Saturday, October 3, 2020

What's going on?


Being a child of the 60's, there are certain songs that have cemented themselves in my memory. This one by Marvin Gaye stands out. The awful thing is that the words are once again so relevant. 2020 has been a nightmare in general. Besides adjusting to becoming a widow and living alone for the first time in my life, I'm dealing with all of the same stuff everyone else is when it comes to the violence against innocent black people, the pandemic, and the upcoming election.

With all that's been happening, I've done a lot of soul searching about my writing, among many other issues. I LOVE writing, but the post-publication work has worn me down. The self-publishing world is constantly changing. Each month it seems as though there's another promotion/marketing site being touted as "the best place to promote your books." I've participated in classes and webinars to educate myself on how to stay on top of what's working (and not working) with book promotion. My problem is that I'm not up to doing all that work anymore, and self-publishing is A LOT of work.

I don't like to think of myself as being in competition with my author friends, but it's reality. We're all working like maniacs to get readers to pay attention to our books, and it's getting harder and more expensive every year. So, I've come to the conclusion that, being a woman of a certain age, I no longer want to work like my sisterscribes who are 20-30 years younger than me. I don't have the mental or physical energy to constantly trying to reach new readers. Unfortunately, I don't have a team to do the work for me, and I just can't do it anymore.

WE ARE FAMILY was released in March at the very beginning of the pandemic. It did okay considering I didn't put everything into promoting it the way I should have. 

My readers are wonderful women (and a few men) who have supported me over the past ten years. They mean everything to me, and I hope they continue to have my back. My plan going forward is to continue to write what I enjoy without putting so much pressure on myself to promote on all of the top marketing sites, make personal appearances, do podcasts, etc. I'll do my best, but whatever my books sell will be fine with me.  

                         
I've had no interest in blogging and have been concentrating on finishing SEBASTIAN, Book One in my Champions series. Even that has been somewhat of a struggle. At the moment, the book is at 79,502 words. The major drama has happened, but I'm not sure exactly how to end it. 

With that being said, I've run into an issue with The Champions Series. SEBASTIAN was written in third person past tense. A few weeks ago, I realized that I want the series to be in first person, and I posted the question in the author groups that I'm involved with. The general consensus was either that I rewrite Book One in first person or leave it and continue the entire series in third person. It's been hard enough for me to get the book finished. I'm not about to rewrite it! Right now, I'm considering doing the subsequent books in first person and letting the chips fall where they may. We'll see.


I hope everyone reading this post is staying healthy and handling all of the changes in our lives the best way you can. God only knows when I'll post here again, but I'll keep you post on the release of SEBASTIAN.



Sunday, June 7, 2020

Book Blitz for LOVE AGAIN



Stand-Alone: no
Series: Good Enough Novels, Book 6
Publisher: Twelve Twenty-Six Kozart
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
Genre: Romance, Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Heat Level: Sensual


LOVE (AGAIN) BY VONNA IVORY JOSEPH

Finding a man. No problem. Keeping him—now there’s the challenge.

Finding a man has never been the problem for Lacey Robinson, but keeping one has been a story with a less than happy ending. One too many failed relationships left the successful businesswoman jaded and ready to accept a loveless, but otherwise fulfilling life.

Following her latest stutter and stall on the way to the altar, Lacey’s convinced she’s the problem in her relationships. Never one to settle for mediocrity, Lacey sets her gifts on raising her son and being her best self.

Just as she’s finding her footing, she meets Zack Reid, a sexy and self-aware widower who’s learning to navigate life as a single man.

With pressure to settle down from Lacey’s family and pressure from Zack’s to get back to living, the gun-shy lovers find out how hard it is to mend hearts you didn’t break.

 AVAILABLE ON

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | APPLE

 ADD ON GOODREADS

 EXCERPT

Mornings in the city moved like honey. The traffic was heavy, but there were few honking horns or shouting bikers. Empire City or not, the South moved slower. Regional norms such as greeting one another in words or nods prevailed, even in the face of population booms. No matter the speed a commuter zipped by you at, when the Atlanta traffic stopped them, you’d get a nod and you’d return it with a syrup sweet smile and tip of your chin. Not even Lacey Robinson on her worse day could resist the melodic sway of an Atlanta morning. The Fourth and Inches looked closed when she reached the perforated window and peeked in.
“Are you looking for me?”
Zack’s voice dripped in sensuality, and Lacey clenched her intimate parts.
Why is he so damned hot?  She adjusted her tortoise shell eyeglasses, forced a trite smile and turned to face him in all his glory. He was taller and even more attractive in the fresh light. His skin was darker, and his whiskey brown eyes danced with golden flecks. She’d missed those the night before. Lacey remembered his good looks and put forth more of an effort when dressing for her return to the bar. She wore a pencil skirt, instead of her customary trousers, and brushed on an extra coat of bronzer and mascara. The storeroom’s lowlight had done Zack Reid a grave injustice. His features were markedly masculine. He worked out as made clear by the roundness of his shoulders in the fitted black t-shirt he wore over distressed jeans and motorcycle boots.
“I-I think I left something here.”
“You did. I have your purse in the office.” He unlocked the door and let her in. “You smell good.”
Lacey felt her cheeks warm and sweat sprout at her temples. She ran a finger over her curling edges. What is going on with you, woman?
“Thank you. You do too.”
You do too! Jesus, Lacey. Get yourself together.
She followed Zack through the empty bar, pausing when he passed through a pair of swinging doors. He stopped and tossed a curious look at her but didn’t argue. He returned shortly holding Lacey’s leather clutch.
“Is this it?”
“Yes, thank you,” Lacey said, pressing the purse to her chest. 
“Aren’t you going to check it?”
“Should I?”
“You don’t know me. I could be a jewel thief or a con artist.” A warm smile ignited the space between them. “Do you want a cup of coffee or something?” Zack asked.
Lacey nodded.
An hour had slipped by when a thin man with as much hair as he weighed entered, talking loudly on his cell phone. He stopped in his tracks when he saw Lacey and Zack sitting at a highboy laughing over bagels and coffee. He ended his call and made a beeline to them, flashing a cocky grin and holding his hand out to Lacey.
“You must be the beautiful stranger my boy helped escape the storeroom last night,” he crooned. “I’m Garrett Leakes. I’m the better half of this partnership.”
Zack shook his head and chuckled. “Garrett is part owner of the bar.”
“I’m more than that.” He said, slithering up Lacey’s forearm.  She snaked it out of his grip and frowned at him.
“Excuse us for a second, Lacey. G, let me holler at you.”
Garrett followed the visibly annoyed man through the swinging doors and into a dim hallway.  Zack raked his hands over his face and head, before looking at his friend.
“Back off, G.”
Garrett took a step back and cackled. “You like her. She’s stuck up.”
“Why? Because she’s unaffected by your signature bullshit?”
“Let me have another crack at her,” Garrett said with a wink.
Zack’s fists balled up of their own volition, shocking him a bit.
“Damn. Chill. Is it that serious?” Garrett searched his friend’s pinched face, then allowed a sneaky grin. 
When the men returned Lacey had left.
“Told you. Stuck up. I’m familiar with the type. But good for you—getting a hard-on again, bro.” Garrett slapped Zack on the back and left him staring at the front door.

 ENTER TO WIN

GOOD ENOUGH and CROSSED LINES. The first two books in the Good Enough series, featuring the main character.


ABOUT VONNA IVORY JOSEPH


Joseph was born and raised in Orlando, Florida. She made Atlanta, Georgia her home as a teenager, where her stories are chiefly centered. Joseph joined the U.S. Air Force and honorably served in Operations Noble Eagle and Enduring Freedom.

With a fresh voice and modern focus on the new South, Joseph challenges antiquated adages and ideas about the diverse region through a personal, yet unfiltered lens. Her first novel Good Enough, explores classic barriers to love - barriers such as class, family obligations and skillfully disguised insecurities.

Written with loving, attention to detail Joseph invites readers into her beloved South, making Good Enough novels simultaneously, contemporary romances with diverse characters and love letters to the new South that ask, "if love knows no barriers, then why not you?

Joseph has since published nine novels and eight shorts stories. She currently lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, Demetrius and three children.

 

CONNECT WITH VONNA IVORY JOSEPH


Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Teaser Tuesday


Sibling rivalry doesn't just disappear when siblings become adults. We Are Family focuses on the lives of two sisters, Regine and Francine Ellis. They have dealt with unfortunate comparisons from family members all of their lives. Here's a peek into one of their tense debates from my new release. 

* * * * * *
  

       “You never heard me say your paintings are useless. I just want you to take this business seriously. Ellis Hardware was Daddy’s baby. Now it’s our inheritance. We can’t disappoint him.”
“If I didn’t take this seriously, I wouldn’t be here. But I also think we should be enjoying this whole deal, since we’re stuck with it. Can’t you lighten up? Life is not a business meeting.”
Fran cleared her throat again. “Maybe if some people ran their lives more like a business, they wouldn’t always be in some kind of mess.”
“Why don’t you come right out and say it? You think my life’s a disaster,” Regine shot back, shutting the door so the customers couldn’t hear their squabble. “But I did what I wanted to do in my life, not what Mama and Daddy wanted, trying to be Miss Goody Two Shoes.”
“That’s what you think I did? Well, you majored in doing crazy stuff. And look where it got you.”
Regine shoved her hands onto her hips and threw her shoulders back. “Your assessment of my life sucks. It got me two husbands, two wonderful kids, and I don’t regret any of it. I’m glad I had the chance to know what it feels like to love a man with all my heart and share years of passion that was so mind blowing, that I’d sometimes get out of bed and walk into a wall. I’m glad I got to feel the joy of holding my newborn babies for the first time. Making Executive of the Year can’t even come close to those experiences.” Regine’s eyes glowed with fire.
Fran couldn’t fathom being in her sister’s situation with no career, no savings to speak of and no visible plan for the future. “But you’re going on fifty and don’t have a pot to pee in. The only reason you have a house is because the judge gave it to you in the divorce settlement.” Fran shook her head in dismay.
“So, my life revolved around my family and not a career. I’m not driven to succeed and never will be. Besides, you can’t take it with you. When I die at least there’ll be somebody at my funeral besides my coworkers. And you can be sure that when I stand before the throne God won’t ask me how I helped to improve my company’s bottom line.”
Fran froze, horrified. “What a hateful thing to say!”
“It’s the truth,” Regine continued, the red glow of anger in her cheeks. “I know what you think about the decisions and mistakes I’ve made. You can’t hide it. You’re just like Daddy. What you feel is written all over your face. Did it ever occur to you that maybe if you stopped looking down your nose and judging me, I wouldn’t be so hateful?” She pulled the door open with an impatient yank and motioned for Fran to leave. “I have a lot of work to do.”
       Fran huffed out of the room with long, angry strides.
###

 Live on Kindle!



Sunday, March 8, 2020



      Two sisters in their forties are thrown together in a business venture that forces them to confront their differences for the first time in their lives. Francine Ellis is a corporate executive who has never married and has always had her life to herself. Her sister, Regine Perry, is a double-divorcee, mother of two and aspiring artist. Will the challenges of running the business combined with unexpected new love relationships bring them closer together or drive them further apart? 


Monday, December 30, 2019

Thursday, December 12, 2019

In memory...

July was the last time I posted here and for good reason. On July 21st my husband was working on the house replacing shingles on the roof when he fell and broke his neck in three places along with two places in his lower spine. I wasn't home when it happened, and when I got home I found him in the yard.

From that day until the end of November, he fought pneumonia and kidney damage from all of the antibiotics and was paralyzed from his chest down. On November 21st, Bill sent home to be with Jesus.

We were married for 43 years, and this has been very hard for me. It'll be two weeks on Saturday since we laid him to rest. I'm just trying to keep it together right now, and I don't know when or if I will continue writing. 


 

 


 
Rest in heaven...

Obituary

William Allen Jones, the fourth of fourteen children, was born on February 14, 1946 to Johnnie R. Jones and Arnethia Deloatche Jones in Murfreesboro, North Carolina. He attended C. S. Brown High School. After high school, he moved from North Carolina to New Jersey. Bill served in the United States Army and achieved the rank of sergeant.
He made church membership and attendance a priority and in his later years was a member of Faith Fellowship Ministries in Edison, NJ, World Changers Ministries in College Park, GA and finally Lakewin Christian Center in Riverdale, GA where he was recently ordained as a deacon. His quiet, steady love for God set an example to others.
His love for art and music began at an early age, and one of his first paintings was a mural behind the pulpit at First Baptist Church of Murfreesboro while he was still in high school. As he got older, his art took a back seat to the responsibilities of providing for his family. Prior to his retirement, Bill resumed creating beautiful paintings and even displayed some of his work at local expos. After retirement, he took up a new hobby – playing the guitar. His other love was spending time with family.

Bill married Denise Valerie Brown in 1976.  He was father to Melanie Joy Jones and stepfather to Crystal Hughes Simmons. Bill was blessed with a very large family. He was a devoted father, grandfather, great grandfather, brother, uncle, and friend.

For over thirty years, he worked in different positions with Safety-Kleen Systems in New Jersey and Georgia where he was loved and respected by his fellow coworkers. He retired in December 2018.

He is survived by his wife, Denise, two daughters, Melanie Jones and Crystal Simmons, seven sisters, Calpurnia J. Bryant (Douglas) of Adelphi, MD, Sylvia J. Caldwell of Winston-Salem, NC, Barbara J. Rayner (Fulton) of Clinton, NC, Sharon J. Frazier (Rick) of Cary, NC, Edith J. Whitley (James) of Winston-Salem, NC, Thelma J. Vance (Alphonzo) of Lewisville, NC; six brothers, Flavio T. Jones (Karen) of Boyds, MD, Johnnie E. Jones (Tara) of Fayetteville, NC, Barney C. Jones (Valeria) of Pfafftown, NC, Jeffrey P. Jones (Angela) of Kernersville, NC, and Rickie T. Jones (Melanie) of Lexington, NC, and Darren L. Jones of Winston-Salem, NC; sister-in-law, Shari Brown Marvray (Charles); a brother-in-law, Thomas K. Brown; five grandchildren; one great granddaughter; and a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, other family and friends.

Bill will be greatly missed by all who knew him.






Saturday, July 6, 2019

New Release Showcase

Today I am privileged to present the new Christian non-fiction release from author Muriel Gladney.







Write Now Literaryis pleased to be organizing a two-week book tour for We Are One by Muriel Gladney. The book tour will run June 24-July 5, 2019. Book a tour here.






Book Title: We Are One         


Genre: Non-Fiction






ISBN-10: 1644387190


ISBN-13: 978-1644387191







Meet Muriel









An abusive childhood had led me to become a full-blown atheist by the time I was 16. God introduced Himself when I was 52. This journey to true life is recorded in my book: Mine: An Everlasting Promise of Love, Deliverance, and Wholeness.






Now 76, I have spent the last twenty-four years learning to walk free in the shoes of being a child of God, while also honing my God-given skills as an ambassador and writer for Jesus, author, and speaker. After moving to California, I returned to college at the age of 61. There I received an Associate Degree in Arts with honors, functioned as a reporter and Editor-In-Chief of the college newspaper, along with receiving numerous rewards for writing, such as the 0CCWF Beverly Bush Smith award. I am also published in God Encounters, a book by author James Stuart Bell. 










Connect Socially






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About The Book





We Are One presents an unchanged, endless, truth—women were not created to live in disappointment, disillusionment, and defeat.  We Are One is bursting with inspiration and encouragement as each chapter utilizes the raw, true life, experiences of several women who endured personal pain and yet came through empowered and victorious.  How? Through the use of a key that a woman never knew she had. We Are One unveils the key.  It will heal a woman’s soul, as item powers her to live a life that is not defined by trials and persecution. Women will know the power of a woman’s purposed influence and thus her eternal value.










Purchase a Copy





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Tour hosted by Write Now Literary