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

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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!

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.

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.

Author Q and A: SLF Entertainment

Charming without chance book cover
bad politics book cover

“Never settle even when you’re settling. Elevate!” – SLF Entertainment

Blaque: I’m back with another author spotlight interview. Today, I have the pleasure of speaking with SLF Entertainment. Thank you for stopping by.

SLF: Thank you for having me.

Blaque: So, let’s dive in and explore your life and what led you to become an author.

SLF: Let’s do it!

Blaque: What inspires you to write?

SLF: I have come across so many barriers. Some are big, and some are small, but they have all made me a better person. I get inspired by the things I go through and the things people I know, seen, or heard go through, and it’s all a part of life’s challenges.

Blaque: I love writing in my home office. It’s my place of peace. Where is your favorite place to write?

SLF: My bed is where I enjoy writing. I do just about all my writing in bed with the pillows propped up behind me against the headboard.

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

SLF: It would have to be spring, because I was born in April.

Blaque: Where are you from?

SLF: I am from Dallas, Texas.

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

SLF: Martin, Arthur, Goosebumps, and Star Trek are among some of the shows I watched as a child. “One Saturday Morning” had all the Cartoon Network shows that I loved to watch. I also enjoyed watching Moesha, The Parkers, Living Single, etc. I was watching some of everything.

Blaque: The Parkers was, and is still one of my favorite shows to watch. I have the entire show on DVD for my watching pleasure. LOL. What is your biggest pet peeve?

SLF: I have a hard time leaving things alone; especially when it doesn’t look “perfect.” I am a reformed perfectionist. I say this, because not pushing a chair under a table, wet counters near the sink, no punctuation in sentences, misspelled words, uneven lines, and procrastination bother me, but not so much to the point that I could scream. It just feels out of place. When it comes to my own work, I had to learn that nobody’s perfect. I just do the best that I can, find a stopping point and move on.

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

SLF: We depend on fear way too much. Fear is like an annoying person that tries to denounce who you are, or what you have done. If we just stopped speaking out of fear, stop letting fear control us, and stop giving fear so much power, we could live our lives freely.

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

SLF: My mother is one of the people who inspires me, because she is such an amazing, strong, and loving person. No matter what, she keeps her head up, and aims to do better each day. My family also inspires me because of their support and encouragement for me to succeed. Lastly, people that go after their dreams when facing adversity, because they know it’s possible to be and do whatever they want.

Blaque: We all have that food that we just have to have, what is your favorite food?

SLF: I love my greens: SPINACH, okra, sweet peas, salad, green beans, and sometimes kale. If it weren’t for Popeye, I don’t think I would love spinach as much as I do. LOL.

Blaque: I love all of the above greens except okra. Ewww! LOL. I can definitely do without that. What is your favorite holiday, and why?

SLF: I live for the end of every year: Thanksgiving and Christmas. Halloween, too, because I can watch scary movies back-to-back.

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

SLF: I have published three books: Charming Without Chance (2015), Charming Without Chance 2: Crimson Love (2016), and Bad Politics (2017).

Blaque: Where do you see yourself in five years?

SLF: In five years, I see myself enjoying my relationship with God, my family, my friends and all the good, positive things that I have experienced in life. I see myself getting to vacation whenever I want to. I also see myself working for myself with a great team of people, helping children and adults through my non-profit in my old neighborhood and spreading the love and message that God gave me to share.

Blaque: Sometimes the mind just draws a blank and ideas seem so far out of reach, how do you deal with writer’s block?

SLF: I don’t force the writing. I have to do something else like paint, read, or do a project. I leave the writing alone for a few days and then come back to it. Lately, I find what helps is to already have a plot going, and sometimes how I want the story to end.

Blaque: What can bring tears to your eyes?

SLF: A really sad movie can bring tears to my eyes. Whenever I can feel the tears coming, I look away and start shaking my head, and I say, “Awwww naw, they done got me for my tears.” LOL.

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

SLF: Honestly, I would start my own non-profit in my old neighborhood. It would be two centers. One would be an afterschool facility for kids to be creative and educated. The second would be a place for adults to get their High school Diploma/GED, assist with finding employment and a home. It will also teach about the dollar bill and how to invest, save, and spend it.

Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?

SLF: I was very quiet around others. A little shy, but mostly because I wasn’t quick to get comfortable around people outside of my family. At home, I was funny, playful, creative, and a big sister – most people thought I was an only child.

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

SLF: My favorite would have to be my latest book, “Bad Politics” because I was able to learn from my first two books and apply that knowledge to it. And mostly, because I have wanted to write this story for years. A group of women working together to make their dreams a reality in the music industry – I felt it was a much needed story.

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

SLF: Experiences I have gone through, or that others I do/don’t know have gone through inspire my stories. Little things like a quote, a song, or a random thought can give me a story idea.

Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?

SLF: I love 90’s R&B all day, every day. I also enjoy smooth jazz.

Blaque: I am a huge 90’s R & B fan as well. What advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

SLF: Stop saying “but” – “I want to write a book, but…” You can write a book or write anything you want. You can also self-publish like I have. You just have to research and commit to trial and error. You won’t know what can happen until you try it.

Blaque: That is great advice. I try to tell people that all the time. It’s not as hard as they think it is. As long as writing is your passion, you will know when you should begin, or how you should begin. Do you have any other talents besides writing?

SLF: Yes. I am a creative artist. I write songs, poetry, and short stories. I have my own painting business – Fascinating Paintings. I host my own podcast show – Characters Here, and I love Do-It-Yourself projects.

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

SLF: I feel all bubbly inside. It’s like getting an award for sharing my passion. It’s like a stamp of approval. I love feedback.

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

SLF: I want to write full-time. Like, writing will be my day job. I want to be on a panel with other authors, and I want to sell 100 books a day.

Blaque: What has been the hardest hurdle you’ve had to jump over while embarking on your writing journey?

SLF: Self-doubt and fear have been my hardest hurdles. I have second-guessed myself and talked myself out of opportunities instead of putting my trust in God and allowing him to take over. By myself I knew I couldn’t do much, but with God, I can do all things.

Blaque: What inspired your latest book?

SLF: Not seeing enough representation of women standing together, working together, and uplifting one another inspired my latest book.
Blaque: Thank you so much for sharing things about yourself that I’m sure your readers didn’t know.

SLF: No problem. I want my readers to get to know the person behind the words.

Blaque: So, do you have a website where readers can check out your work and more about you?

SLF: yes, readers can visit my website here.

Blaque: And are you active on social media?

SLF: Yes, if any readers are interested in keeping up with me and my latest releases, they can follow me on Instagram and on my Facebook fan page here.

Blaque: Well, this concludes another interesting and informative author spotlight interview. 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.

Author Q and A: Carol A. Gibbs

 

Blaque: Good morning everyone. Let’s see who I get to speak with today on another edition of author spotlight.

 

Carol: Hello Blaque Diamond.

 

Blaque: Oh, hello Carol. Nice of you to join me today. I love doing author spotlights. It gives me the opportunity to check out other author’s works.

 

Carol: I am very thankful for this opportunity to spotlight with you today.

 

Blaque: Thank you for joining me. We as independent authors sometimes need a little help in drawing in new readers, and this is my way of doing so. Hopefully, this interview will help your readers get to know you better and urge them to take interest in your work.

 

Carol: That’s my hope as well.

 

Blaque: Well, why don’t we get started? First, where are you from?

 

Carol: I am from Fort Lee, Virginia.

 

Blaque: How would you describe your personality?

 

Carol: I have a very bubbly personality. I’m also optimistic about life. I try to find the good in everything.

 

Blaque: Don’t we all? At least I try to see the good in everything. Always looking at things with a negative outlook only produces negative results. Everything isn’t going to be perfect, but at least think they will be.

 

Carol: Exactly!

 

Blaque: Where is your favorite place to write?

 

Carol: My favorite place to write is on a pier by the river.

 

Blaque: I can see why. That is such a peaceful scene. It can definitely help stimulate ideas for new stories. So, how many books have you published to date?

 

Carol: I have one book published so far. The sequel will be out in February.

 

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

 

Carol:  My family has definitely been the biggest supporters of my writing career.

 

Blaque: Who is your favorite author, and why?

 

Carol: My favorite author is Mary Monroe. Her books bring her characters to life.

 

Blaque: Wow! She is also one of my favorite authors as well. I think I have read every book she has ever written. LOL. Well, since we already know who your favorite author is, what is your all-time favorite book?

 

Carol: Well, God Don’t Like Ugly by Mary Monroe, of course. LOL.

 

Blaque: Why am I not surprised? LOL. I have read that entire series at least five times. Rhoda is my favorite character.

 

Carol: Yeah, that was my favorite book of them all.

 

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

 

Carol: I have a full-time job in customer service. Writing is my second job for right now.

 

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

 

Carol: I deal with writer’s block by listening to music.

 

Blaque: Some of us also have other talents besides writing, do you have any other talents besides writing?

 

Carol: My other talents besides writing are singing and photography.

 

Blaque: I’m so jealous. I wish I could sing. People always ask me if I can sing, and I have to sadly admit I can’t. Because of my soft-spoken voice, people always assume that I can sing, but I wouldn’t tell that lie to anyone. LOL.

 

Carol: LOL.

 

Blaque: What is the worst writing mistake you’ve ever made?

 

Carol: My worst writing mistake was not describing the characters more in detail.

 

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

 

Carol: When I’m not writing, I love singing, photography, and volunteering at shelters.

 

Blaque: What is your biggest pet peeve?

 

Carol: My biggest pet peeve is negativity and gossip.

 

Blaque: You and me both. They aren’t my biggest pet peeves, but they are also on my list of things I can’t stand. If there was one thing in the world you could change, what would it be?

 

Carol: The one thing I would change is the lack of shelters for the homeless.

 

Blaque: That is so unfortunate. Coming from someone who has been homeless myself, I did have the privilege to stay in a shelter while I searched for housing. Some people aren’t as fortunate as I have been.

 

Carol: That is right. It is a sad situation.

 

Blaque: What is your favorite color?

 

Carol: My favorite color is black.

 

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

 

Carol: No, so far I’m the only one.

 

Blaque: What is your zodiac sign?

 

Carol: My zodiac sign is Sagittarius.

 

Blaque: What is your fondest childhood memory?

 

Carol: My fondest childhood memory is traveling the world as a military brat.

 

Blaque: I bet that was exciting.

 

Carol: Yes, it was.

 

Blaque: If you could talk to your younger self, what would you tell him or her?

 

Carol: I would tell her to never give up on her dreams.

 

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

 

Carol: My favorite team is the Washington Redskins. Don’t judge me. LOL.

 

Blaque: No judgment here. LOL. I am not a fan of sports, so it doesn’t bother me. So, are you a cat, or are you a dog person?

 

Carol: I love cats. I have two of my own.

 

Blaque: What are you currently working on?

 

Carol: I’m currently working on the sequel to my first novel, “Faith, Love, and Betrayal.”

 

Blaque: What is your favorite type of dessert?

 

Carol: I love German chocolate cake.

 

Blaque: Describe your latest book in just ten words.

 

Carol: When man says no, God says yes.

 

Blaque: I like that. That is definitely true. Anything is possible with God at the head. Well, that wraps up another successful author spotlight. Thank you so much Carol for stopping by.

 

Carol: Thank you for taking out the time to speak with me. Now, I will give the readers my contact info.

 

Blaque: LOL. Look at you trying to take over.

 

Carol: LOL. Sorry.

 

Blaque: No problem. Yes, you are correct. Give the readers all of your info so they can purchase your book and follow you on social media.

 

Carol: Ok. My first novel, “Faith, Love, and Betrayal,” is now available on Amazon.

Readers can check out my website here.

If you would like to follow my writing journey, you can follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

 

Blaque: Well done. Again, it was nice speaking with you Carol. Until next time. Happy writing!

 

**Note** If you are an indie author and would like to spotlight on my blog, please follow the directions on Author Spotlight and submit your interview

 

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.

Why His or Her Betrayal?

 

 

Book cover of His or Her Betrayal? A woman is looking into a mirror, but a man's face is reflected back at her instead of her own image

 

I often get asked the question,

 

“Why did you decide to write a story about a trans-gender person? Don’t you think people won’t read your book because of your topic choice?”

 

My answer is because it is a taboo subject in society. Especially in the African-American community. Most people don’t want to talk about it because it makes them uncomfortable. I am sensitive to everyone. I don’t hold ill-feelings towards someone just because of their sexual preference or gender identity. People who suffer from (GID), or gender identity disorder are just as human as you or me. I don’t discriminate against them or anyone else. I have enough that I am discriminated on myself in my daily life, so I am not one to judge or point fingers. I think of anyone in the LGBTQ community just as I think of myself. I am discriminated against just for being blind, so why would I put that same hurt and pain on someone else? I know how hard it can be. Our pain might be different, but we all suffer in one way or another.

 

I wanted to tell this story from the point of view of an African-American family. Because most African-American families grow up in the Christian faith, it is taught that homosexuality is a sin. In some cases, people believe it is a sin punishable by death. Some people in society are so homophobic, they believe that every person that is attracted to the same sex that they automatically are attracted to them. For instance, some heterosexual men assume that a gay man wants them just because he is gay. That is not the case. Just because someone is attracted to the same sex that you are, doesn’t mean they want you. That kind of thinking really gets on my nerves. As long as someone is not disrespecting you, then I don’t think that their sexual orientation should matter, but that’s just my own opinion. No matter what, people are going to be people. They’re going to think how they want to think, and there is nothing anyone can do to change what has been in-graved in them.

 

In the story “His or Her Betrayal?”, I wanted to depict a real-life situation that is happening in society today. Unfortunately, this is the time we live in. No matter how much we progress, there are still some who want to remain ignorant and hate people for one reason or another. People like to use the Bible as a source for why they think that everyone in the LGBTQ community are sinners and are going to hell. I don’t believe that. I think God made everyone exactly how he wanted them to be. Some think it’s a choice, but I beg to differ. In some cases it is a choice, but not in all circumstances. Personally I know of people who are Gay, Lesbian, or even trans-gender, and I know it wasn’t a choice that they made. Nobody wants to purposely be ridiculed and tormented all their lives. Sometimes you can tell when a child is young that they are going to be gay, lesbian, or trans-gender. Do you think children really choose that? No. As children we have no idea what sexuality is. So, how can they choose to be gay, lesbian, or trans-gender? Things people say sometimes just doesn’t make any sense. They just want to find a reason to shun someone.

 

Although my story didn’t end in a happily-ever-after, I wanted to depict a real reaction that someone would have when they found out the person they loved wasn’t who they led them to believe. My character Michelle had been degraded and ridiculed all her life by her father because of who she was, so she felt that the only way she could find happiness was by keeping her past a secret. It was the wrong thing to do, and the story ended in tragedy. I didn’t want Michelle’s life to end so soon, but the reality was more important than my fantasy. If I had made Jason react in a positive way to finding out about Michelle’s past, then the story would not have reflected reality. In this day and time, people are not fond of trans-gender people, so Jason’s reaction to the news expressed his hurt, anger, and feelings of betrayal. The second part of the story tells the father’s story. Now, I know it probably came as a shock to the readers when they found out why Melvin felt the way he did about his own child. The purpose of me writing this part of the story was to show how society sometimes forces people to hide who they truly are in order to fit society’s mold of who we should be. The truth was exposed in the end and lives were lost, but all secrets were revealed.

 

I feel things like this can be avoided if people would just stop worrying so much about what is right and wrong according to their beliefs. If they let people live their lives the way they see fit, then tragedies like this wouldn’t happen. I feel if God disagrees with the way someone is living their life, then he and only he can be the judge of that. It is not up to anyone else to tell someone how they should live life. I am a Christian and I do believe in God, but I also believe that he doesn’t make any mistakes. He made everyone different for his own particular reason, and it isn’t up to you or me to ask why. As long as someone isn’t harming you, your family, or mistreating you in any way, then they should be allowed to live life in peace. I am open-minded and I don’t believe that everything is black and white. We don’t know why God created the things he did, but it’s not for us to question. I just try to live my life as I see fit and worry about what is going on in my own life, instead of what someone else is or isn’t doing in theirs. When judgment day arrives, we will all have to answer to our life choices. Until then, live for you and not how someone else tells you you’re supposed to live.

 

The title of the book is punctuated with a question mark because I want you as the reader to determine who you believe has been betrayed. That is a conclusion I want you to draw once you have read the book in its entirety. If you haven’t had a chance to check out my novel, “His or Her Betrayal?” Please do so and leave me your thoughts with a review. You can navigate over to my Blaque Diamond’s Books link where my published books are listed. There you can choose from which retailer you would like to purchase your copy of “His or Her Betrayal?” It is available in paperback and as an EBook. I look forward to hearing from you.

 

Author Q and A: Annette Whitaker-Moss

 

 

Picture of author Annette Whitaker-Moss

 

“My mouth will speak with caution, but my tongue has no limits as my heart strives to motivate happiness, joy, and understanding the essence of love and longevity.” – Annette Whitaker-Moss

 

Blaque: On today’s author spotlight, I’m taking a trip down south to Houston, Texas. I have the pleasure of speaking with Annette Whitaker-Moss.

 

Annette: It is nice to meet you Blaque Diamond.

 

Blaque: It is nice to meet you as well. So, are you originally from Houston?

 

Annette: Yes, I grew up in Houston, Texas.

 

Blaque: Nice. So, what do you write?

 

Annette: I am a poet and author. I have been writing poetry since I was young.

 

Blaque: Awesome! I write poetry as well, and I write what I consider contemporary African-American fiction. I’m sure your poetry expresses your joy, faith, pain, and love throughout each and every word. So, I want to let readers get to know more about the woman behind the poetic proses.

 

Annette: Great! I have a lot to tell my readers about myself.

 

Blaque: As we all do. It’s nice sometimes to pull off the professional attire and put on some lounging clothes to relax in. That’s the kind of scene I like to paint, so author’s can be themselves and open up to their readers. So, tell me, what makes you uniquely you?

 

Annette: What makes me uniquely me is my sense of humor and the truthfulness and sarcasm within it. Once a person understands my personality, I am then recognized as a very good friend.

 

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

 

Annette: I prefer writing my first drafts on the computer because it’s neater, faster in correcting errors, and easier to add or delete, if desired.

 

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

 

Annette: Most of my story ideas come from life experiences of myself and others sharing what they have gone through.

 

Blaque: Yes, I can definitely agree to that. What I write, I’m sure someone in this big ole world has experienced before, even if I don’t know them personally. That’s why readers can relate to my work so well. It’s reality. So, what advice would you give someone who aspires to be an author?

 

Annette: I tell everyone I know who has a passion for writing to always write their thoughts and ideas down on paper or the computer, because that’s what writers do, they write. The goal is to keep writing and creating. You can always organize, edit, etc., if you have a starting point. Publishing and marketing is a whole lesson on its own, but you can’t start publishing unless you have written something down. So, keep writing!

 

Blaque: That is some sound advice you gave. My zodiac sign is Virgo, what is your zodiac sign?

 

Annette: My zodiac sign is Sagittarius, which has a suggested personality of high purpose, creativity and ambition. I can truly say that I fit all three categories.

 

Blaque: If you were trapped on a desert island and could bring only one person, who would it be and why?

 

Annette: If I was trapped on a desert island, I would bring my BFF, because we have weathered many storms together. Our faith and strength are in God. Through him, all things are possible. The two of us would encourage one another and survive any ordeal we encountered.

 

Blaque: Do you have any other talents besides writing?

 

Annette: My other talents, as a teenager, was oil painting and playing the piano. I haven’t done much of either lately since I started writing, but I still have a passion for both. Someday, when time permits, I would like to start again painting and playing the piano.

 

Blaque: Hmm . . . Interesting. As a teen, my talent was drawing. I could practically duplicate almost anything I wanted by just looking at it. I do miss drawing, but I now draw pictures with my words instead. I know I’m guilty of this, but have you ever used people you know as characters in your books?

 

Annette: Yes, my first novel, Good Kid in Trouble was based on true events that happened in my son’s life while he was in middle school. Things are so different from when I was in school. In this day and time, I felt it was a story that needed to be told.

 

Blaque: What is your all-time favorite movie?

 

Annette: My all-time favorite movie is Pretty Women with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. You never know how God will deliver a blessing, so people must be careful in how they treat others.

 

Blaque: We all have things that we are afraid of, so tell me yours. What is your biggest fear?

 

Annette: I am directionally-challenged. My biggest fear is being lost. I will break out in hives when I can’t find my way to any desired location. And, that’s with using the GPS. It’s ridiculous!

 

Blaque: Well, that certainly is a justifiable fear. I’m sure no one wants to be lost. So, I see you mentioned earlier that you have a BFF.

 

Annette: Yes, I do.

 

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

 

Annette: Genuine

 

Blaque: What is the worst writing mistake you’ve ever made?

 

Annette: The worst writing mistake I made was not having my first book of poetry professionally edited. Although the mistakes were minimum, the price to correct them was costly.

 

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

 

Annette: When I am not writing, I love to swing dance in my spare time. I’m not that good at it, but I love trying!

 

Blaque: Wow! Swing dancing? That’s definitely something different. I’m not sure I’m brave enough to try it though. Lol. As children we all dream of what we want to be when we grow up, so what did you want to be when you grew up? Is that the occupation you’re in now?

 

Annette: I wanted to be an accountant when I grew up. I earned my Bachelor’s Degree in Business. I did not become an accountant, but I have always worked in the accounting field.

 

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

 

Annette: Writing is like a second job for me. Unfortunately, writing has not paid the bills, but my time is coming when writing will be my full-time job. That is the goal!

 

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

 

Annette: I am not really an animal lover. However, I’ve had two dogs in my lifetime that I really loved and felt loved in return. My last dog was named “Missy”. I had her for seventeen years. We had to euthanize her two years ago.

 

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

 

Annette: I am so amazed when a reader tells me they enjoyed reading my books. I really feel blessed to know that someone else can relate and enjoy my poems and/or stories. The feedback really keeps me motivated.

 

Blaque: What is your goal as an author?

 

Annette: My goal as an author is to be an inspiration to my children, nieces, and nephews. I want them to know they can do or be anyone they want, if they work hard and believe in themselves and whatever it is that they want to do. As a writer, I want to write a best-seller that can be made into a play and/or a movie.

 

Blaque: As authors, I think we all would like to see our books performed on stages and broadcasted on the big-screen, including myself. What has been the hardest hurdle you had to jump over while embarking on your writing career?

 

Annette: I think most authors would say marketing is the hardest hurdle one has to jump over in this career. It has certainly been the hardest for me. I rather write than market, but you can’t really be successful without doing both, unless you write strictly for fun.

 

Blaque: I agree 100%. Marketing is definitely the hardest hurdle I am having to jump over. Once I really find my audience though, I feel things will level themselves out. As an author, we are also readers, so what is your all-time favorite book?

 

Annette: Sybil, written by Flora Rheta Schreiber in 1973. I am simply fascinated with multiple personality’s stories. Sybil was the first one that I read. It was the beginning of my love for identity disorder stories.

 

Blaque: Well, we have come to the end of another interesting and informative author spotlight interview. I enjoyed getting to know Annette just as much as I’m sure the rest of you did.

 

Annette: it was a great opportunity for me to open up and let my readers see the layers that make me who I am.

 

Blaque: Well, you know we can’t end things without giving readers a chance to check out your work. So, where can your books be found?

 

Annette: Of course not. This is promotion isn’t it? Lol.

 

Blaque: Yes, it is.

 

Annette: My book of poetry entitled One Heart to Another can be purchased as an EBook and paperback from Amazon and other retailers  and my novel Good Kid in Trouble can be purchased from Amazon as an EBook.

 

Blaque: Do you have a website?

 

Annette: Yes, readers can visit my website to purchase my published books, see up-coming events, and learn more about me and my writing by visiting Annette Whitaker’s Website.

 

Blaque: Ok, nice. Where can readers find you on social media?

 

Annette: I am on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Readers can feel free to follow me to keep up with the latest of my writing journey.

 

Blaque: Thank you so much for the opportunity to speak with you today.

 

Annette: Thanks so much for having me. It was nice to relax and take a load off.

 

Blaque: Lol. My pleasure. 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.

 

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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