Net Galley Reviewer

Professional Reader

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Meet Faynetta Lavergne Burrle



Inside Deception
Published by Aloema Publishing- January 2012
Kindle edition- December 2012
(Both editions can be purchased on Amazon)

Synopsis
After suffering from a traumatic childhood, including sexual abuse at the hands of her biological father, Andrea Ranch thought that her life would never be the same. That was, until she laid eyes on Keith Griffin while on the campus of University of Louisiana. And from that moment on, he became her prized possession.

Years later, Andrea is still determined to become one with Keith Griffin. But there is one thing standing in her way—Eva English, Keith’s fiancée. In her quest to destroy the couple’s happily ever after ending, Andrea gets entangled in a twisted web of lies, sinister deception, and erotomanic delusions.

Left in a psychosomatic state with nowhere to turn, Andrea finds herself in a psychiatric hospital. Yes, the same one where Eva, her number one nemesis, just so happens to be employed. The wheels to this tale ultimately spin out of control when Dr. Stacy Reynolds, Eva’s best friend, is faced with the professional duty to help restore Andrea’s mental stability and the moral dilemma to defend her friend. Will she fulfill her professional obligation or will vengeance be hers?

Readers can contact Faynette via the following:


Facebook-Faynetta Lavergne Burrle

Twitter-@FaynettaLBurrle

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Chatting it up with Alexis J


I’m very excited about this interview. I don’t know who’s more excited, Alexis J or me. I’m very proud of her. How many ten year olds do you know who has written a book and had it published? Not many at all.




About the book
Eleven-year-old Bailey Baxter and her friends, Camilla and Aaliyah, are best friends who have formed the ABC Club, ABC being the first letters of their names. Bailey has always been known as the nice girl in school . . . that is until she develops a crush on schoolmate Josh Leroy. While trying to impress him, she takes on undesirable behaviors that disappoint her family, and could threaten her cherished friendships. Will Bailey come to her senses before it's too late, or will the pressure of being accepted cost her all that really matters, and damage the life of a fellow classmate in the process?

Release date: Today…12/12/12


Hi Alexis J, will you tell us a little about yourself? Well, I’m 10 years old and in the 5th grade. I LOVE to write, dance, sing, read, play soccer and hang out with my friends. Bailey and the Bully is my first book.

Yolanda: You’re very active and busy.

What or who inspired you to write Bailey and the Bully? My school always has assemblies about bullying and they raised my awareness about what a big problem it is. I’ve also seen some of my friends being bullied and I’m interested in the subject because I don’t like to see people sad. I want everyone to be nice to each other.

Yolanda: I love how you’re trying to raise awareness through Bailey and the Bully.

At 10 years old, how do you stay motivated to write? Since I read a lot, my imagination works really well. I think kids have an easier time using their imaginations than adults because they watch a lot of cartoons and things that are make-believe. It’s pretty easy for me to think of new ideas to write about. I also feel better when I write all of my ideas down. I’m always writing!

Yolanda: This is wonderful. You’re such a pro.

How does it feel to not only write but, have it published? It feels awesome! I’m proud of myself and when I first saw my printed book, I almost fainted!

Yolanda: I’m very proud of you as well. I know your family is extremely proud of you.

What are you currently reading? I’m currently reading the Tiger’s Curse book series.

Yolanda: I’m going to check out that series.

Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite author is Jeff Kinney. He wrote the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. He’s really funny and I relate to his characters a lot.

Yolanda: I have a few students who love that series as well.

What advice do you have for other kids who want to become an author? I would first of all say to them that they can do it! Just write all of your ideas down and take your time. Try not to get frustrated if you get writer’s block. If you have a goal to write a book, believe in yourself. And also get to know your characters really, really well.

Yolanda: Great advise, not only for kids but adults as well.

How can readers contact with you? Readers can go to my blog www.authoralexisj.blogspot.com to see what I’m doing and to purchase an autographed copy of Bailey and the Bully!

Yolanda: Great! Alexis J, thank you for taking time to sit down with me and chat a little. I wish you nothing but blessings after blessings. I know this is the beginning of many more books to come. Please visit Alexis’ blog page to purchase signed autographed copies of Bailey and The Bully. They make great Christmas gifts.

I’m giving away 2 copies of Bailey and the Bully. To qualify, children between the ages of 9-12 needs to email me at ylgore74@gmail.com (the can have their parents email me) and tell me why they would like a copy. Kids, you need to write at least a paragraph. Alexis J will help me pick the winners.



Saturday, December 1, 2012

Chatting it up with Pynk


This was Pynk’s 1st stop of her blog tour. We had a great discussion about her writing, characters and possibly collaborating with other authors, while eating chips and dip and sipping Moscato.


1    Do you have an unusual writing rituals? It would be sexy cool if I did, but my writing rituals are pretty boring. I prefer to write from an outline so that I at least think I know where I'm going, I write early in the morning, I write best when I have complete silence without the sound of a TV or music (or another human being if possible), I turn off the ringers on my phones, and I write best on my desktop in my office, not on a laptop or iPad.
Yolanda: Lol, not on your iPad. But, I have a crazy style as well. I write long hand first.

In Politics. Escorts .Blackmail. who was your most complex character to write and why? My most complex character is Madam Money Watts. Her parents, especially her father, are a different breed, and they set the tone for her greedy and ruthless ways. Her father named her Money for a reason. She has a heart, but so much is at stake if she exposes her softer side so she tucks it away. She is a shrewd businesswoman who trusts no one, and when it comes to love, the same applies. I found her to be the perfectly flawed character. Yes, she's a pimptress, but I also wanted the readers to see her other dimensions. I hope I accomplished that. 
Yolanda: You definitely did. When I first started reading PES, I was scared of Madem Money. But, by the end of the story, my heart broke a little for her. I didn’t expect some of the event that took place. WOW!

How do you juggle writing two different genres? I juggle the two, women's fiction and erotica, by not writing them at the same time.  For me, writing women's fiction is easier than writing erotica. With erotica, you not only have the character arcs and storyline, but you also have license to show their sexual choices on another level, in living color, so to speak. Depending upon their personalities, you must create and direct sex scenes. You must use a great deal of erotic creativity, yet stay true to the characters. I prefer to not overlap when writing the two genres. I write more than one title at a time, but only when it comes to women's fiction, not erotica.
Yolanda: I must say you do a great job writing from both genres.

What is one tip you would give aspiring authors? The one tip I would give aspiring authors is to honor the fact that writing is like architecture - you must build a story, and it takes time and talent. Can you see it and feel it? Create a blueprint (if not a complete outline, then perhaps a brief story map). Is there a foundation? Build the walls, chapter by chapter, the roof, draft by draft, etc. Be an architect with words and take it very seriously. It's more than a notion.
Yolanda: Great, great advice. Thank you for always being willing to help aspiring authors.

I would love for you and Mary Honey B Morrison to collaborate together. Will my wish ever come true? Mary is an extremely gifted and successful author, and a very dear and supportive friend. I would love it as well. We have discussed this in the past with an idea in mind, but our schedules have not allowed this to happen. Never say never. If we do, I know it will be double fire - HoneyB and Pynk style!
Yolanda: I’ll continue to say a prayer that my wish comes true.
3.    
 About the author
Pynk is the best-selling author of four erotica titles and one anthology. Pynk won the 2008 YOUnity award for Fastest Rising Literary Star and Disilgold.com’s Most Outstanding Author of the Year award for 2009.
Grand Central released the first Pynk novel, Erotic City, in November 2008. Erotic City was voted one of the Best Reads for 2008 by lack Expressions and was a finalist for a 2009 African American Literary Award in the category of erotica. The second title, Sexaholics, about four women addicted to sex, hit the shelves on March 23, 2010, and was released to critical acclaim, particularly for the tragic and gritty depictions of sexual addiction, and was voted among the 2010 Best Books by the Sankofa Literary Society. The third book, Sixty-Nine, is about three sexually repressed women born in 1969 who vow to go beyond their own self-imposed limits at the age of 40. Sixty-Nine was nominated for a 2011 African American Literary Award and was a Top 20 Black Expressions Bestseller.
Pynk joined together with five bestselling authors, contributing to the hot anthology, The Heat of the Night, which was released on February 14, 2012 under Peace in the Storm Publishing. The December 2012 novel by Pynk tackles the topic of politics and the call-girl industry in New York City. It’s called POLITICS.ESCORTS.BLACKMAIL.
Each steamy Pynk title is set in a different city: Atlanta, Los Angeles, Miami, New York and the 2014 title, Sin in the City, is set in Las Vegas.
Allow yourself to live your sexy dreams responsibly through the words of Pynk, whose characters are sure to make a fictional appearance in your city soon.


About the book
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: December 11, 2012
ISBN-10: 044656334X
ISBN-13: 978-0446563345

This erotic tale from national bestselling author Pynk explores the call girl industry as it spills over into the world of politics in New York City.

POLITICS.ESCORTS.BLACKMAIL.
Madam Money Watts’ exclusive top escort services operates under the name Lip Service, and Midori Moody, Leilani Sutton, and male escort Kemba Price are her high-end contractors who make a hefty living having sex for money.
Among her clients are two New York senators who are the very officials voters have elected to make decisions for others to abide by, yet these politicians play a different set of rules, secretly paying top dollar for the forbidden girlfriend experience. But when a freaky client takes it too far, a pimp wants in on some of the action, and an escort gets greedy, the world of Money Watts is brought to a head.

To read my review, please visit yolandalgore.blogspot.com.

Thank you Pynk for your time. I know how busy you are right now. 


Friday, July 13, 2012

Blog Tour for Paulette Harper

Paulette Harper stopped by my spot during her blog tour. I was very happy to have her visit. Please take the time to check out this fabulous inspirational non-fiction author.


About the Author
Paulette Harper Johnson, an award winning author, writing coach, and speaker, seeks to inspire women from all walks of life.  As an inspirational and motivational speaker, Paulette’s desire is to empower, influence and cultivate women to move forward while dealing with issues that hinder women from becoming all they are created to be. Her topics are biblically sound and pertinent to the needs of today’s women.
Paulette is a wife, mother, grandmother, Bible teacher, radio host, writer and the owner of WNL Virtual Blog Tours. Her years of marketing her own self-published books have created a special talent in her—her ability to sell a product well. Not only does she specialize in marketing strategies, but also serves as the publicist for P.F.L. Publishing.
She has been mentoring and teaching women for years though seminars, workshops and conferences. Paulette Harper Johnson serves in ministry as an Elder with her husband Sr. Pastor Tony E. Johnson at Word of Faith Worship Center in Bradenton and North Port FL.
Ministry Book website: www.pauletteharper.com


Author Interview
Why the title Completely Whole?
 
Actually, in the middle of completing my first book, this book came to mind. I had gone through a bad ordeal, which left me broken and scared.  In order for me to write about becoming whole, I had to experience it myself.  There were areas in my own life that I needed to confront and deal with. Those areas that hindered me from moving forward needed to be addressed. Once God began to point out those areas and I accepted where I was spiritually, the healing and restoration began.  The process of becoming Completely Whole is continual for any believer desiring to live, walks, and pursue a life on purpose.


Why did you feel this book needed to be written?

I believe every reader might have something in their lives that continues to either be a reoccurring issue or an area in their lives that they are lacking or feel they have not conquered.  To be whole according to Webster is to be “free from injury or wound; to be healed and to be physically sound and healthy.”  Because we live in a world in which we experience the ups and downs of life, we deal with heartache and pain; sometimes these experiences leave residue that we have not been able to deal with.


What is your main message in Completely Whole?

Completely Whole is one of those books that will challenge the reader to do a self-examination of where they are as it relates to their own spirituality. This life-changing book will help readers to transform their spirit, soul, and body through Jesus Christ, so they can live a life of peace, joy, and fulfillment. In Completely Whole, I offer keys to help those who are searching for answers that can lead to a life of complete wholeness: Spirit, Soul and Body. My focus in writing is to enrich the lives of my readers. I had a reader make this comment about Completely Whole “It speaks” and that’s what I want it to do. I want readers to come away knowing that they have the ability to live a full enriched life.

What has the reaction been like to your book?  

The reviews have been great. Those that have read Completely Whole find it to be a book which speaks to the heart.


 How can this book contribute to transforming someone’s life?

A person is transformed when they chose to apply the spiritual principles that are outlined in Completely Whole. Once a person identifies those self-destructive mind-sets then they are able to deal with those issues that have kept them from walking in victory.


How do you prepare yourself when writing a book? Is there a process you follow?

Before doing anything, I make sure I’m in a quiet area, free from distractions. When I’m ready to write, I sit at my laptop and begin writing. Depending on the chapter I’m working on, that determines the direction I’ll go. I am able to write as long as there is a constant flow

Were there any challenges you faced in the writing process?

I think with all authors there are some types of challenges when trying to finish a book. I’m no exception. There are many distractions that will continue to pull for my attention be it, home, ministry, family and/or job. I try to bring balance in my life so I can prioritize those things that are important. I must set deadlines for myself and stick with those deadlines.

What can someone take away from this book?

Becoming Completely Whole is an internal inventory and focuses on making necessary changes of the heart. I write non-fiction, inspirational books; so this means my books should have a lasting effect on a person’s spirit, inspiring and encouraging them to pursue passionately a more fulfilled life. I want my writings to give strength and encouragement in the time of need. As they read Completely Whole, I want my writings to engage, stimulate, and edify them spiritually.

Any words of wisdom for young writers or writers who want to pursue a career in writing?

Promote, promote and promote some more.  Learn how to brand and market yourself so that you are known in the industry.  Don’t think someone else is going to promote you better than yourself.  Create a marketing plan that will expand your territory in reaching readers.


Purchase book: Amazon

About the Book 
Completely Whole is resource filled- guide full of practical and Biblically-based principles, real-life application strategies and prayers to give the readers a holistic approach to living a life of wholeness through Jesus. Christ. This book is inspiring, optimistic, hopeful and encouraging while providing a clear-cut, scriptural blueprint for each reader to follow as they allow the Word and the power of God to transform their pain and restore their lives on their road to becoming Completely Whole.
Harper plainly states that “words have the power and ability to create (76)” which can place you in a position to be completely whole. The purpose of her book Completely Whole is to “bring the reader to the place of wholeness—spirit, soul and body.”  She provides a biblical foundation, personal experiences, prayer and a confession in each chapter to give a voice of reason to the women who cry out to learn more about who they are, where they are to go and why it is so important to know God’s word.  Her personal walk is the example within the text.





Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Spotlighting Shelia Goss-Sparkle

I'm honored and ecstatic to feature the amazing Shelia Goss. I would like to thank Shelia for taking time out of her busy and hectic schedule to chat it up with me.  Not only does Shelia write under Shelia Goss but she also has a pseudonym by the name of Sparkle. Sparkle is who I'm introducing you to today. I hope you will support her.


Have you always has a vivid imagination?

Yes, as far back as I can remember, I've always had a vivid imagination. For example, me and my childhood friends (Georgia and Cordella) created our own game called "mysteries." We would create scenes and act out solving mysteries. 

Where do you get your story ideas? Is there some sort of inspiration behind it?
My ideas are inspired by a variety of things.  I'm an observer of people and an information junkie. I read a lot and watch stations like ID, truTV, CNN, etc. My Christian fiction stories were inspired by biblical stories. Delilah is a modern adaption of Samson and Delilah. Ruthless is a modern tale of David and Bathsheba. I put my own special twists in the stories but keep the core theme intact.

Sade's Secret, my latest book, was inspired after hearing story after story about women being sexually abused at an early age. I also ran across news articles of teenagers going through emotional distress due to that issue. I wanted to bring an awareness of the problem and I hope that if anyone is or has gone through sexual abuse, they will no longer feel like they have to remain silent. So many times, secrets can hinder a person from living their life.

Shelia, I know you write adult fiction as well as YA Fiction, do you see yourself writing any other genre?
I want to continue to write in multiple genres. Whatever story comes to me, that's the story I plan to write. I currently write: romance, suspense, Christian fiction, urban, and as you mentioned YA.

When you're reading for pleasure, do you find yourself researching the craft of that author as well?
When I'm reading for pleasure, I don't have my supercritical eye on. I'm reading for enjoyment. When I'm reading because I'm trying to learn how a particular genre is done, then yes, my critical eye is on and I'm observing an author's technique, style, etc.

Do you have a favorite author? Or favorite book?
I have too many favorites to name just one. I'll name a few: Vincent Alexandria, Maya Angelou, Reshonda Tate Billingsley, Wahida Clark, K. Elliott, Brandon Massey, Michelle McGriff, Victoria Christopher Murray, Francis Ray, Kimberla Lawson Roby, and the list goes on and on.

Too many books to name too; however if I had to name one, it would actually be The Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins.

How do you manage working full-time, being a full-time mother and writing?
Many would be surprised that I don't have any kids. Although I don't have a regular job, my freelance work and writing is a full-time business. It takes up the majority of my day and night. I've learned to juggle by putting in the majority of the hours during the week, but on the weekends, I'm rarely on the computer. If I don't take two days off, then I would end up burning myself out.

Tell my readers one thing they've be surprised to know about you.
I'm shy and I love stylish purses.

What is one tip you would give aspiring authors?
Learn the craft, research (Google is a writer's best friend) and last, but not least, write.

Book: Sade's Secret by Sparkle
Publisher: Wahida Clark Presents YA
Publication Date: May 25, 2012
ISBN-10: 1936649438

A note from the author: SADE’S SECRET is probably one of the most impactful books I’ve ever written. Its edgy and raw and will have readers, young and old, talking back to the book. It’s a book that both mothers and daughters can read.

About SPARKLE
Sparkle is the pseudonym for Essence Magazine bestselling author Shelia M. Goss. Shelia is a 2012 Emma Award Finalist and has over thirteen books in print. She writes in multiple genres: Christian fiction, romance, women’s fiction, suspense, and young adult. Sade's Secret is the first book by Sparkle. USA Today says, “She has an easy, flowing style with her prose…”

About the book
Fifteen-year-old Sade Washington has been harboring a secret from her two best friends, Crystal and Dena. Her secret is threatened to be revealed when she discovers she’s pregnant. Once Sade’s secret is out, it causes a wedge between her and her mother Joyce. Distraught at her mother’s reactions, Sade toils with a love/hate relationship with her.
Joyce struggles with keeping peace in her household. The relationship between her daughter and live-in boyfriend, Calvin has her in an emotional turmoil. Joyce is determined to make their home a happy one by any means necessary.

Sade attempts to have a normal teen life, but as she turns sixteen, reality hits her head on. She must make choices that will not only affect her future, but that of her unborn child. Sade’s Secret takes the reader on an emotional ride as it deals with a strong subject matter and the dynamics of mother-daughter relationships.


For more information visit sheliagoss.com/sparkle.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Getting to know author, K.L. Brady

Today, I had a chance to sat down and speak with author Karla (K.L.) Brady. She just had surgery and still took time speak with me. Thanks Karla for the opportunity. If you've never read any of her books, I hope you will take the time to check her out.




Have you always has a vivid imagination?
Oh my goodness yes. I’ve always had flair for embellishing true stories. When I was a kid, I endured a number of difficult situations that might break most kids, but I took my pen to paper and wrote in my diaries which I’m sure helped pull me through my most difficult times. And I would always begin with the true a story, embellish it, and then write my own happy ending. I have no doubt this is why people who read my stories connect with the characters on a real, honest level. My stories are always based on truth but my endings are where the imagination comes in. 

Karla, I know you write adult fiction as well as YA Fiction, do you see yourself writing any other genre?
Yes, I plan on stretching my talents wherever I can find a story to tell that I think my audience wants to read. I started my career writing romantic comedy for adults and young adults because I believe in tackling serious relationship issues, familial or between men and women, with heavy doses of humor. Writing funny stories is very natural for me. But I’ve recently stepped in the world of romantic suspense which has been a challenge for me. The story structure is a different from what I’m used to so I had to do some research and read a few instructional books on writing suspense to pull it off effectively. It’s been such a great learning experience and I think my readers will absolutely love the new series when it comes out. 

When you're reading for pleasure, do you find yourself researching the craft of that author as well? 
Usually, I don’t read for research, but as an author it’s hard to read for pleasure and not also see the story elements that helped make a story successful or unsuccessful. But any author writing stories today understands that they are not doing anything “new.” None of us has invented a new way to tell stories or new tricks. What we do is take the tried and true and then put our own personal spin on it to make it our own. But I think reading books is imperative for authors to understand how to become and stay successful and reading is just part of the business of writing books. 

Do you have a favorite author? Or favorite book?
My God yes. I have too many favorite books. Too many favorite authors. It would be very difficult for me to pin my favorite down to one because I like authors for different reasons. For example, Toni Morrison is a literary genius and reading her books really stretches the bounds of my comprehension skills. I’m so not a deep thinker. I’m very much a left-brained, logical, analytical person with a few right-brained creative abilities. She forces me to step outside of my logical boxes and expand my thinking. I love Terry McMillan because she was the first author to affirm for me that “my voice” as a writer, which is very colloquial and non-literary, was okay, and I don’t have to be Toni Morrison to write books people love. I love Jane Austen because Pride & Prejudice made her the queen of the romantic comedy in my eyes and she’s proof positive that romantic comedies and humor are timeless. Without question, the author I’d most like to emulate in terms of work ethic is the late L.A. Banks. She is a writing hero for me. I only met her once in person but she had such a profound impact on me and my view of the publishing industry. I could add so many more authors to this list but I won’t. It’s safe to say I’m inspired by any author who works hard, respects their craft, and tells great stories. 

How do you manage working full-time, being a full-time mother and writing?
I don’t know. By the grace of God and with lots of patience on some days, and with a belt and a mojito on others. (lol) I think it’s a difficult balancing act that most writers have to contend with and somehow we just make it work. It really helps that I love writing so much that it doesn’t feel like work and I look forward to the moments I get to spend in my writing space. I’m usually up at 5 am writing or marketing. Then I do more work during my lunch break and then still more after my son goes to bed in the evenings. I’m usually up until 11pm to midnight working on projects and work through most weekends. I usually don’t get out a lot to socialize, but success won’t come without sacrifice. Fortunately, I’m a workaholic with a very independent son who allows me to do what I need to do (most days) to accomplish my dreams. 

Tell my readers one thing they've be surprised to know about you.
Most people know me as a writer, but I had entirely separate career before writing. I spent the first 12 years of my career one of less than a handful of black analysts/operations specialists working in the FBI’s counterintelligence program. Then I left the FBI and spent the next five years working as a senior analyst working for the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Iraq war effort—again as one of the only black senior-level analysts supporting the U.S. military’s anti-insurgency efforts at the Pentagon. So, for 17 years of my career I met a lot of incredible people and did a lot of important work that most people will never see or know about because it’s classified. Fortunately, I’m a novelist—so you’ll see elements of my experiences in my future spy novel series. 

What is one tip you would give aspiring authors?
If I could give writer’s one piece of advice, it would be to write your truth, whatever that may be. Stay true to yourself and your writing voice. Don’t try to follow trends. Don’t try to write in another author’s style because it’s not a sustainable way to build a career. You may not express to the top of the NY Times Bestseller list this way, but you can rest assured that when you get there, you’ll know how to stay there because you stayed true to who you are as a writer and you know how to build your own stories. Along with this piece of advice, it’s so critical to learn your craft. Read books, take classes, and remember that learning is a continual process that should never end. The minute you think you know everything is probably the moment you will fail miserably.

About the Author
Karla is a woman of many jobs and interests. First and foremost she’s a mother of a beautiful 11 year old son whom she absolutely adore. Her first book, "The Bum Magnet" was published by Simon and Schuster in 2011. The sequel, Got a Right to Be Wrong was released January 31, 2012 (S&S Gallery). She just finished her second (YA) and third (sequel) novels and have started on my fourth (comedy/suspense). She’s busy but looking to slow down a bit and starting to take more long drives, get more rest, and just enjoy life in general. It's a process but, she’s getting there.

About the Book
AN IRRESISTIBLE NEW NOVEL FEATURING THE HIGH-SPIRITED HEROINE FROM THE BUM MAGNET!
Charisse Tyson is about to say “I do” . . .
But could the smart, sassy, curvaceous bride-to-be, who’s more than paid her dues with a string of worthless ex-lovers, have good reason for second thoughts? What if her fiancé, Kevin Douglass—the gorgeous FBI agent who rescued her from a con artist boyfriend and promptly swept her off her feet—turns out to be like all the others? Rissey’s worst nightmare comes true when, one week from their wedding day, they hit a major bump in the road—a baby bump, that is. Kevin reveals that a one-time liaison with his former FBI partner produced a lot more than a one-night stand.
Thrown into a tailspin, Rissey turns to her beloved top-shelf vodka and her best friend Lamar, who makes no secret of his desire to replace Kevin. With her own family in upheaval when the father Rissey has never known enters her life and Kevin desperately trying to make things right, time is running out . . . will she and Kevin survive the drama and make it down the wedding aisle?


Thursday, June 7, 2012

Chatting it up with Pamela D. Rice


Today, I had the opportunity to speak with author, Pamela D. Rice. Pam is a powerhouse with a pen. I always enjoy talking to her. If you haven’t read any of her books, I hope you will after you read this interview & feature.


Where are you from? 

I am from a small community in South Carolina called Little Africa that was founded by freed slaves in the 1800’s

What was your inspiration for The Monday Night Mistress?

I decided to write “The Monday Night Mistress” after seeing so many stories in the media about incestuous relationships. Prayerfully, writing about it will create a dialogue and bring healing. 

What other books have you authored? Tell us about them. 

My first book was “The Sunday Morning Wife”, which deals with domestic violence. You can read the entire first chapter @ www.pameladrice.com
  
Do you use an outline or do you let your story unfold naturally? 

A little of both. When an idea pops into my head, I write a quick synopsis and use it as a guideline to let the story unfold.
  
From your experience, what key ingredients do new writers need to succeed in the book industry? 

Continue to hone your craft. You have to invest time and research your topics in order to write a believable story. Also, develop a thick skin. Rejection comes with the territory.

Besides writing, what else do you like to do?

I love to travel, cook, and explore other cultures

About the Books

The Monday Night Mistress

Layla James has fallen passionately in love with Grayson Miles; a handsome man with the charisma to match his looks. The chemistry between the two is ignitable. The fire that lies between them is so tempting that breaking the rules is hotter than maintaining ambiguity. There is only one obstacle preventing Layla and Grayson from being a couple; Grayson is engaged to Layla’s cousin Sofia. Soon what’s done in secret comes out in the wash and the devastating emotional aftermath which follows discovery is overwhelming. The revelation leaves Sofia distraught as she struggles to deal with the infidelity of her fiancé and the added sting that his lover is the one person she loved like a sister. 

Psychological torture ensues and brings the emotionally draining experience to a head and Sophia confronts Layla, and they both discover hidden secrets which are darker than anything they ever could have imagined. The family tree is shaken and uprooted from the core by one dark disclosure after another. 
Life becomes even more complicated for those involved in this intricate life triangle. As fate would have it, final options for survival lies in the hands of one person – the woman who was betrayed the most.


The Sunday Morning Wife


The old saying is true. You never know what's going on in someone else's home. From the outside looking in, Yolanda Clarke appears to have it all. She's a beautiful woman, and her husband, Timothy, is the pastor of BrightStar Tabernacle. They seem to have the perfect life. But, looks are certainly deceiving. Yolanda has become a puppet on a string, totally controlled by Timothy. While everyone at church thinks he walks on water, Yolanda knows the person behind the mask. His constant verbal tirades, physical and emotional abuse has become unbearable. In walks Andre Hunter. He's the type of man that can make any woman forget all her troubles. His chocolate skin, pearly whites, and beautiful smile enthrall Yolanda. She has never entertained the idea of infidelity, but the abuse and lack of intimacy at home makes her adulterous affair justifiable in her mind. Andre gives Yolanda everything she's missing at home- respect, conversation, and passion behind closed doors. But, Andre is hiding secrets of his own. Will Yolanda finally climb from the abyss of despair she's lived in with Timothy and move to a brighter tomorrow with Andre? Or will she forever remain "The Sunday Morning Wife?"


To learn more about Pamela, please visit her website at www.pameladrice.com.




Tuesday, March 6, 2012

One Way Or Another by Rhonda Bowen



Book Bloggers United presents:
 
 
new novel
 
Dafina; Original edition (February 28, 2012)
 
***Special thanks to Dee Stewart of DeeGospel PR for sending me a review copy.*** 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
 

Christian Fiction Romance Author Rhonda Bowen writes for Kensington Publishing Corps (Dafina Books.) She has written two faith based novels Man Enough for Me and her current release One Way or Another. She is also an event planner and currently resides in Toronto, Ontario Canada.

Visit her at 
www.rhondabowen.com or her Learning the Ropes Blog at          www.learningtheropes.wordpress.com.






SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:


Atlanta reporter Toni Shields will do whatever it takes to get a good story. So when she's arrested for sneaking around the mayor's house, she's prepared. What she's not prepared for is getting demoted--or her run-in with stubborn Adam Bayne, director of the local young men's rehab center. . .

The first time Adam saw Toni, she was wrangling with the cops. Now she's looking for a scoop at Jacob House. Adam has no intention of letting her near his boys--yet as usual, her pushiness wins. And when she genuinely helps a teen in trouble, Adam sees a side of her that cares about more than just a headline. Soon, they become close--their attraction growing. But there's more to both their lives than meets the eye. Toni has a haunting family secret, one that is taking a great toll on her. And when she uncovers that Adam has a devastating past of his own, not only their relationship, but their futures, and their faith, lie in the balance.

Praise for Man Enough for Me

"A sweet Christian romance." –Publishers Weekly

"Enough drama, romance, and faith that keeps you turning pages." --Tiffany L. Warren, Essence® bestselling author


Product Details:
List Price: $14.00

Paperback: 320 pages
Publisher: Dafina; Original edition (February 28, 2012)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0758259581
ISBN-13: 978-0758259585


 AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER: 


ONE WAY OR ANOTHER
Rhonda Bowen
(February 28, 2012)


Chapter 1


The metal felt icy and unwelcome as the cuffs snapped tight around Toni’s wrists. She grimaced. This was not how she planned to spend her Wednesday night.
The burly police officer dragged her to the cop car, placing his hand on her head of long dark silky hair as he lowered her into the backseat. At least he was being civil. The same couldn’t be said for the one manhandling Afrika.
“Get your nasty hands off my butt, you perve,” Afrika snapped, shoving him away with her shoulder.
The short dull-looking cop stumbled back a bit, seemingly surprised at her force. Yeah, he didn’t know. Afrika might look tiny but you didn’t want to mess with her. More than once Toni had seen her friend take a chunk out of her pro-basketball-playing ex-boyfriend Tyrone. She was nobody’s victim.
For once though, Toni wished Afrika would take it down a notch. It was bad enough that the cops had caught them snooping around the mayor’s premises. No sense encouraging the Atlanta PD officers to find a creative way to actually charge them.
Toni’s mind scrambled for a solution as she sat in the back of the cop car on the way to the station. The clock on the dash said 10:34 p.m., leaving her with barely an hour to file her story and get out of this mess. She thought of all her possible lifelines, including her brother, Trey, and her sister-in-law, Jasmine. But none of those options were appealing. Her brother’s smug look she could deal with, but she would rather spend the night in a cell than get another lecture from Jasmine, who seemed to forget that at twenty-seven she was the same age as Toni and not in fact her mother. That left only one person. Unfortunately, said person was sitting beside her, just as helpless as her, and a lot less cooperative.
By the time they got to the mini-precinct, south of downtown Atlanta, Toni realized that she was on her own.
“So, Miss Shields, you want to tell us why you were in the area of the mayor’s residence tonight?”
Toni smiled at the large man who had been the one to handcuff her earlier. “Just taking a walk, Officer Powell.”
“I’m looking at your file here, Miss Shields, and you seem to like taking walks near the homes of well-known people in this city.”
Toni shrugged. “What can I say? I’m a fitness buff.”
She hoped Afrika was holding up okay. They had been separated, and the other officer was questioning her in another section of the station. Toni could see her, but couldn’t hear what was going on.
“And what about that camera you were carrying?” he asked, an eyebrow raised.
“I like photography too. It’s a new hobby.”
Officer Powell rubbed his eyes. “Where’s the memory card, Miss Shields?”
“Memory card?”
“Yes,” he said. “You know, that little thing that records the pictures? There was none in the camera. And we didn’t find it when we searched your things.”
Toni shrugged. “I don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Officer Powell sat forward, his forehead wrinkling. “Miss Shields, you were caught wandering near the mayor of Atlanta’s home in the dead of night with a very professional grade camera and a major zoom lens,” he said. “I personally think you might have even been on the mayor’s property but unfortunately there’s no way to prove it. Do you expect me to believe that there was no card in this camera?” he asked. “Now, either you produce the card on your own or we’re going to have to search you.”
“But you already searched me,” Toni said innocently.
The officer glowered. “A full body search.”
Toni pursed her lips. “You can’t do that. Full searches can only be conducted by someone of the same sex. And I’m looking around and all the officers I see on duty tonight are men.”
He rubbed a hand over his head tiredly. “Then you can be someone else’s problem.” He closed her file and stood. “My shift is over anyway.”
Toni looked at the wall clock. 10:45. Right on schedule.
“Okay, please tell me you have a plan to get us out of here,” Afrika hissed into Toni’s ear moments after Officer Powell seated them beside each other in the holding area.
“Sort of.” Toni turned her head left and then right as she tried to work the kinks out of her neck. The back of that cop car had not been good to her.
“Sort of? You’re gonna need to give me something better than that.” Afrika twisted around in her seat, giving Toni full access to her glare. “I can’t go to prison, Toni. I may act hard, but I ain’t no criminal. I can’t go down like this!”
The hysteria in Afrika’s whispers went up a notch at each statement, and Toni had to bite her lip to keep from laughing. Afrika would definitely not see the humor. And with Toni’s hair looking a shaggy mess, she couldn’t afford to have her best friend and hair stylist not talking to her.
“Afrika, we weren’t caught doing anything wrong,” Toni said, hoping her even tone would mellow her friend out. “They have nothing to charge us with. All they can do is detain us for a couple hours.”
She left out the part about what could happen if they searched her and found the memory card in her bra.
Afrika narrowed her eyes at Toni. “How long is a couple?”
Toni shrugged and glanced away. “Maybe four or five.”
Or seventy-two, she thought.
“A lot could happen in four or five hours,” Afrika murmured.
Toni saw her friend glance out the corner of her eye at the thick red-skinned woman who had taken up the entire bench across from them with her size ten frame and size twenty attitude. The bottle blonde had skewered them with her bloodshot eyes when they first came in, before going back to the production of picking her nails, which were so long they seemed like weapons themselves. A darker skinned woman of indeterminable everything lay buried in multiple layers of clothing on the only other bench, snoring.
“Don’t worry. It’s usually pretty quiet this time of night,” Toni said, leaning her head back against the wall.
Afrika scowled but didn’t say another word. Toni knew her friend was still mad, but she was glad that Afrika had calmed down. It would be a long twelve minutes if she had to sit there and listen to her whine.
“Well, well. Looks like it’s ladies night up in here.”
“Mikey?” Afrika had a puzzled expression on her face. “What you doing here?”
“Hey, cuz.” Mikey chuckled and unlocked the door to the holding cell. “I work here. What you doing here?”
“Keepin’ bad company,” Afrika said, throwing a nasty look Toni’s way.
“Toni,” Mikey said. Her name on his lips sounded as oily as the chicken grease that had stained his uniform. There was no doubt he’d had a three piece for dinner.
Toni forced a smile even though she really wanted to gag. If he was any other cop on any other day, Toni would have given him a piece of her mind for the way his eyes were roaming all over her. But she needed this Good Times reject, and he knew it.
She got up off the uneven bench and followed Afrika out of the cell, feeling the heat of Mikey’s gaze on her behind. She scowled. She was used to guys raking their eyes over her five- foot-four frame, particularly her generous behind, but it still disgusted her.
“So it says here that you aren’t charged but you need to be searched,” Mikey said, a toothpick in the corner of his mouth as he flipped through Afrika’s and Toni’s files.
“Don’t even think of putting your nasty hands on me,” Afrika warned.
“Easy, cuz.” Mikey laughed. “The search would have to be done by another woman.”
He turned his eyes on Toni. “Unless you want to waive that right.”
Toni fought her gag reflex again. “Thanks, Mikey, but you can already see we don’t have any weapons. Plus, like you said, there are no charges. You’re gonna let us out in a couple hours anyway. Why not save yourself some time?”
Mikey raised an eyebrow and Toni sugared up her statement with a smile. He laughed again. She wasn’t sure if that was good or bad.
“I guess you have a point there,” he said a moment later, stepping forward and removing the cuffs from Afrika’s wrists.
“It’s about time.” Afrika scowled. “Where’s my stuff?”
Mikey pulled a small plastic tray of items from behind the station desk and slid it over to Afrika.
Toni held up her wrists toward him expectantly
He glanced at her hands but didn’t reach for the keys. “You’ve been in here an awful lot lately. Maybe you need to sit in a cell a couple hours and cool off.”
Toni scowled.
“Or maybe you could help me change my mind,” he suggested. His eyes swept her frame again and she noticed his voice had ducked to a whisper.
“How about dinner again?” He leaned forward to drop the last words. “This time at my place.”
Toni resisted the urge to step back as the slightly rank smell from Mikey hit her. She would bet anything that homeboy had been rocking the same frowsy uniform all week. Nothing short of a gun to her head was putting her anywhere inside Mikey’s place.
“I don’t think so, Mikey,” Toni said, just as she heard the doors to the station open behind her.
He glanced up and nodded to the newcomer before moving around the desk and away. “Well then, I think I’m gonna have to take a little more time writing this release,” Mikey said stiffly. “I don’t want to miss anything important.”
He looked past Toni at the person behind her. “How can I help you?”
“I heard one of my kids was here. Rasheed Roper?”
“Oh yeah,” Mikey said, turning back to the desk and flipping through the stack of reports. “He got picked up with some other youngbloods near the old Bankhead Courts. Residents called it in--said they were a bit noisy. We found a little weed on a couple of them, but your kid was clean.”
Toni tapped her foot impatiently as she listened to the exchange. She glanced up at the clock--11:00. The Thursday morning edition would go to print in the next hour with or without her story. And if the latter was the case, all the crap that she had gone through tonight would be for nothing. She wasn’t having that--not after she’d had to beat out the other Metro section reporters for the front page.
“Let me get him and then you can sign him out.” Mikey turned away.
“Mikey”--Toni grabbed his arm before she lost him completely--“the cuffs?”
“Toni, we going or what?” Afrika asked from the door, a sour look plastered on her face.
“What did you say your kid’s name was?” Mikey looked past Toni as he started moving toward the back again.
“Rasheed Ro--”
“Come on, Mikey,” Toni whined, slapping the desk in frustration with her handcuffed palm. “You really gonna do me like this?”
“Like what? Girl, I never told you to get your behind locked up. You the shizzle up at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Tell your boss come bail you out.”
“Do I look like I have time for all that?” Toni shot back.
“Uh, hey, you think you could get Rasheed . . . ?”
Forget Rasheed.
“Can you just hold on? Your kid will still be a criminal in five minutes,” Toni snapped, swinging around to glare at the stranger who kept interrupting.
Her anger died on her lips when she saw exactly who was behind her. As she craned her neck to take in all of his six-foot-something frame, she couldn’t help but think of the fence she nearly broke her neck scaling less than an hour earlier. Now here was a brother who did not need a boost. And with his I-do-real-work-every-day arms he could have probably hoisted her over without breaking a sweat.
However, the expression on his gorgeously angular face told her he wasn’t inclined to do anything for her at that moment, except maybe help Mikey put her back in the holding cell. The slight downward turn of his full lips and the tightness in his strong jaw confirmed the irritation.
But, boy, did he make ticked off look good.


She was trouble personified.
Adam could tell before she even opened her pouty mouth. It was in her flushed cinnamon-toned skin, the dark inquisitive eyes, and the legs that he was mad at himself for looking at. Women with legs like hers shouldn’t be allowed to wear jeans that looked like they had been painted on. It was just wrong to mess with a brother’s head like that. Especially when he was trying to keep it PG-13 upstairs.
He felt bad for staring. But she kept looking at him with those huge eyes and he couldn’t turn away.
“You don’t look old enough to have grown kids,” she said after a moment.
“I think you got bigger things to worry about,” he said. “Like making it out of this place tonight. But it looks like you already have a plan for that.”
The big beautiful eyes turned into slits. “Maybe you shouldn’t be so quick to judge, seeing that I’m not the only one at the police station in the middle of the night.”
“Only one of us is wearing cuffs,” he shot back.
“It takes one to raise one,” Toni said. “In your case I’m sure the blunt wasn’t rolled far from the weed.”
“Whatever.” Her tongue was sharper than an army knife. He had nothing.
He didn’t even know why he was getting so riled. Maybe because he was ticked off that his day had had to end with him in a police station picking up Rasheed. But more likely it was because the woman in front of him was stealing more of his attention than he wanted to give. And the joker in the too-small uniform sexually harassing her was working his last nerve.
“All right, here he is,” Mikey said, returning from the back with a cross-looking Rasheed only a few steps ahead of him.
Adam felt the corners of his mouth drop into an even deeper frown. He saw Rasheed visibly tense when he saw him.
“Yo, Bayne, I wasn’t even doing anything!” he protested.
“I don’t wanna hear it, Rasheed,” Adam said, shaking his head. “Go sit over there, till I get through with this mess.
“You got something for me to sign?” he asked the sloppy officer.
Mikey nodded and began pulling together a sheet and clipboard for Adam.
“Toni, I’m calling a cab, and I’m leaving.”
So her name was Toni. Adam glanced back at the young woman standing at the door. She looked even more annoyed than he felt.
Toni turned back to the officer. Desperation and frustration fought for position on her face. “You really gonna make her leave me, Mikey? You know if I don’t get back and get this story in I’m done.”
Mikey shrugged as he handed Adam the clipboard.
“Say the word and you can be out of here right now,” Mikey answered.
Adam found himself hoping that Toni turned down whatever homeboy was offering. Instead, she stomped her foot, and uttered a word he used to use quite frequently before God put a noose on his tongue.
“Fine, I’ll do it,” she hissed through her teeth.
“Really?” Mikey said, sounding surprised. “I never actually thought--”
Mikey stopped short when he caught her glare. “So eight on Friday then?” He tried to whisper but Adam still heard him. Adam shook his head in disappointment.
“Whatever,” Toni said. “Just get me out of these.”
Mikey grinned as he fumbled with the keys and freed Toni’s hands from the restraints. With a look of pure annoyance, she snatched the release form from Mikey’s pudgy fingers and examined it. She probably wanted to make sure that whatever she had done didn’t end up on her record.
Adam frowned but began to scan the form in front of him. He just wanted to sign Rasheed out and be done with it. The night had gotten too weird. However, when Mikey leaned in a little too close to the woman, Adam couldn’t help but look up again. And when the rent-a-cop put his hand on Toni’s behind, Adam didn’t even think before he reacted.
“Brothah, you need to back up,” he said, stepping forward angrily. Who did this toy cop think he was?
But before he acted on his temptation to handle matters in a less verbal manner, the petite woman turned around and kneed the officer hard in a place so close to the groin that it made Adam shudder. Mikey hollered like a five-year-old and doubled over in pain.
“You think you feel something now?” Toni hissed at his bent over form. “You lucky I never put my foot where it really wanted to go.”
“Oh man, she got you!” Rasheed hollered with a laugh.
“If you ever put your hands on me again, you’ll be sorry you ever met me, you got that?” Toni snapped angrily in the officer’s ear.
Rasheed was still hooting in laughter as she stuffed the release into her pocket and grabbed her stuff out of the tray on the table. Adam stepped way out of her way as she stormed past him and through the door, pulling her friend behind her.
He glanced at the cop, still crouched over and holding on to the table for support, then at the door where Toni had just exited.
Yes. That woman was definitely trouble.


--End of Chapter One--

Thanks Rhonda for the opportunity to feature you on my blog.