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Author | Blogger | Workshop Facilitator Visit my website at www.authordeelawrence.com to learn more about my romantic suspense novels, Gotta Let It Go and Gotta Get It Back, the sequel. Connect with me online @authordeelawrence (Facebook). Thanks for visiting with me today!

Thursday, January 31, 2019

A Review of Big Red’s Daughter by John McPartland

This is the first time I’ve read John McPartland’s work and I simply loved it. In this novel, readers are introduced to Jim Work who has just returned from Korea and driving around Carmel. He gets into a fender bender with Buddy Brown who beats him up. While this is happening, Jim gets smitten by Wild Kearny, Buddy’s girlfriend who watched the fight.

If that wasn’t enough, Jim follows them up to Wild’s place, called the Zoo and meets her rich friends. Jim then challenges Buddy again and gets the brunt of Buddy’s knuckles. Buddy leaves to get his car fixed and that’s when Wild makes a proposal to Jim. She wants him to act as her boyfriend and to meet her father, Big Red Kearny. Unbeknownst to her Big Red wants to her get married immediately and all hell broke loose when Big Red realizes that Buddy was his daughter’s boyfriend and not Jim. But Jim is on a mission to make Wild his girl and the only way to do that would be to get Buddy out of the way.
Things then went all kinds of left: Wild’s friend, Pen Brooks is in love with Buddy, but engaged to Pete Barrow, Pen is killed with a pair of scissors, Jim is accused of murder, then there’s drug smuggling ring, alibis and more lies. This was definitely a roller coaster ride and I enjoyed every minute of the description, dialogue and romantic entanglements.

Great read! Two thumbs up!
My favorite lines:

“I’m Jim Work,” I told the police. ‘Wild Kearny is in the cabin of a boat at the end of the Fishermen’s Wharf, bound and gagged. Better hurry.”

They hustled me into the back of a squad car and sirened down the black and out of the end of the wharf.’

Quite a weekend for you, Work,” said the policeman next to me in the back of the car. “Kill a girl. Kill a guy. Escape from jail. Almost beat a man to death in front of his mother. Shoot another man.”

It’s been quite a weekend,” I agreed.

What a character!”

Rating: 5 stars

Monday, January 28, 2019

Interview with Norwood Holland, author of Material Witness

Author’s Bio: Norwood Holland is a freelance writer, lawyer, and author of the Drew Smith legal thriller series based on the capers of a bon vivant DC trial attorney. Holland is a graduate of Howard University School of Law and earned his degree in English from Fisk University where he studied under the renowned Harlem Renaissance author Arna Bontemps. He has served in several government agencies including the National Labor Relations Board and several top Washington law firms. In the mid-90s he began freelance writing with bylines in The Writer Magazine and the Examiner. He blogs at editorialindependence.com. Material Witness is third in the series launched with Sleepless Nights, followed by the prequel Minus One. Private Number the fourth series installment will be released in early 2019.

DL: What inspired you to write your book?
NH: Material Witness is my third book and it’s a legal thriller. I wanted to write about a flawed hero with mental health problems. I wanted to write about a world of middle and upper-class African Americans and their sexual mores and corrupting values

DL: Describe your writing process? Do you use an outline or let it flow organically?
NH: When I start writing a book, I commit to 700 words a day. In 90 days or three months I have my first draft. I spend the next year or two rewriting and layering the book. I’ll table the book for a year and begin the publishing process.

DL: What do you think makes a good story?
NH: A good read with an easy writing style, suspense, dynamic characters and a strong plot.

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
NH: Chester Himes. Growing up I like to read crime fiction and there were no other successful black writers in that genre.

DL: If you were hosting a diner party which three authors would be your dream guests?
NH: They would be:

1.      Stephen Carter

2.      Donna Drew Sawyer

3.      John Grisham

DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?
NH: Marketing requires targeting a market and finding a way to reach them. To me the biggest key is money. It is often said, best sellers aren’t written, they’re created. I believe I can create a best seller with a substantial advertising budget and an abundance of energy.

DL What tips would you give to aspiring writers?
NH: Read what you like and write every day. Keep a daily journal. Journal writing gets you in the habit of writing. Study the techniques. Subscribe to The Writer Magazine or Writers Digest.

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from Material Witness?
NH: Here you go:

            I couldn’t erase the image of David on that bed. I had spent hours with Edward and Stephanie before returning home that evening. This would rank as one of the worst days of my life. Exhausted, I parked in my driveway and went around to the trunk to unload my fishing gear. The sound of an engine perked up my ears, and a car stopped at the end of my driveway. Damnit. It was Jackie, my pain in the ass borderline stalker. Jaqueline Cole. A confident, beautiful CEO of her own software company who had power, and money to buy anything and everything she wanted. Unfortunately, she thought she could buy me. The only problem I wasn’t for sale, Drew Smith is beholden to no one, man or woman.

            A month into our dating the relationship soured and despite my efforts to end it she resisted. On my first impression, I imagined she was everything I ever wanted, an independent woman. Then I got to know her. Clever, charming, and pleasantly manipulative, but she could turn on a dime with uncompromising demands. She had shown me her rough side transforming from ladylike to something akin to a foul mouth gangster moll. I began to fear her. She reminded me of a female octopus—a species known to kill the male after mating. The male octopus must approach the female gently and probe her with a single arm. He may grab her, but carefully, before inserting his arm up into her body, injecting packets of sperm. After sex, she would maliciously coil around his body squeezing, cutting off the supply of water to his gills with her deadly suffocating embrace. That’s how Jackie had me feeling after the remarkable sex like I needed to run. I found something dangerously satisfying in her. It scared me. I sensed I had to cut her loose or there would be hell to pay. At the time it seemed I was suffocating in a constant struggle to disentangle her tentacles. She was so relentless I began to wonder if she was bipolar. I couldn’t make her understand our relationship had run its course.

DL: What’s on the horizon for you? 
NH: Just sent my fourth book, Private Number, to the editor. Hope to issue it this summer.

DL: Where can readers learn more about you and your book(s)? 
NH: They can learn more here:

·         Web site:  http://norwoodholland.com

·         Blog:  http://editorialindependence.com

·         Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/norwoodholland/

·         Email address for readers to contact you:  norwoodholland@aim.com

·         Directions or link to where the book can be purchased: Amazon: https://amzn.to/2Qq2ypV

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, January 14, 2019

Interview with Victoria Kennedy, author of Sometimes Love

Author’s Bio: Victoria Kennedy is a fiction writer whose stories range from fun and romantic to insightful explorations of cultural and societal challenges. Sometimes all these elements are combined to create stories of Black love and woe. Victoria’s work is included in The Dating Game anthology and the self-published collection, Where Love Goes, which includes “The Uninvited Guest,” adapted into an eponymous stage play. 

Victoria is the founder of Zora’s Den, a writing group for Black women writers that entails a closed Facebook group, a series of writing workshops, and a monthly reading series based in Baltimore. Her debut novel, Sometimes Love was published by Brown Girls Books in August 2017. Her next novel, Don’t Walk Away, will be released in February 2019.

DL: What inspired you to write your book?
VK: Insomnia inspired me to write my first book. I don’t sleep very much and I fill those sleepless hours with all things creative – from writing, to playing music, or reading.

DL: Describe your writing process? Do you use an outline or let it flow organically?
VK: After loosely planning what my story will be about, I don’t outline. I write, as the story develops, very organically. I identify as a “pantser” as opposed to a “plotter.”

DL: What do you think makes a good story?
VK: I think interesting characters placed in relatable circumstances make for stories in which readers can see themselves or fantasize about. I like having readers imagine being in my stories. It drives them to invest emotionally.

DL: Is there any particular author or book that influenced you in any way either growing up or as an adult?
VK: The first novel I ever read was Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. It showed me the magic of engagement in a story. It was the beginning of my love affair with reading, which to me is the gateway to writing.

DL: If you were hosting a diner party which three authors would be your dream guests?
VK: They would be:

a.)    Zora Neale Hurston

b.)    Beverly Jenkins

c.)    Colin Channer

DL: What are the keys to success in marketing your book(s)?
VK: These 3 keys have been successful for me.

a.)    An online presence (social media, blogs, website).

b.)    Participation in conferences and readings.

c.)    Local promotion (It’s important to create familiarity where one is located physically).

DL: What tips would you give to aspiring writers?
VK: I’d advise aspiring writers to create a regular practice of writing, to read widely (across genres and interests), and when possible, interact with other writers.

DL: How about sharing an excerpt from Don’t Walk Away?
VK: Here you go:

     The candlelight from the votive on their table created an ambience that relaxed Leah and made her glad she’d accepted the dinner invitation. The seafood restaurant he’d chosen was located right above the marina at the Inner Harbor.  Floor to ceiling windows framed an endless view of black with occasional twinkles on the face of the water. Except for three other couples, the place was almost empty. Leah was glad for that. She liked the idea of having Morgan all to herself, but she couldn’t forget her own rule about them not dating. She had no right to yearn for his kiss again, yet she couldn’t shake the reminiscence of tasting his succulent lips.   
     “Did you enjoy your food?” His eyes communicated something else, a question where he asked for permission to touch her and even though the words were not spoken, he reached across the table to take Leah’s hand.
     “Yes, very much.”
     “You have very soft hands. You know that?”  The steady rhythm of his hand rubbing hers was doing things that made being in a public place uncomfortable. Each stroke of his flesh across hers made her mouth drier and her panties wetter. Leah crossed her legs and cleared her throat.
     “No. But I’ll take your word for it.” She withdrew her hand from his.
     Morgan smiled.  “You’re not going to make this easy for me, are you?”
     “It seems you’ve got the impression this is easy for me.”  She raised her brow in a questioning gesture. “It’s not, Morgan.”
     “Well, let’s make it easy.”

DL: What’s on the horizon for you?
VK: After releasing my next novel, I’ll be publishing an anthology from Zora’s Den. Other personal projects include resuming work on a short fiction collection and the sequel to Sometimes Love

DL: Where can readers learn more about you and your book(s)? 
VK: Readers can find me here:

·         Website: www.victoriaadamskennedy.com

·         Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Victoria-Kennedy

·         Facebook: Victoria Kennedy, author page

·         Twitter: @vickiewambui

·         Blog: www.victoriakennedywritenow.wordpress

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