Wednesday, September 26, 2012

On Conversations: #AAMBookclub Author Shewanda Pugh - Crimson Footprints



Please welcome AAMBookclub Author Shewanda Pugh to Conversations!

Shewanda Pugh is a native of Boston’s inner city, though she now calls sunny Miami, Florida home. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Alabama A&M University and a Master’s in Writing from Nova Southeastern University. Fueled from a young age, her passion for crossing societal boundaries like race, class and culture, is the inspiration for both her cluttered bookshelf and her writing. When she’s not busy obsessing over fiction, she can be found traveling, nursing her social networking addiction or enjoying the company of loved ones.

Get to Know Shewanda:
1. What’s unique about Crimson Footprints?
A few things. For starters, I’ve paired a biracial African American girl with a Japanese American guy for a passionate romance. They connect on a multitude of emotional and physical levels, and you as the reader, have the opportunity to see that unfold. Second, I offer the “real” Miami as a setting, the contrary Miami where the richest and poorest of Americans all live in the same glamorous city. Third, both hero and heroine, Tak and Deena, are unique individuals that jump off the page and into the heart. In other words, they’re really real.
2. Why interracial romance?
I have a thing for cultural boundaries. Interracial romance is only one aspect of that. There are also economic and/or religious boundaries, too. You get to see that in Crimson Footprints, too.
3. What part of Crimson Footprints did you most enjoy writing or creating?
The romance between Tak and Deena, two contrary figures who didn’t appear to belong together, but fit together perfectly nonetheless. I also enjoyed fleshing out Deena’s career and making it a total reflection of her character, beliefs, and hardships. There is symbolism in her work as an architect, and that was something I enjoyed exploring.
4. What makes a good story?
Well-developed characters with motivations both big and small, old fashioned plot development, a climax that makes sense, and a satisfying ending. Throw in a cliffhanger or two and you’re working with something blockbuster.
5. Who are your literary heroes?
Zora Neale Hurston, first and foremost. Toni Morrison and Amy Tan second.
6. What are you reading now?
Right now I’m in love with all things even remotely YA dystopian romance. In the last few weeks I’ve read the Hunger Games Trilogy, Divergent, Insurgent, and a ton of other stuff. I’m reading Matched by Allie Condie, but by the time you read this, I’ll be done with that and on to something else.
7. What’s next in the writing realm?
I have tons of stuff in the works. The sequel to Crimson Footprints will release with Delphine Publications in a few months. Right now I’m working on a genealogical history of my family. After that, I plan on releasing a six book series about an African American girl and Asian Indian guy whose families are the best of friends until they fall in love. Expect sparks!

Synopsis: When an insecure, bi-racial woman begins a cloak-and-dagger love affair with a Japanese American man, she is intent on keeping her bigoted family in the dark—albeit with devastating consequences. On the night of her brother’s murder, Deena Hammond stumbles upon Takumi Tanaka, lost and on the wrong end of a .32. After rescuing him from the certain fate driving through the hood in a Porsche will bring, a sweet kind of friendship begins. A balm for her grief. Maybe, Deena likes to think, it happened the day her white mother killed her black father. Or maybe, it was always a part of them, like DNA gone bad. Whatever the case, Deena knows that her family would never approve, hell, never acknowledge her fast-growing love for Takumi. And had he never made love to her that way, in that unraveling, soul-searching sort of way, she could’ve done the same. But love’s a devil that way. So, their game begins. One where they hide what they are from everyone. Anyone. And Tak understands this—for now. After all, Deena’s career hinges on the favor of her mentor and boss, his hard-ass of a father. And the Hammond family is already stretched thin with grief. Yet, each step Deena takes toward family and career brings her closer to an acceptance she’s never had. And away from him.
Web-Links:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Check out TEXAS HEARTS Box Set Books 1-3 by Lisa Mondello #amreading

I have been overwhelmed by the popularity of my Texas Hearts series.  Readers have really embraced those stories and I've fallen in love with those characters all over again.  To celebrate the upcoming release of Book 4 GYPSY HEARTS and a brand new Texas Hearts title featuring the oldest Gentry brother, Jackson Gentry, called LEAVING LIBERTY, I've released a BOX SET of the first 3 books in the TEXAS HEARTS SERIES.

 


TEXAS HEARTS Box Set includes, Her Heart for the Asking, His Heart for the Trusting and The More I See.  To make it even better, I am offering the book for just $2.99 for a limited time.  So those of you who have wanted to read the Texas Hearts series can get all 3 books in one file and get caught up on what's happening with Beau and Mandy, Sara and Mitch, and Cody and Lyssa before you meet the youngest Gentry brother, Brock Gentry.

I gotta tell you, I love the cover for Texas Hearts Box Set 1-3, which was created by Purple Girl Design. What do you think?

Right now TEXAS HEARTS Box Set 1-3 is only available at Amazon for Kindle users.  But I hope to have the Nook version up and running in a day or two.  So ePub users, check back in a day or two.  In the meantime, you can order your copy of TEXAS HEARTS Box Set 1-3 using the link below.

Order from AMAZON  http://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Contemporary-Western-Romance-ebook/dp/B009D628ES/ref=sr_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1348161111&sr=8-10&keywords=Texas+Hearts+lisa


Friday, September 14, 2012

On Conversations: New Title...New Cover...Tempting Fate by Lisa Mondello

I've had such wonderful feedback from my readers on my Fate with a Helping Hand series.  I know readers love series and they also like the value of getting a book in a Box Set.  So in January, I took my popular Fate with a Helping Hand series and released it as a Box Set for readers.  

Since then some readers have told me that the cover didn't really reflect the actual series.  While there isn't a wedding in all the books, there is a wedding in 2 of the 3 and there will be a wedding in an upcoming addition to Fate with a Helping Hand series that will be released in 2013.

Having listened to my readers, I decided to change the cover of the Fate with a Helping Hand Box Set anthology AND give it a new title.  Check out Tempting Fate below...

 
Who doesn't love a wedding?  I love them.  Let me know what you think of the cover.  Tempting Fate includes all three of the Fate with a Helping Hand series, including All I Want for Christmas is You, The Marriage Contract and The Knight and Maggie's Baby.  Check it out at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B006YSZX8Q
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tempting-fate-lisa-mondello/1112894765?ean=2940013694538

On Conversations: Interview with Hannah Spivey, author of Ebony The Beloved



Today on Conversations, I'd like to introduce you to Hannah Spivey and her new book Ebony The Beloved!



Ebony The BelovedEbony has been condemned and rejected by her parents and peers all of her life. Like many other black girls who grew up weary to face life, she struggles with the adversities of being impoverished and accepted for who she is. After being mentally, emotionally and sexually abused, Ebony still struggles to fight her way to the top, never fully realizing what her worth is until she finds love and acceptance from one of the faculty members at her school. From that point on, things began to blossom for her until she meets a smooth operator named, Desmond Waltz.

Desmond is a world renowned entertainer who takes a sudden romantic interest in Ebony. His hidden sadistic and sexually devious desires for her erupt into rage, abuse, and imprisonment. Not only is Ebony's world turned upside down, but she has to deal with Desmond's desire to see her suffer under his thumb, but she is also subjected to his domineering mother, who hates her and abuses her every time she gets, leaving Ebony beaten and bloody and begging for the pain to stop.

Will Ebony be able to break the perpetual cycle of abuse, self-hatred, and anguish? To what end is Ebony willing to go to finally be happy? What happens next in this riveting novel has twists and turns that will have your jaw dropping.
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ebony-The-Beloved-ebook/dp/B007X53M8W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1347646377&sr=8-2&keywords=ebony+the+beloved 
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ebony-the-beloved-spivey-hannah/1104579501?ean=9780615516837  

A little bit about Hannah:

Tell us a little about your current project?
I am currently promoting my novel “Ebony the Beloved” which is centered around domestic violence, child abuse, and bullying.

Was it hard breaking into the publishing/screenwriting?
It was hard breaking into publishing because I knew nothing about the publishing business. So, I had to research like many other aspiring writers.

What did you do to prepare yourself? Did you go to school or learn through outside workshops?
Nope. I was born to be a writer but…I am still perfecting my craft.

What is the single most important thing you've learned about managing your career?
I’ve learned that no one can help you promote your book better than you can.

How do you promote your work to readers? To publishers? To production companies?
I pitch them via email or by phone. I tell radio interviewers/reviewers who I am, the name of my book, what my book is about, and the cause I am promoting via my book.

If you weren't writing as a career...what would you be doing?
I’d probably be a forensic technician.

What is the craziest thing you've done to research a story idea?
I never did. All of my story ideas come from the things I hear about, think, and see.

They say you make your luck...what have you done in your career that has resulted in what other people might think of as being lucky?
My publisher financed my book with her own money.

Everyone always wants to know about a writer's writing space. What's yours like?
Mine would be in my bedroom. That’s where my inner writer comes out.

Do you write every day? Every week? Odd times?
I try to write everyday but sometimes I end up writing a couple of times a week.

When you get deep into a project, how do you balance your time between work and family?
There’s really no balance. I am a big time procrastinator. Although, I try to set deadlines for myself, I still don’t meet them like I should. 

What was the most exciting thing that has happened in your career so far?
Don't limit it to a big sale. 

Did you meet someone spectacular who influenced you? Did you hit a particular bestsellers list?
I’d say I’ve learned how to market and promote my book and I’ve written an article about bullying for a very popular media entity called, “Rolling Out.”

 To order Ebony The Beloved:
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Ebony-The-Beloved-ebook/dp/B007X53M8W/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1347646377&sr=8-2&keywords=ebony+the+beloved  

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/ebony-the-beloved-spivey-hannah/1104579501?ean=9780615516837   

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

On Conversations: #AAMBookclub #Author Senica Evans




Getting to know...
 Senica Evans as author, relationship coach, radio host, and speaker is passionate about helping women overcome the destruction in their life to reveal their true beauty and greatness. As a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault, and destructive relationships, Senica founded SennySen to be a guiding light to women and teen girls. Senica is the author of Married to Him, an autobiography of the destruction she faced in her abusive destructive marriage. Senica is preparing to release her second book later this year; Woman Free Yourself: A Guide to Healing from Divorce or a Heart Wrenching Breakup by Starting Over, Rediscovering You, & Crushing Bitterness, Anger, and Resentment. Visit her at http://www.sennysen.com.

1. What is Married to Him?
Married to Him is my story and debut book. It allows readers to journey with me through my destructive marriage which was filled with abuse, infidelity, and disrespect to peace, joy, and happiness. It also details how previous events in my life resurfaced in my marriage which caused me to accept things I was undeserving of. It will make you laugh, piss you off, and get a bird’s eye view of what’s it like to be in destruction.
2. Why did you decide to write Married to Him?
Unfortunately, there are a lot of women who get stuck in destructive relationships and it’s usually swept under the rug. Writing has always been therapeutic for me. When I started my blog, this was a way for me to get out and get over this relationship. As the blog grew, I saw there were many women who were stuck in similar situations and they found solace and comfort in my escape. Married to Him is not just my story but my journey of overcoming such a destructive relationship to come out on the other side stronger better and without regret or malice.
3. You mentioned you used writing as a therapeutic tool. When did you start writing?
I’ve always had a passion for writing. As a child, I wrote songs and poetry. I was that girl that would send you love letters. My college English professors would often encourage me to pursue writing as a career. But, I chased the career that offered the most money and quickly found myself unhappy. I never put the pen down. I kept journals on almost every part of my life. Finally, I had had enough and decided to step out on faith and pursue my true passion; writing.
4. Do you still talk to “him”?
Yes, I do. We have two children together so I’m forced too. We are definitely not friends but not enemies either. We do what’s necessary for our children.
5. What was the turning point for you in the relationship?
Well, without giving the book away. I simply had enough. It’s just like the old saying goes, “a person will leave when they’ve had enough” But I was finally able to walk away knowing I gave my marriage my all. I left without any remorse or what if’s. I left with a clear conscience that I made every attempt to make my marriage work.
6. Do you have any advice for women in similar situations?
Plan, grieve, and take time for you. It sounds so cliché but it’s true; know your worth. Once you are firmly rooted in who you are and what you are deserving of, you will realize what situations or relationships are detracting from your greatness. When the relationship is over grieve that relationship. By that I mean, take the necessary time to cry, scream, or whatever it takes to get the emotions out. Don’t suppress them. It’s also important to take time for you. A wounded heart is too needy and delicate to enter another relationship quickly. Date yourself for a little while and have fun doing you. It will foster that sexy feminine confidence.
7. What can we expect from you in the future?
I am currently working on my second book, Woman Free Yourself: A Guide to Healing from Divorce or a Heart Wrenching Breakup by Starting Over, Rediscovering You, & Crushing Bitterness, Anger, and Resentment. Woman Free Yourself is a practical guide to assist women in overcoming a relationship’s demise and how to get back out there successfully. I also host a weekly internet radio show, Let’s Chat Radio Show, discussing all things relationships and women. In addition to writing and radio show hosting, I am also a speaker, relationship and life coach for women, and mentor. You can find out more information about me and my services by visiting www.sennysen.com

Synopsis:
One woman’s story of overcoming a marriage filled with deceit, infidelity, and abuse to living a life filled with joy, peace, and deliverance.
From Senica Evans, comes a riveting, heartbreaking, drama filled autobiographical tale of her tumultuous marriage to Spank. He is verbally and mentally abusive and can’t seem to control his incessant cheating. But it didn’t start that way! They met and became the best of friends. Almost inseparable from the start. As Spank’s true self was slowly being revealed the relationship picked up speed and eventually began to spin out of control. She saw the signs but her desire to keep her family intact was far greater. Despite the craziness, her love for him fueled the drama fire and his selfishness was the wind that kept it ablaze. There was a lesson to be learned from all of this and she was determined to figure it out.
Excerpt:
“The butterflies were swarming and I was warming up on the inside. He sat back on the couch and began to swirl his finger around the curls in my hair. He pulled me back to him and his lips touched mine. The kiss was so passionate it sent jolts through my body. Then all of a sudden he abruptly pulled away from me. “Go ahead and finish eating. I have more planned” he said with great confidence.”
“On one of the rare occasions he would actually open up and talk to me, he told me, “sometimes you have to put things on the back burner to get what you want. Once I got you, I moved everything from the back to the front.” This explained it all! I was just something to be conquered. He didn’t love me, not one bit. It was all a game. “
“You’re so silly! Why aren’t you taking pictures? What woman doesn’t take pictures on vacation? You’re just walking around looking like you’re a man or something. What was the point of you bringing the camera?
I didn’t know picture taking was gender specific! If you aren’t happy with the amount of pictures I’m taking or the lack thereof you are more than welcome to take them yourself.
I’m not doing anything. You’re the woman so you are supposed to do it. I don’t know why you want to be a man so bad. Senica you aren’t a man. You can’t be the man.
Huh?!? Ok whatever Spank!”

Book Trailer:
Web-Links:

Good Reads Review

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