Saturday, March 31, 2012

Spring It Forward. . .


Spring is in the Air and that means new authors, as well as a few seasoned ones, are bringing about fresh and exciting books for all to enjoy!  Each month, Mello & June, It's a Book Thang! Book Blog partnering with AAMBC (African-Americans on the Move Book Club) will be showcasing authors and their recent work.  There are links provided for you to download/purchase books, as well as contact information of the authors.  It is our hope that you enjoy these books, and show your love and support of the Indie Author.  We Thank You!  We're Changing the Literary World One Word at a Time!  Happy Reading!




On the run with $100,000 counterfeit cash and a suspect in a murder case, Face is back hitting licks and looking for a place to settle.  When licked for the $100,000 in Baltimore, he is forced to put his girl Jazz to the street. Jazz takes to the street all too well.

After a couple encounters she desires more than the small town streets and lax security Face has to offer. Jazz comes across a trick that offers a stable life and some opportunities. She takes the stash, skips town and begins to start a new life under a new name.

Face discovers Jazz s found happiness in the straight life and goes insane. She can t be happy without him. He d rather her dead. Jazz must compensate and suffer for the hard times Face felt when she departed or he will kill her and destruct everything around them.

Face knows where she is…. Jazz feels Face s presence and lives in a paranoid state, two steps ahead from Face. No matter what, Jazz isn't far enough away. Both Face and Jazz are one hundred miles and running from danger.




BIO:

Q.B. Wells is the publisher of Art Official Media LLC and an author living in Baltimore City, Maryland. He has written books (Blackface, Doughboy), book reviews, articles and essays about urban literature and culture for The Urban Book Source, Urbania Magazine and  www.UrbaniaMag.com. A member of the Independent Book Publishers Association, Q.B. Wells presents workshops on publishing at local community centers and organizations. A visionary and entrepreneur, Q.B. Wells taught with the Baltimore City Public School System for several years before transitioning into teaching writing classes at Towson University. One Hundred Miles and Running (Blackface 2) is his second novel.

Get to know the author:
1. Introduce yourself and style of writing to readers.

My name is Q.B. Wells. My writing style is topical, aggressive and plot driven. My books can be found on the shelves next to other urban book titles but I think they are more crime fiction.

2. With the onslaught of books available to the public, what can you do to get your books into the hands of readers?

Meet and engage readers in person and not only online. Sometimes I find readers have bought my books because of the urban fiction genre.  I’m more excited when I find readers that picked up the book because they met me in person and invested their time.

3. What will readers enjoy most about One Hundred Miles and Running?

Readers will enjoy the action, plot and the humor of the narrative.  The book is a lot faster paced and more suspenseful than Blackface.  And they will be delighted that there is a female protagonist. Finally will like to see the growth in the characters.

4. Where did you get the idea and inspiration to write One Hundred Miles and Running?

One Hundred Miles and Running (Blackface 2) is the second book in the Blackface Trilogy. I had to continue to give the readers what they wanted and chose the characters to follow based on reader feedback.

5. Where do you foresee yourself 12 months from today?

Publishing some great books and authors. I hope to publish some of my nonfiction work and looking to shoot a short film or documentary.  Some form of film from an Art Official Media title is a goal in the next year.

6. What is next and how can readers contact you?
www.ArtOfficialMedia.com
www.facebook.com/qbwells
www.twitter.com/qbwells

 7. Where can readers get this book?

You can get the title at any bookstore. You can also download or buy the paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Itunes.

Buy Book/Contact the author:  You can get the title at any bookstore. You can also download or buy the paperback at Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Itunes.

Publisher:
http://www.artofficialmedia.com/urban-media-store.html

 Kindle:http://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Running-Blackface-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B006GCV1G8

 Nook - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/one-hundred-miles-and-running-q-b-wells/1103040050?ean=2940013434783

 ITunes - http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/one-hundred-miles-and-running/id484834011?mt=11

 Book Trailerhttp://youtu.be/4VaVvmPr1IE


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Stephanneth Adams is a Spiritual Life Motivator, Author, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (2012). She was born in Maryland to the proud parents Dr. Stenneth & Mrs. Stephanie Adams. Her life’s purpose is to use her God-given gifts to help foster the success of women spiritually, mentally, socially, and physiologically. Stephanneth has always found that expressing herself through writing & dance came naturally for her. She is a born Motivator. 

This is her purpose that she realized in her late teens that God wanted to use. After placing her life in God’s hand at the age of 17, Steph began her journey of walking into her destiny. She hasn’t always been a perfect woman, but God has always been there to reshape and transform her into the woman that He desires her to be. Steph believes that God has called her to live her life as an inspiration to others. Through her own life’s journey she has learned life principles that will help any woman and how to depend on the One who supplies her needs.


Get to know the author:

1. Who is Stephanneth Adams?

Stephanneth Adams is a Spiritual Life Motivator, Author, and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner (2012). She was born in Maryland to the proud parents Dr. Stenneth & Mrs. Stephanie Adams. Her life’s purpose is to use her God-given gifts to help foster the success of women spiritually, mentally, socially, and physiologically. Stephanneth has always found that expressing herself through writing & dance came naturally for her. She is a born Motivator.

This is her purpose that she realized in her late teens that God wanted to use. After placing her life in God’s hand at the age of 17, Steph began her journey of walking into her destiny. She hasn’t always been a perfect woman, but God has always been there to reshape and transform her into the woman that He desires her to be. Steph believes that God has called her to live her life as an inspiration to others. Through her own life’s journey she has learned life principles that will help any woman and how to depend on the One who supplies her needs.

To put it in a nut shell, Steph is a woman journeying through life just like everyone else. She’s faced ups and downs, pain, sadness, grief, obstacles, you name it. However, there is one thing that rings true for her life, someone up above has His hands guiding her to a place of destiny. It’s eminent when you look at her life.

2. What’s your purpose?
My purpose is to bring healing to every woman. I am just tired of the façade that we put on, when it is so evident that women are still hurting. We lack an understanding of who we are, why we were created, how to get over our past, how to be successful, and how to have the right type of relationships. Yet, we put on a front to pretend that we know all of these things. The truth is that we don’t. No one is teaching us. Look at the television media, who has a truly stable life in Hollywood? The answer is, very few people do in that industry. Look at the church, who has stability there? I will say that more people have a stable life in the church than in Hollywood, but there are still many people going to church who are unstable. Why? No one wants to face the truth about who they are. We don’t want to confront our issues and what has affected us throughout life. This is something that I don’t quite understand because in order to develop for the future, you have to understand your past. You learn from it, heal from it, and close it. Then, you can walk into your future.

So many of us want to do just that, but we don’t know where to start. How do we journey from our past into our future? That’s where I come in and I assist women to do that. My purpose is to get women to stop placing blame on other people and situations. To re-evaluate things and focus on how they contributed to the situations or how they have allowed it to affect them up to today. It’s a tough thing to do, but unless it’s done, women will go to the grave never truly experiencing the life that God always wanted to give them when they were little girls. We can continue to put on a façade like everything is peachy keen and like we never faced a problem if we want to, but you will only deprive yourself of true freedom and purpose.

3. Why did you write this book?

I wrote this book because it is a part of my purpose. I am a healthcare provider first in career with a focus on health prevention and promotion for the adolescent to the aging woman. However, writing is a God given gift that He told me to use. When I sit down to write, something magical happens. When the content is read to others, their lives are changed and touched. There is power in writing. If I can change the lives of several women through writing, then my purpose has been fulfilled!

4. Who should read your book and why?

I believe that every woman should read my book because each of us is journeying through life. We each have experienced ups and downs in some sort of way. Every woman needs to know that she can survive the bad times of life, she needs to heal from her past, she needs to know her purpose, and she needs to find true love. Any woman who reads this book will find that there are areas of her life where she still experiences droughts (pain), areas that need to be watered and refreshed. This book will bring that refreshing water to her life.

5. What 4 questions must every woman ask herself?

1. What’s my purpose?
2. How do I get over my past?
3. How do I prepare for marriage?
4. How do I connect to my creator?

6. What does every woman need to know?

Every woman needs to know that she is worth it. She’s enough. She’s a princess born to a King. No matter what she has gone through in her life, it’s time to close that past and move forward!

7. Can non-Christians read your book?

Most certainly, especially if they desire to take a spiritual journey. A lot of times people want to re-connect to their creator, but they don’t know how to do that. This book finds a way to help you do that, whether you are a Christian or not. It’s a spiritual based book. It’s not a “churchy” book, but it does stand on biblical principles. You see, so many times church based things don’t get to the heart of the matter. They just glance through superficial things. This book gets to the heart of the matter and gives you a real perspective. It shows you why certain choices can bring heart ache and pain and why making better choices will bring happiness into your life. The book was designed to touch the heart of every woman and who knows her heart more than the One who created her? Her creator is out to love her, not condemn her. Neither am I out to condemn her, but love her through writing, right where she needs it the most, her heart.

Life’s Journey: Woman to Woman is a journey where you and the author travel the paths of life to find healing and purpose. It’s a personal journey as you complete the exercises provided after each motivational chapter which is geared to inspiring and motivating you to walk into the future that was planned for you ever since you were a little girl. Sometimes, as we travel through life we encounter heartache, pain, roadblocks, and negative circumstances that deter us from the future that we were meant to have. However, if we confront those past issues so that we can learn and heal from them, we can begin rediscovering the powerful woman that we were created to be. That’s what this book does, it assists you to confront your past, close the chapter, and walk into the purposeful future that you were always destined for.

The books major concept is: in order to walk into your destined future, you must close your past first. I see it this way; I can’t help women have a better future if I don’t assist them in forgiving their past failures (whatever she thinks those are). With forgiveness and closing the past, then women can truly walk into the best future. Every woman has a past, it may not be the same past as another woman, but she has one and needs to heal from it. After she heals, she can then find her career purpose, forgiveness, true love, and be better in all of her relationships. These principles are what my book is based on.

Excerpt:

~Process of Forgiveness~

1. Remove the belief that you have the right to get even with the people who have hurt you.
2. Re-examine your life. Look at your past circumstances and analyze the details. What are possible reasons for the person’s actions or remarks? Were they treated the same way in their past? Are they repeating a cycle? Do they realize that what they did negatively affected you? See the bigger picture.
3. Embrace the belief that forgiveness heals you, not your forgiver. Forgiveness is for YOU! Forgiveness breaks you free from feelings of resentment, discontent, hatred, bondage, and grief. Forgiveness removes the road blocks of your life.

~Letting Go of Past Pains Challenge~

I challenge you to begin your journey of forgiveness today! Ask God to begin to help you realize everyone that you need to forgive. Meditate on your life up to this point and remember those whom you haven’t forgiven. It’s not worth it to hold a grudge against them. In the long run you’re only hurting yourself. Un-forgiveness creates a heart full of heavy chains, resentment, and sadness. It creates road blocks that stop you from reaching your destiny. Think about this. The person you hate is living their life while you are stuck in the muck of your bitterness. They aren’t worried about you. They have moved on, but you haven’t. Let God take away your chains of hatred and bitterness through the process of forgiveness. Allow joy and peace to encompass you. Begin to live a life of freedom starting today.

Warning: the process of forgiveness is not easy! It’s painful in the beginning, but ends in everlasting joy.

Helpful tip: Do not focus on the pain during the process, but focus on the purpose of forgiveness.

Find the author:

Learn more about me at:
www.lifes-journey.org

Twitter: @Journey4women

Talk show:
www.blogtalkradio.com/lifesjourney

AIR LIVE every 2nd or 3rd Sunday of each month

Facebook:
www.facebook.com/lifesjourneywomantowoman

Email:  lifesjourney_w2w@yahoo.com

Purchase the book at:
www.amazon.com www.lifes-journey.org/bookstore.htm www.createspace.com/3572517 www.facebook.com/lifesjourneywomantowoman

Book Trailer link:   http://youtu.be/hoWRGYzbG48


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Synopsis:

Life can grab a hold of you like captivating strings of color. It is a lesson that four women will learn as they each travel down a journey filled with lies, betrayal, and shocking secrets.

Simone. Is immensely talented, yet everything she has ever known will be ripped apart. Her love will be tested. Her heart will call out for a strength that could only exist in moments like this, and her tears will carry her through the storm. Will she be able to give her heart to the love of her life while fighting to open her heart to a mother she has never known?

Naya. While facing her greatest loss, will she be able to find the key to strength, the will to continue on, and th e endurance to make it through one of the darkest moments in her life?

 Monà. Within her heart is a secret so deep that it could shake the very foundations of two lives. Will she be able to finally look into the eyes of a daughter she has only known from a distance?

Misty. Two paths are set before her; one could lead her back to the life of fame and prominence, which she so desperately wants; and the other could give her the love she so desperately needs. Will she choose the path that is best for her future, or for her heart?

Excerpt:

“Dear life, he knew that I wouldn’t have thirty more years of him. But tonight even as I lay here with tears soaking the floor, I would give thirty seconds just to feel his touch again.” 

Thirty Seconds

Tonight I almost died…Naya thought to herself.

As she walked into her foyer, she dropped her purse, removed her shoes, and slowly allowed her eyes to follow the curve of the stairway until they met up with the oil painting which hung in the center.

Wrapped in a thick walnut wood frame, painted in the soft hues of crisp blues, creams, and specks of red, were herself and Chris.

His chest stuck proudly out. His smile was as wide as the sunshine. His blue eyes sparkled with the color of the ocean. Arms wrapped around her waist.

Chris. She could feel her fingers reaching out to toward him.  She remembered that day. How good it felt to be his wife.

The tears began to run down her cheeks as the weight of the day caused her legs to surrender to the pull of the rich mahogany wood floor.

Trembling. Heart pounding.
I’ve got to catch my breath, she whispered to herself.

Ten seconds later, she began to scream. The walls responded. The chandelier shook as the realization of what had happened began to sink deep into the pit of her stomach.

Less than two hours ago…I was sitting in a worn out chair watching a spider crawl up the wall. I had listened to the splatter of raindrops beat against the dirty windows. I had been staring at the moon for hours. Staring at the walls and then counting the tiny cracks in the floor. There were three hundred and forty-two. Crying for what seemed like days.

My tired body was heavy, ragged and empty. The whiff of dirty mop water had consumed my lungs and I had often found myself dabbing frantically at the corners of my red and swollen eyes. The lights had been dimed and the curtains slightly drawn shut but I could still see him.

Every touch we shared had flashed in my mind, every smile and every kiss.  I could hear the machines.  As I sat there, I remember feeling like my heart had begun to mix with the slow and methodic beeping noises they made.  My mind had just about settled and my eyes had finally closed when I heard it.

The noise penetrated the entire room.

Louder and louder it got, like a banging in my head. I began to scream as I ran to him and wrapped my fingers around his bed rail.

“Chris!” I shouted.  My body was calling out for strength. Darn near begging for it.  For him, I would give everything, anything. I would reach down into bottomless wells just to find a speck of it.

“Find me strength; find the darkness that I am in,” I kept repeating over and over in my mind.  A teardrop fell upon his face.  The doors flew open. Three nurses came charging in.  One tried to pry my fingers from his bedside but I fought with all that I had to hold on.

I was like a mad woman. I kept thinking that if he could just feel my touch, it would give him the strength to fight.  “Please, ma’am,” she said to me. “You’ve got to let go so we can try to save him.”  I had watched her lips moving, but my mind had failed to register the reality of the situation I was in.

“Let go ma’am, we’re losing him!” The tone of her voice had finally broken through and I somehow began to find myself again.  I remember staring at her, and then back at him. I remember thinking to myself, “Did I hear her right?”  Dizziness hit me like the strike of a lightning bolt. My palms had begun to sweat.

“Ma’am,” she said again.

Finally—I blinked.

“Please save my husband,” I whispered.  “We’re trying ma’am, but you’ve got to let go.” The nurse had been forceful but kind.  My fingers let go but my heart was still with him as I was gently moved out of the way.  There was rapid movement, loud voices, and machines being brought in.  I stood against the wall clutching my shirt and watching his motionless body.

When the doors flew open again, the doctor rushed in.  I think she glanced my way for a moment. But now I can’t remember.  What I do remember is that there was no slow and methodic beeping noise from the machine penetrating deep into my ear lobes anymore. It had vanished as if it had somehow been carried off into the wind.

“Come back, come back.” I whispered.  I wanted to hear it again. I needed to hear it again. His blanket was pulled back; a nurse was cutting open his gown. I watched as the scissors grazed his skin. A chill came over me. 
Strong and forcefully tears began to streak down the sides of my face.  The doctor was yelling, or was that me? I think I remember the doctor’s voice.

“On my count of three, go!”

“Clear!”

“He’s still not responding.”

“Get the machine ready again!”

“It’s ready Doctor.”

“Clear!”

Still the machine was silent.

“Come back beeping noise. I won’t complain about you anymore. Please come back to me.”  I stared at the window as if it would open and the sound would return. There was nothing. Not one single beep!  Fear and anticipation filled the air as more nurses and doctors came rushing in.  The last thirty years of my life was slipping out through the crevices of my fingers.


Meet the Author:



Exciting Atlanta novelist, Marian L. Thomas, is gearing up for the release of her third Clean Fiction title, “Strings of Color” on April 2, 2012. Ms. Thomas’s “Strings of Color” probes the ever-intriguing themes of race, family strife, love, teen pregnancy, friendship and abuse. And yet, her tales which seem to pre-sage current tabloid headlines are spelled out in ways that suit delicate moral tastes. While Ms. Thomas is a dynamic story-teller with three romantic and dramatic novels to her credit, she distinguishes herself by refusing to lace her work with profanity and sexually-explicit themes. Her third installment in the ‘Jazzmyne’ series— “Strings of Color” is quickly filling up book club calendars and she is a prominent personality on nationwide motivational speaking circuits. Published in paperback by L.B. Publishing, “Strings of Color” will be sold at
Amazon.com, BarnesandNoble.com, Books-a-Million.com and will be available for the Amazon Kindle and Barnes and Noble Nook, electronic books. Avid readers can order this dramatic novel at bookstores, nationwide or through their local library.

Get to Know Marian:

1.) How long have you been a writer? Marian: I wrote my first book manuscript in high school. I also did some writing in the sports and news fields during college, but didn’t really put “writer” on my resume. Then, 2009 hit and Color Me Jazzmyne was released. Things began to change. A thought I once had in high school became a dream. The dream became a reality and that reality turned me into a writer.
2.) Did you always know you wanted to write? Marian: The concept of writing was always in the back of my head — lingering there patiently. The words “just get it done” were a phrase my old boss use to say to me whenever we discussed my finishing my book manuscript. It felt great to finally say, “It’s done.”

3.) What inspired you to write this specific storyline with Strings of Color? Marian: Readers, and the fact that I didn’t feel as if the main character had come full circle with her own inner feelings. Sometimes, when a relationship ends, people need and want a sense of “closure.” I suspect book characters are no different.

4.) I’ve always wanted to write my own Novel. For myself, and others with this dream, what is some advice you could give? Marian: Publish yourself first! Build a solid platform. Get your name out there via social networks, blogs and published articles. Then write your book.

 5.) Are the character names in your books important to you? Without giving too much away, is there a reason you made the characters’ names so closely related? Marian: They are extremely important and I love that question. When I read a character’s name, I like to think that the name given simply couldn’t be anything else. That it fits the character’s personality so well, that to change it—would be changing the character. My character names display the depth of the connection within the family. When it comes to family, I think we sometimes forget how connected we really are to each other.
6.) Tell us about your writing environment. Do you need it to be really quiet, or do you have to have background noise? Are there any specific foods or drinks you need available? Marian: No background noise. At least that’s what I keep reminding my hubby when I’m writing. It’s hard for me to stay focused, and any little thing tends to throw me off my writing game. Did I mention that I like popcorn?

7.) When you’re not writing, what are some other hobbies, or things you like to do? Marian: I love to draw and paint. One day, I would like to open a gallery that combines art by me and books by me. Is that too much…me? Maybe. Then again, maybe not.

Web-links:
Face-Book:
http://www.facebook.com/MLT.ColorMeJazzmyne

Twitter:
http://twitter.com/MarianLThomas01

Author Site:
http://www.marianlthomas.com

Blog:
http://www.thewritersinkspot.blogspot.com

Purchase Link: Amazon.com: 
http://tinyurl.com/purchansestringsofcolor

Book Trailer: Link:
http://youtu.be/8ZuWqlo3bac


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Synopsis:

A woman spends her entire life planning the details of her wedding day, and the minute she believes she’s met Mr. Right, she starts planning their wedding, imagining what features their children will inherit, and decorating and designing their first home – all on the first date, before dessert is even served. After spending almost a lifetime planning her princess fairytale, though, what will this woman feel like when she learns she may never marry? Does a bride need a groom in order to be a bride?

Talia Sands, who is very ready for marriage, is left broken-hearted after five years by a man who she learns is having an affair with the neighborhood trick. This becomes a turning point for Talia, as she decides not to allow a no-good man to destroy her dreams of marriage. After she has an epiphany about the root of marriage, which is love, Talia decides to marry herself as a symbol of self-commitment and self-love. Today, I Marry My Best Friend: Myselftells the story of how a woman can stop tirelessly and painfully waiting for a man to ask for her hand in marriage, instead following Talia’s lead by getting her middle finger sized, purchasing her own wedding ring, and marrying herself.

Excerpt:

Now she was ready for marriage, but her current boyfriend didn’t seem to have the word in his vocabulary. And this time, she didn’t have anyone waiting in line to be next. He seemed to be the last of the Mohicans. Just because a woman doesn’t have any other male options, does she have to settle?

Talia had been dating Abel for five years. When was he going to propose? She was still the same person that all the other men seemed to love. She was still the same woman that they all wanted to marry. There wasn’t anything that she hadn’t done with or for him. Although she’d always planned for her career to come first, she learned there was more to life. She wanted to come home every night to someone who promised to love her always. She was tired of having an empty bed unless Abel wanted to come over for a pitiful quickie. She wanted more from life. She knew her plan to become partner at her firm was taking a little longer than expected, but she knew it would eventually happen. But this marriage thing…not so much.

Wherever she turned, marriage seemed to be the topic of discussion. Either something related to weddings or marriage always surrounded her. Was this some kind of sign for her? She decided to confront Abel one more time about marriage. What did she really have to lose? Lately, she wasn’t sure why she was still in the relationship. She waited for Abel to come over to her house. She didn’t want to have the conversation on the phone; if she did, he’d just pretend to have something else to do and get off the line. Before Abel could even come in the door good enough, she started her “wedding” interview questions again.

Do you ever plan on getting married?” Talia thought maybe she’d start with trying to create the big picture. Maybe he wanted to get married one day – just not to her.

“Not again, Talia. Where’s all of this coming from?” He thought he was just coming over for his usual Friday night home cooked meal. He could tell it was going to be a long night.

“I was just thinking. I have the right to ask after five years. Well, what do you have to say?” Talia was tired of validating why she needed to know his position on marriage. She believed he needed to be honest.

“I don’t know. I’ve never seen myself as the marrying type.” Maybe if he just stayed in-between “Yes” and “No,” he’d be safe…at least until he could get some of Talia’s cooking. He could smell her baked-from-scratch cheddar and garlic biscuits coming from the kitchen.

“When will you know? I don’t believe it takes a man five years to learn if he’s going to marry a woman or not.” Talia could see him looking past her to the kitchen. Was this louse more interested in dinner than in her?

“Some men take longer than others. You can’t rush a major decision like this. If I marry a woman, I want it to be forever. I’ll know when or if the time is right.” Abel was hungry and becoming more and more aggravated by her questioning. He wasn’t prepared for all of this, and he wouldn’t have bothered to come over if he knew this was to be expected. He would have just gotten Ruby Tuesday’s curbside-to-go and went over to his side chick’s house, La La. La La didn’t want to be married; all she wanted was to get turned out with no strings attached.

“You never had any intention of ever marrying me. I think I already knew that; I just had to confirm it. I can’t believe you’ve been stringing me along for all these years. If you knew I was serious about marriage and you weren’t, you should have stopped dating me. Why did you continue to date me? What did I ever do to you?” It took everything in Talia not to let Abel see her cry. She was too strong for that. He didn’t even seem sincere in his responses to her questions. He was acting nonchalant. Maybe if she wasn’t so smart, she’d fall for his bottomless answers. Talia had wasted five years with Abel, but she decided that she wouldn’t waste anymore. She knew she shouldn’t be waiting on any man; he should be waiting on her.

“Whatever, Talia. Let me get out of here. Call me when you stop tripping. I understand you must be fired up from seeing one of your little WE or Lifetime TV shows.” Abel was over it, and he knew to jet before she got any more heated. For a minute, he thought he should ask for a plate to go. What else was she going to do with all that food? She could at least hook her man up with a biscuit. But the look on her face told him not to say another word. He picked up his overnight bag and started to leave.

“Tell La La I said she can have you.”
Shampriest Bevel, simply known as Sham, is a poet, writer and educator from Bronx, New York. Since the age of seven, she has used poetry to confront obstacles and relinquish emotions. While attending Norfolk State University, she joined Epsilon Theta Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority because she wanted to be a part of a powerful and purposeful sisterhood. She graduated from NSU with a Bachelor’s in Biology. In 2005, she self-published, Therapy for the Soul’s Pain, to share her collection of therapeutic poetry. Commentary from the Writer’s Digest 14th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards described her poetry as “lyrical and smooth, similar to Nikki Giovanni” and “Langston Hughes Blues Era”. Her exposure to the lighter side of publishing inspired her to challenge herself to write a fiction novel.

She was awarded with the Honorable Mention Award for poetry at the 2011 Hampton Roads Writers’ Conference. After attending Christopher Newport University’s Writer’s annual conference and becoming an avid reader of Mary B. Morrison, she decided to begin her soon-to-be released fiction novel. The book, Today I Marry My Best Frien: Myselfsummarizes both the hopeless quest of women waiting to receive a proposal of marriage and their journey to commit to themselves.

Get to know Shampriest:

1. Why did you choose to write women’s fiction?
I wanted to write stories and develop characters who I could not only relate to but also live through. It was important for me to speak to an audience who could handle my voice. Writing women’s fiction is natural for me because I love girl talk with purpose.

2. Do you work with an outline, or just write?
I’ve always wanted to try to write with an outline but that just doesn’t work for me. One day I’ll just get a feeling and I’ll start writing. I don’t know what I’m about to write, but my hands just get to moving. Most of the time, I shock myself about what I’ve written. I never know what direction my characters are going to take. I never know what the next chapter will introduce. The only thing I know is when it feels like I’m coming close to the end of the book.

3. Are there certain characters you would like to go back to, or is there a theme or idea you’d love to work with?

I plan on going back to a few of the characters from Today I Marry My Best Friend: Myself. One of the characters, Jazmine Lilly is already scripted as a main character in another women’s fiction novel. As far as themes, I feel comfortable telling the stories of single women in today’s world.

4. What was the hardest part to write in the book(s)?

The hardest part to write in the book is the ending. When I end a book, I have to say good-bye to a story which has been part of my life for years. Since I write every day, writing becomes a part of my daily routine. It feels like something is missing when I finish a book.

5. What advice do you have for someone who would like to become a published writer?

The best advice I can give is do your research, network with fellow authors and never give up. You may get hundreds of rejections but don’t stop submitting your manuscript. Rejections just mean that your project is not right for that particular agent or publisher. When the time is right, it will happen. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.

6. When did you realize you had a passion for writing?
When I wrote my first poem I knew writing would be my friend for life. As a shy child, I didn’t know how to express what I was feeling. Writing allowed me to say whatever and be whoever. I started keeping a journal of poems at the age of 7. Up until this day, I still write poetry to walk me through some hard times.

7. What do you want your legacy as a writer to be?
I want my legacy to be that I cared about what I had to offer to not only my life but the lives of others. I want people to connect to my work and understand my characters. As I continue to write about the struggles and challenges of women, I want people to know that women should be valued, respected, and honored.

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Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet
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