A Special Featured Video – Books by Cheryl Holloway

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

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Guest Author Interview – Uvi Poznansky

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Title: Inspired by Art: Fighting Goliath (The David Chronicles Book 4)

Genre: Art/Photography/Museums

Synopsis: Inspired by Art: Fighting Goliath is a collection of art throughout the ages, around the story of David. This volume focuses on the epic battle with Goliath.

These amazing sculptures, paintings, etchings, and manuscript illustrations inspired the author to write The David Chronicles, a series of three volumes, the first of which is the novel Rise to Power, where she imagines the battle with Goliath.

Besides being an artist and having worked as an architect, she taught art history, and this collection served as the basis for a semester-long course analyzing the contrasts in viewpoints around the biblical story.

The book is arranged not by artist, nor by artistic style or era, but rather by moment-by-moment in the story, blow-by-blow, as imagined by various artists: Michelangelo, Bernini, Dali, Adrea del Verrocchio, Donatello, Titian, Rembrandt, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Rubens, Degas, and Barry Moser, to name but a few.

Uvi Poznansky, A Multi-Talented Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is the multi-talented Uvi Poznansky. She is a bestseller, award-winning author, poet and artist. Welcome to my blog, Uvi.

CH: Can you give us a brief summary of Inspired by Art: Fighting Goliath Book 4 of the David Chronicles? 

UP: Yes, Inspired by Art: Fighting Goliath includes the collections of art that inspired writing the novels, These collections depict every twist and turn in this story.

CH: Can you tell us about the David Chronicles?

UP: The series The David Chronicles includes the following novels about the youth, prime of life, and years of decline of an iconic figure: King David: I: Rise to Power; II: A Peek at Bathsheba; III: The Edge of Revolt; and IV: Inspired by Art: Fighting Goliath.

In addition, it includes these collections of art, as well: V: Inspired by Art: Fall of a Giant; VI: Inspired by Art: Rise to Power; VII: Inspired by Art: A Peek at Bathsheba; VIII: Inspired by Art: The Edge of Revolt; and IX: Inspired by Art: The Last Concubine.

CH: You are an artist. So, what inspired you to write this book?

UP: The story has been a passion of mine for years, and when you see the paintings and sculptures included in Inspired by Art: Fighting Goliath, you will know just exactly what inspired writing Rise to Power.

CH: The story happened so long ago in real life. Was it hard to portray the situations and issues?

UP: The situations become real to me through extensive research, as well as the fact that this story happened in the place where I grew up, so I know the landscape and the seasons. I read the bible in its original language and am versed with its interpretations based on the Hebrew original.

With the places living in me, the characters are soon born in my mind to inhabit these places and see, hear, and smell every aspect of them.

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

UP: In this entire series, I did extensive research about each and every detail, both in the bible, interpretations of it by various scholars or different religions, and of course, artists.

The entire trilogy is greatly inspired by painting and sculpture throughout the history of art, depicting David. Over the ages, the view of the story has undergone amazing transformation. Take a look, for example, at the Painting ‘David and Bathsheba’ painted by Lucas Cranach, the elder, in 1526. He treated his subjects with awe and reverence, and the only naked skin visible is Bathsheba’s little foot, bathed by an adoring maid. David is presented as a psalmist, rather than a leering, dirty old man peeping on an unsuspecting, naked woman. There is not a hint of sin here!

Now, compare the way Picasso transformed this very painting. The composition is exactly the same (only mirrored left to right) but the brush stroke is modern, it is spontaneous and fresh, bringing a sizzle to the entire scene. He enlarged the proportions of all the figures, especially David, so it is easier to spot the king here, because he is the only one fleshed out among the men at the top. His musical instrument is barely sketched, because the important activity is not playing heavenly music, but rather gazing at the women, gazing at all the women, with keen, sexual interest. The water dripping from Bathsheba’s foot is clearly emphasized, with its juicy suggestion of a symbol of lust.

There is no right and wrong way to interpret the story.

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

UP: As an artist and writer, I believe that my mission is to let the characters speak to you through me. David is flesh and blood—he lives in my mind, and so does Bathsheba. This story is happening here and now. I invite you to step into the skin of the characters, and look yourself in the mirror.

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

UP: I stay away from formulas. It’s quite simple, really: The entire trilogy is greatly inspired by painting and sculpture throughout the history of art, depicting the story David, who is an exceptional historical figure with great gifts, facing great temptations in love and war. You can easily read each one of the three volumes as a standalone novel, yet the themes of power and love run through the entire trilogy, allowing you to witness the drastic change in the main character from youth to old age. I find this transformation fascinating and hope you will too.

CH: How do you see the development of the characters?

UP: The characters live in me and I can step into their skin anytime throughout their history. For example: Despite the fact that David has a full harem of woman…Here is the way he thinks of Bathsheba towards the end of his life, in volume 3, The Edge of Revolt:

Overhead, a cloud breaks off from the others and moves in a new direction. Its wooly, dim grays are drifting across. I squint, rub my eyes. Now, in a separate layer, another image starts floating past: the way she looked, right here on this roof, when we came out of these doors the very first time.

I remember: scattered petals flew off, swirling in the glow around her long, silky hair that started cascading under her, onto the tile floor. In the background, a vine of roses twisted over the wooden lattice and into it. Between its diagonal slats I saw a diamond here, a diamond there of the heavens. I wondered then about the black void that was gaping upon us, dotted by a magical glint of starlight.

Separated from her by the thought of a kiss I sensed her heat, and the gust of air, which was sweetly scented by roses and by her flesh—but I could not tell if the breath between us was hers or mine. Which is when I knew, for the first time in my life, that she would always be part of my essence. I would be part of hers.

Accidentally the goblet, which she had set down next to her, tipped over and some of the wine spilled over her hip. The crisp sound of breaking glass rang in my ear. It marked the moment, from which I could not turn back. Never would I be able to put it out of my mind.

Yes, this was my fault: taking a woman that belonged to another. Soon after came the blunder: bringing her husband, Uriah, back from the front, that he may sleep with her, which would have explained her pregnancy ever so conveniently.

And when that did not go as planned, then came another mistake, the worst of all: sending him back to the battlefield, with my sealed letter in hand, arranging for his death.

All the while, my boys were learning their own lessons—not from my psalms but from my deeds. One error begets another, each one bringing a new calamity over me, over my family, and over this entire land. Sin followed by execution, followed by revolt, escape, execution, revolt…

Had I known back then the results of the results of my mistake, the curse looming over my life ever since that time, would I still choose to do it?

Bathsheba tries to raise me to my feet. Her fragrance brings back to me the sunny, warm hues of spring. The fears, the doubts flee away when we are that close. I adore the way she calls my name, the way she sighs. With every sweet word I fall deeper into her eyes.

How can love be a mistake? In my passion for her—then as now—what choice do I have?

I want to tell her, “Let me close my eyes. Let me remember.”

CH: You write in a lot of box sets. Is there a reason for this?

UP: I knew that my characters might die on the page, pressed between the front and back covers–unless I find ways for them to rise from the page and spring into your mind. By far the best way is forging alliances with the best and brightest authors, authors whose work is of outstanding quality and whose audience appreciates creativity. Finding such authors is a great challenge, and it takes months of research on my part, especially because this time around I was looking for stories around a shared, overarching theme: Love in times of war.

It is such a joy to forge a team and to facilitate the creativity of all members, aiming for a common goal. We invite you to our party, to celebrate the release of this amazing collection.

CH: What is unique about writing/mingling with other authors in a box set?

UP: I don’t write with other authors. Writing is intensely private for me. I become one with my characters. For boxed sets, I find the best and the brightest writers though my ongoing search. I love collaboration.

CH: I’ve heard that you often help other authors by creating various box sets. Can you tell us a little about creating boxed sets?

UP: I think that all the members of a boxed set, including me, benefit from collaboration. Each one of us has achieved success in a different way, so since we’re dealing with uncharted territory, we learn from each other and support each other.

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

UP: One important thing that happened to me on this journey, which I find delightful, is working with talented audio narrators to produce the audio editions of my books. I am currently starting to work with a new narrator, Bob Sterry, to breathe life into my novel, The Edge of Revolt.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

UP: I am thrilled with every review—it never gets old! Here, for example, is one of the latest ones, for my novel, Dancing with Air by Thea on January 27, 2017:

What a wonderful, beautifully written series these books were. I started out with book 3 that came in a boxed set. I had no idea it was part of a series. I could not get enough, and of course was delighted to find there were books one, two, and four. These books stirred within me very deep feelings for the fragile and fleeting life we all live. The dreams, hopes, promises, regrets, and a beautiful love within a marriage that lasts through sickness, divorce, and death. The credit goes to the author. I have rated books, but never written a review. This series is well worth reading and well worth the highest review.

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

UP: I am writing Volume 5 of my series Still Live with Memories, taking my characters, Lenny and Natasha, to France during WWII.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

UP: Sure! There is something new every day on my blog, so come and visit me there. And you might want to see my art on my website.

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

UP: Sure! You can find my books— all 25 of them—in these booksellers: Amazon, Audible, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and Kobo.

CH: How to find Uvi Poznansky:

  • Uvi’s Website: http://uviart.com 
  • Uvi’s Blog; http://uviart.blogspot.com
  • Uvi’s Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2nrR0XM
  • Uvi’s Author Page: http://amzn.to/2nbo848

CH: Any closing remarks?

UP: Thank you, Cheryl. I enjoyed it.

CH: Thank you so much, Uvi Poznansky for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Uvi Poznansky and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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

   

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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Help Spread The Word!

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Tell A Friend – Want to share the news about Cheryl Holloway’s book, A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 1?

 

 

Just send in your friend’s name and email address to: authorCherylHolloway@gmail.com and we will send the email from you about the book. You will receive a free eBook for helping us spread the word! (Maximum of 5 friends per Free Book) 

(We won’t use your friend’s or your email address for any other purpose.)

The subject line will read Book Recommendation, and the message will read:

Dear [name],

Take a look at this NEW contemporary romance novel by author Cheryl Holloway, A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 1. (Available exclusively on Amazon.com)

Maryland’s Favorite bestselling author, Cheryl Holloway, is back with more short stories inspired by real-life women and events.

This is a page-turning book of short love stories for women 18-50. A Sisterhood of Women Living Life is available exclusively as an eBook.

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

The stories will make you laugh, cry and want to give them a hug…this book demands the attention of readers everywhere. Watch the book video at Cheryl’s Website: www.CherylHolloway.net

Cheryl’s Facebook Page: www.Facebook.com/Cheryl.Holloway.940

Cheryl’s Twitter Page: @Author_CherylH

Your name and email address will then be at the bottom of the email.

 

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

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

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

   

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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Guest Author Interview – B. L. Wilson

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Title: Deaths By Unnatural Causes: Life By Any Means Necessary

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/African American

Synopsis: At first, Chief Investigator, Roberta Crawford, thinks the attempted murder of Karen Morris links to several other arson deaths in her precinct. Upon further investigation and interviews with Karen’s friends and co-workers, Roberta begins to suspect this case is unrelated to the other arson deaths. She thinks Karen knows who is trying to kill her. She’s certain something in Karen’s past is the key to breaking the case wide open. The only problem with her assumptions is that Karen won’t confirm them. Despite the lack of cooperation from her main witness, Roberta finds herself increasingly attracted to her and is afraid to tell her brother, Lieutenant Mark Crawford, that Karen is staying at her place. She knows he’ll decide she’s too personally involved and pass the case to other detectives in the unit. He’ll demand Karen leave the safety of her place. If Karen leaves, Roberta is afraid she’ll never discover the secrets in Karen’s past. Can Roberta get through to her witness or will Karen’s silence set off more Deaths by Unnatural Causes?

B. L. Wilson, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is B. L. Wilson. She felt she had a story to tell…maybe a few of them, so she started writing. Welcome to my blog, B. L.

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

BLW: Ever imagine waking up to whispering conversations between emergency medical personnel and the police declaring you’re dead?

CH: This book is a mystery/thriller. Where did you get the idea for this book?

BLW: I usually dream my books first. I actually keep a notebook and pen by my bedside to capture my dreams. They are the source of this book and most of my other books, as well. I usually write the first twenty pages of my dream, then I add in things to flesh out the story and the backstory.

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

BLW: No, it’s not difficult to create believable situations and issues. Watch a few hours of court TV or go to any playground, public park or shopping mall. Walk around the city; take a taxi; ride a train or bus. All of those things give me ideas about people and the things they do and say.

CH: Was there a special reason that you decided to write this book?

BLW: Other than imagining how it must feel to be declared dead and not actually be dead, there was no special reason I wrote this book. I just like examining unusual situations for my mysteries and suspense novels. For my romance novels, I usually use everyday situations.

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

BLW: Yes, I did some research on arsonists, smoke inhalation, the Ohio prison system, abusive spouses, domestic violence, NYC educators, NYPD and East Harlem locations.

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

BLW: I think readers enjoy my books because the main characters in my novels are different. Years ago, I wanted to read books with black lesbians over thirty as main characters. When I couldn’t find any, I decided to write my own novels.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

BLW: Tanya Young, Karen’s boss and good friend was my favorite character to write. I liked her because she was funny, bossy, empathetic and very observant when it came to understanding her students and her staff.

CH: Who was the hardest character to write?

BLW: The most difficult character was Karen’s abusive ex-husband, Philip Sweet. I tried to get inside his head to understand why he would track her down and stalk her, so he could kill her this time.

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

BLW: Yes. It’s never okay to be abusive or stalk someone. And even when you think you’re safe from your abuser/stalker, because you’ve done everything right—reporting it; pressing criminal charges; testifying against him in court, then putting him in jail; moving away and changing your identity—you still may not be safe. I know it’s a scary message but sometimes bad things happen to good people.

CH: You’ve written several books in various genres. What contributes to your success as a writer?

BLW: I believe I found a niche that I could fill. I write about black women, as main characters, who also happen to be gay. Most of my characters work in city government as tow truck drivers, commissioners, doctors, police officers, lawyers, trash collectors, artists, educators, maintenance workers, accountants, paralegals, small business owners, security guards, electrical workers, construction workers, flag persons, coaches and taxi-drivers.

CH: You had a bad experience when traditionally publishing. So, what has been the most exciting thing to happen on your self-publishing journey?

BLW: I love taking an idea from the initial dream state, to the manuscript, and to publishing an actual book I can hold in my hand.

CH: If you could collaborate with any author living or dead, who would you choose?

BLW: Maya Angelou

CH: Are there any authors who you would consider to be your inspiration?

BLW: Yes, my inspirations have come from a variety of authors, such as Walter Mosely, Maya Angelou, Zora Hurston, Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Ralph Ellison, Charles Chesnutt, June Jordan, Gloria Naylor, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Michelle Alexander, Karin Kallmaker, James Patterson and Sherwood Anderson just to name a few.

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

BLW: It’s been mainly positive feedback. Readers seem to love my characters, which is always good to hear. I’m also getting suggestions for sequels that I never thought about writing before, but I am considering them.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

BLW: In response to reader requests, I wrote a 7-book series called Forever Women. Forever Woman (Vol. 1), and Sweet Sarah’s Bluez (Vol. 2) are already available on Amazon.

Look for Two Moons Bakery (Vol. 3) and Get Reckless with the Truth, But Don’t Lie (Vol. 4). They will available before June.

CH: How to Find B. L. Wilson:

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

BLW: My books are sold on Amazon, Smashwords and Kindle.

CH: Any closing remarks?

BLW: Yes. Cheryl, Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to appear and talk about my books on your blog. I feel honored that you invited me here today.

CH: Thank you so much, B. L. Wilson for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, B. L. Wilson and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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

   

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

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Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Patricia Sargeant

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Title: You Belong to Me

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Romance

 Synopsis: Science fiction author Nicole Collins is delighted when she learns her first book will be made into a movie by Celestial Productions—until she finds out who owns the company: Malcolm Bryant, her ex-husband. Nicole still loves him, but she fears Malcolm is the same man who crumbles in the face of adversity. And then there are those threatening letters…

Somewhere out there is a deranged fan, one who has adopted Nicole’s characters as his own family—and he’s not about to see his loved ones distorted by the camera lens. Nicole’s life is in danger. With a killer closing in, the only person who may be able to save Nicole is Malcolm—the man she so desperately hopes will finally make a stand.

This romantic suspense novel was originally released in 2006.

Patricia Sargeant, Author

CH: Today’s Celebrity Guest Author is Patricia Sargent. Patricia writes romance to die for. Welcome to my blog, Patricia.

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

PS: Oooh, that’s a tough one. You’ve taken off the gloves with your first question. OK. Here it goes: You Belong to Me is a romantic suspense that reunites a divorced couple, looking for their second chance at love. Twenty words on the nose. Bam!

CH: This book was your debut novel and won several awards in 2006. Are you re-issuing the book? If so, why now?

PS: There are several reasons I wanted to reissue You Belong to Me as an eBook. The most pressing reason is that You Belong to Me was always supposed to have a sequel for Omar and Joyce. Even though my publisher didn’t want that story, I’ve always wanted to tell it. But it’s been more than 10 years, so I thought I’d reissue You Belong to Me, then finally write We Belong Together, Omar and Joyce’s story. I hope to release their story in 2018.

CH: Sounds like a great reason to re-release the book. So, where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

PS: My stories come to me in different ways depending on the genre. With contemporary romances, I start with a protagonist’s inner demon. Character A has an identity crisis or Character B has trust issues. Since I’ve got a lot of issues myself, I can do this all day. Ha! With romantic suspense, I start with the villain’s goal. Villain A wants your job. Villain B wants your guy. Great fun!

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

PS: I think the stories that stick with us the longest are the ones with situations that we can relate to. “Oh, yeah! I can totally see that happening!” Or, “Oh, yeah! That’s actually happened to me!” But to keep turning the page, I need something that embellishes on those situations; something that adds that extra, “Oh, no they didn’t!!!” to the story, but still keeps it believable.

CH: Which book is your latest release? Can you give us a brief synopsis?

 PS: Thank you so much for asking, Cheryl. My most recent release is my re-release of You Belong to Me. It’s available in eBook format on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Kobo. I’m hoping to upload it to iTunes the week of March 13. You Belong to Me is a romantic suspense that reunites Nicole Collins, a popular sci-fi author, with her ex-husband, Malcolm Bryant, a movie producer. Malcolm has bought the film rights to the first book in Nicole’s best-selling series. However, a deranged fan will do whatever it takes to prevent the book from becoming a movie, even if he has to kill the author.

In June, I plan to release in eBook format the next story in my Brooklyn Monarchs series. Game Plan brings back the fictitious professional basketball team that I introduced in Fast Break, Smooth Play and Keeping Score. Game Plan is two romances. We advance Serge and Constance’s relationship, and we start a romance for Anthony “St. Anthony” Chambers and Faith Wilcox. This is another story that my publisher didn’t want but that I wanted to share.

CH: You seem to be revamping your writing. Can you tell us a little about it?

PS: Oh, Cheryl, honey, I’m calling it taking back my power. Like Patti LaBelle said, ‘I’ve got a new attitude.’ When I first dreamed of becoming a published author, I wanted to tell my stories. However, New York had a different vision for my career. And that was fine at the time. I love the characters I created. I don’t regret any of them. But I still wanted to tell my stories. I’ve got a lot of stories to tell. Then I saw so many of my associates independently publishing their stories. I thought, ‘Well, maybe I could put on my Big Girl Pants and give it a try.’ Oh, Cheryl! Patricia Sargeant’s back, baby! And I’m so excited. As I mentioned, I’m writing the sequel to You Belong to Me. I’ve brought back my Brooklyn Monarchs basketball romances. Next, I’m going to publish my Fire trilogy, starting with On Fire. And then—wait for it—I’m going to publish my sci-fi/fantasy trilogy. It takes place on four different planets in a galaxy far, far away. Bam!

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

PS: With my romantic suspense, I like to put ordinary people in extraordinary situations and have them find the courage that they didn’t even think they had. With my contemporary romances, I put my characters in the position of having to face their demons head on and vanquish them. If he’s afraid to trust someone, I’m going to put him in a corner where he has no choice. If she doesn’t want to forgive someone, I’m going to make her realize that the person she’s hurting the most by withholding forgiveness is herself. I hope my stories give readers encouragement or inspiration or at least, an enjoyable few hours.

CH: In all of your books, who was your favorite character to write? Why? Who was the hardest character to write? Why?

PS: Quite candidly, Cheryl, I loved all of my characters for one reason or another, even the villains. I’ve written 20 stories, 16 have been published to date, and I’ve loved every single one of them. I think that’s a requirement. Before I share a story, I have to know that I love it enough to spend the $3.99, $4.99 or $7.99 that I’m asking readers to spend on it, otherwise why did I write that story? What’s the point? Life is too short to write a story that you don’t want to write, much less read.

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

PS: Oh, yes. All of my stories have messages for myself and my readers. ‘Family’s really important.’ ‘Love is the most powerful healing medicine.’ I use those messages to help plot the stories.

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

PS: Oh, now are we really going to go there? I must be the slowest writer on the planet. When I’m working full-time, it takes me about…OK, nine months from concept to final revision to complete a full-length novel. So sad, but so true.

CH: A lot of authors write under pen names. What pen name do you use? Will you continue to write under that pen name?

PS: Now, that’s an excellent question for the transition I’m going through right now. Currently, I write romantic suspense as Patricia Sargeant, contemporary romance as Regina Hart, and cozy mysteries as Olivia Matthews. I know. Oh, my goodness. However, I’m spending 2017 bidding a fond farewell to Regina Hart—the name—not the contemporary romances. As Patricia Sargeant, I’m going to write contemporary romance, romantic suspense, sci-fi/fantasy, paranormal romance and time travel. These will be independently published eBooks. For my New York publisher, I’m going to write cozy mysteries as Olivia Matthews. Let’s face it; three names is a bit much. Yeesh.

CH: You’ve been writing for over ten years. Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

PS: I’d love to share an experience that was tremendously important to me. I’d been trying to get published for about 13 years at the time, I got a promotion at my old day job and I was feeling overwhelmed. These were two, three, four diet Mountain Dew days. I’m talking hard core. My brother called one weekend just to chat and I told him that I was going to give up my dream of becoming a published author. Between the added responsibilities of my promotion, my writing and life, something had to give. I still remember what he told me, ‘Don’t give up your dream. Don’t ever give up your dream. Even if you just write a page a day, don’t give up your dream.’ And he was right. If you have a dream, don’t allow other people or circumstances take it away from you. Find a way to continue your journey until you achieve your dream.

CH: Can you tell my audience about some of your series and how they came about?

PS: I’d love to. Thank you. My Brooklyn Monarchs series came about when my editor asked me to switch to contemporary romances. I love football and basketball. At the time, I knew of a couple of romances featuring football players, but I wasn’t aware of many with basketball players. That’s how my Monarchs were born.

I created my Finding Home series when my editor told me she didn’t want anymore basketball books. She wanted me to write small town contemporary romances. I turned to my husband and said, ‘Now, how is a woman who grew up in Brooklyn, New York, going to convincingly write a small town romance?’ Can we say, ‘panic’? Then I remembered that the neighborhood I grew up in was like a small town. You had the neighbor who spied on everyone. You had beefs between the neighbors up the block and neighbors at the end of the block. You had the star-crossed romance between the boy from up the block and the girl from the end of the block. I just expanded on that, added a waterfall and created Trinity Falls, Ohio.

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

PS: I’ve received some wonderfully supportive and encouraging feedback from readers. Readers are amazing. They seem to know just when you need a pat on the back or a kick in the butt to get the next story going. I’m tremendously grateful to all of my readers and especially the ones who’ve taken the time and gone to the trouble to be so encouraging.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

PS: Thank you so much for asking, Cheryl. I’m really excited about my 2017 schedule and my 2018 releases. As I mentioned, next up is Game Plan: A Brooklyn Monarchs novella and book 4 in the Monarchs series. It will be an original eBook. In September, I hope to re-release On Fire in eBook format prior to continuing my Fire trilogy. In December, my first Olivia Matthews Sister Lou Mystery will debut. The title is Mayhem and Mass. Sister Lou is a Catholic sister who’s an amateur sleuth. I’m really excited about this trilogy because I’m returning to my mystery/suspense roots. There’s a little bit of romance—a teeny bit—between Sister Lou’s nephew and a sassy, cynical newspaper reporter. Ha! Love it.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

PS: Of course. Thank you so much. it’s www.PatriciaSargeant.com. From this URL, you can get to my Regina Hart website, at least until the end of 2017, and to my AuthorOliviaMatthews.com website, once it’s launched.

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

PS: My print books are in bookstores. The print and eBooks also are on Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com and Kobo.com.

CH: How to Find Patricia Sargeant:

CH: Any closing remarks?

PS: Cheryl, thank you so much for this opportunity. I really appreciate your welcome. And to my readers, thank you so very much for helping me keep my storytelling dreams alive. Love you so much!

CH: Thank you so much, Patricia Sargeant for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your books with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet,Patricia Sargeant and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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5 Reasons To Get Your Book Featured on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog Today!

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5 Reasons To Get Your Book Featured on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog Today!

Book lovers, readers and fans of Cheryl Holloway’s Blog are already visiting the blog to check out new and recently released books, so make it easy for them to find and purchase your books! Thanks to all of the authors who have been previously featured on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog!

Here are five reasons to get your book featured on Cheryl Holloway’s Book Blog.

Affordable- The number 1 reason is that it is F-R-E-E for any author. I pay it forward to authors all over the world. We have featured hundreds of U. S. authors (celebrities and unknowns) and over 60 authors from other countries. Join us!

Great Visibility- Let Cheryl Holloway find new readers for your book. Over the last 3 ½ years, Cheryl Holloway has gained thousands of new readers. Your prospective reader is here on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog, so make it easy for them to discover your book. We provide links to your book on Amazon, your Amazon Author Page and your website. (We link to Amazon because Amazon.com reaches over 102 million US people monthly.)

Convenient- The Guest Author Interview is entirely by email. I send the author 12-18 questions, and a reasonable deadline date. The author provides a recent .Jpeg photo or avatar and answers the questions.  Once you submit the information, you’re done. Our team does the rest and if there is anything missing, we will contact you directly.

Guaranteed Exposure- Receive guaranteed exposure to Cheryl Holloway’s readers and fans; be featured on Cheryl Holloway’s Facebook page, and Cheryl Holloway’s Twitter page. Gain new book buyers, readers and reviewers.

Indie Authors Welcome- Cheryl Holloway is not backed by any traditional publisher. We independently focus on promoting books that our readers will enjoy. Our goal is and will always be to connect readers with potential books and great authors—whether traditionally published or self-published.

Cheryl Holloway Says- Yes, I’m currently open for many guest author requests and a few book review requests from authors, publishers, and fellow readers. Please understand that I receive a great deal of requests.  I cannot possibly accommodate every book or every author. (But I try!)  I can’t wait to spotlight the next bestseller!

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Get Started – Email Cheryl Today!

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

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Guest Author Interview – D. B. Corey

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Title: The Lesser Sin

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Crime

Synopsis: She calls it justice…CIA sniper Hanna Braver never missed an enemy target, nor did she miss Confession after pulling the trigger. But when word comes that the courts acquitted her sister’s killer, she leaves Afghanistan for home with a new mission, and a new target.

But her return finds her Catholic Faith standing in her way. Now, she must choose. Does she dismiss God for the vengeance she seeks? Or does she keep to the path she’s walked her entire life. The wrong choice will damn her immortal soul to burn … for all eternity.

D. B. Corey, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is D. B. Corey.  He has written two books and enjoys writing so much that he wants to retire to write full-time. Welcome to my blog D. B.

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

DBC: Given the rampant crime in this country, committed by repeat offenders released to the streets, The Lesser Sin strives to illustrate the total failure of our judicial system through the story of Hanna Braver, a devout Catholic woman who is compelled to take justice into her own hands after the courts free her sister’s killer.

CH: Hanna’s job as a CIA Sniper is in conflict with her faith. Where did you get the premise for this story?

DBC: I like to write my novels around conflicted characters that I create. What’s more conflicted than a woman of faith that kills for a living? True, Hanna is a Catholic woman and a sniper for the CIA, but she does her job within the confines of war. Before a solider steps on the battlefield, does he not pray to God to see another day? Hanna is no different—until she steps outside of the permissions of war to exact her vengeance, which conflicts her even more.

CH: Do you have any background experience that helped in writing this book?

DBC: Nothing more than a vivid imagination. But my wife is a devout Catholic. Sometimes, I think she’d like to kill me.

CH: This is your second well-written novel. What a way to begin as a debut author.  How long have you been writing? How did you begin your writing career?

DBC: I started writing in 2005 on a challenge from my wife, then girlfriend. We emailed back and forth early on and she said I was good enough to write a book. My first attempt did not see the light of day.

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

DBC: I find, as I always do, placing the reader in a Time and a Place a very challenging and necessary element; so much so that I note the time and place of the scene at the beginning and end of the rough drafts so I know where and when I am. Noting bothers me more than not remembering, “Was it day? Was it night? Hot? Cold? Raining?” On and on.

CH: Your book has a lot of ups and downs and potholes and high rises, so do you prefer writing a book with a lot of twists and turns?

DBC: I do. I see the storyline as peaks and valleys. Twists and turns are the easiest way for me to maintain the momentum.

CH: Reviews have said that you have great character development.  Readers tend to love or hate your characters. How do you develop the characters – beforehand or as you write the story?

DBC: Generally, I have a concept of what I want insofar as psyche. What is it that makes ‘em tick? The protagonist and the antagonist—these guys (or gals as the case may be) drive the story, so I have to get them right. Then as the story progresses, I see them more clearly in my mind’s eye. I add the things they need to make them lovable or despicable, and more importantly, memorable.

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

DBC: So far, there has been an underlying message in all my novels. That’s part of what inspires me to write them in the first place. Defining them here would defeat the purpose, and I’d prefer that the reader draw their own conclusions.

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

DBC: I think I write the outcomes readers don’t expect, but totally agree with when they get there. The good guy might not win the way the script suggests he should, the bad guy might get his comeuppance in a most satisfying, yet unorthodox way, or the characters may be something or someone other than they seem to be.

CH: This book is definitely a page turner. So, what is the hardest part of writing for you?

DBC: I discussed this with a colleague not long ago. I think getting it off the ground is the hardest part—the first five or six chapters. After that, I’d say resisting the urge to constantly re-write.

CH: Have you taken any writing classes to hone your craft?

DBC: I was not a good student in high school. English and grammar were my worst subjects. So when I got the writing bug, I took advantage of several college courses on writing fiction, and read as many books on the subject as I could. One does not just sit down with a pen and write without a little technique. Well…not me, anyway.

CH: Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

DBC: I can say it’s just beginning. There were (and still are) rejections. This is a tough business. That’s why most writers have day jobs. Some get lucky and find themselves at the right place at the right time, but most struggle. But if I were to offer a bit of advice, I’d say never quit.

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

DBC: I often get the chance to chat with folks who have read my work. I find them excited and enthusiastic when we sit down to talk. And I totally enjoy them. They almost always say they didn’t see the end coming and I just love that. It’s the best kind of acknowledgement for a writer.

CH: Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?

DBC: Not experiences, so much as idiosyncrasies and personal “ticks,” if you will. I borrow things like gestures, nervous habits, things like that. In Chain of Evidence, the protagonist runs his fingertips across is shaved head when he’s deep in thought. So, do I.

CH: I understand Harlequin picked up Chain of Evidence and you gained a lot of readers and fans. Most of your readers can hardly wait on your next book. So, what is your next writing project?

DBC: I am working on the second book in Hanna’s Lesser Sin series. I hope to finish the first draft in a few months.

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

DBC: Amazon and Books-A-Million.

CH: How to find D. B.:

CH: Any closing remarks?

DBC: A review is the best feedback a writer can get, so please write one, and thanks, Cheryl. (DB)

CH: Thank you so much, D. B. Corey for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, D. B. Corey and Cheryl Holloway.

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

   

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

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Cheryl Holloway Celebrates Women’s History Month 2017

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March is Women’s History Month

Women’s History Month began as a Women’s History Week, originally held the week of March 7, 1982. In 1987, Congress changed the week to a full month of commemoration.

Although many of the accomplishments and contributions of women have been lost from the history books, women have played a vital role in the course of human civilization. From raising families to leading armies, women have made untold contributions to history.

Women have always worked, but often their work has been undervalued and unpaid.

International Women’s Day

Many countries, including the United States, also celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, which began in 1911. After the 1914 celebration and push for equality, the day has become an annual staple for global awareness around women’s issues.

Here is Her Story about just a few Women in History

Nancy Woodhull was a founding editor at USA TODAY and worked to redefine how women are covered in the news.

Helen Keller, blind and deaf, and Anne Sullivan, her teacher and life-long friend. Sullivan helped Keller become the first blind-deaf person to graduate from college, and the pair advocated for people with disabilities.

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the six-time Olympic medalist, is considered one of the world’s greatest female athletes and holds the world record in the heptathlon.

Graciela Olivarez is the first woman and Latina graduate from Notre Dame Law School. She fought for Mexican-American rights and worked to decrease poverty.

Tammy Duckworth is the first disabled woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and the second Asian-American woman in the Senate.

Simone Biles is the most decorated American gymnast, winning four gold medals at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin was published and became the best-selling book of the 19th century.

Gloria Steinem became a leader of “second wave” feminism and remains one today.

Margaret Butler was the first female fellow at the American Nuclear Society and advocated for women in science and math fields.

Susan B. Anthony, Clara Barton, Julia Ward Howe and Sojourner Truth, among others, organize The National Council of Women of the U.S., the oldest American non-sectarian women’s organization.

Compliments of USAToday.com and History.com

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

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

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Guest Author Interview – Pepper Pace

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Title: True’s Love

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: When Trulane stepped off the bus landing smack dab in the middle of a small mountain town with no prospects or no money, she does what anyone would—finds a job and a place to sleep that won’t cost her any money. The only thing is that there is no such thing as being secretive in Estill County Kentucky—not when you’re about the only black person in the entire town.

With no knowledge that she is about to cross the only person in town that doesn’t gossip about her, True hopes that Clay, the big grumpy and very sexy mountain man won’t turn out like so many others that treat her as if she is beneath them.

Pepper Pace, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Pepper Pace. Pepper’s unique stories deal with taboo topics, such as mental illness and homelessness. Welcome to my blog, Pepper.

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

PP: My stories are unconventional and don’t follow the formula that many publishing houses force writers to adhere to.

CH: Where did you get the idea for this book? Was there a special reason that you decided to write this book?

PP: True’s Love takes place in the hometown of one of my most popular heroes, Lt. Christopher Jameson of Beast. I realized that I wanted to showcase more stories about the men from the mountain of Cobb Hill in Estill County. True’s Love is the second short story in Estill County Mountain Men Romance series.

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

PP: It wasn’t difficult to draw on real life when writing this story. I believe that often times we all want to run away and leave it all behind. True did just that, and ended up in a place where she was one of a very few black people. How she was treated is not a stretch considering history and current events.

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

PP: Estill County and Cobb Hill Mountain is a real place and I’ve been there several times with my boyfriend, who was born there. I got to meet the people, fell in love with the quiet and nature and it was a perfect backdrop for my Interracial series. The research I did was basically about the ‘Furnace,’ which is described in my book Beast.

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

PP: I don’t follow a conventional ‘formula.’ I write stories that aren’t predictable, because I enjoy reading stories that will take me through unexpected twists and turns. In my stories, you will find that romance is not just limited to billionaires, who have perfect bodies. My heroes have disabilities, face homelessness, or are survivors of assault. I write about what intrigues me and have found that my topics also intrigue others.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

PP: I used to see people, maybe while riding the bus on my way to work, and I would wonder about their lives. I would then create a story as I explore their lives. I’m inspired by the people and events that I see around me.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?

PP: I’ve written over thirty stories and typically the story that I’m writing has my favorite characters. But I enjoy writing Jason from the Wheels of Steel series. He is young, volatile, sweet, and romantic; yet, dangerous. Writing him makes me live vicariously through him…because I’m fairly boring. The hardest character to write was also from Wheels of Steel. It was one of the supporting characters, Belinda. She lived a hard life, which I patterned after a very dear friend of mine, who passed as a young adult. At one point it was time for the character to die and it surprised me how hard it hit me. It was like I was killing my friend. I cried for two days as I tried to write the scene and eventually I just couldn’t do it. Belinda will just have to continue to live for both me and for my friend.

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

PP: Always. Writers think about character arcs, but I really want to create reader arcs. I want my readers to see things in a different light and to hopefully grow right along with the characters in a book. People don’t always see those in wheel chairs as romantic interests. I’m trying to change that. I’m creating characters that have terrible facial deformities, who becomes the fantasy man for many of my readers. I hope my readers see how ugly prejudice is and how beautiful it is to open yourself up for a beautiful love that is based on what’s inside and not what’s on the outside.

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

PP: I have some of the best followers ever. They encourage my quirks and give me great feedback. Beast might have brought them but they stay around for the sexy mountain men. My fans want more mountain men romances.

CH: Is Pepper Pace your pen name?

PP: Pepper Pace is the brand for my Interracial stories. If the name Pepper Pace appears on it then you know that regardless of whether it’s a romance, sci-fi or horror, there will be an element of interracial romance. My true name is Kim Chambers and with that name I’ve written The Purple World, which is a youth story. I also write under the name Beth Jo Andersen which is for my monster erotica series.

CH: Do you write in any other genres?

PP: Yes, I love writing romance, but I also enjoy writing sci-fi, horror, YA, erotica, youth, and urban.

CH: Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

PP: I self-published my first story in 2009 but not because I wanted to. I didn’t think anyone would want to buy my stories because they were being read for free on a site called Literotica. But then one day someone contacted me and told me that one of my stories had been stolen from Literotica and was on Amazon and Smashwords. I was outdone—especially when I saw that I was getting good reviews! So I had the book removed and I put it out myself. From there, I slowly began self-publishing my backlog of stories and I’m so happy to see that my Literotica fan base followed me to the self-publishing world.

CH:  If you could collaborate with any author living or dead, who would you choose?

PP: J. J. Murray. Hands down. He was the first IR/Multicultural writer that I had read and is still an inspiration to me.

CH: Are there any authors who you would consider to be your mentor?

PP: Yes! There were so many authors that reached out to help me before I ever even published my first story. Violette Dubrinsky, Sienna Mynx, Jacki Kelly, Erosa Knowles, Renee Wynn and many more. Without these wonderful ladies, I would be lost.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

PP: I’m writing several stories at once, so it’s a toss up which is going to come first. A Bubble in Time is a story about a woman in her fifties who finds herself sent back in time to the seventies. Adaptation book II is also in the works and the final book of Urban Vampire has been a work in progress for three years. This year, I hope to finish it.

CH: How to Find Pepper Pace:

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

PP: True’s Love can be found on Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble and in paperback at Createspace.

CH: Any closing remarks?

PP: Cheryl, Thanks for the interview, it was great meeting you!

CH: Thank you so much, Pepper Pace for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Pepper Pace and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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Guest Author Interview – Ashley Borodin

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Title: The Jealous Flock

Genre: LGBT/Political/Contemporary Fiction

Synopsis: The Abridged Jealous Flock – A novella that dares to peek behind the curtain of 2017. Forced from their collective comfort zone, all three members of Martin’s family come face to face with the realities that underpin their urbane way of life. Each is faced with a paradox that will test their belief in themselves and their image of the tolerant, liberal society they believe they inhabit. A Literary Epic in Miniature, The Jealous Flock takes readers from the cloistered air of Professional London through the harsh realities of the Middle East and on to the culture war simmering beneath the surface in Australia. Through their interwoven narratives each character tries to grapple with change as they question their authenticity and value as individuals amidst The Jealous Flock.

Ashley Borodin, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Ashley Borodin, an author of poetry, novellas and short stories from Australia. Welcome to my blog, Ashley.

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

AB: The one that no-one wants to read.

CH: This book deals with political issues. Where did you get the idea for this book?

AB: These are ideas I’ve had bumping around in my head for a long time. World events over the last 4–5 years gave me some context for articulating them. The increase in terrorism, but more so, the insidious grooming by terrorists of Westerners and empathetic people through the internet.

The rising racial and religious fracturing going on around the world as left and right fly to the extreme ends of the spectrum.

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

AB: (Spoiler Alert) Funny story about that. The start of the book has a story about a Public Relations guy who meets with some small-time terrorists/tribal warriors in Afghanistan to discuss their advertising campaign. That sounds quite funny to me, and it is, but I try not to play up the absurdity of it because I wanted it to feel entirely normal.

My wife, when she first read it, said no-one is going to buy into this scenario, it’s completely unrealistic.

Three years later a Canadian journalist returned from Syria and began to relate a story eerily similar to my own. Her name was Vanessa Beeley, and you can find her speech with Q & A to the United Nations on YouTube.

CH: Was there a special reason that you decided to write this book?

AB: Well, I had these disparate stories inside me, and as I started to write them down a web of connections was forming between them. So I just joined the dots. But also in part, I wanted to finish something. And in a sense this book is incomplete—it needs more character development and I can accept that criticism, but it is finished.

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

AB: I’ve always watched a lot of documentaries and had a keen interest in foreign cultures and perspectives in the world. As I write this I’m wondering what the reader will make of it. I’m really no good at selling or relating to people, but I feel like this is a book that could appeal broadly, though so far feedback has proven me wrong.

I did internet research and based a lot of the book on direct experience. Also, as with docos, a lot of it was passive research—watching films and interviews from the regions and demographics I cover in the book.

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

AB: Hmmm…Did I mention I’m not good at selling or relating to people? But to try to answer your question, I hope I bring intellect and poetry.

CH: How do you develop the characters – beforehand or as you write the story?

AB: A bit of both. Part of it is putting myself in their shoes, dimming the lights and recording—literally recording my voice—what I experience. I put myself in Afghanistan, and I feel what it’s like to be there, what I’m afraid of, what I’d hope to achieve if I were this person. Method acting, I suppose.

Over time the character emerges through interaction with the environment, the same way yours and my own character has been shaped by our interactions and experiences.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

AB: Martin, the PR man, because he’s the hero out there in the world effecting change. And Randall, because he’s just like me, so it was really easy.

CH: Who was the hardest character to write?

AB: John, the son of Martin and Doris, and Doris, and Martin. So, all of the successful middle-class characters basically. I can’t relate to that at all. I wish I’d never tried to aim for characters so remote from my own experience.

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

AB: It’s a kind of nuanced response to Ayn Rand. I’ve never read a decent response to her work, so I tried to write it to some degree. The message is varied but it’s about the need for new ways of bringing people together across social, racial, political—across all divides. About empathy and what I’ve called Gelato Centrism—the many-flavoured middle ground where black, white, Muslim, gay, conservative, whatever can all agree to discuss, collaborate without sacrificing what we hold most dear—our sense of self.

Ayn Rand spoke of ‘selfishness’ as a positive, but she really meant Identity.

Identitarians and Social Justice Warriors talk of Identity, but they really mean Collectivism—fitting in with the group.

I preach a middle path, a constant flux between the two. The flux matters, just like conversation matters. We are all amorphous—shifting, cloudlike. Trying to pin yourself down doesn’t just limit you, it ruins you.

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

AB: Love/hate. Getting people to read it in the first place has proved pretty difficult.

CH: Since this is your debut novel, what inspired you to write it?

AB: Wanting to give voice to all these stories that no-one else was.

CH: What is your next writing project?

AB: Not sure. I’ve started a novel from a child’s perspective about a boy who escapes a farm-school in the 1930’s. But I’m not sure where it’s going yet.

I also wanted an excuse to buy a camera I can’t afford, and that excuse is a coffee-table book of the poems that I post on Twitter.

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

AB: Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Also, for your readers/fans, I can do one better, it’s free here: http://books.noisetrade.com/ashleyborodin/the-jealous-flock

CH: How to Find Ashley Borodin:

 CH: Any closing remarks?

AB: Well, Cheryl, thanks for the opportunity, it’s probably not your reader’s cup of tea, but then I get that a lot.

CH: Thank you so much, Ashley Borodin for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Ashley Borodin and Cheryl Holloway..

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

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Seven Sentence Sunday with Cheryl Holloway

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Seven Sentence Sunday

Once Upon a Time

 

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

I write a short story using only seven sentences. I also use this as a writing exercise in the writing workshops that I present. This writing prompt is from my writer’s group, Accokeek Womens Writing Group.

Title: Spring Greenery—Symbolic of New Beginnings

I love spring because it is a refreshing and revitalizing time after a long, cold winter.

The trees and the grass are fresh and green with all of the plants and flowers blossoming.

It starts with the Cherry Blossom season that spills over with warm sunlight, bright colors and delicate fragrances.

Ahh…the smell of spring greenery brings a new beginning for nature and me.

I’m ready to make some changes that are long overdue in my writing and in my life.

So, I’ve begun writing a new book and I’m trying to get myself ready to recycle all of the old stuff.

Yes, I’m ready for a new journey…California, here I come.

The End

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

Have a Great Writing Day!

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

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Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Pat Simmons

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Title: Love by Delivery

Genre: African American/Christian Romance

Synopsis: Senior Accounts Manager Dominique Hayes has it all—money, a car and a condo. Well, almost. She’s starting to believe love has passed her by.
One thing for sure, she can’t hurry God, so she continues to wait while losing hope that a special Godly man will ever make his appearance.
Package Courier Ashton Taylor knows a man who finds a wife finds a good thing. The only thing standing in his way of finding the right woman is his long work hours. Or maybe, not.

A chance meeting changes everything. When love finally comes knocking, will Dominique open the door and accept Ashton’s special delivery?

Pat Simmons, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Celebrity Pat Simmons. Pat is a self-proclaimed genealogy sleuth who is passionate about researching her ancestors and then casting them in starring roles in her novels. Welcome to my blog, Pat.

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

PS: For Christian inspiration

CH: Where do your ideas come from?

PS: Anyway and everywhere—church, strangers, news, movies, and real life situations. There are no limits when it comes to listening for God’s direction.

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

PS: That depends. As a Christian author, it is important for me to defer to the Lord for the message in a story. Case in point, I have readers waiting and I was eagerly ready to pen book nine in the Guilty series when I realized that I had no spiritual message for the readers. Concerned, I prayed and asked God what should I do? That had never happened before in all my works. The Lord Jesus had me resurrect an outline from 2011. He told me it was time to tell the story and He had a message in it for someone, so that is my current project. As for other plots, I have a news background, so I like to write stories that are issue-driven.

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

PS: No. I want my stories to hit home with readers. I want to be sensitive to people who are hurting. That’s real life.

CH: Was there a special reason that you decided to write this book?

PS: Yes, I had a conversation with a young woman who asked why do all my characters have to be well-off, especially the men. She asked, “What about the plain everyday guy?” First, I chuckled, because I thought some of my characters were down to earth heroes. Also, I entered the industry at a time when Arabesque/BET had the market cornered for Black romances. One requirement to write for them was the hero had to be almost wealthy to create the fantasy escape for their readers. Although, I never wrote for them, I followed their lead.

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

PS: Always, sometimes the research will create scenes in the story that I might not have ever thought about before. Digging deeper is part of my personality to a fault sometimes. I got it honestly with a degree in broadcast journalism. I call them field trips when I have to go interview someone or go on location. I did so much research for The Acquittal that took place in Ghana, Africa that I felt I lived there.

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

PS: I would like to think as Christian authors, there would be more similarity than differences between us. That’s not always the case. I don’t have sex scenes, use profanity, and have a woman or child violated. I believe in using scriptures rather than paraphrasing a quote. If people don’t read their Bibles, and my work is their only exposure to scriptures, it’s important for me to be accurate and list the references where they can go and study for themselves. I also like my Christian characters to be consistent. In other words, my writing mission statement is Jude 1:24. God can keep anyone from falling into sin. He gives us warning signs. There are Christians who are sincere with their walk with Christ and those are the type of people I like to feature in my stories.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?

PS: My favorite is Grandma BB who is a hoot in my Guilty series/Jamieson Legacy. The woman writes her own scenes. I wouldn’t say some characters are hard to write, rather my focus is on convincing the reader that a dislikeable character can be redeemed and are worthy of a second chance. I liked Karyn Wallace in Crowning Glory (My favorite book). I have to be true to their past, but show their baby steps to salvation: Jet (Restore My Soul series); Landon Thomas (Redeeming Heart); Michael Bishop (The Keepsake)

CH: What inspired you to write an inspiration book for others to read?  

PS: I thought, emphasis on ‘thought,’ it was because I wanted a clean and inspirational romance to read free of sex/profanity/infidelity. But God had other plans after a couple of years into my writing. The Lord Jesus let me know I had a writing ministry to help hurting people by giving Him the glory.

CH: As a Christian writer, is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

PS: Absolutely, Jude 1:24: Now unto him who is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy… 

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

PS: From outline to release, a novel takes about four months and for a novella, six weeks to two months.

CH: You’ve been writing for ten years and you have published over thirty books. Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

PS: I’m so happy to share the testimony about my first book deal. Guilty of Love was actually the third novel I wrote, but the first one that was published. The amazing thing is I didn’t want to write the story because of the subject matter: abortion. After I gave it some thought, I realized that I could write ten novels and none of them would be successful until I wrote the one God told me to. Let me tell you what Jesus did. That book broke sales records for the imprint that year. It also established my writing career. The Guilty series now called the Jamieson Legacy will probably go to twelve books. Look at Jesus. What would have happened if I didn’t say, yes Lord?

Prior to starting that book, I became interested in my family’s genealogy. I decided to incorporate some of my family names for characters in the stories in hopes of tracking now distant relatives who might pick up the book and recognize names.

I chose Charlotte for my main character’s mother. Charlotte was my maternal grandmother and my maternal great-great grandmother. Then on to the last name. I needed something that had a distinguished ring. Somehow Jamiesons stuck, thus creating Parke K. Jamieson VI. He and his brothers became the strong, successful and confident black men who were the tenth generation descendants of a royal African tribe.

Okay, back to my family history. My maternal grandmother’s last name was Wilkerson. I located Charlotte Wilkerson along with her two sons: William (my great-grandfather b. 1866) and his brother Samuel (b. 1868), on the 1880 census. I hit a wall when I went back to the 1870 census. I couldn’t locate them. I turned to other genealogy enthusiasts to help in the hunt for Charlotte Wilkerson and her two sons who would have been four and two. It’s amazing how savvy some of these sleuths are. A few days later, they came back with information that made me hold my breath.

It appears that Charlotte’s last name was actually Jamieson. Eerie, huh?  I had no idea I was giving my character the exact FIRST and LAST name of an ancestor.

Since 1870, was the first year blacks were counted as free, I searched the 1860 slaveholders’ schedule. Sure enough, Robert Jamieson was the slaveholder over my great-great-grandmother. In his household, there was a guest and teacher in the academy, John Wilkerson (my white great-grandfather).  The Guilty series renamed the Jamieson Legacy has captivated black and white readers alike with its positive strong black family and historical facts that are weaved into contemporary storylines. Currently, the series is eight books strong with plans for four more to complete the series.

Throughout my publishing career, I have learned that I work for the Lord, and any recognition is God’s.

CH: Can you tell my audience about some of your series?

PS: Restore My Soul Series: Wounded spirits, troubled pasts, and a God who can restore souls for His glory. (John 8:36) “He who the Son sets free, is free indeed.” Karyn Wallace has issues with forgiving herself. Jet Hutchens refuses to forgive others. And the man of God who stands between them, Minister Rossi Tolliver, knows the power of prayer and deliverance.

Love at the Crossroads Series: When relationships are tested, love covers a multitude of faults and conquers all for Candace Clark, who has to start over after the death of her husband. She will learn faith and fear aren’t friends; Solae Wyatt’s inability to have children has been a deal breaker when it comes to relationships. Will Hershel Kavnaugh let her walk away?; Next, it’s going to take Desi’ forgiveness, and Michael’s repentance, and redemption to give their marriage a second chance after infidelity; In hindsight, unwed mother Halcyone Holland admits that God didn’t handpick the father of her children. Yet, that doesn’t stop God from sending her the man who has been standing on the sidelines for a long time; Finally, Monica thought she knew what she wanted in a man until she suffers health challenges, then God sends her what she needs most, a praying man.

The Andersen Brothers Series: There is nothing sexier than a man who loves God and family. Christian kicks off the holiday series by showing how he celebrates Christ’s birth, resurrection, and the biggest of all, Father’s Day to a single mother; It takes a pure heart to capture God’s attention, and David is looking for that one woman who can pull at his heartstrings; Nathan finds a kindred spirit in Noelle who has a heart for the helpless, hungry, and homeless. Together they try to make a difference during Christmas.

The Jamieson Legacy Series: If you love history? You won’t be disappointed as American Black history and genealogy are weaved into the romances. The series tackles cultural issues with godly intervention, whether it’s abortion, single parenting, or our angry youth. The Jamieson men are tenth and eleventh generation descendants of a royal African tribe. They carry strength and determination in their DNA when it comes to family ties. The only ones who can penetrate their armor are strong-willed women that God puts in their paths.

The Carmen Sister Series: Sisters who pray together, stay together, and Stacy, Shari, Shae, and Sabrece (Brecee) hold one another accountable when it comes to dating God’s way. Shae has to choose between her career and true love; Shari has to believe God when He sends her a man with a tormented past; and Brecee has to be convinced of a match made in heaven when it doesn’t make sense on paper.

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

PS: Great reviews are this being a sweet inspirational romance. I have faithful fans, but I’m always looking for new readers and that’s where reviews come in. In addition to a great back blurb, only a reader can sway another reader to give my book a try.

CH: Most reader/fans can hardly wait. So, what is your next writing project?

PS: I’m working on book one of a new series called THE CAREGIVERS. I’m still tweaking the title, so amazingly, I don’t have one to share, yet. Also, I’m not sure if this story will be a novella (35,000 words), or a novel (65,000 words). The most important thing about this story is that I get God’s message out.

CH: How to Find Pat Simmons:

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

PS: There may be some of my older titles in book stores, but all are sold online and some are available in libraries.

CH: Any closing remarks?

PS: Cheryl, Thank you for the invitation to share my story, and God bless you.

CH: Thank you so much, Pat Simmons, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Pat Simmons and Cheryl Holloway..

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

   

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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Black History – The “Real” McCoy

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We have lots of Canadian Blog Readers/Fans, so to Celebrate the annual month long celebration and highlighting of Black History and accomplishments in Canada, we also provide Canadian Black History.

Elijah McCoy (courtesy Library and Archives Canada/nlc-11320)

Elijah McCoy, The “Real” McCoy

Born in Colchester, Ontario, to self-freed parents from Kentucky, Elijah McCoy received his higher education as a mechanical engineer in Scotland. After his training, he chose to live in Detroit, Michigan, where he became concerned about the injuries and deaths caused when workers attempted to lubricate moving machinery. Many of these workers were young Black boys employed in the position because they were small and agile. McCoy developed a self-lubricating device with a drip cup, which revolutionized industry. The device allowed the gradual and constant release of oil, which allowed machines to work continuously without having to be stopped to be lubricated—and without anyone having to risk life and limb to apply oil while machines remained in operation. The device had a range of applications, from locomotives to industry.

McCoy’s first drip cup invention was patented on July 12, 1872. The drip cup device was so effective and so highly regarded that other manufacturers copied it. However, none worked as well as McCoy’s invention. Canadian and American railroaders asked for it by name as the “real McCoy,” giving rise to the expression denoting authenticity. McCoy went on to own his own firm. He filed 57 other patents in Canada and the United States, including a folding ironing board and a lawn sprinkler.

Compliments of http://BlackHistoryCanada.ca

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

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Guest Author Interview – Roger Sanderson

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Title: Across Difficult Ground

 Genre: Romance

 Synopsis: (Two Love Stories) French translator Jenny Hawkins has focused solely on bringing up her family, since her husband left them ten years ago. It takes a kiss in the back of a taxi from the equally family-conscious Adam Shaw to shake her out of her comfort zone and realize she can have a second chance at love.

Climbing instructor Fee Braithwaite has been let down too often to treat enigmatic Patrick Cord as anything other than her latest client. But with ruin threatening the family caravan site, she has to move past her prejudices to find, and then trust, the man within the protective shell.

Roger Sanderson, Author

International Authors on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Roger Sanderson. He is an international author, whose writing career started when he wrote Commando comics. Since then, he has written forty-four medical romance novels and now, he writes romantic comedy. Welcome to my blog, Roger.

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

RS: It has humour, mountains, families and two love stories

CH: You said that you write about love and laughter. So, why did you decide to write this book?

RS: I wanted to write about the Lake District, which I love, and I wanted my characters to be real people, surmounting their problems.

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?

RS: I don’t have a formula. I start with the characters and a setting and the book carries in my head as a whole concept from there.

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

RS: I never have trouble coming up with ideas or issues. The problem is finding the time to write them down. I’m a great exponent of ‘What if…?’

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?

RS: My favourite character was Jenny, the older sister. The hardest, I think, was Edith, the French novelist, who couldn’t write any more. I find it difficult to imagine a time when I don’t want to write.

CH: How do you incorporate laughter into your books?

RS: I give the characters a sense of humour. The laughter comes from them.

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

RS: Only that sometimes a person’s internal journey is as difficult as a physical one.

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

RS: My Englishness, perhaps?

CH: Does your love for climbing enhance the writing of this book?

RS: It did, yes. I really enjoyed reliving the climbs in my mind.

CH: You’ve written several books. What contributes to your success as a writer?

RS: I always try to have interesting characters and challenging situations.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

RS: Positive. In general, my readers seem to like my work.

CH: Which writer do you admire most and why?

RS: I really admire Jill Mansell. Not only does she write her first draft in longhand (legibly!), she always creates interesting, multi-stranded novels that make me laugh, as well as make me think.

CH: What’s your next writing project?

RS: I alternate between contemporary ‘Roger Sanderson’ books and medical romances written under the name of Gill Sanderson. Next up is another medical. As I’ve recently broken my arm, I’m thinking of inflicting the same injury on one of my characters!

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

RS: Undoubtedly, the most exciting thing was when I sold my first ‘Commando’ script. I had arrived as a writer!

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

RS: I’m afraid I am so technically challenged, I don’t have one. Just wrestling with the computer in order to write the books and keep up with my emails is enough for me. Social media would be a distraction too far.

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

RS: If they look on Amazon for Roger Sanderson or Gill Sanderson, my books are all listed there.

CH: How to Find Roger Sanderson:

CH: Any closing remarks?

RS: Thank you very much for some interesting questions. I apologize if I haven’t done them justice in the answers. Cheryl, Thanks for the interview.

CH: Thank you so much, Roger Sanderson, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Roger Sanderson and Cheryl Holloway..

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

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Author, Cheryl Holloway’s Birthday!

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Well, It’s my birthday and I’m going to celebrate! As quiet as it is kept, the best birthday gift you can give me is to buy one of my books on Amazon. The prices range from $0.99 to $4.99. And then, leave a book review. 🙂 I will appreciate it!

Well, I’m outta here, I don’t have to blog, if I don’t want to blog.

See, yeah…

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

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Guest Author Interview – Leigh Greenwood

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 Title: No One But You

Genre: Romance/Western

Synopsis: Alone in the world and struggling to make ends meet, Texas war widow Sarah Winborne will do anything to keep her two small children safe and her hard-won ranch from going under. She hasn’t fought for so long to lose everything… and if that means marrying a stranger to protect her family’s future, then so be it.

She never expected anything but a business arrangement, but something about Benton Wheeler’s broad shoulders and kind eyes awakens emotions she’d long since buried. He makes her feel beautiful. He makes her feel desired. He makes her feel like a woman again. And even though their marriage was never intended to be more than a matter of convenience, as Benton stands between her small family and the wild and dangerous West, Sarah may just realize that the cowboy she married is the love she never dreamed she would find…

Leigh Greenwood, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Leigh Greenwood. Years ago, his wife hooked him on romance novels and he later became a romance author. Welcome to my blog, Leigh.

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

LG: It’s the story of a woman who will risk everything, including herself, for her children.

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

LG: The only formula I use is ‘boy-meets-girl’ with lots of conflict ensuing before they live happily ever after.

In doing a series, I always come up with the situation first.  In the Seven Brides, it was a dysfunctional family of seven men.  In The Cowboys, it was a group of orphans no one wanted.  In The Night Riders, it’s seven men who vowed to bring a traitor to justice.  The first book of any series is where it all comes together.  I have to come up with a plot that will launch the series.  More importantly, I have to create all the characters—at once.  That’s crucial because in the following books, I have to come up with plots and heroines that fit with characters my readers already know and hopefully love.  Readers often have very specific expectations for their favorite characters.  Several years ago I received an impassioned three-page letter explaining why Iris was the wrong bride for Monty Randolph.  The reader begged me (with triple underlining) to have them get divorced.  Salty (No One But You) was my readers’ favorite minor character in Rose, so I had to build a story around the character they already knew and loved.

Another difficulty is that the lead characters in a series have to be different enough for the reader to follow them when they’re all in one story without getting confused.  Yet, they have to share the qualities that will ultimately enable them to become the hero of their own book.  When it comes to the heroine, I look for a character who will cause the hero the most trouble.

In case you’re upset that I always seem to build my series around men, you should know that the Cactus Creek series was originally about five women who were cousins.  Editors reduced it to three and suggested that I add the three brothers.

CH: You pull the heartstrings of readers with this historical western romance. What made you decide to write this book?

LG: I had wanted to write a spin-off from the Seven Brides almost before I finished the series, but my editor wanted something new.  (She got The Cowboys).  Then she finally relented, I chose Salty because readers seemed to like him so much.  I don’t know where the details of the plot came from.  Once I have an overall plan, they just start to emerge.  For example, once I decided the widow needed children, I had no preconceived idea of what they would be like.  Elements like that come into being as I write the book.  I like to create characters who engage my emotions, who make me pull for them.  Once I’ve done that, everything seems to come together.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

LG: I can’t tell you where my characters come from.  Four of the brothers in the Seven Brides came out of nowhere, full grown before I even realized they were in my head.  Most of the time my characters materialize as I begin to bring the overall plot into focus.  In the case of No One But You, I wanted a widow who needed someone to keep her and her children from starving.  I never have trouble with children.  They seem to come to me rather than the other way around.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

LG: I had no difficult characters in No One But You.  Once I figured everything out, they just seemed to do their job.  In my whole career, two gave me a lot of trouble.  Daisy from The Seven Brides because she changed her mind and Will from The Cowboys because there was nothing driving him to do anything.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

LG: I’m like a parent in that I don’t really have a favorite character.  My favorite villain is either Laveau diViere from The Night Riders or Oliver Carlisle from Sweet Temptation.  Laveau was evil.  Oliver was a truly nasty man.

CH: This book has plenty of family love. Are you from a loving family?

LG: Yes.  I’m one of four children, but my parents came from families of seven and twelve.  Though we’re all different, we manage to co-exist.  My siblings and I always gather at my mother’s for Christmas, and my larger family has a reunion each year.  In my experience, there are no stronger and longer-lasting relationships than those of family.  Often we bring our best friends into our families.  I’m very close to my children and grandchildren.

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

LG: I don’t know that there’s anything particularly different or exciting about my writing.  If there had been, I’d be on bestseller lists with Nora Roberts.  I do know that I try to tell stories that are believable with believable characters.  I try to make my characters likeable, not just by being honest and admirable, but by being basically good people.  I do my best to keep my history and my geographical facts accurate.  I don’t let my characters avoid the final conflict.  They have to have something important on the line and fight to keep it.  I do love children and seeing the humor in life which is why both keep cropping up so often.

CH: You’ve written several books, well over 50 books. What contributes to your success as a writer? 

LG: I try to write about interesting characters—and hopefully realistic ones—in a story that is logical enough that readers believe it could have happened.  I also have to like my characters.  I figure if I like them, then maybe the reader will, too.

CH: Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

LG: I never intended to be a writer.  I majored in music and was a working musician.  The first piece I ever wrote was about what it was like to become a father for the first time.  I never intended it for publication.  After that I wrote bits and pieces about things or situations that interested me.  You can read the rest of my story on my website.

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

LG: I don’t write a book with a conscious message.  If I want to say anything, it’s that even the least likely situations can have a happy ending with hard work and a good helping of luck.

CH: You seem to have quite a following. What type of feedback are you receiving from your readers?

LG: I have gotten quite a bit of fan mail over the years, all of which has been positive. My favorite letters were those that told me something I’d written had made a difference in the life of the reader or someone in their family. I got a lot of positive response when my editor put my picture in my books. Many readers were glad to learn that a man could write romance. My favorite response was that they couldn’t tell from my writing that I was a man. 

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

LG: I retired last summer just before I turned seventy-four. Writing was my second career.  I call it my mid-life crisis career. I was a music teacher, organist and choir director for thirty-two years.  While I have no new books coming out, Sourcebooks is bringing out some of my backlist. Last year they brought out No One But You. The Night Rider series will follow.  I’ll have a Christmas novella, Father Christmas, coming out for Christmas 2018.

CH: Since you’ve been quite successful, do you have any advice for new writers?

LG: Love what you do because you can’t do anything else.  All too often you have to write for your own satisfaction.

CH: Can you tell my audience about your website address?

LG: Yes, readers can visit my website, but I must warn you that I neglect it disgracefully.

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

LG: As far as I know, online and in bookstores everywhere.

CH: How to Find Leigh Greenwood:

CH: Any closing remarks?

LG: Writing was my second career, but it has given me as much pleasure as my first.  A large part of that has come from the letters I’ve received from readers.  It’s a wonderful feeling to know my stories have given pleasure to so many people.  The best part is to learn that on occasion my stories have made someone’s life better.  Thanks, Cheryl, for having me on your blog.

CH: Thank you so much, Leigh Greenwood, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Leigh Greenwood and Cheryl Holloway..

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

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Guest Author Interview – Sara Prater

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Title: Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy

Synopsis: On the run from a death sentence. Forced to hide among violent barbarians. Vacen Horsetrader is hounded by enemies that want his head. Raised in the nonviolent Consortium Lands, he faces Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit both at home and in exile. His crime? Determination to uphold the Oath that the mages of the Consortium hold sacred. Now, he must rely on his friends to survive, in the hopes of eventually returning home again.

Sara Prater, Author

 

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Sara Prater. Sara Prater is a longtime fan of fantasy literature, currently pursuing her dream of publishing her own stories. Welcome to my blog, Sara.

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

SP: My book is clean fantasy, full of exciting characters and interesting
adventures.

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?

SP: My stories usually come from a scene that gets stuck in my head. For
example, I started out with the image of Vacen and Anne facing down a
magical ghost in a setting where they weren’t supposed to use their own
magic.

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?

SP: I prefer to write a story that I’d want to read over and over again.

CH: What made you decide to write this book?

SP: I started writing short scenes with Vacen and Anne in a creative writing
class in college, and the story just expanded into a novel over the course
of a decade.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

SP: They usually just show up in my imagination, starting with a strong female character, whose more forceful in certain aspects than I am in real life. In the case of Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit, Anne was the central
character until I started expanding the story and realized I needed
someone else to introduce the story.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

SP: Vacen was a difficult character, trying to put his reactions in the
perspective of his upbringing and not in the perspective of the writer.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

SP: Old Looney, without a doubt. I really like the ‘mysterious mentor’ type of character.

CH: Since you’re a debut author, what other genre that you haven’t
written in would you like to write a book?

SP: I have plans to write several books for children.

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

SP: Words should not get in the way of telling the story. I prefer to describe
things simply, but without restricting vocabulary or resorting to vulgarity.

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

SP: The continuity was challenging. In a book this length, there are many
details that I created to explain this world and its magic that had to stay the same from beginning to end.

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

SP: Not really. My novel is pure escapist fiction intended to entertain.

CH: Did your position as a former teacher enhance the writing of this
book?

SP: In the first part, certainly. I always admired the students who could pull
off a prank that surprised me, so I enjoyed having Vacen and his friends
get away with pranks.

CH: Who would you consider a great author in your genre?

SP: My favorite author during my formative years was Mercedes Lackey. I
enjoyed tracking down all of her published writing and seeing how her
style evolved over the years. Her story of her first novel going through
numerous rewrites and being rejected multiple times was also encouraging.

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

SP: I’m currently working on a sequel to Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit, as well as a serial novel format to be published in a magazine.

CH: Can you tell my audience where they can find you on social media?

SP: I can be found on my website. You can also find me on Facebook at Consortium Lands—Sara Prater.

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

SP: Daggers, Diplomacy, and Deceit is available from Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions or by request from your local bookstore.

CH: How to Find Sara Prater:

CH: Any closing remarks?

SP: Many thanks to you, Cheryl Holloway for your invitation to be featured on your blog. For the readers, whether you’re a longtime fantasy fan or never read fantasy, today is a good day to try something new!

CH: Thank you so much, Sara Prater, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Sara Prater and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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

   

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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Black History Fact – Mathieu DaCosta Canadian Stamp Issued

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Mathieu DaCosta Black History Stamp Image © 2017 Canadian Postal Service. All rights reserved.

We have lots of Canadian Blog Readers/Fans, so to Celebrate the annual month long celebration and highlighting of Black History and accomplishments in Canada, we provide Canadian Black History.

The new stamp, released to start off 2017 Black History Month, shows an artistic interpretation of Mathieu DaCosta the first known black man to set foot in Canada.

Mathieu DaCosta was an African from the Benin Empire of West Africa hired as a translator for French explorers to the New World.  Although he may have arrived earlier, the first actual record of his presence in Canada was with voyages of  Pierre Dugua, Sieur de Mons, and Samuel de Champlain in the 1600’s.

The first official record shows him under contract to sail with Dugua in 1608 acting as interpreter for three years. It is thought that he could speak Dutch, English, French, Portuguese and a pidgin Basque.

As no image exists of DaCosta, designer Andrew Perro and illustrator Ron Dollekamp worked closely with Canadian historical illustrator and storyboard artist Francis Back to ensure the period clothing and sailing ship reflect DaCosta’s time and socio-economic milieu.

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

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

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

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Happy Presidents’ Day 2017 from Author Cheryl Holloway

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Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February. Presidents’ Day is now popularly viewed as a day to celebrate all U.S. Presidents past and present. Washington and Lincoln still remain the two most recognized leaders, but Presidents’ Day is now popularly seen as a day to recognize the lives and achievements of all of America’s chief executives.

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

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

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

   

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

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Guest Author Interview – Joy Avery

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Title: Cupid’s Error: A Novella

 Genre: Romance/Holidays

 Synopsis: Staffing agency owner Danica James is determined not to spend another Valentine’s Day alone. But purchasing a man for the evening? Out of the question. Then her best friend intervenes—gifting her a night of dinner and dancing with a Cupid’s Arrow escort. What could be the harm? Though Cupid’s Arrow is known for matches made in heaven, she’s not looking for a love connection. Then she meets her Cupid’s Fellow and everything changes.

Business mogul Weston Henshaw doesn’t need Cupid’s Arrow to get a Valentine’s Day companion, but Cupid’s Arrow needs him. Seems his sister’s charity event has done far better than anticipated. Only problem…a shortage of eligible bachelors to pamper all of the lonely hearts. When he agrees to be bait for an evening, he never imagines meeting the one woman who makes him wish the night would never end.

An error by Cupid’s places Danica and Weston on a road to destiny, but will they maintain the course?

Joy Avery, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Joy Avery, who writes contemporary romance with real characters, real journeys and real good love. Welcome to my blog, Joy.

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

 JA: Cupid’s Error places Danica James and Weston Henshaw on the road to destiny, but can they maintain the course?

CH: This book is a romantic novella for Valentine’s Day. Why did you decide to write this book?

JA: For a romance writer—at least, for this romance writer—Valentine’s Day is an extremely exciting holiday crammed pack with love. I wanted to write about someone not necessarily looking for love, but finding it in the most unlikely situation and…during Valentines.

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?

JA: My story ideas come from all around me—music, television, movies, conversation, and people. Anything can spark an idea, and I build it from there. No, I don’t have a standard formula for plots, and my stories definitely do not come to me as a whole concept. I do a lot of brainstorming on how I want the story to develop. I used to be a notorious pantser, but have discovered the beauty of plotting, if only loosely. While my stories rarely travel exactly along their plotted paths, it’s a helpful roadmap.

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

JA: No, I don’t find it hard creating believable situations. With all of my books, I like taking real life situations and/or issues and putting a spin on them.

CH: I see you’ve written Holiday Romance before. Do holidays remind you of love?

JA: Yes, holidays do remind me of love—a love of self, a love of life, and a love of family. I believe holidays bring individuals closer. They can spark new relationships or renew old ones. In addition to Valentine’s Day, I’ve written books highlighting Thanksgiving and Christmas.

CH: What’s the best gift you’ve received on Valentine’s Day?

JA: The best gift I’ve received on Valentine’s Day is a marriage proposal.

CH: A marriage proposal is definitely a great gift on Valentine’s Day. So, where do you get inspiration for your characters?

JA: The inspiration for my characters comes from a range of places: strangers I’ve encountered, people who’ve inspired me, characters I’ve liked or loathed on television/movies. Like situations in my books, I add my own twists to the characters, either to tame them or make them more endearing.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? Which character was your favorite to write?

JA: I can’t say either character was difficult to write. Before I start a story, I spend at least a week getting into the characters’ heads and learning all I can about them. I find this makes the story believable and flow easier. Danica was my favorite to write because I got to show how she chose love one more time and even after heartbreak.

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

JA: The message I’d like for the reader to walk away with is to always take a chance, especially on love.

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

JA: The things I bring to my readers through my writing are real characters, real journeys, and real good love told in my voice and the way I see love developing.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

JA: The feedback I’m receiving from readers is letting me know that I’m touching hearts, warming souls, and rousing emotions. I do occasionally get yelled at for not writing fast enough. LOL.

CH: You are a member of Romance Writers of America and Heart of Carolina Romance Writers. Does being a member of these groups help you to write better romance novels?

JA: Through the resources provided by these two organizations, I am continuously improving my craft.

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

JA: The most exciting thing to happen to me on my publishing journey is being contacted by a Harlequin Kimani Romance editor concerning writing for the line.

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

JA: I’m currently finishing my second Kimani Romance title. My debut novel with Kimani Romance will release in August of this year. You can expect book 2 of my Lassiter novella series to release within the next few months.

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

JA: You can find this title on Amazon..

CH: How to Find Joy Avery:

CH: Any closing remarks?

JA: Thank you very much for welcoming me today. I’ve enjoyed my time here. I hope your readers will give Cupid’s Error—or any #joyaveryromance—a try.

Connect with me on social media: www.facebook.com/authorjoyaverywww.twitter.com/authorjoyavery;  www.instagram.com/authorjoyavery  Cheryl, Have a beautiful day!

CH: Thank you so much, Joy Avery, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Joy Avery and Cheryl Holloway..

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

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