Blaque Diamond Love Box Giveaway

Table displaying items included in Blaque Diamond's Love Box

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out the video here of me announcing the winner.

Author Q and A: Dr. Theresa Snell


“Choose  Your Mood” – Dr. Theresa Snell


Blaque: On today’s author spotlight, I have the pleasure of speaking with Dr. Theresa Snell. Welcome.


Dr. Snell: Thank you so much for having me Blaque Diamond.


Blaque: It’s always great to have another author to spotlight on my blog. There are so many authors out there just waiting to be discovered. It looks like you write children’s books. Is that correct?


Dr. Snell: Yes, that is correct.


Blaque: Well, you are the first children’s author I’ve ever featured so far.


Dr. Snell: Wow! I feel honored.


Blaque: I also write children’s stories, but I don’t consider myself a children’s author. I just like to make sure that children are included in the wonderful world of books.


Dr. Snell: Yes, reading is important for any age. The younger the better.


Blaque: I agree. Let’s jump right into it. What inspires you to write?


Dr. Snell: I began writing in response to my eldest child’s need for “one more story” before nap time. I noticed that my stories became his most frequent requests, and he was quite adamant that I not change the details. Writing them became a defense mechanism. After finishing my doctoral research on stress and coping skills, I felt compelled to offer a small trick or technique for kids dealing with frustration, worry, and low self-esteem.


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


Dr. Snell: Despite this year’s massive ragweed invasion, Fall remains my favorite. Though we are turning toward the darkest time of the year, humans choose to fill that time celebrating the past, expressing gratitude for the present, and hoping for the future. There is a magic to the ending of a year and brilliant colors against an otherwise barren landscape.


Blaque: We all have things that rub us the wrong way, so what is your biggest pet peeve?


Dr. Snell: Tardiness. I consider promptness to be a sign of respect and worry when those I care for are late. It is incredibly frustrating to me to make a commitment, to honor it, and then not to have that courtesy reciprocated. As a mother of champion dawdlers, I understand delays, but a text takes only a moment and saves me from looking up at every sound for the person I am counting on.


Blaque: Hmm . . . That is one of my biggest pet peeves as well. What is your favorite holiday, and why?


Dr. Snell: I love Halloween. In my home we explore the history and traditions behind every holiday we celebrate. There is so much hope in Halloween, that the light will chase away the dark. There is a history to the holiday that stretches back the the Celts, which still influences us today. The frivolity of costume shopping and trick or treating is fun and something . . . other than the daily routine. It doesn’t hurt that it is also one holiday without cooking requirements.


Blaque: Where do you see yourself in five years?


Dr. Snell: A writer writes. I hope in five years, I still call myself a writer, a storyteller, a teacher, a less terrible piano player, and a collector of hobbies. There is always a new adventure- even in the mundane.


Blaque: Who has been your biggest supporter on your writing journey?


Dr. Snell: I am imagining my mother and husband battling it out for the title of “biggest supporter” even now with my friends encircling them. I am so blessed in my friendships and family. Once I learned to ask for help, a floodgate opened to me.


Blaque: What kind of child were you growing up?


Dr. Snell: I was a girl of moods. I was an introvert, lost to the written word and a bubbly cheerleader for ten years. My family had an informal list of movies they recommended I avoid to save themselves from the wracking sobs. They probably experienced whiplash when my excitement overflowed and I began speaking too fast to follow. I loved every holiday except Easter, and I only hated that because I am truly dreadful at finding hidden things. I was drawn to theatre-to its drama and its discipline and considered studying it in college before the lure of anthropology, sociology, and psychology drew me in a different direction. I always needed to understand the why behind every action.


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


Dr. Snell: My notes are always handwritten in a notebook. From there I begin scratching out a rough draft. The rough draft is most often translated to computer until I am frustrated by not being able to hold the pages. I print the pages and, sometimes, my first draft.


Blaque: What is your zodiac sign?


Dr. Snell: I am an Aquarius. And boy, am I.


Blaque: I love to hear people’s answers to this question. If you were trapped on a desert island and could bring only one person, who would it be, and why?


Dr. Snell: I would bring my husband on any misadventure. I am the idea lady and he is the get-it-done man. My practical skills are seriously lacking. I can learn anything, but why not bring someone who already knows what to do?


Blaque: LOL. I see your point. If you were offered an all-expense paid trip anywhere in the world, where would you go, and why?


Dr. Snell: How long do I get to stay?! For a quick trip, I would love to visit Alaska. It is something so foreign from my norm. For an expedition, I would want to trek again through Europe. I would love to have more time in Budapest, or the area surrounding Prague.


Blaque: Do you have any other talents besides writing?


Dr. Snell: I draw a little, sing a little, and play a little piano.


Blaque: Is there anything you do a lot of? LOL.


Dr. Snell: I crochet a great deal. I am a collector of hobbies. Last year I had a wood burning kit and a driving, yet unrealized desire to learn to sew. This month I signed up for piano lessons.


Blaque: I see. LOL. I have always wanted to learn to crochet. I used to weave when I was younger, but I have never got the hang of crocheting. As authors, we all have made mistakes that we are not so proud of, what is the worst writing mistake you’ve ever made?


Dr. Snell: The worst writing mistake I have ever made is to stop writing.


Blaque: Wow! That’s a new one. No one has ever said that in response to that question. It’s usually marketing or editing related.


Dr. Snell: I’m sure, but that was definitely my biggest mistake.


Blaque: What is your favorite genre of music?


Dr. Snell: I lose cool points all the time for questions about music. I jam out to country and like to listen to the stories of blue grass. I dance to  anything. Kidz bop plays out of my speakers a little too often for my sanity, but I did have my six year old rocking out to Les Miserables this week, so, score!


Blaque: LOL. You still have your cool points with me. My music taste is all over the place. I just like music in general. My IPod is full of everything from Frank Sinatra to Chris Brown. I listen to it all. Music is therapy. If your best friend could describe you in one word, what would it be?


Dr. Snell: I hope my friend would describe me as accepting. I value my friends’ differences and enjoy discussing their passions. I suspect, however, that my sarcastic best friend would describe me as organized since my schedules are a source of much teasing.


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


Dr. Snell: Enjoy is a weak word for my need to read. I enjoy field trips with my kiddos and other homeschooling families, traveling, movies with magic and wonder, crocheting, dancing, comedy clubs, and local events in my community.


Blaque: It is always an amazing feeling to learn that someone has purchased a book you have written, but how does it make you feel when a reader tells you that they enjoyed reading your book?


Dr. Snell: A compliment, genuinely given, makes me blush still. I feel thrilled when I hear my stories helped get an idea across.


Blaque: What is your goal as an author?


Dr. Snell: My goal as an author is to continue to write. I would like to write words worthy of reading and find an audience who wants to share it with me.


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


Dr. Snell: I want to tell my younger self not to worry and not to doubt. I look back and see a girl searching rather than seeing; running rather than being. I am enough as I am, and knowing that has been a gift of adulthood.


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


Dr. Snell: As a writer, a huge hurdle has been that I tend to become lost in the big ideas and forget the details, or so lost in the details that I delay the writing.


Blaque: That was such an informative interview. I enjoyed getting to know you, and I’m sure your readers will enjoy it as well.


Dr. Snell: I Thank you so much for having me. I hope they enjoyed getting to know a bit more about me as well.


Blaque: It’s always nice to get to know the person behind the books. Even though we are authors, we are still people all the same.


Dr. Snell: That’s true.


Blaque: So, before we wrap up this session, leave the readers with your contact information so that they can reach out to you.


Dr. Snell: Sure. Readers can visit my website here.

Both of my books are available on Amazon, so purchase your copy. Be sure to leave a review! It is greatly appreciated.


I can be found on Twitter and Facebook if you would like to keep in contact.


Blaque: Well, I think that just about does it for me today. Until next time. Happy writing!




If you are an author, and you would like to be featured on my blog, visit Author Spotlight, and follow the directions to submit your interview.

Breathe Deep Dear Dragon Book Cover






Look Deep Dear Dragon Book Cover


Blessings are the Children


picture of children of different nationalities


Their beautiful and angelic laughter

The sound of their feet as they pitter patter

Jumping up and down with happiness and joy

All the little girls and little boys

Excited screams as they chase and run

Smiles adorn their faces as they enjoy fun

Sniffles from pain of their freshly cut boo boo

Shouts of excitement when they lose another tooth

Energetic and cheerful they always seem to be

Playing hide and seek and climbing trees

Screams of terror at the monster under their bed

Cries of pain from falling on their head

Sweet giggles from tickles on their tummy

Moans of satisfaction as they enjoy their favorite snack, yummy

Requests to play horsy or get piggy back rides

The look of curiosity and wonder in their eyes

Pleas and request to stay up just a little bit later

The sweetness of their voices as they say their bedtime prayer

Making your day with their gentle kisses and hugs

Grossing you out because they want to play with bugs

The pride in their voice as they recite their ABC’s

Whimpers from hurt from falling on their knees

Kisses on the cheek when you’re having a bad day

Tugs on your arm when they want to play

These are just some of the things our children do

But the most beautiful of them all is when they say I love you

There’s no hesitation or second-guessing

All the children of the world are god’s blessings