Effective January 2014, the Blog-Zine is cosed to new posts and is going dark. The blog and its archives will stay "up," though, so please feel free to peruse the archives and discover all of the great books, authors, articles, and other features that have joined me here over the years. Thanks to all who helped make my Blog-Zine adventure a raging success! Read on!

09 November, 2014

SPOTLIGHT: Jagged Edges by Doris H. Dancy

Derek Wellington's life is set. He was born into wealth, graduated with honors from Harvard Law, and, ever since high school, knew he would marry the beautiful Morgan LaRue. But even with these things in his favor, somewhere along the way, everything he thinks he knows about himself, about Morgan, and even about life itself boggles his mind. Soon he is catapulted into a world of betrayal, deception, and confusion, and, somewhere in the darkness, he must search for The Light to find his way out of the maze. If he fails, it will destroy his heart and soul forever.
Get to know Doris H. Dancy, author of Jagged Edges, right here on the Blog-Zine. Then pick up or download your copy of Jagged Edges by Doris H. Dancy and read to tell about it!

Do you feel that your background or upbringing influences your writing style? If so, in what ways? I cannot remember a time when I was not enthralled with reading a story or telling one.  I can recall in my childhood, making up stories and telling them first to my eagerly awaiting dolls, who were attentive to every word, and then the neighborhood kids, who listened and laughed while sitting under the big apple tree in my grandma’s backyard.  During my teen years and then college days, I found comfort in writing poetry and plays. Writing has always been my passion and I give credit to my mom and grandmother for exposing me to so much poetry, so much language, and insisting that excellent use of grammar be a priority in my life.  

Describe Jagged Edges in ten words or less. It’s a Christian romance, detailing the devastation of betrayal.

When and why did you begin writing? I began writing as a small child because it has always been a talent and a passion. It has been a way to express my inner-feelings, create imaginary people and events, and actually clarify who I am to myself.

Is there a central message or theme in Jagged Edges that you hope readers will come away from the reading experience with? Yes, the message is that, in order to have true love, we must give it time and never confuse it with infatuation, or quick and careless intimacy. True love takes time, commitment, respect, and dedication.

What has been the toughest criticism you’re received as an author?  What has been the best?
Toughest criticism: Some think that I am too wordy in my descriptions…that I tell too much…that the writing should not be like watching a film, which is what I strive to do. Best compliment: My readers seem to love the way that I use words…the phrasing. Also, in Jagged Edges, over and over I have been told that it is a page-turner and almost impossible to put down.

What’s next for you? What can readers look forward too from Doris H. Dancy? I am presently writing the sequel to Jagged Edges and since it is all about Zack, my bad boy in Jagged Edges, there won’t be a chance to blink. This man is CRAZY.

How can we find you online and where can we pick up a copy of Jagged Edges? You can find me online at my Official Website and you can pick up a copy of my novel at Amazon, in either ebook or paperback.

If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of writing your novel or getting it published that you would change? No, I would not change a thing. I love Jagged Edges. I fell in love with the characters, the events, and the possibilities of their futures. Additionally, my publisher, St. Paul Press, is available, attentive, cost-effective, and excellent in the presentation of their products. Their cover alone was worth it. I don’t think they could be any better because they still got everything ready for me on time, despite the fact that, when my novel deadline date was upon them, their buildings unfortunately burned to the ground.

What has been the most effective method of marketing and /or publicizing your books so far?  Why or how? I think linking my book with a cause has helped the most. My Relationship conference was a huge hit and people are still buying the book as a result of what the novel stands for. So many people want their teens and young adults to realize the importance of building strong and respectful relationships that develop into true love.  The “quickie” rarely works, if ever.

Doris H. Dancy is an accomplished and award-winning educator, speaker, writing consultant, playwright, wife, mother and author. Her life’s focus has been on educating youth about literacy and spoken word appreciation. She lives in Yorktown, Virginia with her husband.

20 February, 2014

Urban Poetry Alert! Cracks In My Palms by Thomas C. Ross

Poetry influenced by the urban experience, perfectly meshed together with spiritualism, and political and social issues...and presented in a way you've never seen before.

Cracks in My Palms was written simply because I grew tired of waiting for someone else to write it. The topic that you’ve been hoping your favorite rapper would address, I’ve taken the liberty of addressing. The war within yourself, the battle raging in your mind, your attempts to maintain sanity in an insane world...I’ve put them into words so you don’t have to feel alone anymore.

The many relationship twists and turns that leave us asking, “What exactly is love?” I like to think I’ve answered that question perfectly.

This book was not written simply to entertain you. It was written to awaken the dead in spirit...to cause the bitter to love again...to empathize with the bereaved... to cause debate...to force those who always feel to think, to question the black and white lines of a world that divides us. This book was written for you, you just don’t know it yet.

Love is understanding , love is prayer, love is forgiveness,
Love is taken for granted, love is rare, love is relentless,
Love hurts, love lives, love gives, fierce love is, 
Loves a bitch, your pride love is guranteed  to pierce,
Love dilligently works,
Love pushes, love strains, love strives,
Love weathered under pressure sometmes bursts,
A  love deprived cries because its dying of thirst,
Love can be exciting or mellow and mild,
Love can drive a young man wild,
Love hears, love sees, love learns , love teaches<
Love expects, love delivers, when love is lost, love seeks it,
Love believes, love dreams, love tries, love fails,
Love is pure, love endures, love fights, love prevails,
Love is heaven, love is hell, love is freedom, love is a cell,
Love is a blessing, love is a curse, love is a lesson loves is..
the most perfect imperfection.
Love is ridicule, love is pivotal, love is a very difficult wish for two,
Love is loyal, love is honest, love is principle,
Love is progress, love is mystical, love is a promise, love is invincible,
Love is God’s hands, God’s earth, God’s breath of life, the creation of God’s Man,
Love is a man’s life, his rib, his wife, God’s plan,
Love is the unconquerable emotion that superceedes all,
Love is everything created, shaken together,
Love is beyond boundaries, without measure,
Love is here, love is now, love is forever...yeah, love is forever.
Poetry lovers, pick up or download your copy of Cracks In My Palms by Thomas C. Ross today and read to tell about it!

21 January, 2014

Mentally Challenged: Why Name Call? by Cori Coleman

Mentallly Challenged: Why Name Call?
When his older brother was diagnosed with a learning disability, Cori Coleman began extensive research into what challenges might befall his brother during his lifetime. After observing children from elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools, it became evident that the challenges of those with disabilities often include reading, writing, listening, data retention, and various other obstacles. His research also revealed that, while many individuals with disabilities are successful at learning how to overcome reading and writing challenges, the one challenge that individuals consistently failed to overcome was the existence of the disability itself.
In response to this finding, Coleman offers readers Mentally Challenged: Why Name Call? a contributing body of knowledge, devoted to helping people face their challenges and overcome them.

Meet Cori Coleman, author of Mentally Challenged: Why Name Call?

1. When and why did you begin writing? I began writing poems at age 12 and composed a book of poetry at age 14. I made the book because I needed to explain what I felt about what I saw happening around me. Whatever bad things I saw and any good things I witnessed, I wanted to understand them, so I began writing and just kept going from there. 

2. Is there a central message or theme in your novel that you hope readers will come away from the reading experience with? Yes! Discover yourself and give yourself time to mold the person you are today into who you are designed to be tomorrow. We all have a purpose and in order to serve that purpose, we have to be exactly the person for the job. As readers close this book and sit back to think on what they have read, the end result should be that they want to discover themselves.

3. What has been the toughest criticism you’re received as an author? What has been the best?The toughest criticism came directly from my cousin Craig, who never hesitated to give me honest feedback about my work. If it wasn't good, he would just come right out and say it. The best criticism comes from me. If I know I bummed an article or chapter, I stop writing and admit it. However, the fortunate turnout is that I force myself to delete it all and go back and do it better. 

4. If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of writing your novel or getting it published that you would change? No. I learned better this way, making mistakes and having to learn the business for myself. Every setback or failure prepared me for research, which is necessary to excel as an author. 

5. What has been the most effective method of marketing and /or publicizing your books so far? Why or how? So far, word of mouth.

6. What’s next for you? What can readers look forward to from Cori Coleman? I have one more installment for the self-help genre titled, The Challenge. This book focuses on helping you find your spiritual gift and using it to fulfill your purpose. After that, I have some fantasy manuscripts I cannot wait to put into print - a four part series. The first book in the series is Dreams Beyond The Mirror. So look out for The Challenge and Dreams Beyond The Mirror in 2014. 

7. How can we find you online and where can we pick up a copy of your novel? I can be contacted via my official website and I'm also a member of some of the popular online social networks. My book can be purchased directly from AuthorHouse or from several other online retailers.

8. What book are you reading now? How is it? Currently, I have my head buried in Beautiful Creatures by Margaret Stohl and Kami GarciaSo far, it is excellent. I like the devotion of the characters, as well as the faith they show toward each other. I have not finished it yet but I need to, because I purchased Beautiful Darkness, the second book in the series, at the same time that I purchased the first book. I am anxious to get started on it.

Pick up or download your copy of Mentally Challenged: Why Name Call? by Cori Coleman today and read to tell about it!

07 January, 2014

What Phil Robertson Said...Don't Shoot the Messenger

Lately, the Internet has been abuzz about the future of the hit show, Duck Dynasty, and the fact that one of its stars, Phil Robertson, has been suspended from filming indefinitely because of comments he made about gays and blacks. Well, for the comments he made about gays, anyway. For many, the comments were offensive and, as a result, Mr. Robertson is on the hot seat. Deservedly so? Not for me to say.

What I do find interesting is the discrepancy between the level of backlash over Mr. Robertson's comments about gays and the level of backlash over his comments about black people. For the former,
there has been a lot of heated commentary and for the latter, little to none. Hmmm, interesting.

Here's what Phil Robertson had to say about black people: “I never, with my eyes, saw the mistreatment of any black person. Not once,” he said. “Where we lived was all farmers. The blacks worked for the farmers. I hoed cotton with them. I’m with the blacks, because we’re white trash. We’re going across the field … They’re singing and happy. I never heard one of them, one black person, say, ‘I tell you what: These doggone white people’—not a word!… Pre-entitlement, pre-welfare, you say: Were they happy? They were godly; they were happy; no one was singing the blues.”

Say what, Phil?

A few things about this statement stand out to me and they are...

31 December, 2013

Right Before My Eyes II by Michelle Robinson

Journee and Jordyn are back!

It’s a new year and, after the untimely death of Kalena's husband, Todd, things are quite shaken up. After returning from her honeymoon alone, will Kalena find peace with Todd’s death and happiness in her own life again?

Jordyn’s shocking secret only gets worse as things take a turn down a path that leaves everyone more confused than ever before. Will Jordyn and Chris survive?

Chelsea's and Najah’s lives have changed, as well. When Drew comes home from prison, will Journee be able to leave her broken past behind and marry him? Has she really moved on from Jason?

Witness more drama and celebrations as you follow Jordyn, Journee, Kalena, Najah, and Chelsea along their journey. The year 2009 just might be their year after all!

Meet Michelle Robinson, author of Right Before My Eyes II:

Do you feel like your background or upbringing influences your writing style? If so, in what way(s)? Yes, definitely. My background shapes the way my characters interact with each other. For instance, I am from Oakland, Ca., where the word “hella” started. It means a lot or many. It’s definitely a Bay Area slang word and we all say it. My book is set in Oakland so my characters say it, too.

Describe your book in 10 words or less: an exciting, definitely hard to put down page-turner.

When and why did you begin writing? I began writing in the mid '80s when I was in junior high school. I had just experienced one hell of a relationship and two people told me on the same day that I needed to write a book about it, so I did.

Is there a central message or theme in that you hope readers will come away from the reading experience with? There are a lot of messages in part one and part two of Right Before My Eyes. But the first one that comes to mind is this: trust God and allow Him to lead your mate to you.

What has been the toughest criticism you’ve received as an author? What has been the best compliment? The toughest criticism has been my mother’s disapproval regarding the sex scenes.
The best compliment is when someone tells me that they could really identify with one of my characters. I love it because I want my stories to be a reflection of my readers.

If you had to go back and do it all over again, is there any aspect of writing your novel or getting it published that you would change? No, because you grow from learning the process.

What has been the most effective method of marketing and/or publicizing your books so far? Why or how? I would have to say Facebook, because that’s how you can build an audience of many people. The vending events are great too, because you can reach a lot of new people who aren’t your Facebook friends yet.

What’s next for you? What can readers look forward to from you? Readers can look forward to Right Before My Eyes III.

How can we find you online and where can we pick up a copy of Right Before My Eyes II? Visit me online at my official website. My books are available online, through Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and other retailers.

Pick up or download your copy of Right Before My Eyes II by Michelle Robinson and read to tell about it!

07 December, 2013

QUICK PICK: Inevitable by Johnie Jay

After having her heart broken by her deadbeat ex-boyfriend, Angel McCloud is done with love. Now its all about her. Angel wants to have a little fun and cater to her inner-sexual beast, without commitment and drama, with the Detroit Lions' wide receiver...and her delectable personal trainer...and a coworker who's been eyeing her for a while now. Will she get the chance to let loose?

Future Crowne used to be a Mr. Nice guy and a hopeless romantic. Then he got tired of being overlooked and misused by the women in his life. Five years later and Future is now the epitome of a player. To protect his heart, he has no problem giving women a dose of their own medicine. All they get from him is sex. Unfortunately, he may have finally met his match.

Follow these two seemingly different people as they navigate tantalizing paths, drama-filled nights, and sexual triangles, in an effort to discover the inevitable truth.

Pick up or download your copy of Inevitable by Johnie Jay and read to tell about it!

30 November, 2013

SPOTLIGHT: Wounds of Deception by Patrice Tartt

Christie Whitfield-Adams has the picture-perfect life: a husband who loves her, a thriving career, stop-in-your-tracks good looks, and an undeniable bond with her father, Kenneth. In a nutshell, Christie’s living the typical American dream. But when her father mysteriously falls gravely ill, his two sisters step up and begin to care for him, while Christie puts life as she knows it on hold to be by his side. However, when Kenneth’s sisters begin acting strangely just as things take a turn for the worse, Christie must put aside her grief to figure out the mystery surrounding their behavior. While Christie struggles with her own personal grief, she learns the many secrets that those closest to her work hard to keep buried. There’s missing money and personal items and, worst of all, deception being disguised as “love” in the mix. Layer by layer, Christie pulls back the deceptions and begins to uncover exactly who her father's allies are and who is betraying him and his legacy. Will the realization that what she once thought was perfect is really the exact opposite send Christie running for the hills or will she be able to deal with the wounds of deception and move on with her life?
Pick up or download your copy of Wounds of Deception by Patrice Tartt today and read to tell about it! Also, visit Patrice Tartt's Official Website to learn more about the author and find out what's up next for her.

21 October, 2013

Spotlight: "A Secret Worth Keeping" by Lakisha Johnson

Can you keep a secret?
Shelby is a career woman turned housewife who enjoys the friendships that she's built with her best friends - Camille, Lynesha, Raylin, Kerri, and Chloe. They are all career women with different businesses or careers, husbands, and even children, but something is missing, something they can’t find at home, in a store, or even in a book. So they search for the missing piece in the beds, arms, cars, offices, and even in storage rooms of other men who don’t mind paying for what Dem Dam Divas can offer. They enjoy the thrill of sneaking, creeping, and even vacationing on someone else’s dime. But what happens when it all becomes too much? Will their secret lives be revealed? Will they regret their actions or stand by them? Is their secret really worth keeping?

"I was scared to put it down because I didn't want to miss a beat." ~ Amazon.com

"If you and your friends have memories of girls' outings, this book will surely bring them back." ~ Amazon.com

"Once I started reading this book it was very hard to put down because I got very involved in the story." ~ Amazon.com

14 October, 2013

SPOTLIGHT: It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy by Quanie Miller

Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex-boyfriend, Curtis. So when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she has no idea that he’s about to propose - to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.
Meanwhile, the annual family dinner is coming up and, fearing that she will spend the entire evening seething while Mercedes flaunts a four-carat diamond engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis that she met at the mall, to accompany her. And as fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date, but that backstabbing, leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him!
Revenge has never been so sweet. But falling for ReggieHoly crap! That wasn’t part of Jazzy's plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is, with a mother who spies on the neighbors and a sister with man problems that could land them all on the Jerry Springer Show. And when Curtis comes sniffing around again - this time with an accusation that sends Jazzy'z blood pressure shooting through the roof - the one good nerve that she's got left is in danger of completely disappearing.
Blog-Zine Blabber: Okay, first of all, I really like the cover. It's cute and colorful and hints at a light, fun read. Plus, it's so different from the current "look" of covers in AA fiction today. Another thing I like is the book blurb. It tells me that the cover just may have given me the right impression. This seems like it's going to be an easy, entertaining read that will be perfect for devouring on lunch breaks, lengthy commutes, and during telephone conversations where you're only required to utter the occasional "uh-huh" to hold up your end while something else actually has your complete attention. Every now and again, I like to get between the covers with a book that has the potential to make me laugh out loud, so I think I'll download a copy of It Aint Easy Being Jazzy by Quanie Miller and see what's up. Don't act like you don't want to see what's up, too. Go on...download your copy and read to tell about it!

27 September, 2013

Spotlight: Diamond by Mz. Robinson (Part 6 of the Love, Lies & Lust Series)

Being the wife of one of the most respected and feared men in the city comes with an array of perks...

. . .and Diamond enjoys them all. From designer tags, fast cars, and trips to foreign lands, Diamond lives a life that most women only dream about. All she has to do is dream it or wish it and her husband, Leon "Gator" Douglass, will make it come true. But when the good life goes sour and Gator lands himself in prison, Diamond quickly discovers how fast one can go from eating Caviar on Wednesday to eating Beanie Weenies on Thursday. Now, determined to survive on her own and keep the empire that Gator once built in the process, Diamond assumes her rightful place as the leader of "the family." Soon friends become enemies and enemies become allies. And Diamond discovers that loyalty could possibly be the most expensive gift her husband ever purchased and one that she may not be able to afford. . .

"This was such an awesome read from start to finish." ~ Amazon.com

"Diamond's story is top notch in drama." ~ Amazon.com

"Mz. Robinson has done it again, another literary page-tuner." ~ Amazon.com

Pick-up or download your copy of the 6th installment in the Love, Lies & Lust Series, Diamond by Mz. Robinson, today and read to tell about it! Click on the links below to learn more about the author and this exciting series!