Author Q and A: C. Monet Snow

headshot of author c. Monet Snow

“Inhale Confidence and Exhale Doubt.” – C. Monet Snow

Blaque: Well, we have come to the end of the month, and today with me to wrap up the month of March, I have the pleasure of speaking with author C. Monet Snow. Welcome C. Monet.

C. Monet: Thank you Blaque Diamond for this opportunity to share my creations with the world.

Blaque: That’s my purpose. To share amazing books with the world. There are so many authors just waiting to be discovered.

C. Monet: That is so true. Myself included.

Blaque: Yes, myself as well. It is hard trying to find your audience, but they will find you when it’s the right time.

C. Monet: Yes, indeed.

Blaque: Let’s get this interview started, shall we?

C. Monet: Sure! Go ahead. I’m ready when you are.

Blaque: What inspires you to write?

C. Monet: The feeling of accomplishment inspires me to write. I just turned thirty about a month ago, and I felt like I had done nothing but raise my kids, get married twice, and work for someone else. It was time for a change.

Blaque: I understand that completely. Becoming a published author is a great accomplishment. Whether traditionally published, or self-published, it is such an honor all the same. So, do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

C. Monet: When I wrote the beginning of my first novel, I had no choice but to use pen and paper. But now I prefer to create an outline, print it out, and doodle, or revisit the document if needed.

Blaque: Have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

C. Monet: Yes, I have used several people I know in my stories. No one is safe. Ha!

Blaque: LOL. I am also guilty of that as well. How many books have you published to date? (Compilations and anthologies included.)

C. Monet: As of January 17, 2018, I have published two books.

Blaque: People who support our dreams mean the world to us. Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing career?

C. Monet: My husband is my biggest supporter. He changes his Facebook photos, he reads over my shoulder, and he constantly reminds me why I’m doing this. I appreciate that so much.

Blaque: Nice! How does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

C. Monet: When a reader tells me they enjoyed my book, I feel accomplished and grateful. My books detail things I went through in real life. So, to help someone else overcome or confront those hard times, lets me know that nothing I went through was in vain.

Blaque: It’s nice when your readers can relate to your books because they have been through, or are going through some of the same things you have in their own personal lives. It makes the reader feel as though they know you, and it helps them to connect with you on a deeper level. Where do you get most of your story ideas?

C. Monet: I get most of my story ideas from my own life and music. I love music! I believe it is the cure to all things.

Blaque: How do you deal with writer’s block?

C. Monet: This is funny and possibly creepy, but I people watch when I have writers block. People are so funny. Sometimes we display certain emotions in situations that we don’t even realize. I watch characteristics and mannerisms as well.

Blaque: I don’t find that creepy at all. People and the things they do make interesting stories. As authors and storytellers, we all have a goal in mind when crafting our masterpieces. What is your goal as an author?

C. Monet: My goal is an author is to have limitless creativity, and to be OK with sticking true to me and what gift I possess. My goal is to remain aggressively humble.

Blaque: What are you currently working on?

C. Monet: I am currently working on my third book, “Serene Chaos.” It will be a two-part series that details the chaotic life of Serene Daniels.

Blaque: What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

C. Monet: If I could give an aspiring author any tips, I would tell them to be confident and understand the why. It’s so important to have a reminder and clear understanding as to why you are doing this.

Blaque: Great advice! Always know your purpose for whatever you are doing. Now, let’s get to the fun stuff. We already know about you as an author, but let’s see you as a person.

C. Monet: Sure. LOL.

Blaque: What is your favorite season of the year, and why?

C. Monet: My favorite season would have to be spring. I love the newness and the idea of coming back to life.

Blaque: Well, how coincidental that I’m interviewing you during your favorite season of the year? LOL.

C. Monet: Yes, what a coincidence. LOL.

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

C. Monet: As a child, I was the only girl, spoiled, and the middle child. I was the helper. I learned to cook at an early age and at eleven, I became a big sister. My baby brother is my entire heart, honestly.

Blaque: Awwww! Such a loving big sister. What is your zodiac sign?

C. Monet: I am a Sagittarius, and I am true to most of what they say about my sign. I’m hot or cold, I’m up or down, I’m right or left, and I can be extremely nonchalant. I also hate routine or anything that places me in a box.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

C. Monet: I am a lover of 80’s R&B. That is what my playlist mainly consists of.

Blaque: I have spoken with so many people from many different areas since I started author spotlighting, so where are you from?

C. Monet: I hail from a small town in Tennessee. I’ve lived in Clarksville all my life, and it’s in all of my books. We have a lot of talent here, and it seems as if we are on the rise.

Blaque: I am a huge movie buff! I love movies, especially movies with black actors and comedians. What is your all-time favorite movie?

C. Monet: My all-time favorite movie is “Cooley High.” I have loved that movie for as long as I can remember. When Cocheese dies I literally scream in horror, like I haven’t seen it before.

Blaque: If your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

C. Monet: If my best friend could describe me in one word, she would describe me as old. I’m older than her, and I’ve always been the calmer one.

Blaque: Are you a sports fan? If so, who is your favorite team?

C. Monet: Three years ago, I became a ROLL TIDE by marriage, and I now love the sport and know enough about the game to yell ROLL TIDE on my own.

Blaque: LOL. That’s funny. What did you want to be when you grew up? Is that the occupation you’re in now?

C. Monet: When I was growing up, I wanted to be a teacher and then it moved to being a psychologist as I got older and elected to take a high school course. I was fascinated with the field after that, and I still am somewhat, but it is not what I’m doing right now.

Blaque: Are you a cat person, or are you a dog person?

C. Monet: I’m a neither person, but I do have a husband that owns 2 black cats, Ace and Onyx. They aren’t as bad as people make them seem. They’re sweet baby kitties.

Blaque: How would you describe your personality?

C. Monet: I would describe my personality as positive patty. I’m a lover of people. It drives my husband crazy that I meet strangers all the time that turn into friends.

Blaque: I love people also, but I can’t say that they turn into friends. LOL. What is your fondest childhood memory?

C. Monet: My fondest childhood memory would be going to Disney World with my step dad. I was sick the whole drive to Florida, but the moment I started to see the castles and buildings, I instantly felt better. We got so many souvenirs that day.

Blaque: Let’s end this interview with this last question. We all have things that annoy the heck out of us, or just plain get on our nerves. What is your biggest pet peeve?

C. Monet: Ok. So, my biggest pet peeve is having to repeat myself. That severely agitates my entire soul. My mom would always say “If you can huh, you can hear”, and it’s true. It drives me crazy for someone to ask me the same question just in a different way.

Blaque: I can definitely understand that. LOL. C. Monet, it has been a great pleasure speaking with you today.

C. Monet: It was great speaking with you also.

Blaque: Well, we can’t end things without you giving readers a chance to check out your work. Leave them with your information so that they can purchase your books. Don’t forget to mention your social media links as well. It’s great when readers can get first-hand information from their favorite authors by following their social media activity.

C. Monet: Of course, I welcome all new readers and followers. Your support means the world to me.

First, both of my books in the completed two-part series Did you think I’d Crumble can be purchased on Amazon. If you enjoy the books, please don’t forget to leave a review. I really appreciate the feedback.

Do You Think I'd Crumble book 1

Did You Think I'd Crumble book 2

Readers can follow my Facebook fan page here.

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Blaque: This concludes another awesome author spotlight! Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like an opportunity to spotlight on my blog, visit Author Spotlight and follow the instructions to submit your interview. I look forward to speaking with you soon!

Her Thirteenth Husband Book Review

 

 

Picture of Her Thirteenth Husband book cover

 

Her Thirteenth Husband

By: B. M. Hardin

 

OMG! That’s my first thought when it comes to this book. I was drawn in just by the title. Wow! Thirteen husbands? What would cause someone to marry thirteen times? Not once or twice, but thirteen times. Sounds like a habitual bride to me. Did she get divorced from all thirteen husbands? Was she in love with the idea of being married?

 

The plot twists and turns of this book will have you thoroughly entertained. I was practically sitting on the edge of my chair as I read this book. I was anxious to find out what happened next. I wondered what would make someone get married thirteen different times to thirteen different men. They were all different ages, races, and worked different occupations. Some of the deaths resulted in hefty insurance payouts that made the widow a wealthy woman. What in the world? Ivy Raye was the lucky recipient of these thirteen husbands. The previous twelve marriages ended badly, so she was determined to make her thirteenth one last. How did she know that it was beyond her control?

 

You see, all twelve of her previous husbands died from mysterious circumstances, freak accidents, and one even died from suicide. In all the different scenarios, Ivy was never a suspect. She was just deemed a very unlucky bride. As her husband’s kept dying, Ivy would pick up and move somewhere else with a new identity and a new husband. As the story progressed, it was revealed that Ivy’s mother had a hand in the deaths of Ivy’s husbands. She didn’t actually commit the crimes, but she orchestrated each and every one of them. She wanted her daughter to be happy, so if a husband wasn’t treating Ivy right, they mysteriously died. Wherever Ivy moved to, her mother was there along with her. The two were as close as close could be.

 

When Ivy married her thirteenth husband, she thought they would be together forever, but someone else had different plans. Mysterious things started happening to Ivy’s husband. Someone was trying to kill him. Ivy’s mother swears that she has no part in trying to kill Ivy’s husband, so she is left stumped as to who would want her husband dead. During her mission to find who is trying to kill her husband, Ivy is reminded daily of her past. Someone is out to get her, and they won’t stop until her secrets are exposed. Ivy is harassed and taunted by someone claiming to know her past. They do whatever they can to scare her into admitting that she killed her previous husbands.

 

Well, she actually did not have anything to do with their deaths, but she knew who did, and she refused to give up her mother. During all of this, Ivy finds out some long buried secrets about her mother that puts everything into perspective. There is a reason that she is so determined to protect her daughter at any cost. Even if it meant murder. Finally tired of the harassment, Ivy gets the police involved to help her solve the mystery behind who is after her husband. Little does she know, the police are secretly trying to build a case against her. They know all about her previous twelve husbands and the mysterious ways they died. They even nick-named her, the Black Widow. They want to catch her in the act of killing her thirteenth husband.

 

Nearing the end of this roller-coaster ride of Ivy’s life, she finds out that the people that she surrounded herself with aren’t really who they portray themselves to be. Her best friend, her husband, and even the police are all out to get her. It is all a conspiracy to catch, the Black Widow. They are willing to put everything on the line to catch Ivy. They don’t care what they have to do to do it. People are murdered and lies are told, all in the name of seeking justice. But in the end, all the cards are laid out on the table, and Ivy finds out just who has it in for her even more than the police does. Her past smacks her dead in the face when one of her husbands, who is supposed to be dead resurfaces.

 

What a tale. This book is one of my favorites. It will have you second-guessing the people you think you know so well. No one in this book is who they say they are, including Ivy herself. B. M. Hardin knows how to keep the reader engaged with this jaw-dropping, drama-filled story. This should be made into a Lifetime movie. I wish I could give this book ten stars, but five is the most I can do. This book will definitely keep you wanting more. Just because I read this book, I have now become a fan of B. M. Hardin. I have read several more books by her, and they are just as good as this one. If you’re looking for a good book to sink your teeth into, check out, Her Thirteenth Husband. You won’t be disappointed. Maybe you’ll become a fan just as I have.

 

Wreckless Desires Chapters 1 and 2

Wreckless Desires is a contemporary African-American fiction novel that I am currently working on. The mis-spelling of reckless is intentional as a form of uniqueness. This story depicts the lives of two couples who happen to be best friends, but both couples are living double lives. When they are with their spouses, the love is evident, but when they are apart, the same love is evident for someone else. These chapters have not been edited yet, so please excuse any errors.

Chapter One

 

Whitney Louis slowly dragged her tired body out of the king-sized bed she shared with her husband. She stretched and yawned as she padded bare foot to her side of the walk-in closet. Her husband Terrence of fifteen-years, still lay snoring loudly on his back as she rummaged through the closet, trying to find something to wear for work. She was dog tired, but she knew that she couldn’t miss work today. They were having an important meeting with all of the CNA’s at the nursing home where she worked, and everyone’s presence was required. She had been working at After Years, a nursing home located in Greensboro, North Carolina for ten years. She loved her job, but some of the clients were a lot to handle sometimes.

 

She finally decided on a pair of light-pink scrubs, which she pulled from the hanger and folded across her arm. She left out of the closet and walked over to her dresser and pulled open her drawers and picked out a nude colored panty and bra set. Once she had what she needed, she walked into the master bathroom and sat her clothing atop a table that sat between the sink and toilet. She moved over to the shower and turned the knobs simultaneously so that the cold and hot water would combine to make the water warm. She pulled the handle that allowed the water to flow through the shower head and waited for the water to heat to her desired temperature. While her water was heating, she brushed and flossed her teeth and gargled with mouth wash. Whitney cleaned up the access water from the sink before she stripped out of her cotton pajamas and stepped into the shower.

 

When she felt the water hit her tired body, she moaned out in satisfaction. She had replaced the shower head two-months ago with a high-powered spa-like showerhead, and she was loving it. She stood still under the stream of water, letting the drops hit her body for a while as she enjoyed the feeling. The flow of the water was slowly rejuvenating her body. After she finally decided she had enough, she grabbed her facial cleanser and dampened her face and rubbed the cleanser into her skin. She reached on the top shelf of the shower wall and retrieved her sonic cleansing brush and powered it on. She slowly moved the brush around her face, making sure that she massaged the cleanser over the entire surface of her skin. Once that was done, she rinsed the cleanser from her face under the stream of water. She then grabbed her washcloth and squeezed a generous amount of her Dial body wash on the cloth and began washing her body.

 

She hummed her favorite song as she thoroughly washed herself from head to toe. She had this thing where she would wash and rinse her body 3 times before she felt she was completely clean. She felt that after 3 washes, if she wasn’t clean, then maybe she needed to see somebody because maybe she had a problem. Whitney rinsed herself for the third time before she finally turned off the water. She wrung out her washcloth to make sure there was no access water remaining before she hung it on the back of the shower wall, which had hooks fastened to it for that purpose. She stepped out of the shower and grabbed her fluffy white towel and quickly wrapped it around her body. The contrast of stepping from the hot shower and the cool air touching her body made her shiver, and goose bumps quickly spread on her arms. Whitney glided the towel up and down her body making sure to dry herself thoroughly. When that was done, she replaced her towel back on the rack.

 

She walked up to the mirror and wiped her hand across it, clearing away the steam from her shower. She admired her image thoughtfully. At forty, she still looked good for her age. Most people thought that she was at least ten years younger than she really was. Even after two kids, her body was still in tact. Her coco brown complexion was flawless and in good shape. She worked out three days a week in the gym that Terrence had assembled in their garage. She was five feet six inches and one-hundred and fifty pounds. She had almond shaped eyes and a beautiful smile. Whitney had a small gap between her two front teeth, but it did nothing to take away from her beauty. If anything, it only enhanced her natural beauty. She removed the satin scarf from her head and shook her dreads loose as they fell to her shoulders. She had just gotten them re-twisted yesterday so they were tight and neat. She ran her fingers through her hair straightening some stray dreads that hadn’t fallen into place. She placed her scarf on the sink and reached on the shelf above the toilet for her jar of coco butter. When she found it, she opened the lid and massaged the thick cream into her skin. She made sure that her entire body was lightly coated before she replaced the lid to the jar and put it back.

 

Whitney then began to dress herself in her uniform. She slid on her bra and panties, then her scrubs. When she was fully dressed, she picked up her pajamas from the floor and tossed them into the dirty clothes hamper. She opened the bathroom door and stepped out into the bedroom. Terrence was now awake and sitting on the edge of the bed. She walked over to the dresser and pulled out a pair of socks and sat on the bed to put them on.

 

“Good morning baby,” Terrence greeted as he yawned noisily.

 

“Good morning. Are you going to work today?” Whitney asked as she stood from the bed.

 

“Yeah, I’ll be getting ready in a few minutes,” he replied.

 

“Oh, ok. I don’t really feel like going in today, but we have a meeting scheduled for all of the CNA’s.” she responded as she made her way into the closet to get her nursing shoes.

 

When she got them she slid the pink and white shoes on her feet and tightened the straps.

 

“Oh, yeah? What’s the meeting about?”

 

“I don’t know. They just said that it was mandatory for us to be present. It might be some foolishness as usual.” she responded, shaking her head as she stepped out of the closet.

 

“Oh, ok.” Terrence replied, standing up from the bed and stretching his arms high above his head, trying to awaken his body fully.

 

Whitney stared at Terrence admiringly as he stretched. She shook her head in appreciation at his beautiful physique. Even though he was also only forty, he looked no more than thirty, or so. He took good care of his body by working out daily in the in-home gym. He was a handsome man, and he garnered plenty of attention from the ladies. He was six feet even and weighed one-hundred and ninety pounds of muscle. He was light-skinned with a splash of red freckles on his face and chest. He used to have a head of dark brown hair, but he cut it all off and now sported a bald head. His goatee was trimmed to perfection, and he had beautiful light brown eyes. He had the most beautiful smile with deep dimples that you could sit a dime in. Whitney knew her husband was handsome, and she loved knowing that he belonged to her and her only.

 

“Well, I’m about to go and fix us some breakfast.” she announced, heading for the door.

 

“Ok. I’ll be out in a few.” he replied, gathering the items he would need to freshen up for the day.

 

Whitney made her way down the hall and into the kitchen. She opened the refrigerator and pulled out the eggs, bacon, butter, and liver pudding. Terrence enjoyed liver pudding for breakfast, but Whitney thought that it was disgusting. She sat the items on the counter as she began searching the cabinets for the pans she needed to cook with. When she found them, she sat them on the stove and began preparing their breakfast. When she finished cooking, she placed everything on the kitchen table and reached into the cabinet to retrieve plates. By the time Terrence made his way into the kitchen, the table was set and his breakfast was waiting on him. Whitney had piled his plate high with eggs, bacon, liver pudding, and toast. She also poured him a glass of orange juice and a cup of coffee. He sat down at the table to enjoy his breakfast. Whitney sat at the table with her plate filled with everything except the liver pudding. She also poured herself a glass of orange juice, but no coffee.

 

“Mmm. This is good.” Terrence commented as he ate his food.

 

“Thanks baby.” Whitney said, smiling at her husband.

 

They both continued to eat their breakfast as they made small talk. When they were finished, she collected their plates in placed them into the sink. She ran some dish water in the opposite sink so that she could wash the dishes. She didn’t like leaving dishes just sitting in the sink, so she made sure that they were always washed when they were through with them. She stood there and watched as the sink filled with the sudsy water until it reached her desired level. She dumped the used plates into the water before she walked over to the stove to retrieve the pans she had used to cook with. She brought them back over to the sink and sat them on the counter beside her.

 

Terrence left the kitchen and walked into the living room and grabbed the remote and turned on the TV to the local news. He always liked to catch up on the happenings in the city before he went to work. He was a manager for See It Clearly, a local distributor of eyeglasses and contact lenses. He settled himself on the couch and tuned into the news. He shook his head sadly at the story that the reporter was reporting. There had been a string of burglaries in the downtown Greensboro area. When are people going to learn to make an honest living? he thought to himself as he continued to watch the story. He sat there and watched the rest of the news until he glanced down at his watch and noticed the time. It was 7:30, and he had to be at work by 8. It was a good thing that he only lived ten minutes from his job, or he might’ve been late. He grabbed his jacket and keys and headed back into the kitchen where Whitney was now putting the dishes she had washed away.

 

“See you later baby,” Terrence announced, leaning down to give Whitney a kiss on her lips.

 

“See you later,” she responded, putting away the last dish.

 

Terrence opened the refrigerator door, grabbed his lunch bag and made his way out the front door. Whitney dried her hands on the dishcloth before she replaced it on the cabinet door where it hung and left the kitchen. She grabbed her belongings before following right behind her husband out the door on her way to work. She locked the door behind her and set the alarm to the house before she headed down the driveway to her car. Terrence honked his horn and waved at her as he pulled out of the driveway driving down the street. Whitney opened the driver’s side door as she slid into her seat. She buckled her seatbelt as she stuck her key into the ignition and cranked up the car. She slowly pulled out of the driveway after looking to make sure no one was behind her before she backed into the street. She waved at one of her neighbors who were also on their way to work as she passed them.

 

 

Chapter Two

 

Whitney bobbed her head to the music coming from her radio as she drove down Highpoint road. Keyshia Cole was singing how she should’ve cheated on her man since he was already accusing her of cheating even though she wasn’t. Whitney loved herself some Keyshia, so she sang along with the song until it went off. She drove for a few minutes longer before she finally reached her destination. She pulled into the parking lot of After Years and parked her car in her assigned parking space. Each person that worked there had their own assigned parking spot, so if it was empty, then they knew that person was not there that day.

 

Whitney glanced two parking spaces down from hers and noticed that Terika’s, another one of the CNA’s spot was empty. She shook her head. If Terika didn’t start bringing her behind to work, she was going to be out of a job, and she knew she needed her job since she was a single mother of four kids. Whitney gathered her stuff as she opened her car door and stepped out of her car. She locked the doors with her remote and chirped the remote to set her alarm. She walked across the parking lot and made her way to the front doors. She grabbed ahold of the door and pulled it open before she walked inside. She walked down the hall to the clock and swiped her badge to clock in. She was a little early, but a few minutes wouldn’t make a big difference on her pay check.

 

She continued down the hall to the employees break room and placed her lunch bag into the refrigerator. A few of the other CNA’s were huddled around a table gossiping and eating their breakfast like they did every morning.

 

“Hey Whitney girl!” One of the loud mouth women yelled as she noticed Whitney in the break room.

 

“Hey Kira.” Whitney responded.

 

“How was your weekend?” Kira asked, getting up from the table.

 

“It was good. All I did was relax and I’m still tired.”

 

“Do you know what this meeting is about?” Kira asked, stepping up to Whitney lowering her voice into a whisper.

 

“No girl. I’m just as clueless as the rest of you.”

 

“I hope they aren’t trying to snatch none of our hours away. Girl I need my money. I have six kids to feed.” Kira said with a worried look on her face.

 

“I know, right?” Whitney replied. “My kids are grown, but I need every penny I get.”

 

“I just hope they aren’t coming with no foolishness.” Kira said, making her way back to the table with the others.

 

Whitney nodded her head in agreement as she left the break room in search of her best friend Camille. Whitney poked her head into some empty rooms and didn’t see her. She decided to check the women’s bathroom for Camille. She made her way down the hall until she reached the bathroom and opened the door and walked in.

 

“Whew!” she exclaimed, quickly using her hand to cover her nose from the stench.

 

“Sorry,” Camille mumbled sheepishly from a corner stall.

 

“Girl, what crawled up in you and died?” Whitney asked, laughing.

 

“Girl, I don’t know. My stomach has been acting up all weekend.”

 

“Man, that is some foul stuff.” Whitney replied, fanning the air in front of her face.

 

“I hope it isn’t a stomach virus or anything like that.” Camille responded. “I can’t afford to take any days off right now.”

 

“I don’t know what it is, but man it has you smelling rotten.”

 

“I know you aren’t talking.” Camille said, laughing. “Don’t forget I walked in on you last week and you had it smelling like hell warmed over in here.”

 

“Whatever girl.” Whitney laughed. “You smell worse than I did.”

 

“So, what do you think this meeting is about?” Camille asked, spraying half the can of air freshener.

 

“Girl, that’s enough.” Whitney screeched as the cloud of spray evaporated into the air.

 

“Oops,” Camille replied, giggling. “Sorry girl. I was just trying to freshen it up a bit in here.”

 

“Now, to answer your question. I don’t know what the meeting is about.”

 

“Me either.”

 

“Yeah, Kira was just asking me about it. I don’t know why she thought I would know something that everyone else didn’t know.”

 

“Girl, you know you’re Mrs. Lintos’s favorite, so people assume she tell you stuff that nobody else knows.”

 

“Well, they’re wrong,” Whitney responded, leaning against the counter in front of the sink.

 

“You know how people are about their assumptions.” Camille replied, flushing the toilet.

 

“I know, right?” Whitney said, scrolling through her phone.

 

Her attention was briefly diverted from the conversation as she looked at some pictures her daughter sent her of her grand kids.

 

“Did you hear about Tammy?” Camille asked, unlocking the stall door and stepping out.

 

“Yeah, I did. She deserved to get fired. She had no business stealing the patient’s information and trying to commit fraud in their names.” Whitney stated.

 

“Yeah, you’re right. Not only did it cost her her job, but they are filing charges against her, and she could spend some time in jail. I wonder who is going to take care of her son while she’s locked up.” Camille said, walking over to the sink to wash her hands.

 

“I don’t know. Maybe her sister will take him in. She might be looking at a long stint in jail. I’m sure she didn’t think about how this would affect her son before she did it.”

 

 

That’s so sad. That boy lost his daddy before he was born, and now he is going to lose his mother to the prison system.” Camille said, shaking her head sadly.

 

Camille Jefferson was a strikingly beautiful woman. She was a caramel complexion with pretty hazel eyes. She had dark-brown hair that she kept in a low cut close to her scalp. Most women couldn’t rock a style like that, but it looked really good on Camille. She had a gorgeous smile and an energetic personality to go along with it. She was five feet eight inches tall, and she weighed one-hundred and eighty pounds. Most people would say that she was over-weight, but Camille had all her curves in all the right places. She was thick, and she loved every inch of her frame. She had the confidence of the most beautiful swim-suit model on the cover of a magazine. Camille wore Carolina blue scrubs with blue and white shoes to match. After she washed and dried her hands, Camille dug in the pocket of her scrubs and retrieved a tube of lip gloss and applied a light coating to her lips.

 

Camille and Whitney had been best friends since high school, and so had their husbands. The two women were inseparable. When they met in high school, Whitney was more on the shy side, and Camille was more out-spoken, but the two became fast friends. Their different personalities is what drew them to each other. When Whitney needed someone bold enough to do something she couldn’t do herself, she had Camille there to step in for her. When Camille needed someone to calm down a tense situation, or keep her level-headed, she had Whitney there to steer her in the right direction. Whitney and Camille both attended the same college, A & T, for a short while before they both dropped out. It was like they did everything together. When Camille decided that she wanted to get her certification to be a nurse’s assistant, Whitney was right there behind her. The two of them had been working at After Years for the same amount of time, and they loved their jobs.

 

Camille’s husband Montez, and Whitney’s husband Terrence, worked together at See It Clearly. The two men were closer than identical twins. They always referred to themselves as brothers from another mother. If they weren’t working or hanging out with their wives, they could always be found together shooting hoops or watching the latest sports on ESPN. They all were a tight-knit bunch. Whenever you saw one, then more than likely the other one was not far behind. The four-some were the best of friends, and they felt that nothing or no one could ever break their bond. To them, they were a family. They looked out for one another whenever the occasion arose. They attended family gatherings together, went on family vacations, and they all even attended the same church. The two women continued to swap gossip as they hung around in the bathroom waiting for the meeting to begin.

 

“Oh, girl, we better get out of this bathroom and get to that meeting.” Whitney announced, looking down at her phone, noticing the time.

 

“Oh, girl, we’re sitting in here running our mouths.” Camille laughed, straightening herself out in the mirror before heading for the door.

 

She held the door open and waited for Whitney to pass before she let it close behind them. The two women walked down the hall and turned the corner and continued walking until they reached the conference room. Some of their other co-workers were already seated as they walked in. Whitney waved at some of the people she knew as Camille searched the huge room for seats for them. Once she found two empty seats, she motioned for Whitney to follow her as they made their way to the back and sat down. The other workers slowly made their way into the room whispering amongst themselves, trying to figure out what this important meeting was about. Finally, the entire staff was present in the conference room and the volume of the chatter began to get loud.

 

“Ahem,” the head administrator of the facility said, clearing his throat to get their attention.

 

The room immediately grew silent.

 

“Well, as I might guess, you all are wondering why I asked you hear, right?” he asked.

 

“Yes,” everyone answered in unison.

 

“Well, it has been brought to my attention that some things have been going on in this facility that I am not too happy with. I have been told that some unlawful and downright scandalous things have been going on that could potentially get this facility shut down.” he announced, pacing the floor with his hands behind his back, staring at each employee.

 

You could hear a pin drop on cotton. That’s how quiet the room was.

 

“I will not stand for any of this foolishness that has been going on in my facility. I have worked hard to make this facility the best that Greensboro has ever seen, and I refuse to let anyone ruin what I have built. Using patient’s information to forge documents in their names will not be tolerated. Having sex on the job will not be tolerated. Coming in any time you feel like when you know you have a set time to work will not be tolerated.” he said, stabbing his finger into his palm every time he made a point. “Swapping shifts because you don’t want to come in a certain time of the day will not be tolerated. Punching in and leaving back out as if you are working will not be tolerated.” he continued as he paced, staring angrily at his audience.

 

“Ooooh, he’s mad.” Whitney whispered.

 

“I know, right?” Camille whispered back giggling.

 

“Um . . . do you ladies have something you wanted to add?” he asked, zooming in on Whitney and Camille huddled together.

 

“No,” they both echoed, shaking their heads.

 

“I didn’t think so,” he replied furiously. “All of this stops today. I will not stand by and watch you tear my facility to bits with your antics. There will be some new rules starting today, and whoever doesn’t like them, they can leave now. If any one of these rules are broken, you will be terminated immediately. There will be no second chances, and no excuses. My reputation is on the line here, and I am being investigated, and that does not make me a very happy camper.” he bellowed.

 

The employees could see that Mr. Flanagan was extremely angry. His light-skinned face was beat red, and he was practically shouting at them. He wiped sweat beads from his forehead as he continued speaking, laying down the rules. Whitney and Camille, along with some of their co-workers, chuckled slightly to themselves as they watched Mr. Flanagan pace back and forth. A vein bulged on the side of his head, and his eyes were bulging from the anger emanating from his body. He was working himself into a frenzy with how angry and upset he was. They could see sweat circles forming under his arms every time he raised his arm and pointed at them. The dress pants he wore were high-water, so every time he moved, they moved and showed his ashy ankles. They felt like they were in high-school and were being reprimanded by the principal.

 

The employees sat in the conference room for nearly an hour as they listened to Mr. Flanagan go on and on about what he wouldn’t be tolerating, and breaking down the new rules to them. By the time he was done, he had yelled himself hoarse, and he was drenched in sweat. He finally dismissed them to their duties once his throat was too raw to speak anymore.

 

“Did you hear that fool?” Camille asked as she and Whitney exited the conference room.

 

“Girl, yeah. He wasn’t playing.” Whitney said, laughing.

 

“The least he could’ve done was make sure his pants fit and his ankles had some lotion on them.” Camille said, bursting into laughter.

 

“Girl, you’re crazy.” Whitney said as they walked down the hall to their assigned rooms.

 

“I felt what he was saying though.” Camille responded after her laughter died down.

 

“Yeah, he was speaking the truth, but he just worked himself up too much.” Whitney agreed, reaching her room.

 

“Well, I’ll see you later girl.” Camille said, heading for her room to get her first patient of the day ready.

 

“Yeah, see you later. I know Mr. Wilson is a tough one.” Whitney replied, entering her room.

 

“Aint he?” Camille called out.

 

 

Author Q and A: Courtney Monya

 

Picture of Torn Between the Game and Love book cover

 

Torn Between the Game and Love Book One

 

Blaque: Well, once again I am back with another question and answer session. Today my spotlight author is Courtney Monya, who some of you, her readers, may know as Authoress Courtney Monya. She writes under the genre of Urban Fiction.

 

Courtney: It is nice to meet you Blaque Diamond.

 

Blaque: It is nice to meet you as well. So, before we get started, I would like to know, where are you from? No, this is not one of the questions from your interview, but I am always curious to know where people are from. LOL.

 

Courtney: LOL. No problem. I am from Louisiana.

 

Blaque: Oh, ok. Hmm… Nice. That is a state I would love to visit one day. I would like to experience the festivities of a Madi Gras celebration in New Orleans.

 

Courtney: Yes, they are quite entertaining. There is so much to see and do during such an occasion.

 

Blaque: I’m sure of that. So, let’s jump right on in.

 

Courtney: After you.

 

 

Blaque: What inspires you to write?

 

Courtney: Becoming an avid reader first inspired me to want to write. Life alone itself, inspires me to write as well. There’s so many things that I see on a day to day basis that will cause a scene or even a story plot to pop up in my head.

 

Blaque: What is your biggest pet peeve?

 

Courtney: My biggest pet peeve(s) is for someone to lie to me. Especially when I feel I am one of the most understanding people you could ever meet. There’s no need to lie to me. Another is having to repeat myself. LOL.

 

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

 

Courtney: Right now, my favorite place to write is my papa’s office. It allows me the quietness that I need to listen to music, zone out, and get things done.

 

Blaque: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

 

Courtney: One thing I would change about the world is how negative things get more recognition than positive, uplifting, and/or motivational things do.

 

Blaque: What is your favorite food?

 

Courtney: Almost any bread. LOL. Rolls, biscuits, pizza crust, etc. Anything with cheese and/or bread is aye okay with me.

 

Blaque: Where do you see yourself in five years?

 

Courtney: I see myself as a more-established Author and Licensed Massage Therapist who’s supporting herself and giving back to those who supported her to the point where she is now.

 

Blaque: How many books have you published to date? “Compilations and anthologies included.”

 

Courtney: As of today, I have three books published.

 

Blaque: What can bring tears to your eyes?

 

Courtney: Some of anything. LOL. I am a big cry baby. I’ll laugh so hard that I cry, & I’ll even cry so hard that I’ll laugh.

 

Blaque: If you had $1,000,000 to donate to a worthy cause, which would it be, and why?

 

Courtney: It would be donated to Project Semicolon, because it is true that you NEVER know what someone is dealing with in their lives. Even if their lives SEEM perfect, you never know what they’re mentally battling within themselves. After all, we are our biggest critiques in life.

 

Blaque: What makes you uniquely you?

 

Courtney: I could easily say that it’s my personality, but I think it’s more efficient for someone to determine that themselves. I’m always open to meeting new people, and I’m always going to be the same person no matter who you are.

 

Blaque: How do you deal with writer’s block?

 

Courtney: I turn on my Gospel Pandora station and then go back and re-read my work. The mixture of the motivation from the music gets my mind back flowing.

 

Blaque: Out of the books you have published, which is your favorite, and why?

 

Courtney: My middle book, which is part 2 in my series, would have to be my favorite because the two newest main characters easily became my favorite characters. Earning their own possible spinoff? Maybe. Stay tuned to find out.

 

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

 

Courtney: My favorite colors are blue, pink, purple, green, and any other pretty, bright colors. LOL.

 

Blaque: Do you prefer writing your first drafts on paper, or on the computer? Why?

 

Courtney: I prefer writing on the computer. I hateeee writing, literally. LOL.

 

Blaque: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

 

Courtney: They just pop up in my mind as mini movies or clips, and I just write them down as soon as I think them.

 

Blaque: What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

 

Courtney: What are you waiting on??? Do it! If your heart desires to write, then dammit (can I say that? LOL.), write. & don’t just write what you think people want to read. Write what’s on your heart, and the RIGHT people will read it & LOVE your work.

 

Blaque: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as an author?

 

Courtney: My biggest accomplishment as an author would have to be . . . As of October 23rd, 2017, I FINALLY finished my first three-part book series after starting part one a year or more ago and shelving it shortly after.

 

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

 

Courtney: I love all genres of music. From all the different types of R&B, to Neo-Soul. Trap music, Rap, Gospel, Electronic, and Pop. YOU NAME IT! LOL. Seriously though, if you have a favorite song that you would love for me to hear, send it to me on any of my social media accounts, because I can guarantee that if I hear it and I like it, I’ma Shazam it anyways. 😝

 

Blaque: What is your biggest fear?

 

Courtney: If I would’ve answered this a little earlier, I would have to say my biggest fear was me and my thoughts. Well, not anymore after gaining my faith back to conquer that fear. NOW, spiders have been promoted to that spot and will probably forever be there, because I will not face that fear.

 

Blaque: How does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

 

Courtney: I love, love, loveeeee it! Because a lot of the time when I’m writing, a part of me is like, “Yo, this is fiireeeee.” Then another part of me is like, “Does this even make sense?” So, hearing from the reader that they loved it, makes me feel really good about it.

 

Blaque: What an interesting interview. I’m sure your readers will enjoy getting to know the person behind the creative stories. Before we close out this segment, leave readers with your contact info so they can follow/be-friend you on social media to keep up with the latest and greatest from you.

 

Courtney: Yes, definitely. I enjoy hearing from my readers. You can follow me on Twitter and Instagram. Readers can also send me a friend request on Facebook.

 

Ok. Great! So, where can readers purchase the first book in the series, Torn Between the Game and Love?

 

Courtney: All three of the books in my series can be purchased on Amazon. They are available as an EBook and paperback. Here is the link to the first book in the series. It won’t be hard for readers to spot the next book in the series so they can keep up with the action. Torn Between the Game and Love Book One.

 

Blaque: Well, that just about does it for me today. It was a pleasure speaking with you Ms. Authoress Courtney Monya.

 

Courtney: Thanks for the opportunity to interview with you Blaque Diamond. You don’t know how much this means to me and others out there looking for exposure.

 

Blaque: It is nothing at all for me to do my part as an indie author to help other indie authors. I believe in the motto, “Lend a hand. Don’t break one.” Until next time. Happy writing.

Evil is His Name

 

picture of a man with an angry expression on his face

 

This is an excerpt from my short story anthology of love gone wrong entitled “Love, Lies and Heartbreak Volume 1”. This excerpt comes from the story “No More Tears”, which is a story of domestic violence. Regina Harris is being physically abused by her husband Calvin, who vowed to love and honor his wife until death do they part. His way of showing his undying love is kicks to the stomach and angry, harsh words spewing from his lips towards the woman he is supposed to love.

 

“Owww!” Regina screamed as Calvin’s foot connected with her ribs.

 

Delivering another kick to Regina’s side, he yelled, “I’ve told you about running your fucking mouth so much.”

 

“Please, Calvin, stop!” She begged as she tried unsuccessfully to stop him from kicking her repeatedly.

 

“You think I’m fucking playing with you don’t you?” he screamed as he continued kicking her. “What have I told your ass about messing up my food?”

 

“I’m sorry Calvin. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to burn the rice. I’ll do it right next time.”

 

“You damn right you’re going to do it right next time. Right damn now.” He yelled as he dragged her up from the floor by her t-shirt and dragged her into the kitchen.

 

Calvin was upset because Regina had accidently let the rice cook for a little too long because she was on the phone talking to one of her friends. He liked his food cooked a certain way and if it wasn’t done the way he liked he had a problem. This was just one of the many ass whippings over the years that she had received for one thing or another. After that initial incident at the restaurant, Calvin did not keep his word. That was just the start of the downward spiral of their marriage. He beat her every opportunity he got. He was very jealous and any man that he saw talking to her, he assumed they were trying to holla at her and that earned her an ass whipping even if it wasn’t true. If she didn’t come home at a particular time, he would accuse her of sleeping with someone else, and he would beat her for that too.

 

He wanted to know where she was at all times of the day. He even popped up at her job just to make sure that she was really there. He monitored her phone calls whenever he could to make sure that she wasn’t disclosing to anyone what was going on in their household. Over the years, he had gotten so controlling and abusive that Regina could hardly leave the house to visit her parents. When they wanted to know why she didn’t come to visit like she used to, she would come up with excuses why she couldn’t come over. The real reason was she didn’t want them to see all the bruises that Calvin was constantly putting on her. He was beating her so much that it was almost on a daily basis.

 

She let out a shriek of pain as she grabbed at her stomach. She rolled around on the floor where she still lay moaning from the pain. She was three months pregnant, and she had a feeling that she was having another miscarriage. This would be her third one thanks to him. She had been pregnant two years ago but lost the baby when he threw her down a flight of stairs when she hadn’t answered the phone when he had called. Two years before that he caused her miscarriage because he pushed her out of the moving car while they were in the middle of an argument. She wasn’t seriously hurt since the car wasn’t going that fast, but when she landed on the ground she fell on her stomach, and she lost the baby. Calvin looked down at her in disgust as he saw red fluid leaking from between her legs.

 

Glaring down at her body sprawled on the floor, he demanded, “Get your nasty ass up and clean yourself up.”

 

“Help me, Calvin.” Regina whispered. “I think I’m losing the baby!” she screamed out as she felt another sharp pain shoot through her stomach and more fluid gushed from between her legs.

 

“It’s all your fucking fault,” he complained as he yanked her up from the floor and threw her over his shoulder. “You can’t do shit right. Can’t even carry my baby to term. Just fucking useless.” he continued ranting on.

 

He went to the kitchen counter, grabbed his car keys and walked out the door. He walked up the driveway to his car and unlocked the passenger side. He opened the door, tossed Regina in and slammed the door behind her. He walked over to the driver’s side and hopped in and started the car. The drive was silent except for the occasional moans from Regina as she continued to grip her stomach in pain.

 

“You better not tell them doctors shit either.” he warned as he drove to the nearest hospital. “If they ask you anything tell them you fell down the stairs. Do you hear me?” He asked staring a hole into her.

 

Mustering up a bit of strength, she squeaked in a small voice, “Yes.”

 

When they finally arrived at the hospital, Calvin got out and ran into the emergency room to ask for help with Regina. Two nurses came out immediately and attended to her. They lifted her from the car and placed her on a gurney. They rushed her into the hospital and behind the double doors. Once he parked the car he made his way into the waiting room and up to the front desk. He got the necessary paperwork that he would need to fill out and found a chair to sit in. Once he filled out all the papers, he took them back to the desk and waited to see if he could get any information about his wife. The lady at the desk held up a finger to him to wait as she dialed a number and waited for the call to be answered. She talked for a few minutes before she hung up. She filled out a visitor’s pass for him and gave him the directions to Regina’s room. He made his way to the elevator and pressed the button for the floor that she was on. Once the doors opened on her floor, he searched until he found the correct room. When he walked in Regina was lying in a hospital bed while a nurse was taking her vitals. There were tear stains on her face, so he knew she had been crying.

 

“Hey, baby.” He greeted innocently as he entered the room.

 

“Hey,” She replied solemnly.

 

“How are you feeling baby?” He asked as he walked over to her and gave her a hug and a peck on the lips.

 

“Well, I will leave you two alone. I will be back Mrs. Richards to check on you.” The nurse said as she exited the room giving Calvin a sideways glance of disapproval.

 

“I’m fine Calvin. I lost the baby, but you already knew that.” She said looking away so that he wouldn’t see the tears in her eyes.

 

“Well, if you didn’t make me do these things to you then this wouldn’t keep happening, now would it?” He asked as he roughly turned her face back towards him.

 

“No Calvin it wouldn’t–” Regina had stopped herself before she went any further.

 

He glared at her angrily and asked, “It wouldn’t what?”

 

“Nothing,” she replied, looking down at her hands.

 

“That’s what I thought. If your ass were anything of a wife, then I wouldn’t have to put my hands on you. Get your ass dressed and come on. I don’t have all day to be in here with you. I got shit to do!” he commanded.

 

In a weak protest, she said, “But Calvin, I just had a miscarriage. I can’t leave yet.”

 

“When I come back in here you better be dressed and ready to go, and I’m not going to say it again.” He said as he walked out of the room.

 

Regina began pulling the I V drip from her arm as she ripped off the heart monitor equipment. As soon as she did, a loud siren-like sound came from the device. The nurse ran in quickly in a panic to see what was going on. When she arrived, she saw that Regina had disconnected herself from the devices she had been hooked up to. She ran over and turned the wailing siren off and turned towards her.

 

With a frightened look plastered on her face, the nurse cried, “Mrs. Richards, you can’t go yet. You just had a miscarriage.”

 

“I know, but I got to go,” she replied as she spotted her clothing on the chair that was next to her bed.

 

The nurse took a deep breath before she said, “Mrs. Richards, I have to ask you a personal question. Did your husband do this to you?”

 

“No. I told y’all I fell down the stairs.”

 

“Mrs. Richards, the doctor and I do not believe your story. The bruises that we saw on your body do not consist of falling from the stairs. Some of those bruises are old, so they have healed.”

 

“Well, I don’t know what else to tell you. I fell down the stairs, and that’s that. Y’all can think whatever y’all want, but that’s what happened.” Regina said as she put on her clothes in a hurry.

 

“Mrs. Richards, if your husband is abusing you we can help. We can get you into a shelter, and we can file charges against him. All you have to do is say that you want our help.” the nurse pleaded looking at her with sympathy.

 

Used to this normal line of questioning Regina recited, “No. My husband doesn’t hurt me. He loves me.”

 

She didn’t believe her words, but she said what she felt she had to, to get the nurse off her back. She hated the ground that Calvin walked on, but she kept her true feelings to herself. Every time she showed up at a new hospital with injuries they always said the same thing to her. If she wanted to, she could have recited the words right along with the nurse. That’s how often she heard them.

 

“Mrs. Richards, I can tell that you’re lying. I would advise you to get some help before it’s too late. Men like that don’t change. If he promises you that it will never happen again, it is a lie. I would hate to see you on the eleven-o clock news because your husband has killed you. Please let us help you.”

 

“As my wife says she doesn’t need your help.” Calvin interrupted glaring at the nurse angrily as he stomped his way back into the room.

 

“Well, Mrs. Richards, I will need you to go to the front desk and fill out the paperwork stating that you willingly signed yourself out of the hospital against medical advice.” The nurse said as she looked at Regina with pity and walked out of the room shaking her head.

 

“Let’s go.” Calvin demanded as he gripped Regina’s arm tightly and dragged her from the room and over to the receptionist’s desk for her to fill out the papers.

 

Once that was complete they got on the elevator in silence and rode it down to the ground floor. They walked out and headed for the car. They both got in, and Regina closed her eyes and laid her head on the passenger side window as Calvin started the car and drove away from the hospital. He glanced over at her several times during the drive home, but he didn’t say a word. Once they arrived home, they went into the house and she went straight to their bedroom. She laid down on the bed and cried herself to sleep like she did just about every night.

 

 

If you enjoyed this excerpt, find out what happens next in the story by purchasing your copy of Love, Lies and Heartbreak Volume 1 from a EBook retailer near you. This book is also available in paperback as well. Visit my Blaque Diamond’s Books page and click on the retailer of your choice to purchase your copy today.

The Triumph in Me Book Review

 

Picture of The Triumph in Me: Living to Die, but Decided to Live book cover

 

The triumph in me: Living to Die, but Decided to Live

 

By: Kashinda T. Marche

 

While at a book-signing event this past weekend, I was given an autographed copy of this book. The author talked a little about the book during the event, and I was intrigued to find out more about it. Because of my visual impairment, the print book wouldn’t have done me any good since I can’t read the words. I did appreciate receiving a signed copy from the author though, so I added it to my library in my home-office for safe-keeping. I didn’t want to wait to have someone read it to me, so I went on Amazon to see if the book was available as an EBook. Yes!!! It was available on Kindle, so I wouldn’t miss out on a great read. I immediately downloaded the book to my Kindle library and began to read.

 

I was drawn into the story just by the first few lines. Tharisse, the main character was a young girl growing up in the urban streets of New Jersey. The story talked about her life growing up and the things she and her friends got into as young teens. Her parents were on drugs, so Tharisse was practically raising herself and her younger siblings. She became promiscuous in her teen years, looking for the acceptance she always yearned for.

 

When Tharisse is fifteen-years-old, she meets Eugene, who is twenty-seven-years-old. He treats Tharisse like she has always wanted to be treated. He buys her the latest fashions, he chauffeurs her and her friends around town in his car, and he even gives her money. To her young mind, this is love. Love is something she has always been trying to find, so to her, Eugene is her knight in shining armor. Her mother has a problem with Tharisse dating Eugene, but she continues to date him anyway. Tharisse falls head-over-heels in love with Eugene, and she doesn’t care who doesn’t like it.

 

At the age of seventeen, Tharisse finds herself pregnant with Eugene’s baby. When Tharisse tells her mother that she is pregnant, she walks away disappointed in her daughter; even though she was the same exact age when she gave birth to Tharisse. Eugene never reacted to the news of Tharisse’s pregnancy either way. Tharisse’s pregnancy was a hard one filled with sickness and misery, but thankfully she delivered a healthy baby girl. Tharisse strived to be the best mother she could be to her daughter. She didn’t want her to grow up in the life that she had, so she did what she had to do to show her daughter a different way of life. When her daughter was just eleven-months old, Tharisse got some devastating news that would change her life forever. She was diagnosed with HIV. Somehow, Eugene had contracted the virus, and he had given it to Tharisse. She wasn’t sure how long she had the virus, but when she went to be tested, she was told that she was infected.

 

Tharisse hoped and prayed that her daughter had not contracted the virus, and by the grace of God, she had not. Tharisse went into a deep depression after finding out the news. She couldn’t figure out how she would raise her daughter when she had been pronounced with a death sentence. The story goes on to describe Tharisse’s life and struggles of dealing with her HIV status. There were plenty of ups and downs as she comes to terms with her illness. Tharisse instills positive skills and inspirations in her daughter as she grows up, trying to guide her in the right direction. She didn’t want her daughter to make the same mistakes, or worse mistakes than she did.

 

Tharisse deals with low self-esteem issues, so she makes her daughter stand in the mirror every day and tell herself that she is beautiful. Tharisse is later diagnosed with mental illnesses as well, and she attempts suicide when her lover exposes her condition to another of her lovers. Tharisse was truthful to some people about her condition, but she kept her status from others as well, so when her lover exposed her, she fell over the deep edge. She didn’t think that life was worth living anymore since she was already dying from HIV. Thankfully, Tharisse was not successful in her suicide attempt, and she got the help that she needed through therapy. She decided to turn her life around in a more positive direction for her daughter. She didn’t want to traumatize her child for the rest of her life, so she started living her life with a purpose instead of living her life recklessly.

 

This was a story that really hit home for me. Having a family member who died from HIV, made this story so real to me. The fact that Tharisse contracted the virus at such a young age, brought tears to my eyes. All she ever wanted was to be loved, and the one man she gave her heart to, gave her a death sentence. She was looking for love and thought she found it, but sadly, she was mistaken. Growing up in a world uninformed and uneducated, caused Tharisse to go down the wrong path in life, searching for the love she never found in herself. What she hadn’t been taught, she tried to teach to her daughter. She wanted her to have a better outlook on life than she did.

 

What I took from this book is, nothing is promised to anyone. In the blink of an eye, your life as you know it can be swept up from under you without any explanation. Good health, life, wealth, love, or anything else isn’t promised to anyone, so you should live your life to the best of your ability. When Tharisse finally decided to change her mind-set, she saw the world through different eyes. She was able to see positivity where she once saw only negativity. I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a story of strength and inspiration. It will allow you to take a look at your own life situations and possibly change the way you do things.

 

None of us is perfect, and we all have done things that we are not too proud of, but the only way we can get pass them is if we change. We have to change our thinking, change our attitudes on life, and change the way we react to situations. We can’t wait around for someone to change things for us, we have to be that change we want to see in our life. It was unfortunate what happened to Tharisse, but in the end she changed. She changed for the betterment of her daughter, and she changed for the betterment of herself. She began to live, instead of living to die.

 

 

Eye on Revenge Book Review

Picture of Eye on Revenge book cover

 

 

 

Eye on Revenge: A Stand-alone Novel

By: S. Carter

 

This past week, I had the privilege to read “Eye on Revenge: A Stand-alone Novel”, and I must say that I was thoroughly surprised. I didn’t know exactly what I expected to get when I selected this book to add to my Kindle library, but boy was I shocked. I was immediately engrossed in this book just by the first few pages. I had never read anything from this author before, so I had no idea what to expect from her. I could tell by the first few pages though, that it was going to be a good read. I became interested in reading this book because I had the pleasure of interviewing this author here on my blog. If you want to check out her interview click here.

 

Author Shawanda Carter Author Interview

 

Just based on my interview with Ms. Carter, it sparked my curiosity about her books. I can honestly say, I’m now a fan.

 

This book was filled with so much drama and scandal, I couldn’t wrap my head around it. Everything was centered on the senseless murder of Khior’s mother. She was murdered right in front of her twelve-year-old daughter’s eyes, and the murderer had no idea that she witnessed his crime. Even though she saw who killed her mother, Khior did not tell a soul. She held that secret inside for ten-years. She did not know who the man was, but she would always remember his face. She vowed that if she ever saw him again, she would get her mother the justice she deserved.

 

While attending college, Khior be-friended a girl named Abbigail. They did unspeakable things together to get money to pay their way through college. Once Khior reached her limit, she stopped, but Abbigail continued to sleep with men for money even though she didn’t have to. Slowly, the two girls who were once inseparable, started to drift apart. The person that Khior thought was her friend, turned out to be her worst enemy. Abbigail spiked Khior’s drink one day and recorded the two of them and a man engaging in different sexual acts. Khior had no idea what was going on because she had been drugged. Abbigail was selfish and spoiled, and she used whatever she could to get her way, even if it meant murder.

 

It seemed like everyone that Khior trusted, turned out to not be who they claimed to be. She found out that her father had a family that he forgot to mention to her. She even found out some secrets about her mother and the reason why she was killed. The Dean of the school had skeletons, one of the professor’s, who turned out to be Abbigail’s father, had secrets, and Abbigail had evil coursing through her veins instead of blood. Just about every character in this book was deceiving one another. The twists and turns of this novel had me shaking my head in astonishment. The amount of lies and betrayal portrayed throughout this book would have anyone second-guessing if they really knew the people they were around on a daily basis.

 

I was definitely impressed by this author’s ability to string all of these scandals together without losing sight of what the story was about. It kept me engrossed and thirsty to read more. On a scale of one to five, I would give this book a seven. That’s how much I enjoyed it. This definitely deserves a five star rating. If you are into books with scandal, murder, lies, betrayal, and suspense, then you definitely need to make this book a permanent part of your library. S. Carter knows how to capture a reader’s attention and keep them wanting more. That’s the purpose of a book, right? Well, she definitely did her job. Don’t just take my word for it though. Pick up your copy of “Eye on Revenge: A Stand-alone Novel” today and get ready for the roller-coaster you’re sure to embark on. I promise. You won’t want to put it down.

 

Concealing the Truth

 

Have you read my novel “His or Her Betrayal?” If not, here is a chapter sample for you to sink your teeth into. It is actually one of my favorite chapters of the book. This book is full of secrets and lies. Who will be left standing once all the cobwebs are cleared?

picture of a stack of files with the word top-secret stamped across the top

 

CHAPTER 9

 

Concealing the Truth

 

Three wonderful years have passed, and life is good. I no longer work for the escort service. I am now a receptionist at a law firm, so I am not hurting for money. My surgery was a success, and things are going well for me. I made sure to follow all my surgeons’ instructions for my post-surgery care, and I went to all the required check-ups. Everything is the way it should be. I am now officially Michelle Anderson. No more hiding. No more feeling as if I’m some extraterrestrial creature. I am now all woman. I attend a support group once a week for trans-sexual members who have already gone through the transformation or are in the process of going through it. Being around others who are just like me makes my transition so much easier. I also go to therapy once a week with Dr. Martin. The sessions are helping a lot to help me feel good about myself. I had an appointment today, so I jumped into my car and made my way to the doctor’s office. When I arrived, I signed in and waited for my name to be called.

 

“Michelle Anderson,” the receptionist called out, searching around the waiting area.

 

I stood up and followed her to the back where Dr. Martin’s office was located. She was sitting behind her desk looking through some paperwork. When she noticed that I had entered her office, she stacked the papers neatly and stood up to greet me.

 

“How are you today Michelle?” she asked, extending her hand for a shake.

 

“I am good Dr. Martin,” I replied, shaking her hand and making my way over to the comfortable couch.

 

“So, how are things going with you? Are you happy? No regrets?”

 

“Nope. No regrets at all. I feel great. I feel free. I am living my life, and everything is going good. I have a great support system behind me.”

 

“That’s great! How are your parents?”

 

“My mother is good. We had lunch yesterday, and she is coming over to the house tomorrow to bring me some clothing that she has outgrown. My father, of course, is the same. He refuses to speak to me or even mention that I exist. He said he no longer has a child. My mother told me that he wrote me out of his will and all of his other personal finances.”

 

“How does that make you feel?”

 

“It hurts, but it is what it is. I can’t change who I am, and I won’t beg him to accept me if he won’t. If he doesn’t want to acknowledge that he has a child, then it is his loss. I’m done with it. I want to live my life in peace and be happy.”

 

“Well, it might take your father a little longer to come around if he ever does. Don’t count him out yet.”

 

“My father was counted out the day I was born,” I said, rolling my eyes.

 

“Ok. Just keep that in mind. How are your friends? Their names are Sara and Megan, right?”

 

Chuckling at the mix up, I corrected her, “You meant Sharon and Megan. They are great. We are still hanging in strong. They are my friends for life.”

 

“Oops. My mistake. Yes, Sharon, it is.” Dr. Martin replied, glancing down at her notepad where she had been jotting down notes.

 

“No problem.”

 

She continued to ask me questions, and I answered them honestly. Then it came to the part of the session that I always dreaded. She asked me about my love life. I was currently dating a guy named Jason I met about a year ago. Things were great between us. I even think that I am in love with him. After having my surgery, I sustained from sex because I was afraid of it not feeling good and I thought that something would happen and the guy would find out that I was born a male. I stayed single to prevent my secret from being revealed. I was paranoid for a long time until I met Jason. He is the first man that I ever had sex with as a woman, and he did things to me that I couldn’t explain. He knows everything there is to know about me, except for this one little thing. I am afraid to tell him because I don’t want to lose him.

 

I met twenty-eight-year-old Jason Carter at a local Sweat Fitness gym. We both were trying to get the same treadmill since there was only one left unoccupied. He decided to let me take the treadmill, and he went on to something else. When I finished, I went looking to find him to let him know that it was now free and I found him doing jumping jacks. His beautifully built body was glistening with sweat, and I couldn’t help but lick my lips in admiration. He caught me staring at him, and he grinned arrogantly at me. He knew he looked good. He asked me to join him, and I did. We worked out together for the remainder of our time at the gym, and we exchanged numbers before we left. We went out to dinner the next week, and we have been inseparable ever since. We moved in with each other two-months ago, and I love having him there with me. We do everything together, and we also leave time for us to do our own thing without us being up under each other all the time. Our relationship is so perfect, and I know that telling him will ruin the magic that we have.

 

“So, Michelle, have you talked to Jason yet?” Dr. Martin asked.

 

“No, but I’m going too soon.”

 

“But Michelle you have been saying that for six-months now, and you still haven’t done it yet. You have to tell him.”

 

“I know. I know. I know. I am going to tell him. I just need more time.”

 

“How much more time do you need? You need to tell him yourself because you don’t want him finding out from anyone else,” she replied with a look of concern on her face as she peered over her glasses at me.

 

“I understand that, but it’s so hard.” I sighed as tears slowly trickled down my face. “I’m afraid he is going to leave me once he finds out. I love him so much, and I want to be with him.” I sobbed into my hands.

 

“I know this is hard for you, but it isn’t fair to him for you to be keeping this secret. You should let him make the decision whether he wants to be with you once he knows the truth. You don’t want to take that right away from him, do you?” she asked, walking over to the couch and wrapping her arms around me comfortingly.

 

“N-no, I don’t.” I sniffled.

 

“It is better if you tell him the truth. If he doesn’t want to be with you after he knows, then it will have to be that way, but you can’t make that kind of decision for someone. What will be your excuse if he wants to have children? Will you lie to him and tell him that you’re barren?”

 

Still sniffling and wiping at my flowing tears, I answered, “I don’t know. I thought I’d have the answer if we ever got to that point.”

 

“Michelle, I’m not trying to tell you what to do in your relationship, but I think it will be better if you were honest with him and told him the truth. Like I said, you don’t want him hearing about this from someone else. It will only make the situation worse. You should’ve told him from the beginning, but since you are already a year in it is better late than never.” Dr. Martin advised, rubbing my back soothingly.

 

We talked for another twenty-minutes or so and then she announced that our time was up. I went ahead and scheduled my next appointment and walked with my head hanging low down the hall to the exit. This was not a good session today. Whenever the subject of my relationship came up, I would always end up in tears. This was a hard situation to be in. Once I left Dr. Martin’s office, I stopped at the gym. I needed to release some of this stress I was carrying around. I worked out for about two-hours, and then I headed home. When I got into the apartment, there were candles lit everywhere and there was a trail of rose pedals leading down the hall to our bedroom. I followed the trail with a huge smile on my face. Jason was such a romantic guy. He loved doing things like this for me. When I opened the door to our bedroom, I found him lying back on the bed with his hands behind his head. He was naked as the day he was born. He was such a sexy specimen of a man. His dark chocolate skin gleamed from what I assumed must be baby oil. His body was so amazing because he worked out six days a week. I loved looking at him and all his scrumptiousness. He was the type of man I liked. Tall, dark, and handsome. He was 6 feet 2 inches and 210 pounds of muscle. He had flawless chocolate skin and beautiful bedroom eyes. He kept his head clean-shaven, and his smile was out of this world. He had dimples so deep that I could stick my finger in them. I loved this man so much that sometimes it hurt.

 

“So, are you going to just stand there and stare at me?” he asked with a sexy smirk on his face.

 

“Mmm. I was admiring the view.” I said, making my way to the bed.

 

I sat down on the bed where Jason lay, and he grabbed me and pulled me on top of him.

 

“Let go of me. I’m sweaty.” I giggled, squirming trying to get away from him.

 

“It’s ok baby. I’m going to make you even sweatier.” he said, kissing me.

 

His kisses always did something to me. I immediately melted into his embrace as I felt myself becoming aroused. Jason slid me to the side of him and started to undress me. He stared down at me as he peeled away every stitch of my clothing. Once I was naked, he spread my legs and started kissing between my thighs. I let out soft moans of pleasure as I felt his lips graze my lower lips as he teased me.

 

“Please, Jason,” I begged, pushing his head down so that he could please me the way I desired.

 

After a little more teasing, he finally obliged. He licked and sucked on my pearl sending waves of pleasure up my spine. Jason was such a master at oral sex; it didn’t take long for me to have my first orgasm. We continued making love until we were both drained. We tried all different types of positions and once we were done my body was deliciously sore. We got into the spooning position and fell asleep in each other’s arms.

 

If you would like to see how this story ends, visit my Blaque Diamond’s Books page and purchase your copy via the links provided. Your format choices are EBook and paperback. I hope you enjoyed this sample. Be sure to leave me your thoughts below.

Author Q and A: Shawanda Carter

 

Picture of author Shawanda Carter

 

Welcome everyone. I would like to introduce you to urban fiction author Shawanda Carter. Here is your chance to get to know the person behind the books. She has a lot of information to share with you that I bet you didn’t know.

 

Thanks for having me Blaque Diamond.

 

It’s my pleasure. Let’s jump right on in, shall we?

 

Sure. Go ahead. I’m ready.

 

Q: What inspires you to write?

 

A: It’s been a life-long dream to be published, but poetry has always been in my heart since the age of twelve.

 

Q: What is your favorite season of the year, and why?

 

A: I don’t really have a favorite season. I just kind of go with the flow of the weather.

 

Q: If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

 

A: If I could change one thing, it would be myself, which I am working on daily. The world is the way it is because of how people react to certain things. Besides, I can’t change what God has already predestined to happen.

 

Q: Name three people who inspire you, and explain why.

 

A: God inspires me, because without him I wouldn’t be who I am. My mother also inspires me, because she is very creative. Last, but not least, the people who inspire me are my sister and my father who are no longer with me. They all have always been my biggest supporters.

 

Q: How many books have you published to date? (Compilations and anthologies included)

 

A: I have written seven books to date.

 

Q: What can bring tears to your eyes?

 

A: The fact that I put a lot of truth in my books and they get no recognition, but I don’t let it stop me. I keep pushing even harder to be successful.

 

Q: What is your favorite color?

 

A: My favorite color is blue.

 

Q: Do you prefer to write your first draft on paper, or on the computer? Why?

 

A: I prefer to write my first draft on paper. I prefer this method because it helps me see mistakes, and I like to have an extra copy handy just in case my computer crashes.

 

Q: Where do you get most of your story ideas?

 

A: My story ideas just pop into my head. I never really have to think too hard on a story. Also, some of my story ideas come to me in dreams, or while I’m driving.

 

Q: What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

 

A: My advice would be to keep pushing and never look at the numbers. Just do what you can to strengthen your craft.

 

Q: What is your fondest childhood memory?

 

A: My fondest childhood memories are getting to spend time with my family and all the fun trips we took together.

 

Q: What is your zodiac sign?

 

A: My zodiac sign can be either Scorpio or Sagittarius. It depends on how my birthday falls.

 

Q: What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as an author?

 

A: My biggest accomplishment is the fact that I have written seven books. That is more than enough for me. I have seen my growth as an author.

 

Q: If you were offered an all-expense paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?

 

A: I would choose to go to Paris. I want to see what life is like outside of the United States.

 

Q: Who is your favorite author? Why?

 

A: Danielle Steele is my favorite author. I just love her writing style so much.

 

Q: Do you have any other talents besides writing?

 

A: I can also sing. I also enjoy playing the violin.

 

Q: Have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

 

A: Lol. Yes, I have. Don’t tell anyone though.

 

Q:  If your best-friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

 

A: She would say that I am crazy.

 

Q: What’s the worst writing mistake you’ve ever made?

 

A: My worst writing mistake I have ever made was less than professional editing.

 

Q: When you’re not writing, what do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

 

A: When I’m not writing, I enjoy sleeping and playing SIMS.

Well, that’s all I have for today. I hope you enjoyed getting to know Shawanda a little more intimately. Is there anything else you would like readers to know about you?

 

Yes, if they would like to find out more about me and my writing, they can check out my website at

 

Author Shawanda Carter

 

Also, they can check out one of my published books entitled “Eye on Revenge: a stand-alone novel” here

 

Amazon

 

So, guys be sure to check out Shawanda’s book along with her many other publications. I’m sure you will enjoy her hard work and effort. Thanks so much for stopping by Ms. Carter.

 

Thanks for having me.

 

Ugly Book Review

 

Picture of Ugly book cover

Ugly

By: Rod Cornelius

 

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of reading this book entitled “Ugly.” I did not know what to expect when I placed this book on my Kindle bookshelf. I didn’t even look at the synopsis to see what the book was about. I was interested in reading this book strictly based on the title. I had never read anything by this author before, but this book was automatically recommended to me by Kindle based on previous books I had read. Just on the title alone, I had gathered that the book must have been about a person who had a life of misfortune, and therefore their life was referred to as “an ugly life.” Boy was I in for a rude awakening! From the very first few lines of the book, I knew that “ugly” meant physically ugly.

 

Just those few lines captured my attention right away. As I proceeded to read on to find out what the book was all about, I found myself feeling bad for the main character Julius. From my own personal experience, I could relate to how he was feeling and the things he was going through. It is tough enough being a teenager, but to be the object of other children’s cruelty and bullying makes things even worse. I myself was also bullied and picked on in school, so I know how it feels not to fit in. I was picked on for the simple fact that I had a visual impairment. When children see that someone is different from them, they automatically label them a target of ridicule. Julius was bullied because he wasn’t “attractive”, and I was bullied because I couldn’t see well.

 

As the story progressed, Julius did find him some alliances in some unlikely sources. He met a girl that he liked, and she wanted to be around him no matter what everyone else thought of him. Because of how he had been treated his entire life, Julius had very low self-esteem in himself. He couldn’t understand why the girl wanted to be with him when there were more attractive boys she could hang out with. Julius also found alliance in a misfit kid named Travis. He was known to be a troublemaker, but he be-friended Julius despite what other people thought. The two boys didn’t make a likely pair, but their friendship helped Julius gain a little confidence in himself.

 

Julius had a talent for drawing and his teacher tried to push him to pursue his talent, but hanging out with Travis and getting into fights with his bullies kept Julius occupied. The fact that Julius wasn’t even accepted by his own family, made the situation even worse. I found myself crying at times when I read some of the cruel and demeaning things his family members said to him right in his face. Julius’s only ray of light in his life was his mother. Even though Julius was the product of a rape, she still loved him unconditionally. People thought she should’ve aborted him, but she carried him and loved him despite it all.

 

The author did a great job of portraying the life of a situation that a lot of teenagers find themselves in. Bullying is a past, present, and future problem if somehow someone doesn’t get a handle on it. Unfortunately Julius couldn’t take the torment any more, and he committed suicide, but if one person could’ve stepped in and did something about the bullying, maybe Julius wouldn’t have taken that route. Bullying is a serious offense, and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Thousands of children are being bullied each year, and some of them take matters into their own hands. In some cases it’s suicide, and in other cases it’s murder. Things should never get to that point that someone has to lose their life.

 

Thankfully things didn’t end that way for me. I was able to get a handle on my own bullying situation, but not everyone is so lucky. I definitely give this book a five star rating and recommend it to anyone who has dealt with bullying. Most victims suffer in silence. They are too afraid to speak up against their tormentors for fear of backlash, but if they can’t speak up for themselves, then someone should have the heart to do it for them. I loved the gems of motivation and inspiration that the author sprinkled throughout the book. He used the character Mr. Base as a voice of reason for Julius. A lot of the quotes and advice he gave to Julius could definitely help anybody who needs a bit of strength to get them through a tough situation.

 

Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book:

“Mr. Graves, never let how other folk think you look determine who you are. Life is bigger than someone else’s opinion. You have to find what matters most to you in this world, and you have to make it mean something to you, son. Life aint fair, but this is your moment in time. Don’t let someone else cheat you from it. Because if you allow life to do it, it will swallow you up. A strong mind will always persevere. You remember that.”

 

This quote has so much meaning. It is something that we all need to remember. How you look physically shouldn’t determine who you are as a person. Even though television, media, movies, and magazines focus on outer beauty, the beauty inside you is what should matter the most. Some of the most beautiful people have the ugliest personalities, and that makes their outer appearance less attractive in my eyes. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I see the beauty inside people. The inner beauty.

 

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