About Me

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Baltimore, Maryland, United States
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, May 22, 2017

Interview with LaDonna Smith, Author of I Married Satan

Author Bio: Ms. Smith is a native of Fairmont Heights, MD and a graduate of Prince George’s Community College. She also attended Bowie State University. A talented writer, LaDonna has worked with The Dr. Michael Eric Dyson Show (WEAA), The Bernie McCain Show (WOL/WOLB), Justine Love Sex Talk and Slow Jams (WPGC), Community Affairs with David Haynes (WPGC). She is also the former Events Coordinator and Board Member on the Board of Directors for the Black Writer’s Guild of Maryland, Inc., President and Vice President of the Maryland Writer's Association (Baltimore Chapter), and a member of the Maryland Business Roundtable Speaker’s Bureau

Her book, “I Married Satan” has also been listed on Essence Magazine’s www.essence.com. She is also the former Editor and Founder of G.R.A.Y. Magazine,  G.R.A.Y. TV ShowThe Owner's Roundtable Report with LaDonna radio show – returning soon! In 2015 LaDonna released the exciting info-tainment follow up to “I Married Satan” called “Oh! Is That Why I am Still Single?” She also hopes to release her children’s book “Hannah’s Song: A Musical Approach to Potty Training” in 2017 as well. 

However, LaDonna has a life outside of books where she owns Prince George's County's first and only professional sports team - American Basketball Association Expansion Team PG Valor Basketball Team, which played its inaugural season in 2016 ending ranked #2 in their division and #24 in the entire ABA and participated in the playoffs!

What inspired you to write your book?
LS: Life itself because of experiences-both good, bad and indifferent inspired, motivated and forced me to write my books. 

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
LS: I look up to several authors and writers including, Terry Woods, and Tyler Perry. I love Terry's writing style and Tyler's life story. I also love reading Shakespeare and Greek Mythology. Although some may argue that they conflict with my religious views if they weren’t dynamic pieces of art. 

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
LS: I have two books completed and one about 95% completed. 

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
LS: I do both. I start with a mental picture of what I am going to write. As the mental concept grows I begin to write out an outline. Then I type up my outline. Before long my typed outline gets inundated with handwritten notes. Then I retype up my notes. I then begin to use that as a guide to motivate me to write. I go for a drive, go sit in a park, library or anywhere else outside of the house. Unless a situation or experience requires a lot of emotion from me, I find it very difficult to write in the house. I can often be found sitting in a library or Starbucks on grind mode. Some people need silence, I need ambiance. I need music, soft noise, a way to be able to stare out a window or ride with the window down. Then my creative juices begin to work and I am able to work. I write in notebooks, on receipts, toilet paper, scrap paper, post-it notes and anything else that I can find. Ironically, I can only type directly when I'm on a desktop. I also tend to write more while I'm editing because for some reason or another my thoughts flow. It's almost as if I get a Spiritual download while I am working on a manuscript several times.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
LS: As I mentioned earlier I do listen to music. But I have been known to have a good movie on or just some type of noise. I didn’t think about it but sometimes there are themes. I may put on a lovey dovey type of movie if I am working on something with relationships or I could put on a children's type of program event etc. If I am writing a good and happy relationship part of the book, I tend to listen to upbeat and/or happy relationship songs about being in love and in a good relationship from people like Kem, Jaheim, Charlie Wilson, Dru Hill, Mint Condition, SHAI, and my all-time favs Boyz II Men. However, if I am in a bad mood and writing about relationship drama I may turn on my girl Fantasia and let her motivate me or Mariah, Tyrese, and others. If I am needing to feel inspired and want to give a "powerful" spiritual nugget then I may turn on gospel. You may be surprised to hear but I may turn on Classical, Jazz, GoGo, Reggae or even Latino music. I am a musician so diversity in music is a must. 

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
LS: Marketing and Promoting are the keys to get your book out to the public. It makes absolutely no sense to write a book. I mean pour your heart and soul into a book, fight to get it published or spend time and money self-publishing and then have your books just sit. You have got to tell the world about your book whether they want to listen or not lol. You won’t know that they don’t want to listen until you try and reach out to them. And marketing and promotion don't begin when you have your book in your hand it begins when you copyright your first draft!

What advice would you give to new authors?
LS: My advice for new authors is to dream big realistically. We all have that dream of writing the next best seller and then get discouraged when copies are barely selling. With all of the books and authors in the world why should anyone care about your story? Why should anyone buy your book? Do not be afraid of the word No! As it can actually help you. It is perfectly fine if every single solitary person in the world is not as passionate and in love with your book as you are. It is not the end of the world. You can do one of two things only focus on those people who would be interested in your type of book or who need it (aka your target audience) or you can motivate people to be interested in your book and need it. It is not impossible but you gotta stay on grind mode. There are going to be sleepless nights as you are up emailing and posting on social media etc. 

Do your research and find out what is best for you. What worked for me and mine may not work for you and yours. It's ok to take a piece of what others are doing. But make sure you are infusing it with what you are doing so that you aren’t cheating yourself out of opportunities. Networking is your friend. Make sure you keep books/cards or some type of information about your books with you at all times. You never know who you are going to run into. If you work your mojo you can sell a book in places you would have never expected. Make sure your website or online presence looks at minimum semi-professional. In this day and age the first thing people do is "look you up". If you are someone who is nasty and inappropriate on social media you may want to make those post private and only for you. 

How about sharing excerpts from your books?

I Married Satan Preface
They had the marriage license, the ceremony and her name changed...but no marriage!

For 4 1⁄2 years author LaDonna M. Smith thought that she was married to the man of her dreams...but the marriage turned out to be a 4 1⁄2 nightmare, which God made disappear in moments.

On August 14, 2003, LaDonna got married to a man she was prepared to spend the rest of her life. However, after days, & months of physical, mental, emotional & spiritual abuse – she found the strength to leave him.

But she would soon return to endure even more hardships – some repetitious – some worse.

Finally, a year later she left for good and 3 1⁄2 years later she filed for a divorce. Only to find out that her spouse had filed for an annulment – a month later. How can he file for an annulment after so many years of marriage?

Because - before, during, and after their marriage, he was still legally married to his first wife.

The book I Married Satan takes you inside the life of a woman who suffered, endured and eventually triumphed through an abusive marriage; swallowed the pain; and forgave her ex ____________ (you fill in the blank) and has since become stronger, wiser, and more spiritual than she could have ever imagined.

Oh! Is That Why I'm Still Single?

One day this metaphoric revelation came to me: years ago I wasn’t truly ready for you because I was allowing little boys to play in the shallow end of my pool. Now I have learned that if I venture out further in the pool that the pool gets deeper and only those who can swim will jump in. Some will be bold enough to jump off the diving board, but many will reach the bottom. The pool discussed here is symbolic of MY HEART!

I didn’t know or understand how deep true love really was until I continued to journey on through life. I had some relationships work (I was able to swim), and some fail (they almost drowned me). Some have tread water (barely made it and the guys had fake motives in dealing with me); some didn’t put forth an effort and just tried to go along for the ride (they drifted and floated through). Some didn’t put their all in it like I did (they got their feet wet but they may, or may not have been dressed/prepared for the trip or the depth of my love that I was ready to give, so they never got completely in or fully committed). But each and every experience brought me to a point where I finally learned what true love from a man, and more importantly God is, and how I should expect to receive it unconditionally.

True love waits – if God designed for you to be together. You will be with him.

What God put together, let no man (or woman) come in between and destroy it.

True love is imitated but never duplicated.

What’s next for you?
LS: Next is more books and more basketball. There are a lot of things that I have in my "lab" right now and will be working on and releasing soon. Not that I have gotten through my first season with the basketball team I am now better prepared to handle my writing and the team. I am truly graduating into working for myself only. I would love to be able to focus primarily on books for half the year and still do basketball secondary. And then during basketball season focus primarily on basketball and books secondary. Notice I never said just one or the other only! I also want to finish the audiobook versions of the books and go ahead and produce the I Married Satan stage play which has been written and copy-written yet sitting for a few years now. So to answer your question I have a lot coming up next lol.

Where can readers
Blog: N/A-Maybe I should do one?

LS: Thank you for taking the opportunity to reach your readers. As always, I look up to you and your accomplishments. So keep doing what you are doing to improve and progress!

Monday, May 8, 2017

Interview with Selena Haskins, Author of Yesterday Was a Long Time Ago

Author’s Bio: Selena Haskins is the author of three best-sellers on Amazon: A River Moves Forward, Riding the Waves, and Just Between Us-Inspiring Stories by Women. As a native Washingtonian, Selena explores the dynamics of urban family life and romance in her books. Selena’s love for reading and writing started at the tender age of nine. Selena’s two greatest loves are God and family, and she uses both as a vehicle to convey the human spirit, and the beauty of the world around her. Her latest project is, Yesterday Was a Long Time Ago.

What inspired you to write your book?
SH: My inspiration to write this book is loosely-based on my college experiences.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
SH: Growing up I loved reading Judy Blume’s books. As an adult, I love contemporary fiction authors who set the perfect example of good storytelling. They include: Connie Briscoe, Terry McMillan, Margaret Johnson-Hodge, Omar Tyree, Carl Weber, and Leonard Pitts, Jr.

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
SH: This is my third novel, but fourth book project overall.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
SH: I tried writing with an outline, and it interrupts my creative flow, so I prefer to just write it freestyle.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
SH: I prefer peace and quiet when I write, although I can hear a song playing in my head, it’s distracting for me to actually play music and write because I like to hear what the characters are saying. The theme song for this book would be, P.M. Dawn’s “Die Without You.”

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
SH: Publishing a book these days is fairly easy, but publishing a “good” book takes time. The success is in the story, not the pretty book covers.

What advice would you give to new authors?
SH: Patience is really the key to success. Seize being anxious because you may miss something. I had to learn that the hard way. Once you put something out there in public, it’s there forever, and it has your name on it. If you want to build a good reputation as a respectable writer, you have to hone your craft. You have to love writing more than money. I’m always learning new things, and I love it because it makes me a better writer. Always stay humble. Read twice as much as you write. If you want to write well, read books by people who can actually write, and who are experienced. It will help your growth process.

What’s next for you?
SH: I have a short story comedy that I’ve been working on, and hope to release this winter - 2017. I also plan to write the final part to the Morris family from A River Moves Forward and Riding the Waves so it will be a trilogy.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
·         Website: http://www.booksbyselena.com/
·         Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorselena.haskins
·         Twitter: https://twitter.com/BooksbySelena
·         Blog: http://www.booksbyselena.com/

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, April 30, 2017

A Review of Soulmates Dissipate by Mary B. Morrison

No one ever said being in a relationship was easy but when a third person gets involved it makes it that more complicated. Well, if you are looking for a book that takes drama to another level, then Soulmates Dissipate certainly fits the bill.

In this novel, Jada Diamond Tanner is a very successful photographer who is madly in love with Wellington Jones, her soul mate. They are engaged to be married on Valentine’s Day but with the date fast approaching Wellington’s conniving mother, Cynthia Jones, has other plans for her son. Enter Melanie Thompson; a childhood friend whom Cynthia feels is more suited for her son.  Melanie is sexy and tempting and also Wellington’s houseguest. At first, Jada distrusts Melanie but eventually, she begins to warm up to the idea of her being a houseguest thinking that Wellington only has eyes for her because they are soul mates.

But Melanie along with the prompting of Cynthia begins to make her move on Wellington right under Jada’s nose. And after a night of drinking and inviting Melanie to join them in bed, things go all the way wrong. The wedding is off, Melanie is pregnant and Wellington made her his wife. To make matters even worse, Melanie is now Jada’s boss and Wellington makes some painful discoveries.

Overall, the plot was good but there were times where I had to read certain details twice because they were somewhat convoluted. I know that folks can get caught up in the moment but I didn’t understand why Wellington would chastise Jada when she went nuts after hearing that Melanie was pregnant. To me, the reaction was to be expected especially when Melanie was flaunting everything that should have been hers. Nevertheless, it was an entertaining read despite the few hiccups in some of the character’s motivation which seemed at times to be unrealistic.

Some of my favorite lines:
            Melanie turned toward the stairs. “Don’t you take your ass up those stairs until I know what the hell is going on!” Jada screamed with authority.
            “Let’s go in the family room,” suggested Wellington.
            Melanie sat in the reclining chair near the fireplace. Wellington sat on the couch. Jada braced herself on the edge of the sofa next to him.
            “I have some no-so-good news,” said Wellington. “But it’s not something we can’t work out.”
            Jada looked at Wellington. Melanie smiled mischievously. “What are you saying?” Jada’s voice was faint.
            “Wellington rubbed his goatee. “Melanie is pregnant.”
            “Well, obviously it’s not yours. Hell, this shit just happened last night!”
             Melanie remained silent. Wellington took a deep breath. His hands covered his face. He reached for Jada’s hand. She moved it. “I have to be totally honest with you ba. Last night wasn’t the first time.”

            Jada’s eyes rolled to the back of her head. Before she realized what she’d done, her backhand landed on the side of Wellington’s face. She jumped up from the couch and headed for Melanie. Melanie scrambled but she couldn’t get up fast enough. Neither could Wellington. Jada reached back to 2000 B.C. Melanie saw it coming but couldn’t escape. Melanie saw stars as she slid across the Billie Holiday rug like she was sliding into home plate—head first. Well, at lease found the ring. Jada didn’t wait for any further explanations. She walked out and slammed the door. 

Rating:  3 Stars

Monday, April 24, 2017

Interview with Koos Verkaik, Author of The Dance of the Jester

Author’s Bio: Koos Verkaik started writing at the age of 7, his comic Scotty Clay was published in a magazine (3 pages each week) when he was only 16 and wrote his first published novel, Adolar, when he was 18.

He is a Dutchman, having published over 60 different titles now and his best work is also available in English. Well-known is his series of children’s books, Alex and the Wolpertinger; working on book 14, he intends to write 30 different titles at least (LadyBee Publishing, Canada)! His urban fantasy novels are published by Sarah Book Publishing, Texas, USA, Start Publishing New York, and Evolutionary Publishing, Canada.

Koos: “Hurray for the internet! My agent lives in New Zealand, my publishers are in the USA and in Canada!”

Koos writes every day and never had a writers’ block.  

Quotation: “I am a very fast worker; always have been, always sitting behind the keyboard and write! It is not a neurosis or so, it's just that I have a lot to tell…” (Newspaper of The Hague).

What inspired you to write your book?
KV: Mostly all I need is one sentence or even one word to inspire me. For The Dance of the Jester it was the word ‘minion’. I was reading a book about the European middle ages. Kings, queens, noblemen and rich merchants had minions who dressed exactly the same as themselves; minions were favorites with very special privileges. I wanted to write about the insanity of power and greed and created a Second Renaissance where tycoons rule and name themselves Kings and Queens.

In short:
Suddenly, at the end of the twenty-first century, world changes.
The tycoons rule. GREED is the word!
They are times of extravagance and decadence, extreme power and richness.
The world is one big party.
And there is chaos!
No one seems to wonder how this all had come to be.
No one seems to wonder what is actually happening.
No one seems to care about anything anymore.
Except for some odd outsiders.
One of them is Oscar Man, the illegitimate son of tycoon Otto Man. Once he was a prince; then he became a pariah, with nothing to lose for himself and so much to win for the world…In these turbulent times, the Second Renaissance, strange creatures come into power and try to subject every single human being.
But Oscar Man appears to be a very strange creature too and he shows the way to freedom; his journey leads him from Switzerland to the USA and back, searching for a special manuscript that will bring the highly necessary revelation.
The enemy makes the poor jester Oscar Man dance. But ultimately the former prince will manage to solve the world’s biggest problems ever!

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
KV: A Dutch journalist, Fije Wieringa, wrote about that:

Once I asked the Dutch author Koos Verkaik, whose reputation in the Netherlands is similar to that of Stephen King, which book had influenced him the most in his life. Without losing a second he replied, “Alice in Wonderland, that is such a weird and scary book. A lot scarier than any of my own horror and ghost stories.”

I admire Edgar Allan Poe and some of his stories really scared me. But, to be honest, my favorite author is still Jack Vance! And now I learn more and more about the intriguing writer Philip K.  Dick – try to get as much information about his life as possible.

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
KV: I have written over 60 different titles. Writing The Dance of the Jester took me a year. I first wrote it in Dutch and then translated it into English. Of course I sent it to an editor in the USA then (Mrs. Anne Geiberger), to do the necessary corrections; a manuscript must be 100% all right! What happens next, can be read in the foreword of this book:

My agent in the USA suggested I ask Bill Thompson to read The Dance of the Jester. Bill was the editor of the first books of Stephen King and John Grisham, a charismatic man of great reputation. He read the manuscript and invited me to discuss it with him.

On a scorching hot day, we found ourselves in his office in the Empire State Building in New York and together we revised and polished the manuscript and made changes in the plot. He was more than satisfied with the story, and in the meantime, he has read more of my manuscripts.
I thank Big Bill Thompson for his help and friendship.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
KV: Every writer has his special habits. I am rather chaotic and make notations everywhere. Writing the book is making order in that chaos – clean my desk, clean my head. I don’t need a complicated outline, just start writing. On my laptop, of course – but I always write the first pages with a pen! When I feel the story will be all right, I put pen and paper away and start working on the computer.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
KV: I always listen to music when I work. Radio or CD’s. Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde has always been inspiring and I love American and English blues. There is no theme song for The Dance of the Jester. My next book is Wolf Tears: I did some music myself for that, you can find it here:
https://soundcloud.com/user-224641692/09-wolf-tears. I play all the instruments myself.

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
KV: This is what the editor-in-chiefs say: “We publish your book, but it still will remain your book and you have to take care of it. Of course publishers will help you everywhere they can, but as a writer you must do the utmost to promote your own work.

I read an interesting article on the internet about someone saying that it is so good that there are literary agencies. The literary agent sifts good and bad and only the real authors get a fair chance.
The market is flooded with junk, with books that shouldn’t be on the market at all – and more than often the E-book versions are for free! So it is not easy to promote your work. Fortunately, I have survived through the years and have been able to write and publish so many books.

When you finally manage to become an established writer, things get easier. The Dance of the Jester was noticed by 3 Corners Entertainment and they offered me a contract for film – I also signed a contract for film with them for another book: HIM, After the UFO Crash. This will bring my work under the attention of a bigger audience!

What advice would you give to new authors?
KV: I have said this many times before: actually, there is no advice. For when you are a real writer, nothing will stop you and you will go your own way. All I can say is that it is not easy, especially not when you find out that writing isn’t your skill after all. Of course I can say: “Get a job and write in your free time,” for that might be the smartest way to do it. But the truth is, that you have to figure it all out for yourself. Read lots of books, both fiction and non-fiction) and try to write every day.

How about sharing an excerpt from The Dance of the Jester?
Joseph Krocht had a passion for the sea and sailors in general, and his heroes were Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama and Christopher Columbus in particular. He preferred to rule his enterprises from the comfort of his luxury ship that constantly sailed the oceans.

The symbol of Man-Mandate Enterprises was a statue of a man in armor with head down and hands resting on the hilt of a sword that was stuck in the ground between his feet.

The symbol of Cabo de Barra was also a statue—all the powerful multinationals loved their sculpture—a statue of a sailor in knee breeches, long hair waving in the wind, his shirt open showing his chest. His bare, lower legs disappeared into iron waves. His arms hung alongside his body, and in one of his hands, he held an old-fashioned pistol with a short barrel. At first glance the statue seemed to be of a fearless, intransigent sailor, a freebooter perhaps, a pirate in his prime. It was whispered, however, that the statue was indeed supposed to represent all the victims of the cruelty imposed by jurisdiction at sea.

The young man had apparently been convicted of committing some crime and subsequently condemned to be left behind on a sandbar. As his ship headed toward the horizon with full sails, he felt the water start to rise around his calves. This was the hour of his death, and it was up to him to decide whether or not he should use the pistol or let the powder get wet and swim until he drowned.

Out in the middle of the ocean somewhere, Joseph Krocht proclaimed himself emperor and put a crown on his head. When he later returned to his base in Atlanta, Georgia, where Cabo de Barra’s main office was located, a feast was held that went on for two weeks. At the height of the celebrations, he passed his crown on to his son Walter Krocht. No one ever considered the possibility that he would name himself emperor of a tiny island in the Pacific; he demanded to be called The emperor of Georgia.

What’s next for you?

KV: After The Dance of the Jester came Wolf Tears and I have lots of new manuscripts in stock (wrote them in Dutch, translated them into English). Hope The Dance of the Jester and HIM, After the UFO Crash will be filmed soon. My agent works with my series of children’s books Alex and the Wolpertinger; she is looking for animation companies/studios and of course I wrote screenplays for it. In the mean time I work on new books. Every day, weekends included. 

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)? 
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, April 10, 2017

An Interview with Jae Sherwood, Author of Little Leona Of Monsters and Fire

Author’s Bio:  Jae Sherwood lives in Annapolis, MD and writes creative nonfiction and poetry for children and adults.  Previously a stay at home mom to three amazing people and then later a middle school English teacher, she is now redirecting her time and energy to focus on her writing.  Jae is currently working to expand the Little Leona safety series with more picture books that tell stories of how kids can keep themselves safe in various situations.

What inspired you to write your book?
JS: As a mother, I loved reading quality books to my children, books that were interesting to me as well and had some sort of message to them.  When I started the poem about a little girl playing dress up and fighting imaginary monsters, it morphed into her fighting a dragon, then morphed into the dragon being a metaphor for a fire.  Finally, I saw that I could relay a message about fire safety through the text and illustrations.

Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
JS: Yes, I was heavily influenced by an older version of Beauty and the Beast and The Boy Who Drew Cats.  Both were large hardback books with gorgeous illustrations.  I loved reading these to my children.  Also, Dr. Seuss played a role in that I found my children loved the rhyme.

Is this your first book? How long did it take to start and finish your book?
JS: This is my first book.  From start to finish it took a year to have a printed copy in my hand.  Much time was spent with the illustrator getting the illustrations exactly right.

Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
JS: It just came out, almost all at once.  Of course I edited over months, but the body of the poem came out in one sitting.

Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
JS: No, I don’t listen to music.  I find it too distracting.  I do love opening the window and listening to the wind or if I’m really lucky, the rain.

What are the keys to success in getting your book out to the public?
JS: Perseverance.  Plain and simple.  I went on my own to the Annapolis Fire Department and asked them to read the book and then asked them for an endorsement.  Not only did they endorse Little Leona, but they are now using it in their child safety education programs in the schools.  I applied for awards and won the silver award from Mom’s Choice.  I held book signings at my own expense, gave almost 100 copies of my book away to organizations I thought might endorse the book, I begged local vendors to carry my book in their stores, etc. etc.  When the job of marketing my book started to interfere with my writing time, I hired a publicist to help me out.  Eclectic PR was able to get me a television interview and helped with scheduling more book signings.

What advice would you give to new authors?
JS: Don’t write unless you’re passionate about it.  But if you are, just persevere and in some way, shape or form, you will be successful.

How about sharing an excerpt from Little Leona Of Monsters and Fire?

Little Leona learns quite young
That there are monsters to be slayed
So she dons her dress
And combat boots
For she is not afraid.

Her mother’s mismatched earrings
She wears for luck, you see
And Daddy’s old tie
A scarf around her neck
Hangs way down to her knees.

Her baby blanket becomes her cape
Flowing from her back
And in her hand
Is Grandpa’s cane
With which she can attack.

Leaping Leona emerges at last
From behind her bedroom door
Tilts her head
Listens closely
Is there stomping on the floor?

Hearing nothing she takes a breath
And marches forth in stride
Looking amid the shadows
And all those places
Where monsters tend to hide.

What’s next for you?
JS: I’m working on the next book in the series titled Little Leona and a Chessie Tale.  It’s a book about water safety which takes place on the Chesapeake Bay.  Leona and her crew go sailing one day and run into Chessie (our own Loch Ness monster legend) which is a metaphor for a storm.  In the chaos, someone goes overboard, but because Leona knows what to do, she gets all of her crew safely to shore.   It should be out later this year.

Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?
·         Website:  www.little-leona-books.com
·         Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Jae.Sherwood
·         Twitter:  @poetsdaughtr
·         Blog: www.little-leona-books.com/blog/    
·         Book buy Links:

Barnes and Noble: 

From Maple Creek Media:

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

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