Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Book Review: Here and Gone by Haylen Beck

Here and GoneHere and Gone by Haylen Beck
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I finished this read in hours. Excellent storytelling. Audra, a recovering addict seems an unlikely heroine but she is a dangerous mama bear. I loved how the author brings her strength to light. Danny also drew me in with his cunning and wit. But the hero, Sean, Audra's young son showed a grit and tenacity that made this story great. What a tale filled with twists and intrigue. I loved how the author tied everything up and gave a thrilling conclusion. Definitely kept me glued until the end.

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About the Book

Here and Gone is a gripping, wonderfully tense suspense thriller about a mother's desperate fight to recover her stolen children from corrupt authorities.. 

It begins with a woman fleeing through Arizona with her kids in tow, trying to escape an abusive marriage. When she's pulled over by an unsettling local sheriff, things soon go awry and she is taken into custody. Only when she gets to the station, her kids are gone. And then the cops start saying they never saw any kids with her, that if they're gone than she must have done something with them... 

Meanwhile, halfway across the country a man hears the frenzied news reports about the missing kids, which are eerily similar to events in his own past. As the clock ticks down on the search for the lost children, he too is drawn into the desperate fight for their return.

Release Date: June 20, 2017
Purchase your Copy


Monday, January 16, 2017

Book Review: And Then There Was Me by Sadeqa Johnson

And Then There Was Me: A NovelAnd Then There Was Me: A Novel by Sadeqa Johnson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

And Then There Was Me was a thoughtful read. We meet Bea, a nurse turned housewife who struggles with bulimia. She has agreed to be a surrogate for Mena, her husband, Lonnie's cousin. Bea knows her husband Lonnie is a cheat and has put up with this for years.
This was a flawed heroine who many can relate to in many ways. I became embroiled in her journey and questioned some of Bea's choices but still, I rooted for her. At the end of And Then There Was Me, I was left with things I wondered about, but, I guess life is that way at times. I found the author's writing solid and know this read will lead to a lot of interesting discussions.

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About the Book
Bea and Awilda have been best friends from the moment Awilda threw her fourteen year-old self across Bea’s twin-sized bed as if they had known each other forever. Bubbly, adventurous Awilda taught sheltered, shy Bea how to dress, wear her hair and what to do with boys. She even introduced Bea to her husband, Lonnie, in college, who pledged to take good care of her for the rest of their lives. But philanderer Lonnie breaks that promise over and over again, leaving Bea to wrestle with her self-esteem and long time secret addiction. 

Recently Lonnie has plopped the family in a New Jersey upper class suburb, which lacks the diversity that Bea craves but has the school district and zip code envy that Lonnie wants. The demands of carrying a third child and fitting into this new environment while pretending that her husband is not cheating on her again, is more than she can handle. And just when she thinks things can’t get any worst, the ultimate deception snaps the little thread that was holding her life together and all comes tumbling down.
And Then There Was Me is the story of secrets, lies and friendship, heartache and betrayal. It’s the journey of a woman stripped down to her lowest point and needing to find the will to press on. 

Release Date: April 11, 2017
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WNL Tours Presents Back from Broken


Write Now Literary is pleased to announce Back From Broken by Rosheka Henry Virtual book Tour January 9-20, 2017.
Book Release Date: June 2016
Genre: Religious/Self Help

About The Book



BACK FROM BROKEN is the story of one woman’s journey back to wholeness. It is one woman’s pursuit to getting rid of what was holding her back from being who God has called her to be. This story will give you the heartbreak and bitterness that one holds onto but decides to let go of so that Wholeness can begin.  This book will enlightened you, teach you what you need to know and empower you, and equip you with the tools that you need in order to walk in your wholeness, the last thing that I hope that this book can do for you is to impact you.









About The Author

ROSHEKA SHONTA HENRY is a native of Georgia, and was raised in Alabama. She grew up to love the medical field, and spent the majority of her career working at surrounding community hospitals as a phlebotomist and patient register. She is a proud and devoted member of Word of Truth Ministries, where her father, Pastor John L. Cook is the Sr. Pastor. She is also a certified dance instructor, where she leads the dance ministry at her church. She also teaches praise dancing in the surrounding churches. Rosheka’s praise dance ministry has been featured on local television stations numerous times. She has received awards as well as trophies for her profound work in her dance ministry. She is very devoted to Kingdom work. God is her driving force. She is the author              of            “BACK                FROM BROKEN…A    DANCERS        JOURNEY                BACK  TO WHOLENESS”, which is the autobiography of her life. She has written a gospel song called “Hallelujah” song by an up and coming artist, that can be downloaded on all major online music apps, such as iTunes and Google Play. She is also a single mother of three gifted children.
Her passion in life is to empower women, as well as men, and children. Her love for mankind has driven her to pursue a path that will inspire others to be all that they can be in life and in Christ. She is an inspirational speaker as well as an advocate for women who are broken. She works closely with her church and local food bank feeding the hungry.
Rosheka has also had the opportunity to model for The Wonderful World of Fashion Show. She has been known to grace the camera with her smile for multiple companies in her area. She has a bright future in ministry and is looking to open a Non-profit Organization THE BACK FROM BROKEN CENTER for broken women looking for inner help.

Click here to read the excerpt 
Click here to follow the tour 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Book Review: The Weight of Him

The Weight of HimThe Weight of Him by Ethel Rohan
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

In The Weight of Him, we meet Billy and his family who is grappling with the loss of a son by suicide. We're brought into the world of an obese man who decides to make positive life changes after his son's death. His struggle is real and I enjoyed watching him overcome temptation. However, the author left many unanswered questions and perseverated on his bleak thoughts so much that I felt weighed down. It was well-written and Billy was a complex character but I think there was more that could've been delved into that would have taken this into a 5-star read. At the end, when I began to smile, see a turning point, I flipped the screen and it was over. However, I find this author intriguing and would read more works by her.

View all my reviews

About the Book
In The Weight of Him Billy Brennan undergoes an unforgettable journey in a startling attempt to resurrect his family and reignite hearts, his own most of all.

At four hundred pounds, Billy can always count on food. From his earliest memories, he has loved food's colors, textures and tastes. The way flavors go off in his mouth. How food keeps his mind still and his bad feelings quiet. Food has always made everything better, until the day Billy's beloved son Michael takes his own life.

Billy determines to make a difference in Michael's memory and undertakes a public weight-loss campaign, to raise money for suicide prevention--his first step in an ambitious plan to save himself, and to save others. However, Billy's dramatic crusade appalls his family, who want to simply try to go on, quietly, privately.

Despite his crushing detractors, Billy gains welcome allies: his community-at-large; a co-worker who lost his father to suicide; a filmmaker with his own dubious agenda; and a secret, miniature kingdom that Billy populates with the sub-quality dolls and soldiers he saves from disposal at the toy factory where he works. But it is only if Billy can confront the truth of the suffering and brokenness within and around him that he and others will be able to realize the recovery they need.

Told against the picturesque yet haunting backdrop of rural, contemporary Ireland, The Weight of Him is a big-hearted novel about loss and reliance that moves from tragedy to recrimination to what can be achieved when we take the stand of our lives.

Release Date: February 14, 2017
Purchase Your Copy

Friday, January 13, 2017

Two Days Gone Spotlight!

Praise for Two Days Gone

A January Indie Next Great Read 
“…a suspenseful, literary thriller that will resonate with readers long after the book is finished. A terrific choice for Dennis Lehane fans.”—Library Journal, STARRED review

“Beneath the momentum of the investigation lies a pervasive sadness that will stick with you long after you've turned the last page.”—Kirkus Reviews 

“…skillfully written thriller.”—Publishers Weekly

“…impressive novel…an intriguing thriller.”—Booklist

…this novel [will] linger in readers’ minds well after Two Days Gone.”—Shelf Awareness

“Two Days Gone is a quiet, intense, suspenseful mystery about a man who has lost everything. Rich with descriptions and atmosphere….Two Days Gone is relentless in its suspense, and the final twists in the novel are sure to not disappoint.”— Foreword Review  

“An absolute gem of literary suspense, pitting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and told in a smooth, assured, and often haunting voice, TWO DAYS GONE is a terrific read.”
Michael KorytaNew York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead
  
Title: Two Days Gone
Author: Randall Silvis
Publication Date: January 10, 2017
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Format: Trade Paper
ISBN: 9781492639732


Summary:
The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.
Thomas Huston, a beloved professor and bestselling author, is something of a local hero in the small Pennsylvania college town where he lives and teaches. So when Huston’s wife and children are found brutally murdered in their home, the community reacts with shock and anger. Huston has also mysteriously disappeared, and suddenly, the town celebrity is suspect number one.
Sergeant Ryan DeMarco has secrets of his own, but he can’t believe that a man he admired, a man he had considered a friend, could be capable of such a crime. Hoping to glean clues about Huston’s mind-set, DeMarco delves into the professor’s notes on his novel-in-progress. Soon, DeMarco doesn’t know who to trust—and the more he uncovers about Huston’s secret life, the more treacherous his search becomes.


First Chapter Excerpt 

The waters of Lake Wilhelm are dark and chilled. In some places, the lake is deep enough to swallow a house. In others, a body could lie just beneath the surface, tangled in the morass of weeds and water plants, and remain unseen, just another shadowy form, a captive feast for the catfish and crappie and the monster bass that will nibble away at it until the bones fall asunder and bury themselves in the silty floor.
In late October, the Arctic Express begins to whisper south- eastward across the Canadian plains, driving the surface of Lake Erie into white-tipped breakers that pound the first cold breaths of winter into northwestern Pennsylvania. From now until April, sunny days are few and the spume-strewn beaches of Presque Isle empty but for misanthropic stragglers, summer shops boarded shut, golf courses as still as cemeteries, marinas stripped to their bonework of bare, splintered boards. For the next six months, the air will be gray and pricked with rain or blasted with wind-driven snow. A season of surliness prevails.
Sergeant Ryan DeMarco of the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop D, Mercer County headquarters, has seen this season come and go too many times. He has seen the surliness descend into despair, the despair to acts of desperation, or, worse yet, to deliberately malicious acts, to behavior that shows no regard for the fragility of flesh, a contempt for all consequences.

He knows that on the dozen or so campuses between Erie and Pittsburgh, college students still young enough to envision a happy future will bundle up against the biting chill, but even their youth- ful souls will suffer the effects of this season of gray. By November, they will have grown annoyed with their roommates, exasperated with professors, and will miss home for the first time since September. Home is warm and bright and where the holidays are waiting. But here in Pennsylvania’s farthest northern reach, Lake Wilhelm stretches like a bony finger down a glacier-scoured valley, its waters dark with pine resin, its shores thick on all sides with two thousand acres of trees and brush and hanging vines, dense with damp shadows and nocturnal things, with bear and wildcat and coyote, with hawks that scream in the night.
In these woods too, or near them, a murderer now hides, a man gone mad in the blink of an eye.
The college students are anxious to go home now, home to Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukah, to warmth and love and light. Home to where men so respected and adored do not suddenly butcher their families and escape into the woods.
The knowledge that there is a murderer in one’s midst will stagger any community, large or small. But when that murderer is one of your own, when you have trusted the education of your sons and daughters to him, when you have seen his smiling face in every bookstore in town, watched him chatting with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, felt both pride and envy in his sudden acclaim, now your chest is always heavy and you cannot seem to catch your breath. Maybe you claimed, last spring, that you played high school football with Tom Huston. Maybe you dated him half a lifetime ago, tasted his kiss, felt the heave and tremor of your bodies as you lay in the lush green of the end zone one steamy August night when love was raw and new. Last spring, you were quick to claim an old intimacy with him, so eager to catch some of his sudden, shimmering light. Now you want only to huddle indoors. You sit and stare at the window, confused by your own pale reflection.
Now Claire O’Patchen Huston, one of the prettiest women in town, quietly elegant in a way no local woman could ever hope to be, lies on a table in a room at the Pennsylvania State Police forensics lab in Erie. There is the wide gape of a slash across her throat, an obscene slit that runs from the edge of her jawline to the opposite clavicle.
Thomas Jr., twelve years old, he with the quickest smile and the fastest feet in sixth grade, the boy who made all the high school coaches wet their lips in anticipation, shares the chilly room with his mother. The knife that took him in his sleep laid its path low across his throat, a quick, silencing sweep with an upward turn.
As for his sister, Alyssa, there are a few fourth grade girls who, a week ago, would have described her as a snob, but her best friends knew her as shy, uncertain yet of how to wear and carry and contain her burgeoning beauty. She appears to have sat up at the last instant, for the blood that spurted from her throat sprayed not only across the pillow, but also well below it, spilled down over her chest before she fell back onto her side. Did she understand the message of that gurgling gush of breath in her final moments of consciousness? Did she, as blood soaked into the faded pink flannel of her pajama shirt, lift her gaze to her father’s eyes as he leaned away from her bed?
And little David Ryan Huston, asleep on his back in his crib— what dreams danced through his toddler’s brain in its last quivers of sentience? Did his father first pause to listen to the susurrus breath? Did he calm himself with its sibilance? The blade on its initial thrust missed the toddler’s heart and slid along the still-soft sternum. The second thrust found the pulsing muscle and nearly sliced it in half.
The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now. Snap your fingers five times, that’s how long it took. Five soft taps on the door. Five steel-edged scrapes across the tender flesh of night.

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About the Author:
Randall Silvis is the internationally acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels, one story collection, and one book of narrative nonfiction. His essays, articles, poems, and short stories have appeared in various online and print magazines. His work has been translated into ten languages. He lives in Pennsylvania.

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Rafflecopter Giveaway Link for 2 Copies of Two Days Gone.   Runs January 10-31 (US & Canada only)



Thursday, January 12, 2017

Welcome Lynn Emery of the Seducing the Pen Tours

Into The Mist by Lynn Emery

BOOK 4: LASHAUN ROUSSELLE MYSTERY SERIES

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BOOK 4: LASHAUN ROUSSELLE MYSTERY SERIES

Children are missing in ever increasing numbers. LaShaun Rousselle and Deputy Chase Broussard have to make sure their child isn’t next. After a series of gruesome murders, LaShaun has to answer one critical question to stop the bloodbath: are the children victims or weapons?

LaShaun Rousselle finds herself and her young family at the center of a devious and deadly series of crimes once more. A girl goes missing, bad enough. Yet when LaShaun follows the threads, she discovers the six year old is only one of many. What’s the connection to a string of attempts to get at LaShaun’s own child, JoĆ«lle? She must help sort through the facts and evidence to convince level-headed law officers that supernatural forces are at work. Her life and the lives of those she cherish depend on LaShaun making a way out of no way.

LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series - A Darker Shade of Midnight is the first book in the LaShaun Rousselle paranormal mystery series. The second book is Between Dusk and Dawn. The third book is Only By Moonlight. Into The Mist is the fourth title in the LaShaun Rousselle mystery series.


Purchase Into The Mist by Lynn Emery
Book 4: LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 

Topics: Faith, Supernatural forces, Family loyalty, Redemption, Creole and Cajun Culture

Purchase books from the LaShaun Rousselle Mystery Series 
Amazon: http://goo.gl/XbzkOM
Audible: http://goo.gl/lT9aji
Nook: http://goo.gl/WKS71d
Kobo: https://goo.gl/BFYaF9
Smashwords: https://goo.gl/sgHm7u

A DARKER SHADE OF MIDNIGHT - BOOK REVIEW

Book Review Written by Beverly Jackson VINE VOICE 
In A Darker Shade of Midnight by Lynn Emery, LaShaun Rousselle is returning home to Vermillion Parish, Louisiana because her grandmother is dying. Shortly after crossing the county line, LaShaun finds herself sitting in the sheriff's station wondering what bogus charges warranted her being detained. Yes, she has a scandalous past that caused her to leave home ten years ago, but that is the past. When the sheriff department finds nothing but a broken taillight, feisty LaShaun cannot help shaking up the sheriff and the department by issuing them a challenge, knowing some fear her voodoo powers. With that settled, LaShaun is looking forward to making peace with her grandmother, Monmon Odette, and catching up with family. Unfortunately, life will be anything but peaceful for LaShaun - greedy relatives, a sadistic ex-lover, an attraction to a deputy, an evil force and murder all come into her life. Fearing that mayhem and evil are a curse she cannot overcome, LaShaun starts to despair that she should not have returned home. Will LaShaun be able to trust her psychic powers, and accept help from unexpected sources, or will the demon win this round for her soul?

A Darker Shade of Midnight is a tale of revenge, deceit, betrayal and political corruption. This combination makes for a juicy murder and the plot serves up several victims. Drama of the family fighting among themselves adds another layer of tension and intrigue to a plot with all kinds of twists. Emery is known for her love of Louisiana, a setting she vividly brings to life in this story. I enjoyed how the paranormal elements were skillfully woven into the storyline with grace and ease, being a natural part of the locale.
LaShaun is an alpha female who fights back at the least challenge, but over the course of the story she learns to accept who she is and how to accept genuine help. It is a nice touch to see her interact with the sexy deputy, Chase Broussard, as the attraction between them allows the reader a respite from all of the mayhem in the story. While fans of the author will love visiting with old friends and new readers will be entertained by the characters, they might be slightly confused by references to previously mentioned events.

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy paranormal mysteries and fans of Lynn Emery. A good read for a summer night, as the forces of good and evil battle with each other.

This book was provided by the publisher for review purposes. Reviewed by Beverly, APOOO Literary Book Review

LYNN ON BAN RADIO SHOW

Listen to the BAN Radio Show Interview - http://tobtr.com/s/8159671

EXCERPT FROM BOOK 4: INTO THE MIST BY LYNN EMERY


“To recap your story, you went out to party when you didn’t even know where your six- year-old kid was, left your three youngest here alone, got back drunk after one in the morning, woke up, saw the writing and decided something was wrong.” Det. Anderson pressed his lips together.

Sherry flinched. “I didn’t leave until almost ten, so really it wasn’t all that long.”

“Uh-huh.” Anderson put on his sunglasses and looked away from her.

Sherry faced LaShaun. “They say you’ll know. Tell me what this says. Where’s my girl?”

“I don’t recognize these letters, Sherry,” LaShaun replied. She read regret in the woman’s eyes.

“We’ll have to do some more research,” Chase added. “Det. Anderson, take a set of pictures for the department. Work with Deputy Wilcox to scrape samples of the ink off. We’ll send it to the state police lab for analysis.”

Det. Anderson hissed low. “Right. We’ll track down who decided to be an artist in the middle of the night.”

“It wasn’t me. Tante Alice and grandmamma says it’s evil. If that’s true, then they got my Dina and no tellin’ what they done to her by now.” Sherry’s voice rose to a hysterical whine. “It don’t take long to hurt a little girl.”

At Chase’s signal, the female deputy stepped forward and took her by the arm. Their voices faded as Sherry allowed the deputy to lead her away. “C’mon, ma’am. I’ll take you over to your mama’s house like you said. Let’s pack a few things.”

LaShaun turned to Chase. “Where are the other children?”

“The middle child’s father picked him up. The other two are with Sherry’s mama. DCFS hasn’t made a decision on removing the three youngest yet.”

The Louisiana Department of Child and Family Services, notoriously understaffed and underfunded, might well be leaving the children with relatives. At least Sherry wouldn’t be left alone with them in the short-term. Chase pulled LaShaun aside so that they were across from the action in the dining area. Anderson continued taking pictures yards away. A second deputy helped him. Both carried evidence bags and collection tools.

“Your phone keeps buzzing like a trapped wasp. What’s up?” Chase said low. He watched her read text messages from Miss Rose, Justine and Pauline for several moments.

“They don’t know either, but they’re working on finding out.”

“But you said the writing is in letters.” Chase frowned at the walls.

LaShaun scrolled to the photos of the writing on her phone. She gazed at them as she talked, “Yes, an alphabet. They’re arranged to be sentences I think, not pictures telling a story. But I’m sure no authority on arcane languages. I’ve only studied a few like the Enochian Language, the Rune of Othalan, and a few others.”

“Naturally it couldn’t be something simple. No, we got the Rune of Whatsit.” Chase let go of a long sigh.

“The Rune of Whatsit?” LaShaun grinned at him.

“Do me a favor. Keep that language of the ancients talk between us for now. You know what kind of ink that is because you sniffed it.” Chase nodded toward the writing on the nearest wall.

“Yes…” LaShaun pursed her lips together. Then she cleared her throat.

“That was your cue to give me an answer, LaShaun.” Chase nudged her. When Det. Anderson glanced their way, he waved and put on a neutral expression.

“I don’t think you’re going to like the answer, babe.” LaShaun smiled at the other officers. She turned her back to them as if studying another part of the room.

“Let me think. We got a missing child, demonic scribbles on the wall, a drugged out mother, and a Cajun mafia family. Honey, I already don’t like a damn thing about this case.”

“I never said the writing was demonic or satanic, but from the smell, I’d say the writing was done with Bat’s Blood Ink.”

“Are you freakin’ kidding me?” Chase blurted out. When Anderson jerked around to stare at him. “Nothing, it’s nothing. Just keep collecting evidence.”


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved. Book 4 in the LaShaun Rousselle paranormal mystery series. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lynn Emery. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Available on Kindle, Nook, Kobo, iTunes, and Smashwords
Purchase Your Copies & Send One to a Friend

https://www.amazon.com/Into-Mist-LaShaun-Rousselle-Mysteries/dp/0996527257
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MEET THE AUTHOR


Mix knowledge of voodoo, Louisiana politics and forensic social work, and you get a snapshot of author Lynn Emery. Lynn’s recent titles include murder mysteries set in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana featuring a Creole psychic and a Cajun deputy. The titles in this series are: A Darker Shade of Midnight (#1), Between Dusk and Dawn (#2), and Only By Moonlight (#3). Into The Mist (#4) continues the harrowing case files of LaShaun Rousselle and Deputy Chase Broussard. Into the Mist will be released in fall 2016.

BPM: When did you get your first inkling to write, and how did you advance the call for writing? 

I read The Murder of Roger Ackroyd when I was ten years old. I already loved reading, but that book with its twist at the end did it. I closed the book and decided I wanted to write mysteries. I didn’t even know who Agatha Christie was, or that she was a white Englishwoman who was already dead by then. I didn’t think about being a poor little black girl living in the south who couldn’t even get to a library. I didn’t consult anybody, which meant no one told me my aspiration was outlandish and impossible. I simply said, “I’m going to write a murder mystery. Life happened. High school, college and my entrance to the adult world of working nine to five. Yet twenty years later I went back to my dream and started writing again.

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? Did you ever self-publish? 

I attended a writer’s conference within driving distance of my hometown. I took a fellow author’s advice to attend writing events where editors and agents would be presenters and taking appointments. The advice I didn’t take was to schedule an appointment with them, a mistake that almost cost me dearly. You see Monica Harris, the founding editor of Arabesque, was there. But I lacked confidence because I hadn’t finished my first book. I was told more than once not to expect to sell that first book. I also was told editors don’t consider, much less buy, unfinished books, certainly not from first time authors.
Another published author who belonged to my RWA chapter was horrified when I told her I hadn’t scheduled to meet with Monica. I was literally the only writer of color at this conference, and Monica was hungry for submissions. A young editor, Monica had been only recently hired by Kensington Publishers and her big assignment was to launch the first, and at that time only, line of African-American romances. My work-in-progress was romantic suspense.
This published author pushed me, not so gently, into approaching Monica during a break between her presentations. I went to my hotel room and quickly practiced a three to five minute pitch. I sweated during her workshop, and then screwed up the guts to follow Monica and introduce myself. In the hotel lobby I breathlessly pitched my book in the five minutes she graciously allowed me. About five or six weeks later, Monica called to offer me a contract. I sold my first book, and even though Monica knew it was unfinished. Night Magic was released in 1995.

BPM: What’s the most important quality a writer should have in your opinion?

I would have to say courage, with a capital “C”. If I hadn’t pushed up my own courage, I wouldn’t have met Monica at all at that small conference. So writers should have courage, which will lead you to another capital “C” word, confidence. Courage will give you the confidence you may lack in your developing skill as a story teller and promoter of your own work. Courage will help writers overcome the tendency to stay in their isolated, insulated little worlds. When you step out of your comfort zone, you’re willing to network with and talk to other writers and publishing professionals.

BPM: Can you share a little of your current work with us? Introduce us to your book and the characters.

Into The Mist is the fourth title in the LaShaun Rousselle mystery series set in Vermilion Parish, Louisiana. LaShaun teams up with Cajun Vermilion Parish Sheriff’s Deputy Chase Broussard to solve grisly killings in this lovely bayou setting. Using her psychic abilities and Chase’s crime fighting skills, they fight human and supernatural killers.

LaShaun Rousselle led a bad girl life in her teens and twenties, using the spells Monmon Odette, her beloved grandmother, taught her for all the wrong reasons. The results led to such a horrible string of events, that she left Beau Chene, Louisiana. LaShaun moved to Los Angeles with the thought that she would never return to Louisiana, much less Beau Chene. The series opens with her arriving back because of Monmon Odette, and over the course of the first three books she builds a life that she didn’t expect to have at all, including or especially in Beau Chene.

Into The Mist opens with LaShaun being drawn into yet another of Chase’s cases, a kidnapping. As the story unfolds, the evil that that seems to have put a child’s life in danger creeps ever closer to those LaShaun loves the most. Everything LaShaun holds most dear is on the line, and she has to find answers to protect her family and the world.

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?

As a clinical social worker, I’ve been involved in child welfare cases, attended school conferences to advocate for children, and conducted abuse investigations. I also worked as a juvenile court consultant and in a psychiatric hospital. Although I do research even with my experience, a lot of the issues about children in the child welfare and special education systems come from what I’ve seen up close. The children in Into The Mist face these same challenges for a unique reason, and flaws in both systems only add to their vulnerability, as LaShaun and Chase discover.

BPM: What genre is this book? Do you write all of your books in this category? Why?

Into The Mist is a mystery with paranormal elements. I write mysteries now, though my first seven books are romantic suspense. What’s interesting is I never intended to write romance. The first writing group I found, or rather a member found me because we worked in the same building, was a local chapter of RWA (Romance Writers of America). I even told her that I wasn’t writing romance, but she said that didn’t matter. So I joined. A published author who belonged to that RWA chapter advised me to try writing romance because editors were in the market for them in a big way (this was the mid-1990s). Breaking into the mystery genre was tough, but for writers of color it was pretty much impossible back then. I felt very discouraged until she told me about romantic suspense, the subgenre I hadn’t even heard of at the time. Once I found out I could kill people, the words started flowing on my first book.

BPM: Are there any areas of your writing career that you wish you could go back and change? 

I’ve learned and been blessed to see the lesson in everything that has happened in my journey, so I can’t honestly say I’d change much. Even the bad helped make me either a better writer or better professional writer in terms of the business side of publishing. In 2000, I was blessed to have BET produce a made for television movie based on my novel After All. Holly Robinson Peete starred as Michelle Toussaint, a character I created. Seeing her on the screen saying that name gave me chills. Still I couldn’t really celebrate because BET used the old publishing contract I’d signed, and they were known at the time, to pay well below the industry standard for the movie rights. That was one bitter pill to swallow. Even worse, I couldn’t stop them from making the movie. Thankfully the script, performance and production came out fine. The only thing I would change, if I could, was for myself and the other Arabesque authors to have more leverage, support or legal alternatives back then. Still, I had fun throwing a premier party at my house. I got to ride in a limo to BET studios twice for interviews. And it’s kind of fun to say, “My second novel was made into a movie.”

BPM: How may our readers follow you online? 

Readers are welcome to visit my website at www.lynnemery.com. I’d love for them to sign up for my monthly newsletter while they’re there. The newsletter includes exclusive free books and other goodies available only to subscribers, in addition to fun articles. Let’s socialize!


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Monday, January 9, 2017

Welcome Angie Ransome Jones of the Seducing the Pen Tour

PATH TO PEACE

A GUIDE TO MANAGING LIFE AFTER LOSING A LOVED ONE

ANGIE RANSOME JONES

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Path to Peace: A Guide to Managing Life After Losing a Loved Oneby Angie Ransome-Jones

Death is difficult but inevitable. Path to Peace, A Guide to Managing Life After Losing A Loved One provides practical steps for preparing for the inevitable and coping after death – it should be on every bookshelf!

Path to Peace, A Guide to Managing Life After Losing A Loved One, chronicles one daughter’s journey of finding peace after the devastating loss of her father. In the midst of grieving, Angie Ransome-Jones was suddenly faced with laying her father to rest, settling his financial affairs and reconciling her unresolved feelings over the loss of her mother.

After learning what she refers to as “the process,” it’s now her mission to share practical steps to picking up the pieces and finding peace, after the loss of a loved one. In this book, Angie provides a comprehensive guide that yields advice from an attorney, financial advisor and grief counselor.

“Path to Peace” is one daughter’s story of reclaiming her life, realizing her purpose and finding inner peace along the way.

What People Are Saying About Path to Peace

Path to Peace is a wonderful book used as a source to go to time and time again if you are going through the process of grieving after losing someone. It is well researched and written, and is easy to absorb all while letting the reader take what they need at different times during the grieving process.

It does a comprehensive job of touching on the many types of loss, and offers helpful suggestions for coping and moving forward. From the moment I first started reading it, I knew the perspective is coming from well-informed person who has been through the grieving process.

I highly recommend buying it when you or someone you know is faced with the death of a loved one as it guides you forward with practical guides on what to do as well as emotional help. Give the book to someone you know who needs it. You will be able to help them when they need it most on their own time. By owning the book yourself, you will be able to understand and anticipate the needs of the people you care for who may need your help during a difficult time. This is simply an amazing, well-written book that exceeded my expectations.


“This book is a compassionate and poignant reflection of the premise…everyone grieves differently. It is simply heart-warming!”
~Dionne Anglin, News Reporter, KDFW-TV 

This guide provides practical tools to manage the business affairs after losing a loved one.”
~Victor McGlothin, Essence Magazine Bestselling Author 

“What an incredible show of strength and courage in the middle of grief and loss…..Angie presents a very practical roadmap for all of us to follow!”
~Dr. Tracey Brown, Author/Speaker/Counselor Supervisor-Dallas ISD

EXCERPT CHAPTER ONE


Until a year ago, I had always equated Election Day with colorful yard signs, cooler weather and National Angie Ransome-Jones Day, also known as my birthday. Now, I equate it to my Daddy’s passing. It was a normal day, just like any other for me. I ran my mouth with Evelyn while trying to get some semblance of work done at home. The day before, I worked an election with my good friend, Janis, like I had for the past few years and was trying to play catch up like I always do, whenever I take off from work. Coming off of a great weekend, I was on cloud 21!

Dad came down to celebrate my 44TH birthday and I basked in the possibilities of another year as Myles, my son, prepared for his first semester of college. There were so many things to be thankful for. Little did I know what was to come. If not every single day, it was at least every other day that I talked to Daddy. Usually, we had a typical 2-minute conversation. “Hey Daddy, what you doing?”

“Oh, nothing girl, just sitting here relaxing.”

Depending on whether I caught him half asleep or fully awake, the conversation could go one of a million ways. Mostly we would get off the phone immediately with a casual goodbye.

“Okay, just checking on ya. Daddy, go back to sleep.”

We often shared any number of long, drawn-out conversations on everything from gas prices to somebody on his job getting ill, or something pertaining to a distant relative I had no memory of. But on this particular day, something was different. Something was off. I tried calling him the night before while I was still at the election site, just before I knew he would be taking a nap to get ready for work at midnight. I tried again when I closed the polls about 10 or 11 p.m., on my way home, hoping to catch him fresh out the shower before he got dressed and jumped into his truck for work. Daddy had the same pattern every day. It usually started with him laying or piddling around all day until dusk, when it was time to prepare for his part-time “sleeping job” at the local bowling alley; the midnight shift. When I didn’t catch him, it wasn’t surprising. I knew for sure I’d catch him the next morning. After I failed to catch him for the umpteenth time, I did the one thing I dreaded most. Fearing a sharp reprimand, I called his job. Because I knew he hated his job and was just counting the days, even minutes, until re-retirement; I was doubtful he was still there. And, as it turned out, he wasn’t.

Next, I did the second thing that I knew I would live to regret if he had merely overslept. I called his neighbor, Ms. Effie. After knocking, peeking through windows, and calling his name repeatedly, Ms. Effie called back to tell me that she had no luck but thought he may have been home because she saw both cars in his garage. After what seemed like hours of Ms. Effie knocking, calling out my Dad’s name, “Al! Al!” and trying to calm me down hundreds of miles away, she decided to call for backup in the form of her daughter Erica; who I had also known for years. After a few more hours of knocking on windows, doors, and anything she could find, she called Dad’s phone repeatedly. Eventually, Erica heard his phone ring from inside the house. It was then, I knew he was gone. Daddy always carried his phone on his person, in either a pocket or on a chain attached to his hip.

The authorities wouldn’t tell me much except that he didn’t suffer. The room was left virtually undisturbed, which suggested there was not a struggle. Instead, they said he was sitting upright in a chair with his breathing machine by his bedside and appeared to have passed peacefully. He presumably had an asthma attack but the death certificate recorded it as “death by natural causes” and I’m okay with that. I had always imagined that I’d be there with him, like I was when my mother took her final breath but in this case, it wasn’t a part of God’s plan.


Step 1: Making the Call

Notification Process:
 The first step and one of the most difficult of the ten I will outline, is the notification process. Instead of contacting our immediate family first, I notified people I knew would kick into full gear to do some of the heavier lifting that I was neither mentally nor emotionally prepared to do yet. I recommend appointing a “go-to-man” from the outset. You will need assistance in making dreadful phone calls while navigating through what will seem to be an endless list of people to notify; otherwise known as your “Call List.”

Handle with Care: In retrospect, after helping with the deaths of close friends, an important part of the process is to “Handle with Care.” This is important for those who meant the most to your loved one and would want to hear the news directly from you. I caused irreparable damage in my neglect of a relative that was near and dear to me, and my Dad, when he heard the news of his passing via word of mouth. Remember, word of mouth travels faster than the front page news.


( Continued... )

© 2015 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Angie Ransome-Jones. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


About the Author
Angie Ransome-Jones is a wife of 20+ years and mother of two young men, all currently residing in Texas. A banking Vice President and MBA, Angela has her own non-profit (501C-3) organization, Magnifying our Mothers (M.O.M.), which she founded in 2010, in memory of her mother, who lost her battle with cancer years earlier. In her spare time, Angela enjoys serving as a volunteer in her church and community, along with practicing and teaching yoga, and she is an active member of both Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and Toastmasters International. Website: http://www.path-2-peace.com


Purchase Path to Peace, A Guide to Managing Life After Losing a Loved One
https://www.amazon.com/Peace-Guide-Managing-After-Losing/dp/0991220919

Path to Peace author Angie Ransome-Jones talks about preparing for the inevitable on WFAA-Good Morning Texas. Watch the interview replay, go here. 

Death is difficult but inevitable. Path to Peace provides practical steps for preparing for the inevitable and coping after death – it should be on every bookshelf! 
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CONVERSATION WITH ANGIE RANSOME-JONES


BPM: Who is Angie Ransome-Jones?
Wow, great question! First and foremost, I am a Servant of the Lord; but I’m also a servant to those who need me. I am a mother a wife, a friend, a sister, a free spirit, a volunteer, and a yogi. I am many different things to many different people! My legal name is Angela D. Jones. I became Angie Ransome-Jones in 2015 after my Dad passed away and I published my first book, dedicated to his memory. Prior to that, only my friends and family knew and referred to me as Angie. Now, the masses know me as Angie and I’m ok with that because now I feel more free to be the same person in both worlds – personal and professional; although I still choose to keep both worlds very separate.

BPM: Have you always known you wanted to be an author? 

No, I never had great aspirations to be an author. Writing a book was on my long Bucket List; but I never imagined that my book would be centered around such circumstances and would lead to this wild, but rewarding ride that I’m now on!

BPM: What led you to write: “Path to Peace, A Guide to Managing Life After Losing a Loved One"?

The sudden death of my father, Albert D. Ransome, in 2013 caused me to write the book not only as a therapeutic outlet and a “release” for myself; but also as a tool to educate others on the numerous things that I learned during the process of laying him to rest and settling his earthly affairs. As a bonafide “Daddy’s Girl,” my father was the closest person to me after my mom passed away, so as you can imagine, losing him so suddenly was truly devastating for me.

BPM: Why did you choose this title?

My editor and I considered a number of different titles and covers, but this one best described my journey in terms of the path that I traveled, which eventually led to an evolving peace for me. This same “peace” has allowed me to look at life very differently than I did before.

BPM: What were some of the benefits you experienced writing the book?
The book has allowed me to connect with thousands of people from all walks of life who have either had an experience similar to mine, know someone who has or are preparing themselves for the experience losing someone. It has also allowed me to travel the country speaking to and educating others on the subject and the necessity of preparing for the inevitable, which is death. The money I receive from doing what I consider to be “God’s assignment,” is just icing on the cake for me!

BPM: What were your most challenging moments writing the book?

Trying to separate my raw emotions from the facts and information that would be beneficial to readers dealing with loss. My editor revised it at least 7-8 times to ensure that it was transparent, without being too revealing in terms of my personal life.

BPM: Can you share one specific point in your book that resonated with you the most?
I think it would have to be the necessity of having what I refer to as a “Control Book.” in place. Having a Will and Life Insurance are necessary also, but just having something documented; a roadmap, if you will, for your family in case of your death, is just as critical!

BPM: Death is such a sensitive topic and is widely avoided, what are some ways survivors can effectively prepare for their own death to give their family peace when they leave this earth?
You’re absolutely right. My job is very tough in that my book is not something that all people are receptive to, because it deals with such an uncomfortable and taboo subject. But I can’t stress enough the importance of having those conversations, as difficult as they are, with your loved ones about your wishes. It should be a two-way conversation so that everyone is on the same page. And ensuring that those you entrust to carry on your legacy after you are gone are well-prepared; both directionally and financially.

BPM: What is it like to read the reviews of strangers who have read your book?
It is THE THING that keeps me going. Hearing my words repeated in context to how they affected a person’s life in terms – whether they related to it or reacted to it – is the most rewarding piece for me.

BPM: How has writing about your story impacted your life now?
I have definitely been busier than I have ever been in life, but in a great way!! I never imagined that the book would take off; let alone be a bestseller! I have been interviewed a number of times, featured in numerous magazines and recently appeared on Good Morning Texas, which was my first live TV appearance. I will appear again live on the Local Memphis Live show, which is similar to GMT. I feel blessed and honored and humbled that God has chosen me to deliver such an important message.

BPM: What advice would you give to someone who wants to write about their story?
I truly believe that everyone has a story in them; no matter if it’s a trial they’ve been through or a story of triumph or lessons learned they want to share. I used to consider myself an “accidental author” but then I stopped calling myself that because I realize that all of this was by design. God turned my pain in losing my father; actually both of my parents, into my purpose. In the words of the late, great Elie Wiesel, I encourage anyone who “survives a test, whatever it may be,” to tell his/her story because “it is his duty.”

BPM: Do you have any other organizations you are part of? If yes, please share.
Yes, I have a non-profit 501C-3 organization that myself and my Vice President Renea Mewborn started in 2010 called Magnifying our Mothers (M.O.M.). For years after my mother’s death from cancer in 2002, I struggled with Mothers Days and holidays in general; so founding M.O.M. came out of my desire to break that cycle and do something positive instead, that would not only help people who were bereaved, but also change my mindset about her death and make her very proud! M.O.M. assists the bereaved, including children who have lost one or more of their parents through the offering of donations to other local/nationwide charities, grief counseling resources, financial support (funeral expenses, etc.) and we are in the process of setting up scholarships for bereaved children under our Legacy Keeper Kids umbrella.

BPM: What else can we expect to see from you? 
Another great question! My plan is to take a break to focus on my youngest son, who will be leaving home to attend college out-of-state. However, I want to continue to be led by God and let Him continue to order my steps, whatever that may be. I do have plans; however, to publish a companion Control Book that will accompany Path to Peace, which will come out sometime in 2017.

BPM: Please tell everyone how you can be contacted to support you by purchasing your products/services, book you for their upcoming events, or partner with you in your vision.
I’m more than happy to partner with others, answer questions, come and speak, etc.! People can reach me via email at: info@authorangiejones.com or through my Author Angie Jones Facebook page.
My website is http://www.path-2-peace.com and they can purchase copies of my book there or via Amazon.com.