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Please join me in welcoming the award-winning contemporary romance author, Melinda Curtis to Conversations today! Melinda is here to talk about her new Hollywood Rules novella, Breaking the Rules. So be sure and check out the cover, blurb and excerpt below!
Plus, Melinda has a special gift just for you! Download a FREE copy of Amber Rules from Melinda’s web site October 15-21, 2014 HERE. Three books are currently out in the series.
Lisa ~ __________________________________________
BREAKING THE RULES
To say Jack and Vivian Gordon’s marriage has been rocky would be an understatement. The Gordons have been on a roller coaster of love and lust, but can’t seem to get on the same page at the same time. This power couple needs a time-out to find their happily ever after. And life coach to Hollywood’s rich and powerful, Cora Rule, has just the solution – have the couple sign their divorce papers in a safe room…and lock them inside.
Vivian Gordon had a problem. A six-foot-two-inch hunk of a problem. Sex with Jack hadn’t solved the problem. Marrying him hadn’t solved the problem. Leaving him hadn’t solved the problem. The problem was that Viv loved her husband, but Jack didn’t love her. It wasn’t as if Jack was incapable of love, as some of Hollywood moguls seemed to be. No, Jack had passion aplenty, but it was for the NBA team he owned, the L.A. Flash, not for a woman. Not for Viv. Viv watched Jack swim his daily laps with strong, commanding strokes. Heaven forbid Jack didn’t get his laps in. If he didn’t, he was the biggest shit. Her Gianvito Rossi black suede lace up heels clicked slowly across the white marble tile as she approached the patio doors in the house they’d once shared. Her cadence was one of a doomed prisoner being shown the open door of the gas chamber. This is the end. And she’d chosen the execution date.
Melinda Curtis is an award winning, USA Today recommended, Amazon best selling author. She writes independently published, steamy Hollywood Rules series as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.” Melinda also writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line. Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”.
Please welcome contemporary romance author M. Skye
to Conversations today. She's here to talk about her new novel, Mixing Business and Pleasure. So, check out the cover and blurb below.And don't forget to check out her interview too, and get to know M. Skye!
Lisa ~ _____________________________________________
Mixing Business and Pleasure
After his past bad relationship, twenty-nine-year-old, newly promoted, record label CEO Jackson Whitmore vows never to love again. With his best friend and vice president, Eric, at his side, Jackson's main focus is the business, until a beautiful woman, Milan Wells, waltzes into his life and is introduced as the new president. While Jackson wants to object to the decision, it becomes difficult when Milan brings forth bold and fresh ideas, catching both his and Eric's attention; for different reasons.
Tensions soon arise when Milan and Eric's competitive natures collide forcing Jackson to intervene causing a rift between the once inseparable duo. With rumors of Milan's abusive relationship surfacing and Eric spiraling out of control, Jackson finds himself stepping up to protect Milan and entering an intense physical relationship. While Jackson and Milan are slowly falling for one another, Eric's jealousy erupts into a vicious quest for revenge that plunges the lovers into danger they never imagined.
How long have you been writing, and how did you start?
I’ve been writing since middle school, mostly poems and short stories. I only recently started to dabble in full length novels. I love to read, so I was sitting reading a book from one of my favorite authors, and I thought, hey, I can do this. Two months later, I had Circle of Deception, my first novel, and I’ve been writing ever since.
What’s the story behind the title of your book?
The title lets you know that there is going to be some king of sexual tension in the work place. What you don’t count on is the backstabbing and mudslinging reguarding the two best friends.
Do you have another job outside of writing?
I have a full time job working in the medical field. I work 40 hours a week and still average to dedicate about 20 hours a week to my writing.
How did you create the plot for this book?
The plot for the book is completely fictional, while some of the relationships mirror those of people I know personally. For instance, the relationships and bonds between the siblings are like those between my siblings. (We meddle in each other’s lives as well.) Also, the relationship of Angela and Jackson somewhat mirrors mine with my guy best friend.
Which character did you most enjoy writing?
I loved all of the sisters, Rhea, Madison, and Noel. They are all so fun, carefree, and comfortable in their skin. They love their little brother with all their hearts, but give him a hard time in an attempt to make him face his true feelings. They also have so many hilarious moments when speaking to Jackson
Tell us about your favorite scene in the book.
Hands down the lines where Jackson is angry with Milan because he thinks she is sleeping with another man. You get to see his jealous side and her stubbornness. At that point, you get to see exactly how deep his feelings run for her and vice versa. It’s great because you take this once reserved man and get to see what intensity the right woman can bring out of him. “You don’t get to walk away from me like that, not until you explain it to me first. I want to know how you can be in my bed one night and in his face the next. I’m a very understanding man, but this is where my patience wears thin. I told you I didn’t want to share, and I meant it.”
What song would you pick to go with your book?
I’m a huge R&B fan, so I would have to say ANYTHING by Babyface or Toni Braxton. I have a playlist I use when I’m writing.
This is the sophomore novel for author M. Skye. In her novels, she likes to evoke strong dramatic story lines, with strong romantic content. She loves to throw twists and curve balls you won’t see coming into her stories, with racy encounters at every turn. This is the second published work, but won’t be the last from this imaginative writer. She spends her free time writing and spending time with her large family. Connect with M. Skye: Twitter: @IamMSkye Email: email@example.com
Please join me in welcoming the award-winning contemporary romance author, Melinda Curtis to Conversations today! Melinda is here to talk about her sweet romance, The Christmas Promise, part of the fourteen author, Sweet Christmas Kisses collection.So be sure and check out the cover and blurb below! And be sure and check out her story behind the story of The Christmas Promise too!
Plus, Melinda has a special gift just for you, a FREE digital copy of her sweet, fun novella set within the Hollywood Rules world. All you have to do is sign up for Melinda’s book release email newsletter HERE.
This holiday season, warm your heart with 14 Sweet Christmas Kisses, a bundle of PG-rated romance novels and novellas from USA Today, national bestselling, and award-winning authors.
Sweet Christmas Kisses takes you from small-town USA to England, Scotland, and even Ecuador; from the beach to snow-capped mountains, and to the wild--sometimes magical--west. The Sweet Christmas Kisses bundle will bring you laughter, tears, and always joy, for more than 1600 pages.
The Christmas Promise
When a chocolate heiress bumps into a wounded warrior during Christmas, chaos ensues thanks in part to three fairy godmothers...er, a trio of meddlesome nuns.
Join the authors of Sweet Christmas Kisses for a Facebook release party with prizes, freebies, and fun on 9/30. Guest authors include RaeAnn Thayne, Brenda Novak, and Jayne Ann Krentz. Join the party at: https://www.facebook.com/SweetRomanceReads
The Story Behind the Story of The Christmas Promise by Melinda Curtis
In June, I was asked to participate in a holiday anthology with 13 other sweet romance writers. Last year, I would have jumped up and down for joy. This year, I have 6 writing projects on the table and had deadlines that couldn’t be adjusted. Call me Crazy…I agreed. Only one problem besides squeezing it in the schedule: I needed an idea.
At the time, my friend, Kim, was in Ecuador researching a new cocoa product (translation: she wanted to create a new chocolate snack organically). Kim was in a very remote part of Ecuador and her weekly updates to friends fascinated me. All the things we take for granted – a bug-free home, air conditioning, internet – she didn’t have any of that. One week, she reported the humongous size of bugs that landed on her, a snake sighting, and a trip from the cocoa fields uphill in the rain with a flat tire on her wheelbarrow. For a romantic comedy writer, it was nirvana! A fish out of water story was born! Add a wounded warrior, three matchmaking nuns, and I had myself a story. It turned out kind of like a cross between Runaway Bride and Romancing the Stone.
Here’s part of the opening scene with my socialite heroine: It was raining. Again. Tiffany Bonander tried humming a few bars of White Christmas. It was, after all, December 23. Cheer was called for. But the incessant beat of fat raindrops on the tangled foliage of the Ecuadorian rainforest and on her pink rain slicker, drowned out her cheer. Or maybe she was just drowning under the pressure of heavy responsibilities. Ankle-deep water rushed down the steep, muddy road toward Tiff and her precious cargo–thirty pounds of cocoa beans. She couldn’t lose the beans. They were the answer to all her troubles. Thunder boomed. And boomed again. The downpour increased to a deluge. Tightening her grip on the wheelbarrow handles, Tiff tried to find purchase with her rain boots, tried to make it to the next rise before the road turned into a river. Tried…and failed. Somewhere above her the river had risen high enough to crest a bank. Water surged toward her. Tiff’s father claimed they’d abandoned this cocoa plantation years ago for drainage reasons. He should have used the F-word: flood. Tiff stumbled to her knees, and water rushed into her boots–cute, pink-flowered plastic ones which quickly filled with water and felt as heavy as cement shoes. If not for her grip on the wheelbarrow, she might have been swept downhill. Just last week, she’d heard about a woman who’d been carried away by the cresting river and smashed into a tree. Smashed as in: to pieces. Dead. That would be worse than being broke and the laughing-stock of the civilized world.
Melinda Curtis writes the Harmony Valley series of sweet and emotional romances for the Harlequin Heartwarming line (book 4 coming 3/2015). Brenda Novak says: “Season of Change has found a place on my keeper shelf”. Melinda also writes independently published, hotter romances as Mel Curtis. Jayne Ann Krentz says of Blue Rules: “Sharp, sassy, modern version of a screwball comedy from Hollywood's Golden Age except a lot hotter.”
This was karma, plain and simple. She shouldn’t have jilted Chad at their engagement party or left Malcolm at the altar.
Please welcome inspirational author Meiah Shaun
to Conversations today. Meiah is here to talk about her new book, Marvelous Are Thy Works. So, check out the cover, blurb and excerpt below! And don't forget to check out her interview too, and get to know Meiah.
Lisa ~ _____________________________________________
Marvelous Are Thy Works
Fatima Williams is the owner of All Natural Hair Salon in Washington, D.C. Her best friend Lauryn and her cousin Sheba are her business partners. Fatima had an epiphany. She desires to empower black women by motivational speaking and traveling across the country.
As Fatima moves further into her destiny, her inner circle has dwindled. Frustrated that she is an eternal girlfriend, her boyfriend Ephraim of five years is too busy climbing the corporate ladder. To make matters worse, Lauryn and Sheba will not commit to the cause. The best season of her life is turning into a lonely one.
Marvelous Are Thy Works is an inspirational story about natural hair empowerment, self love and relationships.
“Ladies, I want to hold a quick meeting,” Fatima said, calling for their attention. “We need to discuss the future plans for the salon.” Lauryn and Sheba sat across from her in the waiting area. “I want to build our brand and take things to the next level.” Sheba and Lauryn gawked at each other, then looked back at Fatima. “Go on. Tell us more,” Lauryn responded. “I’ve been planning a speaking tour to educate black women across the country about natural hair care. I want to educate on the transitional stage to wearing natural hair.” Fatima opened her binder, reached over Sheba, and handed the presentation to Lauryn. “Sounds interesting,” said Lauryn. She elbowed Sheba, who bit down on her lip without uttering a word. Fatima beamed. “Lauryn, open the business plan!” she urged. Then Fatima stood to her feet and started pacing before them with conviction in her eyes. “Black women need to be enlightened about the benefits of natural hair. Right, y’all? We were just talking about this a little while ago.”
Interview with Meiah Shaun
What was your inspiration for writing Marvelous Are Thy Works?
I am passionate about the natural hair movement. I love empowering black women to accept and wear their natural hair. Have you had any experiences or life events that are related to your book? Yes, I decided in 2007 to stop chemically relaxing my hair. I discovered during my journey that my natural hair is very beautiful. I embraced my 4b/4c hair texture with all of it kinks and coils. I received compliments from people of all races on my natural hair when I wore an afro, braids and two strand twists. I currently wear Sisterlocks. Black men constantly shower me with compliments on my Sisterlocks. Wearing my natural hair renewed my self esteem and gave me more confidence as a black woman. There is nothing to fear about going natural. Can you identify with the protagonist in your book? I identify with my protagonist, Fatima Williams, in that black natural hair is unique and beautiful. It is God’s perfect craftsmanship and black women should be enlightened about the benefits of wearing their natural hair. What author(s) have inspired you as a writer? For Marvelous Are Thy Works, authors Lori Tharps and Ayana Byrd were inspirations to me. They wrote the book titled: Hair Story, Untangling the Roots of Black Hair in America. Their book inspired me to go natural when I was seeking answers for my hair loss, breakage and low self esteem. Also, author and innovator Dr. JoAnne Cornwell is an inspiration to me as I proudly wear Sisterlocks. Dr. Cornwell’s book titled: That Hair Thing is a must read for black women to educate themselves about natural hair and sisterlocks. How has your faith influence you as an inspirational author? Writing is spiritual to me as I pray before I sit down to write. I ask God for direction and for him to use me as a vessel to bless and inspire others. How have you developed as an author? I write and journal regularly. I work on multiple projects such as articles, devotionals and on my second manuscript. I believe that working on several projects can prevent writer’s block. How did you come up with the title of your book?
The title is taken from Psalms 139:14 (KJV). It’s one of my favorite bible verses for self love and self esteem. God makes us for a purpose and we are perfect in his image. What type of environment do you prefer to write?
I like to write at home. Sometimes I prefer quietness and other times I put on my headphones and listen to jazz music and write. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?
I want to go to London. It is one of the top cities in the world for vegetarians. I am no longer a vegetarian but I still desire to sample London’s vegetarian cuisine along with some fish and chips.
Meiah Shaun is an inspirational author and freelance writer. She is a graduate of LeTourneau University. She is a native of Orange, Texas and currently resides in Plano, Texas. She started writing poetry at age eight.
Meiah Shaun is the author of Marvelous Are Thy Works, a Novella (VC Publishing, 2014). Meiah Shaun has a special interest in empowering African American women to self love and to embrace their natural hair. She and her twin sister rock Sisterlocks. Her fraternal twin sister is thirteen minutes older than her.
Meiah Shaun is featured on Ezinearticles.com as a platinum level author penning articles on numerous topics such as inspirational, spirituality, goal setting to shopping and product reviews.
Please welcome AAMBookclub author Janet Autherine
to Conversations today. Janet is here to talk about her new book, Growing into Greatness with God. So, check out the cover and blurb below! And don't forget to check out her interview too, and get to know Janet.
Lisa ~ _____________________________________________
Growing into Greatness with God: Seven Paths to Greatness for our Sons & Daughters
Every child is created in the image of God, and every child carries this amazing gift of greatness inside himself or herself. But children hear mixed messages on a daily basis—about life, about the world, and about themselves.
In Growing into Greatness with God: Seven Paths to Greatness for Our Sons and Daughters, author and mother of three boys Janet Autherine encourages kids to see themselves as unique and amazing—already blessed with what they need to succeed in life and achieve their dreams.
Readers learn how to grow in love, faith, courage, leadership, happiness, gratitude, and confidence through the inspiring stories of Bible heroes such as Abraham, Sarah, David, and Ruth. Each chapter includes a brief summary of two Bible stories, with reflections on each, and concludes with three action-oriented suggestions on how to put the lesson into practice. The book ends with a letter that will inspire and empower readers, and questions for study and self-reflection that can be used by parents and teachers to help their children continue on their journey to greatness.
Dreams are essential to life, and kids need to be inspired and encouraged to live life to the fullest. Growing into Greatness with God offers biblical examples of how people have nurtured what God has planted in them and teaches kids how to do the same in their own lives.
What was the inspiration for your book, Growing into Greatness with God?
In the book, Growing into Greatness with God, the words of wisdom that accompany the stories are inspired by all the advice given to me by my mothers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins and all the “old souls” that entered my early years. I grew up in a house where family, faith, good food and hard work were celebrated. A two bedroom house was home to three generations. It wasn’t unusual for an 11 year old to walk 1/2 mile to fetch water before school, walk home, get ready for school, walk at least 1/2 mile to school, be respectful and attentive, participate in field day, take the long walk home with friends (not forgetting to stop and say hello to all the neighbors), pick fruit or dig yams for dinner, complete homework assignments, and end the day by having dinner and fellowship with family. That was my daily life growing up in Jamaica. I didn’t fully appreciate it back then, but I certainly do now. I want children to have confidence in the fact that they are unique, amazing, born with greatness and can overcome any obstacle.
What is your spiritual background?
I gained my confidence in a little church in St. Thomas, Jamaica, called the Hampton Court Seventh Day Adventist church. That church was the cornerstone of the community and it was where I learned and recited bible scriptures, sung gospel songs and recited poetry. It is where I made some of my best childhood friends, picked cherries from the best cherry tree in town and listened to the sermons that inspired me to keep God the center of my life. Love the Lord God with all your heart and your neighbor as yourself is my guiding principle in life. My family currently worships at a beautiful Episcopal church in Florida.
How does your new book, Growing into Greatness with God: 7 Paths to Greatness for our Sons & Daughters, relate to your spiritual journey?
The book, Growing into Greatness with God, was born from those early bible study groups in church. The stories of young David (the boy who defeated the Giant), Daniel (a man who stood without fear among lions), Solomon (the wise king) and Ruth (the loyal friend), as well as many others, all resonated with me. We were too poor to afford the latest toys and there was no television in our home, so these characters became my heroes. We were poor but it didn’t define our lives; we were rich in love, faith and community, and we had big dreams.
Your book is titled, Growing into Greatness with God. How do you define greatness?
We are all unique beings, so greatness will mean something different to each person. I think greatness is finding your natural talent, fueling it with passion, planting it in well nourished soil, and toiling in the garden until it breaks through the earth and reaches for the stars. You must then use everything that you have achieved to serve others. Service is the heart of greatness; for me, there is no greatness without service.
What do you think about the culture of bullying in our schools?
It breaks my heart that fear instead of love is consuming some of our children. I say fear because most bullies are acting based on their own fears and insecurities. They seek to feel better about themselves by hurting others. When children feel whole on the inside, there is no need fill that void in their spirit by hurting others. Unfortunately, we cannot always protect our children from mean-spiritedness, but we can empower them with the knowledge that they are unique, their thoughts and feelings are important, that God is with them even when they feel alone and they can overcome any obstacle. I hope that in some small way Growing into Greatness with God can help children shine a positive light on themselves.
How can parents use your book, Growing into Greatness with God, to inspire their children?
As a parent, I know how helpful it is to have a book that sparks discussion with your children. Each chapter of the book offers stories, practical advice that kids can relate to, and actionable wisdom. As an example, the chapter, Growing in Love, teaches kids not to focus on their outward appearance but the love and beauty in their hearts. Kids are encouraged to identify the things that they love and to follow their dreams. Parents can help their children with the “action” items in the book, such as – perform an act of kindness for a stranger, write 3 things that you love about yourself or establish a pen-pal relationship with a child in another country. The book ends with 24 questions kids and their parents can answer together, or teachers in a classroom setting or bible study group can moderate.
What challenges did you face as a student?
In 1982, I moved from Jamaica to Philadelphia to live with my mother and my brothers. I had to adjust to a new country, a new household and the typical middle school anxieties. I was a shy, introverted child and I struggled to find my voice; it didn’t help that my voice had a very strong Jamaican accent. For many years, I didn’t speak up as much as I needed to – I feared saying the wrong words and getting into trouble; I feared being teased because of my accent; I wasn’t familiar with the sound of my own voice. Fortunately, my upbringing gave me a quiet confidence; I was raised to believe that I was a good person, a good student and that I could achieve anything if I was willing to work hard. This is why I believe that we should empower kids with the confidence to believe in themselves and their strengths at a very early age so that they can face any challenge.
We are all on a journey to realize our dreams, what has been your path?
I went to Murrell Dobbins High School, a vocational high school and followed the business track. With my typing and short-hand skills, I was prepared to be the best administrative support staff member in Philadelphia. That was my plan B. College was not an option for me; it was a requirement. I always knew that I was going and when my older brother, Mark, encouraged me to attend Penn State University, I jumped at the chance to follow in his footsteps. I connected with the Caribbean Student’s Association, joined a vibrant church and happily settled into life in Happy Valley. It was there that I discovered that, at heart, I was a peacemaker. I ditched my Business major and chose Labor and Industrial Relations, a choice that would lead me to law school at Boston College- I discovered that I wanted to help people solve problems and a legal education enabled me to do so. Writing is allowing me to share my journey with others.
About 8 years into my legal career, I was blessed to be appointed as an Administrative Law Judge for the District of Columbia government. It was the dream job that allowed me to hear cases, issue decisions, and participate in mediating disputes. My voice was heard in the courtroom and in written decisions but in a quiet, substantive manner that would make any introvert happy. When you find that thing that you are passionate about, it frees you up to live a well-rounded life. I now spend my time raising my three boys, writing and reading inspirational books, practicing law, participating in religious and community life and running as often as I can.
Growing into Greatness with God focuses on empowering children; what lasting message do you want to leave with children and parents who read this book?
Growing into Greatness with God is about finding the unique talent that God has blessed you with, nourishing that skill and using it to be of service. My journey began in a small town in Jamaica and is being realized in the United States. It started with the wonderful bible stories that allowed me to believe that with God everything is possible. It began with the principles of faith, family, hard-work, community and bonding over good, healthy food. I hope that the book reflects those principles and that everything that I have learned on my journey, thus far, can help a child realize that he or she was born with greatness. I love to spread that message so when my schedule permits, I gladly speak to children’s organizations, non-profit organizations, and the children’s ministry at churches at no cost. Please do not hesitate to contact me. I would like every child to know that regardless of your circumstances, you can become all that God has ordained for your life.
Autherine was born in St. Thomas, Jamaica, and immigrated to the United States when she was twelve. She grew up in Philadelphia and she went on to study at the Pennsylvania State University and Boston College Law School. After launching her law career, she was eventually drawn back to the sunshine, and she now lives in Florida with her husband and their three sons.
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