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Author | Blogger | Workshop Facilitator Visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go, which is set in Baltimore. Connect with me online @authordeelawrence (Facebook). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Monday, October 8, 2018

Interview with Eva Tremaine, author of the Unstable Trilogy (Part 1, II, III), Seven Again: Coming Full Circle, and Betrayal Served Cold

Author’s Bio:  Eva is the self-published author of five novels: Unstable, Unstable II, Unstable III, Seven Again: Coming Full Circle, and Betrayal Served Cold. The Unstable trilogy is a psychological thriller that captures the transition of Stephanie from a little girl to a violent, unstable woman. The book speaks volumes of what can happen when the psyche of a child is broken and the pain is buried within. Seven Again: Coming Full Circle is co-written with Author Lubran Edwards and expresses the true definition of girlfriends. The story is a testament that if you have just a mustard seed of faith and a few BFFs, you can make it through any situation. Betrayal Served Cold is a story of secrets, lies, and deceit. The betrayal is so cold that will surely chill you to the bone.

Eva Tremaine has many different sides to her and that versatility can be seen in her writing style. It is her hope that through the gift of literacy, she can make a lasting impression on her readers.

DL: What’s the inspiration for writing your book?
ET: Unstable – the name came to me in a dream even before I knew what it was.  Unstable: She was not supposed to survive was my first book.  My book club was having a short story contest and I wrote Unstable.  Many encouraged me to turn it into a book after reading it.  The rest is history!

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
ET: I always loved reading Stephen King.

DL: How long did it take to write your book?
ET: Each book takes roughly six months to write and another six months of editing and getting it published.

DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
ET: I write a rough outline and edit it as the characters speak to me.  There are always changes to what I originally outlined.

DL: Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book? 
ET: No, I like quiet and a glass of red wine.

DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?
ET: I believe book clubs help self-published authors survive and I do my best to stay in connection with them.

DL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
ET:  Write from your heart, not worrying about being perfect and let the characters’ voices be heard, not your own.

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from Unstable:  She was not supposed to survive?
ET: Here you go.

He silenced her screams when he picked her up by her throat and laughed as her legs swung in the air trying to find the ground. He squeezed his huge hands against her tiny throat, choking out what little life she had left. Once she stopped moving, he dropped her limp body to the floor. He then kicked her in the head a few times to ensure she did not move again. Blood dripped from the corner of her mouth onto the floor. He picked up a dirty sheet he found in the corner of the room and placed it over her body. He had to give some respect to the dead.

He walked away, leaving her in the abandoned crack house for anyone to do with her body as they wished. He was done with her. He walked away thinking there was no life left in her. 

Fiends who entered the crack house were so fixated on getting high that they easily overlooked her body and disregarded her screams. By the time anyone found her, it would be too late. She was not supposed to survive. The pedophile did not realize this deed would later cause hell to be released on all those who crossed her path.

DL: What’s next for you?
ET: I would love to have Unstable turned into a movie.  I can literally see it happening.  I also have a few stories in my head and a few new characters.  What I write will depend on which character screams the loudest!

DL: Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?

·         Website: http://evatremaine.com/

·         Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Eva-Tremaine/e/B00BY5TAA6

·         Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/evatremaine

·         Twitter: https://twitter.com/evatremaine

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, October 1, 2018

Interview with Austin S. Camacho, Team Member of the 2018 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, October 5th thru the 7th. 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

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 sixth C3 Con. In past years we’ve had wonderful keynote speakers

2017  Peter Blauner and Jonathan Maberry

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 Jamie Freveletti (bestselling thriller author) and Keith DeCondido (bestselling science fiction and fantasy author who has novelized a multitude of TV, movie and comic book characters.)

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 presentations.

Jamie Freveletti will teach a one hour class on “Writing Conflict in Thrillers” at this year’s C3 Con! Jamie was tapped by Robert Ludlum’s estate to take over his Covert One series.
New York Times bestseller John Gilstrap will offer a class called "Whose Story Are You Telling? The Critical Role of Point of View."

Another NY Times Bestseller, Rebecca York, will give a class on self-editing.
And John Dedakis, a former CNN Senior Editor turned mystery writer, will give his popular class, “How to Write a Novel."

DL: There’s a lot to the conference. Anything new this year?
AC: I’m glad you asked. For the first time we will present a Noir at the Bar event, which is free and open to the public. Ten authors will read from their thrilling work.at 7:30pm. We hope readers and fans will gather for the free readings and a cash bar. The authors will be competing for an engraved trophy of sorts, so you can bet they will be performing their best! Attendees will choose the winner.

Also, C3 Con attendees, and those who come to the books signings and Noir at the Bar will be able to participate in a charity raffle. The C3 Con is partnering with the Howard County Library System's Project Literacy - a highly successful adult basic education initiative. HCLS Instructors and volunteer tutors have taught 8,400 adults since 1987 through free, one-on-one tutoring and class sessions. To raise funds for this worthy cause we they will raffle off several book-related gift baskets. Every dollar collected for the baskets will go to the HCLS Project Literacy.
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 October 5 – 7 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 genre fiction to get up close and personal with authors who write it. 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.

2018 Baltimore Book Festival

Sunday, September 30th was such a beautiful day. I had a fantastic time at the Baltimore Book Festival at the Inner Harbor. I participated at the Black Writers’ Guild of Maryland (Tent #22). My tablemates were Claudette Bard and Michael Phillips. 

We enjoyed meeting new readers and introducing them to our various works. It was also great to run into author Denise Cuffie, who was also a Baltimore Book Festival Ambassador and author Victoria Adams-Kennedy. 

Here's the day in photos:

Sunday, September 30, 2018

2018 Black Authors and Readers Rock Weekend

Sharon Lucas has done it again! YES, the 2018 BARR weekend (September 14 – 15, 2018) at the Harborside Hotel in Oxon Hill, MD was a hit.

On Friday, I taught a workshop titled “Why Joining a Writing Group Makes You a Star!” I had a great group of folks who were interested in learning what to look for in a writing group and how to start one. I will share the tips in a separate upcoming blog post.

Later that evening, the audience tuned in to the Men in Literature Panel that featured Victor McGlothin and Black Topp. Both authors talked about their writing journeys and future plans. This was followed by a reception in honor of the BARR 2018 Literary Icon Tina McElroy Ansa.

On Saturday, there was a live taping of the “The Tea,” an online talk show for people who love books. Janelle Clayton, Deborah Franklin, Nigeria Lockley, and Dina Strachen discussed Barracoon by Zora Neal Hurston. It got very emotional at times. I made a note to put this book in my reading rotation.

Then this was followed by a panel (“Your Book – From Your Head to Print”) led by Cherrie Woods where she interviewed Tina McElroy Ansa, Victor McGlothin, and Renee Flagler. Great stuff!

A delicious lunch was served then it was followed by guest speakers Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley. They shared their writing joys with everyone and sold some books too.

Overall, it was a great event. It was also wonderful seeing fellow authors/friends Cherrie Woods, Denise Cuffie, Dr. Hattie Washington, V. Helena Yancey and so many more. Looking forward to 2019 BARR weekend and I hope to see you there too!

Until next time, here are some photos from the event:

A Review of Love...And Lust, a short story by Gil Brewer

In this short story, Gil Brewer introduces us to Cora Fleming a married woman with a past as a “big-time call girl.” Enter Rush Taylor, who poses as her “cousin” who comes to visit Cora and her husband, Ernie who is a very busy writer. Unbeknownst to Ernie, Rush would place horrifying sexual demands on Cora and sometimes even beating her while Ernie is busy typing away on his typewriter. Cora feared that someday Ernie would start asking her about her bruises.

The plot thickens when Ernie suspects something isn’t right with Rush staying under their roof and wants Rush gone. But Cora is in a quandary because although she agrees that Rush should go she doesn’t quite know how to do it. And this is where it gets quite interesting.
Let me just say I didn’t know this short story would be packed with such noir. Gil Brewer did an awesome job at wrapping up this story with a delicious twist! 
Great read! Two thumps way up!
Note: This short story appeared in Gil Brewer’s A Devil for O’Shaugnessy / The Three-Way Split.
My favorite lines:
Cora would stay in her bedroom, reading, waiting for Ernie. Sometimes he never came; working all night long. Then he would sleep during the day.

And Rush would corner her. She admitted there was something magnetic about Rush. Too much of him might turn a girl’s head. Once she’d been deeply in love with him, even with the things he did. Or so she thought.

Two days went by. Ernie asked on the second day, “You speak to him yet?"

No. I haven’t the nerve.”

“Want me to?”

“Oh, no!” She tried to hold his gaze. He turned away. “It’s just that—” she said, “that I should do it. I will speak to him, Ernie. I will.            

“He’s your cousin. Not mine.”

“He’s so alone.”

“Yeah.” Ernie left the room, and soon she heard the typewriter hammering away again.”

Rating: 5 stars


Monday, September 24, 2018

Duho Books: Embodying a Cultural Past, With a Metaphor for a Bright Literary Future

DL: Hello everyone! It’s my pleasure to introduce guest blogger, Wendy Coakley-Thompson, President of Duho Books, a boutique press based in the Washington, D.C. area. Wendy will talk about her writing career and her journey into the publishing world.
WCT: Hi Dee. Thanks much for the opportunity. When I talk to people about Duho Books, my new Washington DC boutique publishing company that showcases the vibrant history, culture, and people of The Bahamas, I immediately prepare myself for the barrage of questions.  Questions like “What’s a ‘duhu’?” “Why would you publish books about The Bahamas?”  “Does The Bahamas even have a literary tradition?”  In answering such questions, I find that it helps to return to the past for the answers.
            In the summer of 2016, I’d been musing deeply about my writing career—or what was left of it. Since 2002, when I’d become a serious published author, I’d made myriad attempts at hacking the publishing industry. I’d self-published my first novel, Back to Life, a novel about life and interracial love in the aftermath of the 1989 shooting of Yusuf Hawkins, a black teen, by Italian Americans in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. That novel helped me to get an agent, who secured me a two-book deal with Kensington Books. I thought, “This is it! I’ve made it to The Show.”
            Unfortunately, I believe that Big Publishing didn’t know what to do with a literary platypus like me. My books featured relationships, but they weren’t your typical romance novels. I wanted to feature foreign locales and experiences in my fiction that reflected my Bahamian-American multicultural heritage; editors cautioned me against it, for fear of alienating potential audiences.  I was marketed as part of the new African American literature renaissance, but I also wished to widen my audience to reflect the universality of the human experience. Before long, Kensington dropped me after two books. In 2014, I ended up suing them over copyright infringement, but I digress…
            In the ensuing post-Kensington years, I self-published two novels—Triptych and Writing While Black. In my quest to understand the literal and figurative business end of publishing, I co-hosted the radio show called The Book Squad and covered the industry for Examiner.com, Postscript’d, the Grio, and Washington Independent Review of Books. All the while, I noticed a lack of books about multicultural people like me whose beauty is in being an amalgam of many things that contribute to a greater whole. Particularly, I longed to read about The Bahamas, my ancestral home. Specifically, I knew that there were masterful undiscovered authors in The Bahamas who deserved to have a wider audience for their work. Norman Solomon, a great Bahamian businessman and statesman, once said, “See a need, and fill it.” So, in 2016, instead of cursing the dark, I decided to light a candle—and Duho Books was born. Our mission at Duho is unique and long overdue: We want to preserve Bahamian culture through the written word and disseminate it to the world.
            Why the name Duho Books? Well, I love duhos and what they represent. First and foremost, they are artifacts from a time that predates Christopher Columbus and the misery he brought to the land we now call The Bahamas. They represent the Arawaks and Lucayans who had a so-called “civilization” long before Europeans intruded. Specifically, duhos represent a throne on which a chief, commonly called a cacique, is elevated. I see the elevation of the Bahamian experience to its own metaphorical throne once more for generations present and future. So, the duho is a nod to The Bahamas’s pre-European past and a representation of the hope for the future of her culture.
            In September of 2017, Duho had published its inaugural collection, available wherever books are sold: My Name Is Karma, by Bahamian author N.A. Cash; The Lights of Home, by Bahamian-American author Marin Frederique; and the 15th anniversary edition of my first novel, Back to Life. Three more novels joined them this past spring—N.A. Cash’s sophomore novel, My Name Is Karma: Journey to the Truth; The Left-Over Daughters by Bahamian author S. L. Sheppard; and the re-release of my acclaimed 2005 novel What You Won’t Do for Love. This fall will bring a new crop of work for curious readers to enjoy.
            At Duho, we remain on the lookout for good reads that land squarely in line with our stated mission. We publish both fiction and non-fiction. Whether you’re a Bahamian author, use The Bahamas as a setting for your book, or just include information about The Bahamas in your writing, we would like to hear from you. If your work fits the criteria for Duho Books or if you’re interested in what we have to offer, visit our website at www.duhobooks.com  

Monday, September 10, 2018

Interview with Leo E. Ndelle, author of The Soulless Ones Series (Already here – Baiting the Beast, Book 3 of The Soulless Ones Series)

Author’s Bio: Leo is a Cameroonian-American author. He published his first novel The Bright Eyes, Book One of the series in October 2017. He has a bachelor’s degree in banking and finance and a master’s degree in business administration. He currently works as an auditor for the State of Maryland. He enjoys many activities including sports, fitness, travelling, and martial arts (taijutsu).

DL: What’s the inspiration for writing your books?
LN: The love of writing, of creativity. There is something about transducing a concept to script that is very fulfilling and fun.

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
LN: Robert Ludlum remains my all-time favorite! The Bourne Identity was the first and only book that, once I started reading, I didn’t stop until I was done. The Hermit, by T. Lobsang Rampa, The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus the Christ, by Levi H. Dowling, Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev, and the Christian Bible are some of the authors/books that influenced the series.

DL: How long did it take to write your books?
LN: About two-and-a-half years to complete the first drafts of all five books of the series.

DL: Do you write with an outline, or just let it flow organically?
LN: I start with a complete outline and work with it. I don’t always follow the outline to the letter. But the outline provides a general sense of direction for the story. I actually wrote about this process on my blog. Check it out: https://www.the-soullessones.com/blog/the-writing-process-from-mind-to-matter

DL:  Do you listen to music when you write? If yes, is there a theme song for this book?
LN: No, I don’t. Music is an enjoyable distraction I can’t afford to have when I’m writing.

DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your books?
LN: My website, social media, blogging, word of mouth, and book events so far. My novels are available on the following platforms: Amazon (paperback and kindle), Smashwords, iBooks, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo. Click on the following link for the direct links to these various platforms: https://www.the-soullessones.com/books

DL: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
LN: Never procrastinate! If you have an idea, follow through with it TO THE VERY END. Rise above any feelings of self-doubt. With the limitless amount of resources out there nowadays, you are the only one who can hold yourself back from writing (and publishing).

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from “Baiting the Beast”?
LN: Sure! This scene occurs when Sarael is going through a test as she faces The Beast.

Copyright@2018 by Leo E. Ndelle 
Marissa remained still. The gigantic, blazing ball of fire incinerated everything in its path as it accelerated towards Marissa. Six miles… Marissa remained still. One mile… Half a mile… Four-hundred yards… Three hundred yards… Marissa did not even blink. She was still. When the ball of fire was two hundred yards away, it burst open and a ten-foot tall creature leaped from its bowels, leaving a trail of fire and smoke as it sailed through the air. The creature landed ten feet away from Marissa in a crouching position before slowly rising to its feet.
 The creature looked human, all nine feet of its smoldering, muscular body, with claws for fingers and toes. It sparked the ethers and a twelve-foot long, smoldering trident coalesced in its right hand. A bright yellow-red flame blazed around its body like a smoldering silhouette. The creature focused blazing yellow-red eyes on Marissa and when it opened its mouth to speak, yellow-red flames spewed from its mouth. The creature lifted its trident and crashed the hilt of the trident three times on the ground. A violent earthquake followed each crash and each earthquake was more violent than the previous one. On the third crash, the earth ruptured and fissured towards Marissa in erratic patterns. When the fissure was close to Marissa, it forked on either side of her as if it was forced to do so by an unseen force. Marissa remained still.
      “You are getting better,” the creature complimented her.

       “You bore me, Beast,” Sarael replied.
 “Oh, Sarael!” The Beast smirked. “You should learn to lighten up!”
 “I won’t fail this time, Beast!” Sarael said and levitated in the air.
 Sarael, also known as Marissa, sparked the ethers. A golden sword formed in her left hand and a golden shield appeared in her right hand. She uncrossed her legs and let them touch the ground as shoes of gold formed over her feet. Then she pulled the shield in front of her and placed her sword next to the shield in a battle stance as an armor of gold formed across her torso and a golden hair band tied her long, black hair in a tight bun. Green flames then erupted from her eyes and mouth at the same time.
 “Today you fall, Beast!” Sarael promised and leaped towards The Beast. 
DL: What’s next for you?
LN: Finalize the manuscript for Celestial Crisis, book 4 of the series, create a trailer and publish.

DL: Where can readers find out more about you and your book(s)?

·         Website: www.the-soullessones.com

·         Amazon and Smashwords Author Pages: Leo E. Ndelle

The Soulless Ones Series:

The Bright Eyes (Book 1)

An Archangel’s Ache (Book 2)

Baiting the Beast (Book 3)

Celestial Crisis (Book 4, coming soon by end of October 2018)

·         Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/elonendelle/

·         Instagram/Snapchat: @elonendelle

·         Twitter: @ndelleo

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

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Book Clubs Are Where It’s At! (My Appearance at the Heritage Book Club Meeting)

A few months ago, Brenda Bunting (Washington, DC poet and author friend of mine) told me that her cousin, Emma Lou Black (founder of the Heritage Book Club in Lexington, Kentucky) planned on reading my book, Gotta Let It Go, for the club’s August meeting. Emma Lou asked whether I would be interested in doing a Facebook live meeting or coming to Kentucky.

Since I’d never been to Kentucky, I said “What the heck? Let’s do this road trip.” So, on Friday, August 17, 2018 Brenda and I embarked on the trip to Kentucky. It was a nice ride with the exception of areas of road work and a brief thunderstorm. Anyway, when we arrived later that night, I was too thrilled to meet Emma Lou. We stayed up until 2 am talking, drinking and laughing.
In the morning, the excitement was building for the book club meeting scheduled for 6 pm that evening. The kitchen was hopping with Emma Lou preparing a feast with an expansive and mouth-watering menu of beef brisket, fried chicken, mac-n-cheese, collard greens, rolls, homemade pound cake with caramel icing, etc. (I’m still salivating).

By 6 pm, the living room and kitchen areas were filled with book club members ready to start the discussion of Gotta Let It Go. I read a few passages and then did a Q & A session. These ladies had some really great questions and I had a great time answering them and delving into the lives of Deidre, Hill and Kyle. We even talked a little about the sequel, Gotta Get It Back and they can’t wait to dive into the drama that these characters will bring. At the end of the meeting, they all scored my book a solid 10! WOW! I was blown away and truly humbled by this.
The evening wasn’t over. After enjoying the delicious meal and drinks specially made by Emma Lou (yeah, she’s a bartender too), there was an added bonus of Brenda who shared her poem, The African Locked Inside the American – powerful!

Overall, the energy in this book club meeting was amazing and I was grateful for their love and support. A million thanks again to Emma Lou for her hospitality and for introducing me to her group of avid readers. Book clubs really do ROCK!
Here are some photos from the event. Enjoy!