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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Exposed Conversations w/ Folake Taylor


THE ONLY WAY IS UP: THE JOURNEY OF AN IMMIGRANT

BY

FOLAKE TAYLOR



FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT

FOLAKE TAYLOR


TELEPHONE

+1 770 312 7973


EMAIL

FT@THEONLYWAYISUP.NET


WEBSITE

HTTP://WWW.THEONLYWAYISUP.NET


The Only Way is Up: The Journey of an Immigrant – a New Motivational Book by Folake Taylor – Makes its Debut

Atlanta, GA–Author Folake Taylor was inspired to write this book by the troubling social trends in the developed world. She is a foreign born MD who has dared to express an opinion about issues she believes are in need of a new direction in the American society and most of the western countries. She offers solutions to alleviate these and other problems, even as she makes a connection to global views and personal experiences. According to Folake Taylor, “Though leaders politically and economically, America and many industrialized countries are not leaders socially. We have fallen short in this regard. Do we have to trade modernization for social values?”

The Only Way is Up: The Journey of an Immigrant is a phenomenal read and though literature exists on similar subjects, they are usually not authored by an immigrant (with a view from within and without); neither do they contain such an array of information in a single book. Folake Taylor provides an interesting perspective for women and African Americans most especially, as seen through the eyes of an immigrant. She paints a picture of unique struggles and triumphs that one scarcely ever reads on paper while offering a matchless viewpoint to assist immigrants from the third world.

In this self-help book, Folake Taylor constantly exudes positivity and emphasizes empowerment through promoting self esteem and instilling a sense of self worth which build the foundation for success in life. She ties in her global and professional experiences as an MD and the expertise this affords concerning certain subject matters.

Some of the issues that are the focus of this book are:

Identity & Gender roles
Health & Preventive medicine
Finding a mate
Relationships & Family
Single parenthood
Teenage pregnancies
Diet & Nutrition
Global exposure
Positivity & Loving yourself
Life outside the United States


Her objective for this book is to facilitate change in her environment by the collective involvement of each individual in the community. Though dealing with critical issues, this book is an easy read.


Folake Taylor is a board certified outpatient Internal Medicine MD in the suburbs of Atlanta GA. Her residency training was at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta GA. She has published work and conference abstract presentations in the field of Medicine to her credit.


For book sales please visit http://www.theonlywayisup.net or amazon.com

For interviews and/ or review copies, requests may be addressed to FT@theonlywayisup.net

ISBN 9781448618019





Paperback 5.25 X 8 inches 168 pages ISBN 978–1448618019 Suggested Retail Price $14.99

Information for Booksellers: For orders please email orders@theonlywayisup.net

Terms: Net 30 days Discounts: 35% for 1-99 copies 40% for 100-499 copies 45% for 500 or more copies Customer pays shipping Fully returnable for one year

www.theonlywayisup.net

The Only Way is Up:

The Journey of an Immigrant

by Folake Taylor


Looking for answers? This book provides insight and solutions to the following:

Identity
Health & Preventive Medicine
Finding a mate
Relationships & Family
Single parenthood
Teenage pregnancies
Gender roles
Diet & Nutrition
Global exposure
Positivity & Loving yourself
Life outside the United States
And much more…


Praise for The Only Way is Up–The Journey of an Immigrant:

“This book is a trail blazer that will influence many immigrants and all who believe in rising above all kinds of divides. For those who seek to positively shift life’s boundaries and rise above ceilings that limit individuals. You must read it.”

–Professor Mary E. Modupe Kolawole Author, Womanism and African Consciousness

(Africa World Press, Trenton NJ, 1997)

Author Bio for Folake Taylor

Folake Taylor was born in the United Kingdom to Nigerian–born parents in the early 70s and was raised in both countries before settling in the United States to live the American dream.

Taylor obtained her medical degree (MB ChB–Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) in 1998 from the Obafemi Awolowo University College of Health Sciences in Ile-Ife, Nigeria. After medical school, she underwent a year of rotational internship in Nigeria after which she relocated to the United States. She is a 2006 graduate of the Internal Medicine Residency Program of the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA.

During residency, she participated in research. Folake Taylor is co-author of “Dyspnea, Dry cough and Fever in a woman with treated Rheumatoid Arthritis” (Photo Quiz in American Family Physician January 2007). She was the Presenter and a Co-author for “Identifying Priority Areas for Improving Patient Satisfaction in an Inner City Public Hospital,” an abstract presentation at the regional American College of Physicians (ACP) meeting (April 2005). She also co-authored “Resident Satisfaction with Continuity of Care Experience in a Public Hospital setting,” another ACP abstract presentation.

Taylor was active during her three year residency in Internal Medicine. She was acting Chief resident for a month, a position that requires leadership, organizational and people skills. After this, she received the Chief Residents’ Award for “going above and beyond”. For a period in residency, Taylor was a motivational speaker for the National Youth Leadership Forum (NYLF) for some years. In addition, she was a role play participant in the Step II CS USMLE exams (medical licensing exams) also for some years. She was a front runner for the coveted position of Chief Resident after completion of her residency in 2006, a position she declined to take up a Primary Care position in an underserved area. This is where she currently practices outpatient Internal Medicine in the Atlanta metro area and resides in the suburbs of Atlanta with her husband and toddler.

Taylor is a member of the American College of Physicians (ACP) and is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).

Folake Taylor is a practicing Christian and was raised as one. Like Michael J. Fox, she describes herself as an incurable optimist. According to Taylor, the best part of her job is being able to affect people’s lives positively. Writing this book satisfies her goal of reaching an even bigger audience with her message.

Her website is http://www.theonlywayisup.net

Sunday, April 18, 2010

AAMBC Spring Tours w/ Pauline R. Evans


Biography
Pauline R. Evans
Author/Publisher/CEO, Pink Peach Publishing

“Energy is the essence of life. Every day you decide how you're going to use it by knowing what you want and what it takes to reach that goal, and by maintaining focus.” – Oprah Winfrey


Maintaining focus is what led author Pauline R. Evans to create and complete her debut novel, Winter’s Kisses. “I have always wanted to write, be it short poems, short stories, whatever came to my imagination. I knew one day I would have a book and now it has happened.”

“In June 2009, I was standing at my bedroom window, looking out at the flowers and thinking, ‘Lord, will I ever get a job again?’ And then the answer was given to me. My job was there waiting on me; it had been all the time. I only had to claim it. My job was writing, thus the concept which became Winter’s Kisses.”

A native of Kingston, Jamaica, Pauline holds an Associate’s Degree in Paralegal Technology from Fayetteville Technical Community College and a Bachelor’s Degree in Paralegal Studies from Campbell University. Additionally, she earned a certificate in Nursing Assistant from Daytona Beach College in 1995.

Self-described as a learner, an achiever, confident and disciplined relater who is passionate for excellence. Pauline now resides in the Atlanta, GA, metro with her husband, Robert, and two daughters, where she is busy working on her second novel, She Never Left, the sequel to Winter’s Kisses.

Winter’s Kisses, is available now on the author’s website and on Amazon.com. Interact with Pauline, read her daily blogs, and get the latest on author appearances and happenings at www.paulineevansonline.org.
Synopsis
Winter Allison Reeves matured into an elegant gorgeous swan effortlessly sweep men off their feet. Aaron Dean Newton was the epitome of good looks, the walking dream for women and an object of envy for men.

Keith Pendleton, Winter’s high school sweetheart crossed paths with her and, he’s certain he has reconnected with the woman of his dreams. Megan Iris- a red-headed divorced RN fueled with a fierce determination has her sights on becoming the next Mrs. Aaron Newton.
Can their marriage survive their tumultuous affairs or will the temptation to leave become too strong to overcome? Will Winter’s best friends Amy stick by her and help her realize her true love? One thing is certain, Winter, Aaron, Keith and Megan are all playing with fire, and, without question, someone is bound to end up getting burned.

Excerpt from Winter Kisses
Aaron and I wanted kids but were unsuccessful. We spent thousands of dollars on doctors and fertility drugs, intense hours of lovemaking sessions each week but no change. We tried for years until we gave up. Our efforts only resulted in more frustration. I became somewhat regretful and angry. Over the years, despite this problem, we worked through it as we realized it was creating further breakdown in our marriage. Well, we tried to, at least.
At one point, I encouraged Aaron to adopt but he was totally against any kid moving into our home unless we were the biological parents. Once I cried, fussed and pleaded to the point where he became less firm and decided we could try adopting a baby boy. I was ecstatic! We visited an agency, fulfilled all the requirements and even set up a nursery in our home. A few months later, we received a call that we were going to be proud parents of a baby boy. The birth mom was sixteen, seven months pregnant and her parents advised her to give up the baby so he could have a better life than she could give him. The eighteen year old boy that impregnated her had moved away out of fear that her father, who sent threats, would harm him for deflowering his precious daughter.
I remember counting down the days to the birth. We chose to have an open adoption where we maintained an ongoing relationship with the mom-to-be, which made the wait free from anxiety and worry. The closer we got to the birth date, the more I noticed a tension in Aaron. I would ask him repeatedly what was wrong and he gave me the very same answer with a tinge of impatience. According to him, nothing is wrong! I sat, and would look at him, wondering why he was lying about his feelings. In the end, Aaron couldn’t allow himself to go through with the adoption. He stated he didn’t think he would be able to love this little innocent baby boy like his own. Needless to say, I was devastated. I withdrew and became self absorbed, miserable and sad for a long time. I resented Aaron to the point where I wasn’t drawn to love him anymore. He tried over time, many a times, to rekindle the flame we once shared but I grew cold towards him from the hurt I fostered deep within from not being able to conceive or adopt.
As the arguments ensue and become more frequent, we were no longer in accord with each other to the point we had to seek marriage counseling. Soon after, we decided to quit marriage counseling when we realized it had no cathartic effect. We just weren’t getting anywhere. The process tore us apart and we spoke less to each other. Sometimes I’d notice Aaron sitting and staring into space, and from the far away expression on his face I knew he was thinking of warmer and sunnier days.
I recall once I asked Aaron if he would reconsider adoption again and he flew off the handle.
“I know that would make you happy Winter,” he replied icily, “but my answer remains the same. I don’t want to adopt someone else’s kid! I’d rather have our own.” The conversation became harsh as we argued back and forth for most of the evening. I tried reasoning with him. However, it was pointless as he stood there staring bitterly at me while he yelled.
“Maybe if we stop arguing, and start spending more time together we might just get pregnant with our own child.” He continued angrily.
“I guess you are right,” I mumbled as I looked at him agonizingly. And with that, he kissed me on my forehead and went in the family room to watch the game. “Good night Aaron.” I spoke with an unreadable expression on my face, “I am going to bed.” He turned around but did not answer. For better or worst! I thought.




Interview with Pauline
What made you get into writing?


When I was a little girl, I would go under the blanket with a flashlight and read
when everyone would be asleep. I used to travel to places and see people through the eyes of the characters in those books. I started writing poems and short stories but never thought of actually writing a book.

What made you want to write a novel called, Winter’s Kisses?
One morning in June of 2009, I stood in my bedroom after my morning’s devotion and reflected intensely. I was contemplating on what purpose life has for me, after being laid off from my job. I remember I asked the Lord what’s next.
Emotions were running wildly, and yet, with all control, I decided to sit by my laptop. After I reminisced for a few hours, I started typing. After a while, my typing became words that reflected on two important virtues that mattered to me greatly: love and relationships.
At first, it was just 106 pages of something. Having realized the coherence of my thoughts, I called it progress and named it a story after I realized it wasn’t really trash. After weeks of writing, reviewing, re-writing and editing, with the help of great and true friends, it resulted in the composition of my first novel, Winter’s Kisses.

Do you have any other novels coming out soon?


I am currently working on the sequel to Winter’s Kisses. It called She Never Left.
I have only a chapter to go and would like to publish it maybe in September 2010.

When you’re not writing, what are you up to?


I am back in school for Clinical Research and this course entails writing
numerous papers and lots of research. Also I am busy being a mommy to my two lovely daughter and holding down the fort while hubby is working over in Iraq. Also, I am busy trying to get Winter’s Kisses in the hands of avid readers.
What has been the most rewarding part of being a published author?
When someone comes up to me and says stuff like: I read your book and it was such a great book I couldn’t put it down until I was finished. Or how much they could identify with a character or how reading the book gave them hope.
What advice would you give to up and coming authors?
Learn everything you can about the industry and read all you can read about how to publish your book yourself. Also try and meet people who will teach you stuff they know and the mistakes they made and try not to make the same ones. Be careful who they ask for advice because from experience, there are a few times I was given the wrong advice.
Web link: http://www.paulineevansonline.org
email: evansp534@aol.com
Book can be purchased at: http://www.paulineevansonline.com
Amazon:com
www.powell.com

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

AAMBC Spring Tours w/ Mel Bancroft


Mel Bancroft’s debut memoir, The Melody of My BitterSweet Blues candidly and graphically reveals the secrets that lurk behind domestic violence, sexual abuse, and family dysfunction.


Little Melody is born at the peak of the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, and the hippie counterculture, which takes her father, Moses, into a downward spiral of psychedelic drug experimentation. She lives with her family in a rundown tenement on the rough, west side of Chicago. She doesn’t quite notice they’re poor—until the old crooked-leg man grinds her soul away.



As an adolescent, Melody witnesses domestic violence, seemingly everywhere, unable to understand how her father can love her mother and beat her, too. And whatever happened to being Daddy’s little girl? She questions the meaning of sex as the coming of age aspect of this tale warns the reader of the signs of sexual abuse, teenage depression, and attempted suicide.



Melody struggles to relate to men in her adulthood, becoming a victim of abuse. Cocaine numbs the pain. She scratches her way toward sobriety for two years as she tries to mend a strained relationship with her mother, Ollie, who has been emotionally unavailable for years. She sets out to heal her past by researching her family history and interviewing family members. What she uncovers is mind-blowing.


The ultimate turnaround of the life of one woman speaks to the human condition of the world. She is fearless, indefatigable, and righteous in her march to victory, thus breaking the cycle of abuse. Using poetic enlightenment and poignant imagery, Bancroft has given every survivor of abuse the gift of hope and triumph.


THE MELODY OF MY BITTERSWEET BLUES

BY MEL BANCROFT


EXCERPT FROM CHAPTER 3
Love Don’t Live Here Anymore



The next morning, right around daybreak at the dawn of perfect light hovering over our bed, Darryl nudged me gently, then his hand slid up and down my back. He took my hand and placed it inside his boxer shorts and rubbed it around his morning bulge. That’s how we usually started the morning. Then he nestled up behind me, kissing my neck, pressing his soft lips and warm face against my back, up and down and side to side. Soon our bodies were intertwined in a rhythm so harmonious I could have sung like a bird when we were done pleasing each other. Too bad we were no longer able to dance that beautifully standing up, vertically we had become two left feet.

Lulled by ecstasy, I drifted to sleep again, but was awakened by the smoky scent of sizzling bacon, buttered toast and the smell of smothered potatoes with onions, combined with the sounds of occasional stirring, soft clinking of utensils, and plates gently brushing together.

Donning my robe, I headed for the bathroom to freshen up. I stopped at the top of the stairs to again take in the aroma of the glorious breakfast, which reminded me of the smell of my Grandma Madea’s house at six o’clock on Saturday mornings, and when Momma would make her signature home potatoes and juicy hamburgers.

At first I thought I was dreaming the whole thing. Convinced it was all real, I rushed to the bathroom, washed my face, and just as I was about to brush my teeth, I locked eyes with myself in the mirror. I wasn’t at Momma’s house anymore, nor was I at Grandma Madea’s. I was a long way from home and something was wrong with this picture—this gesture Darryl had spawned out of nowhere. Did he think sex was going to replace my need to be treated with respect?

At a skeptical pace, I trotted down the stairs to surmise his intention. His sparkly smile was back again, the cleft in his chin softened, and his un-pursed lips matched his relaxed eyes, glinting in some solace he’d lost and just found. I don’t know, maybe I did “whip it” on him pretty good. Maybe he’s okay now.
“Good morning, babe. You don’t have to do anything, but just have a seat.” He pulled out a chair, waving his hand in front of it.
“Everything looks so good,” I said. As I sat down, my stare fixed on his exuberance, I let a piece of my guard down.
He dished the food onto our plates and took a seat at the table.
“I was thinkin’ we could do somethin’ tonight, like go bowling or somethin,’” he said, scraping butter across his toast.
“Bowling sounds good. Let’s do that.”
“When’s the last time you went bowling?”
“It’s been a long time. I hope you can teach me a thing or two. Mmmm, these eggs are so good.”
“Eggs are my specialty, and I can teach you a whole lotta things about bowling. My average score is about 185.”
“Ooh! I’m scared of you. Don’t beat me too bad now.”
I smiled at him, sipping the liquid warmth from my coffee cup, asking myself why I loved him so much. Was it because his family knew my family? Or was it the way one of his eyebrows lifted as he turned his face from side to side shaving, or the way he walked tall and straight in his uniform? And the amazing sex we had. It was all of that, and then some. Even at nineteen, I was mature enough to know that my love for him had been stronger than his physical profile or his background. It was innocent and pure. When we weren’t fighting, he loved me the same, holding me in his arms in bed each night, making me feel warm and secure. Yet the more I learned about him, the fewer reasons I could find to love him. I was hanging on to the sheer blessing of my ability to love.

Just as the sun met the horizon, we pulled up to park in front of the bowling alley. Yet I wondered who had died. He must have tricked me into believing that we were going out to have fun because it felt more like we were going to a funeral. He spoke no words to me nor did I to him. Once inside, Darryl walked directly to the check-out counter manned by a tall, lanky white man who seemed to have a permanent smile on his face. He irked Darryl with his enthusiasm, almost bouncing on his toes to be of service. He pointed out the best lanes and directed us to a rack of bowling balls. We told him our shoes sizes as I wandered away from the counter. Darryl, without the slightest interest, cut off the man’s explanation about choosing the right ball by snatching the shoes from the counter and walking off.

I loitered around the entrance, gazing at promotional material and lost-doggie flyers posted on a cork board, and dusty photos of previous years’ tournament winners, which was the high life of Grand Forks’ finest. I conjured a dismal picture of growing old way before my time. Smiling at the happy man, I turned back toward the counter, and thanked him for his hospitality. Darryl motioned to me to follow him to a lane he chose. As I bent down to take off my shoes, I caught a glimpse of Darryl’s profile as he sat in the row of chairs across from me. The expression on his face never changed. It was stone cold and he was somewhere off in the distance.

I had known Darryl since I was fifteen, but I never knew that cold stare. He and his family, the Grays, lived next door to my Auntie Rose back in Chicago. Every summer when I traveled back home for the last four years, I yearned to get close enough to smell the Murray’s pomade in his hair, a hint of his Brut cologne, or discover that collard greens and cornbread was his favorite food. And at last, now that he was mine, I wanted nothing more than to scratch his eyeballs out and leave him standing in the bowling alley with that stupid look on his face.

He changed his shoes and took the “driver’s seat,” pulling out a pencil and score card. My nerves were sizzling at the edges trying to make sense of him, trying to decipher what bag he was going to come out of this time. Who is this man? I walked to the front of the lane pretending like I had some interest in bowling. He started the game without explaining a thing. When it was my turn, I only knocked down half the pins the first time and finished them up on the pick-up. The second time I was up, I threw the ball down the lane, envisioning the middle section of the lined-up pins as his head on a platter. And a strike it is! Dare I jump for joy? I asked myself, then let go.
“Yay!” I said aloud with my arms stretched high in the air. He wrote down the score, and threw me a quick sneer.
“Let’s go,” he said. “Let’s go” was his predictably unpredictable response to my strike.
We arrived home the same way we left—in silence. I fantasized about how he’d explain his behavior—like maybe he didn’t feel well, or he was tired or having back pain. Maybe he would park the car in the driveway as usual and then apologize about how rude he had been acting. Then we’d have “makeup sex.” Instead, he stopped the car in front of the house in the middle of the road.
“Get out,” he said, staring straight through the windshield.
“What do you mean? I don’t—”
“Get out!”
I opened the door, but hesitant to leave the car, I turned back toward him as the car began taking off, barely giving me time to get out and shut the door. Standing in the middle of the road, I watched him escape into darkness as red sirens spun around my head and palpitations sent a jolt to my chest. I staggered my way inside the house, taking inventory of anything I might have said or done that would upset him, only to find myself clueless and, frankly, innocent of any such provocation.

About an hour later Darryl came home, plopped down on the bed and flipped on the television. I dashed out of the bathroom and into the bedroom only to find that cold stare still plastered on his face.
“Would you mind telling me what’s the matter?” I said, standing at the foot of the bed.
“Nothin’,” he said, lying with his legs crossed and the remote control clutched in one hand, resisting eye contact with me.
“You can’t do this forever. I need you to talk to me.” I moved to the corner of the bed, blocking the television.
“I told you. Now move! You see me watching TV,” he said, cutting his eyes at me.
“I don’t care. You need to stop this, Darryl. I can’t take it anymore! He moved toward me, sliding off the edge of the bed.
“Shut up! Will you just shut up?” he screamed, towering over me. Hot air shot out from his nostrils and sprayed my face, vexing me from head to toe.
“No, you shut up! You—”
One of his hands grabbed the back of my head while the other sprawled over my entire face. My nose and mouth pressed flat, I felt an unrelenting grip latch onto my head. Then he slammed me down onto the bed.
“Shut up, shut up, shut up” was all I could hear muffled behind the inner walls of my ears. The grip got tighter and tighter. I began losing air, but thought for sure he’d stop. Then my eyeballs felt like they were popping out of my head as I strained to focus on anything in the room, anything I could grab, something that didn’t signify death. I tried to use my lower body to gain leverage, but his legs had pinned me down. Losing more breath, I started thinking my last moment was soon coming, the last moment I’d ever know what it meant to be living: I was going to die.


Copyright © 2009 by Mel Bancroft.

Biography


Inspirational Author, Poet and Songwriter, Mel Bancroft's writings have been seen on Helium.com, OfficeArrow.com, Healthy News, Regal Magazine for African American men, and the Los Angeles Sentinel, America's number one African American newspaper. Recently she was awarded "The Winner in You Extra Efforts Award" by Salute America in recognition of her contributions to the world of poetry and thought, and for her socially conscious perspectives. She has also appeared as a panelist on several online talk radio shows discussing domestic violence issues, the importance of creative writing, and social consciousness.

When Ms. Bancroft was a little girl, if she got fussy, her mother could always calm her down by giving her a pencil and a piece of paper or a book to read. Born in Chicago, she grew up on the rough, west side of the city enduring domestic violence and childhood abuse, which left her with deep-seated, low self-esteem. Writing was her saving grace, keeping her distracted from her destitute surroundings. After moving to Los Angeles as a teen, she found coming of age further confusing and painful as she tried to find her identity. She finally found her place in poetry, music, and writing short stories. But her artistic passion was never realized until she stopped living her life as the “victimized girl” and conquered drug addiction.


Ms. Bancroft has written poetry and articles on a wide range of subject matter: self-help, spirituality, marketing, business, family, and relationships. Notably, the poem Jena Six: Our Strangefruit Is Still Hanging, emphatically questioning how far African Americans have come, was published in TRIBES Magazine. She is currently penning the sequel to her debut memoir, Bitter Sweet & Mo’ Sweeta due for release in late 2010. She enjoys yoga, meditation, tennis, and dancing, and resides in Atlanta, Georgia.


Interview Questions, Web Links & Quotes from the Book


The Melody of My BitterSweet Blues is a riveting, true story which is narrated through the eyes of a woman who has endured sexual abuse as a child, struggled through coming of age, finding herself in abusive relationships as an adult. Not only is the story told candidly and graphically, revealing the secrets that lurk behind abuse, the narrator takes the reader inside a journey of spiritual healing and unbridled courage through poetic enlightenment and poignant imagery.


What lead you to create this book?


Actually it was God-inspired. As someone who has survived several forms of abuse, it has been on my heart for many years to share my strength with others who may still be trying to find their own empowerment. The book was also inspired by Maya Angelou’s I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.


Who should read this book and why?



There are several groups, I believe, that can benefit from this book: adult survivors of abuse, victims of spousal abuse, even those who have been perpetrators of abuse who aspire to change how they deal with problems. This book serves as a reminder to those who have suffered from such dysfunction, that they are not alone, and encourages them to seek their own healing.


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


The message that I want men and women to grasp is that we need each other’s love and support in order to stop domestic violence—victims and perpetrators.


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


Meditation and yoga helps me to stay in mental and physical shape. I love to go out dancing and spend time with friends and family.


What does your family think of your writing?


For the most part, everyone’s supportive. My mother read the book in one day. But exposing family secrets and having them read about them in a book is not easy for some people to accept, yet it has brought healing to my family.


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


First of all, make sure your life is clear of major stressors that can get in the way of writing, such as unhealthy relationships and jobs that drain you. Writing takes time, energy, dedication, and discipline. Learn every writing technique you can, practice good grammar and spelling and, most of all, write from the heart.


Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. Also share with us your online contact information.


I am currently developing the sequel to The Melody of My BitterSweet Blues, which is entitled BitterSweet & Mo’ Sweeta. I am also working on a self-help book geared toward dating and relationship issues between women and men. The Melody of My BitterSweet Blues can be purchased at WWW.MELBANCROFT.COM, WWW.AMAZON.COM, and WWW.BARNES & NOBLE.COM.


Web Links


Author Website: www.melbancroft.com

Email: mel@melbancroft.com

Social Networks

The Melody of My BitterSweet Blues on Facebook

Follow Mel Bancroft on Twitter

Mel Bancroft's Blog

Visit Mel Bancroft on MySpace

Monday, April 5, 2010

AAMBC Spring Tours w/ Toshia Shaw


Shauna, Dawn, and Felicia are best friends who are bonded as “partners in crime” while trying to survive in Las Vegas, Nevada aka Sin City. Their friendship quickly begins to unravel when Jeffrey, Dawn’s fiancé, enters the picture. Although happy for their friend, Shauna and Felicia quickly begin to question the validity of their friendship when they aren’t allowed into Dawn’s new picture perfect life.
Desperate to keep her old lifestyle a secret from her fiancé, Dawn comes up with an elaborate scheme to make sure she weds Jeffrey at any cost, but Jeffrey attends a bachelor party where he meets, and instantly falls for, the naive and beautiful Shauna, and he and Dawn’s relationship becomes compromised. When dealing with matters of the heart, all bets are off.
Felicia is caught in the middle, and when it proves too much, she goes against her better judgment and becomes lost in her own world where promiscuity and drug abuse become the major players in her life.
Each girl is dancing on the stage of uncertainty. When the curtains are drawn and the neon lights go dim, who will wind up with the standing ovation?
High Stakes, sometimes when you gamble a little, you wind up losing it all.

Biography:
Toshia Shaw is a poet and writer hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada where she resides with her husband and two children. She holds a Bachelors degree in Human Services and is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration in Health Care Management. She sits on the board of Nevada Youth Alliance, and she is the Executive Director of Purple Wings Organization; a non-profit directed at deterring at-risk young ladies from the sex industry of Las Vegas, Nevada. When Toshia isn't writing she loves spending time with her family.

Interview with Toshia:

Where were you born?
I was born in Joliet, Illinois, but raised in Memphis, Tennessee.
Education background?
I graduated from Trezevant High School in Memphis, TN., earned my Bachelors in Human Services, and I am currently pursuing
my Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Health Administration.
What's your inspiration or who is?
I draw inspiration from my children; my three year old daughter, and 14 year old son. They both inspire me to be and do my
best. I want to be the example instead of just talking about striving to do and be more.
As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Actually, as a child I made up my mind that I wanted to be an author. I would get lost in the world of books as early as seven
years old. My parents would have to make me put them down. I would read books in one day, stay up all night if I had to. I
just loved the art form of making words form a work of poetry, or a story. I see it as art. Whatever I went through I recorded
those feelings with writing.
Did you ever think you'd ever become an author?
Yes, I always knew I would one day get the opportunity to share my creative writing with the world. Although, life took me
on other paths I have never forgotten my first love which is writing.

How long does it take you to write a book?
Well it depends on what I am writing. It can take anywhere from one month to one year.
When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I remember entering my first writing contest at the age of seven where I took first place. I got the chance to meet a famous
Chicago Bear football player. I will never forget that book; I entitled it, Cindy and her Maracas.
Whose writing do you admire most?
My favorite writer of all time would have to be Toni Morrison. I admire the writing style of Akosua Busia however, she has
only written one book that I know of. I am sitting on the edge of my chair waiting for her next work. I will always have a
strong connection with Terry McMillan’s characters because they are so easy to relate to.
What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Basically, I don’t get any sleep! I have a full time job, in Grad school, and a family so the only time I get to work on my craft
is late at night or early in the morning before anyone rises.

Social Networks
:
Linked In: http://www.linkedin.com/in/toshiashaw
Twitter: http://twitter.com/WritingAddict
MySpace: http://www.myspace.com/519954807
Fan Club: http://toshiashaw.ning.com/
Website: http://www.toshiashaw.com/
Email Addy: compulsivewriting@yahoo.com
FaceBook: http://www.facebook.com/tosh.shaw
Book Trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gnNlFdLf_Kc

Excerpt:
Dawn took a bite of food, looked toward the door, and almost choked. Dawn could feel her heart dropping into her stomach with the
force and swiftness of a fallen airplane. She could not believe who she was seeing enter the restaurant. She watched Felicia saunter in with an older, white, balding man. She wore her usual long wig and a beautiful red and white Valentino dress, undoubtedly a gift from one of her tricks, such as the man she was with. The back of Dawn's neck was growing warm and she felt her eyes growing bigger by the second.

No, this can’t be happening to me—not now, not tonight! she said to herself.
"Dawn, darling, is something wrong? You don’t look well." Mrs. Mathers patted Dawn’s hand.

"Baby, you all right?" Jeffrey rushed to his fiancée's side.
High Stakes

"Umm, I suddenly feel ill. I'm just going to excuse myself and
go to the ladies' room." As Dawn stood up, she and Felicia locked eyes.

What were the chances that she and Felicia would end up in the same restaurant? Dawn thought she might die. What in the hell was
Felicia doing at Tres Jazz? She escaped to the restroom to collect herself. There was no way she would stay in that restaurant when the past was right up in her face. She splashed cold water on her face and began to dry it with a paper towel, and when she looked up Felicia was standing behind her.

"Fancy meeting you here. Are you and future hubby here on a little date?" Felicia asked with a curt look on her face. She knew that Dawn's seeing her there would ruffle her feathers.

"Felicia, what are you doing here, and who is that guy?”

Felicia walked to the other side of Dawn to primp in the mirror.

“Don’t tell me he's one of your tricks," Dawn said with a condescending look.

Felicia stopped brushing her wig and turned to face Dawn. She was tired of the whole façade Dawn was wearing, acting as if she didn’t
know anything about tricking.

"Look, I am here to eat, and I prefer the term 'date.'" Felicia pulled out a tube of lipstick and began to reapply. "Don’t call him a trick. He is too paid to be one of them. Oh, and, Dawn, tricking is something you should know a lot about. You seem to be performing a lot with your man out there."

"Whatever. I am here having dinner with my fiancé and his mother. We were just about to leave, so I'll call you later this week."

Dawn tried to make it clear, without saying the words, that she did not need Felicia's lowlife self butting all up in her business, trying to come over and introduce herself to Jeffrey.

"Oh, in other words, I need to stay clear of your table?" Felicia stepped up to Dawn and stared her in the eyes. "Don’t worry, Cinderella. I won't spoil the ball for you and Jeffrey. I'm sure he doesn’t want to know that his fiancée is a cheap, two-dollar hoe!"

Felicia infuriated Dawn, and she was about to tear the wig off her bald headed body when she realized she was above her now. She
didn’t have to resort to her type of behavior.

Felicia noticed the hesitation on Dawn’s part.

"What's wrong, Dawn, you scared of a little tiff?"

Dawn did nothing but stare at Felicia square in the eyes, she did not flinch or dare to breathe heavily. A slow smile crept onto Felicia’s face. She looked Dawn up and down, dismissed her with one hand, and turned on her heel to leave.

As she was about to leave, Felicia added, "Remember, girl, you can take the bitch out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the bitch!" With that remark, she turned and pranced out of the restroom.

Dawn pulled herself together and walked back to the table calmly as if nothing had happened. She looked at Felicia out of the
corner of her eye. Felicia winked at her, undoubtedly toying with her emotions.

July Book of the Month

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