they are in the room with these characters, experiencing their stories first hand. I want the readers to feel Simone’s pain, desperation and uncertainty. They should empathize with Ryan’s frustration, and root for Jessica’s emergence into her identity. My goal is to have my readers identify a piece of themselves in one of the three main characters. That makes the story realistic and identifiable.
Q.5. What differentiates you and your novel from other novels in your genre?

A.5. Who Is He To You is edgy and unpredictable. The characters are flawed, complicated, and multi-dimensional. Each chapter is filled with dramatic, descriptive scenes that pull the reader right into the story. Who Is He To You is an intense experience with real depictions of character reactions, emotions, and life situations. The novel gives an intelligent exploration of the infrequently discussed issues of incest, self-injury, and depression in the African-American community. It also breaks down and dispels some stereotypes and opens the readers eyes to fresh, new perspectives.
Q.6. What is your writing process?

A.6. I have a freestyle method of writing. I don’t create outlines for the story or characters. I start with a general idea, and then I begin to type. I allow the characters to take on lives of their own and guide me through to the end. Although I find it difficult to stick to structure, I try to commit to writing at least an hour a day. If during that time, I am unable to come up with actual material, I will spend that time thinking of how to further the story or alter what I’ve already written. I need complete silence when writing because I tend to be distracted easily. I usually write at home, in the evenings after my daughter has fallen asleep. I completed Who Is He To You in nine months by committing to that schedule.

Q.7. What can readers expect from you in the future?

A.7. My readers can expect more dramatic, intense novels filled with literary adrenaline. I will always provide original plots, real dialogue, and believable characters. I like to read the kind of books that make me want to flip back to the beginning after reaching the end. I hope to provide that same type of experience for my readers. My novels will evoke strong emotion and audible reactions. Overall, my readers can expect a unique experience.

Who Is He To You?

When love involves incest, self-mutilation, drug-addiction, and murder, will Simone, Jessica, and Ryan fight to hold on or will they escape before it's too late?
Simone, a shockingly beautiful teen, is on the downward spiral of destruction as she battles incest and self-hatred. She finds cutting to be the only way to relieve her pain. She must do something to regain control of her life and restore her family back to normalcy. But Simone may be too late as unexpected events threaten to throw her dream of contentment far out of reach.
Jessica lives the upscale lifestyle of a refined society matron. She strives to be the perfect wife, but without her husband, Ross, she would be nothing more than the abused stripper he rescued 16 years ago. When their marriage is threatened and it forces her to face her past, Jessica vows to do whatever it takes to protect what she has rightfully earned, even if it means murder.
Ryan, a fiery thirty-something, is quickly slipping into depression and prescription drug addiction. As her boyfriend, Anthony, artfully dangles the empty promise of marriage, she watches helplessly as their relationship dissolves. In an attempt to regain her sanity and self-esteem, she finds herself on a mission of self-restoration while trying to save the life of someone she doesn't even know.
As the shattered lives of three very different women collide, they find that they have one thing in common: They're all in a desperate fight to hold on to love. Experience their emotional journey through to the shocking end where these women will experience injury, imprisonment, and even death while crafting new lives from the ashes of their ruination

Web Links

Author Website: www.MoniqueDMensah.com

Blog: www.MoniqueDMensah.wordpress.com

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/MoniqueDMensah

Twitter: www.Twitter.com/MDMensah

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Who-He-You-Monique-Mensah/dp/0578023482/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1250203441&sr=8-1

BarnesandNoble: http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Who-Is-He-To-You/Monique-D-Mensah/e/9780578023489/?itm=1

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcJMgSbyvK0

Monday, October 19, 2009

Conversations w/ Toni Womack

Tell the readers about ...RUNNING WITH SCISSORS.
That's What You Get For Running With Scissors, Volume 1 is a compilation of seventeen short stories of every type of bad relationship drama that a woman can find herself in, if she is not careful. The women in the stories fall for men who eventually hurt them in the end.

Although the women see the signs to be wary of, they desperately want to be in love, no matter what the consequence. Many of the situations have humorous moments but will make you think before you leap. The stories are identifiable even if the reader has not personally experienced these situations, they probably know someone who has. One other thing that makes my book unique is that there is NO male bashing whatsoever.

That's What You Get For Running With Scissors begins with "Stupid Is What Stupid Does, " about a young woman in a relationship with a guy, who in turn, is caught seeing someone else. When the young lady doesn't hear from the man for several months after the incident, she is beside herself with grief thinking the worst. He finally contacts her to explain and "stupid" accepts his excuse only to find out that her "man" is now married to the woman with whom she caught him with in the first place. In "Friends With Benefits" a woman falls for a guy who is the total opposite of the men she usually dates, but finds out too late that he is extremely jealous and will do anything to keep her, including filing criminal charges against her. The other stories include relationships with co-workers, preachers, ex-cons, infidelity and a host of other scenerios.

Where did you come up with the idea for this novel?
Running With Scissors came from my grandmother who was a seamstress. As a child I wanted to help so she would ask me to go get the scissors. As with any child, I would run with them. She would always tell me to stop because I could fall down and get hurt. When I got older, I realized that when a person KNOWINGLY gets into a bad relationship, its like RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, you can fall down and get hurt. My collection is fiction based in reality. Honestly, some of this stuff I didn't make up. I just changed the names to confuse the guilty.

What are your goals as a writer?
My goals are to continue writing my books on my own publishing company (which I have done, BLACKLIGHT PUBLISHING), publish other authors (which I am doing now) and tell different stories not to be pigeoned-holed in one genre. I want to keep my readers guessing on what I am going to put out next.

Has the book business been everything you had imagined it would be?
Not at all. With everything, there are ups and downs. I got into this book business very naive and I wished I had a mentor to let me know what to expect. I had to learn quickly that you have to be more than an artist, you have to know the business and be willing to share it with others. I have met some nationally published authors who felt threatened when I inquired about their journey and almost discourage me. I feel like that there are enough readers out there for all of us to share and everyone doesn't read just one book. I realized quickly you have to work hard, make contacts and work those contacts. But all in all, I love it!

If you go change one or more things relating to your book, what would it be?
I was told to make it longer and to hurry with Volume II

Do you have any ideas or planned releases for the future?
I have several outlines for books, one non-fiction, two more novels that I am currently working on, a completed screenplay that I have shopped around, in negotiations to write for a sitcom, a completed stage play & workshop series on self publishing.

Do you have any favorite authors or books?
I have few. Self-published authors are Trice Hickman & Frankie Nicole. I met them and had the opportunity to read their books. I am excited about Trice's new book which should be out this month. Nationally published would be Pearl Cleage, J California Cooper & Walter Mosley. These people are iconic and would love my place in time like all of them. I really loved E. Lynn Harris. I am going to miss him.

Visit her at www.toniwo.com

Sunday, October 11, 2009

AAMBC Author: Terry Deron

Terry DeRon possesses a unique set of skills and experience that allow him to deliver a dynamic first-person writing style his fans have come to love. Terry received his bachelor’s degree in Television/film production from Southern University in 2002. Prior to attending college he served three years in the United States Army. In both of these situations Terry’s written and verbal communication skills guided his path. In the military he used his crafty word play to impress various members of his chain-of-command and demonstrate his complex thinking. His ability to make his words come to life and vividly explain whatever he was thinking would be the stepping stone that lead to the outstanding author we have today. Most of his military comrades were shocked to find out he was barely seventeen when he joined them.

After a successful transition from Fort Hood, Texas to Baton Rouge, Louisiana in June Terry used the Army College Fund to finance his education. He naturally selected Mass Communication as the area where he wanted to dedicate his studies and boy did it pay dividends. The use of words and the manipulation of information he learned while training to become a news reporter is evident in his first novel Game Recognize Game.

The unexpected twists in the story and the unique perspectives given on every situation lure readers further and further into an exciting world of erotic drama with each turn of the page.

Terry has stated several times that he wrote the first five chapters of the book out of boredom while training to work as a claim representative for State Farm Insurance. It was the overwhelming response he received from people that he let read those first chapters that motivated him to see the book through to its completion.

While he worked to complete Game Recognize Game, Terry put in motion a makeshift marketing plan that helped create a resounding industry buzz before the novel was even available to be purchased. He gave the preview to his book to anyone that would take the time to read it from the very day that it was written. This innovative strategy paired with a titillating plot is sure to ignite a path to the minds and hearts of thousands of readers who will come to adore the work of Terry DeRon for years to come.

Interview with Terry Deron
What inspired you to write Game Recognize Game?

Initially I wrote the first five chapters of the book out of boredom while training for a job in Baton Rouge, LA. I was training to become a claims representative for State Farm Insurance and the training was so simple that I had to find another way to stimulate my brain and make time go by. But it was seeing and hearing people’s reactions to those first few chapters that motivated me to see the book through to completion.

What separates you from other authors that write in this particular genre of literature?

That’s a complicated question but I’ll do my best to answer it. I believe that my life experiences combined with a few specialized skills I have allow me to write in an extremely vivid first-person dialogue. I received my bachelors degree in television/film production and I teach middle school English, so I have a distinct advantage over most authors because I understand the elements that make up visual media and I’m able to describe to the reader what they would see on a movie screen. Combine that with the fact that I can type around 80 w.p.m. That allows me to type everything that I hear when I’m imagining my stories taking place.

What advice would you give to anyone trying to write a novel?

This is my first novel but I’m self-publishing it so I would recommend anyone contemplating writing a book to try to think from a publishers standpoint through the entire process. I’m talking about everything from title conception to cover design. A publisher’s bottom line is selling books, so as an author you should try to make it as easy as possible for your publisher (or yourself) to sell your product. You have to kill your ego and understand that you have to think about what your reader’s will think, say, and how they will react to your material.

Who are some of the writers that inspired you to seek that career path?

Well, I have always been an avid reader. So I have always been intrigued by the amount of attention that you dedicate to a good book. With that in mind, Michael Baisden’s Never Satisfied: How and why men cheat was the book that planted the thought that you can talk about all of the real situations men and women go through and people will want to read it. I’d have to say that my biggest influences were Michael Baisden, Eric J. Dickey, and Jerry Bruckheimer.

Game Recognize Game is an intricate portrayal of the motives and situations that drive four young adults into an intense game of lust and lies. Terry gives a vivid account of what life is like at a Historically Black University, how that relates to corporate America and how easy it is to get caught up in both worlds.

Tracy Spencer, a senior in college and an intern at the hottest radio station in town quickly gets in over her head when she gets involved with her smooth talking boss Troy. Her life gets flipped upside down when one of Troy’s other women realizes she has been replaced by the young attractive intern.

Troy Vincent is the promotions director at Constant Communications who specializes in mixing business with pleasure. His office escapades catch up with him when Simone, the sexy stallion from the accounting department discovers she isn’t the only woman receiving his services.

Simone has let go of her past and seems to be moving toward the lifestyle she sees in her dreams when she falls for the suave new executive in the promotions department. She is virtually planning the wedding in her head when she painfully discovers that she doesn’t fit anywhere into Troy’s long-term plans. Simone’s anger and rage is quickly transformed into a diabolical plot to get revenge on the people that scorned her.

Mark Parvais is the star cornerback for the SU Cats and one of the top NFL prospects in the country. He struggles with the responsibility of fatherhood while trying to maximize the benefits of being an athlete at an HBCU. Everything in Mark’s life seems to be falling into place when a bad decision devastates the people closest to him. Will he be able to put the pieces back together in time to fulfill his ultimate dream of playing professional football?

As their lives become intertwined and situations escalate out of control they are left with only two options, play or get played. Brace yourself for this one!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

AAMBC Fall Virtual Tours with Debut Author Corey Barnes

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?

Interview questions:
Where were you born?
I was born in Lakeland, Florida.
Education background?
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.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Get to Know Loretta "Faith" Harris

1.Tell us a little about yourself and what you do.

I am an educator, author, publisher, and radio personality. As a high school teacher, I strive to ignite a passion for reading in the lives of my students. In 2006, I coauthored five young adult chapter books with my inner city middle school students. The day after its completion, I met in a life threatening car accident and doctors told my family that I was not going to make it. By the grace of God, I have survived and lived to tell my story which is detailed in my memoir, “The Journey Less Traveled: Choose to Turn Your Tragedy into Triumph.”

2.Why did you write this book?

I wrote “The Journey Less Traveled” to encourage readers who are facing life’s tragic occurrences to never give up. You are speaking to someone who died, relied on life support while in a medically induced coma. The entire left side of my body was broken into multiple parts and countless internal organs damaged. I believe that the greatest adversity in our lifetime is death and if “I” escaped its grip then “You” should be inspired to overcome your obstacles.

3.What message do you hope to share with readers?

I felt a sincere burden to reach out and tell others that I have resided at “ground zero” and they are not alone. Tragedy has no favorites and unfortunately bad things indeed happen to good people. Despite the obstacles, as long as there is breath in your body there is hope!

4.How do you hope your story will inspire others?

I hope that people will be empowered supernaturally and never give up. It is important that you understand the lessons in every tragic situation that has or will occur in your life. Even if it hurts you must make the decision to, “Take the Journey Less Traveled and Choose to Turn Your Tragedy into Triumph!”

5.Where can people learn more about your writings and other efforts?

You can visit our business websites: www.chpublishing.org or www.myspace.com/chpublishing

6.How can our readers contact you directly?

I can be reached directly via email: LHarris@chpublishing.org, or Mail: P.O. Box 691223 Orlando, FL 32869

7.How can someone purchase a book?

Online: www.chpublishing.org; www.amazon.com and everywhere books are sold.

Mail check or money order: $15 + 4.50 (shipping) P.O. Box 691223 Orlando, FL 32869

Thank you,

Loretta “Faith” Harris

“The Journey Less Traveled: Choose to Turn Your Tragedy into Triumph”
By, Loretta “Faith” Harris

At some point during life’s journey, you will come face to face with adversity. Enduring the hardship, while holding true to your faith and the promises of God, are key components in your victory over these devastating encounters. As a survivor of tragedy, Loretta Harris speaks candidly about her encounter with death, the emotional upheavals, and her struggle to transition back into reality. Readers of all ages, cultures, and experiences will be empowered by one woman’s choice to triumph over her tragedy.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Meet Author Lynne Forde

Lynne Forde is a smart, stylish and sexy new author from the NY Tri-State area. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Lynne has always had dreams of writing and perusing a career in the entertainment world. As a teen she wrote her first screenplay. She is talented with the abilities to write not only novels and screenplays, but can play 4 instruments and writes music.

As an adult Lynne graduated from CUNY with a Bachelor's Degree in Criminal Justice. While in college she furthered her interest in the Arts acting and writing in her classes. Since leaving school she has been managed by Saffyre Entertainment, Inc. This has allowed her to travel across the country with other musical artists as well as meet other writers, film producers, music producers and executives.

Since creating her debut novel Lies of Blue, her focus has been promoting her book and she has successfully stirred alot of interest from the film industry. Visit her website for more information on Lynne and her work: www.saffyre.us


Share with a brief introduction into the book.
The book is about an aspiring artist turned Correction Officer only to find out she is as dangerous as the inmates she is watching. Our protagonist Lynne Forde finds herself falling in love with men, crime and danger. It's Training Day meet Oz with a twist of Set It Off. Readers, here is a sneak peek at Chapter 1, Lies of Blue, open here. Read a Chapter 8 excerpt, here.

Who are your main characters in Lies of Blue? Bring them to life for us.
Lynne Forde is a sexy, smart woman who has alot of book smarts but is naive to real street game. She becomes a C.O. in hopes of building enough capital to finance her music career. Little does she realize working in the jail is going to be a constant test of her wits and fortitude. From her first day at the jail men are approaching her for sexual favors, from officers to inmates. Her heart is soft and that ladies and gentlemen is what gets her into so much trouble.

Develin Former is the antichrist. He quietly preys on Lynne before she lets him into her heart, her head and her home. He is handsome but mean is an understatement. What starts off as affection turns rapidly into hate and contempt for Lynne and he does he best to destroy her. Danny is the only officer to really pierce Lynne's hard exterior to manage to puncture and break her soft heart. He lets her fall head over heals with him, then he shows his true colors.

Why was it important to get this book out?
There are so many issues that are dealt with every day. First and foremost the domestic abuse is an epidemic in this country. Unfortunately the headlines even tell you that everyone celebrities to church folk are going through domestic violence issues. I need people to know that there is never an instance to accept a person violating you. From verbal to psychological to financial to emotional and physical abuse NONE OF IT IS ACCEPTABLE!

What’s one thing (besides writing) that you enjoy doing?
Writing music and acting.

What’s your favorite quote & why?
From the book the favorite quote is "God Throws Pebbles", because you would rather God throw a pebble at you than hit you with a boulder. Other favorite quote "If nothing changes, then nothing changes." Self explanatory I think.

What is your most valued possession?
My faith in God and my incredible sense of humor.

What would your best friend say about you?
She is the most reliable and one of the smartest people I know. Good businesswoman.

What does love mean to you?
Love means when I lose my legs and arms and you still want to spend the rest of your life pushing me around in a wheelchair and helping me wash my behind. Love is the thing that we all want, but few find. Love is that feeling that you drink in and it gives you the extra push to succeed. Love is the ultimate universal gift that you can never have too much of.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
Write. Learn your craft and then write. Believe in yourself and don't get discouraged. This is not easy and it won't be perfect the first time, but anything worth having, is worth putting in the work to achieve.

Please give us a preview of your next project, including when it will be released.
My next two projects are actually screenplays. I am working on Best Kept Secret a story which asks what lie will you take to your grave? Also Really Real, a parody of today's entertainment industry and makes us look at how far into the abyss we can fall.
Where can we find out more about your events and the book?
Visit my website at: www.liesofblue.com or www.saffyre.us You may purchase the book, Lies of Blue here.

Lies of Blue by author Lynne Forde

What is the price for fulfilling your dream?

Lies of Blue is the story about Lynne Forde, a young woman who tries to reach her dream by making sacrifices. Somewhere along the line, the wrong sacrifices get made. It’s Training Day meets OZ with a twist of Set It Off.

When Forde gets tired of her dead end job in the City Courts, she embarks on a career in the belly of the beast. With a degree in hand and a little bit of street sense, she decides to try her hand working in River’s Edge Jail Complex. From day one at the Academy to her last day at Prison, Forde evolves from your average “rookie” into something other than just a woman. To make matters worse, if you put a sexual being in the midst of some of the city’s most conniving men and women, you are bound to come up with something a little kinky and very destructive. The more dangerous the game became, the more erotic the encounters became.

She goes from Officer, to Hustler, to Vic, to CEO in a matter of 8 years.
Lies of Blue is an expose of what goes on in the belly of the beast, through the eyes of one woman. Lies of Blue teaches you that there are so many people you may come across in life, you never know who is real and who is fake, but that the journey can become a battle of life or death. Choose wisely. (Book info: ISBN-10: 1604023783; ISBN-13: 978-1604023787)

View the video trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjrNrKR_lk4
Readers here is a sneak peek at the story, Lies of Blue, open here

Lynne Forde Saffyre Entertainment Inc.
Website: www.liesofblue.com or www.saffyre.us
Email: saffyre222@yahoo.com
Order copies of Lies of Blue today, here

Lies of Blue Talking Points

Lies of Blue deals with many human interest aspects:
Domestic Violence
Sexual Abuse
Police Corruption
Self Esteem in Women
The Criminal Justice System
Lack of Rehabilitation in the Criminal Justice System
Cutting of programs in Prisons Today

Meet author and publisher Meleisa Betts

am Meleisa Betts, an author and owner of my own publishing company "Neighborhood Publishing". I am single, currently living in New Orleans LA., however, I was born in a small town in the state of Alabama called Monroeville. My only child is my darling dog, my peekapoo, MaryBell. ( A peekapoo is a cross between the Pekingese and the Poodle)

I have always had a need to share and communicate my thoughts to others. I am an accomplished member of "Toastmasters" which filled a need to convey my thoughts somewhat, yet it did not allow the opportunity for me to reach a broad audience. I felt as though I had an important message that could help people.

We all have stories and a belief that ours are capable of sustaining book and movies yet how many lives actually are living morals; examples of what NOT to do and the consequences of those actions? I felt and still feel that there are many people living secret lives with things that they dare not share for a fear of being judged. My mission is to prove to the reader that the best therapy for the soul is not a psychiatrist (although counseling is a necessary process in many cases) but rather blunt force honesty; a raw openness and truth.

Fundamentally a psychiatrist makes the patient talk about his or herself, and in revealing those intimate truths the patient feels better. Why must we wait until the psychiatrist asks us to before we can be honest with ourselves? We give ourselves aspirin for a headache or an antacid when our stomach is upset; then why can't we give ourselves a little "self-revelation" therapy? That is my approach to "How I Made The Angels Cry". It is 100% truthful but I chose to use a principle of "shock and raw". What this means is, I wanted to leave my life exposed and threadbare, not filter or edit the book for an audience but to tell the honest truth.

Before I decided to always be forthcoming, I was living a shell of a life, frustrated, confused and basically a farce. However since changing my perspective to one of complete honesty and openness it has been an altogether different life for me, one which is free of pretense and pressure to be SOMETHING. I now simply am.

I want the book to stand as testimony to future readers that LIES only escalate, and have to be escaped, yet the truth has to be told only once, and it stands on its own. The best therapy for a troubled conscience is for one to be completely honest with the one person who matters most on planet Earth: Yourself.

"How I Made The Angels Cry" is a memoir based upon my actual experiences in an improbable life, and only the names have been changed to protect the anonymity of the persons involved in the book. It is indeed graphic and discusses sexuality and manipulation of people and circumstances in an open forum that many dare not to attempt. In fact few authors have written in such open and graphic detail, as I have left my life completely open to the judgment of others. I accept this wholeheartedly and if this method helps others to escape their own demons and unlocks the door of emotional imprisonment, then I have succeeded.

I hope that by writing such an open discourse that I can encourage others to be as open in discussing their own fears and desires rather than keeping them simmering below the surface like a pot ready to boil over. HONESTY is liberating, LIES are condemning and things that are kept within are potentially maddening; Again, that IS why we have psychiatrists, is it not?

Through my book "How I Made The Angels Cry" I hope to offer an example of how being honest can save a soul. --written by author Meleisa Betts

Book: How I Made The Angels Cry by Meleisa Betts
Website: www.myspace.com/433250625
Email: molly.betts@yahoo.com
Publisher: Neighborhood Publishing
Pub. Date: April 2009
ISBN-13: 9780615290508


Monday, September 21, 2009

Get to Know Sherryle Kiser Jackson

Thrifted, Not Re-Gifted?
By Sherryle Kiser Jackson

A funny thing happen to me at the thrift store. As I was scanning the bookshelves for the latest literary cast-offs my daughter cried out to me after unearthing a slightly worn copy of my debut novel, Soon and Very Soon-with a signature, no less. I haven't done many of these. This gave me pause. I was insulted. I felt the way I did when I found my favorite cassette tape of all time, New Edition's NE Heartbreak album in the bargain bin at Sam Goody record store. Surely, it was a mistake. The owner must have been like those clueless sad-sacks who give away one-of-a-kind artwork only to find it out its worth later on the Antique's Roadshow.

I made my daughter take me to the exact same spot where she found it. I examine the void it left on the shelf between an outdated volume of the Childcraft encyclopedia and another book as if it would give me some clue as to who could have given my baby away. I want to know this person's identity more than anything. See, my book only came out seven months ago, and we were in my neighborhood. I was sure I could crack the case. That's only a twenty-five to thirty mile radius to cover. Not exactly a case for Scotland Yard. I narrow the field of known residents that I had told about the book or sold the book to. Just when I think I have a list compiled, I think how ridiculous this whole thing is. How do you tactfully ask someone, did you happen to pitch my book out with your argyle sweater and Hammer pants? Was there no one you could personally give the book to? Ever hear of paperback swap, for goodness sake.

There had to be a logical explanation. The writer in me had me sit down at the kiddy desk set they were selling for just $7 to ponder a few possible ones. Maybe this person had a husband like mine who constantly threatens, "Don't bring another book in this house." But of course this person couldn't resist my realistic tale about two pastors that marry and combine their churches. So she took the risk and discarded the evidence immediately after the last page. Yeah, that's it.

Just when I thought I could rest a bit after a major signing at my sorority's convention at the end of this month. Yeah, maybe I'll do the Baltimore Book Festival in September, then the Capitol Book Festival. I've got a sequel to write. I can't possibly create and promote simultaneously. Soon and Very Soon will do alright. Wrong. I got a few more calls to make, connections to follow-up on and weekends to book with signings.

"Look mommy, you've got that book."

That's my six year old who has gotten good at reading the spin of books. She gets caught up on the last syllable of Terri McMillan's last name as she spots the hardback copy of A Day Late and a Dollar Short. I do own that book. I stood in line for hours while pregnant to get it signed at the crowded-to-overflowing Karibu books in the Bowie Town Center (Don't get me started. That's a whole nother lament). I would have loved to get it for $2.10. Just thirty more cents than my book was going for at the Waldorf Thrift Store.

God has a sense of humor. Just as I was about to grab my book up and discreetly pay for it at the counter like it was the last scandal sheet written about me left on the newsstand, I realized I've gotten some real good books here. I wasn't thinking, poor Audre Lorde when I picked her book of poems up and added it to my library. I've found, read and treasured, Grisham, Jakes, Gaines, and Steele.

I could take it home, wipe the red colored pencil price tag off with a bay wipe and add it to the other books packed to go to Florida-for sale for $15 a pop. Generic signature could easily be personalized on the spot. Dead wrong-maybe, maybe not. ( I put this is print so I wouldn't be tempted to do that)

I left the copy of Soon and Very Soon on the shelf next to the outdated volume of the Childcraft encyclopedia and the other book. God has plans for that book right there. My goal was that it would be widely read and that it would be a blessing to the reader. I couldn't think of a better place for that goal to be accomplished.


Sherryle Kiser Jackson is the author of Soon and Very Soon and the soon to be released novel, The Manual (October 2009), which is dedicated to her only living aunt, Janette. Her passion is to one day preserve the graceful elegance of her nine aunts and their churching traditions in a Black Memorabilia collection called Church Lady Ways. THE MANUAL: 304 PAGES/ ISBN: 1601629354/ OCT. 2009/ URBAN CHRISTIAN

Sherryle Jackson describes her novels as too real to be preachy, Biblically based, and out-the-Christian-box. She has also branded herself as a book club’s best friend, making sure to be accessible to book club’s either in person or by phone conferencing during her 2009 book tour schedule. To schedule speaking engagements, book signings, online/telephone conference contact Author, Sherryle Jackson at www.sherrylejackson.com or email: sherrylek@aol.com

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Sherryle Kiser Jackson author of The Manual
Website: http://www.sherrylejackson.com

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Making of In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor

Hello Martha! It is such a pleasure to have you on The Black Authors Network author's tour. The Give the Gift of Knowledge tour is used to expand the variety of books that our readers receive each month. Your book is a welcomed edition. Tell us a little about you and your passion for writing.
MAT: I am a sixty year old grandmother of four. My writing career, until the last few years, has been one of those “don’t quit your day job arrangements”. I am a tax professional who discovered early on that my creative writing skills came in handy when writing client letters to the IRS. My passion for writing becomes evident in my books. It is a blessed opportunity to give birth to a character and watch them grow throughout the development of the story.

Introduce us to the story behind the book, In the Land of Cotton:

MAT: As a child growing up in Memphis I could not have known that the Boyd family, the main characters in In the Land of Cotton, would have such a haunting effect on me. Last fall, their indelible personas became overwhelming. They were all I could think about. I sat down one afternoon and the book began to flow to paper. I still had vivid memories of Cypress Grove, a primitive farm the Boyd family had lived on since the days of the Civil War. They had no electricity, no running water and certainly no refrigeration yet they wanted for nothing. It was a step back in time but, as a child, I wanted to be part of that. As the reader journeys through the 1960's, they travel along side the Boyd family as they experience the historic events of that decade. You will find as a reader that you will become immediately vested in the characters. The Boyd's have the voice for every Black American that lived through those turbulent times.

We would like to explore some of the Intimate moments in the book. Read on as Martha takes us inside.

Martha, in your own words, tell us why this book was meant to be written.
MAT: In the Land of Cotton is a provocative and emotional chronicle of a young, inquisitive white girl coming of age in the color divided South of the fifties and sixties. My story places you smack dab in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement. It’s a heart-felt journey through American history that weaves a tale of forbidden friendships, misconceptions and human nature… human nature at its best and worst.

After all of these years I suddenly became compelled to write the story of Silas and his family. I wanted this new generation to know that it hasn’t been that long since black families lived in seclusion with no electricity…no running water or sanitation…no telephones or refrigeration. My heart is always in my words as I define that sole-mates are forever and true love..really is colorblind. I wanted to remind the people of my generation of how long this journey has been; and to the younger generations, I wanted to present a time capsule of events so they would never forget the anguish, fear and tremendous sacrifices of their ancestors. In light of this year’s Presidential Election, In the Land of Cotton defines a beacon of hope for any individual, who has ever felt different or longed for more out of life.

Beside Lucy, the part-time maid for the family, what made you so drawn to the woods?
MAT: It was the “not knowing”. It was the excitement of going somewhere no white person had ever been. It was the wanting to belong to something bigger than myself.

(Snippet From Cotton) Not smoke like the woods was on fire but smoke like came out of a fireplace; soft, mesmerizing smoke that called you to come explore the woods, smoke that carried your imagination and made promises of a different life, far far away from the one you were living.

When did you know you were in love with Silas your childhood friend?
MAT: One evening after Silas walked me back to the “white neighborhood.” We were always terrified someone would see us. It would have been tragic. Silas, who was an African American male, could have been killed but, we always took the chance.

(Snippet From Cotton) I stood there holding my bike like some anchor that tethered me to the ground I was standing on. I watched Silas until he completely disappeared into the woods then waited a few more minutes after that, in case he returned.

At the peek of the Civil Rights Movement when did you realize there still remained tension between the North and the South?
MAT: When martial law became the order of the day. When southern Governors stood chained to university doorways. When buses were bombed and almost daily we heard about some southern Black school that had been burned.

(Snippet From Cotton) Martial law was declared in the South. Robert Kennedy, the Attorney General got involved and once again, Walter Cronkite had a television camera in every nook and cranny, capturing every slur and clubbing. For days he regurgitated the entire travesty right into our living rooms. The majority of country was enraged but here in the south, it was just another day in Dixie.

Did Silas share your feelings and deep emotional bond?
MAT: Silas always appreciated the unspoken line in the sand. Inter-racial marriages were against the law in most states and prejudice ran high. “The Dream” was spoken of often by everyone; trouble was it was totally out of everyone’s reach and we all knew it.

(Snippet From Cotton) We finished our picnic with small talk about his daily routine and the friends he’d met. Even Silas used color as a first descriptor. We were a long way from Martin Luther King’s dream. We were certainly a long way from mine.

Was there a sense that time was short for you and the Boyds? Did you feel complete racial equality would ever be realized?
MAT: The country had come so far in such a short period of time I knew we had reached the point of no return. Civil Rights and racial equality were marching through the streets of the South. At the same time, I felt it would be generations before racial equality would become the way of life.

(Snippet From Cotton) I thought about what Lucy had said about poverty being generational. I thought the advancement of civil rights would most probably be generational also. I thought that the Wallace’s (Governor of Alabama) of the world would eventually die off and each generation that followed would be raised to be less prejudice. I thought surely at some point all the seedlings that had been planted would eventually grow into strong trees and under their branches we would all live in harmony. I hoped that would be in Silas and my lifetime.

Thank you Martha for sharing with us! How may the readers contact you?

Martha A. Taylor, Author, "In the Land of Cotton"
Email: Taylortsg@Aol.com

Purchase is In the Land of Cotton by Martha A. Taylor from Amazon


Meet Azarel, author and CEO of Life Changing Books

Azarel comes to the publishing world as a former teacher and native of North Carolina . She received her BS degree from University of Maryland Eastern Shore , and earned a Masters of Arts in Teaching degree from Bowie State University in 1999. Her love for writing sparked a career change in 2002. She resigned from her teaching tenure in the Prince George 's County public school system to fulfill her dream of becoming an author. After writing her first novel, 'A Life to Remember," written in an attempt to help change lives of young men, Azarel launched her own publishing company, Life Changing Books (LCB).

Now with over thirty-one titles published to date, LCB is one of the most well known and successful African-American owned publishing companies in the publishing industry. Many titles produced by Azarel have continuously topped the charts on the national Essence Best sellers list and many national book store chains, including her own titles Bruised 1 and 2, and Daddy’s House..

Although Azarel publishes a wide variety of adult fiction, her title roster includes “Teenage Bluez" an urban series of books for teens. Teenage Bluez is designed to capture the hearts of teens across America by providing them with entertaining stories in a positive manner.

As a wife, and mother of two Azarel enjoys spending time with family and friends and lending support to those in need. By mentoring teens and speaking at shelters for abused women she continues to achieve that goal.

Azarel currently completed her latest baby, Carbon Copy.

Have you ever craved someone so bad…that you’d be willing to do anything?

Meet Dominique Lewis, a foul, hard-boiled, go-getter who spends most of her days yearning to be just like her sister, and plotting on taking her man. For her, it’s all about money, sex, and power. Although she possesses the perfect physique and sexy features, her life-long dream is to become wealthy and a house-hold name. By any means necessary, she vows to get what she wants.
As Dominique’s mission unfolds, she manages to get connected to Yuri, a violent replacement for the man she really sought. After realizing she’s partnered with a beast, her world turns upside down. And soon, after the tragic murder of her sister, all hell breaks loose when Dominique’s cover is blown.

Armed with revenge on the brain, and a status goal in mind, Dominique soon appoints herself as Rapheal’s woman, the most sought after millionaire in Atlanta. Raphael’s lavish status in town would put her on a new level, right where she always dreamed…the only problem …he never said he wanted her. In an effort to hold on to Rapheal, and all the elaborate material possessions, Dominique sets out on a deadly mission to remove anything that stands in her way. • ISBN-10: 1934230677 • ISBN-13: 978-1934230671 Amazon Barnes and Noble

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If you believe that you’ve read about many crazed and demented women like Dominique …guess again. Dominique is off the hook and Carbon Copy is destined to be a classic. --T iphani- bestselling author of The Mistress Series


Dominique has been considered the black sheep of the family, while her identical twin sister Monique has always been placed on a pedestal. Ever since they were kids it's been all about Monique. Both ladies are beautiful divas that are different as night and day but have one thing in common; they are in love with sexy Raphael. He turns his life from ashy to classy and appears to only have eyes for Monique or does he? Dominique is determined to do everything in her power to become Raphael's main squeeze by any means necessary.

In the meantime Dominique gets tangled up with Yuri and his shenanigans in order to keep up with living the glamorous life, which can become deadly. She eventually comes to the realization that she is in way over her head but it just might be too late.

Carbon Copy was fast paced and will keep you glued to the very end. I was hooked from the very beginning and felt like I was in the midst of all the drama and twist, it was just that visual. Azaral's writing is on point and has definitely made a name for herself in the literary world. -- 4/5 stars. Reviewed by Tangerine--Reader's Paradise Book Club

Life Changing Books
PO Box 423
Brandywine, MD 20613

Book spotlight: Carbon Copy by Azarel
Website: www.lifechangingbooks.net and www.myspace.com/azareltheauthor

Monday, September 7, 2009

Conversations w/ Shawna Hill

I am a 40 yr.old single mother of two children that has had a life long dream of seeing my books in print.

I have been writing for as long as i remember.When i was younger, I believe i was around 8 yrs old. I created my first book. I drew the characters, folded the paper in half and bound it with ribbon through the holes i punched in it. I have to say that it was then I knew I wanted to write.

I love to write and create...so I would have to say that my inspiration is knowing that I can create worlds and delve into them like they were real and thoroughly enjoy it and have others enjoy it the same.


In Between Lies is my debut novel.. Its main theme is committment, trust and love. When is the line drawn in a committed relationship and how it is defined? What makes a man commit to one woman and not to the other that he was with before? It also deals with the ramifications of having your cake and eating it too...and at what point do you stop and actually think of who you are hurting and how. Its a pretty deep book and has a lot of issues going on at the same time.
I drew from my own life experiences and expanded on it. My characters actually came to me. I have a couple that actually threatened to take over the story and I had to put a rein on them. They will get their own story soon.

To a certain extent, I believe all that is imagined and written about has a source of our own life experiences and we can expand on that main thought. There is a lot of my thoughts in probably each of my characters, but I cant say that I would do what they do.

I am a huge procrastinator! That is one of my main downfalls, but at the same time, I am the type of person that can handle pressure and deliver the goods under pressure and time constraints...

Write every day. Write what you would like to read and not mimick what others write because its easier to write from your own voice and from your own point of view than to force yourself to try to write something that isnt you.

Visit Shawna Hill

After a devastating break up with her cheating fiancé, Savannah Summers delves into her work as the Assistant to the VP of Production in a marketing/production company. Finding refuge in work and her best friends, she finally decides to try her hand at love one more time. Wanting more than ever to close the wounds of lost love and against her better judgment, she falls for Kevin Styles. This time around she vows to not give her whole self as before and keep her heart closer and guarded more than ever before.

Kevin Styles, a smooth, handsome Meteorologist at a local news station is somewhat a local celebrity in his own right. When it comes to women and playing the field, he holds all the cards. Being suave, having the right timing and patience is his game and forte and he is just the man to wine and dine her. However, a known player to his heart in his not so distant past, he’s looking for the right woman to tame his wild player ways.

Just when things are going perfect, Naomi Sanders, a now tarnished blast from Kevin’s past hits the scene. Naomi, now a revamped diva and budding actress, creates an entry into Kevin’s life and bed, reigniting a first unwanted and secret rendezvous that threatens his budding relationship with Savannah. For a short while, Kevin delights in having his cake and eating it too until Naomi decides that she wants more. Spurned, Naomi stops at nothing to stake her claim on what was once hers, bringing lies, destruction, and deceit, even if it means death. Naomi is bent on a sweet revenge targeted at Kevin and anyone that lies within his reach. Shattered trust and betrayal is inevitable. Can Kevin and Savannahs’ blooming relationship withstand Naomi’s tactics, or should Savannah cut her losses and run?

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