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Life As a Classroom, Compassion As the Teacher: It Takes a Fool by Sasha Dreams

Cover

The bell rings

Class is in session

The chalkboard is wiped clean,

ready for today’s lesson

One student is late and not seated at the table

She’s diving in and out of currents of circumstances,

trying to steady herself toward the shore

She arrives late with the weight of the world as her backpack,

ready to give her pain away to part with her problem

But Compassion, her teacher, offers a better solution

~By A.C.

Book Blurb

Life couldn’t be sweeter for ten-year-old Sasha…
She’s the darling of her fifth grade class and her best friend always has her back… just like a sister. But simmering beneath the beautiful life are the dark secrets her parents harbor, secrets that slowly wind their way around the heart of the family, choking the life from Sasha. Helpless, afraid and alone, she fights the only way she can, but her desperate quest for survival could lead to her own destruction!

It Takes a Fool explores the darkest depths of poverty, addiction and bullying, and how even the innocence of a child can be twisted into something monstrous. Sasha will do all she can to survive a nightmare she can’t wake up from, but in protecting herself, she might just destroy everyone around her.

biopic-1Meet Author Sasha Dreams

Bio

Sasha Dreams is a no one from nowhere pregnant with dreams. She dreams of hope, ambition, fulfillment and success. Sasha has learned from the mistakes of her childhood and transformed her weaknesses into strengths.

Sasha believes wholeheartedly that writing is healing. At times throughout her writing process it was painful, but now that the tears have dried and the past forgiven a horribly beautiful story has emerged. Follow Sasha on her journey as a writer, business woman, wife, daughter, sister, mother, and friend. Watch as her dreams come true. 

Q & A with Sasha Dreams

What did you do before becoming a writer? How has your career path led to or shaped your writing career?

I currently work in serving my community. I am sure that my career path has shaped my writing by allowing me to stay connected with our youth. I feel I was able to connect with my inner child more because I am surrounded by our youth daily. It Takes A Fool is told from my ten year old self but is appropriate for middle school aged children starting in the eighth grade.

Why did you write It Takes a Fool?

I wrote It Takes A Fool to heal from my past. This story has been brewing inside of me for over 25 years. It was ready to be heard. Even though I was not necessarily ready to share my pain with the world. I become more and more ready everyday.

How has social media and technology affected bullying?

Social media and technology have affected bullying positively and negatively in my opinion. On one hand an individual or a group may choose to abuse social media. They may choose to harass, embarrass or oust a person unfairly. On the other hand because of technology a person who has been bullied or who is a bully can find resources to stop what is happening.

What advice would you give to someone who is being bullied?

Bullying is a major problem throughout the world. We see it everywhere, from schools, work, sports, online and in homes. If you are a victim of being bullied or you are a bully please visit www.ittakesafool.com/resources.

Why did you become a writer?

I became a writer to share my story with others. It is my hope that by sharing my story others will choose to make better choices. Remember, every new day is an opportunity to make better choices.

What tips would you give other aspiring writers on how to complete and submit a novel, and survive the publication process?

My advice for new and aspiring writers is to do as much research as possible on traditional vs. self publishing and decide which option is best for you. Once you have decided, keep pressing forward.

What impact do you want to leave on the literary world?

The impact I want to make on the literary world is to have written a story that is told from a place of genuine pain but the reader is able to feel the wounds heal page after page.

Describe your writing process or ritual.

My writing ritual was to clean my room top to bottom. Climb in bed with my note pad and a freshly sharpened pencil, some music and an open heart.

What are you most passionate about in your life?

I am most passionate about being the best person I can be. I want to lead by example for my childrens sake. Sometimes I make mistakes, but each new day, I try harder to be a better me.

If you could include a character from any teen movie or movie dealing with middle school students, who would you choose to be in your book?  How would he or she fit in at the school?  Who would she or he befriend:  Sasha or her best friend?

 If I could include a character from any teen movie or movie dealing with middle school students, I would choose, Skai Jackson. She is a very talented actress. We also share some similar features. I think she would portray Sasha in a light that viewers could relate to. She would have definitely befriended Sadie. (My best friend in It Takes A Fool) Everyone loved Sadie.

If you could create a soundtrack for your book, what songs would you choose?

The soundtrack for It Takes A Fool would include so many popular hits from the Spinners.

Rubberband Man

Love Don’t Love Nobody(It Takes A Fool)

Could It Be I’m Falling In Love

Sadie

 

 

Press Release

 

fool1web

Much Anticipated Memoir on Bullying Finally Here

Washington, DC (December 5, 2014) – The highly anticipated book by Sasha Dreams, It Takes a Fool: A Lesson Learned on Bullying, is finally available on Amazon.

It Takes a Fool is a short “creative memoir” about a 10 year old girl, named Sasha. Sasha is the darling of her fifth grade class and her best friend always has her back…just like a sister. But simmering beneath the beautiful life are the dark secrets her parents harbor, secrets that slowly wind their way around the heart of the family, choking the life from Sasha. Helpless, afraid and alone, she fights the only way she can but her desperate quest for survival could lead to her own destruction.

Excerpts from the book have already been making an impression on, the largest community of readers and writers, Wattpad. One Wattpad reviewer said: “Powerful writing. Quiet, soft-spoken but speaks straight into readers’ hearts. A place of vulnerability.”

“I am excited about the release of the book,” said Sasha. “I hope valuable lessons will be learned through the sharing of my story.”

It takes a fool is available in both kindle and paperback format on Amazon.com for $4.95 and $7.95 respectively. For further information about the book and the author, visit: http://www.ittakesafool.com.

 

 

If you want to read a moving story that will leave you changed, pick up your copy of It Takes a Fool today!
Connect with Sasha Dreams!

Website:  www.ittakesafool.com

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/It-Takes-Fool-Learned-Bullying-ebook/dp/B00O4LTNRM

FB:  https://www.facebook.com/sashasmemoir

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sashasmemoir

Email:  sashasmemoir (at) gmail (dot) com

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I Am Change That’s Beautiful for Situation: SIFTING THROUGH MUD by Demetria Foster Gray

3D Book Cover - Sifting Through Mud - July 2014 - resized smallIn the dirt

lies all the ingredients

for change

Like a caterpillar,

she takes in

what is meant for harm

and it hardens,

then blooms

into something beautiful.

Change becomes the breeding ground

for growth,

the place

where whom she was meant to be

can finally come forth.

~by A.C.

Excerpt from Sifting Through Mud

         Untangling myself from the covers, I roll over to look at the clock on my nightstand. Who the hell is banging on my door at six-forty in the morning? It better not be Wesley. I told him my thighs were no longer open for business, and that he should focus on fixing his marriage instead of running around like a sex-crazed bachelor.

         I let my head fall back onto the pillow, hoping whoever it is goes away. Except the ringing and banging doesn’t stop. I jump out of bed, grab my robe, and scamper down the stairs.

         “Why didn’t you tell me you were seeing Nathan?” Nyla storms into my house like a wild fire on crack when I open the door. “How is that something you don’t tell me?” she demands, throwing her handbag fiercely onto the foyer table.

         Panic strikes me hard in the chest. Who told her? How does she know?

         “What do you mean?” I play dumb, buying myself some time.

         “You know what I mean.” Now thrusting her car keys on the table, except they bounce off and hit the floor. She pivots around to face me, her hands hard on her hips.

         I freeze up. My whole body goes into lock down as if all my muscles and organs have run for the hills, leaving me stumped and stupid.

         Nyla’s eyes bulge with rage. “My husband was a patient of yours and you don’t tell me that? How can you not tell me that? I had no idea he was seeing a shrink.”

         What? Huh? My brain is tripping over itself trying to understand what’s happening. I try to move but my body is still frozen. What is she talking about? I thought she was referring to the reckless affair, the mating with her husband. But that’s not it at all because I’m sure she would’ve slapped me or punched me or taken out a gun and shot me by now. Something’s off base here and my brain is being very slow in its tabulation.

         “How can we be friends this long and you don’t mention a thing like that?” she hisses. “What kind of a friend are you?”

         Finally it hits me. This isn’t about the affair with her currently dead husband. I’m safe. I dodged the bullet yet again.

         Well, sort of.

 

Author Photo - Medium sizeMeet Author Demetria Foster Gray

Demetria Foster Gray is a novelist, freelance writer, and communications consultant. She earned a degree in Marketing Communications and spent the bulk of her career writing for the corporate world. Creating fictional characters and building stories has always been her first love. A native of the Chicago, IL area, Demetria now lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. Sifting Through Mud is her debut novel. Visit Demetria at http://www.demetriafostergray.com

 

Author Links:

Website: DemetriaFosterGray.com

Facebook: DemetriaFosterGray.Author

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DFosterGray

Amazon Buy Link: http://www.amazon.com/Sifting-Through-Demetria-Foster-Gray/dp/1500669334/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407967863&sr=8-1&keywords=sifting+through+mud

 

 

 

Author Interview Q&A

For the Novel Sifting Through Mud

(August 2014)

 

  1. What did you do before becoming a writer? How has your career path led to or shaped your writing career?

I’ve been a writer for quite some time that I barely recall what I did before. I’ve spent over twenty years as a marketing and technical writer in the corporate world. However, underneath all my corporate layers, fiction writing was always drumming to come out, wanting desperately to take the lead. So I let it out.

 

  1. Why did you write Sifting Through Mud?

I wanted to see under what circumstances a woman and her husband’s mistress could become best friends. I like stories about women and the adversity they go through to overcome challenges and beat the odds against them. Plus, I love strong female friendships and the ties that bind them, shape them, and give them courage to grow.

 

  1. What can women learn from Nyla?

They can learn resiliency, understanding, and the art of unconditional love. Nyla had to learn each of these as she navigated her friendship with Vivian.

  1. What are three things that a couple needs to make a marriage work?

Ha ha! If I knew the answer to that, I’d bottle it, sell it, and put an end to all the divorces. I’d be rich.

 

  1. Why did you become a writer?

Because that’s the only thing that fits me like a glove. I feel at peace and at home when I write.

 

  1. Bravo’s reality TV brand, The Real Housewives, is very popular today.  If Nyla were a character on one of these shows, how would she interact with the other wives?  What would the wives say or think about her situation?

Nyla would think all The Real Housewives were coo-coo-crazy. She probably wouldn’t interact well with them, and they probably wouldn’t appreciate Nyla’s snooty opinion of them. In the novel, Nyla’s friend Lettie operates like she could be a cast member on The Real Housewives. Nyla and Lettie’s relationship depicts a great example of how Nyla would interact if she were on The Real Housewives.

 

  1. What tips would you give other aspiring writers on how to complete and submit a novel, and survive the publication process?

In this business, you have to have a thick skin and faith in yourself. Completing a novel and surviving the publication process takes extreme faith, endurance and a thick skin. If you don’t have any of these, you may want to rethink your writing journey. My one tip would be this: Make sure you want it bad enough to endure all the pitfalls and obstacles. Otherwise, it’s just a waste of your time.

 

  1. What impact do you want to leave on the literary world?

I would like to inspire, uplift, and entertain all those who come in contact with my literary work.

 

  1. Describe your writing process or rituals.

I really don’t have a process. I just sit down and write. I’ve tried to put processes in place many times, but I typically get bored with the routine of it and end up ditching it after a few weeks.

 

10.   What are you most passionate about in your life?

I love obtaining inner wisdom and strength and sharing that knowledge with others. Tapping into our spirituality empowers us to operate at remarkable levels. It gives us divine focus, freedom, and courage to be and do what we were called to be and do.

 

 

 

3D Book Cover - Sifting Through Mud - July 2014 - resized small

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Synopsis/Summary

 

 

The death of Nyla’s husband comes as a shock to everyone except Nyla. What’s shocking to Nyla is her inability to grieve his death like a typical loving wife should grieve. But Nyla isn’t a typical loving wife. She’s a woman in desperate need to breathe. The oxygen in her life has long gone, and the astonishing thing she feels from her husband’s death is relief, not grief.

Even more astonishing is the rare and unexpected friendship which develops between Nyla and her dead husband’s mistress. However, Nyla isn’t aware her new best friend is a former mistress. And as their friendship deepens into an unshakable bond, Nyla is forced to face secrets her husband took with him to his grave. This means she has to sift through mud to unravel the truth. A truth that’s better off dead.

Yet through it all, the one thing which makes Nyla violently breathless, is the exact same thing that causes her to finally breathe.

 

What People Are Saying about Sifting Through Mud (Book Testimonials)

Demetria Foster Gray delivers a heart-stopping, emotional punch with her debut novel, Sifting Through Mud. The boundaries of friendship are reinvented in this sexy, thought provoking tale of two women on a tightly woven journey of self discovery. Sifting Through Mud is rich with characters you’ll laugh with, cry with, and pull for in the end. —Lynn Chandler Willis, award-winning author of The Rising, and Wink of an Eye

 

In her debut novel, Demetria Foster Gray delivers a stunning tale of friendship, love, and sacrifice. Full of twists and turns, Sifting Through Mud leaves you breathless as friends, Nyla and Vivian, push the limits of their convictions, friendship, and love. These women are strong, smart, and beautiful with whom you instantly connect. Feeling the emotional struggle of each character, your heart aches for them, their decisions, and ultimately your own as you find yourself choosing between them. Sifting Through Mud is simply stunning. —Cindy Cipriano, author of The Circle

 

 

Bonus Excerpt from Sifting Through the Mud

Nathan is in the family room watching sports on TV. My handbag and car keys are on the foyer table next to the flower arrangement I sent myself yesterday for our twentieth wedding anniversary. I grab my keys, my handbag, and open the front door. I pause in the doorway to look back over my shoulder, at the life I lived here. Then silently, almost invisibly, I walk out the door.

         I have no idea where I’m going. All I feel is the overwhelming burden of where I’ve been. The toll and heaviness of an undesired life. For now, a hotel will have to do. One where no one can find me, and has big, fluffy pillows to hold my tears and muffle my screams. Tomorrow, when Nathan’s at work, I’ll go back for a few personal things. All I have now are the clothes on my back—clothes which are hanging wearily from my marriage-torn body.

         The truth of the matter is, I’m a murderer. I’ve killed the one person who could’ve saved me—myself. I’ve traveled down this lifeless road for far too long, and now I’m stuck in blandness. I miss the flavor of life. The pleasure and joy of actually feeling feelings, instead of faking feelings. Faking joy, faking happiness. I’m living life without the spice of life and it’s taking its toll on me.

         But thank God the dead has now risen, and it’s time for me to take back my life. To absolve my death. Which is precisely what I did over dinner this evening while Nathan was eating in front of the TV, and I was dining alone at the kitchen table. I asked myself two questions: (1) How much longer can I play a role that’s no longer suited for me?, and (2) How much longer can I hold my breath when all I want to do is breathe? The answers to those questions are what caused me to rise from the table, grab my handbag, and walk out the door.

         The thing is, I don’t know how to love my husband anymore. Or if I ever loved him at all. It seems I did. I must have. But I just don’t know anymore. It’s exhausting spinning your wheels in a marriage that doesn’t seem to move. Not forward, not backwards, just stalled. Stagnant. A lot of bitterness accompanies stagnation. A lot of anger. A lot of slicing each other apart, and chewing each other up. It’s treacherous. It’s sad. It’s time to move on.

         After driving for a half hour to the next town, I find a nice hotel with clean, spacious rooms, a deep Jacuzzi tub, fresh linens, and a complimentary hot breakfast in the morning. Nathan will be calling me when it becomes the middle of the night and I haven’t returned home. He’ll wonder where I am with a slight bit of concern. Or perhaps he’ll sleep like a log through the night and never give my absence a second thought. Either way, I’ve turned off my cell phone. His concern or lack of concern is no longer an issue for me.

 

 

 

 

See what happens next  in Demetria Foster Gray’s Sifting Through Mud.

Heal Your Heart Before You Complete Mine–Hazel Robinson’s New Release, Something Missing

hazel1

Author Interview


1) What makes Something Missing stand out among other romance novels?

For me it stands out because it focuses on real life imperfections and them rolling out those imperfections to find the happy ending everyone deserves. It shows that not every love story has a beginning, middle and end.

 

2) In your bio, you state that you are a Supernatural fan. Sam & Dean have really had hit and miss relationships throughout the series.  What kind of storyline would create for them to find the perfect love?

OO! I think that Dean should have his happy ever after with his old girlfriend Lisa. I mean he was happy living the normal life with her. It would definitely be him riding up in his car and taking her in his arms moment. He needs someone to take care of him for a change.

For Sam, well, I think he likes to feel like the hero, so for him I think he would need a damsel in distress that he can rescue and then they fall in love. He needs someone funny and strong.
3) What can readers expect from the True Love series?

Well, the True Love series will contain gritty storylines with lots of ups and downs. Some love stories are straightforward and that’s fine, but what about the love stories that go wrong? What about the love stories that don’t come that easily? That’s what the True Love series is–it tells different love stories, each with their own tragedy/heartache; it tells about true love in its pure form. Not just the words ‘I love you’ but the feeling of love and what it does to people.

4) Max & Susan are childhood friends who are embarking on a new romance.  Can friends truly be lovers?

I think that when two people are meant to be together then they will be together, I definitely think that if you have a strong connection with someone it doesn’t matter if you are friends.

 

5) How would you describe your writing process?

Hhmmm. Well, this book took me a year to write. I spent a lot of late nights (some all-nighters). I would tuck myself away in my invisible box with my music on and just write what came to my mind. I always have a notebook with me and always tuck a pen in my hair!

6) What are five things that a good romance must have?

You need to have a strong connection between your main characters; you can’t just throw them together.

Your reader needs to get butterflies when they read about the first kiss.

Complications are good. No romance is easy in real life; it takes hard work.

I’m a sucker for tragedy in a romance. And of course sex but not overdone, less is sometimes more. You want your imagination to work while you’re reading.
7) How has technology changed romance in real life?

Good old fashioned love letters have been exchanged for texting and emails. There isn’t any romance in technology really. No one sends a bunch of flowers expressing their feelings for someone; they tweet it or change their Facebook status. And in some ways technology can ruin a romance.
8) What tips about the publication process would you give to writers?

Well, I have been lucky enough to have my book published through a publisher. I would advise NEVER give up, get as many contacts as you can, make your book known. It’s not an easy ride; it’s a lot of hard work, long emails and tears. I suggest making a lot of friends on places like Facebook and Twitter, join author and blogger groups; they will help each other out. Also find someone that has a similar style to you and become writing buddies. You will be amazed how much motivation you get for having a writing buddy.

 

hazel2

 

 

 

BIOGRAPHY: I’ve always had a passion for reading but over the last several years it has become an obsession, a few months ago I decided to put fingers to keys to keyboard (or pen to paper!) and write “Something Missing” a story I’ve had hidden away in the back of my mind for a long time.

 

Hazel lives in the small town of Rishton in Lancashire. England, with her husband, three children, two cats, dog, rabbit and lizard. She fills her days dashing between school runs, pets and housework and at night she comes to life either writing or watching her favorite program ‘Supernatural’ (yes she is Supernatural obsessed)

Her road to writing started with a love for paranormal romance novels, and after finding a passion for tragic romance she set out on the mission to share her own story. After long nights writing and a lot of ‘Supernatural’ episodes she is finally ready to share ‘Something Missing’. Hazel loves nothing better than sitting with a cup of tea, a chocolate biscuit and a good book.

 

SYNOPSIS: When Susan is left orphaned, she begins a harrowing journey through the care system. Left with both mental and physical scars, Susan approaches adulthood with a self-destructive impulse. However, there is hope in the figure of her childhood friend, Max; the first boy she ever kissed.

 

Now a grown woman, Susan returns to her childhood home of Winchelsea, where she hopes she will find the answer to the gap in her heart that she’s carried with her since she left. With Max by her side, she attempts to find the path her life should have taken, to build a home, to heal old wounds, and to finally create a family that will stop the terrible feeling of something missing.

But Max has a secret, one that risks destroying all hope of a happy ever after, unless they can find a way to heal one another.

 

 

AVAILABLE FORMATS: e-Book on Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com and Paperback available from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. (It will be available for other retailers after December 2014.)

 

EXCERPTS: (1) Susan breathed in deeply; even now the emotions were raw.

“A long time ago he was my best friend; we were inseparable. From the age of like, two, we never went anywhere without each other. When my grandmother died he protected me from the pain. But after the funeral they came to take me away. Max wanted me to run away with him but I said no. We were just children.”

 

*

 

(2) Instead of heading back to the house she went to the beach. She’d spent a lot of time wishing to walk on it again; it held so many happy memories for her. As she walked along the shore, she watched the sun setting in the distance. She thought back to the night she had discovered she had to leave. The memory was painful and she felt a tear slip down her cheek. No one could have imagined what would happen to her when she left, and no one could have stopped it. Not really. Feeling in need of that drink, she turned in the direction of home. That’s when she saw him. Butterflies fluttered in her stomach as the tall, dark-haired man walk towards her.

Max had seen Susan a few times over the weekend, and he had desperately wanted to go over and say something to her, but he hadn’t known what to say. When she’d walked past the garage earlier, he almost plucked up enough courage, but something had stopped him. She looked amazing, way out of his league, but he plucked up the courage now there really was no way of avoiding her.

“Hello!” he said, smiling awkwardly, and stuffing his hands deep into his pockets.

 

 

CONTACT:

Please contact either

Hazel Robinson at h.f.robinsonbooks@gmail.com

FACEBOOK PAGE https://www.facebook.com/HazelfRobinson

WEBPAGE www.hazelrobinsonbooks.weebly.com

 

or

Kitty Rackham at

littlebirdpublishinghouse@yahoo.com

 

 

Killing Me Softly With His Wrongs–It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy by Quanie Miller

QMiller_eCover_FINAL_500x750

Winner of Chick-Lit Pad’s 2013 Best Upcoming Fiction Contest

Time waits for no one. Neither does Curtis.

What’s a girl like Jazzy supposed to do?

Decisions, decisions, decisions. . .

Read about the ruse of roller coaster love

in Quanie Miller’s new romantic comedy, It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy!

I locked the love

I felt for you

inside my heart

for safe keeping,

for a later reaping,

thinking,

I had time to reclaim it.

Book Blurb:
Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.
The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.
But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is; restaurant shootouts, a neurotic boss, a mother who spies on the neighbors, and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. Who has time to fall in love? So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof—the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.
Author Interview

1) What makes you unique as a writer? Where do you get your inspiration?

I think I’m unique as a writer because my reading was so varied growing up. I read everything; funny stuff, scary stuff, the in between stuff. As a result my work is a hodgepodge of all those things.

I get inspiration from everywhere. From listening to conversations, to people watching, television, music. Ideas are born from pretty much anything. I could probably sneeze and say, “Hmm. That gives me an idea…”

2) What makes It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy stand out among other books in its genre?

The main character is African American and the book is romantic comedy— but heavy on the comedy—so I think that’s what sets the book apart. There are a lot of laugh out loud moments.

3) The MTV Show, Catfish, is very popular today.  How would Jazzy react if a potential mate was being investigated on this reality show?

Ha! Well, I don’t think she’d need Nev and Max! I think that her, her best friend (Serai), and her mother would launch their own investigation. They would probably tail the guy for a few days, figure out his schedule, rent a van, and camp outside of his job with surveillance equipment. Then Serai would turn the tables on him by being a catfish herself; she’d friend him on Facebook, invite him to coffee, and before he knew what hit him, there would be Jazzy and her mother, with cameras in his face (Cheaters style), demanding answers. They’d probably have their own show; Catfish, Reloaded.

4) How would readers relate to Jazzy’s experiences with love in this novel?

Jazzy goes through it all; wanting to rekindle an old flame, getting over that and embarking on a new relationship, having trust issues with the new man. I think readers will totally be able to identify with that!

5) Speaking of reality shows, there has yet to be one about the writing profession.  If you could create a writing reality show, what would it be?

It would definitely be about writing workshops but it would be more like the TV show Survivor. You’d have to scheme and form alliances but ultimately, the person with the strongest manuscript would win.

6) What’s next for you in your writing projects?

Well, right now I’m in the outline phase for the follow up to It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy. I’m also going to release a paranormal novel next year (but under a different name).

7) What author/literary work has had the most impact on you?

For humor I’d have to say Dave Barry because he’s probably the funniest person on the planet. I’ve also been impacted by sitcoms like Girlfriends, The Golden Girls, and Living Single (anything with funny women getting into trouble!). I read a lot of RL Stine and Christopher Pike growing up and that definitely impacts the paranormal stuff that I write.

Quanie Miller PictureBio:
Quanie Miller grew up in New Iberia, Louisiana. She fell in love with reading at an early age and spent most of her time at the Iberia Parish Library discovering new authors like R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike (she was often found walking back home from the library with a stack of books that went up to her chin). She holds degrees from Louisiana State University and San Jose State University. She has been the recipient of the James Phelan Literary Award, the Louis King Thore Scholarship, the BEA Student Scriptwriting Award, and the Vicki Hudson Emerging Writing Prize. She loves writing humorous stories about strong willed, sassy women who can’t keep themselves out of trouble. She lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband and is currently, as always, working on another novel. To find out more about Quanie and her works in progress visit quanietalkswriting.com.
Book Excerpt:

 I parked on the street and realized that my palms were sweaty, so I wiped them on the seat and took three deep breaths. When I got out of the car, I tried to remain calm, but by the time I reached the door, the butterflies in my stomach had turned into bats. I knocked. A few seconds later Curtis answered, and I stood there, shocked. He looked so damn good I had to stop myself from taking a flying leap and wrapping both my legs around his waist. He had a beard (he was always clean-shaven when we were together) and was actually dressed….well….nicely! He was wearing a white button down shirt with khakis instead of those blue jogging pants with the yellow paint stains and the white muscle shirt with the holes in it. And for once, he smelled like he hadn’t bought his cologne from some guy in a beanie on a street corner. He even had the nerve to look like he’d been hitting the weight room, which shocked me because the whole time we were together, the only exercise this man got was running from bill collectors. Before I knew it, I felt a tingle in the part of my body that’s off limits to everyone except my gynecologist. Then, I got pissed. How dare he open the door looking like a chocolate wet dream? I, the dragon slayer, did not get slayed. I did the slaying. I regained my composure. “How are you, Curtis?

“Fine, Jazzy. You look good.”

I wanted to say, “Chile, this girdle is cuttin’ off my circulation like you wouldn’t believe.” But instead, I smiled and said, “Thank you. So do you.” We walked inside the beautiful foyer and, as always, the winding staircase took my breath away. I followed Curtis into the living room and immediately noticed that it had been remodeled. The carpet had been replaced with hardwood floors, the walls painted a deep red, thick curtains were draped over heavy rods, an oil painting hung over the mantel piece, and a glass coffee table stood between two full-length leather sofas. I was so busy marveling at the decorating that it took me a while before I noticed the atmosphere in the room: cake, balloons, and all the children doing cartwheels. For a second, I thought I heard some of the kids singing, “Ding dong the wicked witch is dead.” The adults seemed happy (but maybe the cocktails had something to do with that), and no one, except for me, was wearing black. It didn’t seem like a repass. It seemed more like a celebration.

I said, “They seem to be taking it well.”

He shrugged. “I think they’re grieving on the inside. Do you want something to drink?”

“Do you have lemonade?”

“Yes.”

I didn’t want any alcohol. When I got even just a little bit tipsy, for whatever reason, I became a rock star in my head. The last time, at karaoke night at some dive bar, I really got down with my bad self. I ended up on stage singing “Shoop” by Salt-n-Pepa. The next day, to my horror, it ended up on YouTube. For weeks, people walked by me singing that damn song and laughing and pointing at me. It even ended up on the six o’clock news in the segment: “Local woman gets down with her bad self”. I was humiliated (they still play it sometimes in a segment called “Dopey clips you might have missed”).

Curtis brought me a glass of lemonade and said, “Let’s go somewhere we can talk.”

We went to the sitting room where a huge picture of Grandma Laney and her shotgun looked down at us. Curtis cleared his throat. “As I told you on the phone, there’s something very important I need to talk to you about.”

“Okay.”

He looked me right in the eyes. “I’ve done a lot of growing since we broke up. I finally know what I want to do with my life, and I’m on my way to financial stability for the very first time. I’ve changed, Jazzy.”

“Okay….”

“And, well, there’s something I need to ask you.”

At this moment, his mother, Ms. Kay, stuck her head in the room. She was a triathlete and had a body like Angela Basset when she’d done What’s Love Got to Do With It. I knew that even in her fifties, I’d be eating her dust in a footrace. She smiled when she saw me and I hopped up to give her a hug. “Ms. Kay! How are you?”

“I’m fine. Thanks for coming.” She nodded to Curtis. “Can I see you for a second?” They left the room and I walked around looking at all the pictures of Grandma Laney. She was frowning in every single one. Even in her wedding picture where she wore a long, black dress and scowled with a cigar in one hand. I shuddered, thinking what that honeymoon night must have been like for the poor groom. I sat back down and noticed that underneath a lamp sat a light blue box that looked like it might be carrying a set of earrings. Curious, I opened it and was shocked to discover a diamond engagement ring. I sniffed it. Holy shit, a real diamond! It must have been at least four carats! I sat the box back then stood nonchalantly as I heard Curtis saying something to a relative as he walked back towards the room. When he got back inside he said, “Sorry about that.”

“That’s okay. Curtis, what’s this about?” I gasped because it hit me: something to ask me, him looking good enough to eat, and the ring. Sweet Jesus, this man was about to propose! I hopped on a chair and threw my hands in the air. “Wait!”

He looked confused. “What?”

“You have to ask me something very important right?”

“Right.”

“And this could affect both of our lives forever?”

“Yes.”

Dragon slayer my ass. I was getting married! “Hold that thought.” I hopped off the chair and ran to the bathroom because I wanted to make sure my breath wasn’t funky and that I looked as stunning as I did when I had left the house. Who’d have thunk it? Me, getting married! How unexpected! I knew that we shared a bond and that there was something still lingering between us, but I had no idea he was thinking about making me his wife! I was proud of myself. All of that tough love I gave him, telling him he needed to get his finances together, refusing to loan him money, drafting a one year plan so that he could get caught up on his student loans; and now, he was financially stable and wanted to thank the woman who had made it all possible. I got teary eyed thinking about how I almost gave up on him. I checked myself one more time, and when I realized that I wasn’t going to get any more stunning, I headed back to the sitting room.

I walked over to Curtis and said like a sweet little angel, “Please. Go on.”

He took a deep breath. “I just wanted to be the first to tell you that I’m happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life.”

Enough with the small talk, buddy. Gimme the ring already.

“And well…” He wiped his forehead. “This is harder than I thought!”

I grabbed his hand. “You can tell me anything.” Now stop your yappin’ and give me the damn ring!

Suddenly, I heard the clicking of heels on the wooden floor. Curtis looked up at the same time that I did, and there she was. Decked head to toe in a leopard print dress and donning a hat that you would expect someone to wear to the Kentucky Derby. She was cradling her black Chihuahua, Kee-Kee, and dabbing her eyes with a Kleenex. She sobbed. “Oh, Curtis!” It was my cousin, Mercedes (or, as I sometimes liked to call her behind her back, Broke Ass Pinto).

When she finally noticed me she turned up her nose. “Oh. It’s you.”

“Yes. It’s me. And hello to you too, Daihatsu.”

She sat Kee-Kee down and frowned at me. “Now is not the time for your antics, Jasmine. A woman has died and I will not stoop to your level of commonness. Have you learned nothing since you crawled barefoot out of the bayou and slithered here on your pudgy little belly?”

I scoffed. “There is nothing pudgy about my belly. And don’t act like we’re not from the same place just because you have some job doing…oh, never mind. I forgot; your ass ain’t got no job.”

She took one of those handheld fans out of her purse (with her picture on it) and fanned herself. “I just so happen to be on sabbatical.”

“From what? Finding sugar daddies?”

“Just because a man wants to wine and dine me does not mean he’s a sugar daddy. Can I help it that they just so happen to want to take me to five star restaurants while your dating life consists of sitting across from some gold-toothed fool while scarfing down biscuits at Jack in The Box? Don’t hate the player, honey.”

“First of all, I have never dated a man with a gold tooth. Except for that one time in high school. And second of all, I happen to love Jack in The Box—especially their biscuits. And third, shouldn’t you be somewhere, sleeping upside down in a cave or something?”

Kee-Kee became antsy, so Mercedes stooped down and picked her up. Mercedes rubbed noses with her. “Don’t worry. The lady is just being mean to mommy because she’s fat.”

Before I could reach over Curtis’ head and grab her by that goofy looking hat (or trip her while she was walking so that she would go sprawling headfirst into a plant), Curtis said to her, “I didn’t expect you until eight.”

“Should I leave?” She looked at me with more disdain than normal, and then it hit me; what the hell what she doing there? While Curtis and I dated she wouldn’t even acknowledge him as my boyfriend. She called him that poor guy Jazzy put roots on.

I said, “What are you even doing here anyway?”

“I’m here for Curtis, you moron.”

“I mean why. Since when are you two friends?”

“Who I’m friends with is none of your business.”

Curtis turned to me. “Jazzy, I hadn’t planned on doing this in front of you. But I want to let you know that our relationship is one of the main reasons I had to take a good look in the mirror and say, ‘Curtis, it’s time to grow up.’ And because of you, I was able to find the love of my life, and I just want to say thank you.” He grabbed the blue box and turned to Mercedes. He got on one knee and grabbed her by the hand. “You are the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met and it would make me the happiest man alive if you were my wife. Mercedes, will you marry me?”

She tossed poor Kee-Kee (who yelped) onto the sofa and put a hand on her chest. Then, she covered her mouth and shot one hand in the air and screamed, “Yes! Yes! Eat your heart out, Jazzy!” He put the ring on her finger as tears rushed from her eyes. She waved the ring in my face, then ran out of the room holding her hand in the air and screaming, “Suck it, Peacock!”

Slowly, before my blood pressure spiked any further, I said to Curtis, “Is this why you asked me over here?”

“I didn’t plan for it to happen like this; I just wanted to tell you in person before you heard it from anyone else.”

“When did you start seeing Mercedes?”

“Right before we broke up.” He shook his head. “I mean right after.” He said something else, but in my mind, he sounded like Charlie Brown’s teacher. “Jazzy, um, you know, whaa-whaa-whaa-whaa-whaa.” I felt my head nodding even though I wasn’t comprehending a thing he was saying.

I think I blacked out because one moment, I’m in the sitting room with my hands wrapped around Curtis’ neck as Mercedes and Ms. Kay tried to pry my fingers loose, and the next moment, Curtis was running down the street, and I was chasing behind him with a heavy, cast iron skillet in my hand.

To read more or to connect with Quanie online visit:

www.quaniemiller.com

https://twitter.com/QuanieMiller

http://www.goodreads.com/QuanieMiller

https://www.facebook.com/QuanieMillerAuthor

www.quanietalkswriting.com

Available now on Amazon!

http://www.amazon.com/Aint-Easy-Being-Jazzy-ebook/dp/B00FVAFA4A/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382486017&sr=1-1&keywords=miller%2C+quanie

The Devil May Wear Prada, But The Gibbons Gold Diggers Prefer Men’s Hearts: The Player & The Game by Shelly Ellis

Sugar-coated game

floats from her siren  lips,

a snare for the gullible.

Her nectar garners

a contract of one-sided

opportunities.

As a Gibbons girl,

she always saps honey from

her sugar daddies.

The queen bee designs

her honeycomb to entrap

men’s hearts, not her own.

But you know what they say about the best-laid plans. . .

By A. C.

the player and the game2

Enjoy Some Hot Deception on a Romance Platter with the latest installment

in the Gibbons Gold Digger series!

The Player & the Game

It’s business as usual for the infamous gold digging Gibbons women of Chesterton, Virginia. But this time, middle sister, Stephanie, may be the one getting played. . .

Stephanie Gibbons thinks she’s finally hit the jackpot— the Gibbons family’s Holy Grail. Her new sugar daddy, Isaac Beardan, is loaded and treating her in high style. When he proposes, Stephanie is sure she’s set for life—until she finds her bank account empty, Isaac gone, and a strange—but very attractive—man following her.

Private investigator Keith Hendricks has tracked Isaac down to Chesterton, Va., and stumbles upon Stephanie. He’s not sure if she’s Isaac’s accomplice or his next victim, but what he is certain of is his overwhelming attraction to her—an attraction she shares. As the pair follows the con man’s trail into the Deep South, Stephanie faces a dilemma: True love… or the gold-digging game. Which will she choose?

Shelly Ellis head shotSix Questions for Author Shelly Ellis

What makes The Player and the Game stand out among other African American romances out there?

My editor likes to describe the books in my Gibbons Gold Digger series as romance but with a little something different, or romance with extra spice. And this extra spice isn’t just sexual. I don’t write erotica, but I like to do romances that are sexy with a dynamic storyline. I like to write stories that are a hybrid between the typical romance and evening soap operas—making them more than a tale of boy meets girl and then they eventually find their happily-ever-after. The Player and the Game is a blend of romance, mystery, road-trip adventure, some laugh-out-loud moments, and moral lessons thrown into the mix. I hope readers have a ball reading it. I had fun writing it.

What would it take for a player like Stephanie to be reformed?

I can’t reveal too much, but Stephanie goes through a humbling experience in the beginning of the novel that starts her on her journey to reformation. Falling in love for the first time in her life also helps reform her.

In the first installment of the series, Can’t Stand the Heat, Lauren is a chef who leaves an abusive marriage & proves she can hold her own in and out of the kitchen. What would be a great recipe for writing the perfect romance?

I don’t know what the perfect recipe is, but I think I know what doesn’t work. Try not to go with typical ingredients/tropes of romance. Romance should be like an exotic, spicy curry, not a boring vanilla cake made with mix out of a box. Both may taste good, but one definitely required a lot more thought and originality than the other.

Try to avoid the insecure hero who doesn’t think he’s good enough for the heroine, or the bad boy who’s reformed by his love for the good girl. Try to avoid snowstorms that lock a couple together in a cabin, forcing them to confront their feelings for each other. Don’t have novels with the heroine waking up in the morning, looking in her mirror, or talking to her girlfriends over drinks at a bar or restaurant. Try to keep the reader guessing what’s going to happen next, as opposed to them thinking, “Hey, haven’t I read this before?”

The Gibbons sisters have their own playbook in which they maneuver the rules wisely with their men. What would be the ultimate playbook for women in our society to use while searching for that spicy romance?

You know, it’s funny. I try to write spicy romances, but my personal preference is a lot tamer. Love and compatibility are more important to me. Humor also can get you through the rougher patches. Spice is nice, but it’s not essential. (And honestly, it can fade overtime even with the hottest of couples.)

So what rules/playbook should one follow to find the best romance? Have an open heart; have an open mind; know your self-worth and be willing to assert it; and make sure that any man you want to treat you like a princess, you’re willing to treat him like a prince. Don’t forget, you’re equal partners in this story!

What tips would you give to writers who are trying to balance writing and parenthood?

I just became a mom four months ago, so I’m still trying to find that balance. But, no matter what, I’m a mother first, and a writer second. Even if I’m in the middle of a great writing jag and the words are flowing like crazy, if my baby starts crying, I have to step away from my laptop and address her cries. But I also know now to accept help when you can get it. If your mom or your hubby is willing to watch the baby for awhile, take advantage of it! Nap times are also a godsend. Use those quiet moments to work on your novels and catch up on badly needed rest/sleep.

We writers create characters that are close to our hearts, and we want our readers to establish a relationship with them. We want our characters to leave an aftereffect on our readers. What aftereffect do you want the Gibbons sisters to leave on your readers?

The Gibbons sisters are deeply flawed characters, but I still think they’re likeable. They come from a good place, even if that place is a bit screwed up. I want readers to have the takeaway to be careful of judging others on face value.

Also, the lives of the sisters can serve as a cautionary tale. Each sister has made decisions that have negatively affected their lives because they were taught that wealth and prestige are what’s most important. They all experience things that make them question that belief.

Image found on Google Images

Image found on Google Images

Here’s an excerpt:

 

Chapter 1

Busy, busy, busy, Stephanie Gibbons thought as she hurried toward her silver BMW that was parallel parked in the reserved space near her office. Her stilettos clicked on the sidewalk as she walked. Her short, pleated skirt swayed around her hips and supple, brown legs with each stride.

She shouldn’t have gone to the nail salon before lunch, but her French manicure had been badly in need of a touch-up. Unfortunately, that slight detour had thrown off the entire day’s schedule and now she was running ten minutes late for the open house.

The spring day was unseasonably warm, but it was tempered by a light breeze that blew steadily, making the newly grown leaves flutter on the numerous maples lining Main Street in downtown Chesterton, her hometown. The breeze now lifted Stephanie’s hair from her shoulders and raised her already dangerously short skirt even higher.

She adjusted the realtor name tag near her suit jacket lapel, casually ran her fingers through her long tresses, and reached into her purse. She pulled out her cell phone and quickly dialed her assistant’s number. Thankfully, the young woman picked up on the second ring.

“Carrie, honey, I’m running late . . . Yes, I know . . . Are you already at the open house?” Stephanie asked distractedly as she dug for her keys in her purse’s depths. “Are any buyers there yet? . . . OK, OK, don’t freak out. . . . Yes, just take over for now. Put out a plate of cookies and set the music on low. I’ll be there in fifteen minutes . . . I know . . . I have every confidence in you. See you soon.”

She hung up.

With car keys finally retrieved, Stephanie pressed the remote button to open her car doors. The car beeped. The headlights flashed. She jogged to the driver’s-side door and opened it. As she started to climb inside the vehicle, she had the distinct feeling of being watched.

Stephanie paused to look up, only to find a man standing twenty feet away from her. He casually leaned against the brick front of one of the many shops on Main Street. He was partially hidden by the shadows of an overhead awning.

He looked like one of many jobless men you would find wandering the streets midday, hanging out in front of stores because they had little else to do and nowhere else to go. Except this bored vagrant was a lot more attractive than the ones she was used to seeing. He also was distinct from the other vagrants in town because she had seen him several times today and earlier this week.

Stephanie had spotted him when she walked into the nail salon and again as she left, absently waving her nails as they dried. He had been sitting in the driver’s seat of a tired-looking Ford Explorer in the lot across the street from the salon. Though he hadn’t said anything to her or even looked up at her as she walked back to her car, she had the feeling he had been waiting for her.

She had seen him also on Wednesday, strolling along the sidewalk while she had been on her date with her new boyfriend, Isaac. The man had walked past the restaurant’s storefront window where she and Isaac had been sitting and enjoying their candlelit dinner. When Stephanie looked up from her menu and glanced out the window, her eyes locked with the stroller’s. The mystery man abruptly broke their mutual gaze and kept walking. He disappeared at the end of the block.

The mystery man had a face that was hard to forget—sensual, hooded dark eyes, a full mouth, and a rock-hard chin. He stood at about six feet with a muscular build. Today, he was wearing a plain white T-shirt and wrinkled jeans. Though his short hair was neatly trimmed, he had thick beard stubble on his chin and dark-skinned cheeks.

“Are you following me?” Stephanie called to him, her open house now forgotten.

He blinked in surprise. “What?” He pointed at his chest. “You mean me?”

“Yes, I mean you!” She placed a hand on her hip. “Are you following me? Why do I keep seeing you around?”

He chuckled softly. “Why would I be following you? Lady, I’m just standing here.”

He wasn’t just standing there. She sensed it.

“Well, this is a small town. Loitering is illegal in Chesterton. You could get arrested!”

“It’s illegal to stand in front of a building?” Laughter was in his voice. He slowly shook his head.

“We’re still in America, right? Last time I checked, I was well within my rights to stand here, honey. Besides, I’m not panhandling. I’m just enjoying the warm sunshine.” His face broke into a charming, dimpled smile that would have made most women’s knees weak. “Is that a crime?”

Stephanie narrowed her eyes at him warily.

She didn’t like him or his condescending tone. He was attractive, but something emanated from him that made her . . . uncomfortable. It made her heartbeat quicken and her palms sweat. She wasn’t used to reacting to men this way. Usually her emotions were firmly in control around them, but they weren’t around this guy. She didn’t like him one bit.

“If . . . if I catch you standing here when I get back, I’ll . . . I’ll call the cops,” she said weakly.

At that, he raised an eyebrow. “You do that,” he challenged, casually licking his lips and shoving his hands into his jean pockets. Defiantly, he slumped against the brick building again.

Stephanie took a deep breath, willing her heart to slow its rapid pace. She climbed into her car and shut the driver’s-side door behind her with a slam. She shifted the car into drive and pulled off, watching him in her rearview mirror until she reached the end of block. He was still standing in front of the building, still leaning under the shadows of the awning, still looking smug as she drove to the end of Main Street and made a right.

Finally, she lost sight of him.

Copyright © 2013 by Shelly Ellis

Connect with Shelly Ellis:

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/pages/Shelly-Ellis/554332437931239

Twitter:  @ellisromance

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6464591.Shelly_Ellis

Websitehttp://shellyellisbooks.com/   (a great resource for personal and professional insight into the writing life and the publishing industry.)

The Player & The Game  is available on August 27, 2013.

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-player-the-game-shelly-ellis/1113785676?ean=9780758290373

Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Player-Game-Shelly-Ellis/dp/0758290373/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1368236031&sr=1-3

Her Eyes Are on the Fellow: Book Cover Reveal for Miss Perfect by Nicole Dunlap

punk-queen-pink-black

The bold and the beautiful

harness the spotlight

to uncover the drama

hidden

in the darkness

of deception & desire.

–by A. C.

MissperfectONE-ON-ONE WITH NICOLE DUNLAP, AUTHOR OF MISS PERFECT

Describe what “gumbo genre” is to your readers.

I’ve dubbed myself as “the gumbo genre” novelist because books shouldn’t be lightly seasoned. I write stories with drama, drizzled with suspense, seasoned with romance, and peppered with a few good laughs and an occasional cry. I try to be unique, especial with series’ so readers aren’t seeing patterns throughout the installments. For example, the Shaw Family Saga, Miss Nobody was a mixture of drama and touched on suspense. Miss Scandalous added to the fire of emotions. And Miss Perfect, the newest book, will no doubt leave the reader gasping for breath. With gumbo, every bite is new and unique.

What is one experience as a counselor that has impacted you the most? Has it influenced your writing?

I’ve listened to horror story after horror story–that is life for teenagers and little children. A student whose mother was murdered by a Los Angeles serial killer–I’ll never forget his motivation to succeed through it all. A five year old that is left at home alone, a high schooler that comes home to find the apartment empty and parents have moved without telling him, so now he’s a gang member. They believe that being in a gang provides them with family. One girl similar to teenage Raven is in an abusive relationship. These girls lose themselves in guys that are “popular” as Raven did with Chris in Miss Nobody. Their stories work on my emotions slowly, and I can literally feel Raven’s depression in the first two books.

 What can fans expect from Miss Perfect?

They can expect Raven to be foolish. If you stuck with me through the long haul, you might even think of her as a distance cousin always getting into trouble…yes, we all have them; family members who never learn. Her actions will continue to impact her ability to heal from abandonment and her relationship with Charlene. Get ready for action because the Shaw Family Saga has evolved. And there will be blood.

How do your characters deal with their abandonment issues?

Charlene redirects her issues into the form of acting. She will overcompensate for not taking care of Raven by going overboard with Trinity and trying to help Raven–even though helping Raven can put her in a state of danger. Raven is very internal, holding in her problems and tries to keep secrets. I do show theme evolving somewhat, because learning to cope is a lifetime process.

Describe your writing process.

I co-weave drama by writing the first draft of a story and making bullet points for some of the plot to be answered in other series. There are issues from Miss Nobody that have traveled over to Miss Perfect. Not big ones where the reader has sat for hours wondering why this occurred or didn’t. I wouldn’t do that. It gets annoying. But when you get to book three, your bottom lip will drop, realizing that a small issue in book one was sooo very important.

What advice can you offer to new writers?

Get a thick skin. Not all stories are for everybody. You will get a review from a reader who thinks the story should have gone left when it went right. Read every review, take some of your fans advice, oftentimes it is useful. I’ve had book clubs invite me to discussions, and they come up with themes in my stories that I didn’t even know I had. It is awesome.

If Raven was a student at your high school when you were a student, how would she interact with your classmates? Would you two be friends?

Raven is generally nice to all until you mess with her family. If you have her total trust and abandon or are disloyal to her she will turn into a beautiful monster. I think we would be friends, not close. She has a best friend already and is comfortable with not being the center of attention.

BOOK BLURB

Miss Perfect: Shaw Family Saga, Book 3

 

Their desire for perfection will be… shattered

Charlene Shaw embodies perfection as a highly-acclaimed actress. Within her gilded walls of beauty, she is scrambling to save her daughter, Raven, from sins she can’t even fathom. This is her self-imposed curse for abandoning Raven as a child.

Raven Shaw is captivatingly gorgeous but burdened by a closet of skeletons. After a rough childhood, she is finally living life. Jon, her best friend and the only man she’s ever loved, has returned. Yet, a stalker looms just out of reach, blackmailing her for Jon’s fortune. She’d do anything to keep this man–even if it means turning to another… Mysterious, handsome Tyriq may have the key to erase her deepest, darkest secrets forever. Yet, this savior might threaten her mind’s rationale of “happily ever after” with Jon.

In this intense third installment of the Shaw Family Saga there will be blood, murder, and a beloved …will be shattered.

AUTHOR BIO

Nicole Dunlap holds a Bachelors Degree in Psychology and Child Development, and a Masters Degree in Educational Counseling from Azusa Pacific University–mantra Jesus first. She counsels in the inner city of San Bernardino; motivating teens dealing with depression, pregnancy, gang membership and abuse. She has been self dubbed the “gumbo genre” novelist, because books shouldn’t be lightly seasoned… Her stories revolve around family and relationships, women’s issues, drizzled with drama, peppered with suspense, and finished off with aromatic notes of romance. The Shaw Family Saga pays homage to dysfunctional mother-daughter relationships, with well developed characters that readers can root for; love them, hate them, cry for, and most of all, yearn to flip through the pages to the end of that character’s journey.

Website: NicoleDunlap.com

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Nicole-Dunlap/e/B009BTPPWY/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Barnes&Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/nicole-dunlap

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6535805.Nicole_Dunlap

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nicoleydunlap

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorNicoleDunlap

Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9637GqJqx7Y

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Miss Perfect