Cheryl Holloway’s New Book Release – A Sisterhood of Women Living Life

Banner Header_2016Sisterhood_4 (1)

Cheryl Holloway’s New Book Release 

Title: A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 1

Author: Cheryl Holloway

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1VbDRcU

Romance Lovers, this book collection of 10 short stories will make you smile, laugh, cry and get angry. You will love the book. Get your copy, today!

Celebrate Black History Month

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 Spread the Word

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

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

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Guest Author Interview – Aja Taylor

Banner Header_2016

NEW COVERED DEEP-1-20150805-185032494

Title: Covered Deep

Genre: Urban Life

Synopsis: Dex had it all—a wife, family, and best friend. Not to mention, all the luxuries that the street life puts forth. And in the blink of an eye, it was all on the line. Facing at least fifteen years to life, Dex is struggling from behind bars to find out who set him up. While at the same time, trying to keep his business maintained. With his crew doubting each other’s loyalty, they have to make sure that their respect on the streets remains in tact. Is it a longtime rival, an upcoming hustler hungry for all that the streets have to offer, or is Dex set up by someone who has been there all along?

FB_IMG_1436509060282

Aja Taylor, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Aja Taylor. She is a debut author who wants to explore various genres. Welcome to my blog, Aja.               

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

AT: A reader should buy my work to tap into my literary world and see how Aja Taylor creates greatness, not only in Urban fiction, but in multiple genres.

CH: Urban Life books are currently trending. So, when you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends?

AT: When looking at the market for book ideas, I do look for what’s trending. But with that being said, I don’t always follow the trend. Trends tend to die off after a while. So, that’s when another one needs to be set. Maybe, I will set some new ones!

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

AT: What I bring different to Urban writing is originality. And I always try to make sure that things aren’t predictable with my writing. I, myself, hate reading a book and by the end of chapter 2, I know how the book will turn out.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

AT: Let’s see, the hardest character to write was Chante. She was hard because I didn’t know how I was going to make her blossom from a timid woman into a “boss lady.”

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

AT: (Smiling) Jazz was my favorite to bring to life because we are a lot alike. We have that feistiness and hot temper, but at the same time will take you under our wing.

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

AT: It wasn’t too hard creating believable situations, but when it did become difficult, I used quite a bit of real life incorporated into the story.

CH: Do you have a book trailer? What are your thoughts on book trailers?

AT: For this book, Covered Deep, I didn’t do a book trailer. I think I’m going to open up to that idea for future releases though.

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

AT: It took me about 9 months to write Covered Deep.

CH: Do you read in the same genre that you write?

AT: Yes, I do read Urban fiction, as well. I pretty much will read anything that will grasp my attention. And I’m challenging myself to write in other genres, as well.

CH: If you could work with any author, living or dead, who would that be and why?

AT: Some other authors that I would love to collaborate with are my husband, Author King, Alice Walker, Donald Goines, Walter Mosley, Robert Frost and Raquel Williams to name a few. Those are a few that I admire.

CH: What attracted you to writing in the first place?

AT: Writing has always been an outlet for me, but I started with poetry. That was more my thing, but when my husband released his book, Deceitful Betrayal, last year, I told him that I wanted to write a book and he wouldn’t leave me alone until I did it!

CH: Since you are a debut author, what’s next on the agenda in your writing career?    

AT: Next on my agenda is putting out some more books and establishing my own publishing company. I have learned a great deal with being self-published and I want to share what I’ve learned with others. I still have a lot to learn, but there is growth from these past 7 months, since my release and you all will see that in my coming releases.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

AT: My website is currently unavailable at the moment. It is under construction.

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

AT: Covered Deep is sold online at Amazon, Kindle, Kindle Unlimited, and Barnes and Noble. I am working on getting into other places, as well. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/23VUak1 

CH: Any closing remarks?

AT: In closing, I would like to thank you for reaching out and showing Aja some love. I appreciate that. And I most definitely want to thank everyone that has supported me on this journey—God, my husband and my loving son. All the readers out there that have read Covered Deep, much love to you and you will love what I have coming out this year. God bless!

CH: Thank you Aja Taylor, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book.  

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Celebrate Black History Month 

 Spread the Word

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Aja Taylor.

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Guest Author Interview – Emily Kendricks

Banner Header_2016

The Fantasy Maker_Cover

Title: The Fantasy Maker

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Romance

Synopsis: Emma loves her husband and is excited by his political rise to mayor of their small town, but behind closed doors, she’s a frustrated young wife and mother, driven beyond her limits by her husband’s indifference to her needs. When a friend introduces her to a high-priced ‘members only’ club where the wives of the rich and powerful secretly visit, Emma finds an erotic world of mani-pedi’s, full-body massages and tantalizing pleasures limited only by her own inhibitions. No fantasy is denied, but what follows not only threatens to expose the existence of ‘The Ranch’ and its prominent members, but destroy her marriage and the career of one of the most promising young politicians in the state.

Emily Kendricks

Avatar for Emily Kendricks, Author

CH: Today’s guest author is Emily Kendricks.  She is a debut author, who writes stories with strong female character development and compelling storylines. Welcome to my blog, Emily.  

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

EK: It’s an erotic escape about the everyday woman, finally giving in to her inhibitions—with some twists and turns along the way.

CH: Why did you decide to write a book about a fantasy “Ranch” for rich, bored wives?

EK: In today’s competitive world, some women may find themselves alone much of the time, while their husbands are caught up in trying to grow or manage a budding, or existing, career.  It does not change the fact that these women have needs—emotional and physical.  A fantasy ranch…wow!  The perfect form of escapism!

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?

EK: Being the only girl in a family with five brothers I found myself alone a lot, growing up.  I used to fantasize about places that I’d like to see some day…people I’d like to meet.  Many times, these fantasies would turn into story plots in my mind.  I still find myself daydreaming and fantasizing.  Only now, I grab my laptop and start making notes.

CH: Since you are a debut author, what is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your romantic/thriller fiction writing?

EK: My writing process continues to evolve as I become more confident with my ability to complete an entire story.  I’m learning to trust my writing instincts, go with my gut and move with the flow of the story.  Sometimes, it takes all kinds of twists and turns, but I think that’s what keeps the reader’s interest.  I don’t want my stories to be ‘predictable.’  I want them to have totally unexpected events and endings.  I want it to be remembered by the reader, long after the story is finished.

CH: Emma’s best friend, Jen, seems to lead her into exciting situations.  Was it hard creating believable situations and issues with this topic?

EK: It was a bit challenging at times trying to keep it sexy and erotic while at the same time being believable, but that’s what keeps it interesting—maintaining a good balance.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

EK: Without a doubt, Dante!  Gorgeous, sexy, erotic, talented…a fantasy god on one side….quiet, easy-going, emotional and totally human on the other!

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

EK: Emma.  Her theme song would be ‘I’m Every Woman!’  She was innocent, dedicated, patient…but inside she was a vixen screaming to come out!  She had feelings and, in spite of her marital disappointments, she was determined to remain committed to her role as wife and mother.

CH: When you start a new story, do you have a title for it? Or does the story trigger the title?

EK: I will usually play with titles along the way.  Sometimes, I will change a title several times before the manuscript is sent to my publisher.  I like to try and find something in the story and create a title from that.    

CH: With politics and a business, Emma’s husband, Steve, seems to be “too” busy for a wife and family, which seems to be a trend. So, when you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends? 

EK: No, definitely not.  I try to ‘zig’ when everyone else is ‘zagging’.  I like to create my own new trend.  That’s just my personality.  I can’t remember a time in my life when I was any other way.

CH: Does this fantasy borderline with erotica?

EK: Yes!  Isn’t it exciting?  One of my reviewers described it as “sexy and steamy and smart!”  I like that description.  It’s hot and erotic, but it also has a powerful storyline, as well.  Not just fantasy sex, but something that the reader can sometimes relate to. That’s what makes it interesting.

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

EK: No.  It’s a fantasy.  I don’t feel that fantasies necessarily have messages.  You just, inhale…exhale…and enjoy it!

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

EK: Oh, my gosh, I am blown away by the reviews!  I have 5 stars on both Amazon and Goodreads and The Fantasy Maker has earned me second place in the Best Paranormal Romance Suspense category for 2015!  I’m excited and so grateful for the feedback and for my growing number of fans!

CH: Who is your favorite author? Why?

EK: Why, Emily Kendricks, of course! J  Sandra Brown and James Patterson.  Sandra Brown is my ‘go-to’ author.  I love her eloquent style.  Her stories never disappoint.  She is definitely a ‘wow’ in my book!

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book, or was it strictly fantasy? 

EK: No special research, just complete fantasy and heat.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

EK: I am currently working on a website and hopefully it will be up and running soon.

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

EK: The Fantasy Maker can be purchased on Amazon (both Kindle and paperback), and on Barnes and Noble online (Nook). Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1Pj50sU

CH: Any closing remarks?

EK: Some people think that women who read erotic romance books are somehow trying to fill a void in their lives.  Not the case, at all.  We love reading sexy romances, simply because they are awesome to read!  Sara Wendell said it best, “It’s one of the few genres that reflect the varying experiences of being a woman.” Also, my next book is due to be released this spring.  Breakfast in Brooklyn is a Romance Thriller with an amazingly unique love situation and an ending that will knock your socks off!  Keep an eye out for it!

CH: Thank you Emily Kendricks, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Emily Kendricks.

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

Mailing List_Image

 Spread the Word

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

Give Her A Book for Valentine’s Day

Banner Header_2016

Book for Valentines-page1

Give Her a Book for Valentine’s Day!

Title: A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 1

Author: Cheryl Holloway

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1opdRAv

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 Spread the Word

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

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

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Guest Author Interview – Richard M. Awe

Banner Header_2016

Cry for Me_Cover 2

Title: Cry for Me

Genre: Thrillers/Suspense/Serial Killers

Synopsis: A community is shocked when a mutilated body turns up in a park in their quiet town. Police work to identify the first victim and a possible motive in this hideous discovery. It’s not long before the bodies begin to stack up. A serial killer has set up shop in the small town of South Elgin, Illinois and it is up to Detective Sergeant, Rick Miller, to put a stop to it. But he can’t do it alone. With his partner out of town he has to rely on rookie investigator, Danny Keyes. Ride along with Miller and Keyes as they work with the county Coroner and local law enforcement agencies exploring the chilling details of the unimaginable crime scenes. Take a unique step inside the mind of a serial killer and his macabre motives that compel him to kill in this fast paced hard core crime thriller.

Richard Awe

Richard M. Awe, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Richard M. Awe. He is a blue collar family man, who rides a Harley and loves to tell a good story.  Welcome to my blog, Richard.

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

RMA: A serial killer is injecting his victims with Curare and it is up to Detective Miller to stop him. (Curare is a potent arrow poison.)

CH: Why did you decide to write a book about a serial killer?

RMA: I love murder mystery books, as well as, police procedural books and I am also fascinated by studying human behavior. I thought it would be fun combining all three and a serial killer was a perfect fit.

CH: Does it disturb you as a person to write about gruesome situations?

RMA: Yes. In fact, that is how I came up with the gruesome scene and the heinous murders. I just thought about things or situations that I found despicable and wrote about them.

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?

RMA: My ideas often hit me out of nowhere. I could be eating dinner, cutting the grass, driving, etc. and an idea or concept will hit me. I jot it down and then build an outline from there.

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

RMA: I am a story teller. I love to tell stories. I offer a unique style of writing that keeps the reader interested and turning the pages from the first page. I am often told by my readers that they feel like they’re being told a story not reading a book.

CH: When you start a new story, do you have a title for it? Or does the story trigger the title?

RMA: I have done both, but typically I come up with an idea or concept first, and then a title will emerge during the outline process.

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

RMA: It was not difficult at all. I have a very vivid imagination and would couple that with some real life experiences and situations to achieve a more believable story.

CH: Did you have any challenges as a debut author?

RMA: Yes. Several! Too many to list, but I stuck with it, and persevered.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

RMA: Samantha Anderson. I wanted her to come off like a regular person, “the girl next door” without it sounding contrived. I think I achieved that.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

RMA: Gene Harrison. Looking through the eyes of a killer was both exciting and scary at the same time.

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

RMA: No. It is a fictional murder mystery written purely for entertainment—for both myself and the reader.

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

RMA: By far, very positive feedback. When I wrote Cry for Me, I never intended for it to be a series. But after an overwhelming response from readers, I have decided to continue on with the Detective Rick Miller series and I am currently writing two more books in this series.

CH: How did you start writing?

RMA: In my early twenties, I began to write short stories to pass time. My co-workers began reading them and urged me to write more. They were very short. Often 2-3 pages long, banged out on an IBM Wheelwriter (electric typewriter), in a short time.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences?

RMA: Todd M. Thiede (He is a murder mystery author.)

CH: Do you have plans for a new book?

RMA: Yes. I just finished a novella titled, Legend of Crooked Hollow Cemetery. I have three other book concepts outlined and currently in the writing stage now. Felony Murder and Mother, May I, are book 2 and 3 in the Detective Rick Miller murder mystery series and one other book.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

RMA: http://www.richardawe.com

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

RMA: Amazon and where ever fine books are sold. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1S9RHyC

CH: Any closing remarks?

RMA: I would like to thank you and your readers for your time. I hope I have answered the interview questions in way that readers find interesting and have peaked their curiosity enough to read one or all my books.

CH: Thank you Richard M. Awe, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 Spread the Word

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Richard M. Awe.

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Black History Month 2016 by Cheryl Holloway

Banner Header_2016

Black History Month 2016_Meme

Famous and Not-So-Famous African-American Women in Black History

Fact: Carter G. Woodson, a Harvard-trained historian, had hopes to raise awareness of African American’s contributions to civilization and announced Negro History Week in 1925. The event was first celebrated during a week in February 1926. It has evovled into Black History Month.

Black History Month honors the contributions of African Americans to United States history. Today, I want to also raise awareness and provide a short list of famous and not-so-famous African-American Women in Black History. We all have heard of the famous women, but very few have heard of the not-so-famous women. I want to provide a learning resource for Black History Month 2016.

Marian Anderson sang at the New York Metropolitan Opera in 1955.

Matilda Sissiereta Jones sang at New York’s Carnegie Hall, which opened in 1891, in 1892.

Divider3

Rosa Parks, an adult, boycotted Montgomery Bus system on December 1, 1955.

Claudette Colvin, 15 years old, boycotted Montgomery Bus system on March 2, 1955.

Divider3

Octavia Butler, a disabled author, published her first book, Crossover, in 1971.

Eliza Suggs, a disabled author, published her first book, Shadow and Sunshine, in 1906. (Her parents were slaves and this book described scenes of slavery.)

Divider3

Phillis Wheatley, a poet, published a book of poetry, Poems on Various Subjects, Religious and Moral, on September 1, 1773.

Margaret Walker, a poet, published her poem, For My People, which won a Yale Award in 1942. She later published her book, Jubilee, in 1966.

Divider3

Dorothy Dandridge, actress, was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role in 1954. She played in Carmen Jones.

Hattie McDaniel, actress, won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1939. She played Mammy in Gone with The Wind.

Divider3

Did You Know? In 1663, Maryland passed a law under which free white women would lose their freedom, if they married a black slave, and under which the children of white women and black men became slaves.

I hope this short blog post has provided some resources of African-American Women as contributors to Black History. Throughout the month of February, I will spotlight various books for Black History Month. They will have this image on the page.

Celebrate Black History Month

Thanks for Celebrating Black History Month with me.

Signature Logo

Spread the Word

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

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

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Cheryl Holloway’s Guest Post on Honestly Simple Reviews Blog

Banner Header_2016

Yesterday’s Guest Post

I am a Guest Author on Honestly Simple Reviews Blog,  https://honestlysimplereviews.wordpress.com

Please, check out my post, “Q & A with Cheryl Holloway – Author of the Cougar Tales Series on Lesley Acford’s Blog at  https://honestlysimplereviews.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/qa-with-cheryl-holloway-author-of-the-cougar-tales-series/

See, when you pay-it-forward, it works for everyone!

In my guest post, I answered questions about my books Cougar Tales Series: Books 1-3,  my new release, A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 1, fun facts about me, my writing habits, and several writing tips to help the process. It was interesting and fun!

Lesley Acford is the creator and CEO of the Honestly Simple Reviews Blog. She provides book reviews that are straight forward and honest book reviews. Something that I certainly admire. We need more reviewers like Lesley.

A very special Thank You to Lesley.

Thank You Logo

 Spread the Word

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

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

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Guest Author Interview – Rusty Blackwood

Banner Header_2016

International flags

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

Willows Walk_Cover

Title: Willow’s Walk

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: The Path each person walks is entirely their own. The pitfalls along that path, as well as the way in which they are dealt with are entirely up to the individual. But Willow Sutherland-Crosby walks a far different path, and with her own agenda. Abuse, deception, intrigue, and a never ending quest for happiness and love – will she find these, or will her blind determination be her downfall? This 5-star awarded romantic fiction drama is a gripping new tale, certain to hold readers captive from the very first page. Set in the beautiful city of Ottawa, Canada in 2003, this touching story centers on the life and times of a woman determined to prevail at all costs, regardless of what is set before her, the result of which is certain to leave the reader reeling in its wake.

Blackwood_2

Rusty Blackwood, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Rusty Blackwood, a Canadian author. This is Rusty’s second interview on my blog. Welcome back, Rusty.

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

RB: I believe what can be derived from Willow’s tumultuous journey is invaluable in helping the reader with their own life choices.

CH: A quote on the back of your book reads, “The path each person walks is entirely their own.” So, what inspired you to write about “Willow’s Walk?”

RB: I very much enjoy writing about topics near and dear to my heart, and although Willow Crosby is not me as such, the idea to borrow assorted aspects of my life in which to create her, the tumultuous path she walks and the story surrounding it, was greatly influenced by my life experiences. I believe a reader can gain enormous insight into their own life by the way in which a story is presented to them, especially if they themselves are contemplating an area whose outcome, should they blindly venture forth, not turn out exactly the way they might hope.

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

RB: This is a question that I don’t really have a specific answer for and I don’t think many authors would without sounding full of themselves. However, I would hope my readers enjoy the perspective of what I’m writing about, possibly my tenacity to write it the way I feel and want it to be, and possibly my ability to open my soul in areas one might not expect. I’m an expressive writer, but I don’t believe in writing so intricately that my readers would require the constant need of a dictionary in order to understand the words I’m using, or what I’m trying to express with them. Often times, the more simplified the use of an adjective or verb, the more impact they have when trying to state a point. I don’t enjoy reading a piece that confuses me, or makes me feel inept because I can’t understand it. I don’t wish to imply that a writer who writes this way is doing so with the intent of appearing more knowledgeable than another writer—for that matter the reader—or is trying to appear well above others who may not hold the same level of education.  My writing style has been described as simplistic and smooth, lyrical and genuine, as well as somber and appropriate for the chosen topic, but to me my writing, as well as the style of it, is simply an outlet of expression and emotion, and if I cannot feel what I’m writing about then I may as well put it away and wait for another day.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

RB: All characters have their idiosyncrasies, as well as their own views and personality that the writer gives to them, so in that respect this question is a bit difficult to answer. But if I had to choose, I would say it would be Willow’s second husband, Jonas Crosby. When you create a character, especially for a specific role in a story, it can be difficult to project them in the way you would expect them to be if they actually existed. You put thoughts in their head, make them do the things they do, and you hope that the choices you make will be believable, and politically correct in keeping with the story you’ve put them in. I somewhat answered this previously when you asked whether or not I base my characters on actual people. Jonas, without revealing my inspiration, was in-fact a bit of a stretch because I wanted to present him in a multi-colored light, because he truly is a multi-faceted character who happens to have sharp wit, a spiteful tongue, and whose over-the-top-actions could be taken out of context, depending on the happening of the moment. He can even be calculating and heartless, but without revealing too much, he is justified in what he does. I tried to walk a careful line with him and not let my feelings over-take the character, because he really is someone that the reader will either like, or despise.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

RB: There are a few that were a delight to create and brought me enjoyment to use, but I believe my favorite would be Willow herself. I certainly relate to her in many ways and can totally understand where she’s coming from, why she makes the choices she does, and why she is so adamant to see them through. Experiences in life have made Willow strong, to quite an extent, but they have also made her vulnerable when it comes to the choices she makes. I admire her point of view, as well as her staunch determination to stand her ground and find her way, even when the odds are stacked against her.

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?

RB: I, basically, draw from my life, the experiences I’ve had, and hopefully have learned from. I’m fortunate to be blessed with a vivid imagination and endless ideas in which to draw from, but I don’t sit down and purposely decide to write a specific topic; instead, I let my thoughts go where they wish, and often times they reveal the next story. I have never been fortunate to physically travel the world, so I do it in my mind, and let my expression do the rest.

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

RB: Unfortunately, yes. At the time I began what eventually became Willow’s Walk I was still writing Passions in Paris and I was also going through some very difficult personal issues, so it was difficult to express anything, let alone stay focused on the creation of a new story. As the years went by, certain issues changed into other issues, and some of these managed to help in the writing and finishing of Willow’s Walk. There were times—many times in fact—that I simply stepped away and totally shelved it, but it always beckoned me back. I believe a story, possibly the characters within a particular story, are what allows a writer to continue with it. I think the characters develop the need to live, and this very often helps to finish a piece that might otherwise stay on the back burner, or totally abandoned.

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

RB: I draw from my own life experiences, as well as my ideas and needs. I’m a hopeless romantic, I’ve said that many times, but just because I have never managed to find that wondrous bliss for myself doesn’t mean I can’t find it in what I write. I’ve always thought that whatever one writes about should be situations that are not only believable, but something that the reader can actually relate to. Then again, there is a lot to be said about writing about topics that might be considered totally unbelievable. It’s really all in the imagination and mind of both the writer and the reader, but I think if it’s believably written then it will be believably enjoyed.

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?

RB: I’m a character writer first and foremost. I love that part of the entire writing concept. I truly do feel the characters can project the scenario they wish to be immersed into, so I always create them first and then the story. But I will admit to already having an idea of what I’d like to say. I’ll map-out certain areas of a story to help me move along the course I’m hoping to take, make notes to refer to and pull from along the way, but I don’t block out a book. It’s hard to explain, but the method I use seems to work for me, and so I stay with it.

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

RB: That very much depends on what I wish to express. Passions in Paris took ten years—of course that’s from initial inception of character and story idea to a finished novel, and Passions in Paris is a grand scale novel. I was also working full-time during the writing of that novel and could only work on it during evenings and weekends. Willow’s Walk has taken ten years, but as I stated earlier that was due to personal issues throughout the time of writing it. The stories that appear in my children’s short story collection, Through the Eyes of Innocence, where created at an earlier time, and then newly revised in order to create that collection. The same could be said in regard to my poetry collection, Impressions. Both of these collections were previously published under different titles, but because I was not satisfied with the way my work had been handled by the publishing firm I had used, I decided to terminate my contract, revise the work, and republish it through the company I presently use. The Misadventures of Derwood Tugbottom, the comedy short I wrote in 2012, took only a few months to write and produce, so it really depends on the circumstances at the time of writing a piece.

CH: When did you realize that you were meant to be a writer? 

RB: I don’t know if I am meant to be a writer, but I greatly enjoy it, I always have, although it was something I did not set out to do with my life; therefore, I was never professionally trained in the field. But I have always loved to write, and would write whenever the time allowed. It wasn’t until the separation from my husband that I decided to see where my writing could take me. One might even refer to me as an accidental author, but I have never been sorry for making the decision to write and self publish my work. I suppose when you invest time and money into something you also make the choice to see it through, which of course I did, and continue to do, but I greatly enjoy what I do and hope to continue with it for many years to come. If I could change any area of it, I would have loved to become an author at a much younger age; then again, if that were so I wouldn’t have experienced life as I have, nor would I have that experience to draw from now. In that respect a lot can be said for beginning new ventures later in life.

CH: What are some of your aspirations as far as the writing profession?

RB: I would like to see independent authors and writers be given the same respect and chances as those represented by Standard Houses. Unfortunately the reading public has been educated to think that if a book has not been written in the traditional manner, or by an author who is represented by a Standard House, it is not worthy of attention, least of all purchase. This can be witnessed in bookstores everyday; the shelves are lined with books carrying Standard House imprints. They are front and centre; the latest publications stacked at the front of the line and practically forced into the hands of the reading public; yet, a self-published book—if it even gets into the store let alone on a shelf—is totally ignored. It is given not one speck of promotion, nor is the author. Some stores, depending on the manager, have an independently published author and local author area, but it is usually no more than a few spaces, and the books will get no coverage or push. When an author does a signing, it is on consignment, the author provides the stock, does all the signage, all the work, and the store takes forty-five percent of sales—if you manage to get any at all. Some have a set requirement of sales in order to be given another signing, if you’ve not managed any prior success. Yet how can you hope for any measure of success when you get no support? The stores think they are being supportive because they allow an indie author time and a table in their store, usually in areas where you’d have to literally trip customers in order to get their attention. I may sound somewhat jaded, but if I do it’s because I’ve been through this so many times. This kind of treatment needs to stop, or at least improve. If these places were to have a renowned author grace their establishment, they would roll-out the red carpet for them, and if they can do that for them, they can do it for all. There are many talented, superb authors who choose to remain independent, and it is my hope that the choice to remain so, will finally be given the respect it deserves.

CH: As far as accolades or achievements, what would you say has been your greatest writing achievement?

RB: I believe that would be the writing of my 818 page romantic fiction drama Passions in Paris: Revelations of a Lost Diary. To undertake a novel of this scale is not an easy task, nor is it something to be taken lightly. However I don’t intend on ever writing a piece of that page count again, not because I can’t, but because the cost of stock and shipping is too great because of the weight. Looking back, I don’t think it was my intention in writing a piece that lengthy, but I had a lot to say, and the further I went the more I had to say—or the characters had to say and do—so it ended up being what it became. The original manuscript was well over 1,000 pages before edit, and it was hard to let pages be cut, but of course it was necessary, areas were repetitious or simply not needed. It really did feel like cutting your child’s arm off, because a piece you create and build is very much like a child you are nurturing. I realize it’s only another writer who could understand this comparison, but it is true, and hard to explain any other way. I’m extremely proud of Passions in Paris and I am of Willow’s Walk, as well. I’m proud of every book I’ve written, as well as every poem, because they are part of me, my thoughts, and my life.

CH: What authors do you read? And who are some of your favorites?

RB: I seldom get a chance to read as much as I would like, in fact I don’t read at all when I’m writing a piece of my own. I like to remain focused on my own thoughts, words, and experiences, as opposed to the possibility of borrowing from someone else, and though the chance of that happening would be next to nil, by not reading another’s work during the creation of my own removes that possibility entirely. However, in between projects, I do try to read interesting work; the last novel I read was The English Professor by fellow St. Catharine’s author, Gina Iafrate. Wonderful read, and made even more pleasurable by the fact it was written by a local Indie author. I very much enjoyed The Help by Kathryn Stockett, very descriptive writer, and entertaining story. I still enjoy the authors I read during my childhood: Louisa May Alcott, Laura Ingalls Wilder, and Canadian author, Lucy Maude Montgomery. I greatly admire Stephen King’s work, for I find his uncanny ability in creating a story that will never leave your mind, an ability that not many writers possess. But in general, I don’t I have a favorite; I simply appreciate expressive writing, and interesting storylines.

CH: Last but not least, why do you write, and what do you want readers to take from your novels?

RB: I write because I love it, I love to create scenarios for my characters that I would like to experience myself, if given the chance. There are times I feel the need to express something that I cannot express verbally, or if I do, it is not wholly expressed in the way it would be if it were in written form. I have often used my writing, especially my poetry, as therapy to help me through troubled times in my life. I, often, pull from life experience when creating a piece, because I, more than anyone, know how I felt at the time it happened, or at the moment of expressing it again, and it can often assist me in coping with or accepting something in my own life, possibly something I am experiencing difficulty with, or something that I would like to experience for the first time. I find an escape through writing, and I would hope that my readers could feel this same way in regard to something that may be happening in their own life. Above all, I would hope my readers find enjoyment through my expression, the topics I write about, the scenes I describe, and the stories I tell.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

RB: You may find my official website at http://www.rusty-blackwood.com and from there you can take direct links to my Twitter and Facebook pages.

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

RB: Willow’s Walk is available in paperback and Kindle at all Amazons worldwide, in paperback at Barnes&Nobel.com, and Create Space. The E-PUB version for all reading devices is available at Payhip.com Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1TBylle

CH: Any closing remarks?

RB: I would very much like to take this opportunity to thank you for this interview, Cheryl. Through conducting an in-depth interview such as this one, and displaying it on a well patronized Blog, such as yours, allows an author’s work to gain a larger audience, and better awareness of what is found between the covers of a new title. The boost it gives is invaluable in more ways than you realize, so thank you again.

CH: Thank you Rusty Blackwood, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 Spread the Word

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Rusty Blackwood.

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Cheryl Holloway’s Guest Post on Dan Buri’s Blog

Banner Header_2016

Today’s Guest Post

I am a Guest Author on Dan Buris Blog, www.nothinganygood.com

Please, check out my post, How to Get Your Book Promoted on his blog: http://www.nothinganygood.com/how-to-get-your-book-promoted/

See, when you pay-it-forward, it works for everyone!

In my guest post, I provide 3 Simple Steps to Getting Your Book Promoted and several tips to help the process.

  • Step 1: Connecting: Author + Blogger = Connection
  • Step 2: Asking: Send a professional and personable email
  • Step 3 Sending: Send a Thank You

Dan Buri is the author of Pieces Like Pottery, an emotional book of short stories—a powerful examination of the sorrows of life, the strength of character, the steadfast of courage, and the resiliency of love requisite to find redemption. (You can also go to Amazon and read about his book.)

A very special Thank You to Dan.

Thank You Logo

 Spread the Word

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

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

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Guest Author Interview – Emma Leigh Reed

Banner Header_2016

A Fine Line_Cover

Title: A Fine Line

Genre: Drama

Synopsis: Think your mother can’t haunt you from her grave? Think again because Grace McAllister’s mother is meddling in her love life despite that fact that she’s dead.  Xander Stevens, the bad boy with a sensitive heart, rides into town on his motorcycle and awakens the need for Grace to walk the fine line between being responsible and doing things she has only dreamed of.  They are thrown together in a manipulative situation by Grace’s dead mom. In order to collect the inheritance they need to work together and live together – or is there a loophole to be found? When things start disappearing, Grace wonders if she is losing her mind. Can Xander knock down her protective wall so she can learn to love fully?

Emma Reed

Emma Leigh Reed, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Emma Leigh Reed. She writes books about broken trust being healed by the power of love. Welcome, Emma.

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

ELR: Manipulation from the grave. Grace and Xander need to work and live together—but will they stay together?

CH: Why did you decide to write a book about a mother haunting her child from the grave?

ELR: It was just a story that came to me.  It didn’t originally start out with that theme in mind, but the story became that as I was writing.

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?

ELR: I don’t have a standard formula for my plots.  Typically, I will just be aware of a story line in my mind that starts as a small idea and morphs into the whole story.

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

ELR: I like to bring real life into my stories.  Each book has a theme, and  A Fine Line’s theme is being true to yourself.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues with this topic?

ELR: I don’t think it was hard to create believable situations and issues.  A lot of my stories are exactly things that I have either dealt with in my own life in the past or are dealing with now.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? 

ELR: Grace was, on many aspects, the hardest to write, because she mimics so many things I struggle with.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

ELR: Xander.  Who doesn’t love a bad boy with a sensitive heart?

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

ELR: As stated earlier, this book wants readers to know that it’s okay to follow your heart and be true to yourself.  You won’t be content or happy in your life if you are constantly trying to please others.

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

ELR: So far, feedback on this book has been great with some 5 star reviews.

CH: You’ve written several books, how did you start writing?

ELR: I originally sat down to write a nonfiction book about my son’s journey with his autism.  It was too raw emotionally still to write, so I wrote my first book about a single mom with an autistic son.  That book, Second Chances, portrays what our life was like when my son was younger and how we had to learn that autism isn’t a disability, but a blessing and just takes some time to learn how to navigate life with autism.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences? 

ELR: Barbara Delinsky has always been one of my favorite writers. When I was younger, I also read a lot of Kathleen Woodiwiss, Danielle Steele, Agatha Christie.

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

ELR: I write pretty much full-time, although it is divided also with my co-running a small publishing house.

CH: Was this book harder to write than the first book?

ELR: In many ways, this book was harder to write than the first book.  When you progress with your writing and learn more about the craft, each book does become a little harder to write, as you work to implement what you have learned.  And I want my readers to think every book I write is better than the last.

CH: As far as accolades or achievements, what would you say has been
your greatest achievement on your writing journey?   

ELR: Having the courage to put myself in my books.  I’m a private person, but each book has a part of me in it and for me that takes courage to allow people to see a glimpse of me (whether they are realizing it or not).  It was a huge accomplishment, also for me to make it into RWA PAN (Romance Writers of America Published Authors Network).  I’m looking forward to many more achievements over my writing career.  However, I will say for me the greatest gift I have ever received with my writing was getting an email from a reader who read Trusting Love and felt that she had the courage after reading the story to get out of an abusive relationship.  There is nothing that means more than to know my writing has touched someone and encouraged them to make their life better.

CH: Do you have plans for a new book? 

ELR: I have another romantic suspense in the works, In Her Dreams, and I have also started a series of thrillers centering around female serial killers.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

ELR: www.emmaleighreed.com

CH: Can you tell my audience where your books are sold?

ELR: My books can be found at Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.  There is also a link on my web page for anyone who is looking for an autographed print copy of my books. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1PgTtrV

CH: Any closing remarks? 

ELR: Cheryl, Thank you so much for having me.  I hope my readers continue to read my books and I encourage them to contact me at any time.  If not for the readers, my writing would be for nothing.

CH: Thank you Emma Leigh Reed, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

 Spread the Word

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Emma Leigh Reed.

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Cheryl Holloway Releases a New Book, A Sisterhood of Women Living Life

Banner Header_2016

Sisterhood_Book_Cover_6x9_10-26-15 (1)

Title: A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 1

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Even as you read this short story collection, you will connect with these women who are just like you making life-changing choices and making a difference in their lives and with their families. Join them on their life-changing journeys.

The stories will make you laugh, cry and want to give them a hug…
The Dreaded After Call—a young editor runs away from a love triangle and works to drown out the pain but …Will she have a second chance at love?

Wine A Little or A Little Wine—a beautiful overweight woman can’t find love and all she does is wine…Will a bottle of wine help?

A Widow Moves On—an older widow opens her heart to love again but…What skeletons does he have in his closet?

Rape’s Revenge—her boyfriend rapes her young daughter…rage and revenge prevails…Will she kill him?

Dark Secrets and White Lies—she’s dating two men of different races and is pregnant with interracial twins…she is in a dilemma…Who will be the father?

The book features ten must-read stories here in all, including 5 really short stories. It introduces an interesting collection of characters, who are just like your best friend and your sister. The characters are each very unique with a compelling story to tell. These stories provide an emotional connection to the characters.

A Sisterhood of Women Living Life is a page-turning book of short stories about love, life and the dilemmas women face in everyday living. This book is perfect for established fans and new readers. Pick up your copy today and start enjoying A Sisterhood of Women Living Life, and it will be impossible to put down!

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1Knsvlr

Cheryl Holloway’s new book demands the attention of readers everywhere!

Cheryl Holloway2

Cheryl Holloway, Author

Advanced Reader Praise for A Sisterhood of Women Living Life 

Cheryl has done it again! Her latest book of short stories A Sisterhood of Women Living Life is a joy to read. The Dreaded After Call was a true interpretation of what women go through in life. Finding true love and then losing it for a common reason “Another Woman.” This story hits home for a lot of woman and I appreciate Cheryl for putting it out there for us to enjoy!

Wine A Little or A Little Wine is a great pick me up story for us hopeless romantics. I loved how confident Jaclyn was in her skin. This is a true testament for us women to love who and what we are. There is love out there for all of us! Thanks Cheryl  ***** 5 Stars ~Georgette L., an avid reader 

“I was on pins and needles, while reading Rape’s Revenge. Ms. Holloway is a consistently-entertaining writer. I love her short stories and anxiously look forward to her next book!”  *****5 Stars  ~Chris B., Love Cheryl Holloway’s books

“I enjoyed A Widow Moves On. Something similar happened to my sister-in-law.”       ***** 5 Stars   ~Geri S., Atlanta

“A Sisterhood of Women Living Life was witty, poignant, intense and powerful, even funny sometimes.”   ***** 5 Stars   ~Grace Wiggins, a reader from Maryland 

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/203fZJR

 

Celebrate Black History Month

Spread the Word

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

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

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Guest Author Interview – Phyllis R. Dixon

Banner Header_2016

Note: February is the shortest month of the year, so we will post on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Down Home Blues_Cover\

Title: Down Home Blues (Sequel to Forty Acres)

Genre: African-American

Synopsis: “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.” Eden, Arkansas is a town you are from, not move to. But when divorce, foreclosure, domestic violence, and an all-expense paid trip (also called prison) disrupt the Washington siblings perfectly planned lives, they end up back down home. Instead of serenity, sibling rivalries, divided loyalties and money squabbles resurface. Even the good news, that there may be natural gas on their father s land, causes conflict. When their father, C.W. Washington, one of the largest landowners in the county, announces his engagement, barely six months after his wife’s death, his daughters fear Viagra is clouding his judgement (his sons say go for it). Homemade preserves and family dinners are welcome by-products of the move down home. Unfortunately, family members aren’t always singing in the same key. But just a few notes can switch a gloomy blues tune to the soundtrack for a good time. What song will the Washington’s play?

Phyllis Dixon

Phyllis R. Dixon, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Phyllis R. Dixon, who recently became a full-time author. Welcome to my blog Phyllis.

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

PRD: Family drama that asks, “Am I my brother (or sister’s keeper)?  Is it always best to mind your own business?”

CH: What inspired you to write a book about family members returning home?

PRD: Once I decided to write a sequel to Forty Acres, I had to decide how to get the characters together.  To get family members together, you usually read about a family reunion, a wedding or a funeral.  I had already done a reunion and a wedding didn’t quite work.  A funeral has been done so many times, I didn’t want the story to revolve around a funeral.  So having them move home rather than visit, was a way to get them together, and also something a little different than you usually see.

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?

PRD: No standard formula.  I have the overall general idea and know how I want the characters to end up, but generally the subplots and situations that occur between start and finish come as I work on the story.

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

PRD: People have commented that the characters and situations seem so real, in both books.  So the situations and issues come from real life; although, maybe not my real life. Someone asked Smokey Robinson (my favorite) how he came up with song lyrics, he said that some are from his experience, some are from others’ experiences and some he makes up.  I think that’s a good description of my writing process.

CH: How much of your leading character is based on you?

PRD: I guess Carolyn is the leading character, although Beverly also has significant time in the book.  I’d say Carolyn is most like me, but her character is not based on me.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

PRD: Carl was hardest, only because he was not in Forty Acres. The other characters had more background.

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

PRD: Not really.

CH: It has been twelve years since you write your last book. Were you perfecting this book?

PRD: I recently retired from a career in the banking industry. Around 2008, a little thing called the “great recession” hit and I didn’t have much time for writing.  Also, my husband became ill and it was hard to focus on writing. He passed away in 2011.  I was working on another book, as I had no plans to write a sequel to Forty Acres.  But so many people asked about the characters, that I decided to put that book on hold and go back and write Down Home Blues.

CH: When you start a new story, do you have a title for it? Or does the story trigger the title?

PRD: I have a title, but I guess it’s a working title, since both of my books ended up with different titles than I started with.

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

PRD: My stories have relatable characters in everyday situations.  Readers feel like they are viewing people they know.  They cheer for them and warn them just like you do when viewing a horror film.  Also, as a nod to my banking background, I include an economic aspect in the story lines.

CH: You were a contributor to the Chicken Soup for The African-American Woman’s Soul, which is indeed an accomplishment. What are some of your aspirations as far as the writing profession? 

PRD: To continue to improve as a writer and have lots of people read and enjoy my writing.  That’s the polite thing to say and I really do feel that way.  But being real, the ultimate would be to see one of my stories on the big screen and for Oprah to pick one of my books as her favorite!

CH: What authors do you read? And who are some of your favorites?

PRD: Bebe Moore Campbell, Terry McMillan, Lalita Tademy, Victoria Christopher Murray and Bernice McFadden are my favorites.

CH: Do you read in the same genre that you write?

PRD: Not exclusively.  I read contemporary fiction, but I also read lots of biographies.  It’s interesting to see how people got their start, the choices they had to make along the way and how they felt about their accomplishments.

CH: Is there a message that you want readers to take from this novel?

PRD: Down Home Blues is told from different characters’ point of view.  This is a reminder that events look different depending on your viewpoint, so let’s not be so quick to judge others.  I guess that’s the underlying message, but really, I just wanted to write something entertaining.  If people take away a message, that’s icing on the cake.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

PRD: www.phyllisdixon.com

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

PRD: Down Home Blues is available on my website, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Cushcity.com.  Amazon link: http://amzn.to/1KOAJy5

I also encourage people to patronize their local bookstore.  I am a former bookstore owner and I know it’s a struggle to keep the doors open.  If the store doesn’t have it, they can order it.  Online is convenient, but let’s not forget about the brick and mortar book store.

CH: Any closing remarks?

PRD: Thank you for this opportunity.  I encourage folks to check out Down Home Blues.  A quote that I like is, “Families are like fudge—mostly sweet, with a few nuts.” Whether you’re the fudge or the nut, I’m sure you will see someone (maybe even you) from your family. These are the same characters from Forty Acres, but each book stands alone.  So, if you haven’t read Forty Acres (but why wouldn’t you want to J), you won’t be lost.  I’m very accessible to book clubs and I love hearing from readers, so let me know what you think!

CH: Thank you Phyllis R. Dixon, it has been a real pleasure discussing your book and your writing journey with my audience.  

Celebrate Black History Month

 Spread the Word

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

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Phyllis R. Dixon.

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Accolades to Cheryl Holloway’s Blog From Guest Authors

Banner Header_2016

Accolades from Guest Authors

From time-to-time I receive accolades from Guest Authors and I thought I would share some of them with my audience.

“This is my second time being interviewed by Cheryl Holloway, as well as having my latest novel featured on her most informative Blog. I find Cheryl a most accessible Blogger, interviewer, and I’d also like to add, author. I believe authors have both a clear and inside connection with another author and their craft; that might explain Cheryl’s natural ability to know the right questions  to ask, the best light to shine on a title, and a most attractive way of displaying it all. I have been fortunate to have come to know Cheryl through the two interviews she has conducted with me, and it is my hope that this connection will continue for many years, and hopefully many titles to come.”                                                           ~ Rusty Blackwood, Canada

Blackwood_2

Rusty Blackwood, Author

“Cheryl is a lover of books, writing, and all things reading. It is rare to find a kind soul that can also pen a good book or review. She is a great supporter of Indie authors!”                                                                             ~Dan Buri

Buri

Dan Buri, Author

“I love your blog.  First, I so enjoyed and appreciated the opportunity you gave me to be interviewed on your blog.  And I absolutely loved the company I was in as I viewed so many other authors’ interviews posted on CherylHolloway.net/Blog.  You were terrific to work with and for giving us all a chance to reach your audience.  Keep up the awesome work!”~Gigi Gossett

Gossett

Gigi Gossett, Author

A special “Thank You” to authors Gigi Gossett, Rusty Blackwood and Dan Buri.  

_IHP2823 Color High ResSignature Logo

 Spread the Word

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

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

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

Mailing List_Image

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

Cheryl Holloway’s Spotlight on Books: Split At The Root

Banner Header_2016

Spotlight_CherylHolloway

International flags

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

Split at the Root_Cover

Title: Split At The Root: A Memoir of Love and Lost Identity

Genre: Memoir

Synopsis: In this memoir, the author explores questions of race, adoption, and identity, not as the professor of cultural studies she became, but as the Black child of German settlers in Guatemala. Her journey into the mystery that shrouded her early years begins in the US when she realized it was not just her foreign accent that alienated her from Blacks. Under layers of privilege (private schools, international travel, the life of a fashion model and actress in Europe) she discovered that her most important story is one of disinheritance. The author’s determination to find out who her parents really were and why she was taken from them, tests the love of her White husband and their son, and returns her to Guatemala to find a family that kept her memory alive as legend. In the end, she learns truths about the women who were her mothers, and the disrespect committed long ago against a birthmother and her child in the name of love.

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/1R2uuw4

Catana Tully

Catana Tully, Author

I limit the number of book reviews because of the time restraints of my business. However, this book seemed like an interesting book and topic—the author wanted to value her personal history. I decided to review the book, even though it was published in 2012.

Catana grew up thinking that she was predominately neglected by her Gautemalan birth mother, when in reality she was primarily manipulated by her German “adoptive” mother; and her German parents changed her name, but never legally adopted her. There were some extraordinarily unique situations in her lifetime and Catana wanted to find the answers for herself.  So in the later years of her life, after both mothers were deceased, she sought to find out the truth—from her aging father and her half-siblings (two sisters and a brother).

Catana had lived a very privileged life of a German child—private schools, international travel/friendships and wealth, which was extremely different from the poverty of her Gautemalan family. The German family said that they were raising the child of an unwed Gautemalan young woman and the Gautemalan family said that the German family stole her from them—two very different versions of the same situation.  Her German sister, Ruth, was old enough to be her mother and had raised her most of her childhood.

Catana tells a dearly moving and very touching story of her privileged life in the earlier years, as a student and later of working as a polylingual actress and model in Europe over the years. She also tells of her trials and tribulations with the color of her skin. Her Caucasian husband, Fred, and her son, Patrick, were both insightful in all that she was feeling and going through at various times in her life. Catana also had a uniquely strange bond with her father and her half-siblings. Their mother had instilled in the three of them to always love her and be there for their estranged half-sister.

I liked how she told her students in a class discussion to “be secure in your cultural cradle.” I also liked the fact that she realized that she was Mutti and Vati’s (German words for mama and papa) emotional child.

The title is very appropriate in letting the reader know what the memoir is about.

The book is well-written and has a lot of explicit descriptions of characters and the various countries.  She often describes nature and scenery, which has nothing to do with the story, but she did it well.

I rate this book…

starstarstarstarLeft side

Action Steps:                                                                                                                    

1.  View/read this blog and comment  

2.   Invite your friends to view/read this blog                                                                 

3.  If you read the book, let me know what you think.

Note: Clip art compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

Signature Logo

We’d love to hear about what you’re reading and enjoying on our blog, so please drop us a line in the comments

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(s). They are not advertisements. All reviews are honest, forthright and the opinion of the individual reviewer, freely given. Our opinions are not for sale.

Cheryl Holloway’s Blog is Also a Book Blog

Banner Header_2016Holloway Visit My Blog Meme

Cheryl Holloway’s Blog is Also a Book Blog

 You can visit Cheryl Holloway’s Blog Every Monday and Friday And I will always have a New Book for You!

Cheryl Holloway’s Blog offers something for Everyone—Readers and Writers.

 Visit the Blog at www.CherylHolloway.net/blog

Spread the Word

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

Note: Photos are compliments of Cheryl Holloway.

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

Mailing List_Image

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