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Monday, June 28, 2010

Featured Author: Cecil Murphey



Cecil Murphey calls himself a serious Christian. His faith is the core of his life. Although he writes on numerous topics, many of Cec’s own books focus on prayer and the Bible. He enjoys serving and supporting other Christians as they grow in their faith.

How did you start your writing career?

I started in 1971, a year after I graduated from seminary. The late Charlie Shed offered a 10-week course on how to write for publication. I took the course and he felt I had talent.

I wrote only articles for at least three years. It was excellent preparation before I tried to write a book.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that the only way to overcome the pain of our past is to face it and not be shamed or terrified. I learned (again) that although it hurts, we need to feel those experiences repeatedly until they no longer have the power to hurt us.

In writing When a Man You Love Was Abused, I was surprised because I assumed I had moved beyond my pain, but some of those unhealed places erupted and I had to face them.

What do you hope to accomplish with this book?

I want to help women who know or suspect that an important man in their lives was abused. They also need to realize that his victimization affects them.

I hope women will share portions of the book with those men who might not otherwise seek help.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

My toughest test is to keep going, even now, because I want to hit the delete key. I constantly think, this is garbage and everybody knows it.

My wife, Shirley, has said to me, "You think because you think about it all the time, everyone knows it. But they haven't read it the way you write it."

If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?


Two of them are dead, but because this is only an ideal, here they are.

My first choice would be William Saroyan, whom few people know. He didn't write many books, but when I read The Human Comedy at age 15 I knew two things: (1) I wanted to be a writer and (2) I wanted to be as good a writer as Saroyan. I've accomplished the first.

My second is Dean Koontz. I began to read him in the 1980s and learned so much about technique, characterization, description, and action. He's also a writer who keeps trying new things. I don't like some of his new books, but I still applaud him for taking chances.

Third, the late Paul Gallico. He was a storyteller, but he wrote with such warmth that he touched me. I used to be afraid to put my emotions into my writing. I was afraid of being called sentimental or maudlin. His books, especially The Snow Goose, freed me to expose my feelings.

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

1. I wish I had been able to accept rejections objectively. Like any serious author, I throw myself into everything I write. It hurt deeply when I received my early rejections. (One day I received seven in the same mail delivery.)

2. There is no place to stop improving. I assumed that once I became a good, well-published writer I could relax. I work harder at the craft now than I did in my early days.

3. I wish I had not compared myself with other writers. When I did, they always seemed better or more successful than I was.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for someone aspiring to be a writer?

First, do learn the craft. I can't say that strongly enough.

Second, don't try to be like other writers. Don't imitate them. I see so much fiction that reads as if they all had the same ghostwriter.

To combine those, learn the craft, don't imitate other writers, and strive to sound like you. When people read me, they may not like my style or topic, but I don't want them to think I write like someone else.

I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?

I would like to see one of my nonfiction books at the top of the best-seller lists (and I've had that) along with a novel at the top of the fiction list.

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

We're like everyone else, except that we have different talents.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?

The best advice came from a professional after I had published a few articles. I struggled with being transparent and she said, "If you're going to be a professional writer, you must be willing to walk down the street naked."

The worst advice came from an editor: "Don't write biographies. They don't sell." (I've made my living for 25 years by writing books for others, especially autobiographies.) I urge writers to write what's on their hearts.

It took me six years to get a publisher to accept When a Man You Love Was Abused. I persisted and God honored that persistence.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?

I've traveled a great deal, including Antarctica, so I pick Australia. That way I could say I've been to every continent.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I'm a confirmed runner. I'm on the street between 4:30 and 5:00 every morning and run 30-35 miles a week. I love running in the dark. There are few distractions and I have a strong sense of God's presence.

Our theme for this month is Reaching Your Goals. How did it feel to reach your publishing goal?

I haven't reached my ultimate goal. That is to make my writing so good that the copyeditor will cry because she can't find a single thing to change.

I'm delighted that I make a good living as a writer and it is satisfying to know that I've worked hard and God has honored my faithfulness.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

I know that the more I write, the deeper I'm able to go into myself and I learn more about God and about myself.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

I write more than one book a year. These are early 2011 releases.

1. Getting to Heaven: Departing Instructions for Your Life Now by Don Piper and Cecil Murphey. Don and I look at Jesus' last words to his disciples (John 13-17) and they become words to prepare us for our divine liftoff to heaven.

2. Knowing God, Knowing Myself. I write aphorisms (short, pithy sayings) such as this one: I'd rather be disliked for who I am than to be admired for who I'm not. Regal books asked me to write a book of aphorisms with a brief explanation for each one.

3. When Someone You Love No Longer Remembers. I've written several gift books for Harvest House Publishers and this one is for caregivers and friends of those who suffer from Alzheimer's or any form of dementia.

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

The best way is to go to my Website: www.cecilmurphey.com.
I also have two blogs that I update twice weekly:

www.menshatteringthesilence.blogspot.com—a blog about male sexual abuse.

www.cecmurpheyswritertowriter.blogspot.com— a blog to help writers learn the craft.

When a Man You Love Was Abused: A Woman’s Guide to Helping Him Overcome Sexual Molestation
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The number of males abused in childhood are sometimes listed as low as 5 percent or as high as 33 percent. Though statistics are controversial, no one disputes the fact that childhood abuse is a continuing problem – or that such abuse can have devastating effects on future relationships.

For all women who know and love a survivor of sexual assault, best-selling author Cecil Murphey has penned an honest and forthright book about surviving – and thriving – despite past abuses. Both informative and highly practical, Murphey helps women understand the continuing problems that abuse survivors may encounter, including hurtful memories, issues of self worth, and the need to feel in control. With sensitivity and encouragement, Murphey then explains what women can do to help bring about healing and forgiveness.

Written with the empathy that only a true survivor can convey, When a Man You Love Was Abused is a timely piece of advice and encouragement.

Leave a question, comment or your name and email for a chance to win a copy of When a Man You Love Was Abused.




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Friday, June 25, 2010

Featured Author: Angela Winters


Angela Winters is the national bestselling author of several novels and novellas. Her first novel, ONLY YOU, was published in 1997, followed by her first novella, MAMA DEAR: NEVER SAY NEVER and her first romantic suspense, SWEET SURRENDER. Some of Angela's other romantic suspense titles include ALWAYS A CHANCE, A CAPITOL AFFAIR, A CLASS APART, HIGH STAKES, SAVING GRACE, DANGEROUS MEMORIES, SEASON OF LOVE: COMING HOME, LOVE ON THE RUN, KNOW BY HEART, SUDDEN LOVE, A FOREVER PASSION and ISLAND PROMISE. VIEW PARK is Angela's first mainstream fiction novel and is the first in a family saga featuring the enigmatic Chase family. VIEW PARK is followed by NEVER ENOUGH, NO MORE GOOD, A PRICE TO PAY, and GONE TOO FAR. Her next book series, focused on a group of twenty-something women in the D.C. area managing their husbands, boyfriends, lovers and careers will be published in summer 2011. A native of Chicago, Angela received her Bachelor’s in Communications from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and her law degree at American University's Washington College of Law. She currently lives in Washington, D.C.

How did you start out your writing career?

I had been writing my entire life but was too afraid to share it with anyone until I heard that publishing companies were looking for romance books featuring minority characters when I was reading Writer's Digest magazine. I sent the first three chapters of one of my books to a publisher in 1995 and heard back from her three months later. My first novel, ONLY YOU was published later in 1996.

What did you learn while writing this book?

Writing GONE TOO FAR was an emotional experience for me because it signifies the end of the Chase family arc and I have become so incredibly attached to these characters. I learned that it is possible to say goodbye to characters and still believe they can live on because they still do in my mind.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

I wanted to bring some closure to the most popular characters of the series. I hope GONE TOO FAR has done that. Nothing is ever completely over but I was hoping that everyone can understand where all the characters are heading, mostly in a positive way, and understand why they made those choices.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Writing VIEW PARK was the hardest test because I was leaving a very comfortable genre of romantic suspense. I had written a lot of novels that were doing well and could have gone on doing that for a long time, but I wanted to do something new and different and was told by some in the business that genre jumping doesn't usually go well, so it was hard for me to stay focused and do this. Ultimately it worked out.

If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?
Toni Morrison would be #1 because BELOVED is my favorite book and I wanted to know what she was feeling when she wrote the inner workings of the main character's head. Stephen Carter because I like how his books present a different image of black characters and how he writes really intricate storylines. Also, Nora Roberts just because she cranks out an endless amount of books and each of them still seem fresh and new. I just don't know how she does it.

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

I wish I had known better marketing tools, how to appreciate how blessed I was in being published in the first place and to stop planning so much and just do it.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Don't let your fear of being rejected consume you. For a lot of writers they can't stand being judged and someone saying their work isn't good so they procrastinate in sending their work out. John Grisham was turned down more than 35 times before his first book sold. Rejection is okay. Do associate with other writers as much as you can. This is not just good for professional contacts, but the advice that they can give about character building, writer's block, and promoting their books is invaluable.

I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?

My author fantasy is to have someone call my agent and say they want to make my VIEW PARK series into a television series or miniseries. I dream about seeing these characters on screen.

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


That you can't just explain where you get your ideas from because sometimes you can’t really tell yourself. Sometimes in dreams and sometimes out of the thin air. They want to know a formula, but there is no one formula.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry?

The worst? The best was to make sure what you send in is of the highest quality possible. They always get proposals and books with horrible misspelling and grammar errors or on weird colored paper. They always toss that stuff. The worst was one or two people in the industry told me to stick with my original genre, play it safe. I'm glad I didn't listen to them.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?

I've traveled to a lot of my dream places, but one place I haven't been is Rome. I would love to visit Rome and see the sights; especially the Sistine Chapel, the Coliseum, and the Vatican.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I don't do anything odd enough to qualify for that. I do paint and when I tell people that they seem a little surprised, but that's about it.

Our theme for this month is Reaching Your Goals?

How did it feel to reach your publishing goal? I was so young when I was first published and it came at such a perfect time, I couldn't really appreciate it at the time. However, as I got older I realized how many people had not been able to realize their dreams of being published and it made me realize how lucky I was. When you see your books in some random book store in a different state or country, it really hits you and you have to smile.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

That I've been blessed. While my life hasn't been perfect, it has been really, really good.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

The next book will be a sort of Housewives of DC themed book about three women who live in the D.C. area and are trying to get ahead in life. They all come from the same background, the hard streets of Southeast and have made their way up in the world, but continue to struggle due to drama with their husbands, ex-husbands and lovers. They are struggling with their careers and all hold secrets from that past life that seem to keep coming back to bite them. They fight and argue a lot, but all of them really rely on their friendship to get them through everything. It will be the first in a new series.

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

Readers can go to www.viewparkonline.com to find out about my VIEW PARK series. They can also email me at viewparkseries@yahoo.com.

GONE TO FAR is the final installment of the VIEW PARK series, the story of America’s Black Royal Family, the scandalous, ultra-rich, and powerful Chase clan. Carter Chase is engaged to the beautiful Julia Hall, but he's still not over his ex-fiancée, Avery. And while Avery can't seem to resist Carter's charm in the bedroom, she's terrified by his threats to take their daughter away from her. After all, Avery knows she can't win a fight against the influential Chase family. In the meantime, Carter's brother, Michael, is embroiled in his own drama, consumed with guilt over the pain he caused his now ex-wife Kimberly. Six months after granting her a divorce, Michael wants her back. A tragedy may reunite them until he finds out what she’s been planning with his uncle. While youngest daughter Haley and her new husband, Peter, cause the family concern, oldest daughter Leigh thinks she's done with dating-until she meets black Republican senator Max Cody. The last thing Leigh wants is another high-profile affair, but she finds herself falling for Max anyway. Leigh vowed to avoid another scandal for her family-but when you're a Chase, that kind of promise is impossible to keep.

Ask a question for a chance to win a copy of Gone To Far.

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Thursday, June 24, 2010

Featured Author: Ja’Nese Dixon


Ja’Nese Dixon is an Oklahoma native living in Houston, Texas. As a child, she spent most of her days reading anything she could grab. Her love for writing gave birth to a large collection of poetry and short stories. She continued to nurture her love of reading and writing until entering graduate school. As a wife and mother of two small children, she found little time to write, but her reading continued.

In late 2004, she decided to quietly pursue her writing career by entering contests and ghost writing articles. After ranking in several contests, she began writing her first novel, Black Diamond, scheduled for release in June 2010.

Ja’Nese Dixon is still an avid reader, she loves to write, run, cook, crochet, watch romantic comedy movies, attend live concerts, volunteer in several ministries in her church, and most importantly spend time with her family.

Ja’Nese Dixon spends her days marketing small businesses and her nights writing. To learn more visit http://www.janesedixon.com/
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How did you start out your writing career?

I started as a poet. I wrote poems and lyrics until I reached high school. I later had a teacher that challenged me to expand one of my articles, which led to me writing a short story. Fast forward several years (smile) and my children and I decided to write books for the NaNoWriMo challenge where I wrote the majority of Black Diamond. And here I am. (More or less…)

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned a lot, but the greatest lesson came when my analytical mind and my creative mind had a faceoff. I realized that I could plan and outline, however, in the end my characters have minds of their own.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

Reading for me is about getting away from my normal life. I hope to do the same for others. I hope that readers will enjoy Black Diamond so much that it will build a solid readership for my future projects.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Letting go.

I’m nervous and I don’t know what to expect. I get butterflies in my stomach when I have to discuss it after someone reads it. I have done my part. I have relinquished all control over whether readers love it or not because the story is done.
If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?
Beverly Jenkins. She can do no wrong in my book. I know when I buy her books that I will enjoy every word in her artfully crafted world. She has found a way to entertain and educate with such ease that you don’t realize that she’s done it.

Lori Foster. When you read a Lori Foster book, you know it. Her men are macho teddy bears and her women are take-charge, walk to the beat of their own drum, type women. She also shows me that the race of the author has nothing to do with writing a great relatable book.

Janet Evanovich. I believe that I would love this woman. (smile) She is witty and clever. She is one of the authors that I will literally laugh out loud while reading her books. She can make a clumsy, round-the-way girl HOT!

Each author has her own style, but they each personify entertaining readers. I would want to talk and hopefully take away tidbits of know-how.

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

I wish I trusted my instincts more. I was comfortable writing short pieces but writing a novel was a challenge. But the elements are the story are the same.

The importance of having a good critique group. I have one now and they encouraged me to move forward with Black Diamond. Who knows, if I would have found them sooner maybe I would have completed my first book years ago.

I wish I was better at pacing myself. I jumped in full throttle and nearly passed-out in the end. I am still learning how to write a little daily. I’m a work in progress.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Do find a small group that understands what you are coming through as a writer. There were so many days where I thought “Girl, what in the world have you gotten yourself into?” Only to have a friend say, “It’s normal. Keep writing.”

Don’t get caught up in the others’ opinions. Write your story. You have time to create your best work during the editing process.

I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?

WOW…that’s hard. On one hand I see the success of a new author like Stephenie Meyer and I see the longevity of an author like Brenda Jackson with 80 books under her belt. And I would love a mixture of the two—celebrity (i.e., books, movies, screaming fans) and longevity (i.e., loyal readers, great body of work).

How cool would it be to make a living writing? I think it’s possible.

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

I wish they understood the time commitment.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?

The best advice I have received is “keep writing”. I don’t have “the worst” because I believe everything has value. You have to take the good with the bad.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?

Shanghai. I studied for a few months in Beijing and I hate that I didn’t plan ahead to visit Shanghai. I see pictures and it seems so alive and vibrant.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Crochet. (I know I sound so boring, but I’m not, I promise.) I love to crochet. I make afghans, hats, apparel, blankets, etc. Sometimes I pick up a needle, yarn, and crochet my cares away. It’s a peaceful time for me and I love donating my pieces to my church, hospitals, and as gifts.

Our theme for this month is Reaching Your Goals? How did it feel to reach your publishing goal?

Exhilarating. I can’t explain how it feels to see hours of your work resting between your hands.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

That God is control. His faithfulness through this process and over my life overwhelms me. I plan to sit back for a while and enjoy what He’s doing in my life.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

Yes, for YOU, anything.

Intoxicated is my next book it’s a story about Marques, a sexy R&B singer.

Aaron “Marques” Carter, known to his adoring fans as Marques, is an acclaimed R&B singer and songwriter determined to reach icon status in the music industry without the interference of love.

Brione Alexander, a beautiful headstrong law student, is a pro at keeping men at a distance. “Once bitten, twice shy” should be her motto. Time has shown her that men cannot be trusted!

A chance meeting between the R&B sensation and the relationship phobic sets in motion an electrifying union that can rescue both Aaron and Brione from themselves.

Intoxicated in the first story in my Star Status book series. You can read the prologue in the back of Black Diamond.

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

Yes, please visit my website. You can read the prologue of Black Diamond, purchase an autographed copy, and subscribe to my mailing list to receive special offers.

My website: http://www.janesedixon.com/


My email: info (at) janesedixon (dot) com

My book page on Facebook: www.facebook.com/authorjanesedixon


My Twitter address: www.twitter.com/janesedixon


I’m also a member of SIR Authors: http://www.shhimreading.com/janese-dixon.html



Black Diamond

Camille Blackwell, an undercover FBI agent, poses as a jewelry purchaser in an international diamond trading company in hopes of identifying the domestic players in a vicious rebel group suspected of trafficking conflict diamonds.

The Bureau requests CIA renegade Marc Fulton’s assistance with sweeping international intelligence to identify the major rebel organizations with finances and stateside connections strong enough to evade criminal prosecution, despite Camille’s objections.


Sparks fly when Marc and Camille meet, their attraction is instant and tense. However, both resolve to focus on the case. But when Camille receives an encrypted memory stick from a murdered co-worker Marc may be the only person she can trust.
Black Diamond is the eagerly anticipated debut novel by Ja’Nese Dixon. True love, like black diamonds, is rare and precious; but when murder and a persistent criminal threaten a frail relationship, can love triumph?

In a borderless game of cat and mouse, will a chance at happily ever after be thwarted at the deadly scheme of the faceless leader of the Imperial Dynasty?

Leave your name and email for a chance to win a copy Black Diamond


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If you enjoyed this post, please consider becoming a member of SORMAG's community - Join Today

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Daddy’s Delight Blog Tour with Dr. Karia Bunting


KARIA BUNTING is an expository Bible teacher whose mission is to communicate the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ so that people are saved, and disciples are developed. She is the founder of Focused Forward Ministries, a communication and media ministry, and a member of several community and ministry organizations. She also partners with her husband, George, in his management & financial consulting company.

Karia received her master’s degree from Dallas Theological Seminary and a doctorate from Louisiana Baptist Theological Seminary. She’s currently receiving a second doctorate from the University of Texas. She serves as an adjunct professor at Dallas Baptist University and enjoys ministering the Word and its’ principles through her lecture series and power lunches held throughout the year.

Karia and George, her husband of 26 years, live in Dallas, Texas where she teaches the Word weekly in the women’s Bible study at Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship. Mother of three children, Karia is also a mentor to many young women. She enjoys reading, writing, and spending time with family and friends.

Visit her Dr. Karia online at http://focusedforwardministries.org/.


Dr. Karia, tell us about Daddy’s Delight: Embracing Your Divine Design

Daddy’s Delight: Embracing Your Divine Design tells women that God designed them, He adores them just like they are, and that that they are His masterpiece, His poem. Made in the image of God, they are designed to exercise authority, and are equipped to be all that they were designed to be.

The problem is that although we as women desire to live a victorious life, we don’t know how to get there. You and I want to accomplish our destiny, but life keeps getting in the way. You know you were created for more, but there is enough stress just where you are. Maybe you are lonely or overwhelmed. Maybe business is going so great that you are exhausted trying to keep up, or possibly business is not going so great and you are about to starve! The scenarios of life swirl around you. Your daughter knows that she is not supposed to eat in her room, what is that food doing in there? Since the last layoff, you have to do the work for three people, and the pressure is building because you just can’t do it and get home at a reasonable hour. You are working hard, and the child you are paying all tuition for is acting like she doesn’t have a mama. And then, on top of that, your son’s teenage friend spilled red kool-aid on your beautiful beige carpet.

For some of you, that relationship is what spilled red kool-aid on you…you thought it would last forever, but it didn’t. Now you are asking yourself the question, “How in the world can I start over from here?” Sometimes the mate is absent – or altogether too present (and not always acting right). You are tired, stretched, frustrated, and silently or audibly crying out for answers. After all that you are exhausted, and you look in the mirror at the end of the day feeling, “What is wrong with me that people treat me this way?” “Why can’t I get it together?” “Can even God fix this mess?” “ There has got to be a better way.”

The real question you and I are asking ourselves is, “Who am I now, and How do I maximize my life from this place?” This book is designed to answer that question.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?


When I was working on my Doctorate in Theology, I was drawn to scripture about authority and identity. I began to make notes about what interested me. Over time, I compiled quite a few notes on the subject. Then, one day my pastor was preaching, and it occurred to me that maybe my notes had some value. I did some exegetical work, and applied what I had learned to women. Then I looked at our lives from different angles. I always started with the Word of God. But then I applied my own experience and the experiences of others. What comes out of the whole process is a book that is both real and helpful

Did you have to do quite a bit of research for the book?

After my doctorate, not as much as you would think. But now, it took me 7 years to get my doctorate! So I did enough research then!

From there it was mainly compiling, organizing, and making it non-academic. It took a few drafts to get it to the place where it reflected my every day life, and the life of other women. Teaching a weekly Bible study at my home church helped, because in women’s ministry, you live among people who love Christ and are learning to experience His victory.

What do you hope readers will learn and discover from reading Daddy’s Delight: Embracing Your Divine Design?

I hope that they discover themselves – who God created them to be. I hope they discover that God loves them, and that they really are royalty. I hope they discover that they already have God’s favor. I hope that they discover what God’s Word says to them at each stage of life. Whether married or unmarried, caretaking or lonely, struggling with temptation or struggling with self-esteem, a career mom or a mom-at-home, in the secular workplace or in ministry, God has specific instructions He would like to tell us so that we can maximize our experience. This book shares God’s mind so God’s people can maximize their divine design.

Okay, a not-so-fun question. How important are reviews to you as a writer.

It is important to me that people know the book exists. It can’t help anybody that doesn’t know about it. Let’s put it this way…. I never cared what grade I got in school. That’s because when I went to school, it wasn’t for the grade. I was a grown woman! I wanted to get what they were teaching, not earn a grade. In this book, I gave the Lord all I had on the subject. My goal is to throw crowns at His feet. I don’t think He got a dirty, shoddy crown this time, I wouldn’t give Him one. He has been too good to me for that. I gave Him my best, because He deserves it. He has put a lot in me, so I owe Him a lot. Now I am trying to pay my debt.

If the reviews say I’m a bad writer, I care about that! Because that means I don’t communicate well and I need to work on that. I need to know that kind of thing.

Now, if the reviews say they don’t agree with my theology, I can accept that as well. It should be that way sometimes. Most of my family are theologians, and we differ theologically. I graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary and am a Biblical theologian. My two closest cousins graduated from Harvard Divinity, and one is a womanist theologian and teaches at a Methodist Seminary, the other a theologian committed to the principles of theology taught at Harvard, and who is the head of a religion department at a historically black college. We have the greatest debates at my kitchen table – we discuss Niebuhr and Bultmann, Bock and Walvoord. They cite me in their more academic books as a Biblical theologian.

A theology student could have a ball sitting at my table eating bar-b-que!

Another one of my cousins graduated from Union Theological Seminary and started a seminary in Indiana. My youngest cousin is at Yale School of Divinity. My grandfather was a Presbyterian elder, and my grandmother was a life-long A.M.E. My mother was an A.M.E. turned Baptist who never gave up her Methodist roots! My father and his only brother were both Baptist ministers. I have two cousins who are pastors in the Apostolic tradition. We have a ball when we get together. My cousins can cook for real! We don’t talk about theology all the time though, we mainly talk about projects God is calling us to at the time.

We differ on a few things, but not on how to live biblically. One of my cousins came over and said she and her husband read the chapter on marriage, and are implementing it. Now her husband is always asking, “Can we get rid of these children and go have some fun!” This book is about biblical living. And biblical living based on the Word of God works, no matter what your theological tradition.



About the Book


In Daddy’s Delight, Dr. Karia Bunting reminds women that they are God’s workmanship, His masterpiece, His “poema”. That God has intricately woven together every fiber of their being and created each one special and unique. That God, having completed His work of art, gave her to mankind as a gift.

Evident in this great care God took in fashioning woman is the importance and value of each one. So why do so many women struggle with God’s design, wishing they could change just this or that one thing about themselves?

Dr. Bunting challenges each reader to accept and embrace the truth that, regardless of what season of life she’s in, she is God’s masterpiece-not her own work of art. When God sees her, He sees His beautiful creation. A creation that yes, has some wrinkles needing to be smoothed out and yet, is one in whom is His delight to love to perfection.

View the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at
http://bit.ly/DaddysDelight.

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Beat Procrastination in 5 Simple Ways with Smart Goal Getting

The setting of goals is a step in the right direction toward achieving anything. It clearly shows that there are some good things present; such as, a purpose and some determination. But as horrible as it may sound, it achieves very little until the next step begins to be taken.

This article will show how you can go from setting your goals to achieving those same goals. It will provide a way to beat procrastination.

What was just implied may come as a little shock to some. The truth is, however, that once we state our goals, whether they be about goals for the day, goals for life, goals in school, or whatever, they are no good to us if only stated as goals.

Oftentimes, we settle for goal making, but it often ends up like so many new year's resolution - unfulfilled. After they are written we sit back,
feeling proud about ourselves, and feel like we accomplished something - but we are still procrastinating about it.

Once we understand that a goal is of no value until we initiate the action desired, then we still have not beat procrastination. We still have not gone anywhere. Here are some steps to take you from goal setting to goal reaching.

1. Review your goals.

Look at them honestly and analytically to determine what kind of goals they are. Ask yourself if these are "real" goals. This means to discern if there is a way to know when you've achieved it. If a goal is rather nebulous, then reword it to express something more tangible.

2. Make your goals measurable
Another step that will help you to beat procrastination is to take these goals that you made more realistic, and now make them measurable. For instance, if your goal is to read more books this year, and watch less television, then this is not measurable.

Or, another situation, comes from the area of weight loss. Someone says, I want to start walking more so I can lose weight.

Well the thought is there - but it is not real (lack of determination), neither measurable. But, on the other hand, if you said, I will walk two miles a day, for five days a week, so I can lose 20 pounds in three months - that is both realistic and measurable.

3. Determine a time frame for your goals

Next, take your goals and attach a time frame to each of them. If there is a large goal, or many, this needs to be broken down into workable units. Let's say, for example, that you wanted to write your first novel as one of your goals. Break this down into obtainable units, by weeks, or, if you are really busy, by months.

If you are new to writing books, and if you work, then, it might look like this:

Week one - read articles about book writing, how to do it, and take notes.

Week two - read more articles and develop a general outline of the book.

Week three - more articles, develop outline more and develop characters of the novel...

Week twenty-two - final corrections.

Week twenty-three - send to publisher.

4. Review your goals and adjust them accordingly

If you really do want to succeed, and beat procrastination, then you must review your goals and make them more realistic. If, after a week, you find that you can write two chapters a week, great, now set your written goals to match the newly discovered ability.

It is good to always keep a little pressure on yourself. And, don't forget you also need the goal of having researched and found a potential publisher - before you finish the book.

5. Begin Step one of your goals today

Wanting to beat procrastination, and doing it, are two different things. Start today to see your goals achieved - one day at a time.

About the Author

Peter Murphy is a peak performance expert. He recently produced a very popular free report that reveals how to crush procrastination and sustain lasting motivation. Apply now because it is available for a limited time only at: http://www.procrastinatorhelp.com/


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Monday, June 21, 2010

Featured Author: Ernessa T. Carter


Ernessa T. Carter has worked as an ESL teacher in Japan, a music journalist in Pittsburgh, a payroll administrator in Burbank, and a radio writer for American Top 40 with Ryan Seacrest in Hollywood. She’s also a retired L.A. Derby Doll. A graduate of Smith College and Carnegie Mellon University’s MFA program, 32 CANDLES is her first novel.

How did you start out your writing career?

Well, I've wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. I wrote a couple of unpublishable novels in high school. But then I abandoned that kind of writing and worked as a journalist for a while before receiving my MFA in Dramatic Writing from Carnegie Mellon University. I moved out to Los Angeles, and toiled away as a screenwriter and a playwright, before landing a job as a radio writer for American Top 40 w/ Ryan Seacrest. I wrote 32 CANDLES on the side, and eventually became a write-at-home mom. I originally wanted to be a novelist, so I think it's very funny that I tried on so many writing hats, when the first one I tried on was the one that fit the best.

What did you learn while writing this book?

The main character taught me so much, how to be spunky, how not to give up, how to forgive, how to achieve your own kind of happiness.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

Well, I was frustrated with many of the main characters I saw in romantic novels. They were either super-glamorous or complete sad sacks. My favorite book of all time is THE COLOR PURPLE. My second favorite book is ANNE OF GREEN GABLES. I really wanted to write a character who was both funny and painfully awkward.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Navigating self-doubt is a bear. The voices in my head telling me that I can't do it remain my toughest enemy. But I can't hate on them. They keep me honest and hungry and let me know that I must really love writing, because I certainly wouldn't put up with them if I didn't.

If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?

I met a very famous author in college and found her patronizing, removed, and rather ridiculous, so now I try not to meet my heroes if I can. So here's who I'm actively avoiding: Alice Walker, Junot Diaz, and Marian Keyes

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

I actually think it's for the best that I didn't know that 1) The more success you have, the more anxiety you have, 2) Writing isn't a romantic job. It's a job-job and really hard work. 3) No matter how much you write, your grammar and spelling is just going to get worse as the years go by.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

DO write everyday, even if it's only for twenty minutes. DON'T start looking for an agent after you finish your first draft. If you've only written one draft of your book, it's not ready to go out.

I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?

My author fantasy is actually quite dull: to sell enough books to keep me in writing contracts until I die. I want to die writing like Ida B. Wells, just keel over on top of my keyboard when I'm in my hundreds. The rest is just gravy and nothing I actively fantasize about.

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

I've had a few people tell me that I'm lucky to have such an easy job. I think they say this because I love my job. But seriously Confucius lied to all of us. No matter how much you love this job, it will still seem like hard work, mainly because it is really hard work.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry?

Start a blog before you send out your novel. The worst? You have to know someone or be a celebrity to get a deal these days. That's so untrue. Work your craft and the deal will come.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?

It changes every year, because I try to go to all the places I really want to go, no matter how tight my budget is. When I was growing up in St. Louis, we went to Mississippi every other summer and Chicago once. I used to look at the globe and dream of going to every country I saw. So now I'm a bit of a world traveler. I worked in Japan for a year and traveled all around the Eastern Hemisphere. I recently fulfilled a lifelong dream to visit Scotland and I'm currently plotting a 2011 family trip to take gelato classes in Italy. In a couple of years, I'm going to have to go to Cameroon to research my third novel, but I won't worry about that trip until I'm done with the rough draft.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I still read comic books and I absolutely adore graphic novels.

Our theme for this month is Reaching Your Goals?

How did it feel to reach your publishing goal? It's funny, because it's a bit like the notion of happily ever after. You're happy to have finally met your prince, but now the hard work of raising a family and maintaining a marriage begins. Getting published is just like that. You kiss your publisher, the music swells, and now you have to raise your career. It's still happily ever after, but it's not all birds landing on your finger and singing along with you.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

Absolutely nothing.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

It's called THE AWESOME GIRLS GUIDE TO DATING EXTRAORDINARY MEN; it has three main characters: a comedian, a musician, and an accountant; it takes place over two years; it's about friendship, career, family, and (most of all) love.

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


Feel free to send me an email at etc@32candles.com or visit my website at www.32candles.com



32 Candles

Davie—an ugly duckling growing up in small-town Mississippi—is positive her life couldn’t be any worse. She has the meanest mother in the South, possibly the world, and on top of that, she’s pretty sure she’s ugly. Just when she’s resigned herself to her fate, she sees a movie that will change her life—Sixteen Candles. But in her case, life doesn’t imitate art. Tormented endlessly in school with the nickname “Monkey Night,” and hopelessly in unrequited love with a handsome football player, James Farrell, Davie finds that it is bittersweet to dream of Molly Ringwald endings. When a cruel school prank goes too far, Davie leaves the life she knows and reinvents herself in the glittery world of Hollywood—as a beautiful and successful lounge singer in a swanky nightclub. Davie is finally a million miles from where she started—until she bumps into her former obsession, James Farrell. To Davie’s astonishment, James doesn’t recognize her, and she can’t bring herself to end the fantasy. She lets him fall as deeply in love with her as she once was with him. But is life ever that simple? Just as they’re about to ride off into the sunset, the past comes back with a vengeance, threatening to crush Davie’s dreams.



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Friday, June 18, 2010

Featured Author: Brian Ganges


Author and motivational speaker Brian Ganges is a native of New Jersey who now resides in Texas . He has been graced with a fresh and relevant word for many of today’s real life issues and concerns. His unique style and perspective, coupled with his light-hearted candor brings the message of hope and overcoming adversity to light, as only he can. His ideas are enlightening and thought provoking, which allows his growing audience to gain timely insights and encouragement from every article, book, radio show and seminar. Mr. Ganges deals with topics, such as, but not limited to, principles for daily living, politics, health related topics, economics, and relationships, which are always from a Christian viewpoint.

PIECING THE PUZZLE TOGETHER

We’ve heard the phrase, “You’re so heavenly-minded that you’re of no earthly good.” Conversely, you can also be so secularly minded that you’re of no spiritual good. To empower and enrich our lives, we need to find a balance between the two extremes.

Life is the enigma of making responsible decisions and choices to everyday situations. We rely on our own understanding to guide us, but without a manual, we risk the probability of going through life with a one-dimensional view of our existence. But there is truth in the Word, and the Bible says, “Lead not to your own understanding” and as such we need to implement the balancing mechanisms that give us the ability to stay grounded and centered. Only when we properly discern our circumstances and ourselves can we come to the right conclusions to map out our lives, according to God’s master plan for our lives.

Many people seek the truth of life, and others have fragmented and compartmentalized pieces of the truth. Piecing the Puzzle Together shows you how to bring it all together: from raising children, to relating to your co-workers, to getting involved politically. This how-to book will start you with the firm foundation on which you can build a principled life. You will gain victory after victory once error is replaced with truth, conjecture is replaced with discernment, true knowledge is joined with wisdom, defeat is replaced with victory and hope, and religion is replaced with a right relationship with God.

In this blueprint of life situations, Brian Ganges skillfully, brilliantly and clearly gives us a human manual to tackle the elements that affect us as human beings, so that we may walk the walk in the manner in which God intends.

How did you start out your writing career?

My writing career started out in 2007 when I started my blog. I didn’t see and/or hear many people articulating my beliefs and thoughts, so I decided to write my own political, religious and other views online.

What did you learn while writing this book?

I learned that writing is an outlet, but it is a lot of work to go from conceptualization of the book, to the bookstore. People see the end result, but never realize the behind the scenes toil to get to the finish line.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

I want people to digest my book and see that God is not a hard taskmaster. We don’t have to act religious to try and impress people or God. We can just live life, have fun, and still be a true Christian that loves God and His Word. Balance is the key!

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

I am still overcoming this obstacle, and that is encouraging men to read substantive material.

If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?

I would love to talk with: the Apostle Paul because the inspiration that he received (approximately ¾ of the New Testament) is still changing the world nearly 2,000 years later; G. Edward Griffin is a great historian writer with a tremendous grasp on world events. I love history and current events; and Alex Haley...I’m sure I could glean something from a man that wrote a classic.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Do pursue what is in your heart to write and don’t procrastinate. Doors will open for you when you are ready, so get ready and watch those doors open.

I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?

My author fantasy would be to collaborate with a respected name in the industry and turn a book into a movie. I don’t exactly know with whom I would like to collaborate and under which genre, but joining forces in the big screen is a goal.

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

I would like for people to understand that a book doesn’t just appear on a shelf. It takes planning, timing, writing, editing, printing, publishing, marketing, etc.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?

The best advice was to watch other authors and their publishers, because actions speak louder than words. The other best advice was to take responsibility for your own work. I haven’t received any bad advice; I would like for that trend to continue.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?

I would travel to Israel and see where the Savior lived and where the New Testament started.

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

I love watching the Three Stooges and playing Play Station.

Our theme for this month is Reaching Your Goals. How did it feel to reach your publishing goal?

It is a dream from many years ago, and to see it finally manifest was very rewarding and humbling.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

I know for sure that I am called to write and to speak about what I write.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

My next book is called, “Lord, Please Deliver Me From Church Folks.” It is an expose that takes a look at and corrects many of the most popular false doctrines, phony and religious attitudes of today’s Christians churches.

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

Readers can contact me for book sales, to schedule a speaking engagement or general inquiries via my website: www.brianganges.co
m and my email address is bgnjtx@yahoo.com

Leave your name and address for a chance to win a copy of Piecing The Puzzle Together

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Sins of the Mother Blog Tour

Victoria Christopher Murray originally self published Temptation. “I wanted to write a book as entertaining as any book on the market, put God in the middle, and have the book still be a page-turner. I wasn’t writing to any particular genre – I didn’t even know Christian fiction existed. I just wanted to write about people I knew and characters I could relate to.”

Since Temptation, Victoria has written seven other novels and was a contributor to the first Christian fiction anthology, Blessed Assurance. She was also the Contributing Editor for the Aspire Women of Color Bible published by Zondervan in 2007. All of her novels have continued to be Essence bestsellers.

In 2008, Victoria’s first novels in her Christian fiction teen series - The Divine Divas – were published. “I was concerned with what our young ladies were reading. I decided to do something about that – give them stories full of drama, but with a message.” The Divine Divas has already been optioned to become a television series.

Victoria splits her time between Los Angeles and Washington D.C. In Los Angeles, she attends Bible Enrichment Fellowship International Church under the spiritual tutelage of Dr. Beverly “BAM” Crawford and in Washington, D.C., she fellowships at Metropolitan Baptist Church under Dr. H. Beecher Hicks, Jr. She is also a member of the Long Beach Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority.

Visit Victoria online at
http://www.victoriachristophermurray.com/

Tell us about Sins of the Mother.

Sins of the Mother is the final installment in the Jasmine Cox Larson Bush series. A woman who has committed many sins, Jasmine now has to face the question, has the sins of the mother come upon the daughter, when Jasmine's daughter is kidnapped. As the days go by, no one knows if the child will ever be found.

How did you come up with ideas for this book?

Years ago, I lived in New York when a six year old boy was kidnapped. He was the first one to appear on milk cartons and I have wondered over the years, what this journey has been like for the young boy's mother, since her son was never found. I wanted to explore that story.

Who are your main character(s)?

The main character is the recurring, Jasmine Cox Larson Bush.

Did you have a favorite character(s)? Who and why?

No, not really a favorite. I enjoy all my characters because I work on making them different. Each brings their own strengths and weaknesses.

Did you have to do quite a bit of research for this novel?

I don't do a lot of research because I write from an emotional place. You can't find that on the Internet.

What do you hope readers will learn/discover from reading Sins of the Mother?

You know, I write to entertain - I'm not trying to teach or preach. I'm always so happy when readers do take away a message, but here's something I've discovered - everyone takes away a different message. If I tried to put in just one single message, I'd miss the opportunity for readers to discover their own messages.

Okay, a not-so-fun question. How important are reviews to you as a writer?

That's an interesting question - I'm not sure they're important to the writer...they're important to the reader. A writer should not change what they're writing based on reviews - if they do, they're not going to write from their heart. So, reviews are important - for the readers.


About the Book


Have the sins of the mother come upon the daughter?

Jasmine Larson Bush is finally living a drama-free life. She’s left her lying, cheating, stealing stripper days behind and is standing by her husband’s side as the first lady of one of the largest churches in New York City. The Bushes have been blessed with the best of everything—including two lovely children.

But just when Jasmine has committed her life completely to God, her daughter Jacqueline is kidnapped from a mall the day after Thanksgiving. The police and the church community join in the frantic search to find the four-year-old. As the days pass without any sign of her daughter, Jasmine begins to crack under the strain and turns to Brian Lewis, Jacqueline’s biological father, for solace.

Has Jasmine’s past finally caught up to her? Will her daughter be found or will Jasmine pay the ultimate price?

View the blog tour schedule and read an excerpt at
http://bit.ly/SinsoftheMother.


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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

COLUMN: Fresh Manna: Breaking of Bread From Heaven


“You must have beautiful feet.” When a friend spoke these words to me a few years ago, I responded, “Huh!” My befuddled facial expression gave her permission to proceed.

“You are always the bearer of good news.” Later, I discovered her observations were based on the scripture recorded in Romans 10:15, “…How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”

As a writer and speaker, I am an encourager at heart. My ultimate goal is to share some good news to my readers and audiences by encouraging their hearts and transforming their lives through the spoken or written word. Negative speaking comes easy, but speaking positive faith-filled words or good news comes with careful thought and practice.

Daily, we are inundated with “Breaking News” worldwide concerning the meltdown or slow recovery process of the economy, the devastations of earthquakes, floods, war casualties, the recent oil spill, and the list is endless. Radio stations and prime time television news networks like ABC, NBC, and CBS flood the airwaves with bad news. And let’s not forget the 24- hour news cycle on cable networks like CNN, MSNBC, FOX News, etc. When we pick up The Washington Post or The New York Times newspapers or browse through Time or Newsweek magazines, the same story lines are reported on these pages too. Where on this God-created earth can we find some good news? I am so glad you asked.

The good news of the Gospel surrounds us daily. If writers who are Christians fail to share the good news of the Gospel to others, who will do it? When speaking and mentoring to writers and non-writers alike, I encourage them to use the power of their pens and the spoken word to share the Gospel which is also interpreted as “good news.” The Bible let us know that life and death is in the power of our tongues. I will speak the Zoë life that is found in the good news of the Gospel, and as the Psalmist records in Psalm 45:1, “…my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.”

In Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose” (NKJV). This reference does not say all things work together for the good of all people. Nor does it say that God is the bearer of “bad news.” He does not sanction bad news or tragedies as good. Contrary to public opinion, the rain (meaning trouble) falls on everyone. Trouble is not partial. Trouble is not prejudice to a certain race or gender. The Bible says God sends rain on the just and the unjust (Matthew 5:45).


The good news of the Gospel is that our Sovereign God can and He will turn the situations around for our good. He can and He will turn them around to accomplish His will and purposes in the lives of His people on the earth. The good news of the Gospel says, “God loves us with an everlasting love.” His love is great towards us. He loves us unconditionally (no strings attached). Now, that is really good news. He loves us so much that He gave His only Son, that who-so-ever (and I am a who-so-ever) believes in Him shall not perish, but they shall have everlasting life.

Do you want to keep your feet looking beautiful with or without your routine pedicure? You can do it! Write the good news! Speak the good news everywhere He sends you. Every time you share the glad tidings, the good news of the Gospel to those in your sphere of influence, you are beautifying your feet.

Journaling Assignment: On your personal stationery or a blank greeting card (please, no emails or texting), handwrite a personal note to a distant friend, relative, or co-worker. Share God’s love and the good news of the Gospel with them.

Happy reading & journaling!

Claudia Newby-Tynes, entrepreneur of Write 4U, is an author, speaker, teacher, and mentor. She has written two books and is a contributor to one. Claudia has approximately 200+ published credits online and in print publications. She served as both a columnist for The Spirit-Led Writer and a planning committee/faculty member for the Sandy Cove Christian Writers’ Conference. She is married and has one grown son. For more information, visit
http://claudiatynes.com/.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

FEATURED AUTHOR: Shonell Bacon

Editor’s Note: I’m so excited to be able to introduce you to someone I met online when I first decided to find online writers groups. Shonell and I belong to a few groups and worked together in the beginning of SORMAG. Shonell is an excellent editor and I’ve always admired her for her commitment to the writing industry. Her online magazine The Nubian Chronicles was one of the first online magazines I read.

It is always a pleasure to promote a friend. Go out and help her become a best seller.



A true wordsmith, Shonell Bacon works hard at writing stories that tap into the universal and helping writers become better at their craft. She has published both creatively (novels, short stories) and academically (textbooks). Currently, Shonell is busy pursuing her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. You can visit her at http://shonbacon.com.

How did you start out your writing career?

Well, I started writing way before I had a career. I was ten when I first started writing with the thought that I’d like to do it for a living. My actual “career” started in 1999/2000 when I met JDaniels. We were the founders of The Nubian Chronicles and once we realized we both had the passion for writing, we hooked up and wrote both LuvAlwayz: The Opposite Sex and Relationships and Draw Me with Your Love online via e-mails and chats. We initially self-published LuvAlwayz, but that was short-lived as Zane picked us up through Strebor Books.


What did you learn while writing this book?

While writing Death at the Double Inkwell, I learned that I could write a mystery. Prior to DDIW, most works I wrote were relationship/romantic-oriented or literary, so writing DDIW allowed me to stretch my writing skills.


What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

A little recognition as a solo writer wouldn’t be a bad thing, :-) I’m hoping that having my first solo project published will push to me seek publication for other works of mine and to finally kick start the Double Inkwell mystery series I wanted to write but stopped working on after the hard time I had getting DDIW published.


What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

Well, it’s a test I still face as a writer—getting others to see that black writers do not fit into one genre, that we are multifaceted and that there is no one way to “write black.”

If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?

Bernice McFadden – I’m her number one fan and although I’ve interviewed her several times in the last ten years, I would love to just spend a day with her, picking her brain about writing and the industry.

ZZ Packer – she’s my second fave author. Met her when she came to my university years back and was able to introduce her at a reading. I love her writing and I love that she didn’t change her voice to get her work published.

Carlos Ruiz Zafón – I just want to bask in his brilliance, LOL I ADORED his book, The Shadow of the Wind—was just beyond decadent.


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

1- Just because you give and support others does not mean they will support you.
2- Having a well-written book does not a book deal make.
3- You can sit on what you think is your best book for ten years before someone sees the goodness in it that you see.


Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?




DO study the craft. It’s great that you love to write, but if you don’t study the craft, you will not grow as a writer.

DON’T give up. Believe me, I gave up several times, but the love of writing and the true belief that I had something worthy of sharing kept me coming back to the words and the pursuit of publication.

I borrowed this question from Author Carleen Brice, What is your author fantasy?

To be a full-time PAID writer (both fiction and screenplays) who can choose to teach (or whatever else I might want to do) because she wants to and not because she has to in order to pay the bills.


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

It’s not a hobby. I never got this a lot, if at all. In my life, I’ve been blessed to be around people who saw that whatever I was interested in was worth being interested in. However, I do know of other writers who have had to explain why they spends hours upon hours at their computers, writing, hoping to get their foot in the door of Publishdom.


What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?

The best – Love what you write and don’t change who you are and what you believe as a writer just to get a deal.

Don’t think I’ve ever gotten a bad piece of advice about the industry. As a novice, back in the day, I might have thought, “Hmm, they are crazy,” but I soon learned the wisdom in their advice.


If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?

Sounds funny, but Maine. I plan to retire there someday and fish in the morning and write in the evening.

After that, London. Any place that Shakespeare spent some time can’t be too bad of a place.


What is something readers would be surprised you do?




I don’t know if there is anything, LOL I’ve been known to do a little of everything. Here’s something most don’t know—I play a lot on Second Life, and I’m even a part of a sorority on SL.

Our theme for this month is Reaching Your Goals? How did it feel to reach your publishing goal?

Hard work and believing in divine providence. There have been moments when something happened and I knew I had to jump on it. Case in point, I had been working with Lady Leo Publishing for a while as an editor, and I had a few of my short stories electronically published through them. But I hadn’t been thinking about getting a book published for some time. My interest had moved to screenwriting as I had gotten very disenchanted with the publishing industry. One day, I got a group e-mail stating that LLP was opening up to print publication again, and I just paused and thought, “This is the time.” And I submitted DDIW to LLP and it was accepted for publication. You have to be open to see and hear and feel the opportunities around you.


Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

I know that I am a good storyteller that will only get better, and others want to read what I write—even if they don’t know it yet, :-)


Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

Actually, right now, I’m working on a screenplay. I wrote the first 100 pages in April during Script Frenzy, and I’m hoping to finish it this summer and revise the crap out of it! It’s untitled right now, but the story is about a woman who returns to her life after a 10-year bid for killing her husband with one thing on her mind: reuniting with the daughter who hates her. In the excerpt below, Peighton (the main character) has been having a hard time getting her daughter (Montgomery) to talk to her. Peighton’s friends decide to help her out—with not great results.


INT. DALLAS AND PEIGHTON’S APARTMENT - MORNING

We see Peighton walk in, wetter than before. She’s smiling.

She walks down the hall and turns. Stops.

PEIGHTON
Oh my God. What in the hell is going on here?

In the LIVING ROOM, we see Carla, Jessica, Georgia, and Dallas scrunched up on the sofa and Montgomery in a dining chair before them. Her hands and legs are tied to the chair. A bandana is tied over her mouth. Montgomery doesn’t look scared. She looks furious.

Like her mother.

Peighton rushes to Montgomery and kneels before her.

PEIGHTON (CONT’D)
(rambles)
Baby, are you OK? I’m so sorry. I knew nothing about this. I’ve missed you so much. I never wanted to leave you. I would never hurt you, you know this, right? I love you.

Peighton removes the bandana from around Montgomery’s face.

Montgomery stares at her for a beat.

MONTGOMERY
So, you gonna do me in like you did my father?

Peighton falls back as if slapped to the ground. She stays there, staring at Montgomery.

The girls stay silent and watch.

Peighton lowers her head.

The room is quiet.

When Peighton lifts her head, anger radiates from her.

PEIGHTON
The ignorance is about to leave your mouth, Montgomery. You want to keep throwing that up in my face? You think I don’t know what I’ve done? You think I haven’t thought about, haven’t seen what I’ve done for the last ten years?

Slowly, Peighton stands and hovers over Montgomery.

PEIGHTON (CONT’D)
How about this...your father beat my ass because it was Tuesday. Because it was Saturday. Because it was 5:32 in the freaking afternoon. Nobody would help me. Nobody would help us, you and me.

Peighton walks away, turns and faces Montgomery. Montgomery is staring at nothing in particular.

PEIGHTON (CONT’D)
You probably don’t remember me holding you while I sat in the closet, hoping he would forget I even existed. I did not want to die. And I know had he lived, I would have died. It was me or him, and God didn’t seem to be opening any avenues for me. I had to live.

Montgomery looks at Peighton.

MONTGOMERY
Can I go now?


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

My e-mail address is sdb6812@hotmail.com. I’ve had it since Creation! Readers can also check out my official website,
http://shonbacon.com. On the site, I have a page dedicated to DDIW, http://shonbacon.com/ddiw. On that page, I will be showcasing podcasts (excerpts and my journey to publication) and commentaries I write relating to themes within the book. Also, readers can hook up with me on Twitter (http://twitter.com/chicklitgurrl) and on Facebook (http://facebook.com/shonbacon).



Death At The Double Inkwell

Sometimes life is stranger than fiction; take the lives of mystery novelists and twins, Jovan Parham-Anderson and Cheyenne Parham. They are young, beautiful, talented, and on their way to their sixth best-selling novel; that is, until Jo learns her husband, Cordell Anderson, founder of Anderson Technologies, is having an affair with Alisha Stewart, his right hand at Anderson. Before she can confront him, tragedy strikes her home, and Jovan must deal with the fact that the careful, safe life she had with Cordell was merely smoke and mirrors.

Leave your name and email address for a chance to win a copy of Death At The Double Inkwell.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

SORMAG's Inspiration June - Jacquelin Thomas


Samson Taylor has just been installed as assistant pastor at a thriving North Carolina church. He’s a man of God—and most definitely no saint. Handsome and charismatic, Samson is controlled by his lust for beautiful women, a weakness that stirs up trouble, heartache, betrayal, and damaging rumors—and soon costs him his marriage, his best friendship, and even his new job. Samson loves God and tries harder than ever to keep his temptations in check. Then he meets Delinda. . . .Beautiful, irresistibly sexy, and married to a famous NBA star, Delinda has Samson head-over-heels in love . . . in a dangerous affair that leads to a physical confrontation with Delinda’s husband.Now, the disgraced pastor begins a journey he could never have anticipated, where his heart is now his guide—not a heart of lust, but of new wisdom and a new kind of seeing. God will forgive Samson’s past—but will Samson himself be able to let go of bitterness and regret, and find a new light in his life?

Inspired by the Biblical tale of Samson and Delilah, Jacquelin Thomas powerfully portrays a modern-day pastor’s dance with earthly desires . . . and the faith that made him whole.

Jacquelin Thomas is the national bestselling and award-winning author whose many adult novels include Defining Moments, Saved in the City, Soul Journey, A Change Is Gonna Come, The Prodigal Husband, and Singsation. Her short fiction is featured in the Pocket Books anthology Have a Little Faith. A driving force in the world of Christian fiction, she is the founder and producer of the annual Faith-Based Arts Conference, an event showcasing authors in the field.

Visit her website at http://www.jacquelinthomas.com/
.

SORMAG would like to thank Ms. Jacquelin for inspiring us.


SORMAG is hosting a live Tele-book Party with Jacquelin Thomas
for her Samson blog tour - June 11th.

7P/PST - 9P/CST - 10P/CST

Call In: 605 475-4700

Access: 176632#

Hope you can make the call!






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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Shades Of Romance Reader's Choice Awards 2010 Winners

I would like to thank everyone who came out to vote this year.
We had record breaking 570 votes.

Congrats to this year winners.

Fiction Book Of The Year
Serving Justice - Jacqueline Moore

Romance Book Of The Year
Once You’ve Touched The Heart - Iris Bolling

Non Fiction Book Of The Year
Lord I'm Ready To Be A Wife - Christine Pembleton

Christian Fiction Book Of The Year
Secrets and Lies - Rhonda McKnight

Children/Young Adult Book Of The Year
The Ledge - Travon Epps

Self Published Fiction Book Of The Year
The Ledge - Travon Epps

Poetry Book Of The Year
Colors of a Man - Tia Stewart

New Author Of The Year– Featured Author on SORMAG
Rhonda McKnight

Self Published Author Of The Year-Featured Author on SORMAG
Travon Epps

Children/Young Adult Author Of The Year – Featured Author on SORMAG
Travon Epps

Poet Of The Year – Featured on SORMAG
Shelia M. Goss

Romance Author Of The Year– Featured on SORMAG
Iris Bolling

Christian Author Of The Year – Featured Author on SORMAG
Rhonda McKnight

Author Of The Year - Featured Author on SORMAG
Iris Bolling

Featured Blog Tour on SORMAG
THE SOMEDAY LIST - Stacy Hawkins Adams



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SORMAG Workshops - Summer and Fall


It’s that time of year when you want to get your learning on.

We are gearing up for our summer and fall teleseminars. We will be hosting them on the phone and we’re looking for a few good workshop instructor.

This is a great way to make a some money for the summer/fall and share your wisdom with our community.

If you would like to be a presenter send an email to
sormag@yahoo.com and I’ll send you the instructor letter.


Do you have a workshop need?


Tell us what type of workshops you want to see this year. You might get lucky and get what you want. Leave your suggestions in the comment section


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Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Featured Author: Victor McGlothin


Essence bestselling author Victor McGlothin is a former bank vice-president who nearly forfeited an athletic scholarship due to poor reading skills. Ultimately, he overcame that obstacle and later completed a Masters degree in Human Relations & Business. Victor is currently working on future two movie projects.

How did you start out your writing career?

I started a writing career after reading my first African American novel. I was almost thirty and reluctant to read anything other than financial reports pertaining to my banking career. Upon fininshing "Brothers and Sisters" I was convinced I could also write an interesting story worth the price of purchase. 18 months later, it was finished and so was I. Or, so I thought. It was harder than I imagined but I was addicted.

What did you learn while writing this book?

What did I learn while writing "The Secrets of Newberry"? Through researching New Orleans and its rich culture, I realized that Voodoo, Black Magic, faith, hope and determination can co-exist in a riveting story created to be savored and shared liberally... like gumbo.

What did you hope to accomplish with this book?

With this novel, I hope to inspire my readers to grasp a handful of history when enjoying the story. Eventhough this is a fictional depiction of old New Orleans and the surrounding areas, the flavor is as authentic as home made Etouffee'. Okay, now I'm getting hungry.

What is the toughest test you've faced as a writer?

The toughest test I've faced as a writer is staying true to my original story concepts. With each new book proposal, there is always a possibility of allowing the story to dictate the pace and prospective. Remaining focused on the outline, written aforehand, is so difficult once the characters have their say. Especially those with the steepest bravado.

If you had the opportunity to talk with three writers, who would you choose and why?

If I had the opportunity to sit down with three authors, I'd invite Walter Mosley, John Grisham, and Valerie Wilson Wesley. I've been a huge fan their work and feel a certain kinship to their gritty and descriptive writing styles. Every time I crease the spine on one of their titles, it's like listening to a well told story on the back porch. I love it.

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

Actually, I don't have any regrets or things that I wished I'd discovered earlier in my writing career. I honestly believe that trials and experiences have a purpose and a perfect place in the lives of writers. If any one of them are taken out of place or deleted, it could negatively effect everything that follows it. Because I'm a take it as it comes kind of guy, I never look back and wince. Never.

Can you give us one do and one don’t for those aspiring to be a writer?

Do's and Don't for aspiring writers: Do write what you believe will make a great story. Don't write anything else.

I borrowed this question from Author Carleene Brice, What is your author fantasy?

My author fantasy? I dream of working with Ice Cube, Mekhi Phifer and Jamie Foxx on a romantic comedy that spins off into a television sitcom. Does that count?

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

I would like non-writers to understand that writers expose ourselves in every story we share, including the depths of our souls.

What was the best advice you’d ever gotten about the publishing industry? The worst?

The best and worst advice I've received as an author were both from E. Lynn Harris. He told me to grasp the idea of a franchise character that readers look forward to loving or loving to hate, time and time again. What I would consider the worst, "to stay published". Although I agree wholeheartedly with the advice, I also believe it provides excuses for authors to do and/or say anything to stay published; including writing junk with hopes of remaining relavant.

If you could visit any place in the world where would you travel to?

I would travel back in time to New Orleans during the mid 50's and take all of my friends with me. That's why I wrote "The Secrets of Newberry."

What is something readers would be surprised you do?

Readers might be surprised that I cook dinner for my family at least 3 times a week. Nobody died yet.

Our theme for this month is Reaching Your Goals? How did it feel to reach your publishing goal?

After landing my first book deal, I dreamed of having three books on the shelf. Then, I imagined ten titles with my name on them and my very own shelf at the local store. 13 books later, I'm comfortable with putting my literary career on the shelf altogether. My new goals reflect feature films for the big screen. It should always be about moving forward.

Oprah always asks, What do you know for sure?

What I know for sure: I was meant to write thought-provoking novels. Now, I'm meant to do something else.

Can you give us a sneak peek of your next book?

No "next novel" sneak preview. This is it. Get a copy!

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

Readers can contact me via my website: http://www.victormcglothin.com/
or email me personally at Thewritebrother@hotmail.com


"The Secrets of Newberry"

For Ivory Bones Arcineaux and Julian Bynote, life in 1950s New Orleans couldn't be sweeter. Friends since they met in an illegal gambling house in Newberry, Louisiana, they have their pick of all the fine women, good food, and hot nights they can handle. They seem to have it made-especially Julian who begins to make a new life for himself after meeting the beautiful, classy Magnolia Garbo at a social. But both men are about to find out that letting the good times roll can be deadly when a simple robbery goes wrong and Julian witnesses Bones murdering a man in cold blood. The victim was a white city councilman with all the right connections-and if the two are discovered, it will mean the end to everything they've built together. With the New Orleans police hot on their trail, Julian must decide whether rolling in the fast lane is worth losing his freedom and his life.


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About Me

My photo
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
Lectures
Seminars
Freelancing
Contact me at:lchwriter@gmail.com

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