Happy Labor Day from Cheryl Holloway

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Labor Day is always held on the first Monday of September. It was originally organized to celebrate various labor organizations in the United States, so it is distinctly an American holiday. Labor Day is generally considered the end of the summer and a last chance for family trips or outdoor events before fall and winter.

The first Labor Day was held in 1882 in New York City. It is believed that one of the reasons for choosing to celebrate it on the first Monday in September was to add a holiday between Independence Day and Thanksgiving.

Well, it’s Labor Day already and my summer flew by as usual. I’m busy writing an eBook, Cougar Tales: Book 3: Food For The Soul and a traditional book, How To Enhance Your Life with Prayer.

But most of all, Labor Day reminds me of my father, Willie Harold Holloway. He worked in the Steel Mill Industry. And above all else, my dad believed in working hard, paying his own way and buying American made products. He instilled this in me at an early age.

So, I pay tribute to my dad on this Labor Day 2014.  I am proud to be the kind of hard worker who could make my father proud.

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Note; Clip art compliments of Internet.

Guest Author Interview – Stela Brinzeanu

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Title: Bessarabian Nights

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis: The upshot of the dilemma between sacrifice and desire? – It’s not betraying your destiny but creating it! The novel explores issues besetting contemporary Moldova. Its plot rests on modern topics, such as economic migration, the East/West culture-clash, the sexual exploitation of East European women and the role of local religion – which has a penchant for the sensational – in the psychological makeup of these victims. The book is given life and flavor by the tumultuous human stories, which form the pulsating heartbeat of the novel. Perhaps sometimes the devil you know is more dangerous than the one you don’t.

Stela Brinzeanu

Author: Stela Brinzeanu

CH: Welcome, Stela. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your writing world and the world of Moldova with my audience.

CH: Please tell us in 20 words or less why we should read your book?

SB: You will discover a new world—The world of Moldova.

CH: What inspired you to write Bessarabian Nights?

SB: The story of a girl from our community, who disappeared for a few years and who upon her return was a changed person. She never said where she had been or what happened to her. The rumors were she had been a sex slave abroad. That was my starting point.

CH: Where are you from? Does your background have any influence on this book?

SB: I was born and raised in Moldova until the age of 18, when I moved to London. The book is about the culture and the people of Moldova, a country, which is known (unfortunately) as a hot hub for trafficking in Eastern Europe.

CH: Since the topic is about a very sensitive and political issue, did you have to do any special research to write this book?

SB: I traveled to Moldova twice in order to speak to victims of human trafficking, as well as liaising with local NGO’s (non-governmental organisation).

CH: Most of the situations are taken from real life, how did you intertwine facts and fiction?

SB: I chose real life events and built a story around them. Once I had picked the subject and have done the research, the plot emerged as I got to writing.

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters come from?

SB: It came from all of the years I lived in Moldova—family, friends and people I knew, met or read about in the Moldovan press.

CH: Was it difficult trying to create your characters? And who is your favorite character?

SB: It was not difficult to create the characters, only time-consuming. Like with real life friendships, characters also appreciate nurturing. I don’t have a favorite—they are all my children.

CH: Do you have a support system and if so, who does it consist of?

SB: My partner is the first person to read anything I write. Then, there is my editor, who despite living in a different country, works with me on a regular basis.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of the book?

SB: The response I’ve had so far has been mixed. Some readers loved it, others not so much. Like with anything that is subjective, the reactions are always going to vary from one to another.

CH: Do you write full-time or part-time?

SB: I am currently writing full-time.

CH: Is there a “universal message” in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

SB: No messages. Just storytelling.

CH: Do you have a website?

SB: Yes, www.stelabrinzeanu.com 

CH: Where are your books sold?

SB: Amazon

CH: Any Closing Remarks?

SB: Do you really know who your neighbors are?

CH: Thank you, Stela, and thank you for sharing your book, the world of Moldova and the issue of human trafficking with my audience.  

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Writers Networking…Just A Thought

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Networking

I’m not much of a social media person, so I think networking should be face-to-face, instead of online. Saturday, I had the opportunity to network with five very diverse writers…from all genres.

We discussed agents, publishers, marketing, families and just writing. One of the ladies was a little shy, but once we started talking, she chimed in also.

The more we talked, the more acquainted we became; and we began to be writer friends, instead of writer acquaintances. We were in different writing clubs/groups and shared our experiences and thoughts. We had fun and learned a few things from each other. It was a basic exchange of information applicable to writers.

At the end of the day, we exchanged business cards. And surprisingly enough, we decided to buy each others books.

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Guest Author Interview – Andrew J. Rodriguez

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Title: Santa Rita Stories

Genre: Fiction

Synopsis: Welcome to Santa Rita, a Cuban fishing town populated by a colorful cast of saints and sinners, con men and fishermen, athletes and hunchbacks, politicians and priests…where everyone eventually knows everyone else’s business and the collective memory reaches backward for generations. To help him unravel the deeply rooted traditions and gossip of this tropical melting pot, fifteen-year-old Carlos turns often to his friend Pedro, a foul-smelling, cigar-chomping vagrant who lives on the docks and is affectionately known as el Viejo—the Old Man. In the course of ten linked stories, Andy Rodriguez brings to vivid life the rhythms of daily life in mid-1950’s Cuba, and the transition from Carlos’s carefree, nurturing childhood to his awakening to the responsibilities—and possibilities—of young manhood. Carlos resists authority; but he can’t resist Pedro’s wisdom as the Old Man dispenses advice about everything from the proper method of romantic kissing, to how to avoid judging a book by its cover—dramatized by a tale of Ernest Hemingway and an encounter with a Nazi spy. By the final story, just as Carlos longs to escape the restrictions of a small town and spread his wings in the big city of Havana, we also long, right along with him, to linger forever in the magical, love-filled world of Santa Rita.

Andrew J. Rodriguez

Author: Andrew J. Rodriguez

CH: Welcome, Andrew.  Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to join us on my blog. Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book

AJR: I’d like 21st Century Americans to read about Cuban values and lifestyles before the communist revolution.

CH: What attracted you to write these stories about “saints and sinners” in a fishing town?

AJR: I grew up in a small fishing town surrounded by colorful characters, including, but not limited to “saints and sinners.”

CH: Where are you from? Does your background have any influence on this book?

AJR: I escaped Castro’s communist Cuba in 1961. I lived part of my childhood in a small fishing town and studied my career in a Havana University.  Though a book of fiction, Santa Rita Stories were inspired by my upbringing.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

AJR: Yes. My challenge was to present this book in an easy reading style to be enjoyed by readers of all ages and backgrounds.

CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

AJR: I’ve been writing for the last twenty years, and published five books during this time. I was initiated into writing by a strong desire to express myself in meaningful ways.

CH: Is there a famous or not-so-famous author that you would aspire to be like?

AJR: I’ve been inspired by authors of different genres, especially Hemingway.  I don’t aspire to be like any present-day writer.

CH: How long did it take you to write this novel?

AJR: It took about two years. Definitely, longer than it should have taken.

CH: Can you tell us about your publishing journey? Are Cuban publishers any different from American publishers?

AJR: I don’t know of any Cuban-Americans involved in the publishing business.  On the other hand, I am familiar with Cuban-American writers, such as Carlos Eire, Waiting for Snow in Havana.

In pre-revolution days, however, Cuba generated a plethora of poets and writers, most of whom I greatly admired.

As to the difference between American and Latin writers, American authors usually go straight to the point, while their Cuban counterparts use more words to paint the same picture.  Especially in sentimental situations, Cuban writers lean much more toward romanticism.

CH: Do you have a website?

AJR: My website is www.Outskirtspress.com/SantaRitaStories. As I said previously, I’d like 21st Century Americans to read about Cuban values and lifestyles before the communist revolution.

CH: Where are your books sold?

AJR: My books are sold on Amazon in paperback and Kindle, on Barnes and Noble, also in paperback and Nook. It is also sold by the publisher at outskirtspress.com

CH: Any closing Remarks?

AJR: For some reason, emotional perhaps, I feel Santa Rita Stories is thus far my favorite among the other four books that I’ve written. Thank you for your interest.

CH: Thank you, Andrew, and thank you for sharing your novel and creating awareness about Cuban values and lifestyles.  

 

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

The Most Dangerous Game, a Kickstarter Project by James Mascia, Author

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James Mascia, Author

James Mascia, a High School English teacher, has a passion to find new and creative ways to get youngsters interested in reading. He has a talent for writing comics and novels for children and teenagers. Mascia has combined the two for his latest project, The Most Dangerous Game. It is an adaptation and extension of Richard Connell’s 1924 short story by the same title.

Mascia has created a kickstarter project, which will fund this graphic novel.

What is Kickstarter?

According to Wikipedia, Kickstarter is a global crowdfunding platform, which helps to bring creative projects to life. People who back Kickstarter projects are offered tangible rewards and special experiences in exchange for their pledges. No one is charged for a pledge towards a project unless it reaches its funding goal.

In Mascia’s sci-fi adventure story, the main character, Rainsford, crashes on a planet that is overseen by aliens who have a hunger for prey of the human variety. Mounting conflict between Rainsford and other characters keep the plot moving along with action and thrills by the pageful. As the story winds down, Rainsford’s quest for survival becomes an escalation point for the reader.

Mascia has high hopes that readers of this book will become interested and elect to pursue reading the bounty of other classic tales.

Since his target audience is students, he has prepared a teacher’s guide, comprehension questions, prompts for essays and classroom lessons.

The success of this kickstarter campaign will help make publishing of this novel possible. So, he is asking people to pledge support for his project.

Kickstarter

Response is picking up, but he has to get the word out about this project.  We are attempting to help him get the word out!

People in line

People are standing in line to make pledges for Mascia’s project to help teens become more interested in reading.

In support of the Kickstarter Crowdfunding campaign, James Mascia is committed to:

  • Compensating artists for their creations, including detailed character sketches
  • Completing the book
  • Paying for printing and distribution costs
  • Marketing “The Most Dangerous Game”
  • Providing all promised perks to reward supporters of the campaign

The Kickstarter campaign’s initial goal of $2,500 is currently active and runs through September 5th, 2014 at 11:59 Pacific Time. Full details about the Kickstarter campaign including sponsorship and involvement levels can be found at: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1210719219/the-most-dangerous-game, or you can contact James Mascia at: masciajames@yahoo.com

As always, I hope you will support this author and his endeavors. James, I wish you success!

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Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Mary Monroe

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Title: Family of Lies

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis: After growing up poor in Texas, Vera Lomax used every gold-digging trick in the book to land a rich husband. Now living in the lap of luxury in San Francisco, her only job is to fawn over her much-older husband, so it’s been easy for her to balance a life of shopping and affairs with younger men with a major secret: the sixteen-year bribery of one of her husband’s mistresses to keep her pregnancy under wraps. Vera figures that a little hush money every month will ensure her husband’s fortune is hers alone. . .

Unfortunately for Vera, Sarah Cooper is the child Kenneth Lomax always wanted. When the father she never knew shows up at her mother’s funeral to claim her, it’s a fairy tale journey from the ghetto to a mansion on a hill. But Sarah’s life is not as carefree as her father wants it to be . . .because Sarah knows from the start that her step-mother is as two-faced as they come. And after losing all the family she’s ever known, she wants a life that’s richer than what Vera’s got planned for her.

Neither woman can be sure who will win Kenneth’s heart and fortune. But as Vera and Sarah scheme to get what they want, everyone they know will be choosing sides, taking chances, and gambling it all to come out on top.

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Author: Mary Monroe

CH: I am so pleased to present to you today, our Celebrity Guest Author, Mary Monroe, who is a New York Times Best Selling Author. She is best known for her novels about contemporary African-American life.

CH: Mary, thank you for joining us and Welcome! Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

MM: This book is about a conniving woman and how her plot to steal her elderly husband’s multi-million dollar fortune backfires.

CH: Your books and storylines are very different. Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

MM: All of my books are based on my own personal experiences or the experiences of people I know.  I also get a lot of inspiration from stories in the headlines.  My characters are composites of people I know—including myself.

CH: Since this book is about lies, is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

MM: It’s a very basic message: there are ALWAYS consequences when we lie.  It’s better to be truthful even though that usually includes some consequences too.  But lies breed more lies, and more people get hurt by lies than the truth.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

MM: I love “underdogs” so, Sarah Cooper was my favorite character to write.  She had a rough life, which included poverty and a very dangerous neighborhood for the first fifteen years of her life.  She ends up with a mansion and millions of dollars when her biological father finds out she exists.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing?

MM: I like to read about things that are  “different and exciting,” which is why I write about what I know and things other people would like to read about.  I get tons of email from readers who tell me that they can relate to my characters and the situations I put them in.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life?

MM: No, it was not hard for me to create believable situations and issues because I take most of them from real life.

CH: Your books are usually very lengthy. How long does it take you to write a book?

MM: I start with a chapter-by-chapter outline, which usually takes about five hours to compose.  Then, I do four or five drafts of the whole book.  I allow myself at least five to six months to complete the final version, but I wrote Family of Lies in only four months.

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Mary is busy writing one of her story-telling books in her office.

CH: Where are you from? Does your background have any influence on your books?

MM: I am originally from a small town in Alabama called Toxey (near Mobile) and I spent my early years in a small town in Ohio called Alliance (near Cleveland).  I moved to California in 1973.  My background has everything to do with the influence on my books.  Some of my relatives and friends are very “colorful,” which means they get caught up in all kinds of situations that involve crime, sex, backstabbing, violence, redemption, and humor.  I could write at least a dozen more books based on the antics of the people I know…

CH: What are your three biggest accomplishments?

MM: I taught myself how to write, I survived a very abusive marriage, and I raised two daughters on a shoestring budget.

CH: What was the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

MM: The two emails I received from Congresswoman Barbara Lee praising my books was the most exciting thing, until I landed a spot on the New York Times Bestsellers List in 2006 with my sixth novel, God Don’t Play.

CH: Which writer do you admire most and why?

MM: I love Toni Morrison.  Not only do her books hold my attention, but she’s one of the few authors who encouraged me to keep writing—despite my HUNDREDS of rejection letters before I got my first book contract.  She even took the time to critique some of my early work and had she not, I probably would have given up on writing a long time ago.

CH: What advice do you have for aspiring authors?

MM: Read as much as you can and as many genres as possible.  A good book provides creative nourishment.

CH: What’s next on the agenda in your writing career?

MM: My next release will be a book titled, Bad Blood, and it will be released June 1, 2015. It will deal with revenge and redemption.

CH: Please tell my audience where they can find your website.

MM: My website is www.marymonroe.org.

CH: Where are your books sold?

MM: In all bookstores and online.

CH: Any closing remarks?

MM: I have several new books on my agenda and I hope my readers will continue to support my work!

CH: I’m sure they will support you and your work. Mary Monroe, thank you so much for sharing your literary journey and your latest book with my audience. 

MM: You are welcome, Cheryl.

Note: Photos are compliments of Mary Monroe.

CH: Share it, if you like it. I’m counting on you!             

Seven Sentence Sunday

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Once Upon a Time

Hello, today, I’m going to write two short stories using only seven sentences.

Story 1: The Artist

Jessica thought about how her day had begun and when she felt like a mermaid basking in the sun on Venice Beach.

Now, at lunch, she felt on top of the world with her new friend, Roger, hanging onto her every word.

She had to quickly think of a way to keep Roger with her longer, so she could enjoy his company.

She only wished that she could meet someone famous and rich, but this handsome man would have to do.

So, she invited him to join her in viewing the art exhibit down the street and was delighted when he agreed.

They viewed all the paintings and sculptures; and spent two lovely hours discussing colors, textures and the artistic creativity of the one-man show of John R. Mondavie.

But, just as they were leaving, a young lady approached Roger and asked for his autograph.

 

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Story 2: The Stranger

Paige sat and reminisced about her life, when she was jolted out of her private space by a tall handsome stranger.

“Excuse me, Miss, but can you give me directions to the L’Ouvre?” he announced.

“Sure, go to Paris and turn left,” Paige sneered.

“That is one of my best lines and you are the only person who got it,” the stranger exclaimed.

“So, what’s up with you and the French lines,” Paige wondered.

“Well, when I see a beautiful woman in deep thought, I want to join her and..and take her to lunch.” The stranger stammered.

“It seems like an interesting suggestion, and I’m free,” Paige giggled.

 

Thanks for reading the stories. Please give me some feedback and tell me if you like them or what you think about them.

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Sylvester Boyd, Jr. – Guest Author Interview

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Title: The Road from Money: A Journey to Find Why?

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: The Road from Money takes you on a journey to the small town of Money, Mississippi; just after the turn of the 20th century. It is the story of Estella Reynolds, a young Negro girl, growing up in America’s deep south. You follow her life as she faces racism, segregation, exploration, brutality and poverty. You watch as she finds the joy of family life, battles to get a good education, finds her first love and above all tries to figure out why things are the way they are. You enter a time after World War I and before the start of World War II. A time when automobiles were new and planes had just taken to the sky. The story is set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the Great Dust Bowl, a flood, Prohibition; and a time when Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt were President. The story also highlights the strengths of a people and many of America’s weaknesses.

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Author: Sylvester Boyd, Jr.

CH: Hello, Sylvester. Welcome to my blog.  Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book. What makes Estella’s life so endearing?

SB:  It is Estella’s young mind, love for her family, faith and yearning for knowledge about her world and the world around her that makes a her very interesting and unique person.

CH: What does Estella’s life offer us today?

SB: Her life demonstrates what we need more of today—patience, perseverance, respect for others, respect for ones self; and how one’s faith can help you to overcome almost anything in life.

CH: How did you get involved with writing this story?

SB:  I felt this story is the story of thousands of African Americans at the turn of the 20th century—their struggles, the way they made do with very little and how Estella and her family (my family/ancestors) survived and eventually flourished.

CH: How did you intertwine history and fiction?

SB:  The family stories told to me by my Aunt, Grandmother, Mother and others were the bricks of my story—the era, so rich in history, inventions, music, etc. This was the mortar, while some fictionalized events/characters were added to enrich the story.

CH: How long did it take you to write this book?

SB:  About two years of writing; however, the majority was written in the last year before publishing.

CH: What do you think are the elements that make a good historical fiction novel?

SB:  A lot of people think history is dry or that it doesn’t relate to life now; however, adding history can make the story come alive, provides us with life lessons, helps us to make better decisions. Even music from other times reminds us of an event, a friend, or a mother’s favorite song.

CH: What year in history would you have liked to live?

SB:  This was an especially hard question; however, as I am the quintessential historian, I would like to have lived in 1941. I would have liked to experience first hand that year and on December 7th, the news about the attack on Pearl Harbor.

CH: Did you have to do any special research for this book?

SB:  I did do special research to make sure the music, inventions, radio shows, etc., were correct for the period that I covered in this first book of my three part series about Estella’s life.

CH: Do have any advice for writers of historical fiction?

SB:  Yes, to do the research and to keep the reader interested by letting the characters experience history as the story is told.

CH: When can we expect the second book in this series?

SB:  I am working on the first few chapters now, and I expect to publish the second book sometime in 2015.

CH: What is your website address?

SB: www.boydbooks.net

CH: Where is your book sold?

SB:  Anyone can purchase the book from my website and also on Amazon. The book is also available in a couple of local independent bookstores in Chicago. I continue to broaden the book’s access in other bookstores.

CH: Any closing remarks?

SB: Yes, I chose to tell the story of my family, my people; although, the novel centers around Estella’s search to understand the cruelty of Jim Crow in the South—it is also the story of overcoming what we often feel we can’t overcome. And, I hope to project the message of the importance of education, family, love and meeting life’s challenges with strength and courage to young people that seem to be so violent, lost and hopeless in today’s world. I plan to speak in some college and high school classrooms this fall.

CH: Thank you so much, Sylvester for sharing your new book and book series with my audience.  

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Book Review: The Road from Money: A Journey to Find Why? By Sylvester Boyd, Jr.

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Road to Money_Cover

Title: The Road from Money: A Journey to Find Why?

Synopsis: The Road from Money takes you on a journey to the small town of Money, Mississippi; just after the turn of the 20th century. It is the story of Estella Reynolds, a young Negro girl, growing up in America’s deep south. You follow her life as she faces racism, segregation, exploration, brutality and poverty. You watch as she finds the joy of family life, battles to get a good education, finds her first love and above all tries to figure out why things are the way they are. You enter a time after World War I and before the start of World War II. A time when automobiles were new and planes had just taken to the sky. The story is set against the backdrop of the Great Depression, the Great Dust Bowl, a flood, Prohibition; and a time when Herbert Hoover and Franklin Roosevelt were President. The story also highlights the strengths of a people and many of America’s weaknesses.

Genre: Historical Fiction

S Boyd

Author: Sylvester Boyd, Jr.

Note: Sylvester Boyd, Jr. is a first-time, self-published author.

I started reading…

The book captured my attention with the first chapter. It started in 1925 on Estella Reynolds’ eighth birthday, and she spent the day with her grandfather, Paul Reynolds, whom she adored. She spent a lot of time with her grandfather, who taught her many things about life, since her father had left Money, Mississippi the previous year.  Her and her grandfather faced racism head-on that day when they went into Benson’s General Store and had to wait until all of the white customers had been waited on before they could be helped. Estella did not understand why this happened and wanted to know why? She was a very intelligent little girl with a quizzical mind. This began Estella’s journey to find why and lead her to the road from Money.

I enjoyed how Estella had many situations and stories to share about her life—from the cotton fields to the relaxation and freedom of church on Sunday; from life in a small town in the deep south to the hopes and dreams of a big city up north through the Chicago Defender newspaper; from the poverty of the Great Depression and how poor Negroes, mostly sharecroppers dealt with life in general.   We tagged along in Estella’s life and went through the Great Dust Bowl, a storm and a flood; and we were even with her when she saw her first alligator. We were there for a lot of her firsts—her first love, her first movie and her first job. We were astonished at the first lynching she saw and the cruelty of southern whites to Negro victims—from diminutive pay to being chased out of town for no fault of their own. We followed Estella from her inferior and limited education in Money, Mississippi, to a Negro school many miles away that offered a better life, better opportunities and a better future.  We shared the closeness of family, extended family, friends, neighbors, and new friends.  We went with her into her first juke joint and learned about prohibition—for Caucasians and Negroes. She even met a Negro woman who could pass for white. These were all stories that made us laugh, love and cry.

But the story that touched us the most was Estella’s journey from Money—her plan, preparation and execution. And the long, train ride to the north!

Now, the reason that I rated this book 4 stars. There were some editing issues—misspelled words, omitted words, transition, and substance issues. Although, the one issue that bothered me most was the portrayed eating during the depression. All the families in the book ate too well during the Depression. They always had ham, but didn’t have any pigs. They never ate dandelions, grits, corn meal mush, sugar or molasses sandwiches, pig feet, chicken necks or ox tail soup. These and others were food items that African Americans made do with in times of poverty.

Now, for the good reason: It was a pleasure to see how Sylvester Boyd mixed both history and fiction to make a truly believable and interesting story. We followed Estella from her eighth birthday until she was twenty years old. This is the first book in a Memoir Trilogy.       I look forward to the other two books in this series from an upcoming author!

I rate this book…

starstarstarstar

Sylvester Boyd, Jr.’s Guest Author Interview will be Friday, August 8, 2014.

Action Steps:                                                                                                                      1. View/read this blog and comment;                                                                             2. Invite your friends to view/read this blog; and                                                             3.  When you read the book, let me know what you think.

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DISCLAIMER

Endorsement Disclaimer: All reviews posted on this site and written by Cheryl Holloway are personal opinions of the book by the reviewer. The reviews are NOT paid endorsements of the book or the author. They are not advertisements. All reviews are honest, forthright and the opinion of the individual reviewer, freely given. Our opinions are not for sale.

 

 

Guest Character Interview – Joi from Cougar Tales

CT_Father and Son

Title: Father and Son from Cougar Tales Series

Synopsis: In Father and Son, Joi and Jon enjoy a wonderfully loving relationship and begin planning their wedding until his father intervenes, because he thinks she is too old for his son. Then life happens!

www.smashwords.com/books/view/239942

CT_Italian Basketball Player

Title: The Italian Basketball Player from Cougar Tales Series

Synopsis: In the Italian Basketball Player, Joi and Robert meet while waiting on the maintenance of their luxury cars. She started a conversation about his well-crafted Italian shoes. He enjoyed her company and invited her on a date…a blind date with his older brother.

www.smashwords.com/books/view/239950

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cheryl Holloway                                                                                     Author: Cheryl Holloway

CH: Welcome, Joi. She is the main character in the Cougar Tales Series. My readers and followers would like to find out a little about your life as a character. Let’s begin, please tell us, what is the current day definition of a “cougar”?

Joi: The definition of a cougar is a woman over 40-years old who preys on younger men, which ultimately makes her feel younger. The proverbial “they” consider a cougar “over the hill” and probably in the midst of a midlife crisis. They say that she preys on younger men to maintain a sense of her youthfulness. Well, that’s not me. Besides the word cougar just was created in the new millennium, but I’ve been dating younger men for over 25 years. I prefer to be called a black leopard—they are more elegant and slimmer with powerful legs. LOL.

Full Body Massage Coupon

CH: What makes you “unique” as a character?

Joi: Well, I’m sensitive about certain things. I think, I am a confident person. At times, I guess, I’m a little arrogant, but then, aren’t we all.  But most of all, I have an obsession with younger men—I just love them!

CH: Please describe the motto that you live by?

Joi: I live by what I call the Triple Ts—my theme, theory and trademark. My theme is Age is only a number and mine is unlisted! This I truly believe. My theory is Enjoy who you enjoy and be happy! I will never regret a happy memory. My trademark is a purple rose. It is thought to be almost mystical in nature, with symbolism tied to enchantment, desire, and even caution. It’s not surprising that a purple rose sends a message of love at first sight.

Purple Rose_2

CH: What makes you sexy?

Joi: I think caring for oneself is sexy, in every way. I love caring for myself and I enjoy the finer things in life. I do this by pampering myself with manicures, pedicures, spa days, Christian Louboutin shoes and only the best attire from Lord & Taylor and Neiman Marcus. I also like to go to special places in a limo, because I don’t just want to go to funerals and weddings in them. I spend thousands of dollars on exquisite and expensive matching lingerie, which is de rigueur. (Look it up, you have a computer!) Maybe, I’m a little arrogant, but so is my sexiness.

CH: What is the average age of the men you date?

Joi: Most of the men I date are 7-10 years younger than me. Afterall, I don’t want to rob anyone’s cradle. I want someone close to my age, because I want a lasting relationship, not a one-night stand.

CH: What is the longest relationship you’ve had with a younger man?

Joi: My longest relationship was ten years and when we finally decided to get married, he died in an auto accident.

CH: What makes you happy when you date younger men?

Joi: Younger men seem to adore me. I love the feeling of men adoring me! They seem to be on the same level of thinking as I am. Younger men just give me happiness, in general. CH: What’s sexy about younger men? Joi: They’re sexy looking wit sexy bodies. They have sexy stamina and sexy endurance. They definitely have sexy attentiveness. Well…younger men are sexy period!

CH: What makes love come easy for you?

Joi: I think, love doesn’t come easy for anyone. Being happy in a relationship is often times delusional. It is a give-and-take situation, where both parties must communicate.

CH: What “hot” tips do you have on loving a cougar?

Joi: They must put their relationship first, above all else. They must ignore the age difference. She has to be assertive and confident. He can never call her a cougar. They must be open to each other’s interest. They must pay each other compliments. They must communicate. And they must go slow—Rome wasn’t built in a day.

CH: Can you share a secret not revealed in the two eBooks?

Joi: Falling in love is like having a heart attack. It doesn’t come with warning signs. I met a Puerto Rican Chef, who was a total gentleman and he swept me off my feet. It was “food for thought.”

CH: What is your author like?

Joi: Cheryl, yes she is sweet and such a good writer, but sometimes, I have to just take over!

CH: Any closing remarks about being a cougar?

Joi: Experience it for yourself, and let your heart guide you.

Readers and followers, I’ve been busy and you have been asking me to blog more often. You miss me. I’m sorry. So, I will try to continue blogging every Sunday.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                                                                                                       ~ Cheryl Holloway Mailing List_Image

Questions? Comments? Contact : AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net