Sunday, December 19, 2010
My hand reached out to touch him as I closed my eyes. A shiver passed through my body as my hand touched his warm skin.
“Umm, you ready for round two?” I suggestively said. A sudden arctic blast froze my hand to his chest; the chill caused my lids to snap open.
Merlin’s seductive eyes turned stony as he stepped away from me. “Round two?” His voiced seemed to rumble deep within his chest. His nostrils flared, which caused me to take a step back as well.
My fingers sought the edges of my towel that I’d almost flung to the floor only moments before. “What’s the matter?”
Merlin’s whole demeanor was different and it threw me off as well. “You said round two. What did you mean?”
I assumed he was joking and wanted me to reiterate how much I enjoyed our last lovemaking session. I coyly smiled at him and took a step closer. “Oh, you don’t remember ripping off my clothes and fucking my brains out on the living room floor?”
There was a warning in his tone that I failed to pay attention to as I continued to taunt him.
“You don’t remember sucking my lips and teasing my clit with your tongue?” I closed my eyes and started twirling my hips to a song that played only in my head. I allowed my towel to fall to the floor as I danced for him.
Once again I ignored the warning in his voice. I was caught up in the moment and I was anxious to feel his hands on my body again. “You said my pussy was the sweetest nectar that you’d ever tasted … umm.” My fingers trailed down my body and I finger-fucked myself. “Wanna taste …?” My eyes were still closed.
The sound of his fist connecting with my jaw reverberated throughout the room. My arms flailed about helplessly as I sailed
through the air. I was so surprised by the blow that I didn’t feel the pain, not until my body collided with our bedroom wall. Stunned, I struggled to get to my feet. My jaw throbbed. I felt a mixture of emotions all at the same time: shock, fear, anger.
“Have you lost your rabbit-ass mind? What the fuck is wrong with you?” I demanded, holding my jaw. Perhaps I should have chosen some gentler words to gauge where all this anger came from, but I was beyond pissed. One thing that I would not tolerate in a relationship was a man putting his hands on me.
“No, what the fuck is wrong with you?” He grabbed a shirt from the dresser and yanked it over his head.
“Hey, bro, what’s up?”
My head jerked toward the door at a man who looked like the spitting image of my husband. Merlin paused as his fingers dug into my skin.
“Gavin?” Merlin asked stunned to be looking at his brother.
I felt the floor rush up to greet me as Merlin dropped me like a useless dumbbell he had tired of.
"Yeah, man, what's up with you?" The stranger took a step into the room with a shit-eating grin on his face.
“How did you get in here?”
I sat up, wincing in pain.
“You’re still leaving the key under the mat just like you did when we were kids.”
“Merlin, who is this man?” I was reaching for my towel to cover my nakedness. I knew it was a stupid question even before it had left my lips but rational thinking wasn’t something I was capable of at the moment. Both men stared at me like I’d just stepped off the short, yellow bus
Merlin’s shoulders slumped. “Man, please tell me you didn’t just fuck my wife.” The fire had gone out of Merlin’s body as my eyes bucked at the implication of his words.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Synopsis for Eleven Months of Hell!!
China Ball’s first dramatic novel is a real page turner. This novel’s about a woman who took drastic measures to take control of her life to the point of putting a knife to her husband’s throat during a heated argument.
The story began where Mercedes joins the Navy to see the world and meets a charming but dysfunctional Air Force Sergeant, falls in love and married him. She continues her military service when the most unexpected events happen to her. These events take Mercedes though trial after tribulation and make her more determined than ever to change her life for the better.
Through Mercedes journey she has several true and loyal friends with very colorful personalities and characteristics that make for very interesting reading. This book deals with many of the social issues of today, such as no good cheating men and sexy women that gotta have it to drug & alcohol addiction and the alternate life styles many of her friends have.
The last eleven months of this journey are the most challenging of all but Mercedes is determined not to let anyone or anything get in the way of achieving her ultimate goals in life.
Why don’t you take a ride on this amazing journey and see why Eleven Months of Hell was invited as a nominee for the NAACP image awards as best fiction novel of the year.
Excerpt from Eleven Months of Hell
Mercedes listened as Terry unlocked the back door and walked into the house. He had just gotten off from his shift at the post office. She could hear him walking around downstairs as if he was inspecting the place. This was his nightly routine. She cringed when she heard his foot settle onto the first step. He was coming upstairs to harass and abuse her, as usual. Everything was the same as it had been for the last eleven months, but tonight it would be different. Mercedes had made up her mind….tonight would be very different.
BIO: China Ball passion for writing began when she was three years old and her mother gave her a sheet of paper and a pencil to quiet her down, but unbeknownst to her mother it was love of first sight for China. She served the United States Navy and began writing in journals of all her travels and experiences for relaxations. After nine and a half years Ms. Ball was honorably discharged as a disabled veteran and went on to work in the Postal Service while attending Norfolk State University. Ms. Ball first debut novel, “Eleven Months of Hell” was released in 2008 where she received an invitation to be nominated in the 40th Year NAACP Images Award for the Year 2009. Although Ms. Ball did not get selected as a final nominee for the 2009 Image Awards she was given the honor once again to participate as a nominee for the 41st NAACP Image Awards in the Literary Category for Best Fiction Author of the year for 2010 for her new novel “After the Hell”. Just recently Ms. Ball has released her third novel, No More Hell to end the “Hell” trilogy. Currently she is working on her 4th novel to be release in early 2011.
Ms. Ball holds a Bachelors of Arts degree in Journalism from Norfolk State University and a Master of Science Degree from Central Michigan University. Ms. Ball is proudly a Lady of Alpha Kappa Alpha, Inc.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Anna Black, Author of Now You Wanna Come Back, Luck of the Draw and Who Do I Run To?
Talented and inspiring is the best way to describe this Chicago Native. Now You Wanna Come Back is her debut novel and it has done its duty to deliver a page turning introduction for Anna. She has showed herself to be ready for the literary world with her first release and is anxious to release her second novel Luck of the Draw in April 2010. Her love for writing began about ten years ago with poems and short stories and now she is ready to wow readers with her page turning plots, while she gives readers stories that will make them laugh, maybe cry, but definitely reflect. This new authoress is here to make a mark in the literary world, so readers get ready. She currently lives in Texas with her husband Chris and her daughter Tyra and it is her pleasure to share her written words with you.
Visit Anna at www.annablack.net
Friends come and go, but the good ones are hard to let go. Kennedy and her best friend Cherae were like "two peas in a pod," Kennedy's daddy would say because they were tighter than a large man in a medium suit jacket. Although they were totally different in size, personality and back ground, they had been friends and loved each other since the second grade. Tables turned for their friendship when that evil word 'jealously' came between them over a sexy club owner named Julian Roberson. One night led this duo down an ugly road that Kennedy never wanted to travel on and a road Cherae never imagined she'd lose on. Cherae opened up a can of pain on Kennedy and after over twenty-five years of friendship, one man caused it to fall apart. Not knowing what to do or who to trust, Kennedy sought support from her true friend Teresa, who had tried to warn her about her life long pal Cherae many times before. When the smoke clears and the truth finally comes to light, they learn a lesson in friendship, love and loyalty
Saturday, December 11, 2010
Zuri Day heats it up in this deliciously sexy tale about lust, trust, seduction—and other dishes best served sizzling …
Burned by an unhappy childhood, Tiffany Matthews plays life safe. So she never saw wealthy businessman Dominick Rollins—or their wildly-sensual European encounter—coming. But now that she’s landed a sous chef job at Dominick’s prestigious hotel, she’s determined to keep her fine new boss at arm’s length—and their relationship professional…
Dominick can’t resist coming back for more. Tiffany’s honesty is the one ingredient none of his glamorous exes has ever served up. And he’s using every tempting glance and touch to melt Tiffany’s defenses and show her the caring man under his sophisticated image. But is what they have enough for Tiffany to risk her heart—or will this love prove way too hot to handle?
Zuri Day is a hopeful romantic. She believes in happy endings, half-full glasses and dreams coming true. That's why she's thrilled to be a contributing writer to this genre...one of her favorites!
Zuri doesn't remember exactly how old she was when she picked up her first romance novel, but she does remember it was love at first sight. "It was probably a Harlequin," she recalled during a recent interview. "And it thankfully took me away from a fairly dull and routine existence growing up in a small Kansas town."
Things aren't dull and routine anymore. Zuri now resides in Los Angeles with her family and when she isn't writing loves to travel the world, cook vegetarian food, work out, watch sports, attend concerts and theatre and enjoy the simple things in life.
"Many people have given up on love, much less romance," Zuri says. "I'm hoping that somehow, through the love-filled pages of my romance novels, I can ignite the reader's desire to believe again. Because everything is possible, when we believe..."
ENTER TO WIN A FREE COPY BY SENDING YOUR NAME AND LOCATION TO EVENTS@AAMBOOKCLUB.COM
Friday, December 10, 2010
Felisha Bradshaw Author of Eyes on the Pryze, her first debut, novel is currently a resident of Bridgeport, Ct. She is a graduate of Housatonic Community College with an Assoc. Degree in Science. She is currently working towards a Bachelor Degree in Psychology. Bradshaw is active in various youth outreach programs in her native Bridgeport, CT, and an advocate for the youth. She is currently working on two novels to be release in 2010.
Eyes on the Pryze by Felisha Bradshaw is a hardcore, riveting novel about twins separated from drug addicted parents and growing up in the drug game. This book gives you an inside look at the drug game, ride-or-die chicks, hostile environments and brotherly love.
Chase and Caine Pryze are twin brothers who are taken from their parents due to drug addiction. Chase is reunited with his family but Caine is left on his own. Chase is growing up in Bridgeport, Connecticut and Caine is running wild in the streets of New York City. Each brother thinks the other is living a good life, until they come face-to-face and find out they are rivals in the drug game.
When Chase loses his girlfriend, Phoenix, to his estranged brother, Caine, he thinks his world has come to an end. But little does he know that it is just the beginning of his problems when his right-hand man runs off with the drop off money, and his drug connection is missing; Chases well runs dry.
Can Chase come out of this battle alive? Will he reconcile with his long lost brother? Which brother will Phoenix choose? This is a fast-paced drama that will have you craving for more, I recommend this book to readers of all genres who enjoy a good story.
Visit Felisha at http://authorfelishabradshaw.web.officelive.com
Interview with Felisha Bradshaw
#1. What is your stance on Urban Fiction being too raunchy, a promoter for violence, drugs and the fast lifestyle and too gritty for teens?
As a writer of urban fiction I believe that any book should be viewed as a book that could send a mixed message and parents should be aware of what their teens are reading. But my intention is not to promote any of thee above but to bring awareness to our teens and moms. For mothers: if your teen is reading Eyes on the Pryze ask her who she relates to, ask why. Then read the book yourself and get a free pass to how your child thinks. Teens: Understand that this is a book not real life. It may relate to real life but consequences are always the ends or what you do whether good or bad. Be prepared to reap what you sow in life. If you sow a bad seed you will get bad things from it. Pay attention to the feelings of the characters how they evolve. Nothing is too raunchy if you learn a valuable lesson and you get a chance to step into the world of your teens and how they see it.
#2. What’s the meaning behind the title of your debut book; Eyes on the Pryze?
All eyes were on my main character Chase. His last name was Pryze. So I added a play on words and came up with Eyes on the Pryze.
#3. Do you plan to write in any other genre besides Urban Fiction?
I have a girlfriend book, some would call chic lit soon to be released called Sistah Circle and I am currently working on a Christian Fiction book. So be on the look out.
#4. Do you have a method on how you develop your characters?
I was told by a friend that in order to strengthen your character you need to build a short synopsis of the storyline. As I build the story line I plug characters in and gradually they gain personality. I then build a short synopsis of each character, giving them life and a personal purpose.
#5. What projects do you have underway?
I am promoting Urban Fiction through my local library through various projects. The first will bring in the new year; a 3 author panel discussion entitled “Lets talk Urban”.
#6. Is there a message in Eyes on the Pryze that you want the readers to grasp?
Of course, the message I am conveying is everything happens for a reason in its own season. If you rush life experiences and if you rush your time to shine, you may just rush past the lessons you were suppose to learn in life. I also sent a message through the pages of Eyes on the Pryze telling my readers that speak up and speak clearly. Never be afraid to question what you don’t know. Don’t assume the worse because it may not be what it looks like. Lastly, friendship should always be there when the smoke clears. True friendship deserves a second chance. But remember give people the titles they have earned, don’t take the title so lightly.
#7. Any advice to future writers and readers?
Writers, do just that; write. Write everyday even if it’s just a paragraph or notes for your book. Always keep the juices flowing. As for my readers, never judge a book by its cover, expand your reading you will be surprised what you may like. To both; thanks for shattering the myth that minorities don’t read because we do. We are a educated culture and a creative people.
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An American Tragedy of Elderly Abuse
This gut-wrenching tragedy is based on a true story of physical and emotional abuse by one family member perpetrated against an elderly aunt. It follows a trail of wicked greed and selfishness that leads to the unimaginable.
The victim’s niece, Danielle, makes the crucial discovery of abuse—it is her brother. He produces a bogus living trust naming himself as sole beneficiary. He has emptied their aunt’s safe deposit box of $70,000 cash and closed it down. Danielle takes that tedious step and does what must be done. She files suit to retrieve the victim’s cash, causing a bitter family split. She remains undeterred in seeking justice.
In court, the judge makes a decision that will shock those who think they’ve seen it all. This is one book that lays out abuse in all of its ugly forms—greed, violence, betrayal. Just as importantly, the author includes resources to help protect the elderly. She lists 10 warning signs of impending danger for the victim, and in selecting the caretakers. They are intended to make the elderly’s final days more comfortable and their wishes carried out. She warns that would-be abusers don’t have to be strangers—in fact, they often are not. For the first time, this author has done an incredibly daring job of putting a face on the 1.2 million elderly people who are abused every year.
Janice M. Lauderdale’s lifelong dream was to help the helpless. In her new book, “Wealth of the Wicked: An American Tragedy of Elderly Abuse,” she fulfills that dream.
The sadness for the victim’s loss at the hands of a perpetrator prompted Lauderdale to write a book that could assist others in the care for the elderly. Her book puts a face on the 1.2 million elder people who are abused each year. It reveals the warning signs to watch for when others move in close to the elderly with intentions of stealing their worldly goods and abusing them. Her book also points out ways to protect them. During guardianship of her aunt, everything she knew about togetherness, mutual respect, and love was shaken. She experienced the ripping apart of her family, seam by seam. She learned that elderly abuse was epidemic, and many families sweep the subject under the rug. Instead of dropping their heads in shame, Wealth of the Wicked allows families to realize that their silence aids their perpetrators to get away with their wicked ways. The more Lauderdale thought about writing the book, the more she heard other people tell their sad stories of elderly abuse. She realized that the 1.2 million helpless seniors who are abused in one way or the other every year needed a face, and Wealth of the Wicked: An American Tragedy of Elderly Abuse delivers that face.
Interview with Janice Lauderdale
1. Question: Where did you develop the passion to write your book?
Answer: My journey to becoming an author and an advocate for the elderly began when my elderly aunt allowed her nephew to move in to provide caregiver services. After a short 115 days, he manages to take her to the bank and emptied out her safe deposit box of some $70,000. And, if that wasn't enough, under menace and duress, he had her sign a bogus living trust naming him as the sole beneficiary of her paid-for home. After living through this nightmare, I was provoked to write my book, and after doing some have met so many other families with their stories of tragedy and regret. What made this experience all the more traumatic was the perpetrator of this awful travesty is my oldest brother.
2. Question: Were you able to retrieve any of the money?
Answer: There's an old slogan that fits this scenario to a tee "easy come -- easy go"; that was the way her nephew my brother viewed life through rose-colored lenses. For a short time (that's how long the money lasted) he was living the good life, not a care in the world but in short order that money was gone. But, he at no time has shown any remorse or expressed any regret.
3. Question: What was the reaction of your family?
Answer: In these type of situations, the fall-out is usually pretty devastating, mine being just that. It was just like someone came and drove a Mac truck through my family that still persists even today. How anyone could believe what he had done was right, I'll never know.
4. Question: When you and your brother were growing up did you get along? Answer: Not really. We were always butting heads when we were children, but thankfully I had grown up and matured and had tried to re-establish a friendship with him but with no real lasting results.
5. Question: Why are 50% of the crimes against the elderly committed by family members?
Answer: Often the elderly are lonely and vulnerable and very trusting towards family because they feel it's "safe" to trust family. As we age, we begin to let our guard down and too often predators will target the elderly because too often they know they're "ripe for the pickin." It's very sad how we treat our elderly.
6. Question: How do we as a society stop the abuse against the elderly?
Answer: First of all, we must admit that our country has a problem in the way we care for our elderly. Laws must be in place to properly punish these perpetrators who extract evil on the lives of these innocent ones. They must be held accountable. Also, we must ensure that when an individual reporting an abuse will not be given the run-around and become discouraged from future involvement.
7. Question: What do you believe are the benefits of your book?
Answer: My book is riveting and at the same time very sobering. It pulls the covers off this travesty which is occurring at the rate of 1.2 million a year. There's got to be something that can be done to protect our senior citizens who have lived their lives and just want to enjoy the balance of their days free from hurt and harm. The Reference Section in the back of the back provides invaluable information and warns individuals about the things they need to have in place as they begin to age, i.e. Living Trust and Power of Attorney.
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Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Tamika Newhouse is the Best Selling author of The Ultimate No No. She is also known as the creator and President of African Americans on the Move Book Club, which is an online book club catering to avid readers across the nation. In March 2009 Tamika was announced the Women of the Year by Alive Magazine and nominated as Best Radio Personality by the Black Book Clubs Rock Awards. As well as the African American Literary Awards awarded her as Self Published Author of the Year in less then a year after the release of her first novel.
She is currently the CEO of Delphine Publications and has the vision of building a powerful company. She can be heard on the syndicated AAMBC Radio, where she interviews new and seasoned authors. The show showcases many of the author’s talents and their current projects.
She is currently living in San Antonio with her husband son, and daughter. She released her second book The Ultimate Moment No Regrets in September 2009 and is currently working on her third novel Cookie: A Fort Worth Story. She plans to release her fourth novel Will Love Ever Know Me next Valentine.
The final chapter from the classic The Ultimate NO NO
Hitting Stores February 14, 2011 Will Love Ever Know Me
After finding her husband in a compromising position with her best friend’s sister, Charmaine Wright is forced to move on. To her friends, she is known as very levelheaded, but that all changes when, one by one, Dahlia, Jazzaray, and Nitrah discover that their friend they cared about the most turns out to be their worst enemy.
Dahlia Jones once had a hate for her ex, Troy Washington, who she planned to seek revenge on by having Nitrah Hill date him and break his heart. Two years later, Nitrah and Troy are now a couple with a child and Dahlia feels betrayed. But when Troy breaks things off with Nitrah, old feelings resurface, creating a fresh web of sex, lies, and betrayal.
Jazzaray is recommitted to Maxwell after divorcing but finds herself back in a cycle of lies when he, too, makes the ultimate mistake. With her heart on her sleeve, she fights the decision of “should I stay or go?”
In the final chapters, Jazzaray, Dahlia, Charmaine, and Nitrah discover the ultimate question they struggle with every day: Will Love Ever Know Me?
Interview with Parle Magazine
Parlé Magazine: Hey Tamika. What was your background like?
Tamika Newhouse: Well ever since the day I could write, I’ve been writing. I have every single short story I ever wrote packed up in my garage somewhere. But I always had this dream of having a published book. I used to see the books in the bookstore and I used to admire people like Terry McMillan back in the day and I used to say “I want that to be me. This would be great if this was my publisher.” That was my dream and being young, I used to look at it like a record contract. Like that was a farfetched dream. That’s how getting a book deal was for me.
Parlé: So when did you finally get to writing that first novel?
Tamika: Well, I actually wrote my first novel when I was 19 when I was at the lowest part in my life. That was “The Ultimate No No,” which I actually ended up publishing. I freehand wrote “The Ultimate No No.” I wrote it in about 30 days in the month of October. In September, I had lost my mother, my husband ended up going to Iraq and I discovered I was pregnant for the second time, like, 20 days after the death of my mother, and then my only sibling ended up being sentenced to jail for a whole year. So at this point in my life, I look around and everybody I talked to everyday was gone. Everybody was gone. My husband was in Iraq. My sister wasn’t here. And my mother wasn’t here. So I’m feeling like I was really at my lowest point. I was depressed. This was the worst time period in my life. The only thing I could think about doing was writing. So that’s when I actually sat down and wrote The Ultimate No No. So that book is full of drama. It’s full of…it’s pure entertainment. It’s not anything inspiring, what you’d think I‘d be writing since my state of mind was so off the wall. But I was really just wanting something to entertain me because my life was just pure crap at that point. So fast forward two years later, umm, I had written a book. It was in a journal. I put it on my bookshelf and really didn’t think anything of it. But my husband went to Iraq again for the second time and as you see my creative cycle here, when he goes away, I do something creative. So, all of a sudden I got an idea to start a myspace page and put up the books I was reading. By this time I was reading a lot and I started to enjoy reading. I wanted to be in a book club so I was posting books and telling people about them without knowing that what I was doing was called a book review and I was actually doing a really small amount of book publicity for these authors and then before I knew it, all these authors started emailing me asking me to review their books. They thought I was this huge book club and it was actually just me. And I took that and I said, you know I can do something with this. I can read these people’s books because a lot of them were self-published authors who I never heard of. A lot of my books I got from Black Expressions and there are always the same old authors in there and I thought that those were the only authors that existed, and here I discovered there are hundreds and hundreds more. And through these authors I learned the business. How to self publish and how to market. So I kind of got a crash course. And that’s when I got my next bright idea to publish my book “The Ultimate No No” that I wrote two years earlier.
Parlé : Very interesting. Where did the inspiration for “The Ultimate No No” come from? Was it born from any real-life experiences?
Tamika: Well, I wrote from my experiences growing up. I was young when I wrote it. I was like 19, so it really reflects on some of the things that I know and I’ve seen. Remind you, I had my first child at 16. My life had been pretty boring. I really didn’t do much. I ended up marrying my high school sweetheart and the father of my child when I was 18 so a lot of the content in my books are pure fantasies. The what-ifs or some of my sister’s drama that I picked up and put in a book. None of it is anything I’ve been through.
Parlé: Did you name Deliphine Publications after your mother?
Tamika: Yes. I birthed Delphine Publications in late 2008. The reason why I named it after her was because I wanted it to be unique and have a true meaning and I wanted to publish all genres and I felt that my mother was a Christian. She read the Bible every day, but yet she’ll cuss you out. She loved romance, she loved drama. She was all of the above so I felt like Delphine defined everything I was trying to write. Delphine Publications was the perfect title.
Parlé: Tell me about your most recent book?
Tamika: “Cookie” is a book I’ve been promoting for like two years now. Unfortunately, because it is based on truth… It is a true story…it’s taken me so long, but in that process, I brought a new authoress into Delphine Publications and I was working on her book, publishing her book, so I kept pushing back “Cookie.” I didn’t write on “Cookie” for like a whole year. But it’s coming out in the summer of 2011. I’ve been completing the “Ultimate No No” series with a third book, coming out Valentines’s Day of next year and that’s the third part of “The Ultimate No No,” titled, “Will Love Ever Know Me?”
Parlé: How do you get your ideas for your stories?
Tamika: I can be anywhere. I usually get a lot of my ideas when I’m laying in bed supposed to be going to sleep. But my mind is still going. All of my titles are original. I always make sure nobody else has my titles and so far I have achieved that goal. Most of my story lines are romance but I like to tell people no love is perfect. You have to work at it to stay in love. There’s always drama. There’s always something going on so my books are full of drama because that’s what goes on in life. It’s never picture perfect. So I just make sure it’s realistic. I make sure there are some breakups and some makeups. When you love someone, you love them, but you know they’re not good for you. But you can’t let them go.
Parlé: How do you sustain your own marriage?
Tamika: (Laughs) Nobody has ever asked me that question. That’s a good one. I’m one of those people who is so independent, I’m so strong minded, where if you refuse to support me, I’d rather not be with you because I don’t want to be one of those people who has that what if moment. I want to go through life knowing I did everything I wanted to do. And not just be a stay at home mother taking care of everybody else, and then when everyone is grown, here I am stuck with nothing to do. So my husband has really supported me. He understands that I need this. I breathe this. This is part of me. I’ve been with my husband since I was 14. We have this constant communication. I talk his ear off constantly. I’m honest and he’s honest with me. We’re both human so we definitely don’t shy away from our true feelings and if I have a problem or he has a problem, we let each other know. The most important thing is communication. You can never talk enough. I say talk too much versus not talk enough and you should pretty much make it.
Parlé: What advice do you have for a new writer?
Tamika: I would tell a writer that first of all they really need to do the research and take the time to do it right because there are so many steps to publishing a book and then once the book is published you have to set time aside to market the book and get it out there. If you can find a mentor who is already in the business, do that. This industry is like any other industry, music, movies, anything. Any industry that deals with money, you have those vultures that can really eat you alive if you don’t know what you’re doing so you really need to learn all aspects. This is a business. Writing the book is the talent part. That’s the craft. That’s the easy part. After you write the book and published the book, this is when the business starts. If you’re not obsessed about this business and if you’re not committed, you’re not going to make it. So be consistent and do the research.
Parlé: Aside from writing, what would you say to someone going through what you’ve been through. You told me you’ve been through a lot in life. Your mother died, your husband was sent to Iraq, your sister went to prison for a year. What would you tell someone going through a similar situation, the death of a loved one? What would you tell them to give them encouragement or inspiration?
Tamika: Some people just like to be depressed for whatever reason because they like for people to feel sorry for them. But if you can get up out of that slump, take that energy and gear it towards something you really enjoy. Use those people’s memories, the ones you have lost or the ones who have left as motivation. Say, “you’re not here, but I can still do it, I can stand on my own.” I tell people that “I can’t” is not in my vocabulary. I’m constantly saying, what else can I do. I always tell people just do it. And then they say, well, I have to do this, I have to do that, I don’t know, maybe I’ll start in a little while. But then I say, well, what is your true reason to not do it and you’ll be surprised that they have no answer. They’re just lazy. Why not do it. Why not put in the work. Why wouldn’t you work 5 years, hard, don’t eat, don’t sleep, whatever you have to do for 5 straight years to have, like, several years of bliss? I don’t understand why people just want to struggle for their whole life. Go to school. Work real hard for 5 or 6 years and for the rest of your life you’re set. (Laughs) That’s a good deal. I would take that. Wouldn’t you? We have to live on this earth anyway, so I think I want to have fun while I’m down here.
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Goodness AND Mercy!Psalms 23:6a “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life!”
I once heard a pastor say that God’s goodness will give you the blessings that you don’t deserve and His mercy will keep off of you the punishment that you do deserve!
God’s goodness is described as His bounty (prosperity, provisions and richness) to whomever He chooses to show His goodness to. In many scripture passages, we see God’s goodness AND His mercy showing up at the same time.
In 2 Samuel 11, King David has taken another man’s wife (Bathsheba) and she conceives a child by him while her husband is away on the battle field. David then brings her husband home and tries to get him to go home and spend some time with his wife. When Uriah, her husband, does-n’t do as David hopes he will, he then has him placed on the front line of the hottest battle to make certain that Bathsheba becomes a widow and then he can have her as his own wife.
When the prophet Nathan spoke to David about his sins in 2 Samuel 12, he spoke in a parable about a rich man with many flocks taking a poor man’s one little lamb for his own. King David becomes angry and says whoever has done this will surely die! And Nathan said, “King David, you are that man!”
Aleysha Proctor is an award winning Entrepreneur, award winning Author, and certified Image Consultant (having studied with Color Me Beautiful, Inc., Beauty for All Seasons and Brenda York Image Manage-ment). She also has a BS degree in Management & Leadership, an MBA in Marketing from Hamilton Uni-versity, and is a certified Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF).
She has won numerous awards as an Independent Consultant with Warm Spirit, Inc. Such as Director of the Year, Landmark of Achievement, Executive Council Member of the Year and many others.
In 2007, Aleysha won the Entrepreneur of the Year award from the Washington, DC Chapter of the Na-tional Black MBA Association, Inc. And in 2008, she won Aspicomm Media’s Best Spiritual/Inspirational Book award for her first title, “With Style & Amazing Grace”.
Aleysha has authored three inspirational books:
With Style & Amazing Grace, 2007
He’s the Keeper of My Soul, 2008
Jazz, Java & Jesus, 2010
Question 1: Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write your book?
“Jazz, Java & Jesus” is my 3rd book, and it’s a result of me writing for an online Bible study group for 18 months. I knew that I needed to put all of the devotions together in one product and get it out to the masses for encouragement and hope.
Question 2: What sets your book apart from other books in its genre?
As one of my readers said, I have a healthy appreciation for what’s possible. In addition to my work being inspirational, I truly believe that with God ALL things are possible, and I use examples from Biblical men and women (and modern day people) to show that no matter what it looks like, God is able!
Question 3: Are you a full time writer?
Yes and No. I work a full time job outside of my home, but the other half of my day is spent tweeting, blogging and writing. I like to write words of encouragement throughout the day for all of my social media friends to see and share with others.
Question 4: As an author, what are the keys to your success that lead to your book getting out to the public?
I would have to say that social media has played a great part in, especially my latest book, “Jazz, Java & Jesus” getting out to the masses. People from around the world, who had never heard of me or my work before, are now able to connect with me and see what I’m doing.
Questions 5 & 6: As an author, what is your writing process?
How long did it take for you to start and finish your book? When I’m ready to write a book, I normally start by writing out the table of contents. When I know what’s going into the book, I then start tossing around titles, if one hasn’t already come to me. Once I have my skeleton (table of contents), I then start to put the “meat on the bones” and write the chapters.
“Jazz, Java & Jesus” took 18 months because again I had been writing the devotions for an online Bible Study group over that period of time. However, my other two books, took about six months to complete.
Question 7: What's next for you?
I will continue writing books and blog posts. I’m at several book fairs this fall and will probably be at them again next spring and fall. In addition, next spring, I’ll probably resume my book signing brunches around the east coast, then hopefully around the country and then hopefully, around the world.
Purchase books at www.AleyshaProctor.com, www.Amazon.com, www.Borders.com.
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Monday, December 6, 2010
Born and raised in Dallas, Texas, Gia Parker was the second of four children. As a youth, Gia was always inquisitive and bright, walking at six months, and speaking her first word by eight months. Gia wrote endless pages of poetry and stories for her mother who called her, her “Doll baby”. A year after graduating high school, she decided to join the military. She traveled the world a few years and settled in San Antonio, Texas, where she now resides. While in the service, she began to model and established herself as CEO of Quil & Tongue Publishing.
She began to brainstorm her first novel, 16 Years 2 Life, the story of a young woman whose mother was sentenced to prison, and the trials and tribulations she suffered while venturing through life as child of a convicted felon. While still completing 16 Years 2 Life, Gia began her second novel, A Man Not of My Own, a novel of a woman in search for love within in her own culture not realizing that love had been staring at her for years, she just failed to realize it because of culture stereotypes.
You can learn more about Gia at her website WWW.GIANNIPARKER.COM
Jaydah was a young girl born into a single family home to a loving strong mother, dedicated to instilling discipline into her young children. From a young age she had adult responsibilities. Her brother Dee had moved out to live with other relatives and she became the role model for her younger sister. They lived in a two bedroom apartment living pay check to pay check. Jaydah took care of her younger sister and her mother worked long hard hours. But together they were able to build a life of comfort and love. Jaydah’s mother soon realized that she was missing being close to her girls and decided to relocate. She began to work in a beauty shop and found herself in a new relationship. Things looked as if they would work out for the better, but the reality soon set in when Jaydah saw her mother being beaten for the first time. Her mother’s new boyfriend Reggie was a notorious drug dealer and most of all a womanizer. Jaydah was exposed to the life of drugs and prostitution at a young age. Her mother soon became pregnant with a son and her mother had found the strength to leave Reggie for good. Peace and serenity didn’t last long; her mother was keeping a deep dark secret that would tear the family apart. Jaydah was separated from her siblings and her mother went prison. It was up to Jaydah to find a way to keep the family together and be strong not only for herself but her family also. Even though her mother had been convicted of a crime, Jaydah and her siblings were imprisoned along with her. All souls of her soul, victims of guilty innocence.
Imagine the movie poster for your novel, 16 YEARS 2 LIFE. What's the logline, catchphrase on it?
Imprisoned by the justice system, bound by love, a victim of guilty innocence.
What was the spark that initiated the idea behind 16 YEARS 2 LIFE?
The spark that drove me to develop the novel was true life experiences, the love of a wonderful mother and strength gained from success with changing my life around.
Talk to us about the writing process for 16 YEARS 2 LIFE. Was it a fast write? Did you outline first or just sit and crank out the story?
It wasn’t a fast write at all. I sat down and began to just write starting from the earliest memory to current experiences.
When did you discover that you wanted to become a writer?
Becoming a writer wasn’t planned at all. 16 Years 2 Life is actually based on a true story. Yes the characters are changed and events tweaked, but it’s a story of my life. In the middle of 2006 after my deployment, I began to reflect on my life. I started to sit down and type and before I knew it I had a book. I struggled with myself on whether to publish it or not; thinking about some of the events that happened in my life were painful to recall. I spoke to my mother, who was still incarcerated at the time, and she was behind me one hundred percent. I didn’t quite know how I was going to put the book out and a few years passed. After my mother was released from prison, she consistently pushed me to keep my faith and go ahead with the book. I didn’t know if publishing it would rip my family apart or expose the truth and start the healing process. I met Tamika Newhouse in 2009. Her husband and I had been stationed together and he encouraged us to get together. Tamika took my fear and uncertainty and gave me the strength I needed to push my story out to the world. I’m truly grateful to God for placing her in my life. In 2010 I was ready to self publish. My new mentor, Tamika, introduced me to the literary world and showed me what I needed to do to finally publish my work. It was a long time coming.
What makes you stand out from the other authors in your genre?
I’m not by any means doing this for money. I published this novel as a promise to myself to get out the story of the children of prisoners. So many times we hear about the prisoner’s story and how hard it is for them to reintegrate back into society, but we never discuss the children that have suffered at the hands of their parents and the judicial system. Yes, when a person is guilty they are guilty. But we offer no counseling or rehabilitation for these broken children and families out there. We just lock people up, forget about them, forget about the families that are dealing and then wonder why we have generations of thieves and murderers following in the footsteps of loved ones. That was my initial purpose and I think that’s what makes me stand out from other authors. I have lived and bled my novel. My desire to publish more arose from the joy and satisfaction I found in completing 16 Years 2 Life.
What do you want readers to get from your debut novel, 16 Years to Life?
I want readers to hear the story of broken children all around the world that may not have the resources or education to get out there and tell their story. They might be scared, suffering all types of abuse by their care takers. I want my story to be another story to reveal the topic that society has never really addressed, “What happens to the children?" We have some prisons where women can be with their small children, but what about the teenagers and other children in need of their parents, especially their mothers. Too many women are being abused by society and family members, having no place to turn and not valuing themselves. Some find the strength to use their pain in a positive way but what about the others that slip through the cracks? What about those young women growing up in those neighborhoods less fortunate of counseling and education becoming statistics of society, that’s the question I want to start to get people to ask.
As a teen what inspired you the most in your writings?
As a teenager I actually did a lot of poetry. Of course, growing up in the conditions that I did left me withdrawn and mostly lonely so I expressed it through poetry. I never wanted anyone to know that my mother was in prison and of course my father was absent, like most, so I escaped to different worlds through books and my poetry.
What is your next project?
My next project is titled A Man Not of Her Own. I don’t want to give away too much just yet, but I want to get into the minds of our black women and touch on the subject of dating outside of our race. Black men have been doing it for years and many of them are quite comfortable with it. But, for some reason black women are not and many get so angry when they see a black man with a woman of another race. I won’t let much out so you will have to just wait and see how the book unfolds.
What do you feel society will say about Gia Parker’s novels?
In all honesty I am open to whatever society has to say about my novels. Whether the reaction is positive or negative, feedback is always a good thing. I am doing what I feel is right and sharing it with those who want to hear. I hope that society would embrace my novels and understand them. I write to pose questions. My books are not the regular novels filled with sex and lust, but they do address many things that are pertinent. So I welcome feedback; it can only make me stronger.
What is the most important component of a story for you--why?
The letters are the most important to me. Through the letters you can see the love and communication between a mother and daughter. You also can see the pain that separated them also.
Who is one of your favorite writers, and how does he/she inspire you as a writer?
I never have favorite writers. I read books based on topics. I have mostly all of Omar Tyree’s novels and Sista Souljah’s The Coldest Winter Ever is one of my favorites.
Gia Parker: The Writer, The Soundtrack -- what styles of music are often played while you're performing literary magic?
Anything that is smooth. I listen to anything from gospel to neo soul.
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Saturday, December 4, 2010
What’s the “Best Chocolate” you ever tasted? Have you ever been “Turned On” and “Turned Out” at the same time? How would you handle an unexpected “Detour”? And how would you scratch that nagging “Sophomore Itch”?
Strawberries, Stilettos and Steam takes you on an erotic journey to discover the answers to these questions and many more.
In “The Touch-Up,” a young woman has one more fling before her wedding day. In "Disturbing the Peace," a woman is in desperate need of police assistance. In “Nika’s Birthday,” a husband gives his wife a gift that she’ll never forget.
With their debut collaboration, Imani True and Dreama Skye bring you a delicious collection of seductive, mind-blowing stories that will leave you intrigued, enticed, and definitely turned on.
So relax and dive headfirst into a world where strawberries, a pair of stilettos, and a little steam always makes it better!
Strawberries, Stilettos, and Steam.....Want some?
Excerpt from "Nika's Birthday":
Nika slid down onto Don as if mounting a prized stallion. She quickly took charge. “Now who’s running this?” she asked Don. He felt her pussy tighten around his dick. For several minutes, she rode Don with a combination of fluid hip action and slow grinds.
Jackson stared at Nika. The look in her eyes was one that he knew very well. His wife was in the zone now, and Don was in serious trouble. Sensing that his wife was about to break his boy down, Jackson spoke.
“He’s not ready for the signature move, baby.”
“Well, he shoulda’ kept his bat at home if he wasn’t ready to play!” Nika said
Interview with Imani True
Tell us about the book:
Our book is called “Strawberries, Stilettos, and Steam.” It is a collection of erotic stories for all types of people.
Where did you get the title?
Imani and Dreama: I was at a dead-end writing a story with that title. Dreama suggested that we use it for a book title instead.
How did you find out about each other?
We were both on a social networking site and working on different projects. We agreed to submit stories for two erotica anthologies. Once the contest was over, we teamed up on this project.
Why did we decide to write together?
After the contest, we thought how upset we would be if someone who had read our stories during the contests ended up releasing our work before we did. We decided to take our destiny into our own hands and put our work out before anyone else.
Why did we choose Erotica?
Dreama: I was already writing erotic poetry as an outlet. I just switched from writing poems to stories.
Imani: For me, it wasn’t a conscious decision. I was coming out of a seven-year writer’s block. When I picked up my pen, Erotica is what spilled out.
Describe your writing process.
One of us will start with a concept and plot. Then we’ll talk about it over the phone, take notes. Then we do a line-by-line collaboration via Yahoo, Skype or text messages. When we start, we usually have a working title that changes by the time we’re done. But the plot generally stays the same from beginning to end. Dreama finds the holes in the story and the character descriptions. We go back-and-forth until we wrap it the way we want. Beginning-End-Middle is usually how we write.
What are your favorite stories? Which did you enjoy writing the most?
Dreama: “The Best Chocolate” and “Sophomore Itch” are my favorites. Most fun -“Nika’s Birthday” and “VIP.”
Imani: “Sophomore Itch,” “The Takeover,” and “Nika’s Birthday” are my favorites. Most fun -“The Interrogation Room,” “VIP,” and “Turned On, Turned Out.”
Dreama Skye knew that she was destined to be a writer from the moment she held a pen in her hand. She has been writing erotic poetry for years. Recently she discovered another passion: writing erotic stories. Fate and destiny collided when Dreama met Imani True. Then Strawberries, Stilettos, and Steam was born. She grew up in the beautiful bluegrass state of Kentucky. She resides there with her two beautiful daughters. She is currently working on a book of erotic poetry, her first novel, as well as another collaboration with Imani True.
Visit her at www.skyeserotichaven.blogspot.com
Heaven Forbid by Lutishia Lovely:
Still reeling from the disgrace their former pastor left in his wake, members of Gospel Truth Church need someone who can restore order. Enter Reverend Doctor Pastor Bishop Overseer Mister Stanley Obadiah Meshach Brook, Jr., who quickly sets up a code of ethics so strict even Jesus might not pass muster! When the new rules send much of the flock fleeing, Reverend Doctor O turns to Reverend Stanley Lee and his wife, Passion, to lead a revival.
But the church isn't the only thing that needs reviving—so does Stanley’s libido. Passion was celibate for five years before marrying, and is not happy that her husband’s lackluster wedding night performance has become the rule, not the exception. Desperate to make her marriage work, Passion turns to Reverend
Doctor O’s wife, Maxine, for advice. But Maxine is busy trying to clean out the skeletons in her own marital closet—because even the holiest have secrets…
Lutishia Lovely Bio
Lutishia Lovely is the author of the bestselling series, Hallelujah Love, which includes Sex In The Sanctuary, A Preacher’s Passion, Reverend Feelgood and the just released…Heaven Forbid. Her writing schedule keeps her pretty busy, but when she takes a break, she loves to read, watch sports, travel and whip up delicious vegetarian cuisine for friends and family in metropolitan Los Angeles, where she lives. Lutishia is excited about a brand new series. All Up In My Business, the first of at least three works about an Atlanta-based soul food dynasty, drops in March, 2011. She absolute LOVES to hear from readers, and is always available to hang out with book clubs. Contact her online at LutishiaLovely.com or Facebook, at lutishia.lovely.
Heaven Forbid’s Chapter One
If God Can’t Fix It…
Anyone watching the two men conversing quietly in the corner booth of the dimly lit
restaurant would have thought their discussion serious. They would have been right. The seasoned seventy-something, gray-haired minister, looking important and dignified in his black, double-breasted suit, listened intently as the younger man, displaying a rugged handsomeness in his navy blue, tailored Kenneth Cole design, used his manicured finger to underscore a point. “Number one,” Stan Lee said, his long, thick forefinger in midair, “all sexual misconduct is sin, whether or not your members want to hear it. Before you came and laid down the law, the Gospel Truth congregation was way out of hand, from the pulpit to the vestibule. You know I’m right about it. Two, it takes a tight rein to straighten out this kind of mess. And number three, Reverend Doctor O, I think you are the only preacher alive who can hold the rein tight enough to pull this backslidden church back in line with the Word.” Secretly, Stan wished the doctor could put somebody else in line—his wife. But that was another story.
Obadiah, officially known as The Reverend Doctor Pastor Bishop Overseer Mister
Stanley Obadiah Meshach Brook, Jr., and affectionately called “Reverend Doctor O,” nodded his head in understanding. He liked this young man’s fervor when it came to strong morals, and he couldn’t help but agree with him. Doctor Stanley Morris Lee, the forty-eight year old pastor of Los Angeles’ Logos Word Church, was a prolific preacher in his own right. Obadiahaffectionately called Stan his namesake, even though he’d gone by his second name, Obadiah, since childhood. He respected the Logos Word ministry and viewed Stan as a spiritual son. Obadiah knew that Stan spoke truth: the Gospel Truth Church was in a gospel mess following the nationally televised scandal of its former pastor, Nate Thicke, and it took a preacher well worth his salt to pick up the shattered pulpit pieces. Something of this magnitude was the only thing that could have pulled him out of retirement, though truth be told, he’d missed the pulpit and was glad to be back. Obadiah ran a hand over his weary eyes as he remembered the fiasco. How one of Nate Thicke’s many women had managed to secretly videotape them during a sexual tryst, and how a portion of said tape was spliced into a holiday cruise promotion that was then shown during a national church convention. For about five seconds, Nate’s glistening, bare backside had been seen by many of the twenty-thousand attendees before a quick-thinking technical director stopped the tape. It didn’t matter, the damage had been done. Nate was forced to resign and his mother, Nettie Thicke Johnson, had immediately placed a call to her good friend Maxine, Obadiah’s wife. Nettie, like Stanley, had been convinced that someone of Obadiah’s stature, experience and wisdom was the only one who could lead the congregation back down the straight and narrow path. Goodness knew that during Nate Thicke’s pastoral reign the members—and the minister—had gone buck wild. Obadiah cleared his throat and leaned towards Stanley, his powerful orator’s voice near a whisper. “I know in my heart that every rule I’ve put in place and every change I’ve implemented at that there church, is absolutely necessary. Narrow is the road that leads to salvation,” Obadiah continued, his voice rising slightly as he quoted scripture. He looked around the sparsely populated dining room, took in the rich chestnut walls accented with deep red-covered chairs and tablecloths and sipped his coffee. “But as right as I am, the church is failing. The Sunday offering
Friday, December 3, 2010
BIO – Michele Green, aka RM GREEN
Born in New York City and raised in Brooklyn, NY and Roosevelt LI, NY, she began writing about 20+ years ago and wrote primarily short stories for young adults. These stories depicted social ills that bothered her, such as homelessness, HIV and domestic abuse for starters. She attempted to get her stories published, but after about 200 attempts with no promises in sight, became discouraged and quit writing for about 14 years.
When her grandmother died in February, 2006, the lesson her death seemed to be teaching her is that if you have a dream, you had better realize it now before it is too late. She always had a dream of publishing a novel, but the first thing she did was pen a poem to her grandmother, 'MY HEART'S SONG, through tears of grief. That poem opened the floodgates to her writing career. And she's been going strong ever since.
In August 2007, she produced her first book, an anthology called 'THE PASSION WITHIN', with five other writer friends, and she formed her own publishing company, SAFE HAVEN PUBLISHING COMPANY, primarily to learn about the publishing business and to produce her own works. In April, 2008, she opened the company to accept outside authors and has now realized her dream of being an author and publisher. Her first novel, 'EVERYBODY PLAYZ THA FOOL', was finally released in October, 2010 and her next project, 'SHE COULD HEAR THE SILENCE' is scheduled to be released by the company in 2011. She also edited the book, 'A JOURNEY TO WELLNESS: A Series of Collective Thoughts' by Debra D. Griffin, a book which chronicles Ms. Griffin's fight against breast cancer in words and pictures in 2007.
Also in August, 2007, she began broadcasting her own radio show, AUTHOR SPEAK, where she interviews authors about their lives, passions, inspiration to write, and their projects. You can find the archives or tune in live to her program at www.blogtalkradio.com/authorspeak .
Ms. Green, now divorced, resides in Beaufort, SC and is raising her three beautiful daughters.
And here is an interview that Cendrine Marrouat did on me earlier this year for her show...
Cendrine Marrouat: Hello Michele, tell us a little about you. What do you do?
Michele Green: Hi Cendrine! Well, first and foremost I am a child of God! I am also the mother of three beautiful daughters, an author, poet and publisher - I began SAFE HAVEN PUBLISHING back in 2007. I host an internet radio show called AUTHOR SPEAK every Sunday evening at 9:00 PM Eastern time, where I interview mainly authors, poets and spoken word artists, I run a service called RM Greenhouse Services Corp., where authors, poets & spoken word artists can find needed services such as publishers, editors, illustrators book cover art & the like, and I work part time outside the home repairing and selling computers. I suppose you can call me one of those 'computer geeks'! LOL...
CM: As the owner of a publishing house and an author, what would you say are the main challenges you encounter on a daily basis?
MG: TIME!! Finding the time to do what I need to do is my basic challenge. Being divorced, I do all this on my own, but I must say that I am blessed with wondeful children who understand, and help me by helping around the house, being well-mannered and all of them are pretty good students as well. I have one daughter who has had straight A's since first grade (she is in the eighth grade now) and I am really hoping she can get a scholarship to attend college this way. The other two are A/B students, so I know I am blessed!
CM: Would you like to tell us about your book, The Passion Within? Why did you write it and where can it be purchased?
MG:Well, 'THE PASSION WITHIN' came about as I discovered a new-found love - poetry. I have always liked poetry, but had never thought of writing any myself, so I didn't - and to a degree I still don't - consider myself as much of a poet as I am an author. I didn't even begin to write poetry seriously until my grandmother passed away just weeks before her 95th birthday in February, 2006 - which meant I had had her all my life and she was my rock. I wrote my first REAL poem to her through my tears, to help relieve myself of some of my grief and put on paper what she meant to me. And I have been writing poetry ever since, and have had a few poems published in online publications. I was also in the midst of writing TWO novels, but I decided to get my poems and a few book excerpts together and publish them to 'test the waters' so to speak. So I got a few of my friends, whose poetry I also admired, to come together with me on this anthology so that I could learn the publishing business from the inside out and publish my own volumes of work. I had previously shopped for a publisher for my novels, and was NOT impressed by the way the bigger publishing houses did business, even though I had gotten many rejections i was not sure I even WANTED to go through a large publishing house because it seemed like everyone would be making money off my work - except ME!! I would be getting the SMALLEST piece of the pie even though it was MY WORK being published! Since I wanted to use some of the proceeds from my work to benefit domestic violence victims and shelters, that was NOT going to work, hence SAFE HAVEN PUBLISHING was born! My pen name is RM Green, and it can be purchased online at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Waldenbooks, Books-A-Million, and you can request it at your favorite bookstore. ISBN #978-0-6151-5561-6.
CM: Now, let’s talk about your show. Author Speak is a very high-quality Blog Talk Radio broadcast that does not only promote authors; it also deals with very important causes, such as cancer and domestic violence. You give a voice to many, and it is highly inspiring. Could you tell us why you created this show? And why do you focus on such topics?
MG: Thank you so much for the compliment on the show! I basically created the show for three reasons, mainly to give a voice to relatively unknown authors, poets and spoken word artists, and help give them more exposure where they can get the word out on their projects. I also began it as a challenge to myself to make myself more comfortable speaking to people in general (I am naturally a shy and passive person), as well as have another way to educate people about a cause I care very deeply about, domestic abuse, of which I was a victim, and help eradicate this phenomenon from this society, as well as breast cancer.
CM: Let’s focus on a topic about which you often talk during shows: domestic abuse. Your testimony is always a humbling experience for me. Would you share it with readers?
MG: Yes... in a nutshell, I was in an abusive relationship for 4 1/2 years. It all started out as a whirlwind romance. I was recently divorced, and in retrospect I was quite vulnerable and feeling like a failure because my marriage had just ended. My abuser and I were both in the banking industry and I met him at a function that we both attended for training purposes. Long story short, he asked me out on a date and we ended up being an item. At the time I was living with two girlfriends in a brownstone apartment in Brooklyn, NY. He wined me and dined me and swept me off my feet, but my friends didn't like him much because he was constantly calling me and coming over, practically smothering me. About two months later, I moved out and the abuse slowly began, first by name calling, then gradually it escalated to verbal, emotional, then slapping, hitting and worse. By the time it bagan, he convinced me that I 'caused' him to do these things to me, so the treatment I got was always 'my fault'. During the time we were together, I have been beaten, thrown down a flight of stairs, stabbed in the breast with a screwdriver, raped, locked away in a room for hours at a time against my will with no way to eat or go to the bathroom, deprived of sleep for days, and had no access to my own money, among other things. The least little thing would set him off, and I walked on eggshells the entire relationship, trying to please him, and have him show me some love. I was so stressed out that when I became pregnant (twice) I lost the babies - and of course he blamed me for that, and my treatment became worse. Toward the end, I had confronted him and asked him to keep his hands off me or else I was leaving. He told me at that time, 'If I can't have you, then NO ONE will have you...', and I knew exactly what that meant. My love for him began to turn to hate, and I literally sat next to him one day as he slept with a knife in my hand, dreaming what it would be like to be FREE of him. I went to bed with the knife under my pillow, and if he had tried to do something that night, I know I would have killed him. Instead, I plotted to leave secretly on my next payday... beat him to the bank, withdrew my paycheck and headed to South Carolina, where I still reside today.
CM: What helped you to go through all that?
MG:It was GOD - pure and simple. I prayed, and to escape I read voraciously, worked extremely hard and I began writing short stories to relieve my pain and stress. I had attempted to become a 'writer' during this time, and entered many contests and attempted to get published... all to no avail. But journaling and writing did help me get through it, and this is where I found that God had given me a gift... but I had stopped writing when I left him to start my life over again, and having failed at getting published somewhere I abandoned the idea of being an author at that time, over 17 years ago. 14 years passed, then in February, 2006, my grandmother - the woman who raised me - passed away, and I began writing again; first a poem to her, to help relieve my grief of losing the best friend I had in the world. And I have been writing ever since.
CM: What advice would you give to a victim of domestic abuse?
MG: My advice to ANYONE suffering any type of abuse to LEAVE the relationship as soon as they are able. The abuse WILL NOT get better, only worse, and if they stay in it too long - their abuser may kill THEM, or they may be in a position where they end up killing their abuser, which in many cases costs th-em THEIR lives - in jail. And that their abusers are not worth their lives!! Find a shelter near them and call for help, or to find help in their area they can call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233), or the TTY 1-800-787-3224. It could save their life!
CM: I have noticed that we mostly talk about women being battered. Why, in your opinion, do we barely mention men?
MG: It is estimated that over 4,000,000 women and 875,000 men are abused annually, and YES, men make up about 15-20% of those being abused. But men are ashamed to admit that a woman is abusing them, for fear of ridicule from other men (and women!) in this society - but it is a REAL issue. In general, men abuse women physically much more than the other way around, but it DOES happen - and women can also abuse men emotionally, verbally and even use the law against these men in some cases. Also, there are no abuse shelters out there for men, but if a shelter sees that a man is indeed in distress they CAN make arrangements to help them find alternate shelter to get them out of their abusive situations. But we must not forget that while we are most often talking about intimate partners when we speak of domestic abuse, this is an umbrella term that ALSO includes child abuse (including teen dating abuse - moms, be aware of your daughters!) as well as elder abuse. We can't forget about these segments of society that are the innocent and most helpless of abuse victims, as they often have no way of protecting themselves from the abuse at all.
CM: I have noticed that domestic abuse is still taboo for a lot of White women who have been victims themselves. Society tends to blame them no matter what the outcome is. Would you say that it is the same thing in the Black community? And what, do you think, causes it?
MG:Actually, domestic abuse knows NO COLOR, SOCIO-ECONOMIC STATUS, RELIGION OR SEXUAL ORIENTATION. It exists on all levels of this society unfortunately. Victims most often blame themselves, and there is definitely the dynamic of the 'battered woman syndrome' at play here - there is a REAL domestic abuse cycle... The 'Honeymoon phase', where either the abuse has not yet started, or it has erupted, been forgiven by the victim, and everything is fine... for awhile, then the abuse begins again; the ABUSE phase, where the victim is attacked, and they end up in the RECOVERY stage - either in the home where they suffer the aftereffects alone, in the hospital or they actually leave the home and go to a shelter or elsewhere to escape. Then right back to the 'Honeymoon Phase', where the victim is being wooed to either come back if the victim has left, or to not leave the abuser, with promises of never doing it again, and so on. A never-ending cycle... Society tends to see the abused as somehow 'bringing it on themselves' as most people who know the abuser on the outside as usually charming, hardworking and loyal 'family man' or 'upstanding citizen' in the community, and the victim themselves often feel as if they are to blame because teh ABUSER tells them so much even THEY begin to believe it - and that is what they portray to most outsiders. Usually only family and close friends know what is really going on - and the abuser almost always cuts off their victim's support system of family and friends so that they CAN be abusive toward their victim without fear or threat - and this leaves the victim's family & friends feel helpless to do something to help. Most end up cutting the victim off themselves because they cannot bear to watch their loved one go through the abuse and not be able to do something. But I URGE ALL FAMILY & FRIENDS of victims to NOT do this, as they could be cutting off the only lifeline the victim has to escape when they ARE finally ready to move on. If the victim feels they have NOWHERE TO GO, they often end up staying - until the abuser literally KILLS them. I have know SEVEN women who have DIED because they did NOT leave their abuser. We must understand that most victims who are SUCCESSFUL at leaving he relationship leaves an average of SEVEN TIMES before they leave for good - should they survive. I left FIVE times before I left for the SIXTH and final time - for good!
CM: I also find that children and the elderly are really disregarded, especially the last group. According to you, what are the main reasons?
MG: Well, unlike spousal or intimate partner victims, the common problem that children and the elderly face is that they have NO CHOICE to leave and must be subject to the abuse once it is inflicted upon them. That is why others always have to intervene in order to get them help- and the intervention must be continuous and persistent to produce results at times. It may seem unfair, but law enforcement does not want to trample on the rights of the ABUSER in some instances because if they do, the abuser will walk away from the incident scott-free without having paid for their misbehavior. And someties the abusers THEMSELVES ARE law enforcement, r are able to influence law enforcement to be on their side as opposed to the victims. These victims have no voice unless someone speaks up for them. That is the main and troubling difference.
CM: Now, what can we do, as individuals, to change the situation? Is it an issue that we can solve overnight?
MG: I wish I could say that this would and can be eradicated overnight. Figuratively it CAN be a reality, however we all know the world does not work that way. The best thing that I can advise people is to give the abused an OUT – keep in touch and keep your eyes open for any sign of abuse, and listen to the victims if they need advice or help. If they are elderly, look for bruises, changes in behavior, and outright pleas for help – and this goes for ALL victims. DO NOT ABANDON THEM, whatever you do. YOU could be the only person who is able to help them or whom they can confide to – but always make sure you are doing so in safest way possible for THEM, and that they WANT and NEED your help. In some instance, you may SEE they need help, so offer it. But if they refuse, continue to be there for them should they need it. This could be the difference between life and death for them!
CM: Is there something that you would like to add? And, what effect do you think your particular testimony today will have?
MG: I just want to reiterate that MEN are also abused, and most shelters will help them as well, even though they cannot STAY there, often they have volunteers and places like hotels and boarding houses and rental homes people offer to house them so they can be free of abuse too. I have heard men complain that there are women out there who wrongly accuse men of doing things to them that were not done, and there ARE women who attempt to use the system to railroad innocent men, but they are the RARITY, and not the majority, and these women are usually quickly found out and dealt with by the shelters and agencies involved. If they are not dealt with, this makes it HARDER for those women who were legitimately abused to get the help they deserve and need.
CM: Thank you, Michele, for sharing your experience and wisdom with us. It was a pleasure and an honour to interview you.
MG: No, Thank YOU so much Cendrine, for giving me the opportunity to speak on a subject that I hold so dear to my heart. It was a pleasure and honor to be interviewed by you! May God Bless you, and may you have continued success on your literary journey!
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Thursday, December 2, 2010
What Really Happened To Me (Synopsis)
Young Mea suffers abuse at the hands of her mother, who beats her violently for many years. Full of hatred toward her mother, Mea plots to kill her mother; she believes killing her is the only way to stop her mother’s abuse that she and her brothers endure. It’s not just her mother who abuses her—for several years Mea has dreams of a man molesting her, though she can never see his face clearly enough in her dreams to know for sure if this truly happened to her.
Until one day, everything comes clear. Mea is molested and realizes that this is the man in her dreams—he molested her several times when she was younger. When Mea tells her mother, she goes after the molester with a knife, but later returns home and blames the sexual assault on young Mea. Mea runs away from home after being abused again by her mother, only to be kidnapped. Mea is held captive in a basement, along with another young girl. At a young age she becomes pregnant and gives birth to a baby boy, who is later separated from her. She vows to find her baby boy, but many more tragedies await her. This is a Novel (Based on Some True
Events) that will keep you on the edge of your seat.
Read This Riveting Novel to Find Out What Really Happened to Young Mea…
About the Author
Author Mea Fuentez, was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. She can identify with some of her characters, having endured a rough childhood that led her to follow her dream of becoming an International-Selling Author. One of her favorite books to date is To Kill a Mockingbird.
She attended Emerson Visual Performing Arts School, majoring in vocal and dance; and
thereafter went on to graduate with honors, from Excelsior High School for Girls, in Aurora, Colorado. Ms. Fuentez has since received her Human Service Management Degree from the University of Phoenix, while continuing her writing career. She’s a mother to five beautiful children, two stepchildren; and married to a husband whom she adores.
A movie deal is in the works based from my Novel: What Really Happened To Me...Coming 2012
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Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Erin Austin, author
Erin Austin was born to write. Her passion for writing was ignited at an early age when her parents would take her and her twin sister to the library. It was during one of those early library visits, Erin happened upon the book series (NEED NAME HERE). The stories took her on a journey like none she had ever experienced and sparked her creativity. With each turn of the page Erin found herself waiting with baited breath to experience each twist and turn of the characters. The words came to life for Erin and crafted her love for storytelling.
But alas, all good things must come to an end. For Erin, the end was the beginning. When she finished the series she found herself unable to find another which kept her passion burning. She combed the library and local bookstores but no book inspired her in the same way. That was when Erin took pen to paper and began to write her own stories. She would daydream for hours creating characters, scenarios, villains and victors – constantly weaving their stories through the hills and valleys of love, life, family and friends.
In 2009, Erin will debut her first novel Heart Over Mind a deeply personal and tender tale about a young woman’s journey to find, keep and let go of love. The book will be published through Xlibris, a division of Random House.
Writing under the pen name EShane, a collection of her short stories and book club reviews can be found on her blog at www.esaanaink.com.
Synopsis:Airen spent her love life trying to keep herself off of the heartbreak train. In the mist of her quest, Airen stumbles upon Nate, who she falls in love with. Airen believes Nate is the one, but sometimes questions his commitment. She is trying to remain patient with Nate and true to herself, without running him away. Nate has never encountered a woman such as Airen. He finds himself in a struggle to be the man she needs him to be. He wants to give her what she wants, but his inner demons won’t let him. Memories of past relationships gone wrong and the daily pressures of life begin to wreak havoc on their relationship. Both wonder silently if they should just walk away but fear bringing the other more pain. This internal conflict draws on the logic of the mind and the passion of the
heart. Which will prevail? Airen and Nate will be faced with the challenges of following their mind which is the compass for their decision and listening to their hearts which provides the comfort they are each seeking. No matter which path they choose each will learn more about themselves and valuable lessons about the heart and the mind.
Interview with E. Shane:
How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was in junior high school. Heart Over Mind is my first
What inspired you to write a book?
Reading inspired me to write. We used to go to the library all the time when I was
younger. In 7th grade I read a series of books about teenage friends. I remember always being anxious to get to the next book. Those were the first books I ever read in a weekend. The feeling of being in a story, I loved. When I finished the series, I was always on a search to find a book that took me to the same place those books did. I started imagining the lives of people, daydreaming about what was going on in their lives, and thinking up different scenarios to put them in. One day, I took a note book and just started writing. I’ve been writing ever since. I was almost finished with my story, which turned out to be my book Heart Over Mind, and decided to do something with it. That’s how I wrote my first book.
Why will someone want to read your book?
That is a good question. It is a really good story. I believe that everyone can relate to at least one part of it. You may not have been in the exact situation, but some of the things my characters think about or go through, mentally and emotionally, you can relate to. I read my work and I love it. To have someone else feel that way is a blessing. I think my book is totally relatable.
What type of books do you like to read?
My favorite types of books to read are romance novels, and fiction. I do read non-fiction, self help, and inspirational books as well, all to better myself. But the juicy stuff is my hearts joy. For a while I was reading a lot of text books but I decided that after graduation it was time to read something else.
What authors inspire you?
I absolutely love Eric Jerome Dickey. I love his writing style. He lets me live in the story, in the scene, in the moment. Toni Morrison is so deep. I would love to put words together like she does. I love Zane. Not because of her books, but because of the fact she created these books. Zane walks on the wild side, writing about topics others would not dare to, and she came out on top.
What are your goals as author?
Believe it or not, my goals are to write books my readers can feel. My favorite thing to do is curl up on the couch or in a comfy chair with a cup of tea and a good book. I love being able to read a book and experience the story as if I am in it or standing right there watching it unfold. I want to give my readers that experience. I want them to be able to step in and step out of my books emotionally and mentally.
What is E.Shane working on now?
I am finishing book number two now and starting on book number three. I am really
excited to be working on them right now. Hopefully, fingers crossed, book number two
will be out late winter, early spring.
Book Purchases: www.esaanaink.net, www.barnesandnoble.com, www.amazon.com, www.booksgaloreplus.com
Twitter: E.Shane http://api.twitter.com/EShane
Facebook: E.Shane BookClub http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1182976347
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