National Poetry Month 2018

So, the month of April is National Poetry Month, and I have been doing my duty of creating new poems to celebrate my chosen creative style of writing. In total, I have composed 32 poems in this month alone. For some reason, I just have been inspired to write new poetry. I even began the revisions for my book of poetry titled “Words of My Heart”, which I plan to re-release this year. I have written poems spanning many different subjects and genres. I’m looking forward to seeing how the revised version of my collection of poetry will turn out. I also have the awesome idea of producing the finished poetry collection as an audio book. Whether I will read the poetry myself, I’m not sure yet, but I would love to hear how my own words sound spoken aloud.

Well, to celebrate the ending of National Poetry Month, I want to share a poem I wrote a few years ago. In this poem, I compare writing to therapy, because for me, that is how I see writing. It is a way for me to express my deepest feelings. When I write, it brings me peace. No matter what I’m going through, once I put my thoughts to paper, everything seems like it will work itself out.

Therapeutic

My pen dashes across the page.
Writing what I can’t say aloud.
My worries.
My troubles.
The tears trickle down my face.
As I continue to write.
Everything I’m feeling.
Scribbled onto these once blank pages.
So much to say.
But I don’t have the voice to say them.
So I write.
I write to ease the pain.
A single tear drops.
And smudges my ink.
But I write on.
Pouring my all into these words.
No time to stop now.
I have to get them out.
My heart races with the speed of my hand.
Making sure not to forget a single word.
It’s like magic.
These words that I write.
Every word expertly placed.
Exactly where they’re supposed to be.
No mistakes.
They’re perfect just the way they are.
My hand begins to cramp.
But I won’t stop.
This is what I need.
So I must go on.
This is the only way.
Nothing else will do.
Music could probably do the trick.
But this is my way.
My special remedy.
To rid myself of my internal pain.
I don’t have to think too hard.
My pen does what it’s good at.
Getting everything down just right.
The way I want it to be.
Pages flip.
And I continue to write.
There is so much I have to say.
And there are plenty of lines to fill.
Hours upon hours.
Day into night.
And I continue to write.
My hearts way of healing.
No psychiatrists.
Or counselors will do.
Just me and my trusty pen.
Will get the job done.
The more I write.
The lighter my heart feels.
This is exactly what I need.
A way to cope with the pain.
Writing is my therapy.
And it suits me just fine.
There is no cost for these sessions.
And my feelings are my own.
I understand what I’m feeling.
And I know the cure.
From my heart to these blank pages.
My pain is no more.

What is thereputic for you? Leave me your thoughts below.

Author Q and A: Maria Vermisoglou

Author Maria Vermisoglou smiling

“Magic is in our minds. Authors make that magic real.” – Maria Vermisoglou

The Cursed Girl Volume 1

Blaque: Welcome back to another edition of author spotlight. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with author Maria Vermisoglou. Welcome!

Maria: Thanks so much for this opportunity.

Blaque: No problem at all. I’m just doing my part. Authors supporting other authors.

Maria: Yes, that is so nice of you.

Blaque: So Maria lets get started with your interview. I’m looking forward to learning more about you and your work.

Maria: Sure.

Blaque: Where are you from?

Maria: I’m from Greece, and yes, I wrote my book in English. I am the exception to the rule.

Blaque: That is quite fascinating! Your English is very good, if I do say so myself.

Maria: Thank you.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

Maria: My goal as an author is to have my books loved by readers all over the world.

Blaque: So, tell me. What kind of child were you growing up?

Maria: I was shy and could be found always reading a book. Also, my mind was in the clouds, meaning I day-dreamed a lot. LOL.

Blaque: As authors, we all have those moments when story ideas won’t come to mind, or we are stuck on a particular part of a story for which we can’t see where to proceed. How do you deal with writer’s block?

Maria: I stare at the ceiling for ideas. I don’t get writer’s block often, but sometimes I just don’t want to write.

Blaque: What is your fondest childhood memory?

Maria: Christmastimes with the family are my fondest childhood memories. The entire family would gather around the table and there would be enough food to feed an army. We would talk together and have fun. We would also open presents. I guess that is why Christmas is still one of my favorite seasons of the year.

Blaque: Are there any other published authors in your family? (Self-published or traditionally published.)

Maria: No, I am the only published author, but we do have some artists in the family.

Blaque: I’ve never really been into the stars, signs, and moons craze that people speak so highly of, but I have found that most of the characteristics of my zodiac sign fit me perfectly. What is your zodiac sign?

Maria: I am proud to be a Sagittarius.

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

Maria: There isn’t one particular place I would visit. I would travel all over the world. I love traveling, and I think that every place has its own unique beauty and magic.

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

Maria: I prefer to write my first drafts on the computer, because I can erase them without leaving smudges. Sometimes though, I do write down my ideas on paper.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

Maria: I don’t really have one in particular, but I do enjoy listening to soundtracks, pop, and rock music.

Blaque: We can find inspiration for a story anywhere. Where do you get most of your story ideas?

Maria: I get most of my story ideas from other books – a book can spark another idea, but also from places or movies.

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

Maria: I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up, but I wanted something related to books. I am a librarian, so the goal was achieved.

Blaque: Many of us have other gifts besides our gift of words, do you have any other talents besides writing?

Maria: If making handcrafted items is a talent, then yes, I suppose I do. I make handmade items like bracelets, key chains, and candles.

Blaque: Yes, homemade craft making is definitely a talent.

Maria: Well, then I do have another talent. LOL.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite book?

Maria: The list is very long, but I will only mention two this time. The first is the Harry Potter series, because it taught me to love books – I hated them before. The second is “The Mortal Instruments”, because this was the book that inspired my own series.

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

Maria: Yes, some of my characters were inspired by people I know, or their character traits.

Blaque: Feedback from our readers are what makes writing so worthwhile. To know that someone enjoyed something that we produced, keeps the love of writing going. How does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

Maria: I am overjoyed when a reader tells me they enjoyed my book, but when they tell me things like “When does the next one come out?” or “It should be a movie”, then I am over the moon.

Blaque: What is your favorite type of dessert?

Maria: Anything involving chocolate is my favorite type of dessert, but not always.

Blaque: We learn a lot in life as we grow and mature. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell him or her?

Maria: I would tell her not to worry too much.

Blaque: If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be, and why?

Maria: I have a lot of favorite authors, but I would like to co-write with an author who is just starting his/her career, because I want to help them develop, and we could learn from each other.

Blaque: What show did you enjoy watching as a child?

Maria: I enjoyed watching Pokemon. I always got up in time to see it. It was one of my favorite shows.

Blaque: When we’re starting our writing careers, we often find ourselves experiencing some difficulties. What has been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to jump over while embarking on your writing journey?

Maria: The most difficult thing for me was killing a character. This was my first book, so I made the mistake of getting too close with my characters. I didn’t want to kill one of the characters, so the book was delayed. One day, I said that I would do it. I couldn’t delay it any longer. I did it, and it was painful. After that, killing other characters was easy. Another difficulty was the whole publishing process, because English isn’t my first language, but I managed.

Blaque: I’m glad to see that you overcame your hurdles, and now you have a published book to show for it.

Maria: I’m glad of that also.

Blaque: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

Maria: Eva. She is my main character, and the difficulties she has to face are great, but she does get over them and comes out stronger than ever. I also love her because her mind is set to save everyone, even if that is a stranger. She will walk through hell and fire to save the ones she loves. She is a storm.

Blaque: What are you currently working on?

Maria: I am currently working on the second volume of the cursed girl series.

Blaque: Describe your latest book in just ten words.

Maria: My latest book is my first. I am just starting out, but the words I have for it are: Love, friendship, twists and turns, backstabbing, thrilling, and amazing.

Blaque: Well, we have come to the end of another insightful author interview. I just have one last question for you Maria. What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

Maria: My advice would be to write, write, and write! Write even if you think it’s pointless. You can see a tunnel right now, but in the end, you will see the light bright and shiny. Every successful author before you started small and everyone knows them now. If they can do it, why can’t you?

Blaque: Very good advice. You can do anything you put your mind to. All you have to do is do it. It was so nice speaking with you today Maria. I enjoyed getting to know just a bit more about the person behind the title of author, and I’m sure your readers did as well.

Maria: Thank you. I enjoyed sharing a bit more about myself so that my readers can know me more intimately.

Blaque: So, you know I can’t let you go without you leaving potential readers with your contact information, right?

Maria: Yes, of course not. Shall I go ahead?

Blaque: The floor is yours. Have at it.

Maria: Readers can like and follow my Facebook fan page here.
They can also follow me on Goodreads to keep up with my latest releases. If they would like to check out the book trailer for “The Cursed Girl Volume 1”, they can view it here.

“The Cursed Girl” can be purchased from Amazon by visiting this link.

Blaque: Thank you so much Maria for taking time out to visit with me today. Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

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

Words of My Heart Revisited

Book cover of Words of my heart poetry collection

Back in August of 2017, I released my first collection of poetry. The book consisted of forty-eight poems divided into seven categories. They were a combination of different poetry styles that I have learned over the years. I have been writing poetry since I first began to write, which was at the age of eleven, so “Words of My Heart” was compiled of poems spanning fifteen years of writing off and on.

I only published the poetry collection in an EBook format, because I didn’t feel that I had enough poems to successfully fill a hardback copy of the book. With only forty-eight poems, the book would’ve been pretty slim in my opinion, so I settled for just an EBook version. According to my readers though, they wanted a physical copy of the poetry collection. They liked the EBook version, but they wanted to actually flip through the pages of the book and read the poems for themselves. Which I can definitely agree with. There is nothing better than the feel of an actual, physical book in your hands, so I understand where they were coming from.

Well, I went back to the drawing board and started writing some new poems that I could include in an updated version of the book. Instead of the forty-eight poems I started with, I now have seventy-five poems that make up this poetry collection. I even added an extra category! Each section of the new version of “Words of My Heart” have poems specifically dealing with that category. I even have included some poems that I didn’t quite know where to put them, so I listed them as miscellaneous poetry. They are still poems, but they didn’t fit with any of the categories that I have selected to be included in the book.

So, now thanks to feedback from my readers, they will now have a physical copy of my poetry collection. I think this will be a nice little read to sink their teeth into. Seventy-five poems spanning eight different categories is a nice collection if I do say so myself. Who knows? By the time it is released, I might have included even more poems, so right now, it’s seventy-five in counting. LOL. In this poetry collection, I touch on different aspects of life. In my section of poetry titled, “Beat of My Heart”, I share poems dealing with love. Love is a roller-coaster in itself, so the poems in this section shows the ups and downs that love can take us through. Love can be oh so right, but it can also be oh so wrong, and these poems portray that exactly.

This collection of poetry now even includes a section of nature poems, which was not previously included. Nature is beautiful, so I decided to use my gift of words to explore the different beauties of God’s creations. I have always been told that I have a way with words, so I hope that my readers can take a look at life the way I see it. I will publish this new version of “Words of My Heart” as a second edition. I’m not sure if I will do away with the previous version yet, but more than likely I probably will. The old version will feel more like an incomplete version to me, and I don’t want readers to get that impression.

If you have already had the pleasure of reading the first version of “Words of My Heart”, then you are in for a treat with this new version. I put a lot of effort and time into making sure that I only selected the best poems I thought would entertain my readers. I have a little something for everyone in this new and improved version. My hope is that someone can take something away with them when they are done reading this collection. Whether its inspiration and motivation, a new outlook on life, adding some spice to their sex life, or just quenching their thirst for good poetry, I hope I have done my job correctly, and you are just waiting with baited breath to read another collection of poetry from me.

Right now, I don’t have an exact release date for this second edition of “Words of My Heart”, but it is definitely coming soon. Along with the release of this new version, I do plan on giving away free hardback copies to fans of poetry. Who doesn’t like free? LOL. I know I do, and if you’re a fan of poetry, that’s even better! Stay tuned to find out when the new version of “Words of My Heart” will be released. I’m letting my words flow from my heart to yours.

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.

Feel free to follow my Amazon author page to be alerted when I release a new book by clicking here!

Visit my website to learn more about me and my books by visiting this link.

For those of you who would like to receive exclusive content, don’t forget to join my Facebook group here. There are lots of goodies for you to discover!

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!

Author Q and A: Kelly Violet

Headshot of author Kelly Violet

Blaque: Welcome back to another spotlight author interview. Here with me on my virtual couch is author Kelly Violet. Welcome Kelly!

Kelly: Thanks so much for having me Blaque Diamond.

Blaque: You are very welcome. Anything I can do to help another up-and-coming author, I will do. Besides, some of the best books are still just waiting to be discovered.

Kelly: You’re right about that.

Blaque: So, what inspires you to write?

Kelly: The everyday inspires me to write. When a story comes to me, it mostly starts as an emotion. Something hits me hard. It could be a line in a movie, or something I witnessed or remembered. Then parts of the story come together in my mind.

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

Kelly: I have a favorite spot in the city I live in. I go there to soak up the environment and dig deep in whatever story I’m working on.

Blaque: It’s always nice to have a special place you can go to let your creative juices flow. It’s sort of like your own little private getaway. What is your favorite food?

Kelly: My favorite food of all-time is home-made macaroni and cheese. It’s the best at holidays and just every day, really.

Blaque: I can’t help but agree with you 100%. I love me some baked macaroni and cheese. Mmm!

Kelly: LOL. My thoughts exactly.

Blaque: So, where do you see yourself in five years?

Kelly: In five years, I’d like to be more advanced in both my careers. In terms of writing, I’d like to have a lot more novels and novellas published in all of the genres I’m interested in.

Blaque: What can bring tears to your eyes?

Kelly: A good, emotional commercial can get the waterworks going. Otherwise, it’s altogether too easy to get me crying. Songs and sad endings of movies do it too.

Blaque: I am totally such a cry baby as well. It doesn’t take much for me to get going. Happy or sad, I’m crying. LOL.

Kelly: Wow! That’s funny.

Blaque: Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing career?

Kelly: My mom, who I lost in 2017 and my younger sister have been my biggest and loudest fans. I have a small group of friends who’ve also been great supporters and from who I constantly ask advice and their opinion.

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

Kelly: As a child, I was very bratty. Not rude all the time (I don’t think), but I definitely had a mouth on me. In school, I was well behaved and studious.

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

Kelly: I think Touch Me Softly will always have a special place in my heart (and so will Wyn and Rafe!), but as for my favorite book, I don’t think I’ve written it yet.

Blaque: I can understand that completely. I don’t think I’ve written my favorite book yet either. What is your favorite color?

Kelly: Violet will be my cheeky answer. Honestly, I like shades of purple and gray.

Blaque: LOL. I came to that assumption from your name.

Kelly: Yeah, my name makes it sort of obvious. LOL.

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

Kelly: I do a lot on my computer nowadays. It’s easier for me. I write on my phone from time to time. I have written on paper before, but it’s just not the best way when I have so many devices now.

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

Kelly: I get most of my story ideas from movies, television, or conversations I have. Also, I think back to certain experiences I had or things I’ve seen and think “what if?” What if this happened instead? Or what if I said this, what would happen. That’s what starts a lot of my stories. The more suspenseful stuff, I guess it comes from the dark places in my mind. LOL.

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

Kelly: It’s so hard to choose only one destination!

Blaque: Well, for this question just one will do. LOL.

Kelly: I’d have to go with any place in Europe (spoiler alert: cheat answer) because I could hop over to any country so easy once I land in Europe.

Blaque: Uh-huh! Clever rascal! LOL. I’ll let you have that one.

Kelly: LOL. Sorry.

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

Kelly: Yes and no. I use personality traits or stories mostly and expand or change things.

Blaque: I understand that. I have done the same thing in my own writings. So, if your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?

Kelly: Loyal.

Blaque: Great! Loyalty is definitely a great personality trait to have. Do you write full-time, or is writing like a second job?

Kelly: Currently, writing is a second job. Like most folks, I’d like to work at this for more hours in the day, but I love my other career. Ideally, I want a nice balance between the two.

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

Kelly: I am a dog person. As I get older I don’t mind cats anymore, but I will forever be a dog person.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

Kelly: I’d like to write books that people will read and enjoy, an auto-buy author for readers. Making lists and winning awards would be nice, but that’s not my end goal. If I achieve those things that wouldn’t mean I was done. I want to push myself for greatness, but on my terms.

Blaque: If your parents could see you right now, would they be proud of you?

Kelly: Yes, I hope my mom would be proud of me. She read some pages of one of my WIPs, and she was so excited, wanting more. I got the greatness charge with that feedback from her.

Blaque: no matter how many books we have already published, most authors always have something in the works. What are you currently working on?

Kelly: I’m working on a New Adult standalone novella. I’m really excited about releasing this story in 2018. I was inspired by a line of poetry in a movie. It triggered my brain in some way, and a piece of poetry practically starts this story.

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

Kelly: As men and women, we all have baggage. Things that we wished we could change. Experiences that haunt us and try to pull us down into the darkness. Wyn and Rafe find each other the exact moment they are supposed to. And I wanted to write about some of the experiences we have and that moment many of us wish for.

Blaque: How would you describe your personality?

Kelly: I’ve been described as bubbly before. I’m loyal, funny, sarcastic, and observant. Quiet at times, I’m usually sizing situations (and people) up but I also am reading the room to figure out where I fit in, or not!

Blaque: What show(s) did you enjoy watching as a child?

Kelly: I loved the TGIF lineup on ABC in the 90s! Can’t really pick one show.

Blaque: When writing, the word count in some cases is important, and in others not so much. What is the word count of your longest publication?

Kelly: Touch Me Softly is approximately 89K.

Blaque: Wow! A nice bit of book to sink your teeth into.

Kelly: Yes, it is.

Blaque: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

Kelly: Not yet. I really love Wyn and Rafe because they’ll always be the first characters I fully developed. I still have so many characters inching to get out.

Blaque: Well, this interview is coming to a close. I have enjoyed getting to know more about you and your writing.

Kelly: I have enjoyed letting my readers get to know a bit more about me as well. Author is just one of my many hats I like to wear. LOL.

Blaque: I can definitely relate to that. I have just one last request for you. Describe your latest book in just ten words.

Kelly: Angsty, emotional, flirty, hesitant, hopeful, touching, rocky, swoon-worthy, heartwarming, life-altering

Blaque: What great words to describe your work! So, before we shut down this interview, would you like to leave readers with your contact information so that they can reach out to you?

Kelly: Sure. Readers can find me on social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. They can also visit my website at Kelly Violet’s Website.

cover of touch me softly book

Blaque: Thank you so much for speaking with me today.

Kelly: No, thank you for this great opportunity!

Blaque: Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

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

Seasons Come Around

Autumn leaves of different colors

Reds, oranges, yellows, and browns.

Are the colors of the leaves that cover the ground.

They make such a beautiful and colorful sight.

Even though you can’t see their brilliant colors at night.

The wind carries the leaves away like loose bird feathers.

Crisp and cool is the air in this type of weather.

Rake up the leaves for jumping fun.

Is this your favorite season of the year, autumn?

Burr it’s so cold.

The air bites at the tip of your nose.

The world looks like melted marshmallows.

Because everything is draped in fluffy white snow.

Bundle up when you go out there.

You might freeze if you get kissed by that air.

Your breath floats like a speech bubble.

If you like hot chocolate, make it a double!

Beautiful flowers blooming all around.

Pollen drifts slowly to the ground.

Birds busy with activity as bees.

Building new homes among the trees.

Spring gives the sense of new life.

The perfect weather attire is something light.

Everything seems so fresh and clean.

All the trees and lawns are beautiful greens.

The sun is like a big orange ball in the sky.

Family’s summer picnics are invaded by flies.

Pools are full of people trying to stay cool.

As the children play on the playground of closed schools.

The concrete bakes like an apple pie crust.

Trips to the beach are a vacation must.

Cold glasses of lemonade quench the thirst.

And then the sky opens with a summer rain; cloud burst!

Author Q and A: David Harris

Author David Harris wearing glasses and smiling

“Dreams can come true if you put God first, and are willing to work hard to make them so.” – David Harris

Blaque: Welcome back to another edition of author spotlight. My guest for today is author David Harris. Welcome David!

David: Thank you for allowing me this opportunity to share my creations with the world.

Blaque: You are very welcome. It’s a personal treat for me to have the opportunity to speak with so many amazing authors all over the world. Let me start this interview off by asking, where are you from?

David: I am from the small town of Grifton, North Carolina.

Blaque: Wow! Another North Carolinian. I’m in the city of Greensboro.

David: It’s nice to meet another author who is also from North Carolina

Blaque: Yes, it is always exciting to meet someone else from your neck-of-the-woods. So, how many books have you published to date?

David: I have published twelve books to date.

Blaque: Impressive! Where is your favorite place to write?

David: The kitchen table is where I prefer to do most of my writing.

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

David: “The Bible and Slavery” is my favorite book that I have published, because it reveals what slavery is and it’s true origin.

Blaque: What is your favorite food?

David: Tuna is my favorite food.

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

David: I was a very inquisitive child growing up.

Blaque: As authors, we all want to feel like we have contributed something to the world of literature. What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment as an author?

David: Completing all twelve EBooklets in a timely fashion, and receiving thanks from those who benefited from them is my greatest accomplishment as an author to date.

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

David: My favorite color is blue.

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

David: I get most of my story ideas from the bible.

Blaque: As an author, I’m sure you are also a reader, so what is your all-time favorite book?

David: The Holy Bible is my all-time favorite book. To be more specific, (KJV 1611) is my preferred version to read.

Blaque: If you had a million dollars to donate to a worthy cause, which would it be, and why?

David: If I had $1,000,000 to donate, I would donate it to the National Jewish Hospital for Children. I’ve been a regular donor for many years, and like giving to kids.

Blaque: That would be a great cause to donate that amount of money to. I’m sure the children would greatly appreciate what those funds could do for them.

David: Yes, I’m sure of that as well.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

David: I really enjoy old southern gospel music and classical music like, Debussy, Bach, Mozart, and Dvorak.

Blaque: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

David: Yes, I do. Her name is Sheba from my soon to be released book, “A Song for Zipporah.”

Blaque: What show(s) did you enjoy watching as a child?

David: I had many favorite shows I enjoyed watching while I was growing up, but “Little House on the Prairie” was my favorite of them all.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

David: I’d like to tell my story, share my passion, and make a good living doing it.

Blaque: Cookies, cakes, brownies, and the list goes on. Such deliciously sweet treats. What is your favorite dessert?

David: My favorite dessert is banana pudding.

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

David: When I’m not writing, I enjoy painting old houses, and doing minor home repairs.

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

David: I prefer dogs any day over cats.

Blaque: What makes you uniquely you?

David: What makes me unique is that I have a good memory of dates, birthdays, ages, and account numbers.

Blaque: Well, it seems that we both have that unique talent. LOL.

David: Wow! Interesting.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

David: “Ben-Hur” is my all-time favorite movie.

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

David: If my best friend could describe me in one word, it would be daddy.

Blaque: How would you describe your personality?

David: I’m easy to get along with, but not a push over.

Blaque: What is your favorite holiday, and why?

David: Veteran’s Day is my favorite holiday. It recognizes those who served and made sacrifices for everyone.

Blaque: I can certainly understand why that would be your favorite holiday. If it wasn’t for our veterans, we wouldn’t have our freedom.

David: That is correct, so that is why they should be celebrated.

Blaque: Having short-term and long-term goals is very important. Where do you see yourself in five years?

David: In five years, I plan to retire and travel around the US.

Blaque: What are you currently working on?

David: I’m in the final stages of completing my 200 plus page historical fiction story entitled “A Song for Zipporah.” She was the Ethiopian wife of Moses. The book fictionalizes how life was for her prior to encountering him and culminates with a wonderful musical wedding.

Blaque: Finally, describe your latest book in just ten words.

David: Hmm… It is very creative, very inspiring, and mystically thought-provoking.

Blaque: What a way to sum things up! So, do you have a way for readers to check out your published books?

David: Yes, readers can check out my website here, where they will find all of my published books.

Blaque: Well, if you are looking for some interesting reading material, then check out author David Harris’s books full of knowledge, helpful scriptures, and his insightful thoughts.

David: Thanks so much for speaking with me today. I hope someone can find wisdom from my stories.

Blaque: I hope so as well. 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.

Saved N Sexy Radio Interview: Blaque Diamond

Saved N Sexy Radio Flyer advertising Blaque Diamond interview

On March 2, 2018, I had the opportunity to appear as a guest on Saved N Sexy Radio. I always love doing interviews of any kind. The more exposure I can get myself, and my business, the better. It was an interview full of inspiration and insight into how I became the Blaque Diamond I am. The ladies made me feel welcome and comfortable to talk about myself and my books. I have been invited to participate in future interviews and other endeavors that will help to expand my brand and further my career. I am so thankful for the hospitality shown to me, and I hope someone found, or can find inspiration, motivation, and encouragement from my personal story.

Get to know more about me and my life’s story. Check out the video below for the entire interview. Be sure to leave any comments, or questions you may have either on the video itself, or on this post. Thank you so much for tuning in!!!

Author Q and A: Monica Reed

Author Monica Reed smiling

picture of Renew Your Marriage book cover

Blaque: Today’s author spotlight interview features Monica Reed. She writes in the genre of nonfiction/religious fiction. Her books are meant to inspire and empower women and married couples everywhere. Welcome Monica.

Monica: Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with me.

Blaque: No problem at all. I love women who make it their mission to inspire and empower other women. We all need to look out for each other. It’s great that you are putting your personal stories into a book to help others out there.

Monica: Yes, I share my life’s experiences in this book to let women know that they are not alone, and that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I also include key elements relating to marriage, and how to keep things going despite setbacks.

Blaque: So, how many books have you published to date? (Compilations and anthologies included.)

Monica: I have published one book so far, “Renewing Your Marriage”. I was also a contributing author to “Thriving Entrepreneur”. I also have one book set to release in late February of 2018 titled “Renew You”.

Blaque: Great! Name three people who inspire you and explain why.

Monica: Wow! Only three? That’s hard. Oprah Winfrey is one, because she is willing to push through and show up powerfully in front of the world despite what anyone said or thought about her. Mary J Blige is another, because she is the woman that I held onto when I was a young, confused teenage girl, and I admire her strength. Lastly, David and Tamela Mann, because my husband and I met them during a time that our marriage was falling apart, and they displayed true love, the same love my husband and I showed when we first met. They honor their family unity just like we do.

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

Monica: What women feel they have to go through mentally and physically to be considered accepted in society is what I would change about the world.

Blaque: We all have different sources of inspiration when it comes to writing, what inspires you to write?

Monica: I am inspired by the women who struggle to have a voice in this world. I know they are just waiting for me to show up to open up the topics they struggle to share.

Blaque: Where do you see yourself in five years?

Monica: I see myself owning my own wedding catering hall for couples to have a place for them to come and renew their marriage vows

Blaque: That is a nice goal and future career choice. Weddings happen every day, so I know you will be up to your neck in wedding preparations. LOL.
So tell me, what can bring tears to your eyes?

Monica: The thing that can bring tears to my eyes is children who don’t have a fair chance at life.

Blaque: I can sympathize with that. There are so many lost children in this world.

Monica: Yes, there are.

Blaque: Are there any other published authors in your family? (Self-published or traditionally published.)

Monica: I just found out that I am the 1st published author in my family. It is an honor to be the 1st published author, because I personally feel that I have set a new goal for generations to come.

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

Monica: I would donate to an organization that would build homes for the homeless and low income families, because everyone needs to have somewhere they can call home.

Blaque: Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing career?

Monica: My husband has been my biggest supporter in my writing career.

Blaque: What makes you uniquely you?

Monica: What makes me unique is no one has had the same combination of experiences in the order that I have experienced them to help the group of women God has sent me to serve

Blaque: If you were granted three wishes, what would they be?

Monica: My first wish would be to leave each of my children their own home fully paid off. Secondly, I would also like to travel the world. My third wish would be to live life in abundance.

Blaque: Sometimes the brain just freezes up, and ideas seem so far out of reach, how do you deal with writer’s block?

Monica: When I have a bout of writer’s block, I stop trying to create scheduled times to write. Instead I make inspired times to write. When I would create scheduled times to write, thoughts and ideas would not come to me. As the day would go on, I would have an inspired thought. I would stop or wake up and write them down immediately, because if I sat on the thought for too long, I would forget it.

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

Monica: Royal Blue and Silver with Glitter are my favorite colors.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

Monica: R&B and gospel music are my favorite genres of music.

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

Monica: I absolutely love writing my outline on paper, but audio recording my stories works best for me, because it captures the voice and tone in which I would tell the story in person.
I allow my walk of life to be part of my writing, because it is easier to write about, especially since I already lived it.

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

Monica: My upcoming book scheduled to release in February titled “RENEW YOU” is my favorite because the book really brings out common personal issues and thoughts wives deal with every day.

Blaque: What is your fondest childhood memory?

Monica: My fondest childhood memory is summer break! At the end of the year, my elementary school teachers would clean out their classroom by giving the children the left over “dittos” (copied worksheets) and my sister and I would play school and take turns being a teacher for the day.

Blaque: Wow! That does sound like a memory I would want to cherish forever.

Monica: Yes, it was always so much fun.

Blaque: What is your zodiac sign?

Monica: I’m 100% Scorpio, and proud of it!

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

Monica: My all-time favorite movie is “Coming to America”.

Blaque: What is your biggest fear?

Monica: Dying young before I have completed my assignment as a mother or a woman here on earth is my biggest fear.

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

Monica: Spending time with my family and watching a really good movie is what I like to do in my spare time when I’m not writing.

Blaque: Life has so many lessons that we can appreciate. As we continue to grow and develop, the life lessons we have learned can help to impact our way of life. If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell him or her?

I would tell her, “Baby, everything you are going through is necessary and is because God has something better for you in store. You are loved and protected by God.”

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

Monica: When I talked about how my husband and I restored our marriage, people would ask “What did you do during the times it felt that only one of you were committed to changing?” That’s when I realized that I completely missed a whole chapter of my walk. I was now inspired to go back and tell the missing link, and “Renew You” was born.

Blaque: Describe your latest book in just ten words.

Monica: Transparent, relatable, transformational, connective, renewing, powerful, blessed, informative, accepting, and encouraging.

Blaque: Before we end this segment, I want you to leave a piece of advice for potential authors. What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

Monica: I would tell them, stop today! Don’t delay! You don’t have to be perfect to write your story.

Blaque: What an outstanding piece of advice. I hope that someone who has the desire to become an author will take heed to your words and pursue their dream.
Would you like to leave readers with your information so that they can follow/befriend you?

Monica: Sure. I manage a Facebook group called Marriage Matter – Couples Connect. If you are a married couple, please feel free to send a request to join the group. We talk all things marriage and ways to keep things on track.
I am also on Facebook if you would like to follow my Renew Your Marriage fan page.

Blaque: Thank you so much for joining me today. I hope some lucky couple out there will garner plenty of inspiration and guidance from your book, and your other activities all relating to marriage.

Monica: Thank you. Marriage is a beautiful union, but it takes a great deal of work to maintain.

Blaque: Well, thanks again for stopping by. I wish you luck on your writing journey. Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

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

Heaven or Hell? Part 1

Well, for those of you who read my short story “No More Tears”, which appeared in my short story anthology “Love, Lies, and Heartbreak volume 1”, you will recall that Regina Richards, after years of mental and physical abuse at the hands of her husband Calvin, finally took matters into her own hands. She did what she felt was best to relieve her of the pain she suffered at the hands of her husband. It was not the right way to go about it, but she did what she thought was best. Regina murdered Calvin by poisoning him to death. Well, now that Calvin is no longer terrorizing his wife, it’s time for him to answer for his actions. What will his sentence be? Heaven or hell?

Calvin Richards slowly pulled himself up to a seated position and looked around in wide-eyed wonder. Everywhere he looked, all he saw was white. He felt as if he was trapped in the clouds. He rubbed his hands over his eyes, hoping to clear his vision, but when he withdrew his hands, the same vision greeted him. His head swiveled from left to right, but all he saw was white. It wasn’t as if everything in a room was white. He wasn’t in a room. There weren’t any objects in the area at all. The whole scene was just blanketed in white. There were no corners distinguishing walls and floors. It was just a white space.

He slowly stood up to his feet, jutting out his arm to help him along his way. He cautiously slid one foot in front of the other as he crept along. His arm swayed back and forth, trying to guide his path, but the whiteness didn’t dissipate. Calvin’s brows furrowed in confusion. What was this place? Why was he here? How did he get here? What in the world was going on? The last thing he remembered was lying on the kitchen floor, pleading for his wife, Regina to help him. His last vision he could recall was her angry face staring down at him as he took his last breath.

Just then, a light of recognition shone across his face. It finally dawned on him where he was. Since he knew he had died, then that meant that he was in heaven. Regina had killed him, and he was now in heaven. Calvin’s heart began to drum in an unsteady rhythm as this conclusion settled itself in his mind. He wasn’t sure what to expect. He had never imagined dying so young, so he had no idea how heaven worked. He looked around as he continued to creep along, but it seemed as though he was alone.

If he was in heaven, shouldn’t there be people milling about? What about the innocent babies and children who died way too young? Where were they? Grandmothers, fathers, teachers, students, doctors? Where was everyone? His mother? He knew she was in heaven, so where was she? If he was in heaven, then he was sure he wouldn’t be the only one there. Calvin’s confusion continued to plague him as he crept along. The more he walked, the more everything stayed the same. The whiteness didn’t look as if it was going to end any time soon. Calvin walked and walked, swinging his hand back and forth, but nothing changed. The path before and behind him was still white. He even turned to look back where he had come from previously, and everything was just as it was before. White.

Just as he was taking another step, he froze in his tracks at the sudden sound of a loud, booming voice. He snapped his head in the direction of the voice, but he saw no one. Fear slowly began to creep down his spine as he searched in vain for the source of the voice. Who was that? Where were they? How come he couldn’t see them? Calvin had no idea what was going on and where he was, but he felt that things were not supposed to be like this. A sinking, uneasy feeling tugged at his insides. He swallowed a huge lump that had suddenly lodged itself in his throat as his eyes scanned his surroundings for the person speaking.

Calvin slid his right foot in front of his left one just a fraction before he was halted in place by the bodiless voice again.

“Stop right there. Don’t go any further.” the voice ordered.

Calvin froze where he stood. His body quaked in fear as he waited for the voice to speak again. Right before his eyes, Calvin watched in stunned horror as a small beam of golden light appeared out of nowhere. The light seemed to get brighter the larger it became. Calvin threw his hands over his face to shield his eyes from the bright light. It was extremely too bright for him to look directly into it. Just the little moment he had looked into it, he had felt his eyes beginning to burn.

“Drop your hands!” the voice demanded.

Calvin quickly dropped his hands, but he squeezed his eyes as tight as he could get them. Although his eyes were closed, he could still see the golden light streaming through his eyelids. His stomach began to do flips as he waited with baited breath to see what would happen next. He felt on the verge of hurling up his insides, but he tried with all his might to contain his stomach contents.

“Do you know why you’re here?” the voice asked in its deep baritone.

The voice echoed throughout the place. It seemed to echo on and on.

“No,” Calvin said in a small, frightened voice.

“Do you know where you are?” the voice asked.

“No,” Calvin replied.

“Well, let me inform you Calvin Emanuel Richards.”

Calvin shivered at the sound of his full name emanating from the beam of light. It sent an eerie sensation throughout his entire body. How could someone who didn’t have a physical body know his name? As soon as his mind processed that thought, he mentally smacked himself across the forehead. Of course. If he was in heaven, then God would know his name. He just never expected things to be like this in heaven. He thought all people who died would be walking around merrily as if they were still on earth. He didn’t expect things to be so quiet. Eerily quiet. If this was heaven, then it was nothing how he had imagined it to be.

Out of nowhere, a television screen slowly appeared in front of Calvin. He looked around in utter shock as the television turned on by itself. The screen was filled with white static, and the loudness of the volume made Calvin jump back in surprise.

“If you haven’t already guessed. You are in heaven. Well, not exactly. You are in the holding station. You are automatically transported here when you die to be processed. Everyone who dies comes here. I’m sure you’re wondering where all the people who have been admitted to heaven are. They are indeed in heaven where they belong. Just think of things this way. You are on an elevator. There are three floors. Currently, you are stuck on the middle floor. The next floor up is heaven, and the floor beneath you is hell.”

“Holding station?” Calvin asked confused.

“Yes,” the voice boomed. “You didn’t think that you would automatically be granted entrance into my kingdom did you?”

“Um . . . No,” Calvin muttered, looking down at his feet.

“It’s your day of judgment, and I will decide if you are worthy of entering my pearly gates, or if you are destined to spend the rest of your days roasting in the underworld. I am God, and today is the day you answer for your life choices.”

“But how come I can’t see you?” Calvin asked nervously.

“No one can see me until they have been granted access to heaven. If you are not fortunate enough to make it to my holy kingdom, then you will never know what I look like. That is only a perk that my faithful servants are granted. No one who has ever lived has ever seen my face. The only way that is possible is after death, and if you make it to my paradise.”

“Oh . . . “ said Calvin.

He nervously rubbed his hands against his pants. The entire ordeal with making him uncomfortable. A fine sheen of perspiration had begun to form on his forehead and on the top of his lip. His heart rate felt as if he was running laps around a fifty-mile track. Worry lines creased his forehead as he mentally tried to prepare himself for what was to come next. He had no idea what his fate would be. He felt that he had been a pretty decent man on earth, but what he deemed decent may not be the same way that God saw things.

While he had been among the living, Calvin didn’t consider himself a Godly man. He had stopped believing in God a long time ago. He felt that if God really existed, then he would’ve helped his mother out of the abusive relationship that she found herself in, which had eventually claimed her life. He had spent many nights as a child praying to God to help his mother leave his father, but to him, God never answered his prayers. He had hardened his heart to God, and went on with his life without ever acknowledging God’s presence again.

Now that he was faced with the presence of God, guilt slowly began to plague him. He wanted to take back the harsh words he had spewed at God in his times of anger and bitterness, but what was done was done. He never lived his life with regrets, but now that he was faced with an uncertain future, he was regretting his life’s choices. He didn’t see the error of his ways when he was doing wrong, but now he wanted to make amends with the people he hurt. God was real, and Calvin was wishing that he had never turned his back on him. The only problem was, it was too late. He wouldn’t have another opportunity to right his wrongs. Judgment day was upon him, and he had to answer for his actions.

To be continued . . .

Author Q and A: Richelle Resto

Author Richelle Resto

Blaque: Well, it’s a new month, and it’s also time for a new author spotlight. Helping me to bring in the month of March, is Richelle Resto. Welcome Richelle!

Richelle: Thank you so much Blaque Diamond.

Blaque: No problem. Spring is on the horizon, so why not freshen up my blog with a fresh new interview?

Richelle: LOL. I’m glad I’m the person you chose to help you freshen things up a bit.

Blaque: I am as well. So, tell me about your book “The Gift of life Nobody Wanted: Your Tears have Purpose.”

Richelle: Well, I wrote this book to help women understand the rationale of the gifts of pain, devastation, rejection, and the purpose of tears. Throughout this book, I sprinkle little spiritual nuggets and strategies needed to triumph over years of pain.

Blaque: Hmm… Sounds interesting. Coming from someone who knows all about pain, it seems as if this book can perhaps help many women who don’t know how to deal with the obstacles that life may throw in their path. Tears can also have a cleansing effect on the soul. I had to learn that from first-hand experience.

Richelle: You are so right!

Blaque: So, where are you from Richelle?

Richelle: I’m proud to be from Durham, North Carolina.

Blaque: Oh, wow! I’m from Greensboro. I’m not originally from the area, but it has been my home for the past eight years. Durham is only a hop and a skip away from Greensboro.

Richelle: Yep. LOL. Durham is my home.

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

Richelle: I enjoy writing near the water, and listening to the sound of the ocean.

Blaque: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Richelle: People that make excuses for not accomplishing goals is my biggest pet peeve.

Blaque: We all have that favorite something that we just can’t live without, what is your favorite food?

Richelle: My favorite food is Mexican and Seafood.

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

Richelle: I tend to eat ice cream and chew Super Bubble gum until my next thought generates.

Blaque: Wow! That’s different. I’ve never heard anyone say that before. LOL.

Richelle: Well, it works for me. LOL.

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

Richelle: My favorite color is purple and magenta.

Blaque: So, you’re a purple girl.

Richelle: Yes, ma’am.

Blaque: For most authors, writing is something they do on the side apart from a regular nine-five. Do you write full-time, or is writing like a second job?

Richelle: Writing is my passion, and not a hobby that I love to do every day.

Blaque: What is your favorite type of dessert?

Richelle: My favorite dessert is snicker bar cheesecake

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

Richelle: Most of my story ideas originate from college experiences, family, friends, and journal notes.

Blaque: Do you have any other talents besides writing?

Richelle: Yes, my favorite talents include writing poetry and making t-shirt designs.

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

Richelle: My favorite team is the Dallas Cowboys for life.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

Richelle: My all-time favorite movie is “This Christmas.”

Blaque: I have several works in progress, but what are you currently working on?

Richelle: I’m currently working on two new releases: All Eyes on Me to Achieve My Destiny, and Married to the Church, Wife is a Mistress

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

Richelle: My best friend would describe me as SHY.

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

Richelle: My favorite thing to do is explore different types of restaurants, wrap up in my Snuggie and play Candy Crush.

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

Richelle: These books were inspired by my husband and father-in-love.

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

Richelle: I love my two pets Sir Julius and Princess Eva.

Blaque: Awww! What cute names for your pets. LOL.

Richelle: Yes, they are my world.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite book?

Richelle: My favorite book is “Woman thou art loose” by: T. D. Jakes.

Blaque: How would you describe your personality?

Richelle: My personality is fun, serious, and loyal.

Blaque: What show(s) did you enjoy watching as a child?

Richelle: My favorite show was Good Times.

Blaque: I agree one-hundred percent. I still watch reruns on DVD to this day. My favorite character of all was JJ, of course. He was dynamite! LOL.

Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

Richelle: My favorite imaginary character that I’ve created is Lynette.

Blaque: Ok, before we wrap this up, describe your latest book in just ten words.

Richelle: This book offers spiritual nuggets to triumph over years of pain.

Blaque: I see you are a person who believes that there is purpose in your pain. I do as well.

Richelle: Yes, I do.

Blaque: What we go through in life helps us to become who we are supposed to be. You take the joy with the pain and make the best of it.

Richelle: I agree.

Blaque: Well, Mrs. Resto, I am so glad that you stopped by to speak with me today. It has been great getting to know you better.

Richelle: Thanks so much for allowing me this opportunity to speak with you. It has been my pleasure.

Blaque: So, any of you readers out there looking for some spiritual nuggets to get you through tough times? Check out Richelle Resto’s book “The Gift Nobody Wanted: Your Tears have Purpose. I’m sure you’ll find some wisdom and inspiration that will help get you through the murky waters of life.

The gift of life nobody wanted: your tears have purpose book cover

For more about Richelle and her books, check out her website here.

Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

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

Prisoner of Love

prison bars with hearts locked behind them

My heart wants exactly what it wants

Beating rapidly is my hearts response

I never want to lose this beautiful feeling

It’s my hopelessly imprisoned love you are stealing

Being shackled to you is something I don’t mind

Another love like this I won’t ever find

Cuffed together as eternal prisoners

This kind of love needs no weekly visitors

Locked behind our invisible bars

Our words of love carved like permanent scars

The bail to escape this love is denied

You wouldn’t be able to break out even if you tried

We’re caged together like two love birds

Our only conversation is the sound of our sweet words

We don’t need food we can survive off love alone

The next time we will see the daylight to us is unknown

The guards know they can’t break this love up

To get through to our hearts can’t be done with back up

The judge can throw the entire book at us

And I promise you that we won’t make a single fuss

We don’t mind that our love is locked down

Because when we are together our love is always around

There’s no need for fancy expensive lawyers

We’re guilty as charged so command your orders

There is no probation or early release date

I don’t want anyone else as my love mate

I’d rather we stay in our love cell together

With a love like this we can make it through whatever

My heart is jailed and yours is too

There is no other I’d do my time with than you

Author Q and A: Joseph D. Hayes

Author Joseph D. Hayes

Guardians of Salem book cover

Blaque: It has been a great month with all the wonderful authors I have had the pleasure of speaking with. For the last author spotlight of February, I am talking with Joseph D. Hayes, author of “Guardians of Salem”. Welcome Joseph.

Joseph: Thanks so much Miss Blaque Diamond.

Blaque: No problem. It’s nice to have you here. So, how many books have you published to date?

Joseph: I just published my first novel, “Guardians of Salem” last year.

Blaque: Ok, nice. You’re a first-time author. How does it feel to know that you have a book that millions of people will read out there?

Joseph: It feels amazing! It is such an indescribable feeling.

Blaque: Trust me, I know the feeling. LOL. What inspired your latest book?

Joseph: The children I look after at my day care center inspired my latest book.

Blaque: What inspires you to write?

Joseph: I’ve always been a story teller. Characters constantly live in my mind on a daily basis. However, my passion derives from inspiring children to read and write.

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

Joseph: I would have to say my bedroom is my favorite place to write. It’s my zone. I can truly bring my thoughts to life.

Blaque: We all have our own ways to help get the creative juices flowing, how do you deal with writer’s block?

Joseph: I put music on to help me in times of writer’s block. The music helps me get in the mindset of the story.

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

Joseph: I prefer writing my first drafts on paper, because I do a lot of marking. It just feels more natural to me.

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

Joseph: I am a big fan of superhero stories, anime, action, and Kung-fu movies. I also love to create the why in characters. What I mean by the why, is why does this character behave this way, or what motivates this character? I think character development is fun.

Blaque: Some authors are quite sneaky when they implement parts of their lives in their stories, and I am one of the guilty. LOL. Have you used people you know as characters in your books?

Joseph: Yes, I have. The cool thing about it was that I read the story to them, and they loved it.

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

Joseph: Publishing my first novel is my biggest accomplishment as an author.

Blaque: Yes, having the courage to push that publish button proves your passion for the art of writing. It can be quite intimidating when you go through the process.

Joseph: You’re right about that.

Blaque: Do you write full-time, or is writing like a second job?

Joseph: Right now, writing is a second job, but I write as a goal to become a full-time writer.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

Joseph: To touch as many lives as possible through my writing is my goal as an author. I would also love to see my writings on the big screens and television.

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

Joseph: It brings my heart joy. I put a lot of heart in to my writing. Whenever I receive a compliment from a reader, I am overjoyed and humbled.

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

Joseph: I would tell them to read and write! This will help them to find their writing voice.

Blaque: Now that readers know about you as an author, let’s learn more about you as a person.

Joseph: Sure.

Blaque: What is your favorite holiday, and why?

Joseph: I love Christmas! Everything about Christmas! From the celebration of my Lord and Savior, all the way down to the Christmas music. I must admit that I get a head start on the Christmas music in November.

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

Joseph: If I could change anything, it would be me.

Blaque: What is your favorite food?

Joseph: I’m a sucker for Chinese food.

Blaque: As authors, we are also readers. How many books can you honestly say you’ve read in a single year?

Joseph: I would say a little over ten.

Blaque: What is your zodiac sign?

Joseph: My zodiac sign is Aquarius.

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

Joseph: I was a kid with a very hyperactive imagination. I often acted out a lot of kung-fu and action movies on TV. I believe the most hilarious thing out of all this is the fact that I hated reading and writing when I was younger.

Blaque: Who is your favorite author? Why?

Joseph: I would have to say Mary “Honey B” Morrison. Her story telling skills are so vivid. She is the very reason why I started and got in to reading.

Blaque: I love her writing as well. I have read tons of her books and loved every one of them. Do you have any other talents besides writing?

Joseph: I can draw as well.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

Joseph: I would have to say Gospel is my absolute favorite genre of music.

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

Joseph: I’m either reading or drawing when I’m not writing.

Blaque: I am not a fan of sports at all, but are you a sports fan? If so, who is your favorite team?

Joseph: I’m a big football fan. Dallas Cowboys is my favorite football team.

Blaque: If you could co-write a book with any author, who would it be, and why?

Joseph: It would definitely be an honor to co-write with J.K. Rowling. She created a universe of characters that will be remembered forever. Enough said.

Blaque: Well, that looks like that just about does it for today’s spotlight interview. Thank you so much for sharing just a small bit of yourself with me and the readers today Joseph.

Joseph: You’re welcome. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share.

Blaque: Make sure to leave your social media contact information so that readers can follow your writing journey.

Joseph: Sure thing. I am on Facebook, and I can also be found on Twitter. Thanks again for having me.

Blaque: No problem. Keep encouraging the youth of today to read and write.

Joseph: I definitely will.

Blaque: Until next time. Happy writing!

** Note **

If you are an indie author, and you would like to spotlight on my blog, please visit Author Spotlight, and follow the instructions to submit your interview.

Blaque Diamond Love Box Giveaway

Table displaying items included in Blaque Diamond's Love Box

As an author, I am very appreciative of the people who take the time to purchase and read my books. Out of the billions of books in the world, they chose me, and that brings joy to my heart. A lot of passion and hard work goes into writing a book. Long nights, and even longer days are required to get the storyline just right. After pouring your all into your creative expression and getting it published, the next hurdle is getting readers. You hope that they enjoy reading your book as much as you enjoyed writing it. You don’t just write for yourself, you write for the readers as well. What’s the point in writing something that no one else will read?

So, since Valentine’s Day was around the corner, I devised a way to give back to my readers. I wanted to reward their loyalty and support of my writing career. I could’ve just given a gift card, or an autographed copy of their favorite book of mine, but I wanted to put more thought into it. I wanted to show my gratitude in a significant way. My readers mean the world to me, so why not reward them for their continued support? Without them, I wouldn’t have the title of author. So, Blaque Diamond’s Love Box was formed. I love to write, and my readers love to read, so Valentine’s Day was the perfect holiday to put the two loves together.

I have an exclusive readers group on Facebook that is limited to only my loyal readers. I created this group to establish beta readers to receive honest input on works in progress. So far, the feedback I have received has been amazing. The readers are always anxious to read another chapter from a book I am working on. Currently, I have four, so they get to experience the development of the stories as I write them. From beginning to end. So, I created my giveaway. The only thing they had to do in order to enter into the drawing was to reply to the invite and say that they were going. Out of the thirty-six people I invited, only eight responded, so those eight names were put into the drawing.

I did not say what the box would contain until the night of the drawing. So, my readers entered into the contest blind. LOL. I thought long and hard about what I wanted to give. I tossed a few ideas around in my head until I came up with the perfect gifts. Valentine’s Day is a day of love, so I was showing my love in a big way. I did the drawing on February, 7th during a live Facebook video in my group. I chose the winner live and announced what the winner would be receiving. It was such a fun activity, and I do plan to do more things like this in the future. The winner was so excited to be the lucky recipient of Blaque Diamond’s Love Box. She said,

“Wow! Thank you!!! I AM in complete shock. I never win anything. I look forward to reading your books, eating chocolates, and using the “famous” body butters. You have made my night!! I am in tears here at work.” – Angie Rice

Blaque Diamond’s Love Box included: four jars of my homemade body butters, which included a 4 OZ. jar of Lovely Lavender, a 4 OZ. jar of White Chocolate, a 1.5 OZ. jar of Pumpkin Vanilla, and a 1.5 OZ. jar of brown sugar and spice. The box also included a $25 Red Lobster gift card, a singing teddy bear, 3 of my books autographed, and a box of assorted Valentine truffles. Who wouldn’t love that? She received it just in time for Valentine’s Day. I hope she enjoys everything she received, and I thank her and others for being so supportive on my writing journey. The appreciation and thanks go a long way, and I want to do what I can to give back to the people who support me.

Check out the video here of me announcing the winner.

Author Q and A: Kevin D. Brady

Author Kevin D. Brady wearing a tie

“Both a man who says he CAN do something, and a man who says he CAN’T do something are probably both right.” – Will Smith

Blaque: On today’s author spotlight, I am speaking with author Kevin D. Brady. Thank you so much for joining me.

Kevin: Thank you for having me.

Blaque: so, how long have you been writing?

Kevin: Well, writing has always been a childhood dream of mine, but I took a break from writing to focus on other ventures. I entered into a Halloween writing contest in 1998 in the Statesboro Herald, and it sparked my enthusiasm to start writing again.

Blaque: Nice. So you have been writing for a long time, I see.

Kevin: Yes, I have.

Blaque: So, what inspires you to write?

Kevin: What inspires me to write is the thrill of telling a story to people and entertaining them, or making them laugh.

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

Kevin: My favorite place to write is at my dining room table, where I open my laptop on one end of the table so that I can turn toward the television whenever I want to.

Blaque: It seems you enjoy watching television while you write.

Kevin: yes, I do.

Blaque: If only we had the power to make a difference in the world. If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?

Kevin: If I could change one thing in this world, it would be getting rid of all nuclear weapons for good!

Blaque: Wow! That is definitely something that I would have never thought about, but I see your point. The world would be able to breathe just a bit easier if we didn’t have the constant threat of nuclear weapons hovering over us.

Kevin: That is my point exactly.

Blaque: How many books have you published to date?

Kevin: As of right now, I have published ten books.

Blaque: What is your biggest pet peeve?

Kevin: My biggest pet peeve is when my computer starts shutting down without warning to do updates. It causes me to lose info I have typed, due to not saving it in a timely manner. It infuriates me and makes me want to throw my laptop across the room. It seems like the programmers could make the computer warn the user something like, “The computer will shut down in five minutes. Save your materials NOW!!!!”

Blaque: LOL. I definitely agree with that. Sometimes I’m so engrossed in what I’m doing, I don’t think to save my work every time I type out something. That is so annoying.
Everyone loves to eat. Well, at least I think everyone does. LOL. What is your favorite food?

Kevin: My favorite food is shrimp fried rice. I love it cooked the way the local Chinese restaurant, Chinese Kitchen, here in Statesboro, Georgia, cooks it.

Blaque: Who has been your biggest supporter in your writing career?

Kevin: I would have to say that my wife has been my biggest supporter in my writing. Since I debuted three years ago, she has supplied me with story ideas for three of my novels, she has given me helpful advice in marketing my books, and assisted me in the designs of my book covers. She has been in my corner to bounce ideas off, and to offer moral and financial support as well.

Blaque: What is your favorite holiday, and why?

Kevin: My favorite holiday would probably be Thanksgiving, due to all the big spreads of food traditionally cooked on that day. When it comes around every year, I am always good and ready for the turkey and dressing, cranberry sauce, sweet potato pie, and other sides.

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

Kevin: I deal with writer’s block by closing up my laptop and doing other things until I develop an idea that brings me back to my story, whether it’s a few hours, days, or even months.

Blaque: It’s always good to have people in your life who inspire you. Name three people who inspire you, and explain why.

Kevin: Three people who inspire me are Stephen King, and my late parents. I choose Stephen King, because he is such a prolific, legendary, and famous writer, who has written so many classic horror novels. Knowing that he rose from obscurity to become a nationally known literary genius, gives me the inspiration that I can do the same one day. My parents are the other two, because they did their utmost best raising me to be the man I am today. They raised me to work hard and to make an honest living within the confines of the law. They were my first test audience for my writing. They laughed themselves to tears at how funny “A Helluva Home” was when I first shared it with them, making me desire to keep adding to it.

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

Kevin: My all-time favorite movie would have to be “Django: Unchained.”

Blaque: Oh, I love that movie too! Out of all the books you have published, which is your favorite, and why?

Kevin: Out of all my published books, my favorite would have to be “Ghostly Encounters” since it was a collection of true stories, and it just poured from memory as I wrote it.

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

Kevin: Since I was fortunate enough to get a laptop, I have preferred to start my writings on it. I can copy, paste, and edit easier. I don’t have to type it all up once I’m done with it like I had to when I was writing in legal pads and notebook paper since it’s typed from the get go.

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

Kevin: I have gotten three of my story ideas from my wife. She furnished me with the ideas for “The Sinless House,” “Won’t God Do It?,” and “Blood Thirst.” The other seven ideas came to me on my own. “Ghostly Encounters” was a true tell all story that required no mental stress to write. I simply pulled it all from memory. “Funny Things Mama Said and Did” was just a collage of true story tidbits I put together in dedication to my late mother, who was quite humorous during her lifetime. “Fat-Man: the Dream Hero,” “The Officer,” “A Helluva Home,” and “The Self-Defense App” all came from my imagination. “K. D. Brady’s Four-In-One Holiday Collection was a marketing idea I came up with to offer my first four novels in one collection for the 2016 holiday season.

Blaque: We all have this thing, or things that scare us half-to-death. One of mine is being lost in a forest that keeps going around and around in a circle. No matter which direction I go in, I still can’t seem to find a way out. The spooky noises of the forest would add an extra layer of fear to keep me trembling in my shoes. What is your worst fear?

Kevin: My worst fear right now, is hearing that a nuclear missile has been launched, or seeing a mushroom cloud in the sky somewhere where a nuclear plant has blown up.

Blaque: Well, I can see why you would want to rid the world of nuclear weapons. So your biggest fear doesn’t become a reality.

Kevin: Exactly!

Blaque: What show(s) did you enjoy watching as a child?

Kevin: The show I enjoyed the most as a child was “The Three Stooges.”

Blaque: Writing a book and publishing it is an exhilarating feeling in itself, but feedback from readers makes it all worth it. How does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?

Kevin: It makes me overjoyed to hear that someone loved reading one of my books. It gives me the fuel I need to write again and again.

Blaque: What is your favorite type of dessert?

Kevin: My favorite type of dessert is a chocolate cake with about three golden yellow cake layers.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

Kevin: My goal as an author is to write a New York Times Bestseller like J.K. Rowling of the “Harry Potter” series.

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

Kevin: “The Self-Defense App” is all of this app business that is so rampant in today’s society. There’s an app for this and an app for that. An idea struck me a few months ago saying, what if a person could instantly have a muscled up warrior show up at the touch of a button on their cell phone to defend them out of a hairy situation? Hence, my book was born.

Blaque: Writing and self-publishing isn’t as easy as people may think. What’s been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to jump over while embarking on your writing journey?

Kevin: The hardest hurdle I’ve had to jump over in my writing career has been finding a publisher to get me out there. I had been trying to get published since 1999 when I finished “A Helluva Home” and sent it to Dorrance Publishing, but I was quoted a price of $7,700.00 to publish five hundred paperbacks. After thinking all companies would have offers similar to this, I put publishing on the back burner for sixteen years until the idea to publish my true tell-all story struck me in 2015. It was then that I decided to ask about publishing on Yahoo Answers, and I got a reply from a young lady, who told me about FREE self-publishing through a company called Smashwords. After checking them out, I got my first novella, “Ghostly Encounters” published in e-book form with them, and after Googling to find a free paperback self-publisher on the internet, I found Createspace.

Blaque: Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created?

Kevin: Yes, I do have a favorite character that I’ve created, and that character is Marcus Williams, who is “The Officer.” Marcus Williams is a man who transformed himself from a helpless victim into a lethal fighting machine, who is a force to be reckoned with.

Blaque: Before we wrap up your session, I have one last question for you.

Kevin: Ask away.

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

Kevin: The advice I would give anyone wanting to become an author is to not go into it without a back-up income source. In other words, have a bread and butter career that pays the bills without fail and delve into the writing as a hobby on the side. That way it is less stressful if your writing is slow to yield profits.

Blaque: Great advice. Many new authors get frustrated when they publish a book, and they don’t see the money rolling in automatically. Like any other business, you are going to invest more than you get out of it in the beginning, but if you stick with it and work hard to keep improving yourself, you will see the revenue you seek.

Kevin: That is so true.

Blaque: Thank you so much for an awesome interview!

Kevin: No, thank you. It has been a privilege speaking with you, and I appreciate the opportunity you have given me to share my books with the world.

Blaque: No problem. Well, leave potential new readers with your contact information so that they can check out your books and stay up-to-date on your writing career.

Kevin: Of course. Readers can visit my website Kevin D. Brady to check out my books.
I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter.

Both of my books can be found on Amazon and Createspace along with my other titles.

Ghostly Encounters book cover

The Sinless House

Blaque: Thanks again Kevin for stopping by. Until next time. Happy writing!

** NOTE **

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