Today is the last day of my TEXAS HEARTS book blog tour, brought to you by Sizzling PR.  It's been a blast visiting all the sites, meeting new readers and giving away books!  I wanted to let you all know about the last stop at FOR THE LOVE OF READING where one lucky commenter will be able to choose 1 book in the Texas Hearts ebook series.  Some of you have already stopped by and sampled book 1 or book 1 and 2.  Now that book 3, The More I See is available, you have even more choice.  So don't be shy.  Stop by FOR THE LOVE OF READING and leave a comment for a chance to win!

For The Love of Reading: BOOK SPOTLIGHT - TEXAS HEARTS SERIES (GIVEAWAY): Mandy Morgan swore she’d never step foot in Texas again after Beau Gentry left her for life on the rodeo circuit eight years before. But n...

On Conversations: Interview with NYT Best Seller Wahida Clark - Payback Ain't Enough

It is my pleasure to introduce you all to best selling author Wahida Clark.  Sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy!
Lisa ~

She is crowned the Queen of Thug Love Fiction by Nikki Turner, the Queen of Hip Hop Fiction. She created the Thug Love Fiction genre which is a sub-genre of street lit as cited in “The Readers Guide to Street Literature” by Vanessa Irvin Morris. She also is the first street lit author to pen a series, thus establishing the trend. 

Wahida’s style of writing is the “TEMPLATE” for urban literature. When you read her novels, they are so real you are convinced of one of three things: you know the characters; you want to know the characters; or you are one of the characters. Her New York Times, Essence and USA TODAY bestselling novels include Thugs and The Women Who Love Them, Every Thug Needs A Lady, Thug Matrimony, Thug Lovin’, Payback Is A Mutha, Payback With Ya Life, Sleeping With The Enemy, The Golden Hustla and the first anthology edited and compiled by her What’s Really Hood! Part 5 of her Thug Series, the highly anticipated Justify My Thug under Cash Money Content made its debut at #19 on the New York Times Bestseller List. One of the few urban lit books to do so. Her Thug Series has sold over 300,000 copies and the Payback Series has sold over 150,000 copies. Her next release in April of 2012 is Payback Ain’t Enough.

Interview with Wahida:

1) Q: Nuance Art.*. – Are you the First Lady of Cash Money?
Nikki Minaj is the First Lady of Cash Money. However, I am proud to say that I am the First Lady of Cash Money Content (CMC), the publishing arm of Cash Money. But CMC also has my girl Ashley Antoinette, the female half of the dynamic and unstoppable duo, Ashley & JaQuavis, and the Basketball Wife herself, Ms. Evelyn Lozada.

2) Q: Nuance Art.*. – What makesPayback Ain’t Enough different from Payback is a Mutha or Payback with Ya Life?
Payback Ain’t Enough is the third installment of the Payback Series. Go in expecting the unexpected. I promise, and as always I deliver. It’s grimier, grittier, darker, and sucks you in against your will. It’s thrilling, captivati ng, and breathtaking.

3) Q: Nuance Art.*. – Is it true that the majority of your readers are incarcerated?
Good question. Since I began my writing career while incarcerated, my books were heavily promoted throughout the prison system, and of course I have a huge prison following. Now that I am home, I realize how many people I’ve touched or reached with my books. For example, when I am out doing book events, at least one male will come up to me, bow and say, “Your books got me through my bid.” I’ve learned that a lot of people don’t read until they go to jail, and I have received countless letters stating that one of my books was the first book that a person has ever read. And that always touches me. On the flip side of that, you don’t make the New York Times best sellers list by just selling books to prisoners. The majority of my readers are women who are free. They love me and support me book after book, year after year. Some women and men have incarcerated loved ones who they buy my books for and mail them into the prison. I have fans/readers who are prison guards, police officers, bus drivers, nurses, doctors, and as comedian Michael Colyar told me, “Girl, my dentist read your book, Payback Is A Mutha and loved it!” There would be no me without my readers, and for that I am forever humbled and grateful.

4) Q: Nuance Art.*. – Are these Street Lit or Hood Stories a fad?
(Smile) Fad? Is Jackie Collins ever asked if her books are a fad? I think not. Street Lit is an actual genre. Don’t let the word ‘street’ fool you . . . it’s not new. I’ve been published since 2003, but more importantly, keep in mind before me there was Chester Himes, Donald Goines, Iceberg Slim, Nathan ‘Boobie’ Heard, whose works were published as far back as the 50s, and sold through the 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s, and their titles are still selling. (Now in 2012, Donald Goines and Iceberg Slim have both had their catalogs republished). But what is even more exciting to me is that Chester Himes’ books were turned into movies such as Cotton Comes to Harlem, Come Back Charleston Blue, and A Rage in Harlem. Donald Goines’ novel Never Die Alone also became a feature film. Presently, several well-known street lit authors such as Nikki Turner, Vickie Stringer, Ashley & JaQuavis, K’wan, T. Styles, Deja King, J.M. Benjamin and more, who all have a minimum of five titles under their belt and head their own publishing companies. Ashley & JaQuavis are currently working on their book-to-film adaptation and so am I. Check out my link at

5) Q: Nuance Art.*. – What makes you the Queen of Street Lit?
Nikki Turner drove to Alderson, West Virginia to visit me, and I was talking about how the ladies on the inside love her to death and how she was the Princess of Hip-Hop fiction. And she said, “I’m the Queen of Hip-Hop fiction. I’ve elevated.” So I said, “I’m the Queen too. But wait. We can’t have two Queens reigning at the same time.” (LOL) Then she said, “You’re the Queen of Thug Love Fiction. I’m giving you that.” I thought about it and then I said, “Yeah. I’m the Queen of Thug Love Fiction.” Since then, and like Nikki, I’ve elevated my pen game and status as well. I take pride in my work. I am obsessed with making sure that once my readers pick up one of my books, it is very hard for them to put it down. I owe them that. Next, we are talking longevity, consistency, and eleven novels—and the fact that seven of those novels were written and published behind the prison wall. And while behind the wall I made the Essence, Blackboard, USA Today, Black Issues Book Review, and Don Diva best sellers list. And those are just the lists that I know about. While many writers were trying to get one publishing contract, I had TWO publishing contracts with two major publishing houses (while behind the wall). I reached another major milestone in 2011 when five of my titles appeared on the Best Selling Books of the year list for the African American Literature Book Club (, which is the largest and one of the first online book clubs. (I’ve always had multiple titles on the list, but never five at one time). I am blessed to say that my books, starting with my very first title, Thugs and the Women Who Love Them, and the other Thug Series books still sell today as if they have just come out. I am also the first Street Lit author to write a series. Many Street Lit authors now offer readers a Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. However, I was the first to do that with Thugs and the Women Who Love Them, Every Thug Needs a Lady, Thug Matrimony . . . you know the rest. Other accolades I’ve received acknowledging my work include The Readers Advisory Guide to Street Literature by Vanessa Irvin Morris, published by the American Library Association in 2011. This guide cites how my books have created, or spawned, a new ‘sub-genre’ of Street Lit (Thug Love) and is leading the ‘Thug Love’ sub-genre. So, yes . . . humbly and respectively I accept the title “Queen of Street Lit” because in the words of Jay-Z, “Men lie, women lie, numbers don’t.”

6) Q: Nuance Art.*. – Is Wahida Clark Presents Publishing an imprint of Cash Money?
I love them brothers . . . they are so innovative. Ronald ‘Slim’ Williams and Bryan ‘Baby’ Williams started the Cash Money record label and are always one step ahead of the game. They felt that they could sell as many books as they do CDs, so they started Cash Money Content to publish books, and more importantly, promote literacy. You see, many of us in the publishing industry feel it’s not what you read, it’s the fact that you’re reading. Wahida Clark Presents (WCP) is the publishing company I started while incarcerated. To date I have fourteen authors, including: Cash (Trust No Man), NeNe Capri (The Pussy Trap), Mike Sanders (Thirsty), Anthony Fields (The Ultimate Sacrifice), Victor L. Martin (Nude Awakening), Tash Hawthorne (Karma: With A Vengeance), Missy Jackson (Cheetah), Intelligent Allah (Lickin’ License), Sereniti Hall (Still Feenin’)and others. I also have Young Adult authors such as Rashawn Hughes (Under Pressure), Sparkle (Sade’s Secrets), Gloria Dotson-Lewis (Ninety-Nine Problems) and Charmaine White (The Boy Is Mine!). Additionally, I have an imprint, Yah Yah Publications, where I publish more conscious material such as, Uncle Yah Yah: 21st Century Man of Wisdom and Part 2, which drops April 19th. To date WCP has eighteen titles in independent and major bookstores and libraries around the country. I am always looking for new material, and my goal is to have all WCP authors hit the New York Times best sellers list.

7) Q: Nuance Art.*. – Are you going to give us a sneak peek of the highly anticipated sequel toJustify My Thug (Thugs Part 6)?

No doubt! Visit my website for specific details on getting your sneak peek of Thugs Part 6. You will need to provide your pre-order receipt from, or to get it. Also, be one of the first to visit my website to download the first chapter of Payback Ain’t Enough. I can’t wait for your feedback!

Synopsis :

Filled with the same glamour, sex and danger, we dive back into the hip-hop drama where old rivalries and new beefs arise in Detroit’s blood-drenched drug turf. Shan is now married to Briggen, the much desired former hustler turned legitimate businessman. With one child and another on the way, Shan’s life is about to get turned upside down. In a day she’ll go from being the envy of the streets to having her life on the line.

Briggen, a man leading a double life, wants to know who killed hisbrother, Forever. He wants revenge but it’s only a matter of time before Briggen’s own lies catch up with him. Nick is back in the big ‘D’ and ready to take over the game. The only thing standing in his way is a buried secret from his past that is about to come back to haunt him. It’s only a matter of time before ambitions and secrets collide and revenge goes a step too far. In this game of power and intrigue where the stakes are high and the rewards are dazzling, the losers are gonna discover – there’s always a price to pay.

As I stood in the window watching Nyla storm off and peel out of our driveway, I couldn’t help but conjure up a smile. I was sure that I wasn’t the only one who wanted that nigga Forever dead and if he suffered any, that would be the icing on the cake. But the news that he was dead and died alone actually tickled me. Words could not explain the humiliation of him using me to bring in his dope, fuck me and when I got pregnant wanted me to get an abortion, making it clear that I was just a fuck and a sucka.
The thought crossed my mind to go to the funeral but I quickly brushed that off. For one, if I saw Nyla again, it would be on. And two, I would end up spitting in Forever’s dead face. That would cause too much drama for Briggen. I was gloating that Forever was gone. However, my moment came to a screeching halt when he stormed out the house without saying a word.

Web Links:
Book Trailer : Wahida Clark The Experience

On Conversations: Spotlight on Texas Hearts & Update on future book. #Nook #Kindle #ePub

SPOTLIGHT ON TEXAS HEARTS!  All three Texas Hearts books are now available in all ebook formats!  Readers have been asking me for the full set for a while and asking when Gypsy Hearts will be available as an ebook.  Unfortunately I don't have an answer to that since the hardcover publisher, Avalon Books, has not made any plans for that.  BUT you can get book 4 of Texas Hearts in hardcover from  So if you'd like to read Brock Gentry's story, please do visit Amazon and grab a copy.

I am currently working on a story for the long lost brother that is mentioned once or twice in the series, but who we never see.  His name is Jackson Gentry and he's a Texas Ranger.  I will be continuing the Texas Hearts series with more books.  So if you're enjoying Texas Hearts, please keep checking back for more updates.

Here is a little taste of Texas Hearts.

Here is a little about TEXAS HEARTS:
Her Heart for the Asking – Book 1

Mandy Morgan swore she’d never step foot in Texas again after Beau Gentry left her for life on the rodeo circuit eight years before. But now her uncle’s heart is failing and she has to convince him that surgery will save his life. She never dreamed the first thing she’d see when she stepped off the plane would be her biggest nightmare...the one man she’d never stopped loving.

Beau Gentry had the fever for two things: the rodeo and Mandy Morgan. But for Beau, loving Mandy was complicated by his father’s vendetta against her uncle. This led him to make the hardest decision of his life and he can still see the bitterness and hurt on Mandy’s face. All these years it has killed him to think Mandy had forgotten him and moved as far away as possible from him. But now they’re back in Texas, and he’s going to do all he can to win back her love.

Available at:
Barnes and Noble

His Heart for the Trusting – Book 2
Ever since Mitch Broader set foot in Texas, he dreamed of owning his own ranch. Now that he’s bought a share in the Double T Ranch, he’s one step closer to the dream. Then his past greets him in the form of a baby basket, complete with infant and birth certificate naming him as the father. He can’t change diapers and work toward his dream at the same time.

When Sara Lightfoot, “Miss Hollywood” in Mitch’s eyes, rescues him with her particular knack for handling his precocious son, he hires her on the spot as a temporary nanny. No matter how much Sara’s dark eyes and warm heart make this bachelor think of settling down and making their arrangement permanent, she’s made it perfectly clear she has other plans that don’t include him or his dreams.

Sara Lightfoot never thought she’d return to her home on the reservation. Now she plans to reclaim the life she left by going back to the reservation as a Native American storyteller, teaching the Apache children stories of their culture. She didn’t expect Mitch Broader’s sexy smile or job offer as a live-in nanny to derail those plans. After all she’s been through to come home, can she open up her heart once again to love?

Available at


Barnes and Noble

SMASHWORDS for Kindle in Mobi and Nook in ePub

The More I See – Book 3
As a top-notch cutting horse trainer, Cody Gentry was riding high until he lost his eyesight after a freak chemical accident. Unable to see the hand in front of his face, never mind the horse or cattle he trained, he knows his life is over and slips deep into depression. His whole future hinges on the success of an eye surgery that could give him his old life back.

When guide dog trainer, Lyssa McElhannon, arrives on his ranch like Florence Nightingale coming to save him, he wants no part of her or her guide dog. But something about Lyssa’s musical laugh coupled with her tenacity digs under his skin and won't let go. Having been blind most of her life, Lyssa understands the paralyzing fear Cody feels after losing his vision. But she refuses to let the stubborn cowboy waste his life away sitting in a chair when she knows first-hand that a good guide dog can change his world. She just needs one month to prove it to him.

Falling in love with Cody was not part of Lyssa’s plan, nor was having him open her eyes to see that there was a whole lot of living she’d been missing out on.
iPad, iPhone, Android, Sony, Kobo and other ebook formats can all be purchased at Smashwords. 

On Conversations: THE MORE I SEE, book 3 of Texas Hearts is Available! #Excerpt

Thank you to all my readers who patiently waiting for Book 3 in my TEXAS HEARTS series. THE MORE I SEE is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and in all formats.


Barnes and Noble

As a top-notch cutting horse trainer, Cody Gentry was riding high until he lost his eyesight after a freak chemical accident. Unable to see the hand in front of his face, never mind the horse or cattle he trained, he knows his life is over and slips deep into depression. His whole future hinges on the success of an eye surgery that could give him his old life back.

When guide dog trainer, Lyssa McElhannon, arrives on his ranch like Florence Nightingale coming to save him, he wants no part of her or her guide dog. But something about Lyssa’s musical laugh coupled with her tenacity digs under his skin and won't let go. Having been blind most of her life, Lyssa understands the paralyzing fear Cody feels after losing his vision. But she refuses to let the stubborn cowboy waste his life away sitting in a chair when she knows first-hand that a good guide dog can change his world. She just needs one month to prove it to him.

Falling in love with Cody was not part of Lyssa’s plan, nor was having him open her eyes to see that there was a whole lot of living she’d been missing out on.

The More I See - Book 3 - Texas Hearts

Chapter One

There was nothing extraordinary about Alyssandra Orchid McElhannon but her name. She was used to being invisible where men were concerned. People for that matter, but men were an unusual breed for sure. This one was no different.

Lowering her sunglasses, she blinked as she peered at the long and lean man stretched out on the lawn chair by the pool. So this was Cody Gentry. The man that insisted she come all the way from the Houston school where she'd worked to personally train him here on the Silverado Ranch.

At least Cody Gentry had a valid excuse not to notice her. He was blind.

He made no move to indicate he'd heard her approach or the soft sound of dog claws scraping on the concrete as she led her guide dog closer. No tilt of his head, lift of his long fingers which were weaved tightly together on his lap, or even a twitch of his booted feet, crossed and slightly hanging over the end of the lawn chair.

Lyssa slid the sunglasses back up the bridge of her nose. He could be asleep, she decided. By the slump of his shoulders and his head cocked to one side, his white straw cowboy hat tilted over his face ever so slightly, it was certainly possible. It would explain why he'd yet to have even a slight reaction to her approach.

She knew how acute the other senses were when one was lost. She'd outfitted herself in the usual garb, a pair of well-worn blue jeans, a cool cotton button down shirt and a comfortable pair of sneakers. She could understand how the soft soles of her sneakers would sound muffled. Lyssa wasn't the most graceful person, but she wasn't a clod. If Cody hadn't heard the sound of her footsteps, he should have at least noticed the telltale sound of Otis' paws on the walkway.

Maybe he wasn't asleep. Maybe he was just being rude. Mike Gentry, Cody's father, had warned as much.

It had only been a week ago that Mike Gentry first approached the Houston Guide Dog School asking for immediate help, insisting his son needed a one on one instructor. If only the school could send someone to the ranch, it might break through the deep, impenetrable depression that had overtaken his son since a freak chemical accident had rendered him blind nearly eight months earlier. Help him get back among the living again.

Lyssa had been in the office the day Mike Gentry strode in with deep pockets and endless arguments about why he needed someone immediately. The director had been insistent that the school offered only month long classes to students who stayed on their campus. While what he was asking for his son was not unprecedented, it was usually reserved for extreme cases.

Mike Gentry's pockets were deep and the money he offered to gift the school spoke of his desperation. Right in front of Lyssa he'd offered what amounted to enough money to service several dogs to those in need.

Cody needed to become functional again in his own environment. Without the aid of a guide dog, he wouldn't be able to get around.

He'd assured the school that Cody was eager to work with a guide dog, but given life on the ranch, he felt that training must be conducted in an environment where the dog and handler would spend the bulk of their time.

Lyssa found she couldn't stay quiet. There was time before the next class started. She had a dog ready and even with the limited information Mike Gentry had offered about his son, Lyssa felt the match might work.

Peering over at Cody now, she realized the depression Mike Gentry spoke of was much worse than he had let on.

The desperation, the depression. Lyssa had seen it happen before. Although she didn't remember feeling it herself having lost her own eyesight at such a young age. When she regained eyesight again after twenty years of living in the darkness it was cause for celebration. New miracle surgery. That option wasn't open to everyone. Yet. Lyssa was sure that one day it would be. The advances modern medical science had made still astounded her.

Until that day came, she had the incredible task of trying to pull this six-foot plus man out of his despair by showing him that life was still worth living without his vision.

She sighed, noticing the heavy slump of his shoulders. She had her work cut out for her.

She made a command to Otis to sit and, as the dog was trained, he heeded to the command instantly. Lyssa cleared her throat and the man didn't move.

As she suspected, he'd heard her perfectly well. He simply chose to ignore her.

"I was told I could find Cody Gentry out here by the pool," she finally said.

The muscles on his face twitched slightly. "Who's looking?"

The timbre of his voice was deep, with a faintly ominous edge that reminded Lyssa of the voices she'd heard as a child when she and Kim would sneak downstairs in the middle of the night and watch old horror flicks on cable. She couldn't see the movies, she'd only heard the voices, and that added to the mystery, raised the level of anticipation, sending shivers racing up her spine.

Cody wasn't anything out of a horror flick. She ignored the swell of apprehension that had her confidence faltering.

She knew better than to extend her hand in a normal greeting for her introduction. Instead, she drew in a deep breath and hoped her voice sounded pleasant.

"I'm Alyssandra McElhannon."

He didn't move. "What do you want?"

"I brought Otis," she said cheerfully.

"What's Otis?"

"Otis is a who, not a what."

His whole body seemed to stiffen. His voice was controlled, but edgy enough to send shivers chasing over her skin.

"I'm sorry you came all the way out here like this. Apparently someone failed to give you adequate information. I'm not training cuttin' horses anymore."

"Oh, Otis isn't a horse. He's a dog. Your guide dog. And I'm here to train the two of you to work as a team."

She said the words with the pride she couldn't help but feel. Otis, like many dogs trained as seeing aids for the vision impaired, were a lifeline to independence.

He sat still, unaffected. It wasn't at all the reaction she'd been expecting.
"Not interested."

"And you would be Cody Gentry, I take it?" she asked already knowing he was.
"I just said I'm not interested."

"And I heard you. My job is to make you interested."

"Says who?"

Confused, she said, "Mike Gentry for one."

He groaned audibly and straightened up in his chair. "My father sent you, huh?"
"That's right. He didn't tell you I was coming?"

"Did he already pay you for your troubles?"

"Well, yes, a portion is—"

"Then you're fired. I'll make sure you get the rest of the money you're owed by mail. I'm sorry he wasted your time."

Lyssa's huff was slightly exaggerated. Cody was as difficult as Mike Gentry had warned but in a totally different way than Lyssa had been prepared for.

"In the first place, the school pays my salary and it is run entirely by donations. Second, training my dogs and students is never a waste of my time. Furthermore, you aren't the one who hired me, your father did. In fact, he asked me to stay on at the ranch until you and Otis were working well together. So, you can't fire me, no matter how much you squawk."

He made a face that almost made her laugh. "Squawk?"

Crossing her arms across her chest, she said, "I call it like I see it."

"Listen, Ms. McElfen er McEllaf… What's your name again?"

"McElhannon," she said slowly. "Alyssandra Orchid McElhannon. If we're going to be working together, I'd prefer to keep things informal. So you can call me Lyssa, if it's easier."

Easier and infuriating, she knew. Just because he couldn't see her, didn't mean he couldn't hear perfectly well. In fact, she knew his hearing was much better now than it had been before he'd lost his eyesight.

"Okay, Lyssa. I appreciate your crusade here, but you really are wasting your time. And mine, for that matter. I don't need a dog, and I don't need you. I need my eyes back. And if you can't give me that, then get out of my way! I don't want you or your dog here."

Anger flared so strong through her whole being that Lyssa could taste its bitterness. Part of Mike Gentry's argument that Cody needed a one-on-one instructor was because of his environment. He'd warned Cody could be difficult to work with, but explained he was there on Cody's behalf and that Cody was anxious to start training as soon as possible. He had attitude, but a strong desire. The only way to show Cody exactly how infuriating he could be was to throw it back in his face, his father had told her. Fight fire with fire. That seemed to be the only way to break through Cody's despair lately.

Lyssa couldn't argue with that. Cody had plenty of attitude. But Lyssa had underestimated the warning and now regretted it. Fight fire with fire? In her estimation she was going to need to set off a case of C4 explosives to even make a dent.

"Otis and I aren't going anywhere," she said calmly. "At least not for the next month."

"A month?"

"That's right."

Anger simmered to a boil just beneath the surface of Cody's exterior it seemed. His movements were quick and deliberate as he sat up straight and dropped his boots to the ground with a thud. She wanted to take a step back to shield herself from the slap of anger she was sure he was about to unleash, but she held her ground.

Lyssa had been too young to feel the anger when she'd lost her eyesight. She learned, just as a child learns to crawl and then walk, how to live in her dark world. Learning to crawl for a child was second nature. Curiosity won over confidence every time, hands down. Get from point A to point B and it didn't matter how you got there as long as you did it.

Learning to crawl as an adult, however, was utterly different.

She stayed rooted in her place and in silence, watching him stumble in disorientation while trying to rise from the lounge chair, and then feel his way around the table to the back of the chair. He lifted his head and an almost imperceptible sigh of relief escaped his lips. Cody dragged in a breath of air and began walking, his body tall and proud, his hands rooted at his side instead of out in front of him as a guide.

He must have memorized the amount of steps. Even in his stubbornness, his instinct for survival took over. Maybe she could use that to her advantage. Make it his. She wasn't going to give him an inch though. She suspected a single step back for Cody would feel more like a mile.

Eight steps.

He didn't need her here. Not right at that moment. But she gave it one more try to see if she could make a small crack in his resolve.

"If you'd like, Otis will take you in."
He reached the door and lifted his hands, floating them out in front of him until they made purchase with the outer wall of the house. "I told you I don't need the dog."

"Yeah, I heard you. But counting eight steps only gets you from the chair to the house. What do you do when you're out in the fields? There aren't any chairs out there. Or is that some place you never venture anymore?"

His whole body became rigid. But he said nothing.

She shifted her weight to one hip and crossed her arms as she looked out into the green and gold pastures that rolled deep into the horizon.

"I suppose you could count the fence posts, or even paces to the fence, but turning around would be a bear. You could end up walking all the way to the county line before you hit the other side of the ranch."

"Your point?" he said haughtily.

"Otis can help you get around. Help you climb out of your eight steps and make it a hundred or more."

He dismissed her easily by turning and carefully walking through the French doors.

She released a slow breath, felt her shoulders sag slightly. Guilt should be gnawing at her inside by now for striping down his reality but she had no other choice. In her experience, it was either depression in a comfortable chair for the rest of his days, or it was living again. She was determined to make sure Cody Gentry chose right.

In the meantime, Lyssa had a few strong words for his father.



Barnes and Noble


On Conversations: Shampriest Bevel talks about Today, I Marry My Best Friend: Myself!

It is my pleasure to take a quick break from my Texas Hearts blog tour to introduce you to a fabulous author,  Shampriest Bevel (Sham).  Please sit back with a cup of coffee and enjoy this interview and write up of her new book Today, I Marry My Best Friend: Myself. 

A woman spends her entire life planning the details of her wedding day, and the minute she believes she’s met Mr. Right, she starts planning their wedding, imagining what features their children will inherit, and decorating and designing their first home – all on the first date, before dessert is even served. After spending almost a lifetime planning her princess fairytale, though, what will this woman feel like when she learns she may never marry? Does a bride need a groom in order to be a bride?

Talia Sands, who is very ready for marriage, is left broken-hearted after five years by a man who she learns is having an affair with the neighborhood trick. This becomes a turning point for Talia, as she decides not to allow a no-good man to destroy her dreams of marriage. After she has an epiphany about the root of marriage, which is love, Talia decides to marry herself as a symbol of self-commitment and self-love. Today, I Marry My Best Friend: Myself tells the story of how a woman can stop tirelessly and painfully waiting for a man to ask for her hand in marriage, instead following Talia’s lead by getting her middle finger sized, purchasing her own wedding ring, and marrying herself.

Now she was ready for marriage, but her current boyfriend didn’t seem to have the word in his vocabulary. And this time, she didn’t have anyone waiting in line to be next. He seemed to be the last of the Mohicans. Just because a woman doesn’t have any other male options, does she have to settle?

Talia had been dating Abel for five years. When was he going to propose? She was still the same person that all the other men seemed to love. She was still the same woman that they all wanted to marry. There wasn’t anything that she hadn’t done with or for him. Although she’d always planned for her career to come first, she learned there was more to life. She wanted to come home every night to someone who promised to love her always. She was tired of having an empty bed unless Abel wanted to come over for a pitiful quickie. She wanted more from life. She knew her plan to become partner at her firm was taking a little longer than expected, but she knew it would eventually happen. But this marriage thing…not so much.

Wherever she turned, marriage seemed to be the topic of discussion. Either something related to weddings or marriage always surrounded her. Was this some kind of sign for her? She decided to confront Abel one more time about marriage. What did she really have to lose? Lately, she wasn’t sure why she was still in the relationship. She waited for Abel to come over to her house. She didn’t want to have the conversation on the phone; if she did, he’d just pretend to have something else to do and get off the line. Before Abel could even come in the door good enough, she started her “wedding” interview questions again.

Do you ever plan on getting married?” Talia thought maybe she’d start with trying to create the big picture. Maybe he wanted to get married one day – just not to her.

“Not again, Talia. Where’s all of this coming from?” He thought he was just coming over for his usual Friday night home cooked meal. He could tell it was going to be a long night.

“I was just thinking. I have the right to ask after five years. Well, what do you have to say?” Talia was tired of validating why she needed to know his position on marriage. She believed he needed to be honest.

“I don’t know. I’ve never seen myself as the marrying type.” Maybe if he just stayed in-between “Yes” and “No,” he’d be safe…at least until he could get some of Talia’s cooking. He could smell her baked-from-scratch cheddar and garlic biscuits coming from the kitchen.

“When will you know? I don’t believe it takes a man five years to learn if he’s going to marry a woman or not.” Talia could see him looking past her to the kitchen. Was this louse more interested in dinner than in her?

“Some men take longer than others. You can’t rush a major decision like this. If I marry a woman, I want it to be forever. I’ll know when or if the time is right.” Abel was hungry and becoming more and more aggravated by her questioning. He wasn’t prepared for all of this, and he wouldn’t have bothered to come over if he knew this was to be expected. He would have just gotten Ruby Tuesday’s curbside-to-go and went over to his side chick’s house, La La. La La didn’t want to be married; all she wanted was to get turned out with no strings attached.
“You never had any intention of ever marrying me. I think I already knew that; I just had to confirm it. I can’t believe you’ve been stringing me along for all these years. If you knew I was serious about marriage and you weren’t, you should have stopped dating me. Why did you continue to date me? What did I ever do to you?” It took everything in Talia not to let Abel see her cry. She was too strong for that. He didn’t even seem sincere in his responses to her questions. He was acting nonchalant. Maybe if she wasn’t so smart, she’d fall for his bottomless answers. Talia had wasted five years with Abel, but she decided that she wouldn’t waste anymore. She knew she shouldn’t be waiting on any man; he should be waiting on her.

“Whatever, Talia. Let me get out of here. Call me when you stop tripping. I understand you must be fired up from seeing one of your little WE or Lifetime TV shows.” Abel was over it, and he knew to jet before she got any more heated. For a minute, he thought he should ask for a plate to go. What else was she going to do with all that food? She could at least hook her man up with a biscuit. But the look on her face told him not to say another word. He picked up his overnight bag and started to leave.

“Tell La La I said she can have you.” Bevel, simply known as Sham, is a poet, writer and educator from Bronx, New York. Since the age of seven, she has used poetry to confront obstacles and relinquish emotions. While attending Norfolk State University, she joined Epsilon Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority because she wanted to be a part of a powerful and purposeful sisterhood. She graduated from NSU with a Bachelor’s in Biology. In 2005, she self-published, Therapy for the Soul’s Pain, to share her collection of therapeutic poetry. Commentary from the Writer’s Digest 14th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards described her poetry as “lyrical and smooth, similar to Nikki Giovanni” and “Langston Hughes Blues Era”. Her exposure to the lighter side of publishing inspired her to challenge herself to write a fiction novel.

She was awarded with the Honorable Mention Award for poetry at the 2011 Hampton Roads Writers’ Conference. After attending Christopher Newport University’s Writer’s annual conference and becoming an avid reader of Mary B. Morrison, she decided to begin her soon-to-be released fiction novel. The book, Today I Marry My Best Frien: Myselfsummarizes both the hopeless quest of women waiting to receive a proposal of marriage and their journey to commit to themselves.

Interview with Shampriest:

1. Why did you choose to write women’s fiction?
I wanted to write stories and develop characters who I could not only relate to but also live through. It was important for me to speak to an audience who could handle my voice. Writing women’s fiction is natural for me because I love girl talk with purpose.

2. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I’ve always wanted to try to write with an outline but that just doesn’t work for me. One day I’ll just get a feeling and I’ll start writing. I don’t know what I’m about to write, but my hands just get to moving. Most of the time, I shock myself about what I’ve written. I never know what direction my characters are going to take. I never know what the next chapter will introduce. The only thing I know is when it feels like I’m coming close to the end of the book.

3. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?
I plan on going back to a few of the characters from Today I Marry My Best Friend: Myself. One of the characters, Jazmine Lilly is already scripted as a main character in another women’s fiction novel. As far as themes, I feel comfortable telling the stories of single women in today’s world.

4. What was the hardest part to write in the book(s)?
The hardest part to write in the book is the ending. When I end a book, I have to say good-bye to a story which has been part of my life for years. Since I write every day, writing becomes a part of my daily routine. It feels like something is missing when I finish a book.

5. What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?
The best advice I can give is do your research, network with fellow authors and never give up. You may get hundreds of rejections but don’t stop submitting your manuscript. Rejections just mean that your project is not right for that particular agent or publisher. When the time is right, it will happen. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

6. When did you realize you had a passion for writing?
When I wrote my first poem I knew writing would be my friend for life. As a shy child, I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling. Writing allowed me to say whatever and be whoever. I started keeping a journal of poems at the age of 7. Up until this day, I still write poetry to walk me through some hard times.

7. What do you want your legacy as a writer to be?
I want my legacy to be that I cared about what I had to offer to not only my life but the lives of others. I want people to connect to my work and understand my characters. As I continue to write about the struggles and challenges of women, I want people to know that women should be valued, respected, and honored.

Follow @sham_bevel
Paperbacks will be available everywhere books are sold on April 3, 2012
or books can now be ordered online at: –

Do you like Reunion Stories? - Reading Between the Wines Book Club: Tour: Texas Heart Series by Lisa Mondello

Hello everyone!  Today is Day 3 of my Texas Hearts book blog tour by Sizzling PR.  Today I'm at Reading Between the Wines Book Club and we're talk about my favorite kind of story...reunions!  Stop on over for a chance to win a copy of NOTHING BUT TROUBLE and tell me about your favorite reunion story whether it's real or from a movie or book!

Reading Between the Wines Book Club: Tour: Texas Heart Series by Lisa Mondello (Guest P...: Good morning lovelies! Please give a warm welcome to romance author Lisa Mondello who we are happy have back at RBtWBC, but this time she is...

Check out the TEXAS HEARTS Book Blog Tour by @SizzlingPR

I will be traveling from blog to blog all month.  Make sure you stop by one of these sites to reach and excerpt, a review or blog post.  Leave a comment for a chance to win a free book!

2 – Book Spotlight & Giveaway @ Love to Read Romance
3 – Interview & Giveaway @ Ella Jade
4 – Guest Blog & Giveaway @ Reading Between the Wines
5 – Guest Blog & Giveaway @ Readers Edens
6 – Book Spotlight & Giveaway @ As the Page Turns
10 – Interview & Giveaway @ Books-n-Kisses
11 – Book Spotlight & Giveaway @ Sexxy Blogger
12 – Interview & Giveaway @ Mike Woody
16 – Guest Blog & Giveaway @ Forever Book Lover
17 – Book Spotlight & Giveaway @ Bookin’ It
18 – Book Spotlight @ Cocktails & Books
19 –Book Spotlight @ Simplistik
20 – Guest Blog & Giveaway @ Fictional Candy
23 – Book Spotlight @ Lia Davis
24 – Interview & Giveaway @ Theresa Stillwagon
24 – Book Spotlight & Giveaway @ Books Read & Makeup Done
25 – Interview & Giveaway @ You Gotta Read
26 – Book Spotlight & Giveaway @ Reading it All
27 – Guest Blog @ Storm Goddess Book Reviews
30 – Book Spotlight & Giveaway @ For the Love of Reading

Sweet Not Spicy: Texas Hearts Romance Author, Lisa Mondello, Shares Excerpt #IRInk

Sweet Not Spicy: Texas Hearts Romance Author, Lisa Mondello, Shares...: Lisa is giving away 1 ebook copy of her Sweet Romance, HER HEART FOR THE ASKING,   to one commenter. Please remember to leave y...
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate Program where the site owner receives payment/credit for books sold by clicking through to Amazon. Clicking on the slideshow or carousel will bring you directly to Amazon.