Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Teaser Tuesday

Since I'm almost halfway into Inner City Blues, the final book in my Stafford Brothers series, it's time to start sharing teasers. This is an unedited excerpt from the first chapter. I don't know why the line spacing is screwed up, because I copied and pasted from Word...

* * * * * *
Chapter One
Jesse Stafford sat on a bench in a communal holding cell in the Atlanta City Detention Center waiting for his brother to bail him out.  He’d been arrested for participating in what began as a peaceful demonstration in the neighborhood where his wife, Cydney had grown up and where he volunteered at the free medical clinic.
For the past three hours, he and the others went through the painfully slow booking process and waited to make their phone calls. Calling Vic at close to midnight was the last thing he wanted to do, but he had no choice. Vic would be able to put up the money for his bail, and, unlike like Nick and Charles, he didn’t have sleeping toddlers who might be disturbed by the phone ringing late at night. Thankfully, doctors were used to being interrupted in the middle of the night. His older brother said he would be there as soon as he got dressed. Jesse asked him to call Cydney and let her know where he was and that he was okay. Of all the things to happen to him just days before the entire family got together for Christmas at his parents’ house. He shook his head and uttered a pitiful laugh.


Tonight had been the largest demonstration since Darren Givens; an unarmed thirteen-year-old boy had been shot by police on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway back in June. Ironically, the street was named for a famed civil rights attorney who’d lived near the area and was better known by its former name, Bankhead Highway. The Bankhead area was one of the poorest areas of Atlanta. Even with some recent improvements to the vicinity, it still left a lot to be desired.
                                         
For weeks after the shooting, the infamous street teemed with chanting, sign-carrying activists. Television trucks with their satellite dishes reaching into the chilly air like sunflowers were a constant presence. Anger flared among residents sending young people into the streets. Hollowell Parkway had burned for two nights. Once the police and National Guard restored order, demonstrators from all over the country representing the Black Lives Matter movement came to show their support to the boy’s family. Eventually, their presence vanished, and the media turned their attention to more recent events. Well, until today, when the verdict was announced that the officers involved in the shooting had been exonerated. Now the heavy armored police vehicles and officers armed with high-powered rifles had returned to maintain the large numbers of demonstrators in the streets.

Jesse still didn’t know what had sparked the clash between some of the demonstrators and the police, but shouting and shoving erupted among the crowd. The next thing he knew, he was being handcuffed and herded into a police transport vehicle along with two dozen others. 
COMING LATE FALL 2016 to Kindle, Nook and paperback

Monday, June 20, 2016

New Release Showcase!

My sisterscribes are on fire! Today I am overjoyed to share Ey Wade's two new releases: Ribbons & Belle and Ismet's Honor.

Ey considers herself to be a caged in frustrated author of thought provoking, mind bending books in several genres. She is the mother of three adult daughters that were previously home-schooled and the drooling ‘Lovey' to a little boy. Ey was born in Texas and reared as an Army brat. There is the constant need to speak, writing and telling stories is the way she choose to socialize.

The inspiration to writing Ribbons and Belle came from the controversy of abortions and the vitriol in which the women are attacked. People tend to over look the fact there may be medical reasons. Ismet’s Honor was born after a beta reader finished Ribbons & Belle and wished there was a story about Sunny. I decided to make it more about the father and what his wishes may have entailed and how abortions also affect the father’s to be.

You can find Ey at one of her many online homes:

Amazon Central Author Page: http://bit.ly/EyWade-Amz

Ribbons & Belle


Gorgeous, dedicated fertility counselor Tyson Ribbons, has admired and loved embryologist, Anabelle “Belle” Lee for along time. When she comes in for counseling he fights everything within him not to deter her from her plans.

Doesn’t stop his heart from wishing it could be him fulfilling her desire.

Anabelle Lee, mourning her inability to have a child of her own-suffered through two miscarriages, a heartbreaking late-term abortion, and a soul crushing divorce. As an embryologist, she has protected the potential life of many frozen specimens, and lived envious of the women choosing InVitro fertilization as their form of reproduction.

After a bit of encouragement from her best friend, and counseling from the very perfect Dr. Ribbons, Anabelle takes steps to fulfill her desire to become a mother.

Problem is, the announcement brings more of a shock than a gift.

Here's an excerpt:
“So, are you saying your plans will never include a man? A man who has no intentions of being a participant in an affair for friends benefiting off a burning desire? You have no time for a man who has a wish to have a lasting relationship”

“Honesty, I hadn’t figured a literal man in the picture at all. My mind is to do what I need to do to be happy and fulfill my goals.”

“A literal man? What does that mean? What are your goals? What do you have planned in your life that you are so sure I, a literal man, couldn’t be a part of?”

Belle stood, smoothed her shirt and tugged at the waistband of her pants- trying to gather her words before opening her mouth. Eventually, giving up. Crossing the room to the closet, she pulled out the Christmas gift bag.

From it she placed a couple of the fertility magazines in front of Tyson and stood back to observe his reaction. The look on his face transformed from burning curiosity into lip pursing illumination.

“Oh. I have this one in my office.” Leaning forward, he tapped the cover of one magazine before shifting back to his previous position. Arms, crossed over his body gave emphasis to the movement of his chest, and the stretched material of his shirt. Tyson sucked in a deep breath before letting it out slowly and clearing his throat. His glance never leaving her face. 

“How soon do you plan on going through with the procedure?”

“As soon as possible. I would simply love to have a baby by Christmas.” Belle smiled softly. Unaware of how wistful she looked.

“At this moment, you remind me of a child wishing on a star for a toy she covets. You know this isn’t a game, right? This baby you want would be a living being. Not something you can return when it doesn’t meet your expectations.”

Belle’s smile vanished at the censor in his tone. Belle’s smile vanished at the censor in his tone. What the hell? I know he’s not about to try and lecture me. As if I need his advice. Humph, as if he knows me like that. Who does he think he is? Hands on her hips, she looked down at him leaning back with his body pressed into the material of her couch. That body making her all hot and bothered, like he belonged there. Searing his body from head to toe with a slit eyed glare, she stifled the urge to kick the underside of his shoe and order him out of her house.

“What are you trying to say, Tyson?”

“Hold on, wait a minute...” Tyson, stood. Hands held out in front of him as if he thought he had to protect himself from harm, a chuckle escaping.  “Damp down the fire. I’m just observing your reaction and emotions. Counseling in this area is my thing, remember?”

“Yes, I remember.”

“Well this is no different than what I would ask any potential parent. Do you really want to be a parent? A single parent, even?”

“Yes. I want to be a parent.”

Noticing the tears forming in her eyes, Tyson moved closer, pulling Belle into his arms and close to his chest.

“You know, you don’t have to use the lab method. I promise you, it would be much more fun trying the old fashioned way. I’m just saying,” He laughed and held her tighter when she struggled to pull out of his embrace. “You have me here. Happy and willing at anytime. And if you want, anywhere.”

“Tyson, stop laughing at me.” Belle pushed a little harder and found herself free to move around the room. Happy yet bereft at being deprived of his warmth. ‘This is a serious matter for me.”

“Oh, believe me, I know it is. Once a woman has gone through the trouble of collecting magazines, and you seem to have a ton,” he tapped the decorative bag with the toe of his shoes. “The thought of being a parent, going through the procedure is a foregone conclusion. Yet, still I wonder.”

Ismet’s Honor:

                                                           

Sunny Verdi Reyes, has always wanted the “good-life.” Husband, home, lot’s of children. After cheering on her best friend and fellow embryologist Belle, through her successful quest for her dream, she wanted those things even more.

Unfortunately, Sunny broke the heart of her fantasy years earlier and it would take more than wishful thinking to get him back.

At 17, unable to voice his opinion against an unwanted abortion, Ismet Honorable O’Neal ran from the girl who killed his dream of the perfect life and the white picket fence.
Now he spends his time aiding other men in being the voice in the lives of their children.

Years later, he returns and Sunny is waiting.


She’s going to need more than the love in her eyes to repair the fences.

And now an excerpt:

“So, you're into studying women, Ismet? Know a lot of them? Are you into any certain one?”
“Still blunt and as curious as ever aren't you, Belle?” Ismet laughed. Sitting and filling his plate from several dishes, passing each to Sunny so she could do the same. “Of course I've known a few. I don't have a steady or I wouldn't have come here alone, but to answer the obvious- I'm not searching for one.” His gaze landed briefly on Sunny's face before he stuffed a fork filled with food into his mouth.

“Humph, well if you know like I know, life is short. If you're still out there searching at your age, you're more than likely looking in the wrong direction. Sometimes, what you're searching for is right next to ...what?” Belle squealed and ducked at the not trying to be subtle, roll thrown in her direction. The swift, timely reaction of her husband's catch, saving her from getting hit square in the face. “Sunny, did you purposely throw bread at me?” The fork she pointed at Sunny jerked up and down.

“Of course I did.” The tight eyed look Sunny cast in Ismet's direction, a cross between irritation and a dare, froze his expression in mid laughter, for all of a millisecond, before he continued laughing heartily. With the swift turn of her head, she flicked her hair. The ends swung and hit him in the face. “Me, kicking you under the table didn't make you shut your mouth.”

“That's because you were kicking me.” Tyson laughed. Reaching over and placing the roll back on her plate. “You got a good aim though.”

“I'm so sorry Tyson. But then again, I blame you. You should've tapped your wife or something. Put some check in her tongue.”

Tyson's smile was huge and the wink he shared with Ismet, flowed with a conspiring air.

“I tried. Shortened the length of my finger with all of the poking I was doing.” He held up his pinkie finger. “Didn't make a bit of difference.”

When the laughter subsided, Ismet-  pointing his finger at Belle, responded to her statement.

“Actually Belle, I think you could be on to something. Tyson shared a bit of your story when we were in the nursery, earlier. It was excellent, congratulations all around. Two beautiful daughters and love to boot. I never imagine such luck in my life.

Truthfully, I'm not going to try. I had my suburban dream as a kid.” He turned his head towards Sunny. For a moment they stared into each other’s eyes, their history plainly seen, no explanations necessary. “And we all know what a nightmare that turned into.”

Both books are available on Kindle – Ribbons & Belle  Ismet’s Honor

Coming soon in paperback on CreateSpace.com

Friday, June 17, 2016

New Release Showcase!

I am so happy to showcase the new release from four authors I respect and whose work I love. Ever since I heard they were writing a book together, I've been on pins and needles waiting for the release. 

Now it's here, and you can find everything you need to know about this fabulous anthology below...

ABOUT THE BOOK:

#4Writers4Love presents:
Because My Heart Said So: A Friends-To-Lovers Collection
By: Nia Forrester, Jacinta Howard, Lily Java and Rae Lamar

                                           

Four Authors. Four Stories. For Love.

“Acceptable Losses” by Nia Forrester: Quentin is in the middle of a separation from his wife that seems to have no conclusive end in sight, while Lena is stuck in Single Girl Hell. The only respite either of them have is their regular coffee dates, while working on shared projects at a very demanding job. Sick of hearing about Lena’s semidisastrous attempts to couple-up, Quentin decides to fix her up. With his brother. Seems like a perfect solution; after all, his brother is a decent enough guy and Lena deserves that. Perfect... until it appears that the fix-up might actually work. 

“Blind Expectations” by Jacinta Howard: Aristotle once said the only thing constant in life is change. Or was that Confucius? Whatever. People are fluid—they come into your life for a while, and when it’s time for them to float on, Leah has no qualms waving goodbye. The only exception is her neighbor and best friend, Trevor. When all else fails in her crazy world, Trevor is always there, reliable, steady… real. But then one night a heated argument leads to a revelation that shakes Leah to the core. Suddenly, Leah is forced to make a choice. But will her heart survive her decision? 

“Blackbirds” by Lily Java: Once upon a time Sydney Tarr and Elliott Vance were friends: fast friends, ride or die, pledge of allegiance, take it to the mat, “friends.” And the fact that Sydney loved her friend more than she should didn’t matter until finally... one unusual and spectacular night, it did. It mattered very much. Still, not every story is a fairy tale is it? Friends do part—sometimes forever—but, not always. 

“Blur” by Rae Lamar: Jade Warner is back home. The bad part? Starting over. The best part? Reconnecting with Kyle Malone. Picking up where they left off years ago, it feels just like old times...except for the mutual attraction and questionable feelings, which are all brand new. For Jade and Kyle, it’s unthinkable to hook up given the history of their fail-safe friendship, but anything can happen when you live under the same roof... 



Visit the #4Writers4Love Pinterest Page to see images of characters and places mentioned in ‘BECAUSE MY HEART SAID SO’!

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Nia Forrester is the author of the Commitment series. Nia lives and writes in Washington DC where, by day, she works on public policy and by night, she crafts women-centered fiction that examines the complexities of life, love and the human condition. Visit her at niaforrester.com.

Jacinta Howard is the author of women's and new adult fiction. Since 2014, she's released four novels, including the well-received Love Always Series. She also released the USA TODAY Must-Read Romance, Happiness in Jersey, as well as the emotional new adult novel, Finding Kennedy. Visit her at JacintaHoward.net.

Lily Java is a freelance writer and novelist who writes women's fiction in many genres. Her debut suspense novel, Sticky Moon, was released in 2014. When she isn't writing, Lily raises money for the arts planning events in iconic landmarks throughout her beloved hometown: New York City. Lily is a true ambivert, who enjoys solitude as much as she likes meeting or talking with other passionate readers and writers. Visit her at LilyJava.com.
Rae Lamar is a mild-mannered consultant by day and fiction writer by night who calls Atlanta home. She is the author of Dawn of Aris and The Aris Effect along with other works of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. On a perfect day, she can be found on the top floor of a swanky beach resort, sitting on the balcony of an ocean-front suite with a book in her hands and food at her fingertips. SN: She rarely has perfect days. Visit her at raelamar.com.

Excerpts:

From 'Acceptable Losses' by Nia Forrester:

“So …” he began, “this is …”
“Awkward,” Lena finished for him. “I know. I’m sorry. I had no idea that …” She stopped and sighed. “Just … I’m sorry.”
“It’s okay,” Quentin said, wondering why it was that he wasn’t angry at her.
She at least knew on Friday when he leaned in and kissed her that there was one very good reason that they shouldn’t. And yet, he wasn’t mad.
Lena gave a small, derisive laugh. “No. It is definitely not okay, Quentin. I mean, I’m here with your brother. And on Friday night …”
“Let’s not talk about Friday night,” he interrupted her.
A look crossed her face then that was unmistakable. It was hurt.
“Of course,” she said. “We should just forget it ever happened. It was wrong, and it shouldn’t have …”
“No, Lena, I didn’t mean … What I mean is …” 
He took two steps toward her, and then stopped. He didn’t know what he meant. But he did know that what happened on Friday, he didn’t like hearing described as ‘wrong.’ Shit, it was complicated, no doubt about that. But it didn’t feel wrong. Kissing her, being that close to her actually felt very, very right.


From ‘Blind Expectations’ by Jacinta Howard:

“I’m sitting on your lap,” she breathed, eyes still closed. “And we keep kissing.”
“Yes, you are. And yes, we do.”
She heard the smile in his voice and opened her eyes.
“Seems like you enjoy it,” he grinned, biting the corner of his lip. “I know I do. You taste good as hell, Leah. Even better than I knew you would.”


From ‘Blackbirds’ by Lily Java:

Elliott had the smoothest skin she’d ever seen on a man. Dark and brown, it looked like it had been painted onto him with oil and a thick brush. Sydney had the urge to photograph him, but that was an urge she had about a thousand times a day with a lot of people. What was different about this was her urge to see more of him. The shirtless Elliott. The sleeping Elliott. Elliott at play.


From ‘Blur’ by Rae Lamar:

“Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever find the right guy.”
Kyle watched as Jade stabbed a shrimp with her fork and stuck it in her mouth. “Your first mistake is labeling him 'right' because what the hell does that even mean? There is no right or wrong, Jade…it’s about finding the one who makes you feel most alive.”




Monday, June 13, 2016

Reading outside of your comfort zone

Today I am so happy to welcome one of my devoted readers to share a guest post. Recently she and I got into a discussion about what she loved about the Stafford Brothers series. When I mentioned to her that as an African-American author, I have difficulty attracting non-black readers to my books, she seemed shocked. During the course of our discussion, I told her about the comments black authors often hear from white readers, such as, "I don't think I'd be able to relate to an AA romance," or "I might not understand the language," and similar statements.

Rather than writing about this subject myself, I asked Patricia to write a short post sharing social network groups.


                          Reading outside of your comfort zone


I was asked by my new friend and author Chicki Brown to make a statement regarding books written by black authors. I was informed that many Caucasian readers such as myself fear reading books written by a black author. They are misled to believe that their writings are somehow hard to follow or told in a way that would put off a Caucasian reader. I personally am an avid reader. I read books from many genres and by many different authors. Until now I have never thought about the ethnicity of the author. I read the books description, and that would determine if I was interested in reading that particular story. To be honest, I was stunned that this was a major problem for Black authors.


I gave the issue some thought and realized that there has been a time or two that I was unfamiliar with the terminology used by a couple Black writers, whom I will not name. This has not been the norm, from my experience, however. I have read all the books written by Eva J. Brock and Melinda Michelle. I now have read several books by Chicki Brown, and plan to read more. I have read books by Aja Graves, Ric Nero, Rhonda Mcknight, Scarlett Avery, Sherman Cain and Daniel Black to name a few. There may have been a term used here and there that I was not familiar with, but the context surrounding the word was enough for me to understand what the author was saying. 



The fore-mentioned authors write a wide variety of stories that were well written, easy to understand and entertaining. I found myself lost in their stories from the first page to the last. Their work is fictional yet easy to relate to no matter what your personal life experience is. 

Open your world to new experiences don’t limit yourself in your reading or in life. In my opinion to not read a book because it was written by a black author is a huge loss to any reader of any ethnicity. Every author brings their own unique abilities to their stories, and every story deserves to be read. Not everyone will like every story, and that is okay but how will you know if you don’t read them? Reading brings the world to our fingertips. There is so much out in the world to explore. Reach into new realms, and you might be surprised by what you find. I don’t presume to tell anyone what to do I am merely stating my personal opinion. Happy Reading!

Patricia Sroka

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Selfie search!

I posted this on Facebook this morning, if you're interested, please send your selfie holding one of my books to chicki663@comcast.net. Thanks!



Friday, June 3, 2016

Am writing...

My original plan was to write 1,000 words a day on Inner City Blues on weekdays. Pretty much, I've been meeting that goal, but I missed several days because life intervened. Right now, the story is at 28,000 words.

When my brain is overworked or just plain tired, I try to do something book related just to get a jump on all of the promotion stuff that will need to be done by release day. Last week I created the first two Powerpoint promos...



One has a wife who made him consider killing another man with his scalpel. One was kidnapped for ransom. One was briefly married to a Las Vegas showgirl. One was a sex addict. One broke up his former girlfriend’s wedding. One risks his professional status for community activism.


Those Stafford brothers…

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

What's Happening


I can't believe it's been two weeks since I posted a blog entry. I've been so wrapped up in working on Inner City Blues, Jesse Stafford's story, and making notes and character profiles for Born To Be Wild that I hadn't noticed.

ICB has taken more research than I'd expected. I don't know a thing about the law and specific punishment for particular crimes, thank God. Neither do I have a clue about the rules established by the American Medical Association on how they sanction members for misconduct. The story is getting to be pretty interesting, if I must say so myself. 

At the same time, ideas for BTBW, the first book in my Lake series, have been coming to me. Since I know how my memory works, or doesn't work, these days. I know it's best for me to stop whatever I'm doing at the moment and record these thoughts in a computer file. As usual, visuals also start to manifest, and that sends me directly to Google to find pictures to fit what I've seen in my head. I mentioned in an earlier post that the idea for this book came while hubby and I were on vacation last year. We'd driven through a lovely lake town called Eufaula, Alabama. I instantly fell in love with the place. Right now, I don't know if I'm going use the real name or if I'll create a fictional one, but I'm certainly using the pictures I found online of the historic town.

Yesterday, I started creating the character/setting collage. I don't have names for my main characters yet, but I know what they look like. She is a quiet, bookworm who was born and raised in this small town. She's smart, financially savvy and besides owning the town's independent bookstore, she is also a homeowner. He is an a gregarious alpha male from Atlanta who belongs to a motorcycle club (not outlaw gang).

So far, this is what I have...


Of course, I need to add the secondary characters once they gel in my mind. This will certainly be an "opposites attract" romance, but I also need to come up with some other conflict to keep the story interesting.

I'll keep you posted, and if you have any ideas, I'd appreciate hearing them.