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.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

New Release Spotlight - Wild Whispers

Today my gorgeous Nigerian friend from London is here! Please join me in welcoming Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku. She is here to share her brand new release, Wild Whispers. Stella is giving away an e-copy of any book on her backlist to one commenter (with the exception of Wild Whispers.)  Details are below.
Author Bio

Stella Eromonsere-Ajanaku is a fun loving mother of two teenagers, married to her gorgeous husband and best friend who indulges her romantic habits. Writing contemporary and historical romance novels is an exciting adventure for her. Out of curiosity and belief that love conquers all, she has written several Interracial & Multicultural Romance Novels.

In 2010, Stella created Flirty & Feisty Romance Novels, a collection of toe-curling, intriguing, and skin-tingling romance with compelling characters who have heart and soul and jump off the pages of the book. All her stories are dotted with twists and turns and are set in fascinating Africa, enticing Europe & enchanting America.

To experience and enjoy an intense emotional ride, pick up a copy of any of her novels: Loitering Shadows, Beyond the Lady, The Gardener's Ice Maiden, Sparkling Dawn, Husband to Rent, Stolen Valentine Kiss (Holiday Series #1), Kiss My Lips (Holiday Series #2), Forbidden Dance, Stolen Valentine Kiss & Kiss My Lips (Holiday Series 2~ Books ~ in ~ 1), Tempting Desire, Seduced Hearts, Red Velvet Rose and Wild Whispers. Stella's first historical/suspense/mystery romance, Royal Cowries (Cowries Series #1) will give you an insight into a different Africa.

A luxury home by the seaside is on Stella's wish list. In her spare time, she loves to swim on her back like a starfish, watch TV, go to the movies with her family and read romance novels.


Here's a fascinating character interview with the heroine of the story, Adaora Dike.

In your own words, please introduce yourself to our readers?
Hello readers, I’m Adaora Dike, a cheeky and friendly Nigerian woman but my best friend thinks I’m a cry baby. With brown skin, dark eyes and full curves, I turned twenty-seven on April 30th. I think I hide my emotions well…at least most of the time. Before tragedy stuck, I owned an Art Gallery in Abuja. At the moment, I live alone in the woods in Dagor Village in South-South Nigeria and I’m happy with who I am.

Good to meet you, Adaora. I hear life has thrown you a few curved balls, how do you cope with the quiet in the woods?
There is nothing that has happened to me that is uncommon to a woman. Life is full of ups and downs and I just get on with it because I’m a survivor. The great thing about living in the woods is not the peace and quiet but the mixture of nature’s raw beauty and diverse sounds. The cock crow wakes me up like clockwork each morning, the humming sounds of various birds and insects plus the drumbeat of rain water hitting the ground combine to keep me grounded.

Adaora, you have no trace of bitterness and you sound so dignified. Is there anyone in your life you want our readers to know about?
Two days ago, I would have said there was no one of interest. But last night, the heavy downpour washed a fair, tall and gorgeous man to my doorstep. His name is Gary Mason. He stands out because he is sensitive, thoughtful and a complete gentleman. Even though I have known him for a short time, we connect on so many levels. As shocking as it sounds, it is a connection we both want to explore.

Sounds sweet. Is Gary a romantic and do you think he will make you happy?
Oh yes, Gary is a romantic. Within the first few hours that we met, he gave me a shoulder massage and I melted into his strong arms as if I belonged with him. And when his crystal grey eyes caresses my skin, I know there is something about this stranded man from Surrey in London that will make me happy. I just don’t know how long this happiness will last.

Even though you have only known Gary for a short time, can you share one annoying habit he has?
Lol! Gary has only spent one night with me so far but I teased him about his untidiness and we had a good laugh about it. I love to clean and clear up anyway, so it is okay.

Do you think wedding bells will ring in the near future?
Are you joking? I have no idea. I was married before and it ended badly. Let’s just say I’m not in a big hurry to walk down the aisle a second time. But you never know. Things change and Gary seems so intense and relaxed at the same time. When I figure out how his mind works, I will let you know.

What is your favourite food, Adaora?
Egg sauce with fried yam slices. I shared it with Gary on our first morning together because he surprised me in the most thoughtful way. Thank you for having me on your blog.

Finally, give our readers your parting shot?
I can only say, don’t judge others based on what you hear or see. Get to know them before you form an opinion.

Thank you for chatting with us, Adaora.
The pleasure is mine. Thank you for having me.

Wild Whispers is available at:

Amazon.com (eBook) 99c:

Amazon.co.uk (eBook)


Amazon.com (Paperback): 

Createspace (Paperback): k: https://www.createspace.com/6134859

GIVEAWAY

Wild Whispers Blog Tour begins on Mon, April 25th - Thurs May 26th 2016 
(The Blog Tour schedule is below - scroll down).

Star Prize: One Wild Whispers Bracelet 

Other Prizes: Flirty & Feisty Romance eBooks of your choice (excluding Wild Whispers)

HOW TO WIN

To win the star prize
Follow Wild Whispers on its exciting Blog Tour and leave comments on every blog. One lucky winner will be drawn from a hat.

To win your choice of Flirty & Feisty Romance eBook (excl Wild Whispers): Leave a comment on any blog and one commenter on every blog wins an eBook.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Seasons...

A young writer recently had a discussion about writing. When I told her that I write every day for the majority of the day, she said, "I can't write all the time, because I have to have a life." 

I understood what she meant, but I realized later that she didn't understand what I was saying. What I should've told her was, "Been there. Done that. Got the t-shirt." Everything she is doing in her life, I did decades ago. At this stage of my life, I'm getting to do what my busy life wouldn't allow me to all those years when my mind wasn't focused on doing anything creative. 

There was a time when I was at all the new nightclub openings. (Anybody remember Leviticus or Fun City in Manhattan or The Scene and B Square in New Jersey?)




There was a time when I went to every show at Madison Square Garden that I could afford. 


There was a time when I was a newlywed.



There was a time when I was a new mom who was all infatuated with the little blessing that had come to live with us. 




There was a time when I had to give most of my energy on pleasing a demanding boss. 



And then there were many years when I devoted many hours a week to running the clothing distribution department as a volunteer for my 15,000-member church.



Those things were all part of my twenties, thirties and forties. Once I reached my fifties and my kids were grown, I no longer had parenting responsibilities and was also quickly losing interest in my job. It could've been because I was raised by an entrepreneurial father who owned his own successful business from the time I was five years old, but I began to feel as though it was now or never to do my own thing or it might not happen.

It's been sixteen years since I started writing and six years since I published my first novel, and I am so thankful I've had the opportunity to experience my dream.



Being able to work at home and write all day, to create something from my own imagination, to meet readers and other authors from all over the world, and to build a readership is amazing. Some people feel that if you're not meeting people in person and shaking their hand or getting their autograph, then that contact is meaningless, but they are so wrong. Ten years ago, I wanted to meet Beverly Jenkins, one of my favorite authors, in person. Of course, I "met" her at her Atlanta book signings in the past, but today we have communicated with each other directly, and she has personally messaged me on Facebook. I have received priceless advice and encouragement from other authors as a result of our online connections.


Different things carry importance at different stages of our lives. Right now, I'd rather be writing than doing anything else in the world other than being a beach bum. God willing, I plan to write until I am too old to put anything on paper that makes sense!






Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book Six...

I love starting to write a new book. Even though this is the final book in my Stafford Brothers series, I'm excited about INNER CITY BLUES, Jesse Stafford's story. Jesse is an oncology surgeon who works with his father in his practice. He's been married for six years to the former Cydney Nelson, whom he met when she worked in the records department at one of the hospitals. 

I used actor Jesse Williams as the character model for Jesse, and I merged some of what I've read about his personal life as a community activist and some of the character he plays on Grey's Anatomy as Dr. Jackson Avery.



I chose actress Nia Long as Cydney because of her down-to-earth personality and her appeal as the "girl next door."

They have three small children and are living the life made possible by his professional success.


Jesse's book will be a bit different from the others, because it deals with a serious subject, the shooting of an unarmed thirteen-year-old boy in the neighborhood where his wife, Cydney grew up. Yes, this is a fictional account, but I've taken some of the details from real accounts in other parts of the nation.

Of all the brothers, Jesse is the most active in the community, only it's not the community in which he lives, but the one in which he works. He volunteers at a neighborhood free clinic and speaks to elementary school children on Career Day at every school in what used to be known as the Bankhead area of Atlanta. He knows the people and their problems first-hand, and after the shooting, he participates in the protests. An incident in the opening chapter puts Jesse in a situation that puts his and Cydney's comfortable lifestyle in jeopardy.

As always, when I start a new book, I create a collage of characters and ideas for the story.



Today the meter looks like this: 


As time goes on, I'll be sharing excerpts from the book here on Sample Sundays and optimistically aiming for an October release.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Winner!



Carol P. has been chosen by Rafflecopter as the winner of the Kindle Fire in my contest! Congratulations, Carol!

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

On Hiatus...

Before I Want You Back released I had decided to take a little time off to take care of things I'd been avoiding during the writing phase. It's been a week, and I have successfully crossed several big projects off of my To Be Done list.

The major one was to purge my office files and sort my reading material. It was a huge job that took several days, but that chore was finished yesterday. There's something about clearing out clutter that makes me happy...



One of the things I wanted to do once the office purge was done was to take a few days reading all of the craft and marketing articles I've saved over the past year or so. Hopefully I can get some of that in before Monday when I plan to start on Inner City Blues, the sixth and final book in my Stafford Brothers series. 


This last book is going to be a bit different from the others, because Jesse is already married. Here's a hint: Jesse volunteers at a neighborhood free clinic in one of the roughest parts of Atlanta where his wife, Cydney's family still lives. When an event similar to what happened in Ferguson, Missouri takes place in this neighborhood, he finds himself in an ethical dilemma and at odds with some family members. It's going to be good! Here's the title song...


I still haven't gotten I Want You Back uploaded to Nook because of a formatting issue. I've contacted them twice, and still haven't received a response, which is typical for B&N. No wonder we keep seeing these signs...

Keep an eye out for my announcement about the upcoming contest...