Guest Author Interview – Rico Lamoureux

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Title: The Mirrored Staircase

Genre: Horror/Thriller

Synopsis: In this sequel to the infamous short story Aunt Mama, the reader is taken along on a journey of lost innocence as a group of college students set out to investigate the viral urban legend of The Mirrored Staircase.

Led by two cousins who couldn’t be further apart on the social spectrum, (Jake, a typical frat boy, and Lucas, viewed by most of society as geekish wallpaper) a Hallows’ Eve that starts off sexy and fun soon becomes a bloodbath, as the two mirrors from long ago are once again brought together, with the realization that the secrets of a past going all the way back to the days of slavery must be released if anyone is to survive the wrath of Aunt Mama, the witch behind The Mirrored Staircase.

Rico Lamoureux

Rico Lamoureux, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Rico Lamoureux. He’s a life-long lover of story, and has been a storyteller for over thirty years. Welcome to my blog, Rico.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

RL: Like the glass steps of a mirrored staircase, this novella has many layers, each giving opportunity to reflect on its substance.

CH: Why did you decide to write a dramatic horror story?

RL: Some of the greatest stories have been told in the horror genre, with powerful tales at their core, but the genre has gotten a bad rap due to the amount of gory fluff that has been released over the years. So in a way, The Mirrored Staircase is my contribution to the genre. My homage to powerful storytelling that really grabs you by the soul, not because of the bloodfest, but the characters and situation drenched in it. That dramatic substance is what I look for in a good horror story, and what I aim to deliver when writing one.

Also, this particular story has roots that go all the way back to when I was in college. One of my chosen classes was African-American music, which had us examining just that, music created by African-Americans during their history in the U.S. My favorite era, we studied, was during the days of slavery, because the slave chants were so amazing. Our professor had a few recordings that were very old, of actual slave chants. They were so moving, so powerful! It was like you could feel the pain of an entire race mourning what had happened to their people. This has stuck with me ever since, over half my life, since I heard it, and with The Mirrored Staircase, I knew the perfect story idea had finally come to pay my respect to such a powerful past.

CH: This book is a sequel to the short story, Aunt Mama. Does the reader have to read Aunt Mama first?

RL: Not really. The Mirrored Staircase can stand alone on its own, but for readers who want an entire picture, Aunt Mama, which explains the origins of Joseph and Elise, will provide a completion, I’m sure, they’ll really enjoy.

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

RL: Actually, I’m a multi-genre author. From Elsa’s Gift, which is classified as Women’s Lit, to Riker’s Calling, a Crime Thriller, Bleeding Perseverance, an Erotic Drama, and so on. The one commonality is powerful, dramatic storytelling. I write for readers who enjoy substance over anything else.

CH: Is there a message in your novella that you want the readers to grasp?

RL: I always leave the message of a story up to the reader. My novellas are meant to engage, excite, and enlighten. Different people will take away different things, as art is subjective.

CH: Who are some of your horror writing influences?

RL: Stephen King and Anne Rice.

CH: What is the hardest part of writing for you? (outline, draft, edit, or write)

RL: I suffer from Acute Retinal Necrosis. This condition has left me totally blind in one eye and legally blind in the other. I only get so much time in the day before my remaining sight becomes too strained, so I have to pace myself. This, by far, is the hardest thing for me as an author.

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

RL: Again, with the issue of slavery, I connected through the music. As for Joseph’s desire for purity, there’s a bit of me in him, and as for Aunt Mama, you’re gonna have to read to find out. 🙂

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

RL: Minor characters can be a bit tricky, as you don’t want them to detract from the main characters and the story, but at the same time they shouldn’t just be wallpaper. Everyone involved should be contributing in some way to moving the story forward.

CH: What do you think is the universal scare factor?

RL: The universal scare factor is empathy, because when you relate to a character you invest more of yourself into him or her, which makes it that much tougher when they suffer.

CH: Who, in your opinion, is a great horror author and why?

RL: Stephen King was my first literary hero. When I was a teen he taught me, through his work, that horror can have substance. I didn’t know it at the time, but this exposure to great storytelling was very impactful to me later when becoming an author myself.

And then there’s Anne Rice, who can eloquently describe a haunting catacomb down to its aged cracks, her vivid details are like that of the tip of a fine pen etching into your mind grand worlds. I’m a big fan of her Vampire Chronicles.

Each style has its place, and when they’re at their best, it can be awe-inspiring!

CH: What advice would you give to new horror authors?

RL: To any new authors I’d say to first build a strong foundation by reading, a lot! But be wary of which books you actually read. Due to the saturation of online publishing there is an overabundance of crap out there. This is why, personally speaking, I stick to authors whose work I’m familiar with. For the most part, anyway. Occasionally I’ll have the luck of discovering a new talent, and end up making them a part of my treasured library. 🙂

I’d also say that once you find your voice as an author, don’t let anyone discourage you. There are over seven billion people out in the world, which means there are at least a few hundred million perspectives. You can’t please them all. Stay true to yourself. Those who get it, great. Those who don’t, their loss!

CH: What can we expect next, is there another book in the making?

RL: My autobiography will be released soon, and maybe a few more surprises before the year is up. Stay tuned on social media. 🙂

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

RL: I’d love to pass on a warm invitation to all who are looking for stories of substance to stop on by and visit me at www.dramaticnovellas.com.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

RL: The Mirrored Staircase, Aunt Mama, and most of my other works can be found on Smashwords, which is also where my domain for dramatic novellas is currently pointing to. Although, my crime thriller, Riker’s Calling, and its short story tie-in, The Ghostwriter, can be found on Amazon. Smashwords Link: http://bit.ly/2bkEaoX

CH: Any closing remarks?

RL: Thanks, Cheryl, for the interview. For all who took the time to read this interview to get to know me a little better, I’d like to say thank you. Most attention spans are so short nowadays, but you, Dear Reader, have proven that there’s still room for substance out in the vastness of cyberspace.

And for all who choose to support me by actually purchasing my work, know this: You are indeed a hero to this indie author!

CH: Thank you so much, Rico Lamoureux, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Rico Lamoureux.

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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

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Celebrity Author Interview – Kimberla Lawson Roby

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Kimberla Lawson Roby

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Title: A Sinful Calling: A Reverend Curtis Black Novel

Genre: Christian/Inspirational/African American

Synopsis: Two years ago, to everyone’s surprise, Dillon Whitfield Black, the secret son of Reverend Curtis Black, boldly moved back home, married a woman named Raven, decided he was going to become a minister, and then founded a church right in the center of his living room. Today he’s pastor of a 1,000-plus-member congregation, and new members are joining weekly. Sadly, behind closed doors, Dillon is far from being a saint. Dillon has become more like the man his father was thirty years ago-consumed with money, power, and lots of women. His family may have let bygones be bygones, but they continue to keep their distance.

Not Alicia, though. This daughter of Curtis Black joins Dillon’s congregation, leaving her father’s church behind. The family has forgiven Alicia for marrying Levi Cunningham, the former drug dealer she had an affair with, but once Alicia realizes they will never fully accept Levi, she decides to see her family less and less. She and Levi are truly happy, however, guilt from her betrayal of Phillip and its aftermath casts a shadow over their wedded bliss.

But when Raven decides she wants a higher position in the church and Alicia hides a devastating secret, the entire family is affected in ways they don’t see coming. In the end, no one will be able to trust anyone . . . and for very good reason.

Kimberla Roby

Kimberla Lawson Roby, Author

CH: Today’s Celebrity Guest Author is Kimberla Lawson Roby, a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author. Kimberla’s novels deal with very real issues and this is her 24th novel. Welcome again to my blog, Kim.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

KLR: Because not only does the story center on very real-life issues told in a dramatic fictional format, it also offers a clear message that we all can learn from or be helped by.

CH: What are some of the emotional intricacies that are part of being a secret child of a pastor?

KLR: Being rejected and abandoned brings about much pain and resentment for any child, which can lead to even worse pain and resentment once that child becomes an adult.

CH: Dillon, Rev. Black’s son, is consumed with money, power and lots of women. While Alicia, Rev. Black’s daughter, married a former drug dealer, is it difficult for Rev. Black to deal with his children who have gone astray?

KLR: Yes, Curtis struggles with accepting a few of the decisions Dillon and Alicia have made, and while his own past certainly isn’t pretty, he has a hard time forgiving them.  This, of course, is the reason he is now basically estranged from both children.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this book in the series?

KLR: After writing about Curtis for so many years, I realized it was time to focus on the sins of the father so to speak.  So in the last two titles of the series, The Prodigal Son and The Ultimate Betrayal and now in A Sinful Calling, I wanted to tell the stories of the three adult children.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

KLR: With both the novels in my Reverend Curtis Black Series and my standalone titles, I first decide what social issue or issues I want to center my story on and then I create my characters, write a 2-3 page synopsis, and then I outline 15 to 20 chapters of the story.

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

KLR: I always write believable situations in each of my books, and they center on issues that either have or can happen in a similar fashion.  I never write anyone’s exact story, not even my own, but I take real-life scenarios and think, “But what if the situation had happened like this?” or “What if the situation had turned out differently?”

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

KLR: I didn’t find that either character was harder to write about than the other.  They each had very different problems and personalities, so I enjoyed writing about both of them.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

KLR: Dillon was my favorite character to write about in A Sinful Calling.

CH: Since you’ve told us about the main characters, do you have anything to share about the supporting characters?

KLR: The supporting/secondary characters were very interesting to write about, because these are the characters who challenge the main characters the most.  Dillon’s wife, Raven, plays a major part in the story, as does Alicia’s husband, Levi.

CH: In this series, which book was hardest to write? Is this the last book in this series?

KLR: I don’t really feel as though any one title was more difficult to write than another, because they’re all very different with very different issues.  Also, no, A Sinful Calling is not the last title in the series.

CH: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

KLR: Yes, that whatever parents do, good or bad, it will affect their children for the rest of their lives.

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

KLR: I don’t sugarcoat anything, and I tell the truth, even if the truth is sometimes taboo or controversial.  I also make sure to show that we all reap what we sow, and that if we don’t treat people the way we want to be treated, we will surely pay the consequences.

CH: What’s your next writing project? 

KLR: Copycat, which is a standalone title, will be released January 31, 2017.

CH: Kim, you have won many awards. What are your three biggest writing accomplishments?

KLR: 1) When I received the 2013 NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work – Fiction for The Reverend’s Wife.

2)  Making the New York Times list for the very first time with my 6th novel, Too Much of A Good Thing.

3)  Submitting my 25th book to my publisher last month, Copycat.

CH: Who is your favorite author? Why?

KLR: I have a lot of authors who I love reading books by, such as Terry McMillan, Trice Hickman, Mary Monroe, Barbara Delinsky, James Patterson, etc., and my all-time favorite novel is Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine by Bebe Moore Campbell.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

KLR: www.kimroby.com

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

KLR: They are sold nationwide at local independent bookstores, Barnes & Noble, Wal-Mart, Sam’s, Target and other retailers.  They are also available at all online bookstores and retailers that sell books. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2b1eFKa

CH: Any closing remarks?

KLR: Thank you so much for allowing me this wonderful opportunity.  I sincerely appreciate it, Cheryl!

CH: Thank you so much, Kimberla Lawson Roby, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  It is truly a joy to have you visit my blog a second time. 

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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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

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We Need Subscribers…What Fans Can Do

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We Need You       You can do it too

Hi Readers and Fans!

My blog is still small, but I am getting more viewers and subscribers every day. The blog has grown steadily and quickly since inception. I have a growing population of engaged readers who are passionate about reading a variety of genres and authors; and who choose to support a pay-it-forward blog.

There are many wonderful authors out there and we all know how difficult it is to get recognition with the intense competition. So, I provide the pay-it-forward attitude on my blog.

What I provide:

  • Blog Posts 2-4 times a week, but always on Monday and Friday
  • A variety of Genres
  • A variety of Authors
  • Local Authors
  • International Authors
  • Celebrity Authors

Blog Readers demographics:

  • 66% female readers, 33% male readers, 1% other
  • 75% U.S. 10% Canada 10% U.K. 5% Other Countries
  • 34% Shareaholics
  • All Ages: 18-78 years old Average Age: 24-46 years old

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In addition to comments, I often receive feedback such as…

  • Cheryl, thank you so much for hosting me. I’m thrilled to be here. Shari Elder
  • Hi Cheryl, I’m delighted to say I’ve had a lot of feedback about this interview already. Thank you, once again, for inviting me onto your blog. Best, Sarah Stuart
  • I really love Cheryl’s philosophy of paying it forward. She has unselfishly helped me in my writing endeavors. She has also inspired me to help others. A neighbor of ours is a doctor from Syria (his daughter plays with our daughter). He is trying to get reinstated in the U.S. I have edited a number of his applications and resumes. Whenever I do this, I think of how Cheryl has helped me. Thank you, Cheryl, for being such a great role model, not just for me, but for others as well. Charles Lober
  • Thank you so much for the interview! LaShawn Vasser
  • Cheryl, Thanks again for the opportunity to realize invaluable exposure to your readers. So often writers see their work languish not merely because it isn’t worthy but due to a lack of places to let audiences know it’s out there! Again, thanks again. – Dwight Hobbs
  • Thanks for the great interview, Cheryl. I wonder if anyone who’s reading your blog right now would like to comment on what their greatest dream/goal is and if they have any of their own tips on how one can reach their truest dreams? Ashley Rice
  • What a great interview, Jeannie. I can’t wait to read your book! Best of luck with sales. 🙂 Casi McLean
  • Thanks Cheryl for the write up of my old typewriter. It’s funny because I never even thought about it that way after owning it all these years. You may have given me a story idea. I found that Underwood at an antique shop in West Virginia. Don’t worry…I didn’t ruin a good book for the centerpiece. It was an old dictionary that was ruined and falling apart so that’s why I used it. LOL I’m a lover of books as well…I’m a writer!!! Georgette Littlejohn
  • Thank you for the interview. LaToya Brown
  • Keep it up, Cheryl. Your work is so important. Everett Prewitt
  • Love this interview. Looking forward to reading more of Mr. Hobbs writings. Nalla Black
  • Thank you for interviewing one of my favorite authors! I have read each of her books. She writes in several genres and is quite natural in each. I’m not exactly a young adult now but I love this series. Ask me to pick a favorite Lisette Brodey novel and it’s virtually impossible. I love them all. I swear that I’m the lead character in Molly Hacker is Too Picky. I had a great deal of compassion for the protagonist in Squalor, New Mexico. Crooked Moon was another fave. Oh, good grief, I’m in danger of naming every book she has written! It was really interesting to read about her writing process. Darlene Arden

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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

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Celebrity Author Interview – Deborah Fletcher Mello

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Deborah Fletcher Mello

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Title: Guilty Pleasures: Bad Boys of Boulder (Book 1)

Genre: African American Romance

Synopsis: Former NBA star Alexander Barrett has slam dunked his career into second gear with the grand opening of his hot new gym in Boulder, Colorado. But his excitement is tempered when his estranged twin brother, MMA title holder Zachary “The Hammer” Barrett returns home from Thailand. Alex has never forgiven Zach for marrying his college sweetheart. And while they’re now divorced, his bitterness lingers.

Zach hoped to re-connect with his brother, but when his personal assistant and trainer, Sarai Montri, arrives, their rivalry is soon reignited. Highly educated, not to mention gorgeous, the former Miss Thailand captivates Alex for the first time since his heartbreak. But Sarai’s devotion to Zach only stirs up the past. Will the brothers’ competitive natures tear them apart once more–with Sarai caught in the middle? …

Deborah Mello

Deborah Fletcher Mello, Author

CH: Today’s Celebrity Guest Author is Deborah Fletcher Mello. For Deborah, writing is akin to breathing and she firmly believes that if she could not write she would cease to exist. Welcome again to my blog, Deborah.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

DFM: Bad boy, Alexander Barrett, and his twin brother, both fall in love with the same woman, beauty queen, Sarai Montri.                                           

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this book in the series?

DFM: I’ve always been fascinated with twins and that intensely personal connection they have with each other. I wanted to do a story that explored the dynamics of brothers whose connection, since birth, was thought to be unbreakable and how throwing a woman into that mix might affect them.

CH: What are some of the emotional intricacies that are part of being in an interracial relationship?

DFM: What Alexander and Sarai face is not much different from what any same race couple might have to face. Theirs is a journey of discovery; a discovery of self and each other. Sarai is Thai, where the cultural mores are very different. Both have to learn what they want, what they don’t want, and more importantly what they’re willing to compromise on to be with each other.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

DFM: Stories can come at the oddest times and in the strangest places. My stories are character driven, so once I connect to the characters, the rest is a piece of cake. I’m what’s known as a “pantser.” I write by the seat of my pants. I never know how a story will end or what the journey will be to get there. It all just seems to work and come together when I need it to. Each time, I consider it a blessing.

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

DFM: Because I love writing, I never see it as hard. There is always an element of real and true that I bring to every story and character. The men, more times than not, embody the characteristics of men I respect and admire, as do many of the women.

CH: How did you choose Thailand as the setting for the characters to portray part of the story?

DFM: Years ago, I worked for a hotel-owning company and was blessed to be able to travel internationally for many years. Thailand is one of my favorite places in the world to visit and it just made sense to bring my love for the culture into one of my stories.

CH: There is usually sibling rivalry, so how did you decide on twin rivalry?

DFM: Twins have a unique connection. Because they are typically so close, rivalry between them can be very different from your usual sibling rivalry. It was fun to explore that.

CH: Many readers say that your characters are emotional and memorable. How do you convey this in your books?

DFM: That readers say such a thing makes my heart sing! I work very hard to make my characters believable. It’s important that I connect to them to insure the reader connects to them. I consider everything from what they would snack on to how they would decorate their living spaces. And it works.

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

DFM: Love knows no boundaries. Whether it’s the love of family or friends, it is the strongest unifying emotion that any of us will ever know.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

DFM: Good question! Probably, Alexander. I wanted him to be less conservative and not so by-the-book and he just wouldn’t cooperate!

CH: How many books are in this series? Was this book harder to write?

DFM: I’d say the first book was the hardest, if either of them had to be hard. It was important to me that I honor the Thai culture and be respectful of their traditions and heritage. I’ve read too many books where an entire race or culture is subtly insulted or disrespected and I didn’t want to make that mistake. Guilty Pleasures is the first book in the series. My next book, Perfect Pleasures, which will drop on October 25, 2017, is the last book in the two-book series.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences?

DFM: There are many authors that I have great respect for but Walter Mosely has had one of the biggest influences on me. He is a masterful storyteller and reading him feels like swimming in an ocean of everything I love!

CH: Where do you get inspiration for the passionate encounters in your writing and do you find them easier to write from the male or female perspective?

DFM: The characters inspire their own passionate encounters. Those scenes are a natural progression of their developing relationships and it’s just as easy from one perspective, as it is from the other.

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

DFM: Being named the 2016 Romance Slam Jam Author of the Year was a definite high. To be acknowledged by readers who love my writing was humbling and I was truly honored.

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

DFM: I don’t know. I really don’t. But if I had to say anything, I’d say it’s maybe my distinctive voice and the fact that I don’t shy away from tough subjects.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

DFM: Of course! Readers can follow me at www.deborahmello.blogspot.com. As well, I am active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Google-plus. I am all over social media.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

DFM: Readers can follow the links below or find my books wherever books are sold: Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2aaDaTw and

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/2aaDbqs

CH: Any closing remarks?

DFM: I just want to extend my sincerest appreciation to you, Cheryl, for having me. This has been much fun and I want to thank you for supporting me and my writing. And to the readers, Happy Reading!

CH: Thank you so much, Deborah Fletcher Mello, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  It is truly a joy to have you visit my blog a second time. 

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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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

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Seven Sentence Sunday with Cheryl Holloway

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Seven Sentence SundayOnce Upon a Time

Most of my readers enjoy Seven Sentence Sunday and often request the short stories.

I write a short story using only seven sentences. I also use this as a writing exercise in the writing workshops that I present. Today, when I went to church, the Pastor said something that triggered the following seven sentence story.

Title: Great-Grandmother’s Friends

There was a great-grandmother, who was getting up in age—97 years old—she always enjoyed telling stories to her great-grandchildren and the young children in Sunday school.

She often told stories of her youth, which the children enjoyed tremendously.

They were stories about her life and the various things that she had done long ago when she was a small child.

This Sunday’s story was about the ice cream socials after church and how the mothers of the church had several small ice cream makers and let the little kids hand-crank the ice cream, which was ready to eat almost immediately.

Her favorite flavor had been peach, while her best friend’s favorite flavor was vanilla, but her friend had died years ago and so had most of the old lady’s friends.

Her great-grandson thought about it and asked her where were all of her friends, now.

The old lady thought for a moment, and chortled, “They are all in heaven and they probably think I’m not coming to join them.”

The End

Short Stories_2

Thanks for reading the story. Please give me some feedback and tell me if you like it or what you think about the topic.

Have a Great Writing Day!

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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

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Coming Soon…Cassie Dandridge Selleck

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Celebrity Author Cassie Dandridge Selleck will join us soon.

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Cassie Dandridge Selleck will discuss her book, The Pecan Man and her “New” Book!

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Cassie Selleck

Cassie Dandridge Selleck, Author

“Don’t miss this exciting interview. Join us!”                                                                                         ~Cheryl Holloway

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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

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Guest Author Interview – Shari Elder

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Title: Shifter Trials

Genre: Paranormal

Synopsis: On the night of the full moon, any male shifter can call the Trials to race against Talia Orion, alpha of the united wolf-eagle clans. Clan law requires Talia to marry the winner of the Trials, a grueling twenty-mile marathon through dangerous, rugged terrain. Talia, the product of an unhappy, political alliance masquerading as a marriage, trains obsessively to ensure she avoids her parents’ fate.

Her newest vampire trainer, Hayden Mitchell, makes her powerful even as he knocks down her defenses, and finds his way into her heart. Hayden has loved Talia since the first moment he saw her. As the destined ruler of the vampire clan, he also has another agenda—to politically unite Talia’s clans with his own. Will Talia be able to forgive him?

Shari Elder

Shari Elder, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Shari Elder. She loves co-creating stories and ideas. Welcome to my blog, Shari.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

SE: Clan law requires Talia marry the victor of the Trials, but she falls for her trainer, who’s forbidden to compete.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this story? 

SE: I love mythology, and it remains a rich source for my writing. I had always wanted to do a modern version of the Greek myth, Atalanta, a woman who defied stereotypes of her age. She hunted with the men, and refused to marry anyone who could not beat her in a footrace. That seemed like an interesting story to tell now as women find themselves more and more in leadership positions. So Talia, the story’s heroine, is based on Atalanta.

CH: Why did you decide to write a romantic paranormal novel?

SE: I love to create worlds. The paranormal and science fiction genre allow me to really dive in.  I also love romance, because I like happy endings.  And I specifically like happy endings for those who don’t believe they will get one. In this story, I create an exciting world, and find a partner for a female alpha who really never believed she’d find love.

CH: As a new author, what is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your paranormal fiction writing?

SE: I create rich and exciting worlds, even in a novella, like Shifter Trials. I try to be creative with the details, as well. For example, I don’t have chapter numbers, but moon phases. The Trials can be called every full moon, so time is charted along moon cycles (e.g., full moon, crescent). That seemed a fun way to structure the scenes in the book.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

SE: I start with characters, so usually my first task is to develop back stories. Once I understand the who, I move on to the where.  I need to know the world and the rules of that world. Finally, I write an outline, scene by scene, and that is how the plot emerges.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

SE: I really wanted to write a modern version of the Atalanta story.  So I did.

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

SE: A few months. I write in short spurts—early mornings, on weekends.  While I wish I were a full-time writer, I am not yet. I work full time and parent full time.

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

SE: My joy is creation. So, I take great care in building interesting, fantastical, but I hope believable worlds. That means taking pieces from real life, and exploring them in new settings.  For example, in Shifter Trials, vampires are a fae-human hybrid, without the power to reproduce, as often happens when species mix. For vampires to form their own clan requires that they play with reproductive technologies, with positive and negative impacts, all of which find form in the story.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

SE: Talia. On one hand, she is one of the most powerful people on the planet—the only eagle-wolf shifter ever born, and the only alpha of two predatory clans. On the other hand, she is very much a woman, but struggles with how to deal with those female vulnerabilities and needs, while ruling her clans.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

SE: Hayden, hands down.  He is a man on a mission to win Talia. He’s confident, dominant, powerful; yet, gentle and loving. He freely admits his love for Talia, and demonstrates his vulnerable side to children.  It’s really hard not to adore him.

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

SE: Eagle, wolf and bat behavior. To make the shifting in the book real, I needed to know the physical capabilities and social behaviors of eagles, wolves and bats.  For example, I needed to know the speeds of bats and eagles at their fastest, since racing is a part of the book.

CH: Is there an overall message in your book that you want the readers to grasp?

SE: The story’s message is the freedom to choose your own future, even when rules, regulations, duty and your own emotional blinders put limits on those choices.  Here is an exchange between Hayden and Talia that really drives this home.

He lifted her chin, forcing her to look at him. “Because I lo—”

“Don’t say it.” She ripped away from him. “Never say that. Love is forbidden to me.”

“Not true. You choose not to pursue it.”

The rules restrict who Talia can marry, so Talia refuses all liaisons. In reality, she puts even more limits on how she can live her life.

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

SE: My first story has just been released. I have not had the privilege of receiving direct feedback yet; but the reviews on Goodreads have been overall positive. You can see them on Goodreads.

CH: Which writer do you admire most and why?

SE: I can’t choose just one. Here are a few and why: Jane Austen, Mary Shelley and Maya Angelou.  Each one created rich, innovative stories that challenged how we saw the world and how the world should look. They weren’t just writers, their own lives broke barriers for all others. I’d also add Italo Calvino and Dr. Seuss for their willingness to play with language, narrative, and story form.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

SE: www.theothershari.wordpress.com

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

SE: Amazon; Barnes and Noble; Kobo; Evernight Publishing; All Romance Ebooks; and Bookstrand. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2aPiwWE

CH: Any closing remarks?

SE: Thank you so much for hosting me, Cheryl.  It has been my privilege to visit you here, today. Your mission of paying it forward is inspiring. Any way I can support your mission, I am happy to do so.

CH: Thank you, Shari Elder, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

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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

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Coming Soon…New Children’s Book

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Title: A GRO-c-ERY Story

Georgette Littlejohn

Georgette Littlejohn, Author

“This heart-warming children’s tale unfolds in a grocery store…at night.”                                                                   ~ Cheryl Holloway

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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

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Cheryl Holloway Wishes You A Happy National Book Lovers Day

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National Book Lovers Day

I’ve been so busy all day, but never too busy to say, “Happy National Book Lovers Day to my Fans!”                      ~Cheryl Holloway

I love books

Here is a short list of some of my favorite books:

  • The Color Purple
  • The Pecan Man
  • The Invention of Wings
  • Their Eyes Were Watching God
  • The Old Man and The Sea
  • To Kill A Mocking Bird
  • Go Tell It On The Mountain
  • Your Blues Ain’t Like Mine
  • Disappearing Acts
  • The Notebook

What are some of your favorite books?

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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

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Guest Author Interview – June Montgomery-Lewis

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Title: Born Again: A Memoir of Survival

Genre: Self-Help/Spiritual

Synopsis: Born Again is a story about a young woman who struggled with demonic possession, abandonment, and sexual addictions. No matter how high or low she looked, she could never find her purpose in life. Many failed relationships, and falling in love with any and everything, but God. It wasn’t until this woman decided to fall in love with Christ that her life truly transformed and her Divine purpose prevailed.

June Lewis

June Montgomery-Lewis, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is June Montgomery-Lewis. She is a writer and mentor. Welcome to my blog, June.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

JML: You should read Born Again because it will transform your life.

CH: Why did you decide to write a “survival memoir” novel?

JML: I decided to write a survival memoir because God gave me a revelation with purpose to serve his people—a message that will deliver those who are struggling and want to be released from bondage.

CH: Was it painful to revisit that the situations that changed your life?

JML: It was painful to release my life to the world. I never let go of my life situations; I carried them and buried them deep within my heart. Living grudgingly and deceiving myself and others. Letting the world see me naked really scared me.

CH: What time period does the book span? Did you leave out any stories that you wanted to include?

JML: The book time period is a thirty-year time frame. I forgot to mention how the enemy tried to take me out at age twenty one, when I gave birth to my first child. I was extremely sick with eclampsia and suffered seizures and temporary loss of memory. This was a huge healing God gave and I’m sorry to have left that part out.

CH: So many memoir writers work on their book for years and years. What made you decide to write your story now and how long did it take you to write it?

JML: I decided to write Born Again in 2012. That was the year I met my husband, I always told him stories about my life and he challenged me to write. I knew my life was a testimony, but my husband truly helped me to birth the written testimony.

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

JML: In 2014, I stopped writing. I was living a lie contrary to what I wrote about. I didn’t feel delivered, in fact, I felt defeated. It wasn’t until a revelation came upon me that I was able to complete Born Again.

CH: Are there any books that influenced you while writing this book?

JML: There where sermons that influenced me and music rather than books. Still Standing by Monica inspired me. Feel Me Up by Tasha Cobb inspired me. Sermons from my pastor, Bishop Dixon of Eastchester Road Church of God, in the Bronx, New York inspired me. Joyce Myers inspired me, and TD Jakes. They all had an influence on me.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration when you write?

JML: When I write, I remind myself that my goal is to speak to the hearts of God’s people and motivate life altering change. That’s what inspires me to write.

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

JML: I speak about things that people are afraid to talk about. Born Again is relatable to people from all walks of life. It challenges you to dig deep within yourself and fall in love. So many of us are dying, JML:  because we don’t know our purpose in life. Born Again helps us to identify our purpose through Christ. When you read Born Again you feel like you are walking with me and talking to me. I wrote this book in real time, if I said I’m crying, then my tears touched the paper.  As I wrote, I poured my soul into this novel and you will feel me, and my spirit as you read.

CH: Is there an overall message in your book that you want the readers to grasp?

JML: I want readers to know that God created you with a purpose and until we truly develop a relationship with our creator, we will always feel empty. It doesn’t matter who or what we connect with; until we connect to our creator and allow our destiny to prevail, we will never be complete. Our completeness is in Christ!

CH: Is this your first book? How long have you been writing?

JML: This is my first book, and this book took four years to complete.

CH: What pitfalls have you run into as a new author?

JML: I have to always remind myself of my goal.  Marketing is a pitfall for me.  Because of the industry and influence, I sometimes get crazy over sales. I have to keep my mind focused on lives being healed and not on sales.

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

JML: Readers are saying the book made them laugh, cry and reflect on their own lives. Some have resubmitted their lives back to the Lord. Readers are saying Born Again is extremely interesting and it’s a read they could not put down. Most readers finished the book in one day.

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

JML: I’m working on a book entitled Antonelle which is an Urban Christian fiction book about a woman who dealt with a lot of adversary, who’s calling was to heal. Antonelle could not walk in her purpose until she came to terms with the pain bestowed upon her and truly forgive her opposers.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

JML: https://facebook.com/Junemontgomerylewis/

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold other than Amazon?

JML: Barnes and Noble, Lulu, CreateSpace and Amazon. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2aP9ite

CH: Any closing remarks?

JLM: I just would like to thank you for taking this time to interview me. I’m honored and blessed for this opportunity. Readers will be extremely blessed by Born Again, and I look forward to hearing from you and your viewers!

CH: Thank you, June Montgomery-Lewis, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and June Montgomery-Lewis.

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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

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Celebrity Authors Coming August 15-19, 2016

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Celebrity Author Week August 15 – August 19, 2016

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Deborah Fletcher Mello with her new book, Guilty Pleasureswill join us on August 15th.

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Kimberla Lawson Roby  with her new book, A Sinful Calling, will join us on Aug 19th.

“Join us for these exciting interviews that can’t be missed!”                                                         ~Cheryl Holloway

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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

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SRPTMD Booktalk Event

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SRPTMD

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The Historical Port   Tobacco Courthouse

A wonderful event that I enjoyed participating in on August 5, 2016.

SRPTMD Booktalk Author List

Cheryl Holloway at Booktalk

SRPTMD Booktalk

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Become a Subscriber_meme

 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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Guest Author Interview – Tiffany Patterson

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Me1

Tiffany Patterson, Author

Title: This is Where I Sleep

Genre: African American/Multicultural Romance

Synopsis: For more than a decade, life has been one mission after another for Coral Coleman. This time, Coral is on a mission to find the elusive “Ghost,” who Coral believes is responsible for trying to kill her two years ago. Unfortunately for them, they missed her, but in the process took out two of Coral’s teammates—that, Coral takes personally. She comes one step closer to finding him when a case involving Bennett Industries falls into her lap.

There’s just one problem: The current CEO of Bennett Industries is Liam Bennett, the man who was Coral’s best friend-turned lover-turned heart breaker when he walked away from her without any explanation and married another woman.

For the last five years, Liam Bennett has been on his own mission—maintaining control of Bennett Industries while plotting to take down the one man who has kept him from the love of his life. When Coral re-enters Liam’s world for this case, once-buried feelings emerge, secrets are revealed, but most of all, a connection that cannot be denied resurfaces. Liam resolves to put this case to an end and reclaim the woman he’s always wanted. He will have to overcome vindictive family members, betrayal by someone in his inner-circle, and most importantly, have to work to convince the very stubborn Coral that with him is where she belongs.

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Tiffany Patterson.  She enjoys stories that touch on real issues, and feature realistic characters working to solve those issues, while falling in love in the process. Welcome to my blog, Tiffany.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

TP: This is Where I Sleep is about friends, turned lovers, turned heartbreak, who find their way back to one another. (That’s twenty words. How’s that? J)

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this standalone novel?

TP: This one is a spinoff book from my previous series. Coral, the main heroine in This is Where I Sleep, is the older sister of Stacey, from my last book in the Black Burlesque Series, Black Butterfly.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

TP: Generally, my ideas come from life. I can have a conversation with a friend and get an idea for a story, or hear a line from a song.  Most of the time my plots and stories develop a little at a time with scenes coming to me here and there. However, on occasion, an entire storyline will come to me and I have to rush to write it all down, so I don’t forget it.

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

TP: Most of the time I take stories from real life and elaborate on them. When I first thought about the Black Burlesque Series, it was after watching a documentary on Black Burlesque dancers in New York City. I wanted to delve into what it would be like to write a romance story around women, who dance burlesque, which is not the norm (from what I’ve seen) in a romance story.

CH: What are some of the emotional intricacies that are part of an interracial relationship?

TP: While all relationships have their emotional intricacies, an interracial relationship may often come with the added stress of dealing with outside family and friends who may be opposed to the relationship. Furthermore, there is also the fear that dating interracially may be a fetish type of thing for one partner or the other. I often try to make it clear in my IR books that each person has an established connection with one another, and it is simply not a fetish or a ‘I want to see if the rumors are true’ type of thing for these characters.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

TP: I would say that Coral, the heroine, in This is Where I Sleep was one of the more difficult ones simply because she was less willing to let me in at first. Coral’s a very strong woman, who has been through a lot in life; and therefore, she doesn’t open up easily. It took a while to figure her out, but she opened up eventually.

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

TP: Hmmmm…I’ve been told my sex scenes are really good. LOL. No really, I think with every story I write, my aim is to display the chemistry between these two characters. I want readers to feel exactly why these two people belong together, despite obstacles that are trying to keep them apart.

CH: What makes you gravitate toward writing multicultural/interracial romance novels?

TP: I thoroughly enjoy reading romance novels featuring people of color. I started getting into romance when I discovered AA authors, such as Brenda Jackson, Rochelle Alers and more. I love and plan to write both AA and Multicultural/IR romance. I think writing AA/IR is a way for people of color to state that we exist and deserve to have our love stories told in the same way that more mainstream stories are being told.

CH: Was there as particular reason that you wrote a standalone book when series are so popular?

TP: I just got finished writing a series, and This Is Where I Sleep became a spinoff, but it didn’t feel right as part of a series.

CH: How long does it take you to write one of your books?

TP: It depends. I believe I spent about two months writing my first book, Black Pearl. On the flip side, I started writing This is Where I Sleep last December, and didn’t finish until early May. How long it takes me simply depends on how well the story comes together in my head, along with outside factors, such as work and family life that can impact how often I get to write.

CH: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?

TP: One of the things I dislike about our society is the “purity myth” and the idea that a woman has to be a virgin or not openly sexual in order to be deemed worthy of love and a relationship. This is one of the overlying concepts that turned me off from a lot of the mainstream romance novels. In my stories, I enjoy writing women who are comfortable in their sexuality and not ashamed of enjoying sex. I dislike the whole ‘Madonna/Whore’ complex and I believe women are much more complicated than that. A woman can be sexual, intelligent, loving, a badass, etc., all at once. Therefore, I write women who are all of these (at least I attempt to).

CH: You seem to have a lot of dedicated readers. What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of the book?

TP: So far, most of the feedback I’ve received has been very positive. I have read some reviews that took issue with something in the book here and there, but even those weren’t completely negative. The response has been encouraging.

CH: Which multicultural/interracial romance writer do you admire most and why?

TP: Aw, man, this is a hard one. There are so many great multicultural/IR authors out there. I think if I were forced to choose one, I would say Phoenix Daniels. I remember reading her Beautiful Prey series and falling in love with the genre all over again. And I have seen the growth in her writing from her first book up until her latest release, which is something I aspire to. I want to constantly keep growing and challenging myself as an author, so to see other authors doing that is encouraging.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

TP: Yep: www.TiffanyPattersonWrites.com

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold?

TP: This is Where I Sleep along with my other books are sold on Amazon. You can purchase them or use Kindle Unlimited to read them for free. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2ap2yED

CH: Any closing remarks?

TP: I would like to say thank you for allowing me to be a guest author on your blog. Also, if you or your readers would like a chance to meet me I will be in Chicago for the Chicago Urban Book Expo on September 25th (Link here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1469534050029655/).

CH: Thank you, Tiffany Patterson, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

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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

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What: First Friday Booktalk

When: August 5th 6-9 pm

Where: Port Tobacco Courthouse, 8430 Commerce Street, Port Tobacco, MD

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 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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Meet Terry Maxwell on August 5th at 7:00 – 9:00 p.m.

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Title: More Than My Share of Pain: 25 Years in An Abusive Marriage…And How I Got Out

Author: Terry Maxwell

Terry’s book covers personal experiences, newfound strength and hope. Terry said, “I’m writing this book to offer my story and to help other women rescue themselves from the physical pain, as well as the mental and spiritual distress that comes from enduring a verbally abusive relationship.”

Where: 2D Pole & Fit

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Ft. Washington, MD 20744

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Become a Subscriber_meme

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

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