Guest Author Interview – Stacy Campbell

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Title: Forgive Me

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction

Synopsis: In this fast-paced sequel to the debut novel, Dream Girl Awakened, five characters come to grips with their pasts amidst broken friendships, infidelity, grief, and loss.

Aruba Dixon has hit rock bottom. After two years of marriage, her second husband has died of Lou Gehrig’s disease, and she finds herself wanting to end it all. A botched suicide attempt makes her parents reach out to her ex-husband, James, for assistance. Up until that late-night phone call, James is living the golden life of success and wealth, but now everything is about to spin out of control… Meanwhile, Tawatha Gibson is grateful for the chance to be free again. After serving five years in prison, she is released on a technicality. Though shunned from those she loves most, Tawatha clings to the dream that she will be given another chance to start anew. But when her daughter, Aunjanue, learns about her release from prison, she’s not sure she can celebrate her mother’s freedom, let alone forgive her.

Then there’s Victoria Faulk, who struggles with forgiving and forgetting. After a messy divorce, she wrestles with feelings of inadequacy and doubt. When her new beau, Emory Wilkerson, proposes in front of family and friends, she knows she’ll never be happy until she forgives the one person who hurt her—her old “friend,” Aruba Dixon.

As the events unfold around the lives of these women, they face the challenge of letting go of the past and building new bonds. Will they come full circle and learn to move on, or will their past mistakes follow them forever?

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Author: Stacy Campbell

CH: Welcome, Stacy. Thank you for joining me and allowing my readers to get to know you and your writing. 

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

SC: Readers should read Forgive Me to understand the beauty of letting go of grudges and forgiving others.

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

SC: My type of writing is different because I write about things people say could never happen to them, but may in fact, can.  I like to explore themes of relationships, love, and why it’s important to stay connected to those we love. Also, there’s something about the concept of the grass being greener on the other side that intrigues me.  I’ve seen so many friendships and relationships crumble due to this myth. I say, “Water your own grass!”

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

SC: I’ve been writing since I was younger; I began to take the craft seriously about twelve years ago by entering contests, workshops, and applying for grants.  I realized, although I love literary fiction, lots of subjects fascinate me and I can tell a tale more than one way.

CH: When you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends? Or do you just write your own story?

SC: I write my own stories, or what I call heart stories. I tackle things that I know or things I’m willing to research. Trend following is too tricky and too unpredictable. There is only one, The Help. There is only one, The Fault In Our Stars. There is only one, Addicted.  (Let’s face it, Zane cracked the erotica market years ago.) By the time an author jumps on the trend bandwagon, a new wave of themes hits the bestseller lists and writers are stuck with imitations. There is nothing new under the sun, but the way an author spins the tale, their heart story, makes the difference.

CH: That’s a great way to look at trends. So, what inspired you to write Forgive Me

SC: Forgive Me is the sequel to my first novel, Dream Girl Awakened. Readers contacted me about the story and wanted to know what happened to the three main characters. Forgive Me takes place five years later and looks at the lives of the key players from book one.

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

SC: I wanted to make sure the characters grew. That was a challenge for me because one character is still stuck on stupid. (Yes, they’re my children, so I can talk about them.) I also wanted to paint a realistic portrait of the fall-out of infidelity.  Once I started the story, it came together for me.

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

SC: I researched my local prison system and talked to lots of my educator friends, who helped me with field trip protocol, teaching, etc.

CH: What genre are you most comfortable writing?

SC: Contemporary Women’s Fiction.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? 

SC: Victoria Faulk. I hated her the most when I started writing book one, but had so much compassion for her by the end of both books. She was truly a victim of circumstance. 

CH: Take us through your writing process. When you get an idea, do you map out the book beforehand, or do you allow the characters to write their own story? 

SC: I wrote the first two books freestyle because the stories flowed quickly. I have discovered a great tool called the Ten Scene Plotting Tool. It was created by James V. Smith and the twelve beat script plot. The chart is designed to eliminate writer’s block and give the writer a big picture look at the story so ideas will flow. It is available at http://www.kkitts.net/downloads/files/TenScenePlot.pdf.   I can attest that this helped me with book three tremendously. So, I am more open to plotting and outlining now.

CH: Do you have plans for a new book? 

SC: Yes. Wouldn’t Change A Thing, my third novel, will be released in the summer of 2015.  On the morning of her engagement party, Atlanta architect Antoinette Williamson awakens to her family’s secret of mental illness on the front page of the Atlanta Journal and Constitution. The story explores mental illness in the African-American community and how far one family member goes to protect her niece.

CH: Do you have a website? 

SC: Readers can reach me at www.stacyloveswriting.com. The site is being revamped, but I’m also reachable at my email address georgiapeach2814@aol.com.

CH: Where are your books sold? 

SC: They are available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.com. You can also order the books directly from me through PayPal.

CH: Any Closing Remarks? 

SC: Thanks so much for having me on your blog. I appreciate the support and look forward to hearing from readers and writers.  Also, I hope aspiring authors know that anything is possible and to never give up on their writing dreams.

CH: Thank you, Stacy, and thank you for sharing your book with my audience and your writing journey. I wish you much success for your writing career.  

 

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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1st Blog Anniversary: Ten Things I’ve Learned About Blogging That Successful Bloggers Know by Cheryl Holloway

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10 Things Ive learned

I’ve been writing on my blog for one year and I have over 100 posts. In that year,  I’ve learned ten things that successful bloggers know.  They are:

  1. Blog Readers are important.  My blog readers mean the world to me! I love each and every one of them, especially those who take the time out of their busy schedule to visit my blog. I just wish I could meet more than one blog reader at a time.
  1. Writing for readers is even more important. I enjoy writing for my readers. Good appearance, proper grammar and topics of interest are at the top of the list.
  1. Building a blog is difficult. You can’t build a blog over night.  You have to be realistic in your expectations. So, I try to build my blog by writing more good posts and by giving the readers what they request.
  1. You can’t blog all the time. Sometimes, life gets in the way and you have to take a break. I try to blog as often as I can.
  1. Blog on a regular basis. You need to blog at least 2-3 times a week. Often, life gets in the way and I can’t blog as many times as I have planned.
  1. Blog about varied topics. I have to change things up from time-to-time. I try to write when I have interesting thoughts. I want to give my readers something different, and I don’t want to be like everyone else.
  1. Bloggers need to tell readers about themselves. I try to tell a little bit about myself. A short bio is listed on the blog, but the best bio is listed on my website.     I try to give you a peak into my life then and now. I like just being me.
  1. Other bloggers are willing to help. From time-to-time, I need suggestions and help from other bloggers. I also post on other blogs for writers.
  1. Blog reader comments are sparse. Comments don’t come as often as I’d like. Blog readers care…they just don’t comment much. I only get a few comments—but the ones I get are great!
  2.  Bloggers love blogging.  I love blogging! (And I love writing, too!) So, I will be around for years to come.

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  • Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Marissa Monteilh

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    Title: You’ve Got It Bad: Dr. Feelgood Sequel

    Genre: Women’s Fiction

    Synopsis:The good doctor, Dr. Makkai Worthy, returns as Dr. Feelgood in the steamy sequel of a handsome, popular heart surgeon who repairs hearts in his professional life, yet breaks them in his personal life. Dr. Makkai Worthy’s daughter Fonda is now five-years old, and her mother, Monday Askins, who abandoned Fonda after giving birth, is back, and she vows to make good on her threat to get her daughter if it’s the last thing she does. Dr. Feelgood is unattached after his split from Mary Jane Cherry, and his life-saving hands are full, as his love of women again rules his rolling stone life. But one sequence of dramatic events leads to another, and if Dr. Feelgood plans to save himself, he’ll need to break the generational curses that bind and face some unexpected truths. Will his love of women continue to rule his world, or will he break all the rules and prove to himself, that having it bad, ain’t good?

    Marissa Monteilh

    Author: Marissa Monteilh

    CH: I am so pleased to present to you today, our Celebrity Guest Author, Marissa Monteilh, who is the author of over twenty books and originally self-published her first book. Since then, she has won numerous awards for her literary contributions. 

    CH: Marissa, thank you for joining us and welcomePlease tell us in 20 words or less why we should read your book?

    MM: If you’ve ever fallen for a player; yet, wondered why he played and you stayed, read the Dr. Feelgood series.

    CH: Tell us a little bit about your book. Where did you get the premise for this series?

    MM: I met a young man whose rolling stone father had nearly one-hundred children, most of whom he’d never met. This young man admitted that he himself was unable to be monogamous because he simply craved women. I wanted to show what that looked like and felt like. Dr. Makkai Worthy is a handsome, successful heart surgeon, and he’s talented in the bedroom. His skills drive women crazy. Chaos ensures, especially once Dr. Feelgood discovers more about his own father’s life. Once his past meets his present, it changes his future. You’ve Got It Bad picks up where Dr. Feelgood leaves off.

    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?

    MM: Random concepts come to me while I’m driving, while I’m in the shower, or even while I’m falling asleep. Also, ideas come from conversations with people, news stories, talk show subjects, or when I’m listening to a song. I begin to wonder what that certain situation would look like in a novel. Stories come to me as a situational idea, and I develop it further.

    CH: Is this the last book in this series?

    MM: Yes, You’ve Got It Bad is the absolute last book in the series. I am proud of the directions that the original title and the sequel have taken, though I will miss the sexy antics of Dr. Makkai Worthy.

    CH: Do you get continual feedback from your readers on a series?

    MM: I do get continual feedback from readers. Some agree with my character’s choices, and some do not. Readers are good about sharing which characters they liked the most, and those they love to hate. Some want their own Dr. Feelgood, because like Aretha Franklin sang, he knows how to make a woman feel real, real good!

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

    MM: My situations are not from my real life, but perhaps the life of someone I don’t know that I find interesting. For me, creating believable situations is about having a good understanding of who my characters are; yet, allowing them to surprise even me. Even a far-fetched scenario can be believable and fit, if it’s written well.

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

    MM: I can write a book in three months, though I prefer the luxury of one year. I can have my first draft done pretty quickly, say in a month. My first drafts are mainly dialogue, and then as I layer and edit, layer and edit, it takes on a life of its own.

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    Marissa’s office, where she created a menagerie of characters, including Dr. Feelgood.

    CH: For all of your books, how many genres have you written? Are there any other genres that you would like to write a book?

    MM: I’ve written in three genres thus far: women’s fiction, erotica, and now non-fiction with my September 2014 title, The Mind of a Woman: 365 Relationship Scenario Discussion Questions. I will venture into interracial romance in 2015.

    CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

    MM: My favorite character to write was in The Six-Letter Word. The main character, McKenzie Livingston, dealt with a less than perfect marriage, while facing the realities of cervical cancer. She moved me and inspired me, and I enjoyed creating her; yet, she’s no different than so many brave women facing the realities of a crumbling marriage, and/or cancer.

    CH: Are any of the characters similar to you?

    MM: Perhaps, Dr. Feelgood’s mom, Corrine Worthy is a bit similar to me. She’s experienced infidelity, loss, love, growth and setbacks; and has settled down after raising her kids. She’s also admitted her sins. She loves her son unconditionally, and desires for him to be happy. She knows that no one is perfect, and embraces her faults as opportunities to grow. I can totally relate to that.

    CH: Where did you get inspiration for Dr. Feelgood?

    MM: I got inspiration for Dr. Feelgood after seeing so many women who fell for the handsome, successful man, who admittedly tells them that he doesn’t want to settle down, but they believe they can change him. This book isn’t so much about players, as it’s really about the women who love them.

    CH: How long did it take you to write your first novel? Were any subsequent books harder to write than the first?

    MM: My first novel was May December Souls, and I wrote it in about nine months. It’s semi-autobiographical, so it’s very special to me. The book that was harder to write was one of my erotic titles, Politics. Escorts. Blackmail. My editor, Latoya Smith, challenged me to tighten it up, in particular the political scenes, and there were times when I wanted to pull my hair out, but I stuck with it and successfully completed what I believe to be one of my best titles.

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

    MM: The message in You’ve Got It Bad is one of forgiveness. Saying the words, “I forgive you,” is tough, but it is so very necessary, not only for the person we’re saying it to, but even more so, for ourselves.

    CH: Is it somewhat difficult keeping a consistent persona in a character when they’re going throughout a Series?

    MM: For me, writing sequels is sometimes easier, because I start out already knowing those characters. It’s like a reunion, so it’s not at all difficult.

    CH: Where can we find your website?

    MM: My website is www.marissamonteilh.com.There you will find my contact info, synopses of my titles, tour dates, and links to my social media pages.

    CH: Where are your books sold?

    MM: My books are available wherever books are sold, as well as online. My eBooks are available on Amazon.com, IBooks.com, or BN.com.

    CH: Any Closing Remarks? 

    MM: I’d just like to thank you Cheryl Holloway Robinson and Just About Books for this opportunity. I appreciate your interest, time, and support!

    CH: You are quite welcome and thank you for sharing your writing experience and your book series with my readers. Marissa, it has been a great experience talking with you. We wish you unlimited success in your literary career. 

    Note: Photos are compliments of Marissa Monteilh.

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

    Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!                                             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

    Happy 1st Anniversary to the Cheryl Holloway Blog!

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    I’m so excited because today is a very special day for me. It is the very first anniversary of the Cheryl Holloway Blog!

    I am so very happy about my decision to start writing this blog. It has allowed me to connect with many, many people—writers and readers—from around the world. It has been a pleasure over the past year of providing author interviews with Cheryl Holloway, offering great books to read, and valuable writing tips. I’ve had authors from 5 countries—United States, Canada, Sweden, Cuba, and the United Kingdom.

    I never thought that I would learn so much about blogging in one year, but it has been a really great experience. There have been 100+ posts and 50+ authors featured. I am happy to say, “The Cheryl Holloway blog will continue to be a reality and we will see what happens in the years to come.”

    It would never have been possible without the support of all of you! Here is a GIGANTIC THANK YOU to all of my readers and followers. Thank You So Much for your dedicated support, valuable feedback, and much-appreciated comments, whether you visited once or whether you’re a subscriber.

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    Guest Author Interview – Bill Miller

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    Title: Seeds of Magnolia

    Genre: Historical

    Synopsis: The most peaceful years of Austin Miller’s life were before he married. Only he, Sophia and her mother, Elizabeth, were in the house. After his marriage, the house became a hotbed of chaos fueled by overzealous attitudes and unyielding temperaments. His marriage had been strained by adultery, and after it had been patched; they were separated by the war. Sophia’s best friends were three white girls that she grew up with. When seen by someone that did not know them, they would assume that all four were white. The color of their skin would not be enough to tell that one had a trace of black blood in her veins that made her a slave. Appearing to be white did not make a person white, and being black had its’ limitations. Yet, in a small southern town in Tennessee, Sophia ignored the social code regarding interracial relationships. Seeds of Magnolia unveils some of the stories that have been sheltered by the family—stories that have been kept in the closet, swept under the rug, or just gone untold.

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    Author: Bill Miller

    CH: Welcome, Bill. Thank you for joining me and allowing my readers to get to know you and generations of your family. The first question I have for you is can you please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

    BM: It was rare, but for a few people, Seeds of Magnolia describes a brighter side of the darkest chapter in our country’s history which was slavery, and that makes it a worthwhile read.

    CH: What attracted you to write your ancestor’s history?

    BM: I wanted to write about them because I don’t want them to be forgotten.  The things that I wrote about are things that were told to me by my father and his brothers and sisters, stories that have been handed down from one generation to the next.

    I think, I’m the only one that remembers these stories anymore.  Recording them in the format of a book is my way of putting them in a place for safe-keeping.

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

    BM: When we read about slavery, we know that sooner or later, we’ll get to the page that tells us about the chains and shackles.  But this time, there are no chains and no shackles.

    The setting for Seeds of Magnolia is Bolivar, Tennessee, at the mansion referred to as Magnolia Manor.  It was built by Austin Miller, and it’s still there today; still being used.

    Magnolia Manor is a place where a slave girl was allowed to grow up and experience a lifestyle more like that of a well to-do white girl.  It was a place where she could sometimes almost forget that she was a slave.

    During the Civil War, Generals Grant, Sherman, Logan and McPherson used Magnolia Manor as their headquarters.

    When General Grant knocked on the door, it was my great grandmother, a slave named Sophia that let them in.

    Also, most books written about slavery are told from the viewpoint of someone on the outside looking in.  Seeds of Magnolia is told from the viewpoint of someone on the inside looking out.  That person on the inside being a slave. 

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

    BM: There were some things that I had to research.  Maybe some of it was just to satisfy my own curiosity.  I always knew that my great-grandfather died at his plantation in Mississippi, but I never knew the cause of death.  I had to do some research to find out.

    I knew that he was born in Guilford County, North Carolina, but I had to do some research to find out when he moved to Hardeman County, Tennessee.

    So, there were a few things that I had to research, but most of the things that I wrote about were tucked away in my mind.  I just had to get it properly arranged and put into words. 

    CH: Who was your favorite family member to write about or describe?

    BM: That’s an easy question to answer.  Sophia was my favorite, and its’ probably reflected in my writing.  I felt a lot of compassion whenever my writing took me to her. She had the starring role, and I fell in love with her.

    I loved describing the free-spirited lifestyle that Austin Miller allowed her to have.  I knew that he let her live that lifestyle, but when I started writing about it, it drew me closer to him.

    While writing, I was always asking questions of myself.  Questions like, why did he allow her to be the way that she was …letting her learn how to read and write? Since she had spent a lifetime in his house, did he not see her as a slave …maybe because her skin was so white? Did the time ever come when he was in love with her?

    Although I asked the questions, I knew that there would be no answers …just lots of questions.

    CH: Was it painful to revisit some of the family issues or to talk about the situations for the first time in the book?

    BM: It was painful describing how Sophia fell in love with a boy while attending church every Sunday at the bush harbor.

    A bush harbor is a lattice like framework with tree branches placed on top to block the sun.

    They looked forward to seeing each other every Sunday, and then one Sunday she went there to find out that he had been sold and taken away.  He was the first boy that she had ever loved.

    I found it very painful when I wrote about Sophia begging Mrs. Miller not to put her on the auction block and sell her.  That was the most painful part of the entire book.

    I became very emotional writing about it.  I’ve never told anyone before, but my eyes were filled with tears while I was writing.

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

    BM: There were no other influences.  I was driven by the fact that I wanted to preserve what I know about my family’s heritage.  I know that when I die, there won’t be anyone else to tell the stories, and the stories will die with me.  They’ll be gone forever.

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

    BM: Marketing is my biggest hurdle. There are a lot of authors, and it’s hard for a rookie to step onto the stage with them and be recognized.  It’s much easier to write a book than it is to sell one.

    CH: You are so right about marketing and if an author doesn’t know that, they will soon learn it. So, who is your favorite author? Why?

    BM: I don’t have a favorite author, but two of my favorite books are (1) This I Believe and (2) Physics for Future Presidents by Richard Muller.

    CH: What book are you currently reading?

    I just bought a copy of Dr. Ben Carson’s book, One Nation, but I haven’t read it yet.  When I have time to read, it’s usually college text books.  I like reading about science and history.

    CH: On Amazon, you had 7 out of 7 five star reviews, and most of them wanted to see a movie. So, are there any other plans for this book? Any movie deals?

    BM: No movie deals yet, but I believe that Seeds of Magnolia would be a great movie; set during the pre-post Civil War era with a completely different twist—one that’s real.

    Every day, I hope that someone in the movie industry will hear about it and read it, and say, “yes, let’s do it.”

    That’s having high expectations, but I think it’s realistic and not farfetched. The right person just has to read it.

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

    BM: Seeds of Magnolia is nonfiction. I could follow up with a sequel, but it might get me in trouble, because too many people would be too close to what I write.

    But I am writing another book now; it’s fiction.

    CH: Do you have a website?

    BM: Yes, I have a website. It’s www.billmillerbooks.com

    CH: Where is your book sold?

    BM: Amazon sells the hardcopy.  It’s also available as an eBook at Amazon Kindle.

    CH: Any closing remarks?

    BM: I don’t know any of my white relatives anymore.  I would like to meet them and shake their hand, and maybe embrace each other, if they’re so inclined.

    I suppose that someday some of them will read Seeds of Magnolia.  When they do, they’ll probably read about some things that they would rather I had left in the closet.  At the same time, I think, they will realize that I remembered to write with dignity.

    Austin Miller owned my family as slaves.  In spite of that, I’m proud of my family heritage; I’m proud of who I am, and I’m proud of what I am.

    It was wrong for him to own us, but still, I can’t make myself hate him, probably because I don’t want to, because he and Sophia are my great grandparents.

     CH: Thank you, Bill, and thank you for sharing your book, and the generations of the Miller family with my audience.  

     

    Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!                                             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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    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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    Guest Author Interview – Stela Brinzeanu

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    Bessarabian Nights_Cover

    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.  

     

    Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!                                 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

    header1_An Author Writes

    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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    Santa Rita Stories_Cover

    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_2

    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

    Celebrity Couch (2)

    Family of Lies_Cover

    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

    header1_An Author Writes

    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.

     

    Short Stories_2

    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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    Road to Money_Cover

    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.

    S Boyd

    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.