Today’s Featured Author – Paulette Harper

Today, author Paulette Harper joins me as part of her book blast tour promoting her latest book – Secret Places Revealed – which was released earlier this month.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself?

Hello everyone and thank you, Susan, for featuring me today.

In addition to being an award winning author of Completely Whole, I am an inspirational speaker, as well as a writing workshop instructor. I have a passion to coach aspiring authors and speak into the lives of women from every walk of life. My literary works have been spotlighted in a growing number of publications, including CBN, Real Life Real Faith Magazine, and Black Pearls Magazine. I have also appeared on numerous local and online radio shows.

Please tell us about your current release.

My current release is Secret Places Revealed and it’s an Inspirational Romance Novel.

Here is the book blurb:

selectplacesA broken man, a woman on the run, a love that won’t be denied.

Single—and very content—real estate developer Aaron Blackman is determined not to become involved in another relationship. He’s experienced enough drama to last a lifetime. The only thing garnering his attention now is his growing business. And he plans to keep it that way. Then Simone Herron waltzes into his life, beautiful and confident. Fighting to keep his promise to himself—to remain single—he soon discovers that when it comes to love, some promises must be broken.

After losing her fiancé in an untimely death, Simone Herron relocates. She desperately needs to put the past behind her and start a new chapter in her life. While love is the farthest thing from her mind, she experiences an attraction to the handsome Aaron Blackman that frightens her. She’s built a wall around her heart, but can she find the strength and courage she needs to welcome love again? To do so, she must conquer her fears and allow God to put all of her broken pieces back together.

What inspired you to write this book?

I love reading romance books and writing a story that brings two people together for the sake of finding love was something I thoroughly enjoyed. Aaron Blackman is not looking for love, in fact the only thing he has on his agenda is adding to his real estate development portfolio, while Simone Herron, has her own internal battles, with trust and abandonment. One decision on her part leads her to meet the eligible bachelor who is smitten by her, but has made a vow to himself not to get involved.

I’ve always wanted to write fiction and the idea behind Secret Places Revealed came from a desire to write my own love story.

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?

As an inspirational and fiction writer, I write to inspire and empower readers. I write because I feel I have message to share with readers not only to entertain readers but to help them grow spiritually. I love to mix real life stories into my fiction. Although each story is unique, we experience some of the same feelings, situations and challenges in life in which the reader can identify.

With the ability to craft fiction books, it gives me the opportunity to live through each character. I’ve been blessed to write in several different genre: Christian fiction, nonfiction and children. Although each genre is unique in their own way, I enjoy each one. Developing a craft for writing is an ongoing process. I’ve been able to gleam from so many others. I read books which help me learn the craft as well.

When I pen a non-fiction book, I can go deep into my soul and the soul of the reader. My non-fiction books come from my own personal life experiences, research and biblical studies. I try to connect with readers in a place where the words in the book can leap off the pages and bring about a spiritual change as well as spiritual growth.  Everyone needs to be inspired, empowered and strengthen in every area of their lives and this is where my books are able to touch the readers.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I’m learning to be an outliner. Outlining a story, for me, makes it easier to keep focus and it allows the story to continue flowing into each chapter.

Can you tell us a little about the black moment in your book?

The black moment in Secret Places Revealed came when the hero, Aaron Blackman, felt that he was betrayed, once again by someone he loved. He looked at the situation and made some assumptions that were never backed up with proof.  As, an attorney, he knows the important of having solid, concrete evidence, but when it came to his personal life, he forgot all his teachings.

About the Author

pauletteIn addition to being an award winning author of Completely Whole, Paulette is an inspirational speaker, as well as a writing workshop instructor. She has a passion to coach aspiring authors and speaks into the lives of women from every walk of life. Her literary works have been spotlighted in a growing number of publications, including CBN, Real Life Real Faith Magazine, and Black Pearls Magazine. She has also appeared on numerous local and online radio shows.

Paulette resides in Northern California.

You can find out more information about Paulette on her website. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

You can purchase Secret Places Revealed on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

Today’s Featured Author – Adrienne Thompson

Today, I welcome back author Adrienne Thompson. Her latest book, After the Pain (Latter Rain Series Book 1), came out in January.

Excerpt

My tea cup rattled on its saucer at the sound of his voice. I didn’t dare look up at him as I set the cup down and forced myself not to rush to him and wrap my legs around his waist.

“Thank you, August. Want some tea?” Ms. Dorcas asked.

“Yes, ma’am, I’d love some,” he replied, and then he did something that made my entire body stand at attention; he sat right next to me on the loveseat. From that point on all I could do was sit there and remind myself to breathe as my body temperature began to slowly rise. I shoved my unsteady hands under my thighs and fixed my eyes on the floral-patterned rug beneath my feet. I could smell his sweat, a scent that was beginning to become both familiar and appealing to me, and though I kept my eyes away from him, the image of his face dominated my thoughts.

I glanced around the now painfully quiet room to see all eyes on me—including August’s—and I reacted in the only way I knew how. I stood from my seat and softly said, “Um, excuse me.” And before anyone could reply, I had swiftly left the room, made it to the stairs, and was heading back to Room Ten.

“Wait!” I heard him call.

But I couldn’t stop my feet from ascending the stairs. As I fumbled with my door key, I felt him rest his hand on my shoulder. “Von, wait. Why do you keep running away from me? Is it this?” He spun me around and kissed me again… and I let him. As a matter of fact, I felt relieved, like this was what I’d been needing for a long time. Maybe it was.

His lips left mine and I instantly missed them. “Yes,” I whispered, my eyes downcast.

He lifted my chin, held my eyes with his. “You didn’t like it?”

“I did. That’s the problem.”

“Well, what about this?” He leaned in and gently suckled my neck.

I shuddered, grabbed his head, and held it in place. Then a wave of shame hit me and I pulled away from him. “I don’t know what I’m doing.”

“You’re enjoying me,” he whispered as he pinned me to the door and went to work on the other side of my neck. “And I’m enjoying you…”

“I don’t even know your last name,” I said breathily.

“Donovan. August Donovan.”

“I don’t know you.”

He lifted his head and gently kissed my lips again. “Meet me on the path after breakfast tomorrow.”

I looked into his chocolate eyes and almost involuntarily said, “Okay.”

Book Blurb

ATP2_smBarely grasping on to her sanity due to past trauma and unhappiness, LaVonda Ingram leaves her home in search of peace and finds it in the love of a beautiful man. But will she be able to hold on to the healing and peace his love provides?

This is book one of the Latter Rain series—stories of women over forty finding love.

Check out the book trailer!

About the Author

adrienneAdrienne Thompson has worn many titles in her lifetime: teenage mother, teenage wife, divorcee, registered nurse, and author. This mother of three young adults currently resides in Arkansas in her newly empty nest where she writes and publishes her stories full time.

You can find out more about Adrienne on her website or follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

You can purchase After the Pain on Amazon, Amazon UK and Barnes & Noble.

You can also read an excerpt of Your Love is King – her book that was featured on my site in 2013

Today’s Featured Author – Melanie Moreland

Today I welcome author Melanie Moreland to my blog. Her latest book, Over the Fence, came out at the end of July.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live in Canada—Ontario. I grew up in Manitoba which is in the middle of the prairies—very flat. I find Ontario rather hilly, and my ears pop all the time which makes my husband laugh and call me “flatlander.” I work at the local University handling all the ticketing for their sports teams. I love to cook and bake. I read constantly when not writing—I tend to have 3 or 4 books on the go all the time, and I often sit up all night reading when a book captures my attention. I am definitely a night owl.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I work part-time, in a very flexible schedule. Parts of the year it is only two days a week, while other parts can be six of seven days. I tend to write almost every morning after I get up. Often my characters are waiting as soon as I open my eyes, so I get my coffee, sit down and let them talk. I keep a notebook with me and scribble during the day if they start “talking” to me at work. I have been known (often) to go to bed, and get up at 2am and write all night when something hits me—especially if a scene I’ve been struggling with suddenly becomes clear.

How do you conceive your plot ideas?

Plot bunnies hit me everywhere. Over the Fence happened because of a conversation I had with my neighbor—over the fence. I started thinking what if I hadn’t met that person and they were only a voice…and the whole story unfolded. My next book was inspired by something I saw on the internet. The one after hit me when I saw a woman at the bus stop late one snowy evening. It’s like a small nugget in my brain, and they grow. Some get discarded, but if they won’t go away and keep poking at me, I know I have to write them.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

I think we all use our own experiences within our work—draw from our own emotions. My last book, Over the Fence, was extremely personal for me. I used many of my own painful childhood memories in the story to create Kourtney’s past and the way she dealt with the world. It many way it was cathartic, although while writing it, I admit, my emotions ran very high at times. I think using our own experiences can help make the characters more real to our readers, and help bring them to life.

Do you outline your books or just start writing?

I tend to simply start writing. I have tried to outline, but it never follows what I put down. I usually know the start, some key points, and the end. I don’t write in sequence very often. As something hits me, I write it out and go back or forward as the case may be.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

I have two books on the go right now. One is a light romance—zero angst, just a sweet story. The other is far darker, involving a man cut off emotionally from the world and how a tiny change—a reminder of his past—teaches him to live again.

Please tell us about your current release.

Over the Fence is a story of two neighbors that start an unconventional relationship with each other. They become friends, sharing conversations, meals, and computer help – all with the barrier of the fence between them. They are both hiding from the world in their own way, and this is their story about learning to trust and love.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

When Kourtney shared her childhood was a hard thing to write since so much of it were my own memories. Reliving some of that pain was difficult. Kourtney has been taught to see herself in a certain light—a very negative one. There is a chapter in the book where Nathan tells her—shows her—what he sees that is very emotional and pivotal to their moving forward.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

I always think I would love to jump into the era of hooped skirts, courting, balls and horse and carriages. Where men kissed your hand and something as innocuous as a kiss was scandalous between unmarried couples. Where your passion was hidden and only shown behind closed doors. But then I think of corsets, having no free will, or running water, and decide no. I’ll stay here. LOL.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I have a spot in the family room I like to write in. I have a little table to hold my coffee (a must have) my laptop and a notebook close by. I curl into the corner with the laptop, and in the winter the fireplace is on, a blanket is close and I just write. On occasion I sit at the desk in the den and look out the window and write, but I prefer my corner.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

Coffee. Always coffee. I am addicted to it. Maybe a peanut butter granola bar, but I tend to sip and not eat while writing.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

Well I hate to tell secrets, but I will. I am really Batman.

batman

Book Blurb

Over the fenceTwo neighbors—strangers—with one thing in common—they share a fence. But is that the only thing they share? Nathan Fraser lives a solitary life, never letting anyone get too close. It’s safer that way. Kourtney Whyte hides from the world and behind her work, too afraid to really live her life to the fullest. Rejection is what she knows best. But one night, the sound of her soft voice and the tantalizing aroma of her evening meal, prove too enticing for Nathan to ignore. So begins their unconventional relationship—talking, learning, texting, and gradually opening up to one another, all over the fence. That is, until the day Nathan braves the high fence to protect Kourtney from her past, and changes everything forever. Can they move forward together, without the buffer of the fence? Or will their pasts prove to be too much of a barrier?

About the Author

Melanie Moreland lives a happy and content life in a quiet area of Ontario with her beloved husband of twenty-six-plus years. Nothing means more to her than her friends and family, and she cherishes every moment spent with them. Known as the quiet one with the big laugh, Melanie works at a local university and for its football team. Her job, while demanding, is rewarding as she cheers on her team to victory. While seriously addicted to coffee, and highly challenged with all things computer-related and technical, she relishes baking, cooking, and trying new recipes for people to sample. She loves to throw dinner parties, and also enjoys travelling, here and abroad, but finds coming home is always the best part of any trip. Melanie delights in a good romance story with some bumps along the way, but is a true believer in happily ever after. When her head isn’t buried in a book, it is bent over a keyboard, furiously typing away as her characters dictate their creative storylines to her, often with a large glass of wine keeping her company.

You can follow Melanie on Twitter or keep up with her on Goodreads.

You can buy Over the Fence on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

 

 

Today’s Featured Author: Renee Daniel Flagler

Please welcome author Renee Daniel Flagler to my blog. She is promoting her latest release, Society Wives.

Book Blurb

society wivesMeet the Days, Howards, Madison, and Lees. Four wealthy couples obsessed with keeping up appearances. Pearson, Vonita, Nadalia and Ryan want the world to believe that they live flawlessly prosperous lives but behind the custom made doors of their elaborate mansions, lay salacious secrets that are becoming harder to hide. Pearson may be forced to choose between her husband and vodka. Vonita could be at risk of losing her lavish fairytale lifestyle but only finds out when it’s too late to do anything about it. Nadalia’s picture perfect life seems to be slowly falling apart at the seams until an ugly truth finally shatters her world. And for Ryan, living under the thumb of an A-list husband isn’t all that it is cracked up to be—especially since she doesn’t seem to know where he is half the time. Saving face may be a priority for these wives but scandal, addiction, financial ruin, and infidelity threaten to reveal their truths to the world—and worst of all, each other.

About The Author

Renee Daniel Flagler is an award-winning freelance journalist, award-nominated author, teaching artist, a seasoned marketing professional and relationship expert on Chicago radio stations, Power 92.3, Soul 106.3, and Rejoice 102. Renee has treasured the art of writing since she was a young girl and in 2004 she took her love of creative writing seriously and self-published her first novel, Mountain High, Valley Low. She later released Miss-Guided, and the highly-anticipated sequel to her first book entitled, In Her Mind. Renee’s latest novel is Raging Blue. She is currently working on her next releases, Still Raging and The Relationship Survival Guide.

Renee is the founder of The Self-Publishing Symposium, a business conference for self and independent publishers, The S’Indie Awards, which honors the works and accomplishments of self and independent publishers and the Divas of Literature Tour, a multicity book tour. Renee is the founder of SheBiz.net a lifestyle blog for women pursuing their passions. Renee received an award for Excellence in Journalism by the New York Association of Black Journalists, was honored by Black Star News for her accomplishments in business for starting the Self-Publishing Symposium, and honored at the 2009 Unlock Your Dreams conference. She also received the Entrepreneur of the Year award in 2005 by C&B Books Distribution. Renee and her works have been featured in The Network Journal, Ebony Magazine, The New York Amsterdam News, Our Times, Caribbean Life, Jolie Magazine, Booking Matters, and Black Star News to name a few. She has also appeared on The Angie Le Mar Show on Choice FM, the UK’s leading Hip Hop and R&B station, WAOK Talk Radio in Atlanta and WHCR in New York City.

Renee teaches creative writing in the Arts in Education programs of the New York City and Nassau County Departments of Education. She’s also dedicated to mentoring at-risk teens and impacting literacy in inner city communities through her mentoring program, Futures by Design. Renee is pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing and is a graduate of New School University with a Masters in Media Arts, and St. John’s University with a Bachelor of Science in Communications. She is a member of the New York Association of Black Journalists (NYABJ) and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Long Island Chapter Inc.

You can find out more about Renee on her website or Facebook.

You can buy Society Wives on Amazon.

Blog Tour: Tomorrow Never Comes

Today, I welcome author Pamela Jones to my blog. She is on a book blog tour promoting her book Tomorrow Never Comes.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself. 

Professionally, I’ve been writing for 19 years. During these years, I’ve done a variety of writing: short stories, poetry, blogging, eBooks, and online articles. I also freelanced as a SEO copywriter for private clients.

Personally, I strive to live a quiet life. Although I write drama, by no means do I like living it. So, I enjoy peaceful activities such as reading. I also like traveling and spending quality time with my family.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?           

Yes, I’m already working on a second eBook. It’s entitled “Her Married Lover.” It’s about a single, lonely mother involved with a married man.

When the adulterer’s wife, who’s suffers with depression, discovers their affair, a wrath of hell breaks out. The story will end with a message to readers: infidelity has its consequences.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?               

Yes, I’m a full-time writer. I start my writing day after 11 A.M. My days vary. For instance, on Mondays, I tend to preset tweets and Facebook posts. I also network on social writing sites such as World Literary Club and Goodreads.

Either Tuesdays or Thursdays will be the day I write my blog post. Wednesdays and Fridays are days I mostly dedicate to writing my eBook. I use Saturdays to do additional projects, such as gathering information that will help me with future stories.

I don’t write on Sundays. I tried countless times to make time to write on this day – with no luck. That day is so busy doing personal affairs, until I decided that it’s best NOT to even go near my computer.

On my workdays, I stop writing around 5:30 P.M., which is a big improvement from what I used to do. When I was doing SEO copywriting, I wrote around the clock … and went to bed as late as 2 A.M. … only to get up before 8 A.M.!

What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?

There are so many great things about being a writer. Truthfully, being a writer is the best thing next to retirement. However, I’ll just list three things:

1) You’re free to do whatever projects you want – copywriting, eBooks, blogging … the choice is yours.

2) You choose the hours you want to work. If you want to work at night and sleep all day – go ahead. If you prefer to work during the day and sleep at night, do so. And with either choice, you can work as many or as little hours as you wish.

3) I love the fact that I don’t have to be bothered with the following type of co-workers: people who tell everybody’s business but their own, and backstabbers. I love working by myself, and despite the myth that writers get lonely, I don’t. Just give me my coffee and my music and I’m good to go!

The worst thing about being a writer:

1) You are responsible for your own taxes – a serious headache if you don’t know jack about self-employment taxes.

2) You have to get your own health insurance.

3) It can take years to get a steady income in writing – although it doesn’t take years for bills to come in steady!

What fuels you as an author to continue to write?

The unemployment line – I kid you not! I DO NOT want to walk in that line again – ever. I know if I quit writing, I would have no choice but to get back in it. No way!

Also, I truly love writing. It’s beyond a career for me. It’s a passion.

Please tell us about your current release.

“Tomorrow Never Comes” is a short eBook; less than 35 pages. It’s categorized under women’s fiction.

The story is about Bernice Albright, an author who raised her siblings, Marlena and Rico Brown. She raised them in order to honor her dying mother’s request: take care of her babies.

Although she raised them well, Bernice’s siblings are living troubled lives: Marlena is in an abusive marriage; Rico is a drug addict. This worries Bernice, and makes her determine to help them change their lives.

In spite her efforts, her siblings’ circumstances overtake any chances of “tomorrow being a better day” – a belief that their late mother always believed in.

“Tomorrow Never Comes” is a fictional example of family loyalty, and how the wrong decisions can impact an entire family for a lifetime.

What inspired you to write this book?

My late grandmother inspired me to write this book. I feel like I was “touched by her presence” when this idea was presented to me.

How did you come up with the title?

The title came into my head naturally. There was no struggling with it. It was just as natural as a good thought.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

My favorite character is Bernice. I like her strength as a woman. No matter what she faces in life, she finds the strength to triumph the tribulation. And as women, we need to be strong in the face of adversity. It serves no purpose to be weak and helpless – something Bernice wasn’t.

I disliked Otis. Actually, I hated him. He was a coldhearted man who had no guilt behind his ruthless actions.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

The most difficult thing to write in this story was when Bernice’s siblings’ problems overcame them. Such scenes aren’t joyous to write because you’re bringing pain to the story. However, they are necessary to write because they do happen in life.

Do you have a specific snack that you have with you when you write?

My snack is actually a beverage. It’s coffee. I love a tall cup of coffee mixed with International Delight Creamer and artificial sweetener. My mind goes to work in full drive with those first few sips.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I have arthritis in my hands. This makes writing longhand a difficult task. Just writing a page can cause my fingers to stiffen and hurt more. It also makes my penmanship shabby sometimes.

So, it’s best for me to type. Even then, there are times when typing can be a bit difficult. Arthritic flare-ups make it even worse. The pain goes down to my wrists.

However, I have too many stories to tell to let “Bad Boy Arthur” keep me down. So, I do stretching exercises for my hands. I also pray.

I can’t let pain get me down, especially since this is my true calling. In addition, I’ve got too many fictional characters waiting to come to life so that readers can love or hate them!

Book Description

Tomorrow Never ComesBernice Albright is a bestselling romance novelist. Her renowned fame and fortune affords her an affluent life, such as a mansion, an ocean view condo, and a luxury car. She knows influential people around the globe.

She lives a good life, but it’s minimal compared to her love for her family. Her love is associated with a promise she made to her dying mother 20 years ago: to raise her siblings, Marlena and Rico Brown.

Marlena and Rico are now adults. Despite having a good upbringing, they made choices that resulted in their lives being “hell on earth.”

As the presumed matriarch, Bernice is preparing to help her siblings rebuild their lives. This gives her strong belief in her late mother’s motto: tomorrow will be a better day.

However, a turn of events occurs, and it changes her family forever. At the end of it all, Bernice has a new reality about her family, her mother’s belief, and herself.

Author Bio

Pamela JonesPamela Jones is a self-published author of contemporary women’s fiction. “Tomorrow Never Comes” is her first eBook.

Prior to publishing her first eBook, she wrote 19 contemporary short stories for the defunct New York based publisher, Sterling MacFadden. Their magazines included Jive, Bronze Thrills, Black Confessions, Black Romance, Black Secrets, True Black Experience, True Black Passions, and True Black Secrets.

Pamela’s writing background has also included nonfiction content written under the pseudonym “Penlady”.

You can find out more about Pamela on her blog. You can also follow her on Twitter or Facebook.

You can buy Tomorrow Never Comes on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author: Adrienne Thompson

Today I welcome author Adrienne Thompson to my blog. Her latest book, Your Love is King, will be released November 12th.

I am thrilled to be able to share an excerpt from my forthcoming novel, Your Love Is King, today. I truly hope it piques your interest and leaves you anticipating the novel’s release this November. Happy Reading!! – Adrienne 

Excerpt

Another twenty minutes passed and I could barely keep my eyes open as I fumbled through my purse for my phone, having decided to try and call Carla again. I’d finally fished my phone out of my purse when I was startled by a voice coming from the driveway in front of the ER.

“Well, if it isn’t Ms. Marli,” a man said. I raised my head to see that it was Chris King.

He was speaking to me from the driver’s side of a shiny, black Mercedes Benz, complete with some very expensive-looking chrome rims. Trumpet-playing must have been a lucrative career for him.

“Hi,” I said unenthusiastically.

“You work here?”

Well that was stating the obvious. I was sitting outside a hospital wearing scrubs.

“Uh, yeah. Just got off,” I said rather curtly.

“Oh, okay, well, have a good day.”  I’m sure he sensed that I wasn’t in the best of moods.

“Yeah, it’s been lovely so far,” I replied under my breath.

He drove away, and I dialed Carla’s number again. This time it went straight to voicemail. A voice inside told me that I should’ve asked Mr. Chris King for a ride, but I didn’t really know him. What if he was some kind of psycho?

After another ten minutes of waiting, I looked up and noticed a familiar black Mercedes pull back around the driveway.

“Do you just like hanging around hospitals or something, or are you a stalker?” I asked sarcastically as he pulled his car to a stop in front of me.

Chris smiled and shook his head. “No and no. I was here dropping off my sister for her shift. She’s a nurse, her name’s Ava King. You know her?”

I shook my head. “No, but I’m new here.”

“Oh, okay. Well, anyway, after I drove off earlier, I thought to myself that you looked like you needed a ride home. Do you?”

“I’m okay. I’m sure my friend will be here any minute,” I said and glanced at my watch. Now, of course I was lying, because at that point, I wasn’t sure if Carla was ever going to show up.

“You sure? How long you been out here waiting?”

I cleared my throat. “About an hour.”

“Man, that’s a long time, and you look tired. Come on, I’ll give you a ride.”

I frowned. “I don’t know, I—”

“Come on, Ms. Marli. Why you gotta be so mean? I’m trying to help you, here. You got something against riding in cars with white men, too?”

I sighed, grabbed my bag, and walked over to his car. At that point I was so tired, I couldn’t even argue anymore.

Chris jumped out of the car and opened the passenger’s door for me. He was wearing faded jeans and a colorful t-shirt. Around his neck hung a huge silver crucifix on a silver chain. His short, spiky hair was covered with a red baseball cap.

Once I climbed inside, he closed the door behind me and returned to the driver’s seat. His car was immaculate inside, and the scent from a vanilla-scented air freshener filled my nose. His radio was tuned to an R&B station, and an Alicia Keys song was pouring softly from the speakers. As we exited the lot, I looked over at him and smiled.

“Thanks,” I said drowsily.

He glanced at me with a grin. “No problem, Ms. Marli. Where to?”

I gave him my address and said, “Can I ask you a question?”

“Yeah, what’s up?”

“Why do you talk like that?”

He gave me a confused look. “Like what?”

“You know, like you’re black.”

His eyes widened. “Oh, well this is how I’ve always talked.”

“Really?”

“Yeah, really. Why?”

I shrugged. “I was just wondering.”

Chris shook his head. “Wow, you are prejudiced. Where are you from, anyway? Selma circa 1954?”

I rolled my eyes. “I’m not prejudiced. I was just curious. And I’m from Arkansas.”

“Oh damn, no wonder. They probably still got segregated schools and ‘whites only’ restaurants down there,” he said with an exaggerated Southern drawl.

I bugged my eyes. “No, they don’t!”

Book Description

your love is king

Marli Meadows was tired of the monotonous rhythm of her life, so she decided to leave it behind and embark on a search for change. Instead, she found a love.

 

 

 

 

About the Author

adrienneMarried at sixteen, a mother twice by seventeen, and thrice a mother and divorced by twenty-four, Adrienne Thompson is no stranger to adversity. Not your typical teenage mother, she went on to complete her college degree and to earn her nursing license. She attributes God’s faithfulness as the catalyst for her success in life. Now, having raised two children as a single mother, with a third fast-approaching adulthood, she is sharing a long hidden talent and passion with the world. Using the lessons that life has so expertly taught her as a guideline (betrayal, abusive relationships, self-esteem issues, witnessing the deteriorating effects of drug abuse), she has created stories that will both entertain and inspire the reader.

Adrienne currently resides in Arkansas with her daughter. Formerly an RN, she now writes and publishes her stories full time.

You can find out more about Adrienne on her website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Your Love is King will be out November 12, 2013. You can purchase Adrienne’s books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and the Kobo Store.

Today’s Featured Author: Marian L. Thomas

Today I want to welcome Marian Thomas to my blog. Please enjoy this excerpt from her latest book, Aqua Blue.

Book Excerpt

Prologue
The two best friends sat on the bank of the only lake that ran through Jackson County. One was a slightly tall, raging thin-framed girl with two long braids that hung on either side of her head. Full olive skin wrapped every inch of her body. Her tiny freckles, sporadically placed, highlighted her green eyes and pointed nose. Her mother was a short woman who moved to Jackson County from Virginia with her parents, when she was 15 and a half years old. She had found herself a tall country boy, and they had a small and swaddled country girl, if there ever was such a thing. They named her—Haley.

The other one was a smart, somewhat sassy, almond-skinned girl with eyes so blue they spun a rare color of aqua in the sunlight. Her long, thick hair and curvy frame completed the look. Her father was a slender man with brown wavy hair and green eyes. He was born in Chicago, but when he couldn’t find work after entering his adult years, he moved to the farm life of Jackson County, just outside of Knoxville, Tennessee, in 1955. It took him nine years to get the land going and six months after that, to fall in love with a young black woman named Hanna Lee. In the beginning, it had been tough for them. It wasn’t until the winter of 1967 that he was able to legally make her his wife. Their first and only child was born in 1968. They named her Simone Renée Thompson, but called her Aqua Blue.

Aqua Blue and Haley lay side by side, looking up at the moon as it sent what they called twinkles down, which splashed on the top of the sweet water. Yes, Jackson County had sweet water. Everyone in town thought so. All 4230 residents, 31, if you count Ms. June’s new baby. Truth be told, no one wanted to claim that one. Ms. June was not married, hence the “Ms.”

Aqua Blue remembered when Ms. June came to town three years ago, with a belly the size of two or three bowling balls. The scandal spread through the county like someone was paying everyone to talk about it. Aqua Blue had felt sorry for Ms. June, but that wasn’t why she was always so eager to go over to Ms. June’s house and help out. Ms. June had been the only sane individual in Jackson County. Aqua Blue couldn’t even declare that about her own parents. Her best friend Haley was as crazy as a puppy chasing its tail. But Aqua Blue would never tell her that.

Truth be told, Ms. June had been the only one to escape the dingy roads of Jackson County, the old smell that loomed in the air and the overalls that men wore every day without washing them. She had purchased a one-way train ticket to Atlanta and stole off into the night one Sunday in August. She had told everyone that she was going there to find her a city husband, a city house, and a white picket fence that enclosed a square piece of grass. Even in Jackson County, everyone knew that the city didn’t have grass. Nevertheless, Ms. June said that she only needed a square, as she wasn’t one for yard work in the first place. Six months later, Ms. June returned on a Monday with the bowling balls, and of course, no city husband. “At least,” Ms. June once told Aqua Blue just before her daughter Margaret was born, “I have a city baby.”

Everyone needed something to give a bad situation some bright light, Aqua Blue had thought when Ms. June made that statement.

“What are you thinking about, Aqua Blue?” Haley asked, interrupting Aqua Blue’s train of thought.

“Nothing really. Just wondering what it was like in Atlanta when Ms. June found herself there.”

“Why?”

“Does there have to be a reason for me to be contemplating something of that nature?”

“You know I hate that.”

“Hate what?

“When you try to talk so proper and all.”

“You should try it. It can be refreshing.” Haley glared at Aqua Blue.

Aqua Blue gave her a friendly shove and the girls allowed the moment to pass.

“You know, I was only asking earlier because it looked like ya’ was about to explode from thinking so hard.”

“I wasn’t thinking hard. More like wondering. Wondering what it would be like to have the hope of never seeing the likes of this place again.”

“Why? You gonna’ leave me and run off to Atlanta like Ms. June and find yourself a good, city-like husband?”

“Not looking for a city husband, Haley.”

“So what ya’ looking in Atlanta for?”

“Actually, I want to go to New York.”

Haley sat up. “What in the good name for?”

“Haven’t you ever wanted to get out of this little dusty town, Haley? I know you have. I’ve seen it in your eyes, every time we see Ms. June.”

“I ain’t never!”

“Don’t lie.”

“I ain’t,” Haley said softly.

Aqua Blue saw her biting down on her lower lip. She smiled. “Well, I have. I want to go so bad, Haley, it hurts. You and I graduated this summer, and still, here we both are, doing nothing with our lives.”

“What’s in New York?”

“Life.”

“Life? Ya’ can find that, the same as the cows do, here. Chew-ing the grass and looking up at the sky. Besides, how ya’ gonna’ live in a place like New York, Aqua Blue? You’re only 18. You ain’t got no money.”

“Yes, I do.”

“You do?”

“I’ve been saving my money since I started getting an allow-ance. Then, when I started babysitting Margaret, I saved all of that as well.”

“How much you got?”

“Enough.”

“How do you know that you got enough?”

“I spoke to Ms. June.”

“New York and Atlanta ain’t the same, Aqua Blue. In Atlanta, Ms. June could still find some of us, Southerners. New York ain’t got nothing but… big things. I hear they got big people too, who are mean, and big food that taste like it’s been fried and sitting in grease all day long. Don’t forget, they ain’t got no sweet tea. Who can live without them some good ‘ole sweet tea? Ain’t never heard anyone be able to survive without something as essential as that.”

Aqua Blue tried not to laugh as Haley seemed to get herself all caught up in the intensity of her speech.

“Then I heard that they ain’t got no place for you to lay your head if you find yourself in trouble or down-and-out. Here, you always got a place to lay your head, Aqua Blue. So why, is all I’m asking? What they got that you feel you gotta’ get?”

“Music.”

“We got music. Good music too. Music that come in all forms. Country, that new Rap, R&B that you’re always listening to, Jazz, and even some Blues, if you count Mr. Jacobson who lives down by the old barn. What makes music in New York so different than the music here in Jackson County?”

“I wanna sing, Haley. I wanna sing and write my own music.”

“Can you? I ain’t never in my life of 19 years once heard you sing.”

“That’s because I have never sung for anyone.”

“Then how do ya’ know you can do it? Sing, I mean. Ya’ know, singing in the shower ain’t the same as singing to make a living.”

“I know that.”

Aqua Blue stood up and dusted the grass off her rolled-up blue jeans. She walked to the edge of the lake and watched the twinkles dance off the sweet water. They were like tiny stars. The gentle breeze of the air caught her hair, and Aqua Blue felt a burning desire to prove to Haley what had been brewing down in her lungs.

She took a deep breath, and when she opened her mouth, Haley heard a voice she had never heard before. By anyone, for that matter.

It was as smooth as chocolate. Soulful. Passionate. Beautiful.

When Aqua Blue was done, all Haley could say to her was… “Let’s leave as soon as possible.”

Book Description

AquaBlue-FRONT-vWEBIn 1968 a child was born. Her father’s eyes boast a beautiful green and her mother was born with hazel. Yet, Aqua Blue was brought into the world with neither.

Haley wishes her parents would forget her. Her mother wants to control her, her father constantly beats on her and Haley, however, just wants to dance on Broadway. Will her dreams cost her more than she ever expected?

Jonathan Jacob Benjamin Brown is running from the memory of a mother he loved. His journey will thrust him into a world filled with secrets so shocking, he must determine whether he will forgive or walk away.

As they each step foot into the intoxicating city of New York, their dreams are standing before them with open arms. Yet, in order to embrace the possibilities, they must first learn to live, love, and breathe.

About the Author

Author Marian L. Thomas is no stranger to the world of fiction. With three dramatic and engaging books to her credit: Color Me Jazzmyne; My Father’s Colors and Strings of Color, this award-winning author continues to weave colorful stories of emotion and realism, that crosses all boundaries and finds a home in the heart of today’s female reader. This has become her trademark. Her new release: AQUA BLUE, was released July 16, 2013.

Find out more about Marian on her website.

Aqua Blue can be purchased on Amazon.