Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Writer Wednesday - A Praying Heart


Prayer is an open line of communication between you and God. Prayer is your chance to humble yourself before him and speak freely from your heart. A Praying Heart will take you on a journey where you will learn what God says about prayer as well as strengthen your prayer life. 


Monday, February 16, 2015

Motivational Monday


Home Cover Reveal with Adrienne Thompson

About the book:
Home by Adrienne Thompson
Genre: African American Fiction/Edgy Inspirational Fiction
Release Date: 3/2/15
Now available for pre-order: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00TNPEAOA

Blurb:
For the ladies’ man Ivan Spencer, there really is no place like HOME.
A family emergency brings former rapper and current real estate mogul, Ivan Spencer, back to his long-abandoned hometown. While there, he must deal with his confused mother, his elderly, philandering father, his flaky sister, an unreliable aunt, and a face from the past who makes him question some of his earlier decisions. All he wants to do is to get things squared away and return to his life, but as it turns out, he must deal with his own issues first.

Tagline: “There really is no place like HOME.”

Excerpt:
I had just sat down to drink my coffee when Daddy walked into the kitchen wearing a dingy white t-shirt and faded, striped boxers. One look at my daddy and anyone could see why he was so popular with the women. Even at seventy-something, he still had the same smooth, ruddy skin, gray eyes, wavy black hair, and bone structure that made most women swoon. The story had always been that my daddy’s daddy’s daddy was a full-blooded Quapaw Indian. My grandfather could never confirm this fact, because he never knew his father. But looking at my daddy and the features I’d inherited from him, I believed the story was pretty close to the truth.
Daddy sat down at the table with a grunt and a sigh.
“Where you been, Daddy?” I asked.
He looked at me for a second. “Here and there.”
“Mama’s sick. She’s in the hospital.”
“Yeah, I figured something like that was going on when I saw her bed empty. Plus, you here. You don’t come around no more lessin’ it’s something going on.”
I nodded.
I sat there and looked at him and waited for him to show an ounce of concern for the woman who’d borne him two children and been his wife for the past forty-some-odd years. I waited for him to ask about her or something. But he just sat there, grinding his teeth and scratching his head. “Any more hot water? I think I’ma make me some coffee,” he finally said.
He didn’t wait for me to answer. He stood from his chair with another grunt and checked the pot for himself. Then he pulled a coffee mug from the cabinet and started noisily making himself a cup of coffee, huffing and puffing and grunting the whole time. I cleared my throat and took a deep breath. My face was heating up, but I was determined to keep my composure. Daddy wasn’t going to make me lose my cool. Not this time.
“She got a hold of a bottle of laxatives and took all of them,” I said.
“Umph,” he grunted. “She always gettin’ into something.”
I took another deep breath. “Yeah, um, the doctor’s talking about sending her home this afternoon.”
“Umph.”
He sat back down across from me and loudly slurped his coffee. So we sat there in silence except for his slurps.
Slurp…
Slurp…
Slurp…
Finally, I stood from the table. “I’ma go take a shower so I can head on up to the hospital to check on Mama. You wanna ride with me?”
Slurp. “Naw, you go ‘head on. I’ll see her when she come home.” Slurp…
I sighed. “All right, then, Daddy.”

About the Author:
Adrienne Thompson has worn many titles in her lifetime–from teenage mother to teenage wife to divorcee to registered nurse to author. This mother of two young adults and one teenager currently resides in Arkansas with her daughter where she writes and publishes her stories full time.
You can connect with her at:


Sunday, February 15, 2015

Book Spotlight: When the Real Thing Comes Along - Faith Simone

Title: When the Real Thing Comes Along
Author: Faith Simone
Genre(s): Contemporary Romance, Inspirational Fiction, Edgy Christian Fiction
Release Date: February 13, 2015

About the Book
She loved and lost…Will faith give her the courage she needs to love again?
Jacelynn appears to have it all together: a great relationship with her boyfriend Jason who is truly a man after God’s own heart, a decent career and the love of family and friends. But when an unwelcome reminder from her past shows up, her previously uncomplicated world is turned upside down.  Will she jeopardize what she has with Jason in an attempt to rewrite the mistakes of her past? 
They say you never forget your first love, no matter how hard you try. So far, Jacelynn has done a pretty good job of forgetting Taylor, the boy who had her heart first. When Taylor returns several years later as a man requesting a second chance, what’s a girl to do…Especially when she already has a new man?
The hidden issues of Jacelynn’s heart come to light and she’s forced take a hard look in the mirror while making choices that will change her future forever. Will she be able to reconcile who she was then, with who she is in Christ now?

Living and loving in faith isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. That’s what happens…

When the Real Thing Comes Along

EXCERPT 
She struggled to absorb all that he’d told her.
“Why should I believe what you’re saying? How do I know that you’re not here because of your ego?”
He cringed. “I understand your reasoning. If I were you, I’d think the same thing about me. I’d think that I was running another game on you, and if you had accepted my explanation without any reservations, you wouldn’t have been the girl I remember and love.”
Her airway momentarily constricted. She took a shallow breath. “Don’t . . . don’t say that. You never loved me. Love doesn’t behave the way you did.” She had to believe that, had to believe that no man who ever loved her could hurt her so badly.
“You’re right. Love is patient, love is kind, it seeks not its own, it is not boastful, it does not envy. See, I didn’t know about what love truly was back then, but now I do. I know that love never fails.”
Her mouth dropped. This man across from her quoting scripture couldn’t possibly be the same person who stepped all over her heart. 
He grinned. “I see I’ve got you speechless. Jacelynn this is no game. I’m for real. My love for you won’t fail this time around.”
“I-I have a boyfriend.” She held her head in her hands, eyes wide with shock. “I have a boyfriend.” She hadn’t thought of Jason once since she’d sat down. And here was this good-looking man, saying all the right things. The man who had her heart first, stirring up all kinds of feelings inside of her.
He nonchalantly stated, “We’ve met.”
“What am I doing here? What am I doing here? I don’t need this drama.” She reached for her purse. “Taylor, I’m ecstatic about your conversion. If you’re sincere, I wish you the best in your walk with God. But as far as you and I go, we’re history. I forgave you a long time ago and I have moved on. I have a beautiful relationship with a man who is established and rooted in God. I’m not jeopardizing that because someone from my past shows up with a few poetic speeches. If you were ever in love at all, it was with a naïve girl who didn’t have sense enough to see you for what you really were; a jive talking immature little boy. I have grown up, and I suggest you do the same.” 
She stood to leave and he took her hand as she attempted to pass him. “I won’t pretend that hearing what you think about me doesn’t hurt. But I’ve grown up. You’re rejecting me based on my past and that’s fine. I’ve rejected it too. But I need for you to give me the chance to show you’ve I’ve changed.”
She glared down at him. “I don’t owe you anything.”
“You’re right, you don’t. But I owe you so much. If you didn’t see my flaws, it was because you were looking at my heart. You saw what I could be and you loved me.” He stood up and his proximity to her made it difficult for her to breathe. When his lips touched her ear, she turned her head away. “I’m not going anywhere Ja. I don’t mind proving who I’ve become to you. And as far as your little boyfriend goes, you never said you loved him.”
He waited. She knew he was giving her time to confess her love for Jason now. When she only lifted glittering angry eyes to him, he continued, “I don’t mind if he’s holding you now. Go ahead and lean on his shoulder for a while. But it’s me you’ll be thinking about and it’s me you’ll be remembering.”
She snatched her hand out of his and stepped back, hoping to diminish the heat ricocheting between their bodies. “Your so called love won’t fail this time around, because there’s never going to be another chance for us. Never.”  She turned and walked out of the restaurant without looking back. 
Buy Links

About the Author
Faith Simone is a poet, playwright and novelist.  She is also an active blogger, sharing her personal thoughts, book reviews and tips for writers on her website FaithSimone.com. Simone is passionate about using her gift of writing as a tool to help promote humanity, understanding and compassion.
Social Links
Website: FaithSimone.com
Goodreads:  Faith Simone

Giveaway Info
Faith is giving away Three (3) Amazon Gift Cards! Click on the rafflecopter giveaway button to enter!





a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, February 14, 2015

New Release Love After War by Te Russ

About the book:

Connie and Drew have been butting heads since they were teenagers. With Connie refusing to talk about anything from their past, Drew has never figured out what made them go from friends to enemies.
Drew decides to finally get to the root of their lifelong feud when Connie ends up in Texas for a remodeling project. When the truth comes out, it just might bring out some feelings both of them have been refusing to acknowledge for over a decade.

About the Author:

Growing up an introvert, Té Russ found solace in literary arts at an early age. She found reading to be a vehicle to broader horizons and writing a form of self-expression. She began writing love stories in her adolescent years as a way to expel her youthful thoughts of love into words. Since then she has gone from writing stories and thoughts of love in journals to attending college for journalism and falling in love, which has allowed those youthful words of love to blossom into a series of stories in her romance novels. Though she has an immense appreciation for the sheer smell that books collectively exert, she also has found balance to her introverted nature with adrenaline inducing activities. So if she does not have her nose pressed deeply into a book or her pen ticking through a pad, you may also find this mother of three baking some tasty treats, jumping out of airplanes, cheering her husband on at the top of her lungs at MMA fights, buzzing down the interstate on the back of motorcycles, or kayaking.

Books available on Amazon



Excerpt:

“What are we doing here Andrew?” Connie asked, annoyed.
“This is where were having lunch,” he replied simply. “You still eat pizza dont you?”
They were standing in the waiting area of Uno Chicago Grill, simply known as Unos in the area.
It looked a lot like a pizzeria they used to go to as kids in the summer in Galveston. She wondered if hed brought her here on purpose.
“Yes, I still eat pizza but–”
“Great, here comes the hostess to sit us.”
The lady barely looked at Connie; she was so busy eyeballing Drew. And flirting just a tad too much.
“Can I get you anything to drink honey?” she cooed, while brushing her hand up and down his shoulder.
“Constance?”
“What?” she asked, tearing her glare away from the woman.
He tried to hide the smirk on his face. “What would you like to drink?”
“Iced tea. Sweet.”
“Ill have the same thing,” he said, never taking his eyes off of Connie. “Ice tea. Sweet.”
“Im sure its not as sweet as you.”
“Im hardly sweet,” he replied, causing the hostess to laugh a little too hysterically and all but throw herself into Drews lap.
After she was done fawning over him, she sauntered off, with an exaggerated sway of her hips.
Connie couldnt wipe the scowl off of her face and Drew was about to say something when Miss Laughs-a-lot returned.
“Joss will be your waitress today, but if you need anything, dont hesitate to call.”
Connie watched as the woman slipped a piece of paper down in front of him. She rolled her eyes as the woman walked away.
“Unbelievable,” Connie murmured.
“What is?”
“That... woman. She was throwing herself all over you Andrew.”
He shrugged. “I suppose she was a little flirty.”
Connie laughed. “A little flirty? Andrew please! She was two seconds away from giving you a lap dance right in front of me. And she didnt acknowledge me once. It was as if I wasnt even here. For all she knew I could have been your date or girlfriend, but she didnt care.”
“But you do?” Drew asked, with a raised eyebrow.
“Excuse me?”
“Well, youre not my girlfriend. And technically this isnt a date, just lunch. So why do you care if some hostess flirts with me?”
“You are completely incorrigible! Its simply rude of her to flirt with a man in front of lady company. And its just bad customer service to ignore patrons. Besides that, I dont care who flirts with you or whom you flirt with.”
“Ah but thats the thing! I didnt flirt with her. In fact, if I recall, I never took my eyes off of you.”
Connie opened her mouth to argue, but she couldnt because he was right. Drew seemed to have barely to noticed the hostess.
Well–
“If I didnt know any better, Barb, Id say you were jealous.”
He watched as the color rose up her neck and filled her cheeks. “Andrew McAllister, I am not jealous of some floozy hitting on you!”
He chuckled, and then said, “‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks!’”
She scoffed. “Quoting Hamlet does not make you cute.”
“So what does make me cute?” he asked, his voice filled with a hint of intrigue.
Connie threw a napkin at him and he laughed out loud.
Joss, the waitress, showed up then and took their food orders. She was clearly a young girl, probably a college student and was completely enamored with Drew as well. Thankfully, she wasnt shameless like the hostess. The poor girl could barely speak. She kept looking at Connie and stealing glances toward Drew, as if he were the sun and just too bright to look at directly.
Drew ordered for them remembering exactly how Connie liked her pizza.
Another thing from their past, shed thought. But she let it slide this time, because the poor girl nearly knocked over their glasses of iced tea.
“Im so sorry,” she apologized to them both.
“Its all right,” he said to her.
Connie nodded. “Dont worry honey, no harm done.”
The girl scuffled off to put in their orders and Connie couldnt help but laugh.
“The great Andrew McAllister, turning women all over the place into crazed fools.”
“Except you,” he said sarcastically.
If only you knew, she thought.
“Im not the only one causing trouble in here,” he said, interrupting her thoughts.
“What in the world are you talking about?”
“The man sitting at the table behind you, at your five oclock...”
Connie used the excuse of tucking her hair behind her ear to glance over her shoulder and caught a man averting his eyes from their direction.
“Hes been staring at your legs, since you walked past him.”
“What? Thats ridicu–”
“The man at the table behind me, at your two oclock.. .”
He waited for her to glance over his shoulder and then look back at him.
Well,” he said, slightly annoyed, “Lets just say hes been looking a little bit North of your legs, South of your neck.”
She gasped at what he was implying.
“How could you know that?” she asked in a whisper, leaning closer toward him.
“Part of my job is to make sure I know everything going on in my surroundings.”
“Well, I guess you do your job pretty well.”
He shrugged. “Im still alive.

There was something in the tone of his voice when he said those words. If she didnt know any better, she would have thought it sounded like remorse.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Author Interview - Faith Simone

Greetings!! Today I get to share my interview with Faith Simone. Read below to learn all about her and her wonderful books!!


LaToya: Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Faith: This shouldn't be a complicated answer, but for me it kind of is…I was born in Mississippi, but when I was three years old my mama decided to drive west until she hit water. Which is how I ended up being raised in Long Beach, CA, where I stayed until my late twenties. Now I live in Memphis, TN.

LaToya: Did you always know you wanted to be a writer?
Faith: Yes, I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was old enough to understand that it was a profession. But I let practicality get in the way of pursuing my dreams. I really limited myself by buying into the mentality that writing could not pay the bills. Had I pursued my passion when I was much younger, I know I would be a lot farther along in my writing career.
When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book?
I started my first novel when I was about 21 with a working title of ‘Many Waters’. I finished the first draft in about a year, then left it to sit for over a decade. I picked it back up about a year ago and now I’m finally publishing it! ‘Many Waters’ became ‘When the Real Thing Comes Along’.

LaToya: How did you choose the genre you write in?
Faith: I decided to write my first novel because I was tired of reading subpar Christian fiction. I would finish a book in that genre and think, “I could do so much better than that!” Yeah, I had an ego on me when I was younger, lol. I also read some really good Christian fiction that was not only entertaining but edifying. Three of those books are ‘Redeeming Love’ and ‘Atonement Child’ by Francine Rivers, and ‘Boaz Brown’ by Michelle Stimpson.  Whether you’re a fan of this genre or new to it I highly recommend those books!

 I really want to create quality realistic faith based fiction. Life is messy, even when you have faith. Maybe even especially when you have faith. I want to portray that in my writing.

LaToya:  Where do you get your ideas?
Faith: I get a lot of my ideas from current events, watching movies and simply observing life. It’s really true that the truth is often better than fiction!

LaToya: Name one book that you would categorize as a life changing read.
Faith: The first answer that pops into my mind is the Bible, and that’s true, but to avoid being a cliché I’ll also add ‘I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings’ by Maya Angelou. She told the story of her life with such astute honesty and poetic language that the book affirmed my belief in the power of words and the importance of telling character driven realistic stories.

LaToya: Who is your favorite author?
Faith: Take a wild guess? Yep, Maya Angelou. I suppose that wasn’t such a wild guess after all!

LaToya: Name one book you wish you’d written.
Faith: Mmmhhh… that’s a difficult question. I’m not in the habit of coveting another writer’s style or work. So I can’t say that there’s a book that I wish I’d written. I will say that there’s a book that I love that I would like to emulate: ‘Little Women’ by Louisa May Alcott. It’s such a timeless story about family, loyalty and sisterhood. I’d love to one day write a book that people can relate to for centuries like that.

LaToya: Tell us about your latest book (include blurb and/or excerpt).
Faith: My eyes were wide open the night I invited Taylor into my life. It was at the end of one of those parties that starts out with what seems like hundreds of people, but turns mellow before midnight. I was ready to go but my best friend, Kim, wasn’t. She was trying to finalize the hook up with a guy from her history class. Meanwhile, I was waiting on a ratty couch in the dark living room with a guy I knew I would never see again, wishing that I was at home watching Lifetime movies. That’s when I saw him. 
He walked past me through the sliding glass doors into the backyard. Something about the gracefulness of his long strides, made me get up and follow him while the guy on the couch was still running his mouth.
The sound of Usher singing about how to tell if you got it bad muffled to a slow thumping bass as I closed the patio doors behind me. I waved away the sweet smell of weed as I stepped around a few people smoking and lounging on the mismatched patio furniture.
I trailed him across the large backyard where the only sound was the loud swishing of the dozen or so palm trees waltzing in the fall winds. Both of our steps were silent in the soft mushy grass. I felt strange following him without saying anything, but I wanted him to sense me behind him. I wanted to know if the crazy magnetism I was feeling was working on him too. But there was a different force drawing him that night. One that I would contend with at a later time, in another place, with a lot more to lose.
LaToya: How can readers connect with you?
Faith: I love hearing from readers! Connect with me via any of the channels below.

Twitter: @FaithSimone2011

LaToya: What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Faith: Start now! Don’t wait until you feel good enough, or experienced enough or until the stars all align. If you want to be a writer then write. It’s that simple. Study the craft, learn all you can, but when it comes down to it put your butt in a chair and write. 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Tuesday: Self-Publishing Tips for Writers

Self-publishing is defined as books or writings that are published by oneself or with one's own money. Here are three ways that indie authors can improve self-publishing, with the aim of keeping readers happy and thus creating sales.
  1. Editing: When editing your book it is important to read your manuscript several times after you complete the first draft. Connect with other beta readers or professional editors who will remain critical and unbiased bout your work.
  2. Book covers: Your book cover is the first things your readers will notice when they pick up your book. Your cover should paint a picture of what they will find as they turn the pages of your book.
  3. Book blurbs: Book blurbs should be very descriptive ad use words that will draw the reader into the story. Be careful not to reveal too much information about your book.  Your book blurb should arouse the readers curiosity and appeal to their self-interest.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Motivational Monday

Motivation is define as:
  1. The act or process of giving someone a reason for doing something: the act or process of motivating someone
  2. The condition of being eager to act or work: the condition of being motivated
  3. A force or influence that causes someone to do something

Friday, February 6, 2015

Book Spotlight - CUPID'S ERROR by JOY AVERY

Blurb:
Staffing agency owner Danica James is determined not to spend another Valentine’s Day alone. But purchasing a man for the evening? Out of the question. Then her best friend intervenes—gifting her a night of dinner and dancing with a Cupid’s Arrow escort. What could be the harm? Though Cupid’s Arrow is known for matches made in heaven, she’s not looking for a love connection. Then she meets her Cupid’s Fellow and everything changes.

Business mogul Weston Henshaw doesn't need Cupid’s Arrow to get a Valentine’s Day companion, but Cupid’s Arrow needs him. Seems his sister’s charity event has done far better than anticipated. Only problem…a shortage of eligible bachelors to pamper all of the lonely hearts. When he agrees to be bait for an evening, he never imagines meeting the one woman who makes him wish the night would never end.

An error by Cupid’s places Danica and Weston on a road to destiny, but will they maintain the course?

Excerpt:
She nodded. “I went through a lot with him. I gave him all of me, and it wasn’t enough. If I wasn’t enough for him, how could I ever be enough for a man like you?”

Weston’s brows crumpled. “A man like me? Who am I, Danica?”

“You’re a mogul who can have any woman on any continent he wants.”

“You have me all wrong. I’m just a man who is crazy about one woman, on this continent. That woman is you. You shouldn't question if you’re enough for me. I should question if I’m enough for you. You’re a treasure, Danica James. I knew it after only one hour with you. Your ex-husband was a damn fool to sacrifice a pot of gold.”


Bio:
Joy Avery is a contemporary romance author who loves watching her imaginary friends fall in love. When not crafting her next love story, she enjoys reading, spending time with the family, playing with her two dogs, and cake decorating.
She’s the author of the novels Smoke in the Citi, His Until Sunrise (book 1 in the Indigo Falls series), Cupid’s Error-a Valentine’s novella, and the soon-to-be-released His Ultimate Desire (book 2 in the Indigo Falls series).

Connect with me:



Thursday, February 5, 2015

Black History Month: Author Spotlight

In honor of Black History Month I will host an author spotlight that will run the entire month of February. You will have the opportunity to showcase your books or complete an author interview. Submit all information to: latoya@latoyamurchison.com

Book Showcase Downloadable Copy
  1. Book and author picture 
  2. A book blurb
  3. Book Excerpt:
  4. Purchase Links:
  5. Short Author Bio:
  6. How can readers connect with you?
Author Interview Questions Downloadable Copy
  1. Where are you from? Where do you live now?
  2. Did you always know you wanted to be a writer? 
  3. When did you first start writing and when did you finish your first book? 
  4. How did you choose the genre you write in? 
  5. Where do you get your ideas? 
  6. Name one book that you would categorize as a life changing read. 
  7. Who is your favorite author? 
  8. Name one book you wish you’d written. 
  9. Tell us about your latest book. 
  10. How can readers connect with you?
  11. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
  12. If you could choose a famous African American who has impacted your life who would it be and why?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Writer Wednesday: 2015 Publishing and Reading Goal

I have been thinking what I want to accomplish this year. I have a few goals in mind, and I plan to work hard to reach them. Here they are:



To read at least 50 new books (motivational and business).
To explore a few new genres to expand my reading experience.
To publish at least two books.
To build my author support circle
To interact with readers more.
Establish my publishing company
To discover new authors whose work I've never read before.

To re-establish my Facebook Group: D.O.V.E (Daughters ofVirtue)