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Welcome To SORMAG's Blog

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A Passion Redeemed - Julie Lessman

A Passion Redeemed
by Julie Lessman


No man can resist her charms. Or so she thought. Charity O'Connor is a woman who gets what she wants. Her stunning beauty and flirtatious ways have always succeeded with men. Until Mitch Dennehy, that is.

Brilliant and dangerously handsome, Mitch is a no-nonsense newspaperman who wants nothing to do with her. Charity burned him once, destroying his engagement to the only woman he ever truly loved. He won't play with matches again. But Charity has a plan to turn up the heat, hoping to ignite the heart of the man she loves. And she always gets what she wants--one way or another.

Or does she? Will her best-laid schemes win his love? Or will her seductive ways drive him away forever? Book 2 in the Daughters of Boston series, A Passion Redeemed will captivate your heart and stir your soul with a story of faith and redemption rising from the ashes of temptation, desire, and shame.

Praise for the first book in the series:

"Full of romance, humor, rivalry, and betrayal, A Passion Most Pure will captivate readers from the first page." --Historical Novels Review "Superb! Incredible!

"I loved Julie Lessman's A Passion Most Pure from the second I picked it up until the very last moment I stopped reading." --Armchair Interviews

"I devoured this book and loved every single page. . . . This is a thick, juicy read, and one I would pick up again in a heartbeat." --christianreviewofbooks.com


If you would like to read an excerpt from A Passion Redeemed, go HERE.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Celtic Sacrifice - Sheryl Brennan


Celtic Sacrifice
By Sheryl Brennan


Publisher: Underdog Press
Genre: Historical Romance
Copyright: 2008 by Underdog Press
Published date: November 2008
Where it can be purchased: www.underdogpress.com
Website: www.underdogpress.com

“Do you know how to make the gods laugh, Ceana? Tell them of your plans.”
When members of her dead mother’s clan of O’Connor come to claim Ceana O’Hagan on her eighteenth birthday, she believes her destiny is clear: to marry Cian O’Connor, become a druid priestess, and restore the mystic powers of a long-lost ancestor.
But the path becomes muddy when a mysterious stranger captures Ceana’s heart as well as her body, setting an alternate course of events into motion. Dangling within the chasms of religion, duty, and newly discovered emotions, will Ceana’s desire to fulfill her tribal obligations force her to give up the love of Cian, her country, and her culture, or will she refuse to become the Celtic Sacrifice the English crown craves?


CHAPTER 9

Cian did not attempt to engage me in conversation for the remainder of the ride to Roscommon. The hours slowly slipped away, seeing us laugh at jokes and stories told by the guard and Amargein. We breached a hilltop overlooking the stronghold of the O’Connor clan bathed in day’s final light. At last, our travels were ending.

I etched the remaining steps into my mind, committing to memory how the brilliant yellow-orange sun dappled the fortress. Entering the woodlands, we briefly lost site of the castle and village below. Twilight enveloped us and a ground fog seeped over the greenery.
Father and son exchanged secreted words before Amargein and the guard sped ahead to announce my arrival. Graceful rolling clouds signaled the coming rain. No moonlight would guide our way this eve.

Cian stared off into the encroaching wooded area at something invisible to me. As if entranced, he grabbed the reins to my horse, leading me toward the object of his intense concentration.
"I wish to show you something," he said. "A sacred place that is essential to our faith and heritage."

After dismounting in a thick bed of ferns, Cian reached up to assist me from my horse. Weary from our long journey, I allowed him to catch me as I slid from the saddle. His steady arms lowered me expertly to solid ground. Our eyes met briefly, then we tied the reins of the horses to low lying branches.

Darkness closed upon the forest quickly. I could see only shadows looming and weaving before me. Unfamiliar with the terrain, I needed to rely on Cian’s senses---but he forged ahead too quickly in the dense surroundings.
“Cian, I cannot see. Where am I to go?”
I heard his careful footsteps tracing back to where I stood. “The way is very dim. Will you trust me to guide you?”

The sarcasm in his words made me giggle inwardly. He served back to me what I so thoroughly heaped upon him earlier that day. And I’ll admit, I deserved it.

I extended my arm in answer. Without groping, Cian softly entwined his fingers with mine and led me deeper into the wood. Each step sent up the musky smell of decaying leaves whilst the fog left myriads of tiny droplets on our shoes and cloaks. The chill wind beating at our backs blew a hole in the clouds to reveal a waning gibbous moon.

Mysteriously, the wind ceased and light from the heavenly body appeared, focusing on the spot where we stood. Wonders I had yet to know met my astonished gaze.
Nineteen standing stones surrounded us, each inscribed with Ogham. Awed by their omniscient power, I felt drawn to touch each one.

Cian appeared knowledgeable of their magic. Ceremoniously he escorted me to each stone, allowing me to place my palms upon the mossy rock. The vibrations emanating from the monuments warmed my hands.

We stopped at the center of the great circle where a small squared stone shimmered in the moonlight. When my gaze shifted from one part of the rock to another, a new opalescent color glistened forth. A touchstone! The legendary touchstone of Una where the focused power of the conjurer would diffuse into each of the nineteen monoliths reaching toward the heavens.
As my senses drank in this mystic site, emotion overwhelmed me. With sudden clarity, I knew this must be the place of my mother’s dreams and stories.

Cian spoke in low, fluid tones. "This is the site where Una drew her power and received her visions. The ancient faery circle where she married your mother and father and where the hopes of west and north conceived a son who would throw the authority of the Celtic gods to the English. Do you feel the power of the O’Connor priestess inhabiting these aged pillars?"
I closed my eyes and strove to identify the vibrations pulsing around us. The mists swirled with the breeze, carrying the scent of approaching rains. I knew we should away to the village, but the power of the stones shackled my feet, preventing escape.

"It was within this circle I beheld visions of you, Ceana. The destiny you hold, the healing you will accomplish, and the restoration of power our unification could bring."
I looked into Cian’s face, seeing the glimmer of earnest devotion reflected in his eyes. His voice was not threatening or warning. I could feel his respect for this place and his faith that transcended any selfishness.

"Ceana, I long to fulfill my own fate, but you discredit me if you feel I would do so to the exclusion of the greater role you are to play. I believe our paths are bound to each other, but I will not sacrifice the good of our clan for my own contentment. I am an O’Connor druid first and foremost. The future of our clan is my primary responsibility."

My heart wanted to reach out and allow him entry. On the surface, it appeared our goals were the same. Had I been too hard on him earlier? Had my fear overshadowed my judgment? So many were counting on my success, I feared failing them by following the wrong path or indulging in a pleasure that might not be mine to take.

"I do not know if or when our time is measured, Cian, but know we stand as one to do what must be done for the sake of our tribes and clan."

A smile curled the edges of Cian’s lips. He pressed my hand to the shimmering touchstone, covering it with his. "I pledge to you, my life and my love, for the sake of our kinsmen."
I smiled, feeling as though a heavy weight lifted from my shoulders. Now I could concentrate on what I must do to obtain that end. I turned to face Cian and confirm our solidarity. "Then we are agreed? For the sake of our kinsmen?"
“Aye.”
Within the circle a cold, drizzling rain fell upon us. Cian reached around my neck, tenderly pulling the hood of my cloak over my head. With a gentle touch, his finger pushed back the damp fringes of hair framing my face. His war hardened body closed in tightly to protect mine against the chill. Cian’s finger continued to trace the outline of my face, pushing the boundaries of my restraint. I could feel his heart beating wildly within his chest.
His voice became a sensual whisper in my ear. "I must deliver you to Roscommon before you catch your death."
Held captive by Cian’s attentions, I could hardly feel the downpour weighing on my cloak. We ran back to the horses more on instinct than memory, then flew to the gates of the castle as fast as the beasts could carry us. We were admitted heartily, then hastily shuffled to quarters to prepare for the night of feasting ahead.
***
Within my chamber, a large wooden tub was prepared containing warm water and herbs. I welcomed the heat of the liquid to chase away the chill as well as the lustful thoughts that had invaded my head.

The enclosure of the chamber was smaller than my quarters at the grove, but well appointed. Tapestries depicting Ireland’s epic history covered the windows, keeping out the cold of autumn nights.

Above the brownstone hearth hung a giant painting of a captivating young woman in the robes of Brigid. Focusing my eyes on the portrait, I noticed she wore the amulet of the O’Connor. From what I could distinguish, her amulet contained the moonstone within the boughs of the Oak. Whoever she was, the woman must have completed her apprenticeship in order to wear the symbol.

I concentrated on the picture attempting to identify her features. She did not have the look of my mother. Could she be my grandmother? A distant cousin? As though the portrait would hear and respond I questioned aloud, “Who are you?”
"She is your great-great-grandmother, Una O’Connor. She sat for the painting on the day she completed her apprenticeship.”

After closing the creaking door, a small white-haired woman shuffled across the room. Engrossed by my curiosity, I had been oblivious to her entry. Crossing to the bath, she steadied herself by grasping onto pieces of furniture. She approached the tub, firelight reflecting the dull blue hue of her eyes. Her soft, wrinkled hands made contact with my face. "Is this my grandchild? My Ceana?"
Her fingers traced the outline of my cheeks, eyes, nose, and mouth. “You have your mother’s eyes…the eyes of Una.”
Grandma Rionach? I remembered the story my mother told me of her. She and my mother had been gathering herbs in the gardens when a sudden storm came upon them. They were attempting to cross the meadow back to safety when lightning struck Rionach. The gods spared her life, but took her vision. Over the years, what was lost in her eyes she gained in the second sight.
Rionach kissed my cheeks then gave them a motherly pat. "It is good to have you here where you belong."
My father’s parents had passed on to Tir-nan-óg long before I was born. I had not known the love of a grandmother or grandfather in Dungannon, but looked forward to enjoying the affection of my mother’s kin while at Roscommon. "I am glad to be here."
My grandmother toddled to a rocking chair set beside the tub. The creak of the chair swaying back and forth had a comforting sound. I attempted to rise from the bath, but Rionach stopped my ascension.

"No, no, no. Sit. Enjoy your soak. The clan has a full night of festivities in store to celebrate your arrival. We must both refresh before entering into the revelry."

Back and forth she rocked, humming softly. I closed my eyes enjoying her serenade. Her humming gradually turned into a song with intriguing lyrics about the gods and members of the O’Connor clan. I listened intently. Many of the songs she crooned I had not heard before.
Rionach sang of my mother, her time on earth, and her contributions to the tribe as healer until she moved to the North Country. Her voice trilled in the same way as my mother’s, making me feel at home in this new environment. Only the sound of the drums beginning their chants below interrupted her lyrics.

“I have never heard such harmonious tales. Will you sing more of them to me tomorrow?”
Her whimsical laughter filled the room as though an unseen wind carried it to each corner. “Sing them? My child, you will learn them yourself to retell to your own children. Tomorrow begins your Bardic lessons. This is where all novices begin their training.”

Rionach stood, cautiously feeling her way to the chamber door. Opening it with effort, she summoned the waiting attendants to my bath. "Let us get you dressed."
I rose from the tub, covering myself with a length of cotton toweling before exiting the water. Two young maidens instantly appeared, each holding articles of clothing and jewelry.
Since it was my family color, I had planned to wear the green velvet gown I brought for this purpose, but my grandmother had other designs. She instructed the girls on what items she would prefer to see upon me, if the gods saw fit to restore her sight, of course.
To begin, they brought a chemise of the purest white, with billowing sleeves, embroidered with ribbon down their center. Next, an overdress of ruby brocade cinched in the front and dotted with finely cut amber stones that twinkled in the firelight. A belt of gold, inlaid with the symbol of the Triple Goddess for my waist. A small shawl of wool dyed golden yellow and the softest deerskin shoes to complete the ensemble.

Gloves with half sleeves attached and made of chain mail were slipped onto my hands and arms, while a silver circlet bearing the crescent moon was gingerly placed atop my head.
With tender hands, the young women combed and plaited my hair. Upon completion of their preparations, I felt mightily overdressed. Even in Dungannon, as the daughter of a chieftain, I did not choose such extravagant garments.

The finishing touch was the amulet of the O’Connor and O’Hagan signet. Proudly, I displayed my clan connections, as they were more precious to me than any finery.
The maids curtsied and quickly exited. Rionach approached with her arms outstretched. Taking her hands, I pressed them to my cheeks. "I do not deserve robes of such luxury."
The elder smiled while her hands reached to read the look of my transformation. Her approval became evident. "Cian will be unable to resist you."

I immediately tensed. Rionach giggled at my discomfort. “Come, come child. I may be blind, but can still see many things. The beauty of my granddaughter and a nephew skipping about the halls as though a child with his first piece of sweet cake can not only be heard with the ears, but seen with the heart. He has been waiting an entire lifetime for you, Ceana. It is only right he share his joy with a clan that has also waited a lifetime to receive you."

Her voice, soft and soothing, calming my fears of a future not entirely revealed. "For now," Rionach bade, " eat… drink… dance. Enjoy the freedom of the night. Tomorrow begins a new journey that will stretch you far beyond what you have known before."

Arm in arm we left the bedchamber to take part in the festivities below. Drums, lyre and pipes continuously played until we appeared in the grand hall. At the music’s abrupt cessation, all eyes turned toward our entrance.

On a dais near the musicians stood a man who emanated the authority of a chieftain. Taller than my father, he sported long white hair freshly washed and tied with leather strips. Though his face showed each worry as a deep wrinkle, his body was fit and sturdy. The sword hanging from a scabbard at his waist belied any intentions of allowing his age to define him. His ominous presence was that of a leader capable of defending his clan to the bitter end. This was my Grandfather Chullain.

His eyes, of the same sparkling green as my mother’s, became moist when Rionach and I approached the podium. Chullain and Cian stepped down to help us both onto the platform.
In my ear, Cian whispered tenderly. “You are a vision to behold, Ceana. A true princess of our clan.”

I feigned to curtsy out of respect for my Grandfather, but before I could complete the gesture he grasped my arms and kissed my cheeks. Chullain held me close and spoke in low murmured tones. "We have waited many moons for you to return to us, Ceana. Our people have long anticipated your coming." Clearing his throat, Chullain took my hand, extending it toward the multitude assembled. "Many years ago, our daughter Nessa went in search of her destiny. In Dungannon, she found safe harbor with her husband Aodhan of the clan O’Hagan. Before Nessa was called to Tir-nan-óg she bore the future leaders of Ulster and Connacht." The crowd buzzed and nodded. "Tonight, we celebrate the coming of the future druidess of Roscommon… my granddaughter, Ceana!"

Chullain raised my hand even further into the air as a sudden roar mounted from among the assembly. There must have been fifty men and women within the hall. From what I could surmise, all related to the clan of O’Connor in some way. My father’s clan in Dungannon was not nearly as large. I suppose with the O’Hagan sept being a warrior race, many of my father’s relatives had been lost to one battle or another.

Chullain continued his oration. “Let us feast in her honor tonight. Let us dance and sing for the gods in appreciation of gifts they have given us in the harvest and in our returning child!”
The music began with a lively jig. As each of the crowd chose a partner, Chullain introduced me to the aunts, uncles, and cousins assembled on the dais. Of those gathered, I could only remember the names of my immediate cousins: Moina and Ilt.

They were quiet girls, one older and one younger than myself. Since they barely spoke, I wondered that I recalled them at all. Yet something about their demure smiles and placid dispositions had imprinted their names into my memory.

Formalities done with, now came a time for feasting. Servants moved a trestle table onto the dais. Tribal members hastened to take their places at dining planks set along the outer edges of the hall.

Chullain disappeared with Rionach, leaving me feeling quite like a fish caught within a net. Cian came to my rescue, directing me to a place at the table beside him.

Kitchen servants seemed to pour from everywhere carrying trays of fish, game, vegetables, breads, ales and sweet meats. The Michaelmas feast in Dungannon could not compare to the volumes of food on display this evening.

All at once Chullain reappeared beside me. Seating himself, he excused the absence of my grandmother for the remainder of the festivities due to her overtaxed emotions.
Everyone ate until they felt they would need to be rolled away from the tables, including Chullain, who allowed an enormous belch to emit from his lips. Cian and I were sharing a trencher, but could hardly finish anything on it. Each time we would reach for a slice of meat, our hands would brush, only serving to reignite the fires we attempted to sequester.
The musicians struck up a reel and I was relieved for the opportunity to put our energies into more rigorous sport. If we could exhaust ourselves from the dance, perhaps our minds would be unable to remember the events from earlier in the evening.

The distraction proved successful. Breathless, we excused ourselves out of doors to take in the air. The rain had ceased and the wind had blown many of the clouds further east to reveal a quiet, star filled sky.

Cian outstretched his arm. “Shall we walk?”
Still catching my breath from the dance, I nodded in acceptance, taking his arm so we might traverse the torchlit grounds. As we walked, Cian took care to explain the occupants of each cottage or shop we passed.

He paused slightly, turning to me in earnest. “When we passed through the wood of Dungannon, I happened to notice a small workshop and garden set there. To whom did it belong?”
Astonished he had remembered any of the landmarks from his travels to my village, I responded excitedly at his inquest. “Twas mine. Déahglán and Glaisne built it for me as a remembrance when they went to foster with the O’Neill.”
“You must miss it terribly.”
Cian led me through an herb garden freshly laid with straw over the fallow areas to prepare the soil for winter. The fresh scent permeated the evening air, reminding me of my own winter routine. Strange how a simple smell could transport you back in time.
“Aye.” I sighed deeply, remembering fondly what I had left behind.
We rounded a corner in the garden leading to a pebble laid path. At the end of the lane stood an expansive wood planked structure with glass windows. My workshop could fit thrice over into this building!
The glint of candles burning brightly within reflected upon the panes. I could hardly contain my girlish excitement at such a find. "Cian… is this?"
“My herbarium?” He chuckled. “Aye.”
I let go of his arm, almost running to the entrance of this wondrous place.
“Would you like to go inside?”
“Oh, yes…please!”
Energized, I hopped on my toes as Cian opened the heavy door. Once inside, I immediately closed my eyes to breathe in the aromas of thyme, Echinacea, and multitudes of other scents floating within the atmosphere. "I thought it would be moons before I would smell such fragrances again."

I opened my eyes and drank in the surroundings. At either end of the herbarium, embers in hearths designed to dry the harvested herbs glowed warmly. Shelves holding all manner of pots, jars, bowls and drying plants lined the perimeter. Vessels set upon a long oak table revealed the work he must have been doing before the journey to Dungannon.

A heavy stone mortar and pestle rested upon the workbench. I picked up the instrument, grinding the contents within it as I continued to tour the room.

Cian grinned as he watched me wander. When finally I came to stand beside him, he gently pried the instrument from my fingers, placing it on the table, then folded my hands to rest within his.
"You are welcome in this space whenever you have need or want of it." He cupped my chin, lifting my head so that I stared into his endless eyes. "The world stops at that door, Ceana. Time will stand still for you here."

Cian’s patience and generosity continued to amaze me. My heart melted at his understanding of my need for something familiar. I wanted to dive headlong into his warrior arms and lose myself forever, but I couldn’t bear to begin a journey that would know no fulfillment.
I attempted retreat, but his hands tightened on mine.

“Stay… please,” he whispered.
Before I could think, he had closed the distance, his hand gliding along the back of my shoulder and neck, leisurely edging my lips closer to his. Cian’s breath, warm, sweet, and ragged rushed across my cheek. I wanted to run, but anticipation locked my feet into place. I was his prisoner, eagerly awaiting my sentence.

Cian gently ran his fingers through my hair as his lips trailed diminutive kisses from my cheek to the hollow of my neck. The combination of the rigors of the evening and the wine had control of my senses. I slid my hand around his neck, guiding him toward my waiting mouth, longing for him to take me as he had before.

“Why must you torture me so?” I whispered as he moved ever so slowly to the satisfaction of my desires.
“I assure you, Ceana, it is you who tortures me.”
His lips tenderly closed over mine, his tongue playing a game of cat and mouse, stoking an inferno of passion I could not contain.
My hands clutched tightly at the fabric of his léine, wanting, needing to bring him into the very depths of my soul to quench the fire he had started.
Cian moaned low in his throat, his hands encircling my waist, effortlessly pulling me flush to his hardened body. I could feel his manhood swelling beneath his trews, pressing hard and insistent against the silky material of my gown. Close… so close to the place I desired him to explore.
Footsteps outside along the gravel pathway disrupted our pleasure. I pulled away slightly from his embrace, my breath coming in labored gasps. A rap sounded upon the door demanding attention.

“Cian! My boy, you monopolize the attention of my granddaughter. Come back to the hall,” Chullain yelled through the barrier.
"Aye." Cian shot back. "We will follow you presently."
His eyes fixed on mine, an expression unfamiliar to me painted his features. Yearning, hunger, and desire all at once. Cian met my lips with soft, gentle pecks as his free hand moved to the small of my back, pressing me against his urgent need.
I wanted to stay within, but knew our absence from the hall would not be tolerated much longer. “We must return. It is my responsibility to meet as many of my kin as possible before my training begins.”
Cian ceased his advances, lowering his head as he sighed deeply. “Aye.”
After extinguishing the last burning candle in the herbarium, Cian held out his hand to me. As we strolled back to the hall to partake in the revelry, I cursed myself for opening the door to this romantic folly. Somehow I would need to find a way to close off such distraction before it was too late.

Friday, October 24, 2008

FEATURED AUTHOR: Chandra Sparks Taylor


The Pledge

IF YOU REALLY LOVED ME, YOU’D…

Raised in a strict household, sixteen-year-old Courtland Murphy never had a date. But that was before the guy of her every dream—basketball star Allen Benson—asked her out. She’s gone from never-been-kissed to dating the hottest guy in school. And now her new boyfriend is pressuring her to prove she loves him: by having sex. But as a member of her community’s Worth-the-Wait club, Courtland made a vow to stay a virgin. Now, everyone – from friends to family to fellow club members – gives her different advice, from “do it!” to “you made a pledge, girl!” It could be so easy for Courtland to go all the way with Allen, but sometimes his charming personality leaves her wondering. Who knew being in love could be so confusing?

Chandra Sparks Taylor is the author of the young adult novels Spin It Like That and The Pledge. She is also a contributor to the updated Souls of My Sister anthology.

She owns Taylor Editorial Service, which specializes in line editing and ghostwriting manuscripts by aspiring and established authors. Her clients have included E. Lynn Harris and Michael Baisden. In addition to serving as consulting editor for Arabesque romance line, Taylor has done editing for a number of publishers and served as senior copy editor for Good Housekeeping magazine.

Visit her at www.chandrasparkstaylor.com, or email her at cstwrites@aol.com.


What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

The thing I would like for readers to take away from my novel The Pledge is the importance of first and foremost loving God and also the fact that you must love yourself. I think as black women, it’s in our nature to take care of others, and we often forget about taking care of ourselves, which often leads us to not listen to the red flags we get in relationships. If we can help our young girls to get the message early that they must love themselves, we will have taught them a valuable lesson.

What did you learn while writing this book?

One of the most important things I learned while writing this book is that loving yourself is a process and it happens for different people at different times in different ways—just because you’re forty years old doesn’t mean you love yourself.
What is the hardest part about the writing business?

The hardest part for me is opening myself up to criticism. I’ve worked as an editor for years, so it’s interesting now to be on the other side of the paper, so to speak. I think being a writer has made me a more sensitive editor, and I pray I have never been guilty of killing someone’s writing dream because of some harsh criticism.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

One thing I wish nonwriters understood is that being a writer is a job and a calling. It takes discipline to sit down and write day after day until you create a story of which you can be proud, and for me, writing books other people enjoy is something that happens only by the grace of God.

Our theme this month is THE BUSINESS OF WRITING. Most new writers don’t know about the business side of writing, what advice can you offer on this important part of writing?

I think the most important piece of advice I can give is to learn your craft. I’ve met a lot of writers who got up one morning and decided they wanted to write a book, which is fine, but all they do is write it. They don’t do their basic homework in terms of reading books in the genre in which they’re interested or studying to discover basic things like the fact that a manuscript should be doublespaced and every paragraph should be indented.

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

Three things I wish I would have known before I reached where I am now: God’s timing is always perfect, and things happen when they are meant to; being able to say I’ve found “success” as a writer and editor is cool, but that doesn’t mean much if the people in my own home don’t recognize me, so I have to make my family a priority always; and finally, it’s okay to say no to situations, people and things that don’t work for me.

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

There have been times I’ve thought of quitting, but for me, that’s not an option. It’s like telling me to stop breathing.

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

My most important piece of advice is to just write. Don’t get caught up with trying to land a book deal or trying to write for whatever genre is hot right now. Write the story that’s in your heart.

What is the best lesson you have learnt from another writer?

The best lesson I’ve learned from another writer is not to be surprised by anything. Not to be cliché, but truth really is stranger than fiction.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What's On Your MP3


I'm always looking for new music to add to my MP3.
Music is how I flow during the day. It makes the day go faster and nicer.

I'm a Mary Mary fan, so of course I couldn't wait to hear the new CD. It was worth the wait, check it out.

The Sound album released in 2008 shows Mary Mary are not ones to shy away from in-your-face declarations of faith, the girls are now more intentional than ever about whom they adore, without for a moment compromising their call to innovation and growth. The introspective 'Seattle' is a prime example, a pensive prayer that asks the Lord to descend upon the soul the same way rain falls on the Emerald City. In the vein of Mary Mary standards 'Can't Give Up Now' and 'Yesterday,' a couple of ballads on The Sound stand out for their passionate delivery: 'I Trust You' (feat. Marvin Winans) and 'I Worship You' are easily the sonic and spiritual plateaus of the album.


Intro (Album Version) Mary Mary featuring Deborah Joy Imani Winans
2. The Sound
3. Get Up
4. Superfriend Mary Mary featuring David Banner
5. God In Me Mary Mary featuring Kierra 'Kiki' Sheard
6. Boom
7. I'm Running
8. Forgiven Me
9. Dirt
10. Seattle
11. I Worship You
12. It Will All Be Worth It

(highlighed ones are my favs right now)
Tell us what's rocking on your MP3.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

What’s On Your Night Stand?

What’s on your night stand keeping you up until the wee hours? Mine is so full, so many books so little time. Why can’t I have a full time job where I just read for a living? Ooooh I would so love that.

Anyway back to my night stand, I just completed Up Pops The Devil by Angela Benson. I enjoyed this book. I like how Angela draws you into the characters. You feel their aches and pains.

I’m now falling into Rhythms of Grace by Marilyn Griffith. Marilyn's writing is so deep. It's like she knows what you need for your soul. I like reading her books because she always has me thinking about my relationship with God, which is a good thing.

I’m trying to go slow because if I go fast, I won’t get anything done because I’ll want to finish it in one sitting.

What’s on your night stand? Share what you’re reading so we can add more to our night stand.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

THEME: The Business Of Writing

The best tip I can give you if you're in this business for the long haul is to have an email account.

You need some sort of way for your fans and media to get in touch with you. This past week, I couldn't locate 10 authors. They have no web presence at all. There's no way to contact them so I could do an interview with them.

I know you might not have time to maintain a blog or website, but it doesn't take much time to have an email. This small thing, will make the difference in you getting an interview, a great fan letter or an invite to a conference.

Most publishers have a website that features their authors. If you choose not to have a site/blog, make sure to add an email address to your author page. You might be surprised how much free promotion you get.


DEAR AUTHOR, DON'T BE A JERK. NO, REALLY.

http://www.redroom.com/blog/lauren-lise-baratz-logsted/dear-author-dont-be-a-jerk-no-really


The Other Side Of The Fence

http://www.redroom.com/blog/lauren-lise-baratz-logsted/the-other-side-fence

Monday, October 20, 2008

FEATURED AUTHOR: Michele Cameron


Michele Cameron, a native of Bridgeport Connecticut is a graduate of the Danbury High School Connecticut school system.

Cameron is a graduate of North Carolina A & T State University in Greensboro with a B.S. degree in professional writing and English Education.

Cameron’s first novel, given a 4 star rating Never Say Never was published in January, 2008 and earned her the prestigious title as being named New Face among African-American writers for the month of January by Romanceincolor.

Her highly anticipated second novel titled Moments of Clarity… has received a 5 star rating from Affaire de Coeur and will be released October 7, 2008 through Genesis-Press, Inc. Ms. Cameron’s third novel When Lightning Strikes! will be released August, 2009. Her fourth novel titled, Unclear and Present Danger will be released February 2010.

Cameron currently teaches Language Arts in Central Florida.

Moment of Clarity

You know the song, Friends… how many of us have them? That is what Sasha is asking herself. Her so called best friend, Tiara, always has to show off and be one up on her. When Sasha walked in on her boyfriend, Abdul, with another woman, Tiara wanted to take control of Sasha’s love life. Tiara’s brother, Calvin, is a trainer for the Knicks and hooked them up with treatment at the basketball game. After the game, Sasha takes a pro ball player, Sexton Johnson up on his offer to attend the official team after party and sparks fly between them.

Sasha and Sexton are together whenever he was in town. They exchange apartment keys, Sexton gives her a new car, Sasha cuts down on her work hours, and she begins to think of her life as a married woman. That is until Tiara gets jealous and concocts a plan to ruin Sasha’s life. Will Sexton and Sasha be able to fight off the evil that looms ahead?

We should all learn to take a Moment of Clarity… before making difficult life decisions.


What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

I want my readers to feel a connection as they read my novels. I want a story line that everyday women enjoy, the passion that they want, and to have the protagonist have to deal with the same issues that they have in their lives so that they feel that it's not them alone out there in a sometimes harsh world.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Women are really doing it all. Jobs, career, family and they want something relaxing that they can read and lose themselves in when they have their much needed downtime.

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

Finding the time. I'm a full time high school English teacher and that is not a nine to five job.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

When a author is on a deadline or has a personal goal that he or she is trying to reach, allow that author to have his or her space. They're not ignoring you but there are only so many hours in a day.

Our theme this month is THE BUSINESS OF WRITING. Most new writers don’t know about the business side of writing, what advice can you offer on this important part of writing?

Get a copy of the Writer's Market from a bookstoe. You'll find what every reputable publisher is looking for.

When you send out your query letter, synopsis, or manuscript spend the extra fifty cents at the post office and do delivery confirmation so that you can track it via computer. Once your package reaches its destination, print a copy of that from your computer a put it in a file. That way you know where your work is at all times.

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

That I could actually get this done. Had I known that, I would've pursued my dream sooner.

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

No because first novel that I submitted, Never say Neve was picked up by my publisher Genesis Press, Inc

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

Write it. The only true failure is not trying at all. Take your time and write your novel making it the best that you can make it and then send it in following to the tee the guidelines of the publisher. If you get a rejection letter and they have a common thread, for example, it's too long, take their advice and fix the problem. They've been in the business longer than you have and they know what sells.

What is the best lesson you have learnt from another writer?

Get a website and keep in touch with your readers. My website is www.michelecameronblog.com

Sunday, October 19, 2008

KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER - Sharon Oliver


KEEP YOUR ENEMIES CLOSER
by Sharon Oliver


ISBN# 1-60162-962-1
Publisher: Urban Christian Books/Kensington
Genre: Christian Fiction - Mystery/Humor
Copyright: 2008 Sharon Oliver
Published date: July 2008
Where it can be purchased: www.amazon.com; Barnes & Noble; Borders and other bookstores across the country

Website: www.sharonoliver.net
and www.myspace.com/sharonwrites


Keep Your Enemies Closer is a humorous yet thought provoking tale about folk in a fictional South Carolina town who must learn how to deal with life’s interruptions and deceptions without falling apart or killing one another. When a pastor skips town with money from the church and Charlotte Morley’s conniving twin cousins mysteriously vanish right along with him, her much anticipated summer vacation takes a sudden shift in course.

CHAPTER 2

Charlotte came to Turtle Island to get some rest before starting her new job duties as a staff counselor at her new church home. Charlotte joined Greater Faith Center a year ago, after months of searching for a new church and after having left one that frowned upon female preachers. She didn’t appreciate being treated as some sort of she-devil just because she wore her hair in twists. Many staff members at her former church, Truth in Love Tabernacle, frowned upon her hairstyle. Members of the ministerial staff, particularly the men, looked at her hair as if it represented the devil’s horns and treated her as such. The fact that she was going through an ugly divorce at the time had also earned her looks of disapproval.

As soon as Charlotte found out that her now ex-husband, Anthony, was “fellowshipping” with one of the “sisters” from the church, she filed for a divorce. Throughout their entire four-year marriage, rumors and evidence of Anthony’s bed hopping had been surfacing. The entire church, including children, knew of his blatant affair with the young usher. And as if the pain and embarrassment caused by this illicit affair weren’t enough, one day the pastor pulled Charlotte, not Anthony, aside for a little talk. Pastor Brown emphatically told Charlotte that she should concentrate more on being a virtuous woman instead of bucking so hard for a place in the pulpit. He suggested she curtail the amount of time she spent at church, advising that she should spend more time ministering to her husband.

Point well taken and she agreed it was applicable and sound advice. However, while informing Pastor Brown that Anthony was never home for her to minister to in the first place, Charlotte also suggested that perhaps he should also have a little talk with her husband as well, right after he took his religious foot off of her neck. She politely pointed out that if Anthony would control his roving eye and strong urges to unzip his pants, the divorce would not be happening.
Furthermore, she wanted Pastor Brown to know that she was a virtuous woman and she was not bucking for a position on the pulpit. Although she longed for a chance to teach, she did not wish to take over his position as leader. She only came to church to learn, worship and serve. Anthony, on the other hand, attended church to lust, conquer and be served some human flesh. Charlotte also pointed out that she was insulted by Anthony’s decision to add salt to the wound by sleeping with a member of her church. Scandalizing scoundrel didn’t even try to go undercover with his mess.

Once Charlotte and Anthony officially separated, he and his girlfriend stopped attending Truth in Love Tabernacle. Two months after the divorce, Anthony phoned Charlotte to express his regrets. He told her that he had made a mistake and wanted her to give him another chance. Charlotte poured out her regrets also and calmly informed her cheating ex that she regretted marrying him in the first place and he could squash the idea of a second chance. The relationship between Charlotte and her pastor also deteriorated after their finger-pointing conversation and she left Truth in Love not long after that. Sadly, because of Pastor Brown’s dry and repetitive sermons, half of the parishioners also exited.

Charlotte looked in the rear-view mirror again to see if her cousins were nearby, but saw no sight of them or their rental car. It would be just like them not to go straight to the house in order to get out of helping with dinner. Despite stories that most twins are somewhat kindred spirits, everyone in the Morley family knew that Tina and Terry were not. In fact, the two had a nasty habit of competing against one another and now they were on the island acting as if they were soul sisters? Whenever the two siblings did act as if they were on one accord, history proved otherwise. The last known stunt that Tina and Terry pulled had the entire Morley family talking for months.

A few years ago, Tina somehow managed to convince Terry that they should celebrate their high school graduation by taking a trip to Hawaii, unbeknownst and at the expense of their well-to-do parents. One day their mother, Francine, received a bill on purchases made at a trendy boutique in Maui, a place she had not visited. Tina and Terry had nearly bought out the store with one of Francine’s cherished platinum credit cards. Francine was livid! She didn’t even know the two had gone to Hawaii. In fact, Francine was under the impression that the twins had celebrated their graduation in Virginia Beach that particular weekend. Tina would later claim that the whole idea of going to Hawaii and going on a shopping frenzy was Terry’s.

Charlotte grew more and more suspicious about the presence of Typhoon Tina and Tropical Storm Terry. She had briefly considered spending her summer vacation relaxing on the white sands of St. Croix. But for some reason, the pull to go to Turtle Island had been stronger. It was almost as if there was some sort of urgency that required her presence. Charlotte forced herself to stop thinking about her cousins and turned her focus back to her grandmother’s conversation with Sista.

“You know, Sista,” Mattie Mae began. “I was just thinkin’ the other day about how Esau and Betty done such a good job raisin’ Charlotte. Look at how she turned out. I’m so proud of her. She got rid of that husband the devil sent her and now she’s a minister. I sho’ do hope I get to hear her preach some day. Now as for Tina and Terry, I don’t know what to say about them two wit they little fast behinds. Ever since they’ve been here, they been stickin’ to each other like glue and always whisperin’ about somethin’. They hardly say anythin’ to me and Edmund or even Charlotte since they been here. And we raised Terry! And raisin’ Terry was like tryin’ to break in a mule, let me tell ya’. That gal is so stubborn and downright stiff! I just don’t know, Sista.” Mattie Mae sounded exasperated. “Me and Edmund done all we could, but it seems as though every time Terry is around Tina, she act like she ain’t got no sense.”
“Mattie Mae, I know they is yo’ grandchiren, but I used to always tell you them two is as crack as a sidewalk, ‘specially that Terry. Tina don’t half speak to nobody and Terry talk so proper, I don’t half know what she be tryin’ to say.”
“I know it, but Terry didn’t act so crack until she left from here,” Mattie Mae defended.
“Mattie Mae! Terry been crack ever since she first come here as a chile,” Sista corrected.
Charlotte struggled not to laugh out loud at Sista. She had always admired Sista for her bluntness. No matter who you were or what you thought about her opinions, she was going to let you have it, like it or not.
“It ain’t their fault, Sista,” Mattie Mae began to explain. “And it sho’ didn’t help that Charles and Francine was half-raisin’ them gals, lettin’ all kinds of folk in their house like that. Maybe if I had both of ‘em here wit me, things would’ve turned out different. I tell you one thing though, God sho’ got His hands on Charlotte. I can see that. And she can pray up a storm too.”
“I can remember when she was just a little bitty thing runnin’ around here,” Sista said, stretching her eyes as if she just remembered something. “Oh yeah, I forgot to ask you if you heard ‘bout Lucille’s chile bein’ on drugs? Just throwin’ her life away. These chiren sho’ know how to put a hole in a mother’s heart.”
“I did hear about that. It’s such a shame.”
“I don’t know why that gal got herself hooked on that stuff. I tell ya’ the truth. She ought to know better. You know they buryin’ Annie Nettles’ son tomorrow afternoon over at Macedonia. He wasn’t but twenty-two years old and they tell me he was on that stuff too! These young people droppin’ off like flies. They don’t realize they can leave here just as quick as us old folk can. Anyhow, I’ll talk to ya’ later on today.” Sista spotted her son, John Edward, arriving to pick her up and walked over to his car. “We gotta keep prayin’ for the chutch too,” Sista shouted back as she opened the passenger door. John Edward waved at Mattie Mae before driving off in his turbo-charged Mustang.

By this time, Edmund was seated inside the truck and had asked Charlotte what she thought of today’s sermon. Charlotte shifted to the middle of the seat to make room for Mattie Mae. She dreaded admitting to her grandfather that she slept through most of the service and was saved from doing so when Mattie Mae instructed Edmund to hurry up and drive, prompting a minor road trip spat. Edmund drove off of the gravel-covered parking lot muttering about Mattie Mae’s bossiness. After all, it was she who kept them waiting in the first place. Then like bats out of Hades, Charlotte could see Tina and Terry tailgating them in Tina’s rented BMW.

Edmund and Mattie Mae argued up until the time they arrived at the house. Edmund parked his truck on the side of the wood-frame house, running over a gardenia bush load with flowers. This careless act cost him a stern tongue lashing from Mattie Mae as she squirmed and wiggled out of the truck.

“Didn’t we just leave the church? Apparently, there wasn’t anything in the message about keeping peace,” Charlotte said to herself as she slid from out of her seat. Sensing Mattie Mae’s irritation had little to do with Edmund, Charlotte asked the Lord for insight, and in a still, small voice, she heard the words, “watch and pray.”

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Keys of Destiny - Adin Kachisi


Keys of Destiny
by Adin Kachisi


Category: Fiction / Action & Adventure
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: Apr-2008
Price: $16.95
Size: 6 x 9
ISBN: 978-0-595-50760-3

Available from iUniverse, Inc
To order call 1-800-AUTHORS
www.iuniverse.com or www.amazon.com

Author’s info: www.adinkachisi.com
email- kachisia@yahoo.com ; Tel- 212-810-7889

Keys of Destiny

Who will survive…..THE CLEANSING?

Beginning in a post 9/11 New York , Kazra Moore travels to a 2012-apocalyptic era world searching for ancient keys to save humanity from total extinction. Confronted by brutal secret societies and bloodthirsty fallen angels, will he survive and find the Keys of Destiny or is humanity doomed?

A riveting breakthrough tale of the human struggle to survive beyond 2012 cataclysms and rise beyond the elite architects of control.

Keys of Destiny is a remarkable tale of esoteric enigma and fascinating conspiracy. The book is intricately woven with layers of masterful storytelling and ground-breaking research. From Mayan prophecies, global conspiracies, ancient tablets, inter-dimensional portals, secret societies, bloodthirsty nephilims, gnomes, indigo children, martial arts experts, aliens, shamans, ancient civilizations, time travelers, to earth changes, ascension and the future of humanity, all in one book.

Entire islands wiped out by hurricanes, cities devastated by earthquakes, riots across the globe … it’s the beginning of the end of Civilization as we know it. Straight from New York , Kazra Moore travels to Europe, Africa, and Asia searching for ancient keys to save humanity from apocalyptic extinction. Confronted by brutal secret societies and bloodthirsty fallen angels, will he survive and find the Keys of Destiny or is humanity doomed?

Chapter 8
Gnomes and Stargates—Zimbabwe

Excerpt:

From the Nyangani Mountain, they drove north to the site of Ziwa ruins
passing through the Nyanga village. After arriving at the Ziwa site, they enjoyed a
good quick tour of the Ziwa ruins. Ziwa looked to be closely related to the Great
Zimbabwe monuments, consisting of old stone structures built of large blocks of
stone.
From the ruins, they left the car and walked to the Ziwa caves. As they drew
closer to the site, Simba suddenly stopped in his tracks. He seemed to have
instantly gone into a trance right in the middle of the road. He stood motionless
with his eyes closed like a priest in silent prayer.
“What’s up?” David asked as he and Kazra curiously looked at Simba who was
standing still like a statue.
“All right, just something I really didn’t expect,” Simba said as he opened his
bag to examine its contents.
“What?” David asked again.
“Good, I brought them,” Simba said, closing his bag as they walked on.
“You’ll see in a moment, looks like we have some company. Things may really
get ugly around here.”
“Any problem? Wish we brought some kind of weapons; remember what I
told you about the dangerous cult in Ireland. I am hoping and praying that you
don’t have their equivalent in this country.” Before Simba could explain himself,
they were at the caves. The site looked lush and green. The caves stood amidst a
thick concentration of trees, bushes, grass, and weeds. High up in the trees, birds
of many kinds could be seen and heard punctuating the natural beauty of the
scenery. The entrance to the cave was kind of narrow but wide enough for a man
of average weight. As they stepped in, Simba suddenly looked tense and worried.
“David,” Simba said, switching off the flashlight he had pulled out of the bag.
“You notice the oil lamps are on?”
“Visitors before us? I don’t like it at all, I bet they are neither tourists nor local
folk,” David replied.
Kazra quickly noticed the marks and drawings on the cave wall. The walls
were heavily adorned with rock art and many different petro glyphs.
“Wow, what are these strange, stylized drawings? I see animals, funky-looking,
long-legged people, and what looks like flying beings,” Kazra said, as he lagged
behind, examining the cave wall drawings.
Simba stopped walking, looked back at Kazra, and smiled. “You find them
interesting? Some of these drawings go back as far as 20,000 to 30,000 years ago.
They’re San paintings depicting spiritual experiences. Some of the animals you
see there depict the eland, representing spirituality to the San people. The long-legged
people and flying beings represent shamanic flights and trances.”
They walked further into the inner caves through several passages.
“This is it,” said Simba as he led the way into the innermost cave.
“Amazing place,” Kazra said.
“Wow!” shouted Simba, “I suspected this.”
“Oh no!” shouted David, stepping back.
Meanwhile Kazra, who was behind them, moved forward to get a clear view of
what was transpiring.
“Oh no!” he shouted, stepping back. To his surprise, right before them stood a
strange-looking man whose grisly countenance mocked the concept of man as
God’s image. He was tall and heavy built. The first strange thing about him was
his outfit. He wore a black robe like a priest, and his head was covered by a red
veil. His eyes were most strange, cold and catlike, making him look devilish. The
strange man jumped back in surprise and stared at them disdainfully. He stood
still, wide-eyed and staring at them with a bewildered expression. As if finding
them humorous, he opened his beastly mouth and laughed out loud. As everyone
stood still studying the situation and contemplating their next move, the strange
man stepped further back. He then stretched his hands forward with palms
pointed toward his three foes. Opening his nasty-looking mouth again, he started
uttering some strange-sounding words and chanting some mantras in a weird language
clearly not Shona. For some reason, Simba, David, and Kazra stood motionlessly, staring at him as if waiting for something to happen. With each word that this dark underworld priest uttered, they found themselves feeling fatigued and somehow hypnotized. The effect of these underworld chants wastaking a toll on them. Overcome by a draining dizziness, they stumbled over and fell to the ground. Weary, slowly losing breath, they crawled on their bellies like vipers and struggled with their failing senses, trying to regain strength.
The evil-looking stranger giggled sharply before yelling some strange word as
loud as he could, as if to resurrect or summon sleeping demons from the abyss. A
group of gruesome-looking beings suddenly appeared and materialized in front of
him. They looked almost human, but they were only about three feet tall. Their
heads were big and their bodies excessively hairy. Their eyes were all blood red
and well-complemented by their large spear-pointed teeth that they paraded ferociously
and hungrily. Numbering seven, they paced about in front of him, hissing
and growling, viciously intimidating their three foes. By now, Kazra, Rick, and
Simba were trembling and gasping for air as they lay on the ground like reptiles.
At a command from their evil master, the little beings viciously advanced
toward the three victims. With a loud wild scream, one of the small tokoloshi goblin-
like creatures suddenly leaped into the air and jumped toward Simba. Struggling
to keep his eyes open, Simba looked in front only to see his impending
demise. Biting his teeth and gathering his last reserve of energy from the depths
of his gut, he stretched his hand forward and grabbed his bag as fast as he could.
As the tokoloshi landed in front of him, Simba pulled his hand out of the bag
pocket. With one fast swing, he flung his hand forward, cutting through the air as
he opened his palms and unleashed a white powder. This white powder immediately
caused some serious damage to the advancing tokoloshi, which stood in front
of Simba salivating with out-stretched claws. It suddenly jumped back and shook
vigorously as the white powder showered its face. This was just the beginning of
the real drama. It screamed sharply, sending a bone-chilling echo into the air
before exploding into flames.
The underworld priest stood frozen, eyes wide open as he saw his tokoloshi special
soldiers bursting into flames one after another. Other little tokoloshi creatures
scattered all over the cave, screaming and screeching in confusion, looking for a
way out. Even more dramatic, the priestly sorcerer ran back and forth in disorientation,
screaming obscenities.
Meanwhile, Simba and his two friends had regained their strength and were
on their feet immersed in the drama. Simba advanced forward. Dipping his hand
again into the bag’s packet, he scooped out a handful of the same deadly powder.
Again, he tossed the powder into the air, sending the remaining tokoloshi into a
series of explosions and colorful combustions. A gross, choking stench saturated
the air. After a few minutes of smoky fireworks, all that was left standing was the
priest. Having definitely lost his sanity, he walked about looking totally disoriented.
Then suddenly, screaming and running like a mad cow, he pushed Kazra
and David to the side as he sped through the cave’s exit.
“He’s escaping, he’s escaping!” Kazra shouted, turning and jumping forward
to pursue him before being stopped by Simba.
“Don’t worry about him, he is finished,” Simba said.
Kazra stood frozen looking confused. “You gonna let him just run away? The
very guy who almost turned us into sushi for his little savage goblins?”
“Trust me, he’s done with. He’s already lost his sanity, and only a holy shaman
can redeem him. The base of his dark power has been permanently extinguished.
Don’t worry about him.”
Meanwhile, David stood silently, hands in his pocket watching Simba and
Kazra in their dialogue. They were all silent for a moment reflecting on what had
just occurred until Kazra broke the silence in a low, tired voice.
“That was close,” he said as they stood against the cave walls catching a breath
and recovering from the ordeal.
“Dangerously close, I hate such close calls,” Simba said, frowning and shaking
his head.
“Simba, who was this loathsome underworlder and what did he want here?”
“He wanted the crystal key, of course. He’s the dark sorcerer they call Chaza.”
“I thought you said the location of the key was a big secret only known to you
and one other person. How did he know the crystal’s location?” Kazra asked,
wiping the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand.
“Chaza is a renegade shaman who used to belong to the Mutapa shamanic
order and mystery school, but he was expelled for violating one of the golden
rules.”
“What golden rule?”
“The shamanic law of public good before personal interest and the law that
forbids using shamanic knowledge and rituals to harm rather than defend the
weak and the innocent.”
David nodded. “That ancient order is known for its strict rules; they don’t tolerate
any nonsense.”
“However, expelling him was really no solution, because he became morally
worse. He started involving himself with some Luciferian secret society as well as
going commercial with his shamanic activities. I have heard of his intimate
involvement with corrupt politicians who use occult powers to maintain political
hegemony and eliminate opposition.”
“He’s a nasty bastard. You still haven’t explained how he found the crystal
location,” Kazra said again.
“A renegade shaman is dangerous, like a fallen angel; he knows too much. He
knows many ways of digging up secrets. In this case, he made the grave mistake of
underestimating us, heavily relying on his little demonic soldiers and assuming
they were invisible. Anyhow what really happened is this, the Luciferian cult has
been looking for the key for many years.”
“Wait a minute,” Kazra interrupted, “maybe they are connected to the Leviathan
cult I told you about.”
“It’s possible, evil transcends space and geography. They’re basically the same
people often referred to as the Leviathans, Luciferians, Cult of Kingu, Order of
Samyaza, or even the Illuminati. It’s the same old crap, a bunch of power-hungry
elites in bed with bloodthirsty demons determined to keep humanity blind and
enslaved. Now that our transition to higher consciousness has begun, we can’t be
controlled through the machinations of politics, commercial illusion, and organized
religion. They’re now desperately trying to hold on, and if not, then just
lead us to full apocalypse and total destruction by any means necessary.”
“Not good at all,” David said as he walked about with a droopy face and both
hands in his pockets. After their ordeal, his mood had significantly plunged down
far more than his two companions. He felt guilty about risking his life for some
relic even though he had a beloved family to live for.
“So, somehow they zeroed in on the geographical location of the crystal key.
They probably wandered the whole country measuring energetic vibrations and
higher frequencies. For a while now, I have seen this Chaza guy snooping around
different sites obviously looking for something. Unfortunately, when you arrived,
he got to know it, and I suspect that he sent his invisible spirit spies to follow you
to my house. Needless to say, these invisible entities listened to our conversations
and decided to get the key ahead of us. Fortunately, we got here in time and
found him confused about how to retrieve the key from the sacred vault.”
“I guess no amount of juju could move the huge granite block above the
vault,” David said, laughing out loud, appearing cheerful at last. “The moron
should have brought a crane with him. I guess they don’t teach that in occult
school.”
“I made an error last night when you arrived. I didn’t do the sanctification ritual
to clear and protect the space from intrusion. This is a very serious time, and
any such sloppiness can prove very costly. I should have been more diligent; they
could have easily killed us all without thinking twice about it. Somehow the spirit
told me to carry the powder and that saved us,” Simba said, stepping forward and
sighing with his arms stretched up.
“What’s the powdered stuff you used? Anything in the league of uranium
powder and red mercury?” Kazra asked, moving away from the cave wall toward
the front of the cave.
“Oh, no,” Simba replied, laughing. “You won’t find me in the vicinity of
radioactive material. That powder was made from the sacred stone of Mount Kilimanjaro.
The powder has the power to neutralize or destroy evil entities.”
“Why Mount Kilimanjaro? Anything to do with its height?” Kazra asked.
“No, besides its height, what makes Mount Kilimanjaro important is that it is
a sacred mountain with very high spiritual vibrations.”
“I didn’t know that. I hope to visit it one of these days. The one I know of is
Mount Tanganyika in Tanzania; some believe the first humans were created
around that area,” David said.
“I’m not too surprised to hear that, the name Tanganyika speaks for itself. In
the Shona language, the word nyika means country or land, and tanga means
first. So Tanganyika literally means first land or country, some kind of Garden of
Eden.”
“That makes a lot of sense. I didn’t look at it that way before,” David said,
nodding.
They all slowly walked toward the front of the cave with Simba in front.
Simba stopped right in front of a very large circular granite rock almost six feet in
diameter and four feet in depth.
“This is the altar of power,” he said, pointing at the granite boulder. He pulled
three joined little drums from his bag and placed them at the base of the huge
rock. Kazra stepped forward to take a closer look at the rock, and to his surprise,
the top of the rock was marked with several spiral engravings as well as other
unfamiliar markings and some kind of hieroglyphic writing. Simba also pulled
what looked like a flute from his bag.
Simba then took the drum and the flute, and walked around the rock. Stopping
in the confined space behind it, he stood facing the rock and resting his back
against the cave wall. He then placed the little drum on top of the big rock. He
also took a flute made of strange copper-looking material and started blowing it.
As he blew, it produced an eerie high-pitched sound; he simultaneously hit the
little triple drum. The drumbeat produced a strange sharp sound with long-lasting
echoes that filled the whole cave. The sounds caused a strange hair-raising tingling
sensation in their bodies. This went on for several minutes. Continuing to
blow the flute, Simba placed his right palm on the edge of the rock and gently
pushed it to the side with little effort.
Kazra and David both jumped back in disbelief as they witnessed this
unworldly phenomenon.
“No, no, that’s impossible. You didn’t just push that massive block of granite
with one hand like it was a piece of furniture? No, that’s impossible! Was that
magic? How did you do that? Kazra was cut off when Simba suddenly grabbed
Kazra’s hand and pulled it toward the large rock.
“Try it. Just push it,” Simba said, giggling.
Almost overwhelmed by hesitation and disbelief, Kazra slowly and reluctantly
pushed the rock, easily moving it sideways as if it had no weight.
“What! I can’t believe this, can’t believe it. What’s this? Some kind of antigravity
magic?” He continued, pushing the rock and feeling it to check if it was a
real or just an empty shell.
David laughed at Kazra’s reaction and undying skepticism. “Relax, Doctor
Kazra, it’s not magic, it’s an ancient science. It’s the use of anti-gravity musical
instruments to produce acoustic levitation. Sound waves are used to temporarily
alter vibrations, counter gravity, and neutralize the weight of the rock, causing it
to levitate or allowing us to move it easily. Ancient people used to apply this
sound art to move heavy blocks of stone weighing several tons. That triple-drum
produces specific sounds and vibrations not normally produced by your regular
drums. These little drums you see here are older than life; we simply don’t know
how old they are or where they came from, but all we know is that they were used
by the ancient ones.”
“Amazing!” Kazra yelled, almost jumping with excitement as he scrutinized
the sacred triple-drum. “Why, why don’t you to take it for testing, demonstrate
this antigravity trick before scientists or something?”
“No, no, no. No labs and no scientists. This is a sacred drum; it’s not up for
confiscation and experimentation by the American military or NASA scientists.
It’s a holy object and shall not be used for military or commercial purposes by
these materialists. Hell no, let it remain a mystery and continue serving its purpose
for its rightful custodians.” Simba protested.
“I definitely know where you’re coming from. They can’t be trusted with
objects of that value,” Kazra said.
Kazra and David looked into the rectangular vault to see its contents; they saw
several crystal rocks planted in the sand.
“What you see here are the precious crystals for which a lot of people would
kill,” Simba said, pulling out a hexagonal shaped crystal. “You see, it’s some
strange kind of clear quartz, with etched lines running down and pyramidal
shapes inside.”
Kazra stood gazing with his mouth wide open in awe. “Here is your key,”
Simba lifted the glittering hexagonal crystal key and put it in Kazra’s hands.
“Wow!” Kazra yelled, grabbing the crystal with both hands.
“Is it similar to the one you say you saw in Ireland?” Simba asked.
“Yes, very similar except for the color, this one looks like jasper,” he replied
lifting the crystal closer to his eyes for closer scrutiny.
Kazra laughed out loud, gazing at the crystal key. “I can’t believe I have the
second crystal in my hands. At last …”
David stepped closer to the big rock, looked into the vault, and saw four big
quartz crystals. They were milk clear, violet, golden, and purple. “These ones in
the vault, are they all from Kariba?” he asked.
“Only the big violet one is the seed crystal from Kariba. The other three are its
offspring,” Simba said.
“Offspring?” David asked, looking puzzled.
“It’s a family affair. Crystals are like us, they grow and multiply.”
David looked at Simba and smiled before turning his attention to Kazra, who
was still examining and admiring the crystal key.
“Here, take a look,” Kazra handed the crystal key to David, who immediately
opened his eyes and mouth wide.
“Incredibly beautiful, right?” Kazra said, smiling at David.
“Besides that obvious glaring fact, what’s extremely strange is the energy surge
I just felt running up my spine as I touched it,” David replied.
“Really?” Kazra asked.
“It’s true. It has a very high vibrational resonance. I can generally sense crystal
pulses, and this key is definitely beyond anything else I have ever felt. If crystals
generally whisper, then one can say this key shouts,” Simba said.
“Simba, you’re one unusual character, you speak the language of mountain,
rocks, and crystals. I wonder what else you talk to,” Kazra said, looking at Simba
and shaking his head.
“Yes, I also talk to people, and believe me, they’re the hardest creatures to
communicate with. They have eyes, but they can’t see, they have ears but they
can’t hear, they have mouths, and they use them for trivial chatter or simply
curse.”
“Amen to that,” David said, before handing the crystal key back to Kazra.
“Here, you can use my bag,” Simba stretched out his hand to hand over his
bag.
“Thanks,” Kazra gently placed the crystal key into the bag.
After walking out of the caves, they sat down and relaxed on the green glass
under the sheltering blue sky and warm shimmering sun. Simba looked at the
two weary faces before him and wondered if Kazra and David were both emotionally
alright after the traumatic experience.
Kazra glanced at Simba then shook his head: “I don’t have to tell you I won’t
forget this experience for as long as I live. Those vicious little faeries nearly killed
us. For a moment I thought it was one of my bad dreams except that there was no
waking up.”
“Interesting, you call them faeries. People describe these little tokoloshi creatures
in many different ways, from evil creations, goblins, fairies, gremlins,
gnomes, sprites, elves, leprechauns, to extraterrestrial dwarfs. I prefer to use the
word goblin because that word brings out the grotesque nature of these particular
little creatures. However, all that having been said, one thing for sure is that all
these creatures are elementals.”
“Are elementals always evil like that?” Kazra asked.
“By no means. Elementals are like all other beings in creation; they can be
good or evil. Same situations we see amongst humans, spirits, angels, and even
extraterrestrials, assuming that you believe in their existence.”
“So fairy elementals seem to play a prominent role in many mythologies. I
used to just consider them as part of fictitious mythologies, but …”
“But not anymore,” David added.
“Oh, I haven’t forgotten I promised to tell you about the Kariba Gorge crystals,”
Simba said before sighing and stretching his tired legs on the grass.
“Bring it on, what else can shock me?” Kazra replied.
“The story will sure soothe our shaken selves,” David added.
“I assume you already know the geographical location of Kariba. The famous
Kariba is a great inland sea, nestled in mountains as well as a large reserve of
game. Nothing in my imagination can compare to the unique beauty of the
Kariba waters’ sunset. It’s the enchantment of a glittering red sun sliding into
dusky darkness as Earth turns beneath it into night. The old dead trees enhance
that panoramic symphony as they stand bent in the lake and the dark sloping
mountains embrace twilight darkness.”
“It sounds truly amazing,” Kazra said.
“In 1958 the powers that be, the colonial disciples of the man called Cecil
John Rhodes, took advantage of the great river and the narrow neck of a remarkable
gorge and built a large dam wall, creating Lake Kariba. Little did they know
what lay deep down in the gorge and on that site. The construction of the dam
destroyed part of one of the world’s most important sacred sites housing the
ancient Akashic seed crystals. The Kariba Gorge is an Earth energy vortex center
point and an inter-dimensional doorway called the Gates to the Underworld.”
“In other words, it’s like a stargate, right?”
“Yes, much like the Great Pyramid or the Tower of Babel supposedly built or
used by Nimrod in his inter-dimensional experiments and travels. The only difference
is that the Kariba Gorge is a natural portal.”
“Well, I never really thought of the Great Pyramid as a stargate to other
dimensions.”
“That’s just a part of the story, some talk of it as an energy machine and an
instrument for changing high initiates into light beings. Remember David’s theories
on pyramids as ascension machines as well as some king of energy weapons.
That’s a whole topic on its own.”
“So many mysteries lost to history,” David said after a long silence.
“The seed crystals serve as a storage of human history. They’re well encoded
with data and have latent trigger switches to Earth balance and cosmic consciousness.
In fact, they’re closely related to your crystal keys. There’s a sacred crystal cave at Kariba called the Knot of Time. It holds unimaginable energies and secrets. It holds what they call the fountain of time, where past, present, and future are one. Elders and priests used to use this cave for vision and inter-dimensional experiences.”
“Who planted the crystals there to start with?” Kazra asked.
“They say it was done by the ancient Holy Ones called the Ancient Ones, the
first humans on the planet. The Tonga-Ila people who lived in the Kariba area
thousands of years ago were popularly known for their wisdom and high spiritual
sciences. Amongst other things, they used the crystals to activate the pineal gland;
to dispel negative energy fields, to recall ancient memories, to heal sickness, to
awaken spirit senses like telepathy and clairvoyance, to eliminate Earth pollution,
for prophecy, for inter-dimensional and extraterrestrial communications. Even
today, the holy priests of the Bakongo Crystal mountains in the Congo region
still maintain shrines in huge crystal caves that contain huge carvings of shiny
quartz. They still use them for the same purposes,” he paused for a moment to
catch his breath before he continued speaking.
“Have you ever tried using crystals, brother Kazra?”
“No, I have always viewed it as kind of New Agey and not to be taken too seriously,”
Kazra replied.
“No. Instead it’s Old Age, a very old source of energy used by ancient people.
For example, one can use a simple crystal like red jasper to help them focus and
achieve their goals, and you can use quartz for greater intuition; the list goes on.”
“I’ll sure try it,” Kazra said, nodding slowly.
“One of my future plans is to travel throughout the planet planting crystals
and activating sacred sites. This task will involve some serious cleansing of many
years of negative energy created by war, imperialism, slavery, murders, negative
rituals, and evil influences from other unearthly dimensions.”
“Maybe you should join up with Grandmother Neh on her Earth cleansing
trip.”
“Of course, I can’t do this on my own. This kind of task has to be led by shamans
and earth-keepers.”
“Oh, this guy is fast asleep,” Kazra said looking and laughing at David, who
lay on his back, arms stretched out and baking in the sun.
“Wake up, wake up we got to go,” Simba shook David by the shoulder.
As they walked away some distance from the cave, they saw a crowd of villagers.
The villagers were standing around and looking at something. As they walked
toward the crowd, they met up with a boy going in the opposite direction and
asked him what was going on. The boy told them that the villagers were looking
at the body of a man who had been stung to death by a swarm of killer bees. Perplexed,
they rushed to the scene. They were very shocked by what they saw.
“Oh gosh, he doesn’t look good at all,” Kazra said, looking at the dead body
lying on the street side. The man’s face was swollen beyond recognition. His
whole body was a bloody mess, generously embossed with nasty-looking boils.
Chunks of flesh hung off his cheeks, exposing teeth once covered by skin and
flesh. Everyone wondered how bees could have torn up his flesh like dog bites. As
they wondered and pondered, one loud-voiced, middle-aged woman appropriately
responded as if she could read their minds.
“Eyewitnesses say the man was running like crazy, screaming, scratching, and
tearing off his flesh.”
“Strange, really strange,” an old man said.
“Poor guy,” another villager said.
“He must have really suffered,” another bystander said, puzzled by the tragedy.
“Kazra, do you recognize that black torn-up outfit?” Simba whispered to Kazra.
“No kidding, it can’t be him. The evil sorcerer?” Kazra replied, looking at the
victim more closely.
It was indeed the evil shaman. He had finally met his demise under the judgment
of a wrathful swarm of bees.
“Tragic end,” Simba said before they walked away.
Having had enough drama for one day, the three men went back to Simba’s
house, where they spent the evening relaxing, chatting, and eating. The next
afternoon, David and Simba drove back to Marondera.
Upon arrival in Marondera, David dropped Kazra at the bus station where he
boarded a bus to Harare.
Later that evening as David drove down the street on his way home, he found
his mind drowning into the realm of imagination. He could clearly visualize a
warm bubble bath followed by a soothing shoulder massage squeezing all his
stress away. Suddenly, his mental self-indulgence was cut short by a sharp earpiercing
phone ring.
“I am getting worried, it’s already 9.30 PM and Dan is not home yet,” his wife
Rita said in a nervous voice.
“Oh man, this boy drives me nuts. Where the hell is he? What time did he
leave?” David said.
“I left him home at about 4:30 PM when I went to the supermarket but when
I came back at about 5:30 PM he was gone.”
“Gone, gone where?”
“I don’t know. Mukai said he left around 5:00 PM with a bag but she doesn’t
know where he went.”
“This boy needs some serious wooping, how can he leave a ten-year-old girl
alone in the house. This is crazy. Did you check his friends?”
“I called his two friends but they don’t know where he is. I am worried David,
this is no time for a fourteen-year-old child to be out.”
As David drove on he felt overcome by a combination of anxiety, anger and
worry. This was not the first time his son Dan had brought him worries; Dan had
a tendency to systematically disobey his father’s rules. Dan was a very smart boy
but his parents and teachers often worried about his psychological health. Once
in a while he would bluntly criticize them and talk of his frequent communications
with invisible friends. However, one thing his parents were reluctant to
admit was that he had an ability to predict events before they happened.
When David arrived home, he called several relatives to check if they had seen
his son but none of them knew his whereabouts. At around 10:00 PM, just as
David and Rita agreed to call the police, the phone suddenly rang. David hastily
picked up the receiver. Much to his relief it was his son Dan on the other side of
the line.
“You got to be kidding me, what the hell are you doing in Harare, Dan?”
“I am just about to jump onto the bus, I will be home soon.”
As shocked as David and Rita were to hear that their fourteen-year-old son
had traveled to the city without their knowledge, they were happy to hear that he
was well and coming back home. Later, David picked up his son from the bus
station and drove back home.
“Wait for me in the living room, your mother and I need to talk to you,”
David said to Dan in a very stern voice as he headed for the restroom.
Dan rushed to the living room and immediately turned on the television.
“What?” Rita said, wondering if her son had gone crazy.
“There, there!” Dan shouted as he pointed at the television screen.
Walking into the room, David joined his wife in the realm of utter confusion
as they both stared at the television news report. It was news coverage on how a
mysterious fire had burnt down the Harare Medical Center.
Dan stood in front of the television laughing. Rita stood silently, still confused.
David looked at his son’s excitement and immediately suspected something
bad had happened.
“Switch it off, switch it off. Have you lost your mind?” Rita eventually said
having had enough of his son’s drama.
“Sit down Dan,” David commanded.
“I had to do it,” Dan said taking his seat, “I told you but you wouldn’t believe
me, I had to burn it down.”
“What are you talking about Dan?” Rita said, staring into Dan’s face.
“I have been telling you that they were going to start using the virus on people
but you didn’t believe me. Tah told me I had to destroy the virus supplies before
they started using them on people.”
“No, not that virus story again,” David sighed and shook his head.
Months earlier, Dan had warned his parents about a virus that was going to
wipe out more than half the population if no one acted.
From a very young age, Dan had exhibited the ability to remote view or
project his consciousness to far distances in time and space thereby allowing him
to predict events before they happened. About a month before his unauthorized
travel to Harare, he had visited Harare without his parents’ knowledge. However,
that visit had not been a physical visit, but an astral visit. That night, Dan had
been browsing through the pages of his new comic book when he suddenly found
himself in what he thought was the depths of hell. He rubbed his eyes because he
thought he had dozed off and was merely having a bad dream, but he was fully
conscious. Looking around him, he realized that he was in a small town standing
by the street side. It was a dreadful scene with nothing alive on the streets except
vultures, worms and maggots devouring the rotting bodies littered on the
ground. Looking further off down the street, Dan could see thousands of dead
human bodies, male and female, young and old all left to rot. Overcome by the
horror and a repulsive stench, he ran as fast as he could but everywhere he went
he was met with more dead bodies. Screaming for help, he suddenly found him
self back in his bedroom sweating and panting. As he stood up and walked
towards the door to go to the bathroom, a familiar voice suddenly bellowed
across the room. Turning back, he felt relieved to see Tah, who stood there by the
bed fully materialized. He was a brilliantly good-looking, thirty-year-old man.
His face was ocher brown, it shimmered and glowed with a gold and purple aura.
His eyes twinkled, sparkled, and glimmered with an inexplicably hypnotizing
effect.
“It wasn’t your imagination, it was all real,” Tah said.
Tah was a mysterious individual from beyond the physical realm who had initially
appeared to Dan at his twelfth birthday. He had subsequently reappeared to
Dan several other times. Tah had identified himself to Dan as his blood relative.
Although at that first appearance he didn’t expect Dan at his tender age to fully
understand him, he nevertheless explained that he had traveled interdimensionally
through wormholes from a distant future. According to his explanation, he
was in fact a time traveler from the year 2550, a tenth generation descendant of
Dan.
“Not your imagination,” Tah repeated, “what you saw was the future, the
future of your country and many other countries as well.”
“You mean the dead people on the street?” Dan said walking closer to Tah.
“Yes. The mass deaths were a result of a population reduction program. As we
speak now they have already shipped several consignments of virus-laced polio,
small pox and malaria vaccines.”
“I don’t understand what you are talking about,” Dan said looking confused.
“Just listen, you will understand the details with time. Things are not always
the way they appear to be. An organization called WHO in partnership with the
Rockefeller Institute under the leadership of a man called Henri Kiccingar engineered
a virus for mass population reduction. This virus is called Aids Ultra, and
it’s designed to kill people.”
“Why do they want to kill people?” Dan asked.
“It’s difficult for me to clearly explain this to you. They are basically very bad
people. It is called genocide through biological warfare. Their goal is to kill as
many people as possible and then control their land and resources. They have no
respect for life; they call people in Third World countries useless eaters and want
to kill as many as they can,” Tah explained explicitly as he walked about the
room.
“How about our government? Do they know this plan?” Dan asked.
Tah smiled, realizing that Dan was in fact following his explanation and
understanding it to a good extent.
“Unfortunately, some government officials in the health sector were bribed to
approve this program. They were convinced that the program was simply clinical
trials for birth control through malaria and polio vaccines. They will start in Zimbabwe
killing millions of people, then all across Africa, then Asia, South America,
the Middle East and Eastern Europe. But this Aids Ultra virus will mutate, spread
and kill faster than they anticipated causing a global holocaust.”
“This is scary.”
“I know, that’s why I am here to make sure that you stop it,” Tah said with a
very serious voice.
“I … I am only fourteen, how can I stop it.”
“It’s easy, if it can’t succeed here then it won’t kill people and spread around
the world. We have to make sure that the program fails and the first step is to
destroy the supplies they already shipped to Harare and are ready to start using.”
“So, are you going to tell my father or the police, maybe they can stop it.”
“No, no Dan. You are the only one I have, you are the only one who knows
and believes me. You have to do it. Once you succeed, then your father will
believe you and join you to fight these evil people. It’s very simple, I know you
can do it.”
Dan was silent for a minute and stared at the comic book on his bed.
“How?” he finally asked.
“All you need to do is burn the vaccines at the Medical Center storage room,”
Tah smiled in an effort to reduce the gravity and serious implications of his
words.
“But you said they are in Harare, how can I go there alone when I don’t even
know the location of the Medical Center.”
“Trust me, don’t worry, I will give you all the information you need.”
From that day on, all Dan had to do was wait for the appointed time to commence
his mission.
Back in the living room, David and Rita sat listening carefully as Dan
explained how he had ended up leaving for Harare without their knowledge.
David was still angry and felt that this character called Tah was undermining his
authority over Dan, as well as endangering his son. Rita, on the other hand, felt
guilty; she remembered that Dan had previously tried to warm her on his vision
of impending mass deaths but she had dismissed it as a mere nightmare.
Dan continued explaining. “When I got there at about 8:30 PM, I waited for
the security guard to leave his post as Tah had foretold, then I entered the storage
room through a window. The room was large and very cold. I then took out the
paraffin bottle from the bag and sprinkled the paraffin on the boxes and large
containers of the vaccines. When I was done I jumped out through the window,
lit the matchstick and threw it in through the window. I ran off as fast as I could
leaving the room in flames.”
David and Rita looked at each other helplessly and shook their heads. David
realized that his anger towards his son would not resolve this issue; he needed to
investigate the whole story in detail and get to the bottom of things.
“Promise me one thing Dan,” David said looking at his son straight in the
eyes, “you will not do such a thing again, or try to save the world without telling
me. Burning private property is a very serious crime.”
“Yes dad,” Dan replied as he wondered about his father’s words and why his
anger had mysteriously dissipated.
“But David,” Rita said, “don’t you think you need to investigate this vaccine
virus story? Obviously there is something really strange going on here, Dan is just
too young to have imagined up such a conspiracy. After all, we all heard on the
news that the Medical Center was mysteriously burnt down.”
“I know, I need to talk to this Tah character before I can investigate this theory
about the killer virus.”
From that day on, the tables would turn; David had several encounters with
Tah the time traveler. At first he thought Tah was a ghost playing tricks on them
but after a few discussions with him about the present world and future world,
David became convinced that Tah was, in fact, a genuine time traveler. This
marked the beginning of David’s work to fight genocidal eugenicists and elite
Malthusian organizations globally.

Friday, October 17, 2008

FEATURED AUTHOR: Barbara Keaton


Barbara Keaton, a native of Chicago, who thinks its the best city in the world, also enjoys writing. Her first diary is dated December 1975! And since then, Barbara has written articles for Today's Black Woman Magazine, Chicago Reader, Chicago Crusader and most recently, True Confessions. In addition, Barbara is an accomplished romance author, having nine titles to her name. Barbara credits her late grandfather, Thomas Hill, and the Oblate Sisters of Providence for instilling in her a love and passion for the written word. Visit her on the Web at www.bkeaton.com.

One In A Million

When high-powered attorney Deena Walls walked into the police station searching for her client the last thing she expected was to feel the immediate heat brought on by Detective Charles Henry Harris. As they both work on a case that would not only test Deena's will and mettle, but how deep her attraction is to the handsome detective, they would have never guessed that theirs would be a relationship of searing passion and emotional healing.

What would you like your readers to take away from your book?

As with most of my romances, it is about lying down the sword of fear and embracing the possible! That love is possible. And even I have to remind myself of that.

What did you learn while writing this book?

That I really like writing romance with a twist of suspense. I'm now toying with trying my hand at a romantic suspense. Also, I really write better under some pressure.

What is the hardest part about the writing business?

Sustaining momentum! I have a job with some odd hours and there are nights I get off and I am just tired, even though I have a deadline looming. Also, I find it really hard when new authors come into the business and are so excited, then for a myriad of reasoning's they loose the enthusiasm, the love and passion for this business. I learned, the hard way (aren't these always the ones we remember?!), that the operative word is: BUSINESS. And its about the business of money - all else is a byproduct.

What one thing about writing do you wish other non-writers would understand?

It ain't as easy as you think it is. While I have a real passion for this business - for the written word - trying to come up with a believable story, something new and fresh is difficult for me. I want to create depth, while giving those who read my work what they expect: a good story with somewhat of a twist and my nutty brand of humor.

Our theme this month is THE BUSINESS OF WRITING. Most new writers don't know about the business side of writing, what advice can you offer on this important part of writing?

If I had to offer one it is: HIRE AN INTELLECTUAL PROPERTIES ATTORNEY! I cannot stress this enough! While your cousin may be an attorney or your good friend is an attorney doesn't make them experts of Intellectual Properties and the contracts governing your work. An IP attorney, while he/she may be a little higher in cost per hour, it is so worth the money! I have two attorney's. One handles my general stuff (real estate, wills, etc.) while the other handles all of my literary contracts. I often joke that if I go to jail call my attorney, Carl Boyd! But for my contracts? Call none other than John Tellis, III! How's that for a shameless plug? But in all seriousness, an IP attorney will make sure that your interests and your intellectual property, are well represented.

What are three things you wish you'd known before you reached where you are now?

1) This is a business - never forget it!
2) How much I really like writing romance.
3) Major Commitment is required.

Was there ever a time in your writing career you thought of quitting?

Oh, my, God - YES!! But the thing that kept me going was my love for this whole business. There are aspects I don't like, but they don't overshadow the passion I have. And once I reconciled the negatives with the positives, which outweighed all of the bad, I haven't thought about quitting since. That was when I was writing Cupid, my fifth book.

Do you have any advice for the aspiring writer?

I'm a firm believer in having mentors and networking. I have been blessed to be among some of the best writers, the Godmothers of Black Romance if you will. My friend and mentor is Rochelle Alers; and then I'm also blessed to be able to reach out to other authors like Francis Ray, Donna Hill, Beverly Jenkins, Gwen Forester and my partners in crime: Dyanne Davis and Earl Sewell - they all root me on and never turn me away when I have questions, issues or just want to vent. So, when new writers approach me, I stop and give them as much of my time as I can spare; like new author Mia Moore - I've adopted her and she is such a sweetheart! To whom much is given, much is expected.

What is the best lesson you have learnt from another writer?

While this could be perceived as negative, I've learned to be more humble - I've watched some amazing things come from authors - out of their mouths. On the positive: never give up! Never let someone else define you and your work - its an extension of you.

Five questions about books:

One book you've read more than once:

None! I find it quite difficult to reread a book once I've read it.

One book you couldn't put down until you finished.



I'm a voracious reader - so that's not a fair question for me, but one book stands out: Devil's Gonna Get Him by Valerie Wilson Wesley! I love her Tamara Hale mysteries and just about anything by J. California Cooper.

One book that made you laugh.

From page one, Terry McMillan's "A Day Late & Dollar Short" - I was laughing throughout.

One book that made you cry.

Toni Morrison's "The Bluest Eye" - All that baby wanted in that book was to be loved like she'd seen her momma love the kids she cared for as a domestic. It's a really deep book.

One book you wish you'd written.

I've been reading a long time and have read thousands of books; but, if I have to choose one, I'll pick the classic: The Tale Tell Heart by Edgar Allen Poe - loved the story.

How can readers get in contact with you? (mail, email, website)

My snail mail is P.O. Box 438707, Chicago, IL, 60643. My email is BNewell572@aol.com and my website is http://bkeaton.com/. I love mail, so folks feel free to send me some!

About Me

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I believe in promoting authors and their books. Let me introduce you and your books to online readers.

I'm also a happily married mother of three who's trying to break into the Christian writing field. The writing road can be rocky.

I’m available for:

Online promotion coaching
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Contact me at:lchwriter@gmail.com

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