Saturday, June 2, 2012

Who's Got Flavor?

Mello and June is a proud supporter of AAMBC (African-Americans on the Move Bookclub) Authors.  It's June and six months into 2012 to be exact!  What an incredible year for the Indie Author and writing in general.  So make sure you keep it right here and download some great books with Soul!  Enjoy!


Synopsis: Lisa Oliver had it all. A beautiful home, luxury cars, a lavish lifestyle, and a wonderful husband Anthony who loved and adored her until…. That dreaded morning when her perfect life spiraled into extinction, right before her eyes. After hiring a private investigator, Anthony learns about her dark hidden secrets, and comes up with a plan to get away from this evil seductress. Serving her with divorce papers after a passionate morning sexapade, Lisa is on wits end because Anthony would not give her a reason and shut her out of his life completely. Solitude makes Lisa go crazy and is on a rampage to get her man back… at any cost. After two years Anthony has gone on with his life, but everything changes when everyone around him comes up missing, hurt, or dead. From the pen of award winning, bestselling author Ni’cola Mitchell comes a cold, gritty tale that takes you into the mind of a woman that has lost everything and there is only one to blame. This suspenseful thriller will remind you of a cross between Obsessed, Single White Female and The Hand that Rocks the Cradle.





Excerpt:
“Gabrielle!” I screamed kicking the door. I could hear her screaming for her life from inside,and there was nothing that I could do about it. My left arm was limp and bloody, and you could still see the smoke coming from the hole that the bullet created.

I prayed under my breath, “Dear Lord, please help her. Please let me save her,” as I continued to kick the door. Lisa was at the end of her rope, and there was no point of return. She believed that her life was over, and there was only one person to blame, and that was Gabrielle.

My body was weak,and my vision was getting blurry, but I could not give up. Gabrielle was indanger, and I was the cause. That was the worse feeling in the world.

Another gunshot blast rung out, Gabrielle yelled out again.

Where the hell is the police, I thought to myself; feeling helpless and insecure. Taking in a deep breath, I attempted to regain my composure as I kicked the door hopefully for the last time.

Boom! Another gunshot rang out. This time it was not followed by a cry.

Striving to inject her unique flair into the realm of contemporary fiction, Award-Winning, Best-Selling author Ni’cola Mitchell entered the literary scene with one main objective: To Stimulate Your Mind, One Word at a Time.

Through her independent publishing company NCM Publishing, Ni’cola published numerous titles which have been featured on various best-selling lists throughout the country. Much of her work revolves around complex relationship issues and Mitchell’s compulsive desire to see women overcome challenges.

Over and Over Again was featured in the top ten by EDC Creations Recommended Reading List the 2009 fall season under Mainstream Fiction and Women’s Fiction. Ni’cola was nominated Self-Published Author of the Year with theAfrican-American Literary Award Show for 2010 and 2011. Her shortstory “The Forbidden Rain” was featured in the Between the Sheets anthology which won 2011 Anthology o the Year with the African-American Literary Award Show. Recently her novel Twisted won 2011 Book of the Year with the African American on the Move Book Club.

Because of her outstanding representation of Las Vegas’African American community, Ni’cola Mitchell was featured in the second edition of Who’s Who in Black Las Vegas. Ni’cola was also included in the fourth volume of the I Am Royalty: Profiles in Black History series. She is also a motivational speaker and literary consultant. Currently, she is touring across the country, speaking about the importance of going after your dreams and overcoming obstacles, and how to self-publish your book successfully.

When she isn’t writing, Mitchell loves to spend time with her family and volunteers as a mentor for youth activities. Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, she currently resides in North Las Vegas, Nevada with her two daughters Destani and Diamond. Co-Founder of the Baltimore Urban Book Festival, Ni’cola holds a Bachelors degree of Science in Business Management and is currently pursuing a Master’s of Business Administration.


Get to Know Ni’Cola:




 



1. Hi Ni’cola, tell us a little bit about yourself and where you are from?
Hello, my name is Ni’cola Mitchell, and I am an author and I run an independent publishing house NCM Publishing. I also co-own Obsessive Soul Media with my best friend and co author Tamika Newhouse. Originally from Jamaica, I am a proud mother of two beautiful and talented girls Destani Imani 18 and Diamond Lynn 13. Currently we reside in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

2. What books have you read that has influence your writing?
I am an avid reader and very eclectic. When I choose an author, I try to read all of their titles. Some of the authors that I feel have had an impact on my writing are as follows: Omar Tyree, Kimberla Lawson Roby, Mary B. Morrison, Anna J., Carl Weber, V.C. Andrews, Francis Ray, and Jackie Collins

3. What advice will you give inspiring writers?
Hmmm… There is a lot of words of wisdom that I can ponder and put together for inspiring writers, but some key points are as follows: to not give up, and try to write every day. I know that this is hard, but that is the only way that you will be able to master your craft. Stand up to the nay sayers. Everyone doesn’t wish you well. You have to learn to stay persistent, put God first, and everything else will just fall into place.

4. Are there any upcoming releases that are associated with NCM Publishing that were written by other authors, you will like to tell us about?Well… There are A LOT of releases for 2012. LOL. Two were just released in February: Crime drama, A Little Sumthin’ Sumthin’ by Imani True and Christian Memoir, Voices of Cyn…Traces of a Backslider by Cynthia Evans’ March: Suspense Thriller, A Cold Piece by me, April: Contemporary Fiction, Miles Apart by Tamika Melvin-Williams, May two releases: An anthology, Ebony Chronicles of Elevation featuring a range of male authors: Omar Tyree, Chris Hicks, Moses Miller, Q.B. Wells, Eyone Williams, Corey Barnes, and Norris Pimpton and a poetry book, Whispers of Words Spoken by An Howard. Two releases in June: Self-help Memoir, When is Strong, Strong Enough? By Souraya Christine, and Christian Fiction, A Generation of Curses by Patricia Bridewell and Faatima Albasair-Johnson. In July there will be two releases as well. On National French Fries Day Children’s book, Are There French Fries in Heaven by Kay Gibbie, and Lil’ Creepers Winter Shenanigans by Shawna Carter.

5. Tell us about the upcoming book “A Cold Piece”, I read the excerpt it was quite riveting it captures your attention. I notice a change in direction compared to the 2010 release of “Appetizer.”  Is this the first time you are writing a thriller?
Well I am really excited about this novel. This one is not like my usual drama filled novel. A Cold Piece is a Suspense Thriller revolving around three main characters: Lisa, Anthony, and Gabrielle. Lisa Oliver was comfortable in her lifestyle. She had everything that one can ask for, anything that money could buy, and a husband that treasured her. Everything changed once Anthony found about some horrible secrets that Lisa was hiding and divorced her. Two years go by, and Anthony remarries Gabrielle, they are happy and settled in their life, until everyone around the happy couple either becomes missing, hurt or dead. This is the first time that I have written a thriller. When someone read any of my titles, you can always expect a drama filled action pact piece, but this is the first time that I wrote a suspense thriller. It is a little different because you have to really get into the mind of that crazy character. You have to make the reader see why they operate in such a manner. If “A Cold Piece” was made into a movie, what are the main actors you would you love to see playing your characters, especially the role of Lisa?

6. Wow. If this book was made into a movie, my main characters would be as follows:
Lisa: Nicole Kidman, Anthony: Michael Ealy, Gabrielle: Zoe Saldana, Elizabeth: Phylicia Rashad

7. Where can people purchase this book and all other books under NCM Publishing?

All of our titles are available in:

Barnes and Nobles


To find out more about us check out atwww.facebook.com/ncmpublishing and www.twitter.com/ncmpublishing. To find out about any new titles and where will I be at next check me out at www.nicolacmitchell.com or www.nicolaandtamika.com. Also become my friend on facebook www.facebook.com/msnicola and follow me on twitter www.twitter.com/msnicola

Link to Trailer:http://bit.ly/IfAMpJ




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Synopsis:
The minute twins and mystery novelists Jovan and Cheyenne Parham find their lives settling into a nice rhythm, all hell breaks loose – in their personal lives and in the latest crime they find themselves mixed up in. Jo is trying to build a relationship with Mark Brockman, but the deaths of her husband and Mark’s wife, and the sordid nature of their coming together keeps her from jumping into the relationship with both feet. Cheyenne is head over heels in love with former detective-now P.I. Ian Davenport, but unexpected news and Ian’s involvement in a new case causes Chey to second guess the deepness of their love. Trying to figure out their love lives becomes all the more complicated when Jo and Chey are thrust into a series of kidnappings and murders involving young girls who seem to make the wrong friends online. When a mayoral candidate’s daughter is kidnapped, Ian finds himself on the case, much to the chagrin of Chey considering he spends an awful lot of time holding and caring for the candidate’s wife. Bringing the girl home safely and finding the killer pushes the twins to the limits of their personal and professional lives. Going into a web of infidelity, lies, deception, and murder often leaves all involved in disarray. Will Jovan and Cheyenne find themselves, once again, trying to pick up the remaining fragments of their lives once this is all over?

Excerpt:
October 21
Take down.

Those words rang in Jovan Parham’s mind as she danced around the ring, staring into the eyes of Derryck, her kickboxing trainer.

“Come on, Jo,” Derryck said while holding up his padded hands. “Pay attention. Jab left, cross right, jab right.”

“I’m doing it,” she said, her voice nearing a whine.

“You look lazy.” Derryck’s left hand made its way to Jovan’s headgear. She just managed to move, but heard the sound of his fist whizzing by her face. “I haven’t tagged your face in nearly four months.”

Jovan smiled and took two jabs to the side of Derryck’s face; the second one connected.

“And you didn’t get me this time either,” she replied.

The two continued to spar, sharing words and punches and kicks, but Jovan’s mind was still stuck on two words: take down.

She woke up in the middle of the night after a horrific nightmare, one she had almost every month since she moved into her new condo a year ago. The nightmare was always the same: she watching as a host of characters took part in killing her. She lay, shackled to a metal table, dressed in a white loose gown that had been ripped to shreds. Every few minutes, someone would come into the dimly lit room and cut her with a sharp, curved blade. No words were ever exchanged. She screamed with each flick of the blade, begged for her life, but it was all for naught. Cordell came in and took a chunk of her. As did his mother. As did his brother. Alisha took her share as well, as did Sarah, which broke Jovan’s heart more than Cordell wanting to kill her. She had thought Sarah was her best friend. Finding out she had slept with Cordell and carried his child tore at her heart. To know that even in her nightmares Sarah wanted to hurt her more nearly broke her.

The last person to come in was always Linda Hayes. And unlike the others, who were more like automatons, coming to do their robotic bidding, Linda had a sparkle in her eyes, a curl of her lip, an extra dig of her cut when she took her swipe of Jovan. She had hoped that her time at the altar during service that morning, where she begged God, begged him to remove the nightmares, might give her a night of respite, but it wasn’t to be. If she actually took time to think about it, she’d realize that her continuous thinking about the nightmares would only create more of them.

When she woke up last night from the nightmare, Jovan rushed to her office—a place that held warm, soft thoughts for her as it was the place where words took to life. She reached for the small blue bible she kept on the desk and rifled through the pages before landing her finger on Luke 10:19, I have given you authority …to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.

The words brought her peace, but she had an even better way of using her authority to overcome her enemies. She took out a pad and pen, and spent a good hour creating a list of people she needed to take down.

Linda Hayes was at the top of that list. For going on two years, the Trés Chic head reporter-now executive producer had been relentless in her pursuit to find something bad to report about Jovan. Even after everyone else had put the murder of Jovan’s husband and the fallout of it behind them, Linda was determined to continue to bring up Jovan’s painful story: Cordell’s murder. Cordell’s affair with Alisha. Cordell’s affair with Sarah. The baby Sarah carried. The complex scheming and plotting that revealed Cordell’s drugged-out brother was supposed to kill Jovan but instead killed Cordell. Jovan’s reaching out to Mark, Sarah’s husband, in a time of need and the subsequent relationship that continued long after Cordell was buried. The justice (though not peace) that was brought to Jovan and her family.

In all parts of the world, Jovan’s soap opera of a life had come and gone as new, crazier stories unfolded. But in Baltimore, where she and her twin Cheyenne were deemed stars for their bestselling-authors status and their charities, Jovan’s story continued to live—mostly thanks to Linda Hayes.

And somehow, she had managed to overcome her anger at Linda and this ferocious, tenacious need Linda had to break her down.

But then yesterday arrived, and Jovan became undone.

She had tried to go about her day. She went to a speaking engagement for her solo inspirational non-fiction, Picking up the Pieces, a book that detailed the story of her life with Cordell and the aftermath. She met with Cheyenne to work on the outline of their next mystery, Vanishing Keys. She even got ready to meet Mark for a dinner date down at the Inner Harbor.

Not once did anyone in her inner circle mention the significance of the day: the second anniversary of Cordell’s death. They knew it wasn’t needed. They knew Jovan would have stayed up the entire night prior, still crying over the loss, still angry over the betrayal, still unsteady on what to do with her life. She was still fragile from the coming and going of Cordell’s birthday nearly three weeks ago. She had spent that day in quiet reflection, wondering why, yet again, she couldn’t find out about Cordell’s lies before anyone had to die. She still felt like an idiot over believing Sarah was her friend. She had spent hours talking to Sarah, telling her about the decline in her marriage—never realizing that her supposed friend was sleeping with her husband.

Any normal person, knowing what she’d been through, would have given Jovan this day to grieve, to feel, to think in her own personal space.

But not Linda Hayes.

Jovan had expected to hear from her. After all, she saw commercials regarding Linda’s anniversary special. Linda had her assistant call her earlier in the month, trying to get her to talk about Cordell on the day of his birthday. Jovan had told her to “Go read Picking up the Pieces if you’re so damn interested in learning what I’m willing to say about Cordell. Other than that, leave me the hell alone, Miss Hayes.” It was only a matter of time that Linda would call her again, trying to get some comment to use for her latest special.

Linda’s assistant called. Six, seven, eight times. Every time, Jovan would hang up.

On the ninth time, as she slipped her feet into her black stilettos, Jovan finally relented. She picked up the phone and yelled, “Let me speak to Linda.” She quickly raced into the office and picked up her digital recorder, turning it on and setting her phone on speakerphone.

Linda came on to the phone, her voice warm and soft as she said, “I’m so sorry for your loss, Jovan.”

“If you’re so sorry, why are you harassing me? Obviously, I have nothing to say to you.”

October 24
Jovan needed three things when she woke from her restless sleep: a comb to tackle her mangled mane, a strong cup of coffee, and a medication strong enough to drop kick the pain that throbbed behind her right eye.

The hair could wait awhile, Jovan decided as she rushed to the bathroom to down some pills, then headed to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.

“Man,” she said, sitting at the island in her kitchen. She massaged her temples. “You’d think I drank all night long.” She moaned, then grabbed the remote to the small flat panel TV in the kitchen. Turning the volume down low, she mixed sugar and creamer into her cup of coffee while watching the morning news.

She sighed. Her mind was befuddled, filled with Linda, Mark, and Cheyenne. She had managed to have an encounter with Linda that left her unscathed, but seeing Linda’s anger toward Mark piqued her interest. She wasn’t sure why Linda would be so angry; she had nothing to do with Sarah or Mark. Jovan had left the café with questions about Linda and further sadness over her relationship with Mark. And though she wanted to spend the evening lamenting and thinking over both, the rest of her night and early morning was spent focusing on Cheyenne.

She barely slept the night before as she and Cheyenne sat up and talked.

Not once did Jovan smack at Cheyenne’s hands as she cracked her knuckles. She’d let her do whatever she wanted after learning possible-baby news.

“I can’t believe you didn’t tell me before this,” Jovan said. “We share everything.”

“I know.” Cheyenne sighed. “It wasn’t my intention to leave you out, sis. Hell, I haven’t known for long.”

“How long?”

Cheyenne looked at her hands, then Jovan. “Few days. Was in the bathroom and saw my sanitary napkins and was like, ‘Yeah, I haven’t used you in a while.’ I went to my calendar and saw I was two weeks late.”

“So,” Jovan said, taking Cheyenne’s hand, “you could be pregnant right now?”

A smile grew wide on Cheyenne’s lips. “I could very well be.”

“Then let’s find out.” The two hugged, and Jovan watched as Cheyenne hopped from the sofa, grabbed her bag of tests, and ran to the bathroom.

She watched as her sister took four pregnancy tests, all negative. For a fleeting moment, Jovan smiled at the thought of Cheyenne being a mother, she an aunt. It saddened her when Cheyenne walked into the living room for the fourth time, holding a false pregnancy test. Tears clung to Cheyenne’s lashes.
“I really wanted to be pregnant, I think,” she muttered. She dropped onto the korndal green Karlstad sofa and rested her head on Jovan’s shoulder.

“You should still go to the doctor, sis,” Jovan said. “Make it official.”

Cheyenne lifted the pregnancy test. “Four of these ain’t official enough?” She hiccupped before the onslaught of sobs took over.

Jovan wrapped her sister in her arms and hushed her to sleep. After putting her to bed in the bedroom down the hall, Jovan fielded hourly calls from Ian wanting to know how Cheyenne was. After the fifth hour, Jovan turned off the house phone and all cell phones. She needed at least a nap before the start of the day.

What she got was a 45-minute nap and waking up on the tiled floor of the foyer near the front door. The last thing she’d remembered was sitting in one of the diline multi-colored chairs in the living room, reading pages of her and Cheyenne’s work-in-progress. Slowly, she had stood, moaning at the stiffness of her neck, the sore shoulders, the migraine that stabbed at her right eye, nearly taking her breath away. She didn’t even question how and why she’d end up on the floor. If she wasn’t having nightmares, she was walking in her sleep, something she still did when stress and anxiety overtook her. On her way to the kitchen, she had peeked into the living room and found pages puddling around the chair she had sat in.

“I need a damn vacation,” she muttered.

She lifted her cup to her lips as she stared at the TV screen. A breaking news flash appeared, and she dropped her cup and jumped from her seat. Hot coffee splashed her, but being burned was the furthest thing from her mind.

She drew closer to the screen and read the headline that flashed to the right of the anchor’s head: Leland Henson’s Daughter: MISSING.

The image changed from the TV studio to the front of the Hensons’ home where Leland Henson stood before reporters, his eyes a blistering red while Jocelyn cried in Ian’s arms.

“Ian!” Jovan shouted. She raced to the island, grabbed the remote, and turned up the volume.

“Cheyenne!”

“Our daughter is the most precious thing in our lives,” Henson said before breaking down. “Please… please bring her back to us unharmed.”

“Cheyenne.”

Cheyenne walked into the kitchen, rubbing her eyes. “What in the hell are you yelling for?” she asked. “This place better be on fire.”

Jovan pointed to the television.

Cheyenne sidled up beside Jovan and stared at the TV. Her jaw dropped.

“Is that Ian?”

Jovan nodded. “Leland Henson’s daughter is missing.”

“But what is my supposed man doing there hugging the wife?” Cheyenne’s nostrils flared.

“I have no idea, but we’re going to find out. Shower and dress. Quickly.”

Get to Know Shonell:


Shonell Bacon is an author, doctoral candidate, editor, educator–everywoman. She has published both creatively and academically–novels, short stories, essays, and textbooks. She has had an essay of hers developed as part of a live theatre documentary production. In addition to her love of writing and what the future holds in her literary life, she is also an editor who loves helping writers hone their literary craft. Since 2001, she has edited for hundreds of writers who have gone on to pursue self-publishing careers and have been published within the traditional publishing arena. Her love for helping writers also moved her to begin writing articles and commentaries regarding the writing life and craft, and she publishes these articles on various websites. She is an educator, having taught English and mass communication courses in addition to fiction writing and other courses related to creative writing. And while taking part in all of those things, Shonell also finds the time to pursue her Ph.D. in Technical Communication and Rhetoric at Texas Tech University. Now a doctoral candidate, she is conducting research and writing her dissertation.

When did you get bitten by the writing bug?
I was ten. My mom and I were at a flea market, and she bought me a .25 cent green diary. Instead of writing the typical 10-year-old girly things, I wrote sports articles on my beloved Baltimore Orioles and my own scripts to my favorite soap at the time, The Guiding Light.

When did you know that you wanted to pursue writing in a serious manner?
Probably the same time I got that green diary. During my teen years, I wrote a lot of bad screenplays, all featuring the same story – a woman who somehow comes to own a sports team and ends up falling for and getting the hot, great player on the team. LOL I finally broke away from those and in the 90′s, having recently graduated high school, I started studying the industry, trying to figure out how to become a better writer and how to break into the industry.

Plotter or pantser?
Definitely plotter. I visually write my stories bit by bit until they are pretty much developed, then take to drafting an outline and writing the story. I don’t let the outline confine me, however. I often go outside the outline; however, doing an outline gives me structure and enables me to be a fast writer. And not a fast writer who gets an idea and jumps to the computer and a few chapters in peters out. I typically go hard and fast until the story is done.

What genre(s) do you write?
Hard question, and it shouldn’t be, right? I consider myself a life writer–I write the stories of life. Extraordinarily vague, I know. Sometimes, my stories fit really well into a genre, and sometimes, they don’t. For the most part, I write mysteries/thrillers, and the bulk of my work tends to fall into women’s fiction.

What advice do you have for aspiring writers?
1- Do not write to fit a trend; they come and go, and so will your work.

2- Write from the heart; if you don’t care about your work, no one else will either.

3- Study the writing craft; it’s great to write because you have the love of it, but at some point, you have to show people you are serious about growing as a writer, too.

4- Get into PR; no one is going to promote your work as hard as you do. Study the various ways, online and offline, that you can sell your work to your audience.

What is your very favorite thing to do when you’re not writing?
Two things – watch sports and listen to music. Music evokes the same emotions I receive when a story lulls me to the laptop. It soothes this savage beast and sparks me to write. I ADORE sports and before I became a teacher, writer, editor; my dream was to be a sports anchor for ESPN, and it doesn’t matter if it’s a Sunday NFL game, the frenzy of March Madness, or a Saturday afternoon baseball game, you can often hear me commentating on the games just by walking past my house, LOL I’m THAT vocal!

We’ve talked about how you came to writing, the kind of writer you are, advice to aspiring writers, and your non-writing time. Let’s get to one good question about Into the Web. Why should people buy it?
OK, time to sell myself, I guess. LOL. Reason? Death at the Double Inkwell, the debut novel in the Double Inkwell series, has been my favorite book to write. I consider it the best story I’ve written, and I have plenty of novels written in the arsenal. Readers have enjoyed DDIW, giving it a 5-star rating, and they still purchase it and tell me how much they love the story. Once I finished the last sentence of Into the Web, I knew it was the best thing I’d written–better than DDIW. I loved the entire process of writing it and loved the layered stories that find their way into ITW. Love, lies, secrets, murder, mayhem, and the great sisterhood of Jovan and Cheyenne? Not much more a reader could ask for!

Web-links:






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Synopsis:
When is Strong – Strong Enough gives a riveting account of the life events of author, Souraya Christine. Although Souraya is not a celebrity of any sort, her mission, with this book, is to provide an avenue of self-help for any female who may be struggling with molestation, abuse, lies, promiscuity, alienation, death, teen pregnancy, domestic violence, or any other traumatic situation. Souraya’s family was what we call a “sweep it under the rug” kind of people. No one really discussed issues, which caused Souraya to “deal” with her experiences the best way she knew how – on her own. It wasn’t until adulthood that she sought counseling, however, each time she left with the feeling that her level of knowledge surpassed that of the therapist who intended to help her. As a result, she was left feeling unsatisfied and un-rescued. This book details Souraya’s bad decisions, wild ways, and subsequent recklessness as she learned to cope with her tragedies, process pain, and ultimately forgive and love herself. She is still a work in progress, but as a recently baptized Christian, she is slowly learning to trust againand to extend her new-found love to others. This is a gripping true story that will have you on an emotional rollercoaster from beginning to end!



Excerpt:
These girls had it in for me. Every day, the chase was on. It had gotten to a point that I no longer wanted to go outside to play. Stepping outside would make me instantly nauseous. Pretty soon, the twins had enlisted the assistance of other girls on the street to torture me. I remember being surrounded by a fairly large circle of girls, shoving me back and forth, pulling my hair, hitting me. I was terrified. I wasn’t a fighter. I had absolutely no intentions of fighting, not even to defend myself. Where were the parents of these children? For that matter, where were my parents? I mean, we’re right outside of our homes and no one recognizes this commotion? Do they assume that we’re all just playing? This was ridiculous, and getting completely out of control.

“Stop crying”, my mom would say. “You don’t let anyone bully you. If you can’t stand up and fight, then I’ll beat your ass when you come in this house.” Wow! I guess that’s one way to build character. Or begin the cycle of insanity.

Get to Know Souraya:

  


Souraya was raised in a relatively low-income household, by a single mother, with one younger sister. Originally from Cleveland, OH, she lived in Atlanta for a couple of years, and has resided in Las Vegas, NV since 2003. She endured a lot of trauma early in life, and throughout her early adulthood. It was during these times that she would often ask God exactly how strong she needed to be because it seemed as if the blows kept coming without any time for a breath in between. Throughout school, although “gifted” academically, she experienced many problems stemming from the traumatic events in her life, including drugs and alcohol, promiscuity, associating with the wrong people, near death experiences, and becoming a single parent herself at age 16. She used these experiences to fuel her love for writing. She began writing poetry and short stories early in school, and even had the divine opportunity to be introduced to Maya Angelou in elementary school.

Through many more traumatic and dramatic events, including two failed marriages, she is now the proud single parent of 3 children. One daughter age 20, who graduated with high honors, works and goes to college full-time; another daughter, a high school freshman, and well on her way to living a very productive life; and a five year old son just starting school and learning who he is. Souraya is not proud of the events of her life, but she feels truly blessed to have lived the life she did, because to this credit, she has been led to a fulfilling relationship with God, and the opportunity to use these events to help others through this book. She is currently in the process of releasing her first book, entitled “When is Strong – Strong Enough….How to push through the pain”, that chronicles the events that shaped her life. In addition to working full-time and being a single parent, she is working toward finishing her Bachelor’s Degree, owns and operates a phlebotomy and CPR training company, and looks very forward to a long career of providing her readers with stimulating and alluring works that will help fill the soul.


Introduce yourself and style of writing to readers.
My name is Souraya Christine. Having escaped a turbulent past, I am the proud single parent of 3 children, living my dreams, and keeping it real. My style of writing is what I like to call, “Girlfriend Language”. To me this represents an easy, light-hearted approach to life that anyone can relate to.

What inspired the title?
The title, “When is Strong – Strong Enough?” represented the questions I would ask God throughout my life. I was always the “strong” one in the family, the one who could handle and push through anything. So, it just seemed fitting for this book.

With the onslaught of books available to the public, what can you do to get your books into the hands of readers?One thing, that I am very proud of, is the radio show that was created as a spin-off of the book, entitled “Never Strong Enough”. The show has been increasing its audience over the past few weeks since it first aired, and will hopefully and eventually reach to every corner of the world with internet or phone access. Additionally I plan to travel promoting the book. I am also developing relationships with different organizations at the fore-front of the topics that relate to my personal struggles, such as, sexual abuse/assault, domestic violence, and being fatherless.

The radio show can be found at
www.blogtalkradio.com/never-strong-enough.

What will readers enjoy most about “When is Strong – Strong Enough”?I believe that my readers will enjoy the fact that I am so transparent. People with similar struggles will be able to relate to me on a personal level. They will also appreciate the advice given at the end of each chapter on how to push through the pain.

Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write this book?The idea and inspiration actually came many years ago. Growing up there was no real outlet for me to be able to face and deal with the pain I was experiencing. My family did not discuss problems, and never sought any help for me, so I was left to figure it all out on my own. I started writing poetry and short stories in grade school, but gave that up after a while. Well into my twenties, I realized that I still hadn’t coped with all of the traumatic events of my life and therefore couldn’t grow as a person. I reverted back to writing and figured that if I could get all of it out of me and onto paper, then I would feel much better and be able to heal. The result was a novel.

Compare writing to your poetry, what are the similarities and differences?My writing and poetry styles are very similar in that I write just the way that I talk. Again, this is where the “Girlfriend Language” comes into play. I really want people to be able to relate to and understand everything that I present before them. I don’t ever want anyone put my book or poem down and look puzzled, wondering what that was all about, as I have done so many times.

As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take for you to start and finish “When is Strong – Strong Enough”?My writing process, I believe, has developed a little over the years. Now I begin with an outline, from there I develop a summary of the book’s plot, and from there the story is created. With “When is Strong – Strong Enough”, I just started writing….I went all the way back as far as I could remember and began writing out all of my experiences in as much detail as I could recall. The book originally took me years to write because it was for the sole purpose of healing for me, so I would just write periodically when the need struck. Eventually, however, it took on new roots and developed into more of a self-help book that could be shared with the world. With that in mind, and once over my fears of sharing the book, I went back through it and re-wrote it and developed it further. That process took less than a month.

Web-links:

www.sourayachristine.com
www.blogtalkradio.com/never-strong-enough
Twitter: @sourayachristine
Facebook: Author Souraya Christine
LinkedIn: Souraya Christine


Blog Mistress:  Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet
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