Sunday, December 20, 2009

Text Messaging - All bad?

With all the news about a certain golfer and a certain situation, one issue has fallen from the forefront in the media coverage. The gossip columns and mainstream anchors have moved on to the more sizzling details.  Long forgotten is the cause of the whole golfer turned bad guy scandal. Text messaging. Text messaging and cell phones started this whole mess for the billion dollar athlete. Text messaging has also managed to embarass other public figures as well. Once you hit send the recipient has the power. They can keep your message saved and use it for blackmail or profit, such as the recent case. People need to think before sending messages...better yet, use better all around judgment. First of all, you have no business sending inapropriate messages to anyone other than your spouse.
How do you use your cell phone?
Do you use text messaging and how?
Once a scandal breaks out are text messages  fair game for the media to dispense to the world?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

We all lead full lives. When you are very busy it is hard to imagine time for yourself, let alone planning and prioritizing that time. If you do create time to be alone...congratulations! (You're one of the few)

If you don’t, consider this: when you are not taking time out for yourself, you risk living a life that is disconnected from who you are. I'm willing to guess that it's difficult to remember what you did last Tuesday.

By taking time out just for you, to quiet your mind and have peace, you are able to reconnect your head with your heart. When you are disconnected you might find yourself anxious, indecisive and making decisions that please others rather than decisions that serve to create a better life for you. Take a little time to enjoy the simple things; perhaps a glass of wine or a good book (hint, hint)

It doesn’t have to be fancy or elaborate. All you have to do is simply schedule at least 15 minutes everyday for yourself. Choose a comfortable, quiet place—it can be anywhere, in a park, in your room. Take a deep breath, quiet your mind and settle down.

As you make this a daily practice or as often as you can you will begin to notice that you feel more grounded, relaxed and more content with your life.

How often do you feel run by your schedule?
Do you feel like there is not enough time in the day to achieve what you want?
Are you able to find relaxation time?

If you enjoy reading, please take a look at my website:
Perhaps a good book will take your mind to another place. I'm gigving away a FREE 15 Chapter preview of my latest novel. Sign up for your copy by clicking the above link. Enjoy!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Introducing Kyus Philnesta

Kyus Philnesta – Writer, Author & Poet

Bio - Kyus was born and raised in Miami, FL. She now resides in Pembroke Pines with her husband, Broderick, their 4 yr old son and their 15 yr old nephew. Kyus received her Associate Degree in General Studies from Miami Dade Community College. She continued her education at Florida International University where she earned her Bachelor Degree in Criminal Justice. She has been working in the criminal justice field for the past 24 yrs.

Kyus selfpublished her first book, To the Heart of Things, A Chapbook of Poetry in 2001. Her depute novel, Because of Love was derived from one of her poems in that book.

What do you want readers to take away from your book?
There are two things I want to bring to light in my books. First I want to focus on issues that changes my protagonist life. I don't want to just write love stories, (although Because of Love is a love story) or write about the drama that goes on in relationships. I want to take issues like rape, death, teenage pregnancy or serious illnesses like cancer and place these issues in their lives. I want to show strong, solid relationships (marriages, friendships, families, couples) being shattered by uncontrollable events and then show how these issues is dealt with.
The second thing I want from my readers is to awaken their moral consciousness. When they find themselves facing a crisis beyond their control and must make a moral decision, do they allow what they have been taught to shape their decision, even if their heart is wrapped up in pain? Or do they allow the pain or anger or hatred or what ever the emotion is, to be the guiding factor on how the crisis is handled.

Are you a believer in outlines or do you write spontaneously?
RL, I do a little of both. In Because of Love I wrote an outline. I needed a way to keep track of time, people ages, events, etc. (besides, it was my first book). But eventually the book just took off. Instead of me taking my characters on a journey, they took me. I just penned the words.

But for the two books I’m writing now (one is a sequel to Because of Love) my outline is in my head. I haven’t written anything down. I just know where I want to go and how I want to get there. Who knows, maybe my characters will take me on another journey.

What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?
To answer this question, I cheated. It would be so easy for me to tell you, ‘Oh, my novel is this’ or ‘my novel is that’. ‘It’s filled with this and it’ll make you that.’ But what I did was looked back at some of my reader’s reviews. What was it that kept them turning the pages? Here’s what some of them had to say:

Great 1st Read!!

“The story kept my attention and I wanted to read more. I really got into the characters and had personal emotions about each. It took me away as I wanted it to. I don’t usually read a book in 2 days, but it was hard to put down because I became personally involved with the characters and wanted to see where life took them. I always think a good story, whether a novel, movie, or someone telling it, is one that gives you an unexpected twist and this one did just that.

The mentions of current events and Miami exclusives was intriguing (i.e. Palmetto Espy, Ft. Lauderdale . . . even mentioning TJ morning show, state of real estate and the economy . . .).”
Nicole DuVall

Hi my name is Nicole
I received your book from a co-worker to read. I started reading it on a Tues I was done by Thurs when I say your book was so wonderful to read words just can't explain. My kids call me a slow reader because I like to read but I will have the book for weeks, but when I started your book I couldn't put it down it was so good. I would fall asleep reading this book and wake up still reading it (to funny) that is how much I enjoyed it. There has been only one other author that has caught my attention the way that you have and that is Mary Monroe she is my favorite author. I’m going to recommend your book with my friends and family especially my mother she will love it just as much as I did. There needs to be a part 2 to that book in the future.Thank you,

I finally read your book and what a wonderful book it was!!!!! If I could give you an award for your writing (book), I would because I thought it was just that good/great. I think it was well written and could be compared to such writers as Kimberla Lawson Roby and Carl Webber. I enjoyed how easy it was to read, the twists it offered and oh, the illusions. I think it leaves room to a sequel into the lives of Lena and Kyle getting married and their lives thereafter, etc. I like the strong family support that both Kyle and Tony had as well as their true, tried and tested friendship. Oh, and you really did your homework when it came to your research. You provided clear information of symptoms, treatment and it's effects. Oh and the medical terminology and name of medicine was right on target. There were sooo many good parts about the book.

Keep up the good work and don't forget me when.....

How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?
My supporters can reach me via my website:, email: and on Face Book.

RL, thank you for this wonderful opportunity and wonderful exposure!

Be Blessed,
Kyus Philnesta

Kyrus... Thank you
-RL Taylor, author of The Last Ms. Understanding and Champagne, Jellybeans, and Chocolate

Leave a comment and be entered in a drawing to receive a FREE e-book of The Last Ms. Understanding

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Keep Your Head Up

Sometimes the person we show to our mate is a mask. The mask says that we are confident. But behind the mask, tells the real story....
Many people have low self esteem and fear rejection.
You can only attract to you what you believe about yourself.
In other words, most times, you will get what you think you deserve. Only you know how you feel about yourself. So often, we want to be swept off our feet as we see on the movie screen or in a book. The term, "soul mate". Is that even possible, or realistic?
Soul Mate is defined as a strong magnetic ffinity to another person.It's easy to become attracted to the wrong person for what we need to fill in ourselves.Sometimes people falsely fill this hole looking outside of themselves. It doesn't work.Today, be courageous and look at your self esteem.
What connection is there between your self esteem and how you are being treated in your relationship?
When you improve your self esteem, you will attract the love you truly desire...
How important is self esteem in a relationship?
What can you do to build your loved one up?

For more information on RL Taylor and/or to recieve a FREE 15 Chapter preview of his latest novel; Champagne, Jellybeans, and Chocolate click here
To listen to RL read excerpts from his books click here

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Disturbing Facts?

Can we believe these statistics?
They were posted online and I questioned their authenticity...
How can each of us help create positive change?
Are authors and entertainers instrumental in influencing societal behavoir?
What types of storylines are you most interested in?
Is this propaganda?

RL Taylor reads several chapters from his books. Listen by clicking here

-70% of all black children are born out of wedlock.
-62% of black families with children are headed by a single parent.
-85% of black children do not live in a home with their fathers.
-Only 15-20% of black children born today will grow up with 2 parents until age 16.
-70% of African-American boys in the criminal justice system come from single-parent homes.
-50% of all new AIDS cases are in the Black community which comprises only 12% of the population.
-85% of all AIDS cases in Atlanta are black women.
-African-Americans are 20 times more likely than other races to have gonorrhea.
-AIDS is now the #1 killer of black women, age 25-44.
-67% of black women with AIDS contracted HIV thru heterosexual sex.
-Black men in America engage in polygamous relationships, 3 1/2 times that of White or Hispanics.
-Nearly 2 million black males are either currently in a state or federal prison or have been in one.
-By age 30, only 52% of black women will marry compared to 81% of white women, 77% of Hispanics and Asians.

Can this be true? What can each of us do to help if it is?

RL Taylor hopes to create positivity through his writing.
To listen to RL reading excerpts from his novels click here

For a free 15 Chapter preview of his latest novel Champagne, Jellybeans, and Chocolate visit the official website at:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Another review for The Last Ms. Understanding

Review written by Poeticsoul "Ginae" (Texas)

I see a sequel coming on..., October 24, 2009

4 out of 5 stars

The Last Ms. Understanding is a book that anyone can relate to. One cannot help but become engrossed in the story line from beginning to end. The book never becomes stagnant and will keep your interest throughout. The author does a great job of showing both sides of the story, but still keeping you guessing and wondering at what might happen next. Hold onto your seat as Rita and Lee ride one emotional rollercoaster ride after another...see what happens as two people try and keep secrets while sinking further and further into their web of deceit. Not only will you not be dissapointed, but you'll find yourself anxiously wanting more...yes, I see a sequel coming and can only hope that the author does as well...

Order your copy today! Now available as an e-book ($4) To order click here

Post Traumatic Stress + Relationships

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a recurrent emotional reaction to a terrifying, uncontrollable or life-threatening event. It is a real illness and treatment can help. The onset of anxiety and other post traumatic stress disorders is directly linked to any terrifying and violent event that threatens the life of an individual or the family. It doesn't necessarily mean the individual was directly threatened.This disorder is a very common problem that affects individuals after going through a horrifying experience.

In my new novel Champagne, Jellybeans, and Chocolate the main character Royce Tyler suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. He has recently suffered a major tragedy and loss in his life. This has sent him spiraling out of control and homeless. At this low point in life he is reaquainted with his college girlfriend Paula Daniels. He is very interested in reconnecting with her. Should he tell her the truth about his mental state?
Is it any of her business? What would you do?

Read on to learn a little more about what PTSD is and what Royce is facing?

Maybe you or someone you know has battled this illness as well...

Symptoms of PTSD such as profound shock, anxiety and despair are often manifested in victims. Also common are avoidance, anxiety, nightmares, irritability and detachment. Symptoms of PTSD include flashbacks of the traumatic event, nightmares of the traumatic event, emotional numbness, poor sleeping patterns depression and/or irritability or outbursts of anger. After the terrifying ordeal, the person who develops post traumatic stress disorder or a related symptom will become emotionally numb, lose interest in things they previously enjoyed, become irritable, more aggressive, startle easily or perhaps become violent.

Depression is a common product of this inability to resolve painful feelings. Disassociation, or other mental health problems can develop as a result of this terrifying experience. Alcohol or other substance abuse, or other anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with PTSD.

It is imperative this help be obtained quickly through contacting your family doctor, hospitals, private clinics, local psychiatric societies, mental health specialists such as psychologists and social workers or your local victims of crime association. The police and social service agencies will be able to provide you with this contact information if you cannot locate it in your phone book.

For further information visit the National Institute of Mental Health site at

For a free 15 chapter preview of author RL Taylor's Champagne, Jellybeans, and Chocolate or to learn more about other books please visit

Friday, October 30, 2009

RL Taylor is interviewed by Real Sista Writers

The following interview was conducted by Ginae from Real Sista Writers Yahoo Group.
My debut novel The Last Ms. Understanding was selected as their October Book of the Month
-Tell us how you got started into writing ?

A: I used to be a habitual reader up until about 7 or 8 years ago. Life got busy and my reading slowed down.
Then, a friend of mine told me he was writing a book and suggested I give it a try. That prompted the reading bug again, and the next thing I know I was writing. I also studied the craft very hard, submerging myself in articles, books, and magazines surrounding the subject of writing. For the past 3 years I have been writing almost daily, and I don’t see an end in sight.

-How did you come up with the title for your book and what was the mindset behind it?

A: The Last Ms. Understanding was my debut novel. The title is a play on words and basically means that sometimes in relationships understanding is needed. In this book the main female character is very understanding, but sometimes misunderstandings can be used as an excuse to hide the truth.

-Tell us about any current projects you're working on...

A: I am currently working on promoting my new novel; Champagne , Jellybeans, and Chocolate. I also have two other books completed and I’m having trouble figuring out which one to focus my attention on as I embark on the final edits for each. They are titled Check Mate and Dreaming of a Crayon Sun, which is the 2nd book in the Champagne , Jellybeans, and Chocolate series. The third book in the series is being written right now and titled, Dragonfly Summer. Read more about these books on the internet at

-What advice would you give other writers trying to write their first novel?

A: I would say to not give up, keep writing, and educate yourself as much as possible. Self-publishing can be difficult, especially when you’re trying to gain an audience and respect as a quality author. Don’t doubt your ability, you just may be talented.

-As a male, did you find it difficult to put a woman's voice to your book?

A: I thought about various women I know or have known. Being married to an independent professional woman was a blessing because I know how strong women can be. In each book I hope to portray women in a positive light. I see too many books today with women sleeping around and being promiscuous. I feel that is a bad representation of our women.

-How did you come up with the story line for your book?

A: The storyline evolved as I wrote it. I tried to stick to an outline but added extra twists and turns inside every chapter. I really wanted to keep the reader guessing as they read on. I put myself in each characters shoe’s to ask myself how I would react in their situation.

-Is there anything different or any changes you wish you had made regarding the story and/or characters looking back?

A: I kind of like how it ended up. The reason I say this is because I receive so many varying views on who was right, and who was wrong. Some female readers really were pulling for Rita. Others couldn’t stand her. The same is true with Lee. Most readers said he was the “typical man”, and I’m not sure if that was a compliment or not. You and others have hinted at a sequel, so I feel like I delivered. A sequel may be in the works soon…

-Which character do you find your readers tend to identify with the most?

A: I would say half and half. The women say either Rita or Simone. All men say Lee. I patterned a lot of his behavior after myself and decisions I’ve made. Good or bad. There is definitely a wide range of characters in the book. Everyone will be able to identify with one of them.

-What are some of your favorite books?

A: I have to say that I’m all over the map as far as reading. I will mix in some non-fiction at times, but fiction novels…. I really enjoyed, John Grisham “The Street Lawyer”, Brandon Massey “Cornered”, and Stuart Woods “Short Straw"

-Anything else you would like to tell us about RL?

A: I want readers to know that I am going to turn out books that are truly different. I will make sure to present women in a positive light and not degrade. At the same time I assure you that you will be thoroughly entertained. My goal is to not have any dull chapters. I want readers to love my books as much as I enjoy crafting the stories.

I’m currently running a free promo on my website. Readers can go there thru November and sign up for a free 15 chapter preview of Champagne, Jellybeans, and Chocolate.

Thanks again Ginae, I want to thank you for the opportunity to be selected as the book of the month and for this interview. I wish you all the best in any of your endeavors.

RL Taylor

Monday, October 26, 2009

Their Eyes Were Reading Smut

The following is an article by Nick Chiles, the editor in chief of Odyssey Colour Magazine.

He is also the co-author w/ Denene Millner of, "A Love Story"
This article was published a while ago in the New York Times.
What is your opinion?
Has "street-lit" been a blessing or a curse?
Should African-American books be lumped together in one section?
What kinds of books do you enjoy reading?
Last month I happened to go into the Borders Books store at the Stonecrest mall in Lithonia, Ga., about a half-hour from my house here. To my surprise, it had one of the largest collections of books by black authors that I've ever seen outside an independent black bookstore, rows and rows of bookcases. This is the sort of discovery that makes the pulse quicken, evidence of a population I've spent most of my professional life seeking: African-American readers. What a thrill to have so much space in a major chain store devoted to this country's black writers.

With an extra spring in my step, I walked into the "African-American Literature" section - and what I saw there thoroughly embarrassed and disgusted me.

On shelf after shelf, in bookcase after bookcase, all that I could see was lurid book jackets displaying all forms of brown flesh, usually half-naked and in some erotic pose, often accompanied by guns and other symbols of criminal life. I felt as if I was walking into a pornography shop, except in this case the smut is being produced by and for my people, and it is called "literature."

As a black author, I had certainly become familiar with the sexualization and degradation of black fiction. Over the last several years, I had watched the shelves of black bookstores around the country and the tables of street vendors, particularly in New York City, become overrun with novels that seemed to appeal exclusively to our most prurient natures - as if these nasty books were pairing off back in the stockrooms like little paperback rabbits and churning out even more graphic offspring that make Ralph Ellison books cringe into a dusty corner.

Early last year I walked into a B. Dalton bookstore in a New Jersey mall where the manager had always proudly told me how well my books were selling. This time, I was introduced to a new manager who was just as proud to show me an enhanced black books section teeming with this new black erotica. I've also noticed much more of this oversexed genre in Barnes & Noble bookstores over the past few months, although it's harder to see there since the chain doesn't appear to have separate black fiction sections.

But up until that visit to Borders in Lithonia, I had thought this mostly a phenomenon of the black retail world, where the black bookstore owners and street vendors say they have to stock what sells, and increasingly what sells are stories that glorify and glamorize black criminals. The genre has been described by different names; "ghetto fiction" and "street lit" are two I've heard most often. Apparently, what we are now seeing is the crossover of this genre to mainstream bookstores.

But the placard above this section of Borders in Lithonia didn't say "Street Lit," it said "African-American Literature." We were all represented under that placard, the whole community of black authors - from me to Terry McMillan and Toni Morrison, from Yolanda Joe and Benilde Little to Edward P. Jones and Kuwana Haulsey - surrounded and swallowed whole on the shelves by an overwhelming wave of titles and jackets that I wouldn't want my 13-year-old son to see: "Hustlin' Backwards." "Legit Baller." "A Hustler's Wife." "Chocolate Flava."

I've heard defenders say that the main buyers of these books, young black women, have simply found something that speaks to them, and that it's great that they're reading something. I'd agree if these books were a starting point, and that readers ultimately turned to works inspired by the best that's in us, not the worst.

But we're not seeing evidence of that. On Essence magazine's list of best sellers at black bookstores, for example, authors of street lit now dominate, driving out serious writers. Under the heading "African-American Literature," what's available is almost exclusively pornography for black women.

As I stood there in Borders, I had two sensations: I was ashamed and mortified to see my books sitting on the same shelves as these titles; and secondly, as someone who makes a living as a writer I felt I had no way to compete with these purveyors of crassness.

That leaves me wondering where we - writers, publishers, readers, the black community - go from here. Is street fiction some passing fad, or does it represent our future? It's depressing that this noble profession, one that I aspired to as a child from the moment I first cracked open James Baldwin and Gabriel García Márquez about 30 years ago, has been reduced by the greed of the publishing industry and the ways of the American marketplace to a tasteless collection of pornography.

I realize that publishing is a business, but publishers also have a responsibility to balance street lit with more quality writing. After all, how are we going to explain ourselves to the next generation of writers and readers who will wonder why they have so little to read of import and value produced in the early 21st century, why their founts of inspiration are so parched?

At times, I push myself away from the computer in anger. I don't want to compete with "Legit Baller." But then I come across something like "The Known World" by Edward P. Jones and again I am inspired.

But I must say that I retain very little of the hope and excitement and enthusiasm that I had when my first book was published eight years ago. I feel defeated, disrespected and troubled about the future of my community and my little subsection of this carnivorous, unforgiving industry.

How do you feel after reading this article?

Learn more about Nick Chiles:

To learn more about RL Taylor:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My secret - I am Royce Tyler


My name is Royce Tyler and I've been dealing with a lot of emotional stress lately and I'm looking to pull myself out of this saddened state. For the past few months I've been walking around trying to conceal this secret that I've been living with. It's bugging me because I feel like there isn't anyone out there who understands my situation.

I don't know who to turn to..who I can talk to? I'm really afraid that people will laugh at me, or look down on me. Believe me I'm trying to make's hard. I'm not here to ask for money or even your sympathy. Really, a little understanding would be nice. Please, don't treat me like I have some kind of death-dealing contagious disease. I'm just looking for a listening ear. There's more people out here like me than you may even realize. I look just like you. Trust me, you couldn't pick me out of a crowd. I'm educated and well-spoken but that didn't stop me from ending up in this predicament.

I'm ashamed it's come to this point. I promise myself everyday that things are going to turn around. Things are going to change. I ran into an old girlfriend from college this morning. She had it going on. She looked absolutely amazing and had a a great job. I couldn't force myself to tell her the truth. When she asked me how I'd been doing I just lied and told her I was fine. In reality I'm not. I'm battling depression. There's more...I have to be honest. I have to tell someone. I'm homeless. There I said it....homeless.

To read more about me and my predicament, enjoy a free 15 Chapter preview of RL Taylor's new novel: Champagne, Jellybeans, and Chocolate. Click here for your FREE copy

Watch the short video about my situation by clicking here

How do you react to homeless people? Have you or anyone you know ever been forced to live on the street? How close do you think the average person is to ending up homeless?

A Few Homeless Facts and Statistics:
  • Nationwide, 44 percent of homeless people have some sort of jobs, according to the latest statistics available from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

  • Of the adults who requested emergency food aid in 26 major American cities this year, 67 percent were employed, according to a report released recently by the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
    That's almost double the 37 percent found last year in the 30 cities surveyed by the mayors' conference; but no one at the organization can explain the increase.

  • In 2006 52% of homeless adults and 54% of homeless youth 17 and younger report a recent diagnosis or treatment for a serious mental illness. In addition, 33% of adults and 24% of youth report cognitive disabilities that make them frequently confused or cause problems in making decisions.
For more information on this subject, please visit:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Why can't relationships be easy?

This is a fair question. There are many answers.
How do you feel? Below are 5 issues couples face today...

Issue #1: The Breadwinner-
Up until recently the male has been the provider of the typical American family. He won the bread and he brought home the goods. When the opportunity for marriage came along, it wasn't always an entirely attractive opportunity. It was a leap of faith to marry because it seemed he had a lot of freedom to lose. For a woman however, marriage was an opportunity to gain freedom. Freedom from the burden of providing for herself and the opportunity to try her hand at something she had never done before----have children. It's no wonder that women want marriage and men think twice.

Issue #2: The Breadwinner Catch-22-
Today, women value work, success and education, sometimes to the extent that they no longer seek the opportunities of family life. Many women today earn more than their man. What is he supposed to do? He can provide more than money for the family but his role has become cheapened---almost unnecessary. The woman takes a physical role (breadwinner) and a spiritual role (mother) and leaves very little for the man. What is his role? It's no wonder a man shirks from his “responsibilities.” What are his responsibilities?

Issue #3: Men Love their Playtime-
Men seem to value play and want freedom. However, most men are well aware that marriage isn't always about play. In fact, most of the time it's not about play. Women who value friendship and companionship sometimes think,commitment and children will force them to prioritize their values as they would prefer not to. It's reasonable to see why the male counterpart sometimes shies away from the serious relationship that is presented to him.

Issue #4: Fear of Failure-
Also with the fear of investing in a serious relationship is the fear of failure, and nothing offers as much potential for failure as marriage. It's been said that love is a gamble. It’s cruel. It’s dangerous. Commitment, can be even more of a minefield. No wonder that when love rears its head, many men hesitate – or turn and run.Serious Relationship Phobia

Issue #5: Lack of Options-
Believe it or not, a woman living in the U.S. Today will have far more options than the male counterpart who shares her same economic status. She can decide she wants children, that she wants to work, that she wants to go back to school, that she wants to change her career, that she wants it all.

All of that said; a serious relationship, when done with respect, and very careful consideration can actually be quite pleasant for both sexes...

What do you think are the biggest relationship issues facing couples today?
What have you done to have success in love?

In my new novel this subject is explored in dramatic fashion as Royce Tyler and Paula Daniels experience the ups and downs of trying to make things work in a society that doesn't make things easy.
It's even more difficult when one person is hiding the truth....
To read a FREE 15 Chapter excerpt from Champagne, Jellybeans, and Chocolate click here

Getting back together with your ex....

Getting back together after a long time can seem like a tricky proposition. If you are committed to making this relationship work there are a few things to keep in mind so that you can avoid the potential pitfalls that had you parting ways in the past. It’s a good idea to keep these things in mind as you explore a new relationship whether you've been apart for months or years.

Getting back together after a long time is not that uncommon. Couples are now finding one another and reconnection after years thanks to the power of the Internet and many programs that allow you to touch base with high school and college connections. A few thoughts…Don't work so hard at rekindling an old flame. That flame died for a reason. Make a point of building a new relationship based on the people you are today rather than the person you knew so long ago.
Strong bonds of love stand the test of time. If you really loved each other at one time the chances are that the love you felt didn't go away. It's still there you just might need to work a little bit to rekindle things. Chances are you buried it deep once the relationship ended - whatever the reason for the initial breakup may have been. People change. Hopefully for the better. Take the time to get to know the new person behind the familiar face. Getting to know the new person while remembering the things you loved about at the heart of your former sweetheart will assist you in not focusing on the new expectations and staying more focused on hope for the future. Look forward and not behind.

It is found to be difficult when getting back together after a long break to keep your eyes to the future. There is a past there but that past should stay buried. It’s the past. Don’t bring arguments from the old relationship up and make sure you work hard to live your relationship in the here and now rather than attempting to relive the relationship that ended so long ago. Talk, hold hands, and reminisce. Keep your eyes to the future rather than looking back at the relationships past.

Have you ever gotten back with an ex? If so, how did things work out?
Would you recommend this course of action to someone else?

In my new novel, Champagne, Jellybeans, and Chocolate the main characters reconnect after quite a few years apart. Their lifestyles have taken a change and their are a lot of secrets that they struggle to keep hidden. For a free 15 Chapter preview, click here

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hello Aliyah Burke

Aliyah Burke
Vittano’s Willow

Aliyah Burke loves to read and write. Her debut novel was titled A Knight’s Vow. She is married to a career military man, they have two German Shepherds and a DSH cat. Her days are spent sharing her time between work, writing, and dog training.

What do you want readers to take away from your book?
I hope readers take away an adventure. I try to cover a gamut of emotions in a story, I want you to laugh, cry, or whatever right along with the characters, feel as if you are truly in the story with them.

Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?
Oh, I believe in them but they don’t work for me. J I’ve tried using and outline and my men just laugh and take me in the total opposite direction. So I’ve learned, my purpose is to pen the story, they’ll tell me how it plays out.

What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?
Hot men, feisty women, and hopefully places you can believe you’re there. I love adding little twists, my characters have quirks…ok, sometimes many of them but I think it makes them more “relatable” if that makes sense.

How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?
I love getting emails:
Yahoo group:
Satin Notes: this is a free read site which I am a part of with two other great authors.
Scribes Unleashed: a group I am a part of with 4 other wonderful authors thank you so much for the opportunity to do this interview.

Aliyah, this was my pleasure. Best wishes!
RL Taylor

Greetings, Nannette Buchanan

Nanette M. Buchanan -

AuthorTitles: Family Secrets Lies & Alibi's - A Different Kind of Love (The Sequel)

Nanette M. Buchanan is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She's enjoying the new venture of publishing, marketing and promoting her works. Through the process she has now published, "Family Secrets Lies & Alibi's, "A Different Kind of Love", "Thoughts" (an e-book of her poetry). Her third novel, "Bruised Love", is scheduled to be released this fall. Nanette is currently working full time for the State of New Jersey, Department of Corrections.

What do you want readers to take away?
After reading my novel, I am hoping it will encourage families to talk about lineage. The secrets of the outside affairs that leave siblings separated. This has become a part of our way of life. However for the child, who either is deliberately kept away or has no connection to their father or other family members this becomes a burden to bear after a parents death. We now have more people looking for their lost family members because of the "Family Secrets, Lies & Alibi's".

Do you prefer outlines to write?
Once I begin working on a writing I commit myself to writing two chapters a night. I start with an outline of the entire story. The characters develop as I write but the basis of the story and the outcome has already been determined.

What will keep readers turning the pages?
My novel is real. It relates to people we know, if not ourselves. One can substitute the names of my fictitious characters with those they have personal encounters with. A believable story makes the best journey for reading.

How can readers reach you?
I'm available for chats and book signings. I encourage feedback from my readers and reviewers. My sites are and Please visit often, sign my guest book for updates on my blogs, events and information on my upcoming book releases.Thank you for this opportunity to connect to your audience.

Marilyn Meredith speaks to us...

F. M. Meredith a.k.a. Marilyn Meredith
No Sanctuary, the latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series.

Marilyn Meredith is the author of over twenty-five published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Kindred Spirits from Mundania Press. Under the name of F. M. Meredith she writes the Rocky Bluff P.D. crime series, No Sanctuary is the newest from Oak Tree Press. In order to write the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, she's done several ride-alongs and draws on experiences related to her by her friends and relatives in law enforcement, though she always reminds everyone she is writing fiction.
She is a member of EPIC, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. She was an instructor for Writer’s Digest School for ten years, served as an instructor at the Maui Writer’s Retreat and many other writer’s conferences.

What do you want readers to take away from your book?
When I began writing the Rocky Bluff P.D. series my goal was to let the reader see how the what happens on the "job" affects the family and what happens with the family affects the "job." With any of my books, what I truly want is for the reader to enjoy learnng about Rocky Bluff and the people who live there, and to be caught up in whatever mystery or crime is going on.

Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?

I do not outline the way some authors do. Because I'm writing a series, the world my characters live in is already created, many of the characters are ongoing, though different ones may have starring roles depending upon the book. In No Sanctuary the romance between Detective Doug Milligan and Officer Stacey Wilbur doesn't have much of a chance to develop as they investigate the murder of a popular minister's wife.

What I do when starting a new series book is decide what kind of crime I want the characters to face and what new characters need to be created--and because the Rocky Bluff P.D. is always a centerpiece, there will be more than one problem to be faced both on the job and in their personal lives.

What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?
My intention was to create enough suspense to entice the reader to want to find out how the mystery will be resolved and what will happen in the characters lives.

How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?

To learn more about me and my books, visit my website:
No Sanctuary is available in all the usual places on line including and the publisher's website: under the Dark Oak label, and is also available on Kindle.

Autographed copies are available through my website:

I have a blog: where I post nearly every day, writing tips as well as things I've been doing.

Thank you for interviewing me. pleasure

Meet Deondriea...


Author Bio
Deondriea’s life in itself is a story to be told. She has faced and conquered obstacles that most people would deem amazing. Deondriea became a parent at 14. However, the challenges of being a teen parent did not stop her from graduating high school and successfully raising her three children alone.

Deondriea has written poetry, short stories, and most notable Rhythm Can’t Keep Time, Sometimes Love Just Ain’t Enough. Deondriea aspires to have a positive impact on everyone she encounters through effective communication, veracity, and affirmative interaction. Deondriea’s motto is, “with direction and discipline, accomplishment is attainable.”

What do you want readers to take away from your book?
When reading Rhythm Can’t Keep Time, I want readers to understand that love in any type of relationship is a verb, not and adjective. Meaning love is more valuable when it is shown rather than felt. Although love can be shown and felt simultaneously, it should never be felt and not sown. Also, I challenge readers to define, know, and seek relationships that are positive, healthy and whole.

Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?
Depending on what I am writing determines whether or not I use an outline. The use of an outline is usually dictated by the length of what I am writing. When I am writing a book or something that covers a variety of subjects an outline works better. In fact, an outline makes it easier for me to write lengthy stories. I am able to skip around specific headers as needed without extra editing.

What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?
I believe the story compels readers to keep turning pages is Rhythm Can’t Keep Time deals with true to life characters and situations. Readers of both sexes are able to find at least one character and/or situation that he or she can relate to.

How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?
Readers can learn more and contact me at or on Facebook, Myspace, Linkedin, or Twitter user name is Deondriea.

Spotlight on Cynthia Toliver

Cynthia Toliver, author of Crown's Jewel, IUniverse 2008

Bio: Ms. Toliver is an author, teacher and engineer. She writes historical and contemporary fiction. Crown's Jewel is her first published novel. She is currently completing a family saga.

What do you want readers to take away from your book?

I want readers to be transported to a different place and time. I want them to be emotionally invested in the characters. I want readers to care what happens. Crown's Jewel does just that.

Crown McGee comes to Colwin County, Texas to claim his estranged father's estate, a thriving rice farm, dilapidated mansion and cemetery. Smitten by tenant Carrie Giddings, Crown vows to have Carrie just as he has claimed his father's land. Crown offers complicity in a murder in exchange for Carrie, but the Giddings flee Colwin County, leaving Carrie's daft sister Jewel in Carrie's place. On the road to love and redemption, Crown faces hard lessons, a daughter Sela, born with his deformity and a wayward brother Jackson bent on claiming the estate.

Readers tell me they have a love/hate relationship with Crown McGee that parallels Crown's discovery of his own self-worth. When Crown learns to love himself, he can extend that love to others. That is a universal lesson.

Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?

I have done both. Characters have a backstory - a history that motivates them to act the way they do. I find it helps me to develop a profile for my major characters and a timeline for key events, including events that occurred before the story begins.There are times however when a story just takes off without an itinerary. A great story can develop either way.

What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?

Readers love these characters. Short chapters and good writing propel the story and the reader to a climatic end.

How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?

Visit to learn more and contact me.

Introducing Carol Ann Culbert Johnson

Carol Ann Culbert Johnson -

What do you want readers to take away from your book?
I want my readers to take away from my book the arena of romance, and reality. My short stories are about things that happen to men and women all day and night. I want my readers to enjoy a good short story about love and romance, and the every day ingredients of trials and tribulations. I want to be remembered for my "I confess" series.
Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?

I don't really write in outlines. When I see something on television, or outside, a friend or stranger, or a movie, I immediately write it down in my black and white composition book, and add my spend to it. I can write in the middle of the night, the morning, the afternoon, on the train, in the bathroom, etc.
What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?

I hope the short stories will keep you turning because you don't know what's coming next. You can read "Business Love" in one chapter, and then "Fatal Mistake" in another chapter. My stories don't have the same theme, but they do promote romance, which I am a believer of. I know everyone has a mate for them. I think the titles will also add a twist because the story surprises you in a lot of ways.
How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?

Readers can contact me at and where they can sign the guestbook and explore my website. I have some interesting information on my website and email me for any questions or comments.

Carol Ann Culbert Johnson

Meet Doris A. Johnson

Doris A.C. Johnson
“You’ll Never Be Ready Until You Do It”

I am a volunteer for the Michigan Epilepsy Foundation, a domestic violence activist and public speaker whose mission is to educate, inspire, and arm women with the mental ammunition necessary to stand and walk (even if it means taking baby steps) towards a better life. My first novel, “You’ll Never Be Ready Until You Do It” is a testament of my struggle that serves as an anthem for victims as well as the survivors of abuse. I am currently a third year Psychology major who aspires to use my experiences and passion as an avenue to commit myself to servicing the needs of women facing adversity.

What do you want readers to take away from this book?

I want readers to take away from my book that all things are possible, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, that tomorrow comes in the morning and that change begins with self. When I was in the abusive relationship, I never felt ready to leave because their were obstacles at every turn and I contested the impediments initially with an assortment of reasons explaining why I couldn’t walk out…why I did not feel strong enough to leave…why I didn’t think I could make it on my own when I was already alone…alone with company. Take with you that sometimes no amount of planning and contemplation can prepare you to make a change and that you may never be ready until you do it.
Do you believe in writing outlines?

I believe in outlines and use them depending on how well structured and organized the topic upon which I am writing needs to be. In my first novel, “You’ll Never Be Ready Until You Do It”, I used a form of outlining because I compiled over 15 years worth of journals as the foundation and basis for my story. It was a great help. At the beginning of the book, I just free lanced or wrote spontaneously the information but because the story was inspired by actual events it was important for me to be organized to a certain degree for the sake of clarity. I believe that when a story line is experienced based it also needs to give off an air of naturalness to draw in the reader so that they are able to evoke emotions and appeal to the reading audience’s intellect.
What will keep the readers turning the pages?
I believe that what will keep readers turning the pages of this book is being able to relate to someone who is going through something that affects each of us on some level in our daily lives. When people read this book they are probably gaining a better understanding of why it takes so many women such a long time to break the chains of abuse and move towards a better life. I think the strength and charisma that the main character displays keeps the reader interested in what she will do next, and how she will handle each turning point in her life. The book is a nail biter, a crier, a laugher, and a beacon of hope for anyone who feels to weary to carry on.
How can we contact you?
Readers can learn more and contact me on,,, 313-247-8277

Monday, October 5, 2009

Get to know C.M. Albrecht...

C. M. Albrecht-

Bio: I presently have seven novels, all in the crime genre. The Little Mornings, Marta’s Place, The Albemarle Affair, The Reception, Music, Evidence and Still Life with Music. Some are in print, some coming in print, all available as e-books.

I always wanted to write, but for many years I had too many other activities going on; a good excuse to put off writing. Once I really got started, I found I loved it.

1. What do you want readers to take away from your book?

I hope the reader will not only learn something or gain a new perspective, as well as come away with a sense of satisfaction. I hate when a book (or movie) leaves things up in the air. When I want “real life”, I read the newspapers.

2. Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?

Actually, I do sort of use an outline, but it’s in my head. I always have a pretty clear idea of the ending, so I know my destination. But instead of taking the freeway, I take the “scenic route”.I learn new things about the characters and the story as I go.

3. What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?

I try offer interesting characters and to keep things moving, with a periodic brisk change of scene and atmosphere, like stopping and taking a fresh breath. When you watch a movie, you instinctively know when the director allows a scene to drag on too long. A good director knows when to yell, “Cut!” Same with a book.

4. How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?

I have sites at as well as others. By searching for C.M. Albrecht, you can bring all these up along with info about my novels. Readers are certainly welcome to contact me at:
I’m happily married and not looking for any personal relationships, but questions, comments or suggestions about writing are certainly welcome. My one piece of advice to anyone who is trying to get published would be: Never give up.

Introducing Chevetta Burton

My name is Chevetta Burton.

The title of my book is Aloha… A New Beginning.

The gift of writing came naturally for me at a young age. I love putting my thoughts onto paper and then developing a story to share with others. Even though I didn't act upon writing a novel until I was older, the dream to become a published author was always there. My greatest motivation to write and publish came from some of my former professors who read my papers and expressed how much they enjoyed the material. I've obtained a BA in Marketing from Cleary University; and a Masters of Science in Human Resources and Organizational Development from Eastern Michigan University.
What do you want readers to take away from your book?
My book is about friendship, love, trust, and pursuing a dream.
Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?
I do tend to write spontaneously but I am a believer in outlines because it helps to keep things organized.
What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?
The story itself is refreshing and people can relate to the characters therefore readers want to continue to see what happens next. It is and I intended for it to be an easy read.
How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?
Readers may visit my website at and they can also email me at

Meet Madison Taylor

Madison Taylor, Author
Title of Book: Scattered Lies
Release date: October, 2009

First I would like to say thank you for this opportunity. I see this as my first to many interviews.

Madison Taylor is the definition of hard work. 32, the eldest of three girls, raised in Bronx, NY, I was faced with many challenges. Strived to finish school and become a lawyer, I managed to obtain a Bachelors in Criminal Justice and currently in Graduate school to obtain my MPA at John Jay College.

I surmised myself as having a dramatic imagination and writing became my passion hobby. I’ve had this story in my head so long, it seemed like I had lived it. I had made so many excuses as to why this wouldn’t work and kept putting it on hold, but I was tired of reading the same stories over and over again and eventually decided my story would bring to the public a creative twist to the ghetto drama.

Tell us about your book----

I want readers to read Scattered Lies and take in the spirit of each character. Many fiction books are written and the story focuses on one character. My book brings you four stories of different lives that deceit brings together through a world wind of unpredictable events. I want readers to see that sometimes we will do anything for self preservation and when it comes to personal happiness nothing is sacred.
How do you write?
I am a spontaneous writer. I feel outlines limit my thought process. When I free write it gives me just that, freedom to write.
Why will readers keep turning pages?
The key page turner of Scattered Lies is the characters are relatable. A reader, man or women will see something in the book that will remind them of “that” time. Scattered Lies is also a dramatic novel that takes us on a unique journey of a different ghetto minus the clichés’ of the more circulated street tales of sex, money and murder.
How can readers contact you?
Scattered Lies was self published through Influential Writers Publishing Company, owned by me, promoted and managed by One 2 NV Management Company.
I can be reached at: Influential Writers Publishing Company
621 Beverly Rancocas Road
PMB 145
Willingboro , NJ 08046

One 2 NV Management
621 Beverly Rancocas Road
PMB 134
Willingboro , NJ 08046

Monday, September 28, 2009

Meet Michelle Larks

Michelle Larks, Til Debt Do Us Part

Michelle Larks is an Illinoisan native. She was born and raised in the Windy City , Chicago , and currently resides in a western suburb of Chicago . Michelle was educated in the Chicago public school system and attended the University of Illinois at Chicago, Circle Campus.

Michelle has written six books since 2003. The titles include A Myriad of Emotions, Crisis Mode, an e-book, Mirrored Images, Who’s Your Daddy and Keeping Misery Company. Michelle’s second title with Urban Christian Books, The Legacies was released in July of 2008. Her latest release from Urban Books, Til Debt Do Us Part was released on June 30, 2009.

What do you want readers to take away from your book?

I would like readers to be able to relate to the stories I write. I try to portray every day people in my books fealing with issues that some of us face.

Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?
I write spontaneously.

What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?
The realness of the stories and people finding someone like themsevles or someone they know in my stories, will keep readers turning the pages.

How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?
Readers can learn more about me on my website; http:// and my email address is

Michelle LarksAuthor of:The LegaciesKeeping Misery CompanyTil Debt Do Us Part, Coming July 2009

Anthony Miner speaks...

Anthony Miner - Writer, Poparazzi, Cultural junkie, Vegetarian

Book – If You Like Chocolate Eat Chocolate –

What do you want readers to take away from your book?
As an author I always want my readers to walk away with my message. As I wrote each chapter, each sentence and word I consciously thought about what I wanted the reader to think and feel. For example, in my current book If You Like Chocolate Eat Chocolate, the message I’m conveying is that we all like what we like. Be it the food we eat, the place we vacation to or the relationship choices we make, we all like what we like. And who has the right to say to another person they are making the wrong choice in their personal relationships.
The other message in my book is to see yourself and your life choices for what they actually are. If you are in an unhealthy relationship according to your morals and standards, and not based on the standards of others, then you see your relationship for what it’s worth; and not what you imagine it to be. You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.

Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?
I am a big believer in outlines - I always use an outline whenever I write. In fact, I’ll do several rewrites on the outline first. I start with a working outline of all the chapters. Then for each chapter I write a summary, again I’ll do several rewrites, then lastly I get into the meat and potatoes of the story I want to tell in each chapters. Once I feel I have flush out all my thoughts and have a written manuscript – then I start over again and go through each chapter and do more rewrites. After that I hand it over to an editor who corrects misspelled words and grammar… Then finally off to the publisher… Yay.

What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?
One of the many ways I can hook my readers to want to turn the pages is to fill my book with truths and sincerity. I don’t betray my reader s with filler non – sense words and sentences. In other words I respect my readers intelligent, therefore I won’t cheat them. Another way to capture the reader is to lead each chapter with something enticing, by posing questions and/ or scenario that craves them to want to read more.

How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?
I welcome any reader to contact me – I can be reached at – And my book If You Like Chocolate Eat Chocolate is available at - or at any online book retailer.

Web Site –
Blog -
Column – Melrose Heights Magazine – Ask The Cultural Junkie
Twitter -
Facebook -

This is K.Lynn Brown...

K. Lynn Brown-
The name of her book is Control Issues.She resides in Farmington Hills, MI with her husband and two daughters.

What I want readers to take away from my book:I want my readers to realize that greed and the quest for money and success can often put a person in the position of losing those precious things in life that money can't buy. Things like love, trust, and respect.And that a person should never sacrifice their beliefs, morals, or integrity for money.
How I feel about outlines:I believe that the only purpose that an outline serves in creative writing is to create serious writers block. Writing comes from your heart and your soul and as such should run freely from your thoughts to paper. Taking time to organize in an outline stunts and hinders creative thought. I write freely without concern for punctuation and spelling. That comes later in the editing process. However it's important to edit very carefully. The worst thing in the world is a poorly edited book loaded with typing errors and misspellings.
Why I feel my book is a page turner:I feel that my book grabs readers quickly and holds it because it is not the typical romance novel. It is also very suspenseful and at times funny. It is also the type of book that all genders can read. I think a lot of readers see either themselves or someone they know in my book which makes it even more interesting.
More about K. Lynn Brown:Those interested in learning more about me can visit my site at and

Tim Steely...a great author

Timothy Stelly, author of Human Trial, a sci-fi noir story; the first part of a trilogy. I am a poet, novelist, screenwriter and essayist from northern California. I consider Human Trial is my first novel. I have written more than 350 essays for and—from social and political issues to film noir history. I have contributed several poetic pieces to Oysters & Chocolate and is currently working on rewrites of his first two novels, Tempest In The Stone and The Malice Of Cain, which were “published” by Publishamerica.

What do you want readers to take away from your book?
The main questions posed by HUMAN TRIAL is whether or not man has the capacity to put aside individualism and do what is best for the entirety of mankind? Could we, if faced with annihilation, put aside our fears and prejudices and fight for our survival?
Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?
I’ll have a general outline, and I find that I stray from it in the middle of the book, but by the conclusion I am back to using the outline. During the rewrite, I find that my stories usually expand by about 15%.
What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?
The believability of the characters and the issues the book raises. I wrote it as a provocative piece, that asks, in short What would YOU do? There is also a mix of drama, romance and the study of group dynamics. Most people who’ve read the book wrote that they felt as if they were right there with the human survivors.
How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?

I can be reached by e-mail at My articles also appear at useless-kn, about once per month. I have a website currently in the works.

Meet Gail McFarland

Author: Gail McFarland
DREAM RUNNER, Genesis Press, May 2008
DREAM KEEPER, Genesis Press, December 2008

Gail McFarland is the published author of more than 100 short stories, including IF EVER for Lady Leo Press. Later in 2009, she will also be a contributing a novella, THE TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX, to the Lady Leo Press anthology, CAN A SISTAH GET SOME LOVE?

Her novel-length work includes: SUMMERWIND (BET/Arabesque), THE BEST FOR LAST (Arabesque), WHEN LOVE CALLS (BET/Arabesque), BOUQUET (with Roberta Gayle and Anna Laurence, BET/Arabesque), LADY KILLER (LULU Books), ALL FOR LOVE (LULU Books), DREAM RUNNER (Genesis Press), and the upcoming sequel, DREAM KEEPER (Genesis Press).

A dedicated wellness/fitness advocate, Ms. McFarland is an active fitness instructor and consultant. Her community activities include working as a Health Promotion Specialist for the Association of Black Cardiologist’s Atlanta-based REACH program.

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, she attended Glenville High School and Cleveland State University. She now makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia.

What do you want readers to take away from your book?

I write romance for a reason -- I want people to know that love and passion are an integral part of the African-American experience and well worth sharing. I want readers to leave my work having appreciated and enjoyed a darn good story.
Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?

A little of both, actually. Because I write in a straight line (chapter one, chapter two, then chapter three, etc.) I generally begin with a basic outline. After I know how the chapters will flow and how my story begins and ends, I begin to fill in the blanks. This usually gets me to thinking, and I begin to spontaneouly add dialogue and action. By the time I finish, the outline can be over a hundred pages, but it makes the writing flow for me.
What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?

Good question. With DREAM RUNNER, it is the challenge of following a dream, but with DREAM KEEPER, it is the challenge of risking all to keep a dream alive. I have to say that even if I had not written both of these books, I would still love them. They feature characters that will resonate with readers, and capture their imaginations and their hearts -- I did tell you that I write romance, right? Well, these stories will take you THERE.
How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?
Personal contact information:
Gail McFarland
P.O. Box 56782
Atlanta, GA 30343


Websites: Author site
Book site
Mark Turnbull, author of Decision Most Deadly

Bio:I am 29 years old and live in Durham, England. I have one daughter, aged five. Since childhood, I have had a complete fascination with the 17th century and King Charles I. I enjoy writing, painting and family history research. I had been working on my first novel, Decision Most Deadly, intermittently for nearly ten years before I chose to self-publish it.
*What to take away from my book ?*
Enjoyment of the plotA sense that they could enter the 17th century and appreciate the periodMore awareness of just how this momentous civil war came about (which most books do not focus on, but simply deal with the more popular and eventful war itself)

*outlines or spontaneous ?*
I believe in both - I am spontaneous when it comes to writing initially, getting the scene and events written, but then I always have a set 'map' so I know where the bigger picture is going and my spontaneity is able to be channeled in the right direction.

*What keeps readers turning the pages ?*
I think it is the characters and their lives - the ability to relate to them, and see them realistically, instead of some glorious fakes that fit into a hero and villain slot. Also the ability to get close to the era and appreciate it in the full sense, with a plot that goes to the heart of government, taking you to some of the most crucial points in history. Having actual historical characters in the book also adds an interesting slant. The main fictional character is at the forefront of events and there is humour as well as tense moments and dramatic scenes.Again, the fact that most writing deals with the war itself, means that the book can offer a glimpse into what happened to start the civil war and what was it like as the country lurched closer to the precipice.

Readers can view the website and contact me there, or by email

Monday, September 21, 2009

You should know..Marta Stephens

Marta Stephens author of the Sam Harper Crime Mystery series:
THE DEVIL CAN WAIT (2008), Bronze Medal Finalist, 2009 Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY), Top Ten, 2008 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery).
SILENCED CRY (2007) Honorable Mention, 2008 New York Book Festival, Top Ten, 2007 Preditors and Editors Reader Poll (mystery)

Marta Stephens, a crime/mystery writer, resides in Indiana with her husband and two children. Stephens is currently working on the third book in the Sam Harper series as well as a new novel featuring the character of Rhonie Lude, PI. Stephens also administers the collective authors’ blog, Murder by 4, selected by Writer’s Digest among the 2009 101 Best Websites for Authors.
Stephens holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism/Public Relations from Ball State University (IN) and is a member of Sisters in Crime International, Sisters in Crime Speed City Indiana Chapter, and the Midwest Writer's Workshop.

What do you want readers to take away from your books?
Writing is my passion and when I read, I want to be entertained—taken to another place and time along with the characters. My hope is that readers will experience this when they read my novels—that they’ll be drawn into the situations my character, homicide detective Sam Harper, encounters and will have a sense of reality within a work of fiction. I truly hope they’ll enjoy my books as much as I love writing them.

Are you a believer in outlines, or do you write spontaneously?
My plots are complex, often involving multiple characters and the need to weave 3-4 subplots together. The only way to ensure I’ve tied the clues and subplots together is to have a road map. Rather than an outline though, I prefer to write a synopsis. Initially I include everything I think will happen in the story adding as much detail as I possibly can. However, writing the synopsis is an entirely flexible process because I often discover the most interesting twist mid way through the manuscript that I hadn’t thought of ahead of time. As the story evolves, I update the synopsis. When I’m done with the novel, I’m also done with the synopsis.

What do you think it is about your book that will keep readers turning the pages?
The character of Sam Harper has a wonderful following among readers. One reviewer from Midwest Book Reviews described Harper as: “… a well-realized, no-nonsense cop, a streetwise guy who refuses to give up despite the odds. When the going gets rough, everyone else has given up, an easy option looms, and the race becomes overwhelming, Harper is just getting started. He is the original it ain't over guy.” But as tough as Harper is on the criminal(s), readers appreciate his compassion and soft side for his friends/co-workers and even the victims. Several have expressed their love of his relationship with his father who is a retired city detective. Harper often seeks his father’s advice. Readers have described my novels as fast-paced page turners. I think the reason for it is plotting, the obstacles Harper finds himself in, and the several cliffhangers that are written into the chapters. That’s what will keep them glued to their comfy chair turning those pages.

How can readers learn more and get in contact with you?
I look forward to hearing from readers or those interested in leaning more about me and my novels. I’m available via my website and blogs. – character blog: – collective authors’ blog