Monday, September 29, 2014

On Conversations: #bestselling #romance #author Melinda Curtis

Please join me in welcoming the award-winning contemporary romance author, Melinda Curtis to Conversations today! Melinda is here to talk about her sweet romance, The Christmas Promise, part of the fourteen author, Sweet Christmas Kisses collection. So be sure and check out the cover and blurb below! And be sure and check out her story behind the story of The Christmas Promise too!

Plus, Melinda has a special gift just for you, a FREE digital copy of her sweet, fun novella set within the Hollywood Rules world. All you have to do is sign up for Melinda’s book release email newsletter HERE.

Lisa ~
__________________________________________

SWEET CHRISTMAS KISSES:
Fourteen Sweet Christmas Romances

This holiday season, warm your heart with 14 Sweet Christmas Kisses, a bundle of PG-rated romance novels and novellas from USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.

Sweet Christmas Kisses takes you from small-town USA to England, Scotland, and even Ecuador; from the beach to snow-capped mountains, and to the wild--sometimes magical--west. The Sweet Christmas Kisses bundle will bring you laughter, tears, and always joy, for more than 1600 pages.


The Christmas Promise 

When a chocolate heiress bumps into a wounded warrior during Christmas, chaos ensues thanks in part to three fairy godmothers...er, a trio of meddlesome nuns. 


Join the authors of Sweet Christmas Kisses for a Facebook release party with prizes, freebies, and fun on 9/30.  Guest authors include RaeAnn Thayne, Brenda Novak, and Jayne Ann Krentz.  Join the party at: https://www.facebook.com/SweetRomanceReads

The Story Behind the Story of The Christmas Promise by Melinda Curtis

In June, I was asked to participate in a holiday anthology with 13 other sweet romance writers. Last year, I would have jumped up and down for joy. This year, I have 6 writing projects on the table and had deadlines that couldn’t be adjusted. Call me Crazy…I agreed. Only one problem besides squeezing it in the schedule: I needed an idea.

At the time, my friend, Kim, was in Ecuador researching a new cocoa product (translation: she wanted to create a new chocolate snack organically). Kim was in a very remote part of Ecuador and her weekly updates to friends fascinated me.  All the things we take for granted – a bug-free home, air conditioning, internet – she didn’t have any of that. One week, she reported the humongous size of bugs that landed on her, a snake sighting, and a trip from the cocoa fields uphill in the rain with a flat tire on her wheelbarrow.  For a romantic comedy writer, it was nirvana! A fish out of water story was born! Add a wounded warrior, three matchmaking nuns, and I had myself a story. It turned out kind of like a cross between Runaway Bride and Romancing the Stone.

Here’s part of the opening scene with my socialite heroine:

     It was raining.  Again.
     Tiffany Bonander tried humming a few bars of White Christmas.  It was, after all, December 23.  Cheer was called for.
     But the incessant beat of fat raindrops on the tangled foliage of the Ecuadorian rainforest and on her pink rain slicker, drowned out her cheer.
     Or maybe she was just drowning under the pressure of heavy responsibilities.
     Ankle-deep water rushed down the steep, muddy road toward Tiff and her precious cargo–thirty pounds of cocoa beans.  She couldn’t lose the beans.  They were the answer to all her troubles. 
     Thunder boomed.  And boomed again.  The downpour increased to a deluge.
     Tightening her grip on the wheelbarrow handles, Tiff tried to find purchase with her rain boots, tried to make it to the next rise before the road turned into a river.  Tried…and failed. Somewhere above her the river had risen high enough to crest a bank.  Water surged toward her.
     Tiff’s father claimed they’d abandoned this cocoa plantation years ago for drainage reasons.  He should have used the F-word: flood.
     Tiff stumbled to her knees, and water rushed into her boots–cute, pink-flowered plastic ones which quickly filled with water and felt as heavy as cement shoes.  If not for her grip on the wheelbarrow, she might have been swept downhill.  Just last week, she’d heard about a woman who’d been carried away by the cresting river and smashed into a tree.  Smashed as in: to pieces.  Dead.
     That would be worse than being broke and the laughing-stock of the civilized world.



Melinda Curtis writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line (book 4 coming 3/2015). Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”.  Melinda also writes independently published, hotter romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.”
 

This was karma, plain and simple.  She shouldn’t have jilted Chad at their engagement party or left Malcolm at the altar. 

Connect with Melinda: 
Website: www.MelindaCurtis.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MelindaCurtisAuthor
Twitter: @MelCurtisAuthor
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/melcurtisauthor/

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

On Conversations: #interview with #AAMBookclub #author Meiah Shaun

Please welcome inspirational author Meiah Shaun to Conversations today. Meiah is here to talk about her new book, Marvelous Are Thy Works. So, check out the cover, blurb and excerpt below! And don't forget to check out her interview too, and get to know Meiah. 

Lisa ~
_____________________________________________


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KYEC8AM/?tag=crlaofsu-20Marvelous Are Thy Works

Fatima Williams is the owner of All Natural Hair Salon in Washington, D.C.  Her best friend Lauryn and her cousin Sheba are her business partners.  Fatima had an epiphany. She desires to empower black women by motivational speaking and traveling across the country.

As Fatima moves further into her destiny, her inner circle has dwindled. Frustrated that she is an eternal girlfriend, her boyfriend Ephraim of five years is too busy climbing the corporate ladder.  To make matters worse, Lauryn and Sheba will not commit to the cause.   The best season of her life is turning into a lonely one.

Marvelous Are Thy Works is an inspirational story about natural hair empowerment, self love and relationships.




Excerpt from Marvelous Are Thy Works

     “Ladies, I want to hold a quick meeting,” Fatima said, calling for their attention. “We need to discuss the future plans for the salon.”
     Lauryn and Sheba sat across from her in the waiting area.
     “I want to build our brand and take things to the next level.”
     Sheba and Lauryn gawked at each other, then looked back at Fatima.
     “Go on. Tell us more,” Lauryn responded.
     “I’ve been planning a speaking tour to educate black women across the country about natural hair care. I want to educate on the transitional stage to wearing natural hair.” Fatima opened her binder, reached over Sheba, and handed the presentation to Lauryn.
     “Sounds interesting,” said Lauryn. She elbowed Sheba, who bit down on her lip without uttering a word.
     Fatima beamed. “Lauryn, open the business plan!” she urged. Then Fatima stood to her feet and started pacing before them with conviction in her eyes. “Black women need to be enlightened about the benefits of natural hair. Right, y’all? We were just talking about this a little while ago.”



Interview with Meiah Shaun

What was your inspiration for writing Marvelous Are Thy Works?
 

I am passionate about the natural hair movement.  I love empowering black women to accept and wear their natural hair.

Have you had any experiences or life events that are related to your book?


Yes, I decided in 2007 to stop chemically relaxing my hair.  I discovered during my journey that my natural hair is very beautiful.  I embraced my 4b/4c hair texture with all of it kinks and coils.  I received compliments from people of all races on my natural hair when I wore an afro, braids and two strand twists.  I currently wear Sisterlocks.  Black men constantly shower me with compliments on my Sisterlocks.


Wearing my natural hair renewed my self esteem and gave me more confidence as a black woman.  There is nothing to fear about going natural.


Can you identify with the protagonist in your book?


I identify with my protagonist, Fatima Williams, in that black natural hair is unique and beautiful.  It is God’s perfect craftsmanship and black women should be enlightened about the benefits of wearing their natural hair.


What author(s) have inspired you as a writer?


For Marvelous Are Thy Works, authors Lori Tharps and Ayana Byrd were inspirations to me.  They wrote the book titled: Hair Story, Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America.  Their book inspired me to go natural when I was seeking answers for my hair loss, breakage and low self esteem.


Also, author and innovator Dr. JoAnne Cornwell is an inspiration to me as I proudly wear Sisterlocks.  Dr. Cornwell’s book titled: That Hair Thing is a must read for black women to educate themselves about natural hair and sisterlocks.


How has your faith influence you as an inspirational author?


Writing is spiritual to me as I pray before I sit down to write.  I ask God for direction and for him to use me as a vessel to bless and inspire others.


How have you developed as an author?


I write and journal regularly.  I work on multiple projects such as articles, devotionals and on my second manuscript.  I believe that working on several projects can prevent writer’s block.


How did you come up with the title of your book?
 

The title is taken from Psalms 139:14 (KJV).  It’s one of my favorite bible verses for self love and self esteem.  God makes us for a purpose and we are perfect in his image.

What type of environment do you prefer to write?
 

I like to write at home.  Sometimes I prefer quietness and other times I put on my headphones and listen to jazz music and write.

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
 

I want to go to London.  It is one of the top cities in the world for vegetarians.  I am no longer a vegetarian but I still desire to sample London’s vegetarian cuisine along with some fish and chips.
 

Meiah Shaun is an inspirational author and freelance writer.  She is a graduate of LeTourneau University.  She is a native of Orange, Texas and currently resides in Plano, Texas.  She started writing poetry at age eight.

Meiah Shaun is the author of Marvelous Are Thy Works, a Novella (VC Publishing, 2014).  Meiah Shaun has a special interest in empowering African American women to self love and to embrace their natural hair.  She and her twin sister rock Sisterlocks.  Her fraternal twin sister is thirteen minutes older than her.

Meiah Shaun is featured on Ezinearticles.com as a platinum level author penning articles on numerous topics such as inspirational, spirituality, goal setting to shopping and product reviews.

Meiah Shaun enjoys writing, reading, cooking, jazz music and making scrapbooks.


Connect with Meiah:

www.meiahshaun.com
www.facebook.com/meiahshaun
Twitter:  @MeiahShaun
Amazon.com Author Page:  http://www.amazon.com/Meiah-Shaun/e/B00KYGN8X6
Email:  meiahshaun@gmail.com


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

On Conversations: #interview with #AAMBookclub #author Janet Autherine

Please welcome AAMBookclub author Janet Autherine to Conversations today. Janet is here to talk about her new book, Growing into Greatness with God. So, check out the cover and blurb below! And don't forget to check out her interview too, and get to know Janet. 

Lisa ~
_____________________________________________


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KWACD94/?tag=crlaofsu-20Growing into Greatness with God:
Seven Paths to Greatness for our Sons & Daughters

Every child is created in the image of God, and every child carries this amazing gift of greatness inside himself or herself. But children hear mixed messages on a daily basis—about life, about the world, and about themselves.

In Growing into Greatness with God: Seven Paths to Greatness for Our Sons and Daughters, author and mother of three boys Janet Autherine encourages kids to see themselves as unique and amazing—already blessed with what they need to succeed in life and achieve their dreams.

Readers learn how to grow in love, faith, courage, leadership, happiness, gratitude, and confidence through the inspiring stories of Bible heroes such as Abraham, Sarah, David, and Ruth. Each chapter includes a brief summary of two Bible stories, with reflections on each, and concludes with three action-oriented suggestions on how to put the lesson into practice. The book ends with a letter that will inspire and empower readers, and questions for study and self-reflection that can be used by parents and teachers to help their children continue on their journey to greatness.

Dreams are essential to life, and kids need to be inspired and encouraged to live life to the fullest. Growing into Greatness with God offers biblical examples of how people have nurtured what God has planted in them and teaches kids how to do the same in their own lives.




Interview with Janet Autherine

What was the inspiration for your book, Growing into Greatness with God?

In the book, Growing into Greatness with God, the words of wisdom that accompany the stories are inspired by all the advice given to me by my mothers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and all the “old souls” that entered my early years.  I grew up in a house where family, faith, good food and hard work were celebrated.  A two bedroom house was home to three generations.  It wasn’t unusual for an 11 year old to walk 1/2 mile to fetch water before school, walk home, get ready for school, walk at least 1/2 mile to school, be respectful and attentive, participate in field day, take the long walk home with friends (not forgetting to stop and say hello to all the neighbors), pick fruit or dig yams for dinner, complete homework assignments, and end the day by having dinner and fellowship with family.  That was my daily life growing up in Jamaica.  I didn’t fully appreciate it back then, but I certainly do now.  I want children to have confidence in the fact that they are unique, amazing, born with greatness and can overcome any obstacle.

What is your spiritual background?

I gained my confidence in a little church in St. Thomas, Jamaica, called the Hampton Court Seventh Day Adventist church.  That church was the cornerstone of the community and it was where I learned and recited bible scriptures, sung gospel songs and recited poetry.  It is where I made some of my best childhood friends, picked cherries from the best cherry tree in town and listened to the sermons that inspired me to keep God the center of my life.  Love the Lord God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself is my guiding principle in life.  My family currently worships at a beautiful Episcopal church in Florida.

How does your new book, Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons & Daughters, relate to your spiritual journey?

The book, Growing into Greatness with God, was born from those early bible study groups in church.  The stories of young David (the boy who defeated the Giant), Daniel (a man who stood without fear among lions), Solomon (the wise king) and Ruth (the loyal friend), as well as many others, all resonated with me.  We were too poor to afford the latest toys and there was no television in our home, so these characters became my heroes.  We were poor but it didn’t define our lives; we were rich in love, faith and community, and we had big dreams.

Your book is titled, Growing into Greatness with God.  How do you define greatness?

We are all unique beings, so greatness will mean something different to each person.  I think  greatness is finding your natural talent, fueling it with passion, planting it in well nourished soil, and toiling in the garden until it breaks through the earth and reaches for the stars.  You must then use everything that you have achieved to serve others.  Service is the heart of greatness; for me, there is no greatness without service.

What do you think about the culture of bullying in our schools?

It breaks my heart that fear instead of love is consuming some of our children.  I say fear because most bullies are acting based on their own fears and insecurities.  They seek to feel better about themselves by hurting others.  When children feel whole on the inside, there is no need fill that void in their spirit by hurting others.  Unfortunately, we cannot always protect our children from mean-spiritedness, but we can empower them with the knowledge that they are unique, their thoughts and feelings are important, that God is with them even when they feel alone and they can overcome any obstacle.  I hope that in some small way Growing into Greatness with God can help children shine a positive light on themselves.

How can parents use your book, Growing into Greatness with God, to inspire their children?

As a parent, I know how helpful it is to have a book that sparks discussion with your children.     Each chapter of the book offers stories, practical advice that kids can relate to, and actionable wisdom.  As an example, the chapter, Growing in Love, teaches kids not to focus on their outward appearance but the love and beauty in their hearts.  Kids are encouraged to identify the things that they love and to follow their dreams.  Parents can help their children with the “action” items in the book, such as – perform an act of kindness for a stranger, write 3 things that you love about yourself or establish a pen-pal relationship with a child in another country.  The book ends with 24 questions kids and their parents can answer together, or teachers in a classroom setting or bible study group can moderate.

What challenges did you face as a student?

In 1982, I moved from Jamaica to Philadelphia to live with my mother and my brothers.  I had to adjust to a new country, a new household and the typical middle school anxieties.  I was a shy, introverted child and I struggled to find my voice; it didn’t help that my voice had a very strong Jamaican accent.  For many years, I didn’t speak up as much as I needed to – I feared saying the wrong words and getting into trouble; I feared being teased because of my accent; I wasn’t familiar with the sound of my own voice.  Fortunately, my upbringing gave me a quiet confidence; I was raised to believe that I was a good person, a good student and that I could achieve anything if I was willing to work hard.  This is why I believe that we should empower kids with the confidence to believe in themselves and their strengths at a very early age so that they can face any challenge.

We are all on a journey to realize our dreams, what has been your path?

I went to Murrell Dobbins High School, a vocational high school and followed the business track.  With my typing and short-hand skills, I was prepared to be the best administrative support staff member in Philadelphia.  That was my plan B.  College was not an option for me; it was a requirement.  I always knew that I was going and when my older brother, Mark, encouraged me to attend Penn State University, I jumped at the chance to follow in his footsteps.  I connected with the Caribbean Student’s Association, joined a vibrant church and happily settled into life in Happy Valley.  It was there that I discovered that, at heart, I was a peacemaker.  I ditched my Business major and chose Labor and Industrial Relations, a choice that would lead me to law school at Boston College- I discovered that I wanted to help people solve problems and a legal education enabled me to do so.  Writing is allowing me to share my journey with others.

About 8 years into my legal career, I was blessed to be appointed as an Administrative Law Judge for the District of Columbia government.  It was the dream job that allowed me to hear cases, issue decisions, and participate in mediating disputes.  My voice was heard in the courtroom and in written decisions but in a quiet, substantive manner that would make any introvert happy.  When you find that thing that you are passionate about, it frees you up to live a well-rounded life.  I now spend my time raising my three boys, writing and reading inspirational books, practicing law, participating in religious and community life and running as often as I can.

Growing into Greatness with God focuses on empowering children; what lasting message do you want to leave with children and parents who read this book?

Growing into Greatness with God is about finding the unique talent that God has blessed you with, nourishing that skill and using it to be of service.  My journey began in a small town in Jamaica and is being realized in the United States.  It started with the wonderful bible stories that allowed me to believe that with God everything is possible.  It began with the principles of faith, family, hard-work, community and bonding over good, healthy food.  I hope that the book reflects those principles and that everything that I have learned on my journey, thus far, can help a child realize that he or she was born with greatness.  I love to spread that message so when my schedule permits, I gladly speak to children’s organizations, non-profit organizations, and the children’s ministry at churches at no cost.  Please do not hesitate to contact me.  I would like every child to know that regardless of your circumstances, you can become all that God has ordained for your life.


 

Autherine was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica, and immigrated to the United States when she was twelve. She grew up in Philadelphia and she went on to study at the Pennsylvania State University and Boston College Law School. After launching her law career, she was eventually drawn back to the sunshine, and she now lives in Florida with her husband and their three sons.

Autherine continues to practice law, waking up at the crack of dawn to cultivate her writing. Her juvenile nonfiction book Growing into Greatness with God is inspired by her own experiences growing up in Jamaica and her goal of raising her sons to recognize and nourish what God has planted within each of them.


Connect with Janet:

Website: http://www.GrowIntoGreatness.com
Twitter: http://www.Twitter/Autherine
Facebook: http://www.Facebook.com/GrowingIntoGreatness
Pinterest: http://www.Pinterest.com/Autherine
CONTACT: JanetAutherine@GrowIntoGreatness.com


Saturday, September 6, 2014

On Conversations: #romance #author #Jael Friese

Please join me in welcoming contemporary romance author, Jael Friese to Conversations today! Jael is here to talk about her contemporary Western debut, Love Comes to Cookesville. So be sure and check out the cover and blurb below!

Lisa ~
__________________________________________


LOVE COMES TO COOKESVILLE

Jason Stuart is at the end of his rope...

Some people say, once you cross a line, you can never go back.  No one believes that more than Jason Stuart who has been living on the edge of hell the past few years. He's lost the only person who truly matters in his life: Shayla Cooke, who is leaving town with no intention of coming back.

Eighteen, alone and scared...

Some people say you can't run away from your problems. But that is exactly what Hope Welles needs to do, because if she doesn't, she might not have a future. When she arrives in Arizona looking for her long-lost relatives, she comes across Wade Cooke who's been the social outcast for years. Just as Hope gives him a reason to believe his lonely days are behind him, he discovers things are never that easy.

Welcome to Cookesville, Arizona where anything can happen, even love... 






Jael Friese is just a daydreamer who started writing down her dreams. She writes contemporary. Her contemporary romance novels do have sexual content, mostly within marriage and mild language.She enjoys reading romance from Regency, historical, contemporary to paranormal.

Connect with Jael on: 
Facebook
Goodreads
Twitter


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

On Conversations: #interview with #AAMBookclub #author Keyanna Ford

Please welcome AAMBookclub author Keyanna Ford to Conversations today. Keyanna is here to talk about her new novel, Living in Fear. So, check out the cover and blurb below! And don't forget to check out her interview too, and get to know Keyanna.

Lisa ~
_____________________________________________


http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00M8O6XMA/?tag=crlaofsu-20Living in Fear

Tia Green came from Kalamazoo, a small town in Michigan. From the time she was a child, Tia had known exactly what she wanted out of life and had already dreamed about how to get it a thousand times over. Tia had always planned on attending the University of Michigan with her childhood friend where they both wanted to become nurses. She worked hard in high school and made sure she got good grades. Eventually, That hard work paid off, She was admitted early to U of M with a full scholarship. After going on the college tour, life changed for her in ways she would have never believed…

Ace was the guy that everybody dreamed they had. He was smart, sexy, and athletic, not to mention, the star of University of Michigan’s football team. See, Ace turned heads wherever he went, and people were always striving for his attention, but Ace could care less. He was a player who didn’t believe in giving his heart away to any female due to his childhood, but that all changed when he met Tia. She was everything he had ever wanted, and most importantly, she reminded him of his late mother whom he lost at a young age. Ace thought Tia was perfect for him. He thought he would finally get the family he had always wanted. He never imagined she'd betray him, especially not with the only other person he loved…

Tia and Ace started with a fairytale romance, truly in love. As true colors bleed out from the cracks of their exteriors, the couple discovered that their fairytale romance was turning into a painful nightmare and the dream filled partnership was on its way to ruins. 




Interview with Keyanna Ford

What made you start writing?

I started writing for therapy. I was going through a bad relationship and didn’t have anyone to talk to about it, I would have usually read a book in this situation but I decided to put it in a book instead. No that does not mean my book is an autobiography, it means it fiction based on a little fact.

Give us an insight into your main character, why is he/she so special?

Tia Green is a high school senior, she na├»ve and a little innocent. She gets good grades, never had a boyfriend or even kissed a guy until Ace comes along. Tia fell head over heels for Ace as most of us did for our first love, it’s just too bad things changed in a blink of an eye and dreams started to become nightmares.

Tia is special because she’s relatable. How many females have lost themselves in what we thought was love? I know too many and Tia is no exception. Tia is an example of how quick things can change and one wrong decision can change your life forever.

Where do your ideas come from?

My ideas come from real life events, I’ll take something that happened and expand on it. Not necessarily, something that happened to me but maybe something that happened to one of my friends.

Do you read often, if so who’s your favorite authors?

Yes, I love to read. Reading has been my passion since about middle school, the first book I ever read was dope fiend by Donald Goines. It was so descriptive it was like watching a movie in my head and that’s when I fell in love with books.

I love to read Wahida Clark books, she’s my favorite author along with Deja King. I also love Nikki Turner, Ashley & JaQuavis. That’s just to name a few, there’s so many other authors I read and I discover new ones every day.

Do you write every day, if not how often?

No I don’t write every day, sometimes I go weeks without writing. I binge write as I call it meaning I write nonstop for a few weeks straight, leave for a few week then come back and finish.

What’s the hardest thing about writing?

The hardest thing about writing to me is incorporating more than just your main characters. For me I could have wrote about Ace and Tia all day but they had to have friends and a family. Making sure everything flowed and the timeline was right was also a challenge.

What are you working on at this moment?

I’m currently working on the sequel to “Living in Fear” which should be out next year, along with my third novel not related to this series that I haven’t titled yet.


Keyanna was born and raised in Kalamazoo, MI, she has always been into school but never knew exactly what she wanted to do. She graduated from Loy Norrix High School in 2005 with high honor and went to college where she studied Criminal Justice at Kalamazoo Valley Community College first then went on to get her bachelors at Western Michigan University where she doubled major and graduated with two majors in Criminal Justice and Social Psychology. After going through a bad situation Keyanna decided to write about it where she discovered her love for writing and that’s how her debut novel “Living in Fear’ came to life.

Connect with Keyanna:

www.iamkeyanna.com
facebook.com/keyanna.k.ford
twitter.com/KasheenaKaniece
instagram.com/kasheenakaniece 
Kford7424@gmail.com


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