Thursday, December 29, 2005

Life Sound Track

I’m a music person. I’m probably one of those people who will have a soundtrack about my life. Music is a part of my life. A song can take me back in time. As a Christmas present to myself. I bought seven CDs.

The soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever – Yes I was Travolta fan and loved the music and the movie. This music took me back to the disco era. I so wanted to do disco, but unfortunately I was too young to go to any clubs. LOL

GUY – If you knew me in the Navy 1989, this group was my group. I Like was my theme song. I started my morning off playing this cassette. It was before CDs became popular. I played this cassette to death.

GUY along with New Edition and Backstreet are coming to St. Louis in January. Yes girlfriend has a ticket and yes I will be screaming my head off for Johnny Gill. I’m a huge JG fan.

KEM – This man is too smooth. I think I’m a new fan.

Marah Carey – Always a fan, I love the new CD, good dance music and slow stuff.

Mary Mary – You know I have to get my gospel music on. This is a good CD too.

Charlie Wilson – Yes I was a Gap Band fan, take me back to when I was 13 attended my second concert ever. My first was the Jackson 5. (What a way to start off concerts) I love Charlie’s voice. He even remade a Guy song.

TLC greatest Hits – These were my girls in the 90s. I got my party on to plenty of their music. I had too much fun in the 90s. This is a fun CD.

Yes I’m enjoying the music, wondering which new song will be added to my soundtrack.

Do you have a soundtrack?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005


Bonefire! Conference

February 3-4, 2006

Then I said, "I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name. "But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, And I could not. Jeremiah 20:9 NKJV

Whether God calls you to write or not, you have a God-given vision for your life! When God gives you something, it stays with you morning, noon, and night until you do what He says to do, the way He says to do it. It becomes like fire shut up in your bones. It becomes so hot that you have to write it down. It becomes such a powerful force that you can barely move or think.



American Christian Fiction Writers Launches Book Club

From airport newsstands to Newsweek, Christian fiction continues to grow in popularity, resonating with readers looking for both faith and fiction. The growth of the genre has birthed many new writers, as evidenced by American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW), an organization started in 2000. Now boasting almost 1000 members, ACFW reaches out to readers as well as writers with their new ACFW Book Club. Beginning January 2006, the Book Club will offer fans of Christian fiction the opportunity to chat with ACFW authors and discuss monthly reading selections. Readers will also be eligible for monthly free book drawings.

The titles chosen to kick off the club include:

* Black Sands by Colleen Coble. Trouble in paradise. A Hawaiian romantic suspense.
* Leave it to Claire by Tracey Bateman. Single mom tries to fix her family. Chick lit fun!
* Outriders by Kathryn Mackel. A new ark. An ancient enemy. Fantasy adventure.
* Pink by Marilynn Griffith. Four fashion designers collaborate on a million dollar wedding dress. Will they find God in the seams? Multicultural tale.

Information on the Book Club will be posted on the ACFW Website, and on, a book discussion e-mail group designed to keep members informed and allow them to discuss the books throughout the month. Book Club chats will be held on the ACFW Website in the chat room at 7:00 p.m. CST on the first Monday of the month following the month the book is read. Membership is free and open to the public. To join the announcement and discussion e-mail group, send a blank e-mail to

For more information about the ACFW Book Club, please visit:

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Blog Tour 2006

Are you looking for a place to promote your book? I’d be happy to feature you on my blog.

I would like to feature one author each week. So that’s four slots for the month. I will feature an interview and a chapter excerpt.


Christian Literature Only (fiction and nonfiction)
1 chapter excerpt of your book/include a short blurb (no graphic or sexual content)
Picture of you and book (jpgs)
Two copies of your book. (One for me of course and one for a lucky blog reader)

If this sounds like something you would like to do contact me at

I’ll send you the date of your tour and address to send books.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Food For Thought

"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today,
life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."

"I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way
he/she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and
tangled Christmas tree lights."

"I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as "making
a life."

"I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance."

"I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's
mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw some things back."

"I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart, I
usually make the right decision."

"I've learned that even when I have pains, I don't have to be one."

"I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.

"People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back."

"I've learned that I still have a lot to learn."

"I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will
forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them

~~Maya Angelou

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Death Penalty

An eye for an eye. I use to think this way until I watched a movie called Somersby. It changed my opinion about the death penalty.

I was hoping Arnold would give Tookie clemency. Mainly because as a society we say we want those in jail to turn their lives around. To be sorry for their actions and try to be a better person. I think in this situation it happen. I don’t think he should be excused from what he did, but he should have lived the rest of his life in prison.

You go to jail for killing someone. How is killing them making it right?

Maybe one day my opinion will change again, but for now I think we really should rethink the death penalty. Do we need it? Why have it if we’re going to continue asking for clemency. Send the people to jail and be done with it.

Ok I’m off of my soap box.

Rest In Peace

Richard Pryor

Yes I was a fan of Richard Pryor. He was the first comedian I ever saw do a concert. He cracked me up. Yes he had some vugar bits, but the man was funny. I was sadden to hear he died. He open doors for many other comedians and its good to know he’ll go down in history because of that.

Pat Morita

I was also sadden to hear of the death of Mr. Miyagi. In the 80's everybody was a fan of the Karate Kid movies. We all thought if we did the wax on wax off we could kick some butt.

My sympathy to their family, friends and fans. They will be truly missed.

Friday, December 09, 2005

BOOK WINNER - Made Of Honor

I would like to thank those who stopped by the blog for Marilynn’s tour. I would like send a special thank you to the ladies who left a comment.

I put your names in a hat and the winner is …….Claudia

Claudia send me your mailing address and I’ll send you a copy of Marilynn new book. You’re going to enjoy it.

Would you like to be a guest on my blog?
Contact me at

Friday, December 02, 2005

EXCERPT: Made Of Honor



I'm turning into a Chia pet.

With legs.

Little children are starting to toss dandelions when they see me. The brides of Leverhill, Illinois have taught the kiddies well. One little darling from church, a cutie with zigzag parts and snaggle teeth, wants to grow up and take my job-big flower girl. The little girl nailed it, especially about the big part, but we're not going there. Not today, with my formerly fat best friend looking like Twiggy goes bridal, while I gasp for breath in a dress fit for a train wreck. My only consolation is not having to worry about Tracey aiming a floral missile (known to some as a bouquet) at my head later on.

She wouldn't do me like that, would she? Nah. At least that's what I tell myself, but then I thought this wedding wouldn't happen either. Still, this bride is one of my closest friends and my roommate for the past three years. Tracey Cox, well, Tracey Blackman now, has picked enough baby's breath out of my teeth to know better.

Just in case though, a pint of Chunky Monkey and a pedicure appointment await me after this reception. Who knows? Tracey just might snap and throw long. Marriage does things to people. One day they're normal and the next they're inviting total strangers to wear ugly dresses in their weddings and then after the ceremony, said brides proceed to cut off all communication with members of the wedding party except for goofy Christmas photos of the newlyweds cradling an ugly dog, signed "from all of us." And don't let them actually get pregnant. Have you ever seen an entire album of birth photos? Not cute.

Do I sound bitter?

I'm not. I have friends. Sistahs even. And trying to keep up with them, keep my job and stay right with God occupies most of my time. Like now. I need to find Rochelle, my other best friend (yes, I have two) and founder of the Sassy Sistahood email list. If I don't catch up to her soon, she might make a fool of herself.

Or me.

Though my girlfriend is a paragon of virtue most days, weddings turn Rochelle into a gelatinous pool of desperation. Remember the birth photo album I mentioned? It's worse. Okay, so nothing's worse than that, but it's bad. Even the sight of me, voluptuous black woman tangled in tulips after a bouquet toss, is easier on the eyes.

Using my emergency x-ray vision (activated by squinting so hard I almost fused my contacts to my eyeballs) I glimpsed a pink satin horror similar to my own, but a set of three-inch shoulder pads blocked my view. Who would wear a power suit to a wedding-my boss. There she was, looking just as angry as when I'd left her at work last night. I ducked before she saw me, recovering from my shock that she'd even shown up. The bride, who left our office to start her own graphic design firm six months ago, insisted on inviting Naomi, her-former and my-current employer and Renee, my assistant, who was probably somewhere taking pictures of me for blackmail. She'd be giggling in my ear about this dress for the next month. At least.

My future torture aside, I was proud of Naomi for actually leaving the office (I think she secretly lives there). For her to show up at her own funeral would be the height of etiquette. Some people just don't grasp interaction, you know? And having "interacted" with Naomi daily for the past six years, I could do without her today. Besides, I needed to find Sassy Sistah #1 before she melted down and kissed somebody.

With that thought as fuel, I forced my Baker dyeables (those satin shoes that can be dyed to match your gown? I know. Prom flashbacks.) across the sprinkle of autumn leaves on the ground. Rochelle tiptoed up beside me, fanning her face, despite the growing chill. Man Mania was in full swing.

"Did you see Ryan's brother?" She said breathlessly. "From the looks of things, Tracey should have picked him."

From the reality of things. Anyone seemed a better choice. I mentally squashed the nagging doubt about my friend's hour-old marriage. Thoughts like that were getting me nowhere. It was done. God would have to take it from here. Me worrying myself to an ulcer before I got back to work on Monday was definitely a waste of resources.

I shook my head at Rochelle and considered reaching out and shaking hers. This time she was really in the zone. I spoke right into her ear, hoping it would jar her brain. "I wasn't really paying attention to the brother of the groom." Or any other man around here. What would be the point? The last guy I dated had just married my best friend.

Rochelle made a clucking sound. "You should have been paying attention. His brother is foine." She rolled her neck for effect, but didn't quite pull it off. I just stared. She'd been watching too much UPN again.

"Come on." I tugged at her arm and started back across the smattering of red-gold leaves, away from Mr. Foine. She'd hate me later if I didn't. If a brothah showed up tomorrow in response to Rochelle's flirting, she would run for her life while dictating a restraining order into her recorder.

Usually, her wedding trance would have been long since broken. But this was Tracey's wedding. And whether Rochelle and I were willing to admit it or not, we'd both thought that if anyone got married, it'd be one of the two of us, not the cute, fat, geek of the group. Not that Tracey was fat anymore. The plump-but-cute girl role was currently being played by moi. My midsection pressed against the strangling fabric of my dress as if in agreement.

Rochelle made a shrill sound, almost like a whistle. The weary-in-well-doing sigh. The sound she makes when she just can't take anymore. Not a good sign. Her pink leather t-strap shoes, designed by her own hand and much prettier than my castoffs from last year's spring formal, peeked from underneath her frock, several sizes smaller than my own. Our skirts skimmed the lawn every few steps. This was downright antebellum. If I didn't know better, I'd think a plantation was going to pop out of the ground any minute.

Rochelle's words cut through my thoughts. "I can't help feeling romantic on days like this. Lately, I even wonder if-"

"If what?" My body stiffened. I'd heard this speech before. All my die-hard single friends give this little talk before becoming wife wannabes. Tracey's little rant three months ago was still fresh in my mind. Rochelle? Despite her wedding breakdowns, I never thought I'd hear it from her. Well, not until Jericho graduated from high school anyway. That boy kept us all busy.

"I'm just talking," she said, moving faster. "It's nothing, really."

More like a big something, but I decided to leave it. This day had enough mess going without adding to it. "I hope the punch is good."

Rochelle nodded, gathering her skirt to gain a little speed. Good punch could cover a multitude of sins. Even Tracey marrying Ryan. (Okay, he's not so bad. He's rich, handsome and loves her to pieces. But there's just something creepy about the guy. I don't know. Forget I said anything).

While I pondered the groom's strangeness, Rochelle grabbed my wrist, digging her natural length nails into my flesh. Without looking at her, I knew it was already too late. And we'd almost made it to punchdom.

Tracey would not, could not throw that bouquet at me.

But she did.

A few inches ahead, a group of women floated onto the green in front of us, like a cloud of cotton candy. The bride broke through, holding her weapon of choice, peach hybrid roses from the Leverhill Botanical Gardens.

"Run!" Rochelle screamed with the concern of a fire marshal at a brewing blaze.

Obeying her command was my first mistake. The stop-drop-and-roll technique is always best to achieve my goals: avoiding head trauma, keeping the contacts in and keeping the dress covering my backside.

As previously stated, I deviated from this method.

When nothing tagged the back of my head (seriously, they stopped aiming for my hands two summers ago) I did a dumb thing and turned around. The bouquet slapped against my forehead like a Jackie Chan sound effect. I tripped on my skirt trying to escape (she'd already nailed me, of course, but it was instinct). My dress ballooned around my waist like a giant boat made of Bubble Yum.

Then . . . the pain burned beneath my eye. What was that? I dropped to one knee, jerking the whole pink mess of me back into place, while peeking through my fingers. Something I mistook for tears trickled into my mouth. Blood.

I wobbled to my feet. "What in the world?" I'd been hit with a lot of flowers, a few small shrubs even, but no one had ever drawn blood. This was past wrong.

Rochelle hovered over me, panting and picking greenery from between my braids. Satisfied with her job on that, she peeled back my fingers and surveyed the scratch under my eye. "The thorns. Tracey forgot to have them removed. It was the only thing on her list . . . Sorry."

I took my hand off my eye. Rochelle's tone let me know that she hadn't been in on this but she had been aware of the possibility. Not for the first time, the Sassy Sistahs had made me mad. Tracey approached slowly, waving like she always does after doing something crazy. I felt my anger wash away at the sight of her silly grin. Still, this was a bit much. "Thorns? You've got to be kidding."

"Wish I was." Rochelle dabbed my face with a napkin from her clutch. No doubt there was a first aid kit, needle and thread, makeup bag and two shades of pantyhose crammed in that tiny thing. How she'd even managed to hold on to it while trying to drag me to safety was beyond me, but I'd long given up on trying to figure out Chelle's superwoman capabilities. She just has skills like that. I'm lucky to keep my shoes on. (Although I did manage to keep my contacts in. A new accomplishment).

Just before Tracey reached us, someone from the groom's family intercepted and wheeled her away. The beginning of the end. She was no longer my roommate, my best friend. She was someone's wife. We walked past Tracey, giving us the "be right there" signals.

Rochelle smiled. I sulked. "Knowing Tracey, she probably thought it was more Christ-like to leave the thorns on." Mock disgust sounded in my voice. I was trying to be mad and couldn't.

"Hush you," Rochelle said, using our code phrase for when one started in on another of the three. It was the standard defense, but right now I felt like pushing past it.

Tracey joined us and slipped an arm around-well, almost around-my waist. "Got you, didn't I? Sorry about your eye though."

"You'd better be glad I love y'all," I whispered as people packed in around us. Pain seared my scalp where Rochelle had raked a stem through my hair.

"Maybe if you'd helped with the wedding errands, you could have taken care of those thorns." Rochelle said, reaching back in her purse for her dabbing cloth.

Ouch. That hurt way more than my eye. The truth always does. I pushed away Rochelle's hand, preferring to blink my own way back to health. In a minute, there'd be no skin left on the right side of my face. That girl was dangerous with a Kleenex.

Tracey started to say something, but was called away . . . again. I took a deep breath, watching her walk to behind the punch table with her mother-in-law. Where was the groom? Why was I the one getting jealous instead of him? Like I said, he's a little weird. This whole deal was. But there was no use trying to explain that to Rochelle. She wasn't trying to hear it. So I did what I always do-tried to explain it anyway.

"Look, Rochelle, I already regret not helping out with the wedding. But I just wasn't sure about this. When I dated Ryan-"

She tried the neck thing again, with success this time. "Dated? Is that what you call it? That mess was so boring he just stopped calling and came back to the singles group. So he wasn't for you. No reason he can't be the one for Tracey." In a deft motion, she grabbed a napkin from the table next to us, wadded it quickly and removed several layers of my epidermis. "There's just one last spot . . ."

She reached out again, but I shook my head, thinking I should have thrown in some cookies with the Ben and Jerry's waiting for me at home. Somehow we wandered into the punch line. We both relaxed allowing the tide of people to pull us forward. Only when a gruesome Pepto-pink cake with what looked like the watermelon gel I brushed my teeth with for filling came into view was I totally appalled. I definitely should have helped with the wedding plans. The gold-colored punch in the bowl beside the cake monster looked good though.

It would have to be.

From MADE OF HONOR, by Marilynn Griffith, Steeple Hill

ISBN 0373785542, January 2006, Copyright © 2006 by Harlequin Enterprises Limited. ® and tm are trademarks of the publisher. This edition published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

BLOG TOUR - Marilynn Griffith

Welcome to our first blog tour. Our special guest this week is someone I’m proud to call a friend. We met online and our friendship blossom. She always knows when to send me a pick me up email. We talk on the phone for hours never minding we’re in different states.

When she told me her book sold, I probably shouted more than her. I sat up all night reading it, yes its that good. I’m excited the fiction world is getting a chance to know what I’ve know for years, Mary can WRITE.

This is an author you’ll be adding to your I need to get list.

It is my honor to introduce you to my kindred spirit friend, Marilynn Griffith, debut author of Made Of Honor. A Christian Chick Lit book which will make an excellent Christmas present.

Shades Of Romance Magazine: Please give the readers a brief bio on you the person and the writer.

Marilynn Griffith: Well, let's see... I'm mom to a tribe of kids, wife to a very handsome deacon and blessed to be friends with some wonderful writers, like you, LaShaunda. I love to read, write, speak and all things communication related. I'm the person at the family gatherings who is always either telling a story or listening to one! Before realizing I was a writer life was a bit confusing. I tried everything from secretary to math tutor (that actually worked out pretty well). These days it's family, friends and church activities when I'm not writing. I like blogging though. That's fun.

SORMAG: Tell us about your current book?

Dana Rose pledges to say "I won't" the next time she's asked to be in a wedding. Her weak will has turned her closet into cemetery for satin gowns from periwinkle to Pepto pink. After ten stints as bridesmaid, Dana thinks she's seen it all. Then she's fired, forced to turn her hobby into a business and faced with her prodigal brother, back-stabbing sis and Mr. Practically Perfect, the ex who not only married someone else, but opened the business of her dreams—across the street. There's that Maid of Honor thing too… And this time she can't say no. Will wedding #11 show Dana what's she's really made of?

SORMAG: What inspired this story?

I used to own a seasonal bath and body business. Steeple Hill rejected my first manuscript but they liked my voice. They asked my agent about me doing a chick lit. I didn't know what that was exactly, but the prospect of writing in first person sounded interesting, so I tried it and loved it. I also have had a lot of wonderful single friends over the years.

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

I'd love for readers of MADE OF HONOR to come away from the book knowing that they are fearfully and wonderfully made and that God delights in them and loves them in an intimate way, despite whatever mess riddles their pasts. Christ stands waiting to embrace them as His bride.

SORMAG: How do you balance writing with your "every day life?"

I don't. LOL Really. I've long since given God that job. He called me to be a wife and mother and a writer. Sometimes (like a deadline week) that doesn't always look like I think it should, but God graced me with the family I was supposed to have. I try to keep the Word first place and keep the lines of communication open so that when things get off balance (too much work, not enough work) we can talk about it. When I try to stop writing to be Super Mom, my kids are like,"Go write something. You're cranky!"

SORMAG: How can readers learn more about your books and get in contact with you?

I can be contacted at or through comments at my website .

I'm offering an autograph copy of Made Of Honor to a lucky reader. Post a comment, question and your name will be put in a drawing. Winner will be announced Friday.

Marilynn is on tour all month. Check out the rest of the tour -

Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Dec 1 - The Bond - Karen Magill
Dec 5 - Bound By Destiny - Rayka Mennen
Dec 8 - Dancing with Temptation - Barbara Joe-Williams
Dec 12 – Catharsis - Minnie E Miller
Dec 15 – Different Flags - Eugenia Renskoff
Dec 19 - Night To Dawn issue 8 -Published by Barbara Custer
Dec 22 - Made of Honor - Marilynn Griffith
Dec 26 - A Woman Scorn'd - Dorothy Goins
Dec 29 - Counting Raindrops through a Stained Glass Window - Cherlyn Michaels

The online book club introduces you to two authors each week by sending out a chapter excerpt of their books.

To join the book club -

If you would like your book featured again in our book club, we are currently scheduling for 2006. All genres are welcome.

Feature your book in our online store - For the low price of 10.00 your book will be featured for DEC

Check it out -

Would you like to be a FEATURED AUTHOR?

Please feel free to forward this information on to other book lovers.

Best of Christian Romance Contest

Christian Fiction Blog is sponsoring a contest.

Best Christian Romance Novel Award

From now until Dec. 10 they will be taking nominations for this award. All participants will automatically register to win a free copy of Mary Griffith's Made to Honor. The url for more details is:

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Happy Thanksgiving!

May you have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving.

Enjoy your family.

In Memory Of Tony C. Williams

Losing a friend is a hard thing to do. Even though we never met in face to face, I considered Tony a friend.

We sent emails to each other and we talked on the phone. He even called me one time when he was in the hospital. I was like man what are you doing on the phone, you need to be resting. As usual he laughed and said he stuff to tell me. That was what I liked about him. He didn’t let being in the hospital get him down. He was a true fighter. He said he had a lot to do and he’d sleep later.

I admired his spunky attitude and his willingness to share his wisdom. I learned a lot from him and I'm thankful the Lord sent him into my life when he did.

Tony you will be missed thanks for sharing your kindred spirit.



Village Baptist Church
100 S. Hilton Street
Baltimore, Maryland
Thursday, December 1, 20056pm – 8pm

“He lost the battle to illness, but he won a place into the hearts of many”

For more information:443-423-9232 – Renee Jones

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Prayer Request

My computer has died.

Yes I'm in mourning. This is the wrong time of year for a computer to die. My funds do not see a new one in the near future.

Which is why I'm asking for your prayers. I know the Lord will make a way.

As a writer we are lost without our computers.

I'm taking donations, love offerings even new computers. :)

Thanks for your prayers.

Friday, November 18, 2005

You're the one that I love

November 16, 1996 - LaShaunda & Clyde Forever

Nine years with my hero. Where did the time go?

I met my sweetie in high school. We didn’t date. If you ask him, he’ll tell you I was mean to him, but he liked me. I liked him as a friend, brother figure.

We graduated and didn’t see each other until our 10 year high school reunion. I tried to hook him up with my friend, but they could never get their time together right. Everyone thought we were dating, so we decided why not. To our surprise we fell in love.

Against my mother’s wishes, we moved in together. It was one of the best year of my life. My feeling for him grew and one day I popped the question. OK I didn’t drop to my knee and ask him to marry me. I told him November 16th and he said OK.

We didn’t want a wedding just a reception. However I wanted to walk down the aisle at my church. My step-father was suppose to escort me but he didn’t show so my father had the honor. My walking down the aisle turned into a beautiful wedding which I will forever cherish.

As with any couple we’ve had our ups and downs, but we always come out together. He has been my rock when I thought I was sinking. He has kept my writing dream alive by never letting me forget why I write. He’s the best father in the world. I wished my own father was more like him when I was younger.

I’m glad I asked my best friend to marry me. I would do it all over again, but this time I would drop to my knees.

Thank you Lord for blessing me with my friend, lover, father of my children and best of all my husband. May we be blessed with many more anniversaries.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Quote Of The Week

Chapters "The first chapter sells the book. The last chapter sells the next book." --Mickey Spillane

The Written Word ( is a daily source of inspiration for writers, editors and publishers. If you would like to submit a publishing-related quote, please e-mail the quotation with the accurate source to Use the subject heading "The WrittenWord." We do not accept anonymous quotes.Feel free to forward these quotes on to your friends and encourage them to subscribe. If you would like to unsubscribe from this list, simply e-mail

Monday, November 07, 2005


As a writer we need encouragement too. I know I have those days, when I wonder what in the world am I doing.

Last night I received a call from a fellow writer whose books are about to hit the shelves in January. Yes you read right, books. She has two books coming out in January. Made of Honor and Pink.

Marylynn Griffith is about to make her next mark in the literary world. Many online readers know of her because her online newsletter Word Praize or they’re fans of her wonderful blog, Rhythm of Grace.

Mary as I call her probably doesn’t have a clue her call was very encouraging to me. You see, Mary understands how it feels to be where I am now. Wanting to be published and praying for the Lord to help me find the right publisher for my books.

She called for my advice on promotion and marketing, but her words lifted my spirit. They let me know not to give up on the dream because she is a living testimony that the Lord hears those I want to be published prayers.

I’m too excited about Mary’s book. They are the kind of books, I wish existed when I became a Christian. There’s nothing like looking for a book to encourage your spirit, and not being able to find them. Her books make you laugh, scream and praise the Lord. She calls them serious fun and they are.

I’m looking forward to promoting her book on SORMAG’s blog and introducing our readers to these wonderful books. I know they will be encouragement to other readers.

Thanks Mary for your encouragement.


One of my favorite bloggers – Brandilynn Collins is sponsoring a contest to win an Advance copy of her book.

I highly recommend signing up for the Sneak Pique newsletter if you a fan of Christian fiction. She has some excellent information in it. Also if you’re interested in writing suspense fiction, her blog is the place to be. Start from the beginning and read how she got published. Its very helpful for the new writer.

Win An
Advanced Reading Copy
of Web of Lies!

Just urge your friends to sign up for Sneak Pique, my e-mail newsletter on Christian fiction sent six times a year. Each time a friend of yours signs up for Sneak Pique, your name will be "put into the hat" for the drawing. So the more friends you send along, the more chances you'll have to win.

Steps to enter contest (please follow all steps in order to qualify):

Forward this e-mail to friends/family not currently receiving Sneak Pique, urging them to sign up. (They can read the latest issue on my Web site).

Friends receiving this forwarded e-mail must:
~ Sign up for the newsletter through this link.

~ Send an e-mail to, stating (a) the name of the person who referred them to Sneak Pique, and (b) that person's e-mail address. Use the subject heading: Web of Lies Contest.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

A wild week

We lost a great shero, Rosa Parks. Rosa decision to stay seated, change our world.

I survived the online conference. It was crazy. My computer decided to crash and there was no saving it. Thank God for my sister and mother having a computer. Just as I was back online, I was hit with a sinus infection. It tried to take me down, but the prayers went up and the Lord held on.

The conference was as my daughter says THE BOMB. We had some excellent panels, I felt like I was in the room with them. They shared their wisdom and I gained so much new knowledge about the crazy writing business.

No I haven’t given up on the dream. I do believe it will happen, in God’s time and not LaShaunda’s time.

The other day I was discussing this with my writing partner, my mother. I told her I’ve learned what patience is. With writing you have to learn patience. Just because you want to become published doesn’t mean it will happen. You have to wait and see. Its not easy, but its worth the wait.

I know there are a lot of you out there waiting too. STAND and know the Lord is on your side. When he makes a way it will happen.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A good book is a good book

Since BET announced Harlequin is buying them. A few blogs have been talking about it and how it will affect the authors and their books.

As a writer I’m sadden to lose another company that focuses on our books. It took years before the publishers recognized that African-American would like books that featured characters that looked like us.

I’ve been reading since I was four. I love books. The fact there is racism concerning books is appalling to me but unfortunately there is.

When our books came out instead of being marketed as romance novels they were marketed as African-American Romance Novels then Multi-Cultural Romance novels. We didn’t come up with the term, the publishers did. They decided to segregate our books. It wasn’t always like this. I remember going to the books stores looking for the books when they were announced. They were in the romance section. I found them by the spines because the book covers weren’t showing. I recognized the logo.

Later the section became the African-American section. So I had two sections to go to now. The AA sections and the romance sections. The romance to get my other books, did I stop reading white romances because they started writing AA romances? No, I’m not color blind a good book is a good book. I just had more authors to buy now.

When I joined RWA, I was surprised by how many of the members had never read an AA romance or even knew an AA author’s name. I was surprised because they were writers and as writers I thought we tried to keep up with the current market. I guess not.

I try to introduce readers to all writers. Yes SORMAG catered to Multi-cultural authors, however every chance I got I was promoting other authors too. I still believe a good book is a good book.

To get passed the racism, readers need to focus on the writing and not who is writing it. For years African-Americans only had books to read by White authors. Did that stop us from enjoying a book NOPE. A good book is a good book.

Here’s my comment I posted at ATBF about the topic about authors being on online communities

Promotion is something I preach to authors all the time. One of the reasons I started SORMAG was because the AA books and authors weren’t receiving a lot of promotion. Wayne started the online promotion, I joined on and then a few more sites did.

Most of the authors I interviewed, I approached them. They didn’t approach me. The ones I’ve never interviewed were because they didn’t have the time or no email. In this time and era its sad if you don’t have an email address. Its even sadder if you can’t make time to do a FREE interview that will help promote your books.

Many readers are now online and they meet new authors by visiting sites, groups and forums. If you’re not promoting your book online how will they know who you are.

Yeah we can moan and groan about white readers not reading our books, but if they don’t know about them how can they.

Many of SORMAG's readers were white, they wanted to find new authors writing good books.

No matter how tired you are, you have to make time for promotion. Because if you’re not promoting , nobody will read your book because they don’t know it exist.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Rejection :(

My book was not what they were looking for. Don’t you just hate those form letters? It makes you want to scream. Tell me what’s wrong with the book so I can fix it or know I should throw it in the closet.

My friend told me rejections let you know that you are working.

I like the sound of that. Especially since I’ve been doing a lot of writing lately.

I was a little hurt when I saw the white envelope on the table. I knew instantly it was a rejection. They never send your stuff back.

A little of me was relieved too. It wasn’t ready. I was so eager to send out, I should have waited and did one last review.

How do I know this? This past weekend, I read a book and as I reading it, I thought of a million things wrong with my own manuscript and how I could improve it.

I’m learning, its not easy but I feel I’m getting better with each book.

I don’t plan on doing any more submissions this year. I’ll start the new year off submitting again. I’m going to finish this year by completing the new novel and one last revision on the manuscript that was rejected. Who knows maybe next time I’ll get the please submit the complete manuscript letter.

Happy writing

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Are You A Pumkin?

From one pumpkin to another!!!!!!!

A woman was asked by a coworker, "What is it like to be a Christian?"

The coworker replied, "It is like being a pumpkin." God picks you from thepatch, brings you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. Then He cuts offthe top and scoops out all the yucky stuff.He removes the seeds of doubt, hate, and greed. Then He carves you a newsmiling face and puts His light inside of you to shine for all the world to see."

Monday, October 03, 2005


This past Thursday was my daughter’s eighth birthday. I treated her to her first manicure and pedicure. She was too excited about getting her nails down professionally.

No I didn’t get the fake nails. She’s a baby. I don’t get the mothers who put on fake nails on kids. She had her own nails. They painted them a soft pink. She was too cute.

While having my own nails done, I read an article about Toni Braxton. I’ve been a fan of her’s since she debuted with Sad Songs. Which I believe is her best record.

She talked about being sexy after two kids. It made me think about being sexy. I haven’t felt sexy in a long time. In my twenties you couldn’t tell me I wasn’t sexy. After I had children, I stopped thinking about being sexy. I now know that was the wrong mentality to have. If you don’t think you’re sexy who will.

I cut my hair a few months ago, and the word sexy came up again in my vocabulary. I remembered being sexy and why I liked being sexy. When you feel sexy your whole being changes.

I plan on treating my baby girl to more manicure/pedicures, because I want her to grow up believing she’s beautiful and sexy. As a young girl those words weren’t in my vocabulary. Hopefully this salon visit will break that mode and start a young girl on a different path.

Do you think you’re sexy?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

New Book

I’m working on a new book. Its set in St. Louis. The hero is inspired by Albert Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinal.

Its exciting meeting new characters. All kinds of ideas are jumping in my head. I need to be doing my day job, but the characters keep calling me to the pen. They won’t listen when I tell them NO. LOL!

My goal for today is 10 pages.

Do you have a page goal? How do you keep up the motivation?

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Getting Ready

I’m in the mist of planning an online conference and getting my book ready for submission.

Yeah I’m glutton for punishment. I usually plan the conference in six months, but with the power of internet, I’m getting it together. We have some great topics, and I think its going to be fun.

I’m trying something a little different this time. I’m using the SORMAG blog. I’m hoping it cuts back on the emails that the yahoo group used. It will also be immediate a little like instant messages. At least that’s what I’m hoping. Send up a prayer for me.

I’ve decided to submit on my own for now. This agent hunting is worst than submitting. You have to find someone who likes the book. Which can be months of waiting. Then if they like the book, they have to sell it. Another couple months of waiting. I’m telling you writing is like the Navy. Hurry and wait. UUGGHH!

I’ve found two publishers I’m interested in. I’m going to submit to both. See what happens. I’ll keep you posted.

Yes I watched Nip and Tuck last night. It was off the chain. That’s all I’m going to say about it. I also watched R U the girl. Oh so crispy won. Congrats Girl, your new life began last night.

I thought Mirrah would win. She seemed like she fit, but hey what do I know. LOL!

Happy writing!

Monday, September 19, 2005

Writing is a lonely business

If it wasn’t for the internet, I don’t know what I would do.

I started writing at 16. I asked for a typewriter for my birthday. My mother bought one for me and my writing career began. I worked on one book for the next ten years. Yes you heard me right ten years.
I think I was infatuated with the idea of writing. I never thought I had another book inside of me. Maybe if I’d had some writing buddies or an organization, I’d would have learned there was more stories inside of me.

As I started contacting other writers and talking, I realized, I needed to let go. Yes this is hard, but I learned I could put the book in the closet and move on.

For some writers, myself included, finishing the book is hard. I think its about letting go. We’re afraid to let go.

As I grow as a writer, I’m learning how to be a better writer and this doesn’t have to be a lonely business.

Go online, meet a free writers. Join an organization make a few friends. Those friends will pull you along, when you want to give up. They will encourage you when want to say this isn’t any good. They will make you smile when you receive those rejections.

Writing can introduce you to some of your best friends.

Thanks to my writing buddies – Ann Clay, Mary Griffith, Cindy Appel, and Tracy Gardner. I thank God for sending you in my life, so I can no longer be a lonely writer.

Thanks to my writing group – SORMAG’s writer’s group – You guys are the best writing support group ever.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Cutest Thing

Today as I was walking my baby boy to his class. One of his friends came down the hall towards us. He put out his hand and CJ gave him so dap. It tickled me because I’m thinking when did he learn how to give the man handshake.

I giggled because my baby boy isn’t a baby anymore. This kindergartner knows how to give dap.

I’m not ready :(

Friday, September 09, 2005

Pictures From The Retirement




This past weekend I was a part of my friend Lenore Tyler retirement ceremony. After twenty years in the Navy she was retiring.

It was a wonderful experience. Below is the speech I made.

I met Petty Officer Tyler in boot camp. We became friends because my bunkmate was a screw up and they reassigned us to new bunks. Mine happen to be beside Tyler as I called her. We started hanging out with each other. We loved to dance and we got our groove on every weekend while in seaman training.

We had some wild weekends together. Like the one time we rented a hotel room with some other girls and one of them decided to bring us some men to our room. We had to get girlfriend told. We didn’t play that.

Tyler and I cried together when we received our first duty stations. I was going to Guam. I had never heard of Guam. She was going to Iceland. Who goes to Iceland? We promised to write to each other.

We kept the promises. We wrote about our pitiful love lives. The places we visited and how much we enjoyed the Navy. Together we served our country and our friendship grew. I know now our friendship is a gift from God because she’s the only person I’ve kept in touch with since boot camp.

When I decided not to re-enlist, my friend came to visit me in Florida. We hadn’t seen each other in years, but with old friend, you pick off where you left off.

I went home to St. Louis and she re-enlisted. Through her letters and phone calls I visited Puerto Rico, Spain, Greece and many other places she was stationed. I prayed for her when she went up for her different ranks and cheered when she made them. When I decided it was time to become a wife, Tyler was right there with the video camera. She never did give me the bachelorette tape. Claimed it was for blackmail later.

Like a good friend does, she is always a good listener and never beat me up for never having the chance to visit her. She’s a good supporter who will never know how much it meant to me when she sent a check to subscribed to my magazine. A friend who believes in your dreams is a true friend indeed. I hope I’ve been that type of friend to her as she has been to me.

Tyler did what my mother wanted me to do, she continued to serve her country. I’m truly proud to be here today to help her celebrate her accomplishment of 20 years in the Navy. I consider myself bless to be able to say I was there when she started her career in the Navy and I’m here to see her end her career twenty years later.

Lenore I know this is a new beginning for you. It might be a little scary but if you can survive the Navy for twenty years. Your next adventure will be a piece of cake. May I be blessed to continue being your friend and experiences your adventures with you. I love you and I’m glad the Lord sent a friend like you to me. May he continue to bless you and fulfill all your dreams. Congratulations on your retirement.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

I'm So Excited!

Once I posted the information about the book drive. I started receiving messages. Everyone wants to help. Their goal is 30,000 books. I know we can make it. I feel great knowing I’m doing something. Feeling helpless is not a good feeling. Having no money to share is even worst.

What can I do I kept asking myself? This is my way to help. It might not seem like much, but if you’re a book reader, you know a book can take you away from your problems. Maybe for a few hours someone can be transported into a new world. Maybe when they finish the book, they’ll see there is hope for them.

Right now it looks bleak, but there is calm after the storm. The Lord hasn’t left them. This is the time when he’s carrying them. Hold on my people, the Lord knows what he’s doing. You will make it through this and be a better person because of it.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

LITERARY EVENT - Writer's Conferences

There is a writers' conference being held on September 16, 2005 in Roswell, GA. This is a great opportunity for anyone who is a serious writer. If you are a published writer this is an excellent opportunity to promote and sell your books.

For more information log onto: email to:

Danielle-Kim DavisVP/FountainPenn Enterprise

Successful Self-Publishing Seminar

Join some of the industry's leading professionals in a comprehensive seminar about how to turn your manuscript into a nationally or internationally distributed publication that SELLS!

We will cover pre-press and formatting issues, printing 101, POD and eBook technology, publishing law 101, marketing and promotion, bookseller relations, and distribution. We will also present a bonus segment on copyright basics for writers.

Confirmed presenters:

Brian L. Jud,
John F. Harnish, Infinity Publishing
Lisa Gibson-Wilson, Renaissance Management Services
Kevin Wayne Johnson, author of Give God the Glory series
Nancey Flowers, author of A Fool's Paradise
Tonya Evans-Walls, intellectual property and literary lawyer and author


Saturday, September 24, 2005


Philadelphia Airport Hilton
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19119

$90 per person, includes lunch, seminar materials, and FREE CD of the most important forms in the publishing industry.

$75 per person for groups of 4 or more!

To Participate In The Book Drive

Send an email to the following to let them know you’re participating:

Tony Rose - or Heather Covington at

Below are the Addresses to donate the books.

Gwen and Willie Richardson, Cush City.Com, 13559 Bammel North Houston Road, Houston, TX 77066,281-444-4265

Reshonda Tate Billingsley (Channel 26, Fox News Reporter),3714 Poplar Springs,Missouri City, TX 77459,281-799-7415

Tom Joyner, Relief Fund,P.O. Box 803209,Dallas, TX 75380-3209

Dorris Ellis, Publisher, The Houston Sun, 1520 Isabella St. ,Houston TX 77288, Tel: 713-443- 9774

Yolanda Bridges, Publisher;LOF Publishing, 7500 Bellerive Suite 412,Houston, TX 77036,713-899- 7904

Andrea Brown 14220 Park Row #122, Houston, TX 77084, 281-759-1470

If you want to donate to the shelter here in St. Louis

Send to :

L.C. Hoffman
7127 Minnesota Ave
St. Louis, MO 63111

I'll see that they receive the books.


Bless Someone With A Book

Hello everyone,

I’ve been off line for a few days. I’ve prayed for a way that I can help the hurricane survivors. My church has adopted a shelter who will receive 2000 survivors this week. This weekend, we will be painting the rooms they will live in.

I also received a press release for a book drive. I can do this. I had planned on compiling a list of the books I have for the SORMAG community; however life has been crazy so I haven’t had a chance. I’m sure you won’t mind if I donate them instead. If one book can give someone a little comfort in these crazy times, then we’ve done something to help.

I hope you can share a few of your books for this cause. Think about how the books make you feel and you’ll want to share those feelings.

My prayers continue to go up for these survivors. Let’s bless someone with a book.


For Immediate Press Release: Amber Communications Group, Inc. (ACGI), sends condolences, prayers, warm wishes, hope for immediate disaster relief, and a safe recovery to the victims of Hurricane Katrina. In our efforts to help support the victims and families stationed at the Astrodome, relief centers and homes in Houston, Texas, Amber Communications Group, Inc.'s Publisher/CEO Tony Rose and Associate Publisher Yvonne Rose, along with Bill Cox, Publisher and Adrienne Ingrum, Associate Publisher, Black Issues Book Review; Heather Covington, CEO, Disilgold Worldwide Communications; Faye Childs, President, BlackBoard Bestsellers; Max Rodriguez, Publisher, Quarterly Black Review/Founder, Harlem Book Fair; Kassahun Checole, Publisher, Africa World Press, Inc.; Wade Hudson, President/CEO and Cheryl Hudson, Publisher, Just Us Books; Willie and Gwen Richardson, Co-Founders,; W. Paul Coates, Publisher, Black Classic Press, Jessica Care Moore;Moore Black Press, Mark Anthony, Publisher, Q-Boro Books; Nancey Flowers, Publisher, Flowers In Bloom Publishing; Azania Brown, Publisher, In Time Publishing; Tonya Evans-Wells, Publisher, FYOS Entertainment; Earl Cox, Publisher, Writers and Poets.Com; Gina Clark, Publisher, Alight! New York Grit Books; Willie and Gwen Richardson, Co- Founders,; and W. Paul Coates, Publisher, Black Classic Press (The Katrina Literary Collective) are spearheading a book fund drive.

As African-American Publishers, we recognize the importance of reading for education and enjoyment. In the case of the Katrina Hurricane victims of New Orleans, we recognize the importance of reading for mental and emotional stability. Reading can help pass the time, perhaps help victims take their minds off their trouble, offer some small pleasure, and provide an opportunity to gain knowledge on various topics that can help them gain a new foothold on their lives.We can collectively comfort their stay, promote love of Black literature, foster literacy among youth and let our people know the Black literary community at large supports them.

As Publisher and CEO of ACGI, we are urging all Independent African American publishers, book clubs, self published authors, literary services, libraries, authors, editors, and publishers at the major publishing houses, to join the donation drive to submit books to the Katrina Hurricane victims.

If you wish to participate by donating books, please email us at or Heather Covington at .

At this time our designated receivers and transporters are:

Gwen and Willie Richardson, Cush City.Com, 13559 Bammel North Houston Road, Houston, TX 77066,281-444-4265

Reshonda Tate Billingsley (Channel 26, Fox News Reporter),3714 Poplar Springs,Missouri City, TX 77459,281-799-7415

Tom Joyner, Relief Fund,P.O. Box 803209,Dallas, TX 75380-3209

Dorris Ellis, Publisher, The Houston Sun, 1520 Isabella St. ,Houston TX 77288, Tel: 713-443- 9774

Yolanda Bridges, Publisher;LOF Publishing, 7500 Bellerive Suite 412,Houston, TX 77036,713-899- 7904

Andrea Brown 14220 Park Row #122, Houston, TX 77084, 281-759-1470

We will update you as more designated receivers and transporters are involved.

If you live in Houston and would like to volunteer to receive books and transport them to the Astrodome, relief centers or homes where some victims are staying, please include with your email, your destination address and phone number.

Thank you for your support of the victims of Hurricane Katrina and taking a stand at large with the African American literary community.

Thank you and God bless. Best regards,Tony Rose, Publisher & CEO , Yvonne Rose, Associate Publisher , Amber Communications Group, Inc. , www.AMBERBOOKS.COM


Heather Covington- Disilgold Soul Magazine Editor -,Tony Rose- CEO/ Founder Amber Books- Amber,Linda Dominique Grosvenor- “The Hamptons- LindaDominque, Marti Tucker- Author of “A Mayor’s Wife -,Sydney Molare- Fishbowl International Inc. -,Nathaniel Portis- Things In Between-,Electa Rome Parks- “Almost Doesn’t Count‚ - Carruth Hoffman – Shades Of Romance –

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Prayers Going Up

Its times like this I’m thankful for the Lord in my life.

I’m just in shock over what’s happening down south. My heart goes out to all the people there. Life is so precious. Its times like this you realize how much.

Right now everything seems unimportant.

What can we do?


Christian writer – Kendra Norman Bellamy sent this link.

Looking at these pictures I can't imagine NO every being the same. I pray everyone finds a safe place to lay their heads.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005


Come out and meet Face to Face
Authors to your favorite Novels!

On the night of March 31, 2006, the Writer's Achievement Award will be
presented to Jacquelin Thomas. Jacquelin Thomas is an award winning, best selling
author with eighteen titles in print including, The Prodigal Husband, Soul Journe
y and her recent celebrated novel Saved in the City. Other credits include
contributions to the Women of Color Devotional Bible and Brides Noir magazine.
Jacquelin Thomas will be the first novelist to be awarded with the Writer's
Achievement Award. The novelist will be participate in a discussion panel & later
book signing during the Book Extravaganza along with many other national
authors. Jacquelin Thomas will be presented with the First Annual North Carolina
Black Book Festival Writer's Achievement Award during the Opening Night
Literary Gala. The literary gala's keynote speaker will be author Byron Harmon. Byron
Harmon has been awarded eight EmmyĆ¢€™s for news excellence at WCBS Early
Morning Show in New York City.

This gala is a ticketed event. Click Here for more information.

Saturday, April 1, 2006 Workshops and Panels (Free to the public)

Invited Authors that will be in Attendance...

Stacy Hawkins Adams Vincent Alexandria
A.C. Arthur L.A. Banks
Cassandra Darden Bell Kendra Norman-Bellamy
Jamise L. Dames Angie Daniels
Collen Dixon Gywnne Forster
Nina Foxx Bettye Griffin
Vanessa Davis Griggs Linda Dominique Grosvenor
Felicia Madlock Brandon Massey
Tia McCollors Marissa Monteilh
Electa Rome Parks Eric Pete
Ryan Phillips Karen Siplin
Sybil Barkley-Staples Linda Hudson-Smith
Van Whitfield

For more information, visit

Submitting To An Agent

If you're on the agent hunt, this is an article you might want to read.

Kristin Nelson gives the inside scoop. Thanks Ms. Nelson I appreciated your article.

Hurricane Katrina

My prayers go out to those caught in this hurricane.

One of my co-workers has family in New Orleans and she is devestated bywhat has happen. My heart goes out to her and her family.

I have an aunt who has family there, but I can't get in touch with herto find out if they are OK. My prayers go out this family too.

These are the times I feel so helpless. I know the Lord is able and Ipray he surrounds these families in their time of need.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Submission Begins

I spent the afternoon, researching agents. Trying to find the ones who might be interested in my books.

I found nine. I queried five.

The submissions begin.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I've decided not to shut down competely. We're going on hiatus, until I can locate some funds.

Here is the current issue.

Enjoy and let me know what you think.

LITERARY EVENT - Romance Slam Jam 2006

Romance Slam Jam 2006

Shreveport, Louisiana

March 9-12, 2006

For more information

Monday, August 22, 2005

Twenty Years

Saturday I celebrated twenty years out of high school. We had our class reunion, dinner/dance. It was nice seeing everyone again. Our class wasn’t that large about 150 people. We had 42 people participate. Many of the class didn’t want to.

I was surprised because those who participated in the 10 year reunion, didn’t come back for the twenty.

High school wasn’t a great time for everyone. Some said they didn’t care for the people in high school, why be bothered now.

I enjoyed high school. I wasn’t miss popular, but I didn’t let that stop me from knowing people.

I’m glad I went to the reunion. I’m thankful the Lord let me live to have a twenty year reunion. We lost four classmates over the years. They didn’t have the chance to attend the 10 year or the twenty year.

My ten year reunion, I reunited with an old friend, who became my husband. Now that’s what you call a good party.

I pray I’m here to celebrate the thirty years. Looking forward to it.

Are you a caregiver Part 2

I started a group online for caregivers. It’s a place to vent, because you need time to let it out. A place to encourage, because there are days you can’t go on. A place to know you’re not alone because there are days you feel like you’re by yourself.

Stop by and introduce yourself.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Are you a caregiver?

I’m learning I’m not alone when it comes to taking care of a parent. I always knew that I would take care of my mother when the time came. However I assumed it would be when she was in her eighties and not in her fifties.

My mother is on dialysis and it has been a roller coaster ride. A scary one. Right now she’s in the hospital because of a low heart rate. The doctors can’t figure out why its low or what to do.

Its hard being a caregiver of a parent because they are adults and sometimes they act like kids. They especially resent being treated as a kid when they acting like one.

I’m in constant prayer because I don’t have a clue. This is one of those being GROWN things.

If you’re a caregiver how are you handling it? Let’s talk, maybe we can start an online support group.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Being Grown

Twenty years ago I graduated and joined the Navy. I was on my way to being grown. I thought being grown would be GREAT. No more parents telling me what to do. I could eat ice cream for breakfast if I wanted to.
Why didnt’ they tell us being grown isn’t a piece of cake. That you always feel 18 and you wish your parents would tell you what to do. OK eating ice cream for breakfast is good. LOL

My first experience as a grown up, I was surprised by what other grown ups did. They were like kids in grown up jobs. The cliques were still there as it was in highschool. The he said she said still exist. The I like you do you like me didn’t fade away.

When did we become GROWN?

I think that’s the joke, you never grow up. If you’re lucky you mature with age and you learn from your mistakes.

I tell my children and others who are eager to be grown. Its not all that great. Its hard work.

You beome somone's spouse or parent. There is no book to let you know if you're doing it right. If your parents live long enough you become thier care taker. Its an never ending circle.

Yeah being grown is GREAT!

What do you think?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

80s Child

I admit it, I’m a child of the 80s. Over at Monica Jackson’s blog she has as a quiz.

I love 80s music. Give me Hall and Oates and I’m in heaven. In two weeks I celebrate 20 years out of high school. I can’t believe its been 20 years. Where did the time go. Last night I was making a collage of things that happen in 1985, what we ate and listen too. I was huge fan of Madonna. She was different and I so loved to be different.

The eighties were fun. We didn’t seem to have as much trouble with the world as we do now. People knew how to have fun and be friends.

I went to some great concerts. I’ll have to say the two best were the Hall & Oates Big Bam tour and Prince’s Purple Rain tour. Those concerts were priceless.

I was in love with Bo Brady from Days of Our Lives. I judge a many men based on this character. Yeah I’m sick lol!

Who did you love in the 80s?

Blog of the week

I stop by about fourteen blogs each day. Its refreshing to check out what others have to say. I learn a little bit, get a laugh or get encouragement.

I thought I’d introduce you to a few of the blogs I visit.

I’ll start with one of my favorites, Rhythms of Grace – Marilynn Griffith’s blog.

Marilynn is a Christian writer, who incites about life make me crack up because I so can relate. She will debut next year with a book I highly recommend. Stop by and tell her I sent you.

Do you have a blog and would like me to visit, send me an email – and I’ll stop by.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

John H. Johnson

To my surprise I opened the paper to see on the front page the announcement of John Johnson’s death. Who is John Johnson you’re wondering? If you’re a black magazine reader you know who he is. If not, he was the publisher of Ebony and Jet magazine.

When I decided to become a magazine publisher, I did my research. I found he had written a book about his life. It inspired me because he had nothing but a dream and he stepped out with the help of his mother and started a magazine. There were hard times, but he kept going. Eventually building an empire.

The world was blessed in knowing Mr. Johnson. His magazine touched many lives and his legacy continues through his daughter.

If it wasn’t for his dream, I don’t believe I could of dreamed of my magazine. For that I’m truly grateful.

My thoughts and prayers go out to his family.

I also send out my prayers to Peter Jennings family. He is another legend who had his homecoming this weekend.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Favorite Words

Thank God for the find function. I’m in revision stage and looking up redundant words. I’ve learned I have favorite words (really, definitely, and that) I’m sure I would be rejected just because I have a million and two of these words in my manuscript.

What is your favorite word?

Monday, August 01, 2005

Prayer Helps

I’m one of those who believes prayer helps. I’ve been trying to be a better Christian. One of my goals is to pray for five different people each day. I thought this would be a piece of cake. However its not. Especially when you’re trying to pray for different people. After I’ve crossed off my family and friends, the list became hard.

I also realized how important it is to pray for others. Sometimes I get caught up in my own life, that its easy to say God bless the world. However I believe the Lord wants us to think of individuals not just the world. He wants to hear that you have compassion for your fellow man.

Now I look forward to picking my five people to pray about. It helps me become a better prayer and it lets me know that others need prayer too.

Have you prayed for someone today?

Friday, July 29, 2005

Are We Obligated?

Book signings are an important part of a writer’s career. I’ve attended many book signings. It always amazes me how many people show up and don’t buy a book. One book signing a person in the audience harassed the writer so and had the nerve to ask for an autograph on a newspaper she brought in. I thought how rude.

It has me thinking. Are we obligated to buy books at a book signing? I think its common courtesy to buy a book. No you’re not obligated, but you have to think what is a book signing? An event to sell books.

Should you hold up the line if you don’t plan on buying books?

I’ve seen people stand in line with no intentions of buying a book, they just want to pick the writer’s brain. Ok you’ve received all this free advice, buy a book. No they say, I would love to buy a copy, but I don’t have any funds to day.

The only time I don’t buy a book is if I come across a book signing while in the mall. I’ll pick up a bookmark, if I don’t have any extra funds. Or I’ll sign my name to their guestbook, to get more information.

When I attend a book signing, I budget to buy at least two copies of a book. I like the idea of being a part of the book signings success.

It does make you think though, are we obligated?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

What type of writer are you?

Plotter / Pantzer / Scene-er?

I think I’m a little of all. I like to plot sometimes. I enjoy sitting down with a pad of paper and seeing were my thoughts go. Sometimes my stories come to me in scenes.

I use to think I had to be one type. It drove me crazy. Now I know that there is no right or wrong to write as long as you write.

I received this quote today and it was perfect.

The Written Word -- Quote a Day

7/26/05: Secret Formulas

"Books don't get written by talking about them, by looking for a 'secret formula' or by agonizing over them. Books get written by gluing one's behind to the chair and writing them." --Mercedes Lackey

The Written Word ( is a daily source of inspiration for writers, editors and publishers. If you would like to submit a publishing-related quote, please e-mail the quotation with the accurate source to Use the subject heading "The Written Word." We do not accept anonymous quotes.

If you’re like me thinking of a millions things to do instead of writing. DON’T, just WRITE.

What type of writer are you?

Friday, July 22, 2005

LaVena L. Johnson

I joined the Navy fresh out of high school. I expected to see the world and make a little money. Not in my wildest dreams did I imagine we’d go to war. While in boot camp, we had some problems overseas and a few of our shipmates where shipped over there. It scared me a little, but not enough to want to get out.

Tuesday our community lost a young lady who just like me joined the military right out of high school. Her name is Army Pvt. LaVena L. Johnson. She was 19. In this time an age you wonder why would someone join the military with everything going on in the world. You have to admire the young lady for having the courage to defend our country.

While I was in the Navy I didn’t think about defending the country. I was doing my job. After I was out, I realized how serious the job was. Joining the military means signing up to defend your country. If you’re lucky you never have to take up arms. Sometimes you do.

It always surprises me to hear people dog out our country. Yes we have our issues. What country doesn’t? However all you have to do is live in another country and you can see how privilege we are here.

My prayers go out to LeVena's family. Losing a love one is hard. However losing one because of their job is even worse. You know what their job means, but you respect their wishes for wanting to do it.

I’m one of those who believes everyone should do two years in the military. It will make you appreciate your country.

I salute Army Pvt. LaVena L. Johnson and I thank you for risking your life, so I could stay home safely with my family. May the Lord wrap his arms around your family as they grieve. May many other young ladies and men, take up the torch you left and continue to defend our country. As one who did, its an honor.

Today they announced LaVena was promoted to the rank of Private First Class.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Favorite Invention

On the Today Show they were discussing their favorite inventions.

For me, my favorite inventions is the internet. This invention has changed my life.

I’ve learned a lot by visiting other websites and taking online classes. I can do research for my stories. I can visit other countries without leaving my home. I can communicate with old friends and make new friends. I can share my wisdom with other people. I can even be an entrepreneur.

What invention is your favorite?

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Hell's Kitchen

Yes I’m still addicted to t.v. I’ve been watching the reality show, Hell’s Kitchen. As a child I wanted to grow up to be a chef. I joined the military and that dreamed died when I found out the hours they worked.

This show let me live through the contestants. One contestant caught my heart. Elise. She was a mother of 6 who always wanted her own restaurant. She didn’t have any cooking experience accept for what she done at home. I admired her, because she had the guts to try at her dream and she almost made it.

Last night she was kicked off. She crumbled under the pressure. I felt for her because she had so much spunk but as the night went on you saw it slowly dimming.

Elise – Thanks for striving for your dream. You inspired me to never give up. If you don’t try it can never happen. I pray the Lord sends someone to offer you a position, so you can learn the business of being a chef and owning a restaurant. I know one day you will have your own restaurant and I pray I have the honor of eating there.

Harry Potter Fan

I’m a Harry Potter fan. OK I said it. I was hooked with the movies. We have them all and are waiting for the next one. I read the first book and was just blown away with the writing. What imagination I kept saying.

I’m currently looking for the audio versions because I enjoy listening to it on tape. I think it’s a great series to introduce to your children because the book grows with your kids. They are such huge books, you can read for months as bed time stories.

My kids love the movies, but they couldn’t get into the books. I think they’re too young. Harry is for the older kid 10 and up.

No I didn’t run out and pick up the latest copy. I was tempted, they had a big party here. My kids went away for the weekend, so I had to miss it.

The Potter books are on my wish list. Hopefully before the year is out, I’ll have them all.

To Tape Or Not to Tape

Yesterday I tried a new writing technique. Talking into a tape recorder. I bought the recorder a few years ago, because I had heard some writers use it to take down their thoughts. However whenever I tried it, nothing would come out. It was like I was staring at a blank page. What the heck would I talk about?

For the past two years, my husband has driven me to work. I used this time to read my bible and catch up on some reading or if I was lucky do a little writing. My husband bought a mini-van so I’m back to driving. Guess what happens, all kinds of thoughts come to me as I’m driving. I don’t have time to write, which means the thoughts are driving me crazy.

I decided to try the tape recorder again. It actually worked. I started talking and couldn’t shut up. The words were flowing like water. Could this system really work for me? It might if I can get over the transcribing. I hate transcribing. I’m hoping listen to my own voice won’t be so bad.

Have you ever recorded your thoughts?

Friday, July 15, 2005

I’m writing again

Yesterday an idea hit me. Everyone has told me to write what you know. I use to be in the Navy so they say write about the Navy. I couldn’t see it since I wrote romance. However since there is this new genre Chick Lit, I thought now is my chance to write about my Navy adventures.

Its so refreshing to meet new characters and listen to them tell their story. Yes you know they tell the story. They just make you write it.

I’m one of those writers who writes before I type. I have always did my books like this. For some reason I can’t start at the computer.

I wrote five pages yesterday. I was hyped. Did a little research. I’m setting it in San Diego, my second duty station. While in the Navy I had three duty stations, Guam, San Diego and Pensacola FL so hopefully I’ll have a story for each place.

Don’t you just love starting a story?

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Are You Ashamed?

I’ve interviewed many writers who are ashamed of what they write. Many write in a genre because they felt it was easy to break into. They don’t enjoy writing the genre but if they want their name in the public, this is what they feel they have to do.

Do you agree?

As a reader I can tell when a writer doesn’t like the genre they write. It comes through in their stories.

As a writer who hasn’t published, I feel like saying MOVE, give me the slot. I love what I write, I want the SLOT.

Are you ashamed of what you write?

Monday, July 11, 2005

Saying Goodbye To A Friend

This weekend the Lord told me it was time to say goodbye to a friend. He’s been preparing me for a while, I just didn’t want to hear him. This friend has brought me so much joy, but its also brought me stress.

When I started Shades Of Romance Magazine I never dreamed it would grow to the size it has. My little site won awards and is listed in some of the hottest multi-cultural books. Saying goodbye is hard. For five years I’ve been the publisher/editor and it has been a wonderful ride.

The Lord has shown me its time, I’ve done what I set out to do. Its time for new adventures. I’m ready. I put off my own writing for the magazine because I thought this was what I was meant to do. However the characters kept calling, so I continued to write. Now I will have the extra time I need to concentrate on my writing. I pray the experience and knowledge I’ve gain from publishing SORMAG will help me see my publishing dream come true.

I’m grateful for starting SORMAG and I’m grateful to be able to end it on a positive note. I loved introducing others to the world of reading and writing.

Goodbye my friend its been fun.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Magnify The Lord

Let all those who seek you rejoice and be glad in you: and let such as love your salvation say continually, Let God be magnified.
Ps. 70:4
Praise God for he is worthy to be praised.

Yesterday my brother-in-law had brain surgery to remove a tumor the size of a plum. For the past week we all have been in shock over the news of the tumor. I went to God immediately because I knew he and only he could handle this for us.

The surgery was a success. Jamal, my brother-in-law was talking and asking for homemade pizza before we left the hospital.

I’m thankful the Lord is watching out for us. If we had to do it alone, we’d be some messed up individuals.

Thank you Jesus for all you do.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

The Good Old Days

This weekend I experienced the good old days. My husband has 13 brothers and two sisters. They came in this weekend to support one of the brothers who will be having surgery this week. Since we’re the only one of the family to have a house, everyone came over, Saturday and the fourth. Thank God for a big house and yard.

It was like the old days of barbequing and enjoying each others company. Something I dreamed of when I first saw our house. I envisioned the big picnics in the yard and kids running around like they’d lost their heads. This weekend proved dreams do come true. We had twenty-five children running around and the grill cooking chicken, hotdogs and hamburger. The house was full of laughing people and I was in host heaven.

This weekend also marked my baby, CJ becoming a five year old. He’s a fourth of July baby. For a week he asked if it was his birthday. The day before, he said, “One more day and its here.” I laughed because he so reminded me of myself at that age.

He enjoyed his birthday, with his best friend, his cousin Cameron. They played on the scooter/skate board he received for his birthday. He dipped in the pool and he ran around the yard with his many cousins. He said this was the best birthday. What a perfect way to end the holidays.

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I’ll miss you Luther

Looking back over my 38 years, Luther Vandross music has played an important part in my life. My pre-teen years, I learned to slow dance to Luther. My teenage years I cried over heartaches to Luther. My navy years I partied to Luther. My adult years, I romanced to Luther and even shared a few more tears with Luther.

I felt as if I’d lost a old friend when I heard the news of his passing. Nobody can sang like Luther. You know when you buy one of his CDs you’re getting your monies worth. He can do ballads and fast songs.

My only regret is I never saw him live. I heard about his concerts, but I always thought I get a chance to hear him.

When I heard the news about his stroke, I sent up my prayers. They showed him on t.v. and I knew it was worst than they’d led on. I sent up more prayers. The last time I saw him on t.v. he looked like he was on his way to recovery.

My daughter asked me who he was when she saw the tears in my eyes. The radio played one of his songs, Dance With My Father. I told her this is Luther. She said, I know this song. I’m sorry he died.

I know his music has touched many in my generations. The best part for me is that he’ll live on in the next generations because of our love for him.

Luther was a wonderful singer whose music will live on forever. Thank you Luther for touching my life with your music.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I’ve never been a shoe person. I didn’t get the fascination of shopping for shoes and having a million pair. A couple of years ago that attitude changed.
Yesterday a co-worker asked if I had sandals to match all my clothes. I hadn’t really thought about it. Today I realized I had turned into a shoe person. I love sandals. I guess you can say the reason I wasn’t a shoe person is because I like to take my shoes off. Any chance I get, those shoes are coming off.

With sandals I get a little of both worlds. You have to wear shoes in public, and my feet are out. I love it. I even paint my toes because they look so cute in sandals.

Do I have sandals to match all my clothes? I’m working on it. I bought a pair of sandals last night with a flower on top that changes into three colors. Three colors down, many more to go.

Are you a shoe person? What type do you like?

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Friday, June 24, 2005

I was interviewed in True Confession – July issue

I was interviewed in True Confession – July issue

I spoke about my military time.

For those who didn’t know. I joined the Navy right out of highschool. If I’d stayed in, I would be retiring this year. My good buddy Lenore Tyler stayed in and is retiring in September. I’m so proud of her.

I enjoyed my time in the Navy and highly recommend it, if you don’t have a clue what you want to do with your life. It helps you get on track.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Our Quotes Don’t Count

I watched the AFI Great movie quotes and was highly disappointed that not one African-American movie was quoted. I don’t count They Call Me Mr. Tibbs because we all know it wasn’t classified as being an African-American movie.

What’s up with that?

This is the letter I sent AFI them:

I’ve been a film buff all my life, so whenever AFI does a show, I’m right there. I enjoyed the tribute to George Lucus and I enjoyed the 100 Movie Quotes. However I was disappointed that there weren’t any African-American movie quotes. I can’t believe not one quote made the count down. For example, The Color Purple had a bunch a quotes. I know the AFI believes in preserving the movies and I think you do an outstanding job. However I do believe the movies made by or featuring minorities deserve to be preserved too. They too are a part of our film history.

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Showing Your Butt

Why is it that readers remember the negative instead of the positive? If you talk to any reader, you will find they have a horror story about a published authors. Its sad that we can only remember the bad instead of the good.

A few tips on not showing your butt.

Readers are who keep you in business. There’s no rule that says you have to kiss their butt, but you should be cordial to them.

For instance, you sitting at a table full of readers. Do you talk to the readers, or to the one published author you know sitting at the table?

Want to lose a reader – be rude to them. This gets them every time. Readers understand you’re an individual too. However if they stood in line for two hours for a autograph they don’t deserve, I’m tired I don’t feel like signing anymore.

Readers deserve your confidence. If a reader writes a letter or email to you, they expect only your eyes to see it. Don’t forward to your fan club or friends unless you have their permission.

You can have a successful career without having to show your butt. Readers love remembering the good times with their favorite authors and they love talking about it. However they also love talking about the bad times, which one do you think stays with them the longest? Which one pops in their mind, when they see your next book?

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Congratulations Sean D. Young

This past weekend I helped a friend celebrate her first book. It was a joyous occasion. She had a book release party that was in the theme of a wedding. She invited her mentors, Rochelle Alers and Jacquelin Thomas, family and friends. We all had a wonderful time congratulating Sean.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Are You Living Your Dream?

Yesterday I received a shocking email. Someone I’d admired was killed in a car accident. It blew me away because he was only 34. I didn’t know him personally. I’m knew of him through the internet. Corey Rudl has a marketing site and I subscribe to his newsletter.

I’ve learned a lot from this man about marketing your site. He believed you could make money with your site and he showed you how. I attended one of his teleconferences and it made me more inspired about keeping SORMAG online. He gave a bunch of suggestions and I’m working on putting them in place now.

This man was living his dream and encouraged others to live theirs.

Are you living your dream?

Corey Nicholas Rudl

1970 - 2005

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Camping 101

I went on my first camping trip this past weekend. It was an experience. As a family we decided we would make it an annual event.

We camped in Salem Missouri. I had never been to this part of Missouri. Its full of tree and lots of curves. It reminded me a lot of the drive to North Carolina.

We camped in a 10 man tent. Instead of sleeping bags we roughed it on a queen size blow up bed. It felt like a water bed.

Our first adventure began with a 13 mile canoe trip. When we signed up, we had no idea we were attending a 6 hour trip. Clyde (my husband) and I had never canoed, so we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. We spent most of the trip trying to keep the boat steady and not flip us and the kids into the water.

I know the Lord was with us, because we never flipped, and he kept Clyde and I from killing each other. Yes we had a lot of crashes, before we got a hang of the canoeing. We might have even enjoyed the trip if it wasn’t so long. My poor arms were exhausted by time we finished. We were so glad we finished the trip.

My husband and I agreed we can scratch off the canoeing off our to do list. We don’t need to experience that anymore. LOL!

My biggest worries about camping were the bugs and my sinus bothering me. To my amazement, the bugs were fine. I didn’t sneeze one time.

Yes we enjoyed camping and look forward to next year. Hopefully by then we’ll have our own tent.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Writing Scams

At the ripe old age of 22 I submitted my first novel to a literary agent. They suggested I pay 250.00 for a full critique. Not knowing the rules, I submitted my 250.00. Of course they didn’t want to represent the book.

I learned later this was one thing you never do as a writer. However I will admit they gave a thorough evaluation of the manuscript.

After that I started subscribing to Writers Digest and buying books about writing. They all said do not pay for evaluations/critiques.

Being a part of a writing organization or group helps you avoid these scams. You learn from each other.

Have you ever been a victim of a writing scam?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

What Would You Do For 100,000?

Yesterday I visited Monica Jackson’s blog. She talked about someone getting a 100,000 to blog about the Dukes of Hazzards. As a fan of the Dukes, I responded why hadn’t I heard about that job. I could have many stories to tell.

On the drive home, (yes I get most of my writing ideas on the drive home) I thought about, what would I do for 100,000? That’s a lot of money and a lot of ideas flew through my head.

As a writer, we always say we write what’s in our heart. However sometimes we have to write to put food on the table.

There are many genre’s popping up in the market that are HOT right now. The publishers are asking for submissions, snatching up new writers.

I’ve asked myself do I want to write in these genre’s to get my name out and to make me some money?

When you’re not published you are so in a hurry to get published. All you want is a book with your name on it.

As an interviewer I’ve met many writers who regret the hurried decision. Finding your voice is hard and when you jump into a genre just to get your name out there, its hard to break away from it. If you’re not a romance reader but write romance because its HOT. Its not fair to your fans or to you because eventually you end of hating the genre. You want to write what’s in your heart, but the romance is paying the bills. You lose your fans because they can read you no longer want to write romance.

Was it worth it?

I’ve decided for now to continue writing what’s in my heart. I have a day job, so its not bothering me feeding my family. However when the time comes, I can be proud of what I wrote and not worry about trying to buy up all those wild books I wrote when I was trying to break into the publishing market.

So what would you do for 100,000?

P.S. Yes I watched TV last night. Hell’s Kitchen and Medium was on. Did I enjoy it. You bet!

Monday, June 06, 2005

I'm Addicted To TV

I said I was giving up TV. for the summer. I now know what it feels to be addicted to something. Ask me have I given up TV.? NOPE

I’m trying but it keeps having something on there I want to see. Like last night. The celebrities competing in ballroom dancing. I couldn’t resist. I’ve always been a sucker for dance shows. I too wanted to see Evander shake his booty. So I watched it. It was cute, some of the dances looked good. Evander cut a rug, but he needs to learn to loosen up. Will I watch again, yes I can’t help it.

Then I thought that’s it, I’m done for the night, I’m going to catch up on a little reading. My mother tells me my sister watched a show I mentioned to her, The 4400. I checked the listings it was on. Alright I’ll catch the 11 pm showing. One little show wouldn’t hurt.

I did get a some reading in, so it was OK.

The 4400 turned into a two hour event. It was good, but I thought I’d be turning the TV. off at 12 instead of one. I paid for the late night treat. I couldn’t get my butt out of the bed today.

OK I admit it. I’m addicted to TV. Its not going to be as easy as I thought. I’ll have to wean my self off slowly instead of going cold turkey like I thought I would. You see, I just found out my favorites are coming on this summer. Monk, Summerland, Nip and Tuck. Yeah I watch these shows, so what.

I’m hoping to go down to one show a day until I don’t have to turn on the TV. Yeah right who am I kidding. I have to have my TV. fix.