Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Virtual Book Tour,  Loyal, a Young Adult Novel
Releasing August 30, 2016

About The Author
Yasmin Shiraz is an author, filmmaker, speaker and activist. She uses her passion for life to fuel her books, documentaries, speaking engagements and social activities. She’s spoken at over 100 colleges, universities, middle schools and high schools as well as non-profit organizations. 
She’s an award winning Writer/ Director and enjoys producing work on youth and community issues. By day, she’s the President of Still Eye Rise Media and runs the Yasmin Shiraz website.

About The Book

When a teen girl discovers her brother has been shot, she learns about firsthand about loyalty. Should her brother be more loyal to her or the gang members he's so eager to impress?

Purchase Link

Connect Socially
Tour hosted by WNL Book Tours 

Ten Things You Don’t Know About Author Yasmin Shiraz

1.  For three seasons, I was the casting director for a home improvement show on the DIY network. I love working in the entertainment business so when this opportunity arose, I embraced it and learned so much. I wrote books in the evening after I finished casting the show.

2.  I went to Lil’ Wayne’s 16th birthday party in New Orleans. Yep, that happened. His big gift? A yellow two-seater Mercedes Benz.

3. I’m a fan of spinach smoothies. About a year ago I read about how green vegetables are good for your skin. Well, I decided to test the theory and started drinking spinach smoothies. I have discovered that spinach is great for my skin.

4. I taught college Sociology and Psychology courses at two different colleges. Though I loved teaching Sociology. I wasn’t a fan of teaching Psychology.

5. I’m a staunch supporter of meditation. When I was teaching college classes one of my students gave me a book on meditation. I read the book and have been a fan of meditation ever since. Meditating helps me to sleep better and relieves frustration.

6. I interviewed the famous lawyer Johnny Cochran about the OJ Simpson case.  Talking to him was like having a chat with greatness—truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

7. I do not eat gluten.  A few years ago a doctor told me to try to go gluten free for a few days to see if I’d feel better. Within three days, stomach issues cleared up and skin problems reduced. Eliminating gluten helped my overall health.

8. I was once suspended from high school for five days for fighting. A girl was taunting me and I sorta snapped in biology class. 

9.  I’ve been doing headstands since I was 4 years old. From time to time, when I’m doing yoga, my daughter or son will take a picture of me doing a headstand and I’ll post it on social media. None of my friends can believe I can do a headstand. But, the reality is: “I’ve been doing them my whole life.”  

10. I worked with a vocal coach so that I could learn to professionally narrate my own audio books. I’m so proud to say that my first novel, Exclusive, is now an audio book narrated by yours truly.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

Welcome Author Kristen Marquardt to my Blog!

Releasing Jesus from the Weeds

Published on July 21st, 2016
Published by WestBow Press
Published as Christian/Inspirational Poetry & Short Stories

From the pew to the pulpit to prayer, Kristen Marquardt’s writing has been serving God’s People in Connecticut for over thirty years. Her unique style in prose, poetry, and short story reminds us of our shared humanity and how our faith and faith struggles are no different than those of both biblical characters and the people we see everyday in our daily walk. With rare insight, Marquardt looks deeply into faith and strips away the boundaries that we all assume exist, reminding us that our hope is not ours alone, we all share a common path as God’s children.

"Kristen is a gifted writer, a writer that stirs the soul and causes us to think more openly the existence of God in ordinary life. I call Kristen a wisdom writer." ~ Rev. Dr. Sharon Ledbetter

You can buy the book from:

About the Author

Kristen Marquardt has been serving the church and God both volunteer and professionally for over 30 years, starting as a Sunday School teacher, CE Director, and Licensed Pastor. She holds a dual B..A. from Connecticut College in English Literature and Environmental Science and an M.S. In Theology and the Arts from Andover Newton Theological Seminary. She lives in Connecticut in a multigenerational home with her husband and many pets. She enjoys her family, writing, gardening and so much more...

Monday, July 18, 2016

Welcome Teresa B. Howell to My Blog!

I love being able to introduce new authors. 
Here is my interview with new author, Teresa B. Howell.

Tell us about your journey to publication. 

My journey was a true learning curve. I made a lot of mistakes starting out by listening to people who misrepresented their talents and skills. I began to research diligently and learned not only how to self publish but also how to help others through this process. It took about a year of trial and error but I made it!

What is the takeaway message for the novel? 
The takeaway message is in spite of our title or position, we are all still human and will continuously make mistakes in order to grow.

What inspired you to write the book?
The death of a very close family member started me on this path.  I wrote songs and poetry every once in awhile but I really took writing seriously after my tragedy.  It was very therapeutic and became my inspiration to write other books.

What other authors do you read/recommend? 
I enjoy reading Kimberela Lawson Roby, Alice Walker, and Octavia Butler

Do you have any Advice to any aspiring writers?
Research, research, and more research

About the Author

Much like her book, which is about real life obstacles that detour us from the church and our faith. Teresa B. Howell brings dynamic truth to finding spirituality after realizing you have let the flesh have too much power. Teresa B. Howell is an Exceptional Children’s Director that has two Master Degrees in education and leadership.  She has received numerous awards and accolades in her profession, dedicated to mentoring and teaching students within the school system.  Teresa was born and raised in the church.  She witnessed the good and the not so good while not only attending, but also serving in various capacities in different church organizations.  Teresa decided in July 2015 to put her experiences and observations on paper, and her first novel That Church Life was born.  She aspires to be more than just the average Christian Author, which can be noted in her writing style.  Teresa’s literary path is inspired by her faith, family, and close friends.  She currently lives in Durham, NC with her husband and children.

About the Book

Purchase Your Copy
The Church Gal Crew is leading the way to Salvation at Mt. Zion Holiness Church. Feisty Natalia Freemon is the “head” of the crew. Rebellious and outspoken, she has no problems challenging the church status quo. Years later however, her loss of faith will tragically impact her life.
Michelle Hanks, a country girl from a hardworking farm family is the peacemaker and “soul” of the crew. Although struggling with self-confidence she is wise beyond her years and can’t wait to escape the farm life and find success; even if it costs her soul.
Missy Jones, the “heart” of the crew, has the face of an angel and a voice sent from heaven. A pastor’s daughter raised in the church, Missy loves the ministry and her place in it. But the flesh is tempting, especially when it comes in the form of sexy church musician and Mt. Zion playboy Tommy.
In spite of her dedication to the word, Missy falls hard for Tommy, and then falls out of favor with the church. Trapped in a cycle of relationship abuse, Missy’s world is falling apart until Beanie, a reformed stick-up man turned Deacon, shows her real love. But when tragedy strikes, Missy is torn between the truth, that could jeopardize everything she loves, or a lie that could be her damnation.
These three best friends drift away from each other and the church but come back together through spiritual downfall, relationship crises, drug addiction, and even murder. Just some of the drama you’ll find, in that church life!

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Friday, July 15, 2016

A Sit-Down with Brand New Author: LaChelle Weaver.

I had the pleasure of interviewing brand new author, LaChelle Weaver. I read Sister Surrogate and simply had to ask her three questions.

1. What inspired you to write Sister Surrogate and how did you come up with the title?
I was in a nail salon getting a pedicure a few years ago flipping through a magazine, and I came across an ad about cervical cancer that featured three Caucasian sisters of which the youngest suffered from it. She was newly married with no children when she was diagnosed and she later succumbed to the disease. I said I wanted to write that story with three African-American sisters, but with a twist. The twist being the surrogacy angle. Rarely, do we hear about surrogacy in the African-American community. As for the title, that didn’t come easy. I usually struggle with titles, and as a writer I have to have a title first before I begin writing the story. So, during a brainstorming session with two of my writing sisters, I discussed with them my struggle and they helped me come up with the title. 
2. What is the main message of Sister Surrogate?
I never have a particular message in mind when writing a story, but my goal as a writer is to always provide an engaging and entertaining reading experience that will hopefully spark great conversations. I’m already receiving messages from readers of Sister Surrogate who’ve been having them with their own families, friends and co-workers. It’s exciting to hear their opinions and views on the issues in Sister Surrogate.
 3. Tell us about your journey to publication. 
While Sister Surrogate is my debut novel, my first published work was in the Brown Girls Books’ bestselling and award-nominated anthology, The Dating Game where my short story, “We Ain’t the Huxtables” was featured, which came out last year. It’s been a whirlwind, but I’ve been blessed with such amazing opportunities. 

Congrats, LaChelle, I certainly wish you all the best with your debut novel.

Meet the Author

LaChelle Weaver is one of the bestselling authors of Brown Girls Books’ #1 and award-nominated anthology, The Dating Game where you can read her short story, “We Ain’t the Huxtables”.

LaChelle is a native North Carolinian and avid reader whose love for writing and storytelling spans back to childhood. An English graduate of North Carolina State University, she’s always had a passion for weaving words together to create an entertaining and engaging reading experience. Her debut novel, Sister Surrogate released on July 12, 2016 under Brown Girls Books. For more about LaChelle and to stay informed about her future projects, you can visit her at and sign up to join her mailing list.

About the Book

Purchase Your Copy

Bridgette, Ivy, and Savannah have always been close...but their sisterhood hasn't been without its challenges. Yet these sisters always manage to come together in times of need. 

When Savannah, the youngest sister, is faced with a life-altering illness, which threatens her lifelong desire to have children, one of her sisters offers to give her the ultimate gift - to become her surrogate. 

While Savannah is overwhelmed with happiness and gratitude about her impending motherhood, not everyone in the family shares her sentiments. In fact, the upcoming bundle of joy has created a discord that this family may never be able to overcome. 

 Savannah was filled with a myriad of emotions, which had become commonplace over the past few weeks. She was happy, but apprehensive at the same time. She was sad, but now, optimistic and hopeful again. Honestly, she’d never considered surrogacy. She didn’t know anything about it other than what she’d seen on TV and she would’ve never paid some stranger to carry her baby. She knew that there were cases where that hadn’t ended well for the intended parents, and she couldn’t imagine being that mother who placed all her hope on another woman fulfilling her dreams of motherhood, and then snatching it away because she’d had a sudden change of heart. It was unimaginable, but now here her sister was offering her a similar dream.  Purchase Your Copy

My Review

The bond between sisters is a strong one. No matter what Bridgette, Ivy and Savannah faced, they had each other. The question arises when reading Sister Surrogate is, should you put your sister above your immediate family? And, if you do, are you prepared to handle the consequences. But no matter what happens, the fact remains that the love between sisters is unshakeable. An intriguing read from this debut author. 

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