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Lawyer | Romantic Suspense Author | Speaker | TV Junkie | Foodie | Sweet Wine Addict | Savvy Shopper You can visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go, which is set in Baltimore. You can also connect with me online @ thewritepen (Twitter and Facebook). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Interview with Sherman Mathis, Author of Ways to Stay on Track of a Healthy Lifestyle

Author’s Bio: Sherman Mathis is a Certified Personal Trainer, Competition Prep Coach, and Nutritionist.  He is a strength, conditioning, and holistic coach as well.  Sherman is a successful National Gym Association, International Fitness Professional Association Pro Body Builder, and a United States Powerlifting Association national record-breaking powerlifter.  He is also a book author and motivational speaker. He enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with loved ones. Sherman’s goal is to help people all over the world achieve longevity by taking steps to live a healthy lifestyle. His belief is that once you set your mind on a goal, visualize the end result, your results are soon to follow. 

What inspired you to write your book?
SM: I guess I can say my inspiration for writing this book came from all the people coming to me needing advice and plans on how to live a healthier lifestyle. I never thought in a million years that the information that I give could and would be in book format.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
SM: Letters to a Young Brother: Manifest Your Destiny by Hill Harper.

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
SM: Yes.  It took me about a month to get the book flowing the way I needed it to.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
SM: I wrote the book with an outline.  I tried to keep it as simple as possible. 

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
SM: No, I don’t need music. I like to just let my thoughts marinate lol

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
SM: Marketing, having a good following, being personable, and serving people…I believe in giving before receiving.  That being said, most of the information in my book is information that I give freely on a daily basis.  My goal is to share this information globally and have a major impact on my community.

What advice would you give to new authors?
SM: My advice to new authors is to be diligent, persistent, never give up, and listen to your conscience.  Also, be open and willing to expand your talents and visions through other people.

How about sharing an excerpt from Ways to Stay on Track of a Healthy Lifestyle?
SM: One оf the powerful wауѕ to еnѕurе уоur success іѕ tо vіѕuаlіzе a dау in уоur lіfе whеn уоu hаvе аttаіnеd уоur goal. Imаgіnе yourself on a dау ѕоmеtіmе in the near future whеn you аrе hеаlthіеr and hарріеr bесаuѕе you hаvе сhаngеd your lіfеѕtуlе. Imаgіnе thаt уоu have rеасhеd уоur іdеаl weight, or уоu аrе no lоngеr аѕhаmеd оf уоur bоdу, оr уоu hаvе rеасhеd уоur desired lеvеl оf ѕtrеngth, еnеrgу, and еndurаnсе. Gеt a сlеаr рісturе in уоur mіnd оf уоurѕеlf going аbоut уоur nеw dаіlу rоutіnе. Imagine іt аѕ if іt was hарреnіng rіght аt this mоmеnt. Check іn wіth уоur ѕеnѕеѕ. Hоw does it fееl? How dоеѕ іt smell? Hоw dоеѕ іt lооk аnd ѕоund? Enjоу thе еxреrіеnсе оf a hеаlthіеr lіfеѕtуlе - оf ѕuссеѕѕ. Wаѕ іt wоrth thе соmmіtmеnt уоu mаdе tо уоurѕеlf? Arе уоu happy? Thаt'ѕ what іt'ѕ аll аbоut, isn't іt?

What’s next for you?
SM: I will be writing another book in the next month.  It’s going to be a step by step guide on how to become healthier.  I plan on doing public speaking, and mentoring to the younger generation. 

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
o   Here is the link to my bookhttps://www.createspace.com/7517178

It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.




Sunday, October 1, 2017

A Review of Dying for Revenge by Eric Jerome Dickey

EJD has delivered yet again in the third installment of the Gideon series. This time there’s hit out on Gideon by an adversary who will stop at nothing to see him dead. But it will take more than paying top dollar to vicious hit men and an equally vicious “woman hunter” to finish him off.

In this installment, Gideon is faced with protecting his family: a woman who birthed him but gave him up and now a young who may or may not be his mother’s son while working as a hired killer. In the midst of this, he is lured to a job in Antiqua and it wasn’t until he landed that he got a message from Konstantin, his handler, that it was a setup. He had no weapons except Hawks (a female assassin and his lover) and quick thinking.

Together, they created weapons out of empty soda cans, a pen, liquor bought at the airport, along with their varied martial arts skills. The fight scenes were like watching an action movie where I cheered for Gideon when he landed a few blows and winced when he was knocked down. However, he and Hawks survived until the final battle where the hunter became the hunted and the stars are realigned.

This was a page turner (460 pages) full of great descriptions, great dialogue, great fight scenes, and very interesting and well-developed characters. Also, loved that I had to pull out my dictionary a few times – always learning a few new words from EJD…priceless.

Overall, this is a must read!

Some of my favorite lines:

            If it wasn’t for the problem I had in Detroit, I’d still have my homes in Seattle, in Stone Mountain, and on the outskirts of Los Angeles. She’d tracked me down, forced me into a state of homelessness.

She was the type of woman that a man couldn’t make deals with. She didn’t have enough sense to understand when she should be terrified. She didn’t know she should be pissing where she stood, that piss running down her legs into her high heels. She was a churchgoing Bible thumper who killed her own husband, the father of her children, had done that using her husband’s money and my hands.

She was a bloodthirsty psychopath who believed she was righteous.

Nobody stopped her from getting what she wanted.

And she was dying for my death. Dying for revenge.

Rating: 5 stars



Monday, September 25, 2017

Interview with Kimberly Posey Latimore, author of Three Ways to Love

Author’s Bio:  Throughout Kimberly’s childhood, she was considered quiet and shy.  But somehow her mouth always seemed to get her into trouble, especially with her parents.  So, she decided to put those thoughts on paper. Nothing ever came out of it until later in life.  Now, here we are at another chapter in her life. Through the inspiration of a college professor, she pursued her studies in English and later graduated from the University of Central Oklahoma with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature. One of Kimberly’s favorite things other than spending time with her family and friends or writing fiction is her love for travel. She has traveled through many different states which have allowed her to concentrate on her real passion, WRITING. 


DL: What inspired you to write your book?
KPL:  My book stemmed from personal issues in my life.  My inspiration was my two high school girlfriends.  A sisterhood plays an important part in the lives of women of all ages.  The women we surround ourselves with influences and impact our lives so much.  Having a sisterhood gives women a good support system.  Through my own experiences of having a sisterhood, I’ve learned that they will always have my back and making memories with them is enjoyable.  They inspire and cheer you on through life’s journey.

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
KPL:  I’ve read many books growing up, but it wasn’t until I read Kimberla Lawson Roby’s Curtis Black’s series that had me on the hunt to reading more books.  I especially fell in love with Reshonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray. 

DL: Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
KPL:  Yes, this is my first book.  It took me a little over a year to write it, but it is still in the printing stages.  It should be released soon and I’m excited and nervous at the same time. 

DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
KPL:  Although I hate outlines, I did use one.  I found out the hard way that they keep me on track with my writing.  Sometimes my characters or the story go a whole different way than I’d planned.

DL: Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
KPL:  No, I do not listen to music when I write.  I write my best when I’m outside in nature listening to the birds singing or the outside noises.

DL: What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
KPL:  Since writing this book, I have found that marketing is a very important tool to get your book out to the public.  I have set up an author’s page on social media.  This is my first book, so I’m trying to get it in everyone’s hands.  I plan on having a book launch party as soon as the book is released.

DL: What advice would you give to new authors?
KPL:  Well, since I’m a new author I would have to say make sure you do your homework. Research, research, research! And most importantly, write every day.

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from Three Ways To Love:

Kendall jumped out of the car and then tossed the keys to Sasha.  The heels of her brand-new ivory Jimmy Choo sandals clicked on the pavement as she rushed through the automatic doors that lead to the escalators. “Kendall, wait, I’m coming!” Sasha yelled. She pulled the visor down and then looked in the mirror to check her lipstick. It was fuchsia, her favorite color.  Her short brown hair made her sassy.  It was cropped close on the sides and back with longer bangs in the front that had blonde highlights.  Sasha closed the mirror shut and jumped out of the car and then hit the lock button on the key fob.  “Kendall, wait, I’m coming!” Sasha yelled again.  She was out of breath by the time she caught up with Kendall. “Phew! Girl, why are you in such a hurry? Rachel’s plane is probably late anyway.” Sasha pointed at her watch.  “No, it’s on time. She sent me a text,” Kendall snapped as she waved her cell phone in the air.

DL: What’s next for you?
KPL:  I’m currently working on another book while I wait for Three Ways To Love is released.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book?

·         Website:  www.kimlatimore.com
·         Email:  kimlatimore@cox.net
·         Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/kimberlyposey.latimore/

It’s been a pleasure having you here with us today. I know my readers will enjoy getting to know you and your work.




            

Monday, September 11, 2017

Interview with Dominique Fortune, Author of You Can!

Author’s Bio: Dominique is a self-help book author, poet, and blogger from Newtown, Virginia. She enjoys spending time with loved ones, traveling, and reading.  Her goal is to enlighten, comfort, and motivate individuals all over the world to pursue their dreams in order to live a life of maximum value.   She focuses on providing awareness on life traps and a perspective on how to conquer them.   To get to know her more and follow her motivational quotes, connect with her on social media.   “We are given everything we need to fulfill our purpose, so why not pursue it?  When we operate outside of our purpose, we cheat ourselves and the difference we are to make in the lives of others.”

DL: What inspired you to write your book?

DF: You Can is my first book.  One day I was feeling very emotional and down.  All I could think about was all the things going wrong in my life.  They were all things out of fear, I wasn’t able to talk about.  I was writing a poem about all of those feelings and what made me feel that way and it hit me that I had everything I needed to not only overcome what’s going wrong in my life but the fears that were holding me back from acting on them.  That’s when I knew I needed to write a book on overcoming fears.

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?

DF: I will have to say that Maya Angelou is the author that has greatly influenced me as a woman growing up.  My mind could be in 100 different places but hearing her voice or even reading a truth from her would pull me closer to who I am and give me peace. She was the best at what she did and she embraced that. I always looked up to her for that reason. 

DL: Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?

DF: You Can is my first book.  It took me about a month to fully write it.  I knew what I wanted to write but didn’t quite know how to organize it or even sit down to begin the process.  I was writing a section every day until it was finished.

DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?

DF: Once I figured out that I needed organization, I did my research and came across a successful blogger and book author, Stefan Pylarios.  I basically took his advice and used an outline as well as some important facts that I wanted to add as I went along.  Other than that I just wrote straight off the dome. Lol

DL: Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?

DF: I don’t listen to music while I write.  I do listen to it before and after I accomplish a chapter.  It hypes me up to write.  Afterwards, I like to do a celebration dance. Eeeyy.  I do have a theme song for the book.  It’s Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me.”  Just kidding.  I don’t have a theme song for this book.  However, one song I like to listen to that motivates me to keep pushing forward especially when I need motivation to turn my fear into fuel is the song “Closer” by Goapele. 

DL: What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?

DF: Believing in myself and taking action.  Remaining positive and true to myself knocks out any fear or doubt from getting the book out to the public.

DL: What advice would you give to new authors?

DF: Believe in yourself! Dismiss doubt and use your pain and fear as fuel to keep moving towards your goal.  Don’t be a perfectionist.  Only be true to who you are.  People will be more acceptable to your work when you are relatable and human. Also, research the 5-second rule because writers' block is a real thing!

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from You Can?

Courage needs to be a skill and a habit in your life in all things.  A skill is the ability to do something well.  A habit is a constant behavior pattern that is second nature.  That means you don’t even have to think about it.  You know what that means.  That means when that ole fear comes at you, you are prepared for it.  That means you don’t even have to think twice about it.  Your natural reflex is, I know you did-nt! Fear don’t live here!  Then the action kicks in and that fear ends up under your feet, ran over with your car and a new piece of your past.  I know that’s right.  You can do it.  It’s already done.  That’s how it’s going to be.  I see it now.  You should have seen me on Election Day.  There was a particular person I didn’t want to run into and I won’t say who because I don’t know all the people that are going to read this book. Haha. It’s not on a bad note at all guys.  This person was a person of my past.  Here comes that ole fear telling me what’s going to happen if I run into this person.  Guess what?  I drove past that place so fast.  Dropped it in 3rd gear and sped up! But I stopped on the side of the road and told myself who cares.  That’s my past.  I am stronger than this and I need to vote whether I see them or not and I’m wasting time over nothing.  So I have to get going.  By that time my car was already at 45 mph.  I conquered that fear. As I was walking back to my car after voting I was celebrating.  GET SOOOME! NEXT! I was saying that in my head though not out loud.

DL: What’s next for you?

DF: I have another book that will be released shortly after You Can.  It’s called Encourage Yourself.  It focuses on showing people how to create and keep the right state of mind in order to push through life no matter what’s going on.  We can only depend on other people but so much especially when it comes down to matters of the mind and heart. 

I am also a freelance writer looking to inform more people how to make a living writing online. I will be releasing my blog on that in the next couple of weeks as well as a blog that focuses on mental wellness. 





Friday, September 1, 2017

A Review of The Ties That Bind by Electa Rome Parks

This novel introduces us to Brice and Christian, two best friends who loved roaming the streets for their next conquest. But once Brice met Mia, an ambitious, young and beautiful woman he turned in his player card for marriage.

Christian was very surprised that Brice got married but understood why when he met the lovely Mia. She was the type of woman who could make him turn his player card in too but she was married to his best friend.

Mia gave up finishing college and dreams of becoming a school teacher so that she could immerse herself into married life with Brice, who promised after a year that she could return to fulfill her dreams. That didn’t happen and as time went by, Mia began to see Brice’s true colors: he drank too much, was too controlling, very egotistical and physically abusive.

So, when she couldn’t keep hiding the bruises and the fights became more frequent, Christian stepped in and came to her rescue. This didn’t sit well with Brice because not only did he lose his wife, but he lost his best friend too. And in the end, the ties that bind were severed.

Electa Rome Parks delivered a novel that was very relevant to how folks view love and marriage.  It’s not always a bed of roses and when abuse enters the picture, it’s sometimes difficult to get out of the situation. But I admired Mia. She had a support system and she was brave enough to walk away from a man she adored but ultimately didn’t really know. She pushed forward, finished her degree and looked toward a new future for herself. 

Good read!

Some of my favorite lines:

            Mia. I know I have lost her for good. I can’t even think of life without her. So I am not going to give up. I am not going to let her give up on us. I will get help. Go to therapy, do whatever it takes to win her back. I know that this is something I have to do for myself, not just for her. But I want her back if she will have me. I have never stopped loving her and never will. Mia is my African princess, my woman, my soul mate, my heart. It will take some time, but time is all I have now. My first stop will be resolving some issues with my father. Yeah, that’s definitely the first stop.

Christian and I have had a lifetime of friendship and love. I don’t know…my brotha betrayed me with my wife. No, he didn’t sleep with her or even make a move on her. In fact, he was the good friend that she needed when I was putting her through all those changes. But for Christian to lust after my wife, not just some man’s wife on the street, but me, his brotha. I don’t know…

            Like I said before, I have all the time in the world. I have to take one day at a time. Everything will work out. It always does for me.
           
Rating: 4 stars


Sunday, August 27, 2017

Interview with Austin S. Camacho, Team Member of the C3 Convention

Today’s guest, Austin S. Camacho, is a mystery author and also is part of the team that puts on the Creatures, Crimes & Creativity Con, September 8th thru the 10th. He says it’s the Mid-Atlantic’s book lover event of the year and he’s here to tell us why.

DL: How did you come up with the name for the conference?

AC: We chose the name Creatures, Crimes & Creativity Con (C3 Con for short) to indicate the genres we embrace. Creatures and crimes appear in: suspense, mystery, thriller, horror, science fiction, fantasy and paranormal fiction. We gather readers AND writers those genres. Our attendees have become a little community, and we hang out on Facebook at
https://www.facebook.com/groups/452670518248659

DL: How did this conference come to be?

AC: We’ve attended and enjoyed writer’s conferences all over the country like Bouchercon, Thrillerfest, DragonCon etc. After all that travelling we wanted to see something like that closer to home. It’s a great opportunity for writers to meet their fans, and for avid readers to meet their favorite authors.

DL:  How long has your conference been held? When did it debut?

AC: This is the fifth C3 Con. In past years we’ve had wonderful keynote speakers
2016: Reed Farrel Coleman and Alexandra Sokoloff
2015: Heather Graham and F. Paul Wilson
2014: John Gilstrap and Rebecca York
2013: Jeffrey Deaver and Brian Keene

This year we’re blessed to have Peter Blauner (bestselling thriller author and executive producer of the TV show Blue Bloods) and Jonathan Maberry (bestselling science fiction, fantasy and horror fiction.)

DL: Why would writers want to attend the C3 Con?

AC: First, it’s great promotion. Published authors get to spend time with their fans, and to expose new readers to their writing by presenting on panels. Their books will be available in our on-site bookstore and there will be two book signs open to the public. Their name and a link will be posted on the C3 website.  They will be pictured in the C3 program book. And a video interview is included that authors can use on their own web sites after the Con.

Also they can learn a great deal from the panels and presentations. And it’s a priceless opportunity to network with successful authors and other industry professionals.

DL: And why would readers and fans want to attend?

AC: Readers and fans will enjoy panels and presentations from favorite authors, including our keynotes. They can have more contact with the writers at the meals all weekend, which are included in the registration fee. Plus, each attendee will receive a goodie-bag filled with cool stuff including books, magazines, and our exclusive anthology filled with stories written by attending authors. They can collect autographed books at the two giant book signings. And we hold a Twitter contest where someone will win a gift basket of wine, coffee and a Kindle Fire.

DL: You’ve mentioned panels and presentations. Can you tell us about some of them?

AC: We work hard to have panels that appeal to both writers and avid readers. You can see the entire schedule with all the panels listed at http://creaturescrimesandcreativity.com/?page_id=368 .
I will mention a couple of special presentation.

Jeffery Deaver will give a session called: Bringing It All Together: An Example of Writing a Thriller. The international best seller and current president of the Mystery Writers of America will walk us through his process for planning and outlining, actually writing a book, editing and polishing, and getting feedback. Get the how-to from a master of the craft.

Michaela Hamilton, Executive Editor at Kensington, will also give a one-person presentation. She'll offer the insider's view of the submission and acquisition process at her press. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn how the publishing industry REALLY works.  

DL: Okay, down to the nitty gritty. What does all this cost?

AC: Registration for all 3 days is $285, which includes Friday dinner, three meals Saturday and Sunday breakfast. You can also register for one day only for $150. There are no extra charges for any of the presentations or panels.

DL: And give us the details of where and when, and of course how to register.

AC: Gladly.  Again, it’s September 8 – 10 at the Sheraton, Columbia Town Center, 10207 Wincopin Circle,  Columbia, Maryland. More details and registration is at http://creaturescrimesandcreativity.com.

Remember, the C3 Con is intended to be a meeting place for fans and avid readers of the genres of fiction we represent to get up close and personal with authors in those genres. So if you love to read any of this stuff, or if you write these kinds of books and want to make contact with fans (and make new fans) this is the Con for you.









Tuesday, August 1, 2017

A Review of Charcoal Joe by Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley never disappoints especially when it comes to writing about one of my favorite detectives…Ezekiel “Easy” Porterhouse Rawlins. Mosley has a way of taking readers along for some very dangerous rides with Easy Rawlins as he navigates the streets in the Watts neighborhood in Los Angeles.

In this novel (14th in the Easy Rawlins series), Easy and two of other detectives – Saul Lynx and Tinsford “Whisper” Natly are partners in a private detective agency named WRENS-L. Together they can solve any case, find anyone anywhere with brute force or with a few smooth words.
And when Easy is approached by his longtime friend Raymond “Mouse” Alexander to do Charcoal Joe a favor (get Seymour Brathwaite off a murder rap), all hell breaks loose.


Although this story was peppered with a lot of characters, Mosley did an excellent job of weaving in great descriptions and dialogue that placed the reader in the heart of the investigation. Each character brought a different element and added flavor to the story and if you are an avid fan of the Easy series it was great to see some of them. One of my favorites being Mama Joe and her potions like the tea she gave Easy to achieve a certain level of clarity after having his heart broken by Bonnie Shay.

I also enjoyed watching Easy charm and outsmart some of his captors as well as working alongside his partners to solve the case. The twists and turns were great from start to finish.
Great read! Two thumbs up!

 Some of my favorite lines:

            I didn’t need to ask why Mouse hadn’t come to me with this information. For him killing was simply a tool of the trade, hardly worth discussing. And we were friends. Where we came from this was the kind of thing that one friend did for the other.
            “And what can I do for Mr. Joe?” I asked
            “Last night a white man named Peter Boughman and some other guy named Ducky were shot dead in a house down on the beach in Malibu. Ducky was killed outright and Boughman was tortured before they shot him in the eye and the heart.”
            “And Joe is involved?”
            “Not directly. But he has a friend who has a son who went to that house, by accident, and fount the body. His bad luck was that somebody heard the shot and called the police, who got there before Seymour, Joe’s friend’s son, could call them himself.”
            “Seymour what?”
            “Brathwaite.  Dr. Seymour Brathwaite.”
            “I thought you said he was a kid.”
            “Twenty-two-year-old doctor of physics. Doin’ what they call postgraduate work at UCLA.”
            “White guy?”
            “Not unless Sidney Poitier’s a white guy.”

Rating: 5 stars