Wednesday, August 19, 2015

AN AFFINITY FOR PRETTY THINGS

Although I fancy myself to be a procurer of fine art, I am, in actuality, only a woman who is fond of very pretty things. I was gifted the very first piece of artwork that adorned the walls of my first apartment.  It was a print by Norman Rockwell, his classic The Problem We All Live With, an image of 6-year old Ruby Bridges being escorted into a New Orleans elementary school by US Marshalls in the 1960’s.  It was a wonderful accent piece in the corner where it hung and provoked much thought and conversation in my home.  But it was an image that I saw so many times, in so many places, that many years later it influenced my decision to only buy original pieces of artwork.

Because the purchase of original artwork proved to be a very expensive venture I began to seek out up and coming artists whose talents had yet to be discovered and whose price points were more budget friendly.  Fast forward and I am still buying, sometimes blessed with a bigger budget and sometimes not, but still only buying originals and frequently from artists who are just beginning to make their mark in the art industry.  In the last thirty-odd years I’ve amassed quite a collection and have even had to acquire wall space to showcase some of it.

Despite the multitude of advice I’ve received over the years about how and what to purchase, the admonishments that I should now be buying for investment sake only, I have yet to be convinced.  What I’ve discovered over the years is that I am very particular about the work that will hang on my walls.  My tastes have evolved with maturity and the artwork must now speak to my spirit and tell me a story.

These days I find myself buying less abstract art and more folk art.  I was once partial to oil paintings but my last few purchases have all been watercolors.  My purchases have been determined by my mood of the moment and I am known to barter services for a piece that has captured my attention.  I discovered my last acquisition, a watercolor by the late Gail Henderson Weinerth, two years ago, hanging in an antique shop, clearly out of place.  At the time, there was no budget for artwork and I had to leave the incredible piece behind.  It was a work of art that haunted me for months. Fast forward and I was amazed to rediscover that painting propped in a dusty corner while strolling through a country store.  After some serious haggling, I brought The Violinist home, delighted by the imagery that gave me reason to pause.

When asked, the only advice I have ever given about collecting is to make sure any piece you are considering is a piece that you love.  If there is an art to collecting art, I imagine that I have yet to master it.  Because for me, collecting art, has always
been about my affinity for pretty things. 

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

SUCKING ON HIS MAMA'S TITTIES


Beverly’s relationship has come to an end, finally having run its course. She doesn’t see it, nor is she trying to. The bad times outweigh the good times. She spends more time being unhappy, than she does being happy. And still, she insists that she can change things around, because she can change him, if only he would truly listen when she complains. Arguments are now full-fledged battles. There’s a push and a shove, a slap, even punches thrown that no one is supposed to know about. And the screaming is epic, voices raised more times than anyone would care to count.

What everyone has tried to make her understand is that he is still a boy, despite his age. They were both babies when they fell in love and there has been little maturity since. He has no responsibilities, still sucking on his mama’s titties as family and friends take care of all his needs. Right now he’s rolling that program because he can, yet to have a reason to do things differently.

What she fails to realize is that despite the love they claim to have for each other, she is nothing more than a part of his growth process. Once day he will be an exceptional man, but for some other woman. And he will have her to thank for some of the lessons he is now learning. It’s just the cycle of life, and love, in play and we have all lived her experience. We kiss frogs before we find that prince; a man who has sowed all his wild oats and come into his own.

What she refuses to hear is that one day there is a man who will come into her life and be the one. Who will honor and respect the woman she herself will eventually become. A man who won’t need to be changed into the man she wants him to be.

Monday, August 03, 2015

A DEAD ASIAN WOMAN TO THANK


Another book has been put to rest. I dotted the last i and although I’m not quite sure whether or not I crossed all the t’s, I was glad to push the send button and put it in my editor’s hands. It was only two months late.

I have not had a book work me quite so hard. But this one was a challenge. And then just like that it wasn’t and I have a dead Asian woman to thank.

For weeks I found myself unable to connect with the characters. I knew who they were, knew their story, could tell you what they liked and didn’t but no matter how I tried to twist and bend the fantasy that was their romance I could not find anything loving about the words. Then the Asian woman began to haunt me.

I knew her many years ago. She was kind and good natured with a gentle disposition. She and her son owned a restaurant that I frequented at least once weekly. The woman was a phenomenal cook! I had a favorite meal that wasn’t on her menu but that she gladly made special whenever I wanted. I was craving that meal as I agonized over not being able to pull together the story I needed to tell. Three restaurants later and I found the perfect little Thai bistro that satisfied my craving. And that same night she walked into my dreams.

For two nights straight she came to talk. About my story. Interjecting her opinion about the direction I was trying to move it in. It quickly became apparent that she didn’t agree with how I saw my tale playing out. For two nights I listened, then I’d wake up and try to go back to doing what clearly hadn’t been working for me. I found myself frustrated and scared because the words simply were not there and the ones that were weren’t working. I actually called my agent in tears, feeling like all was lost.

The Asian woman came back a week later. For days she was just there, saying nothing, just watching me agonize over what I was trying so desperately to control. Then late one night as I drifted off to sleep she admonished me for wasting her time. Then she asked me why I was finding it so hard to let go and let God. I woke in a panic, drenched in sweat.

That next day, I sat in seclusion for hours, the memory of our time together playing over and over again in my head and then, just like that, I let go. I finished that book one week later, loving everything about the story that I was finally able to tell. And just like that the Asian woman was gone. She's been dead for a few years. Breast cancer. I hear that her son continues to run that little restaurant.

Sometimes I need to be reminded that what I do and how I do it is never about me. I write because I love it but I know that being able to write is a blessing. It’s a gift I don’t take lightly. And my best writing comes when I let go and let God.


Friday, July 24, 2015

AUTHOR ROOMS Welcomes ALICE WOOTSON


Author Rooms is excited to welcome renowned author Alice Wootson! 

Alice Greenhowe Wootson grew up in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She attended Cheyney University and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education. She later earned a Masters Degree in Education, and Reading Specialist Certification.

Alice is the award-winning author of eleven romance novels. She is also an award-winning poet and a member of the Philadelphia Writers Conference and The Mad Poets Society. Alice has taught writing workshops for several chapters of RWA and other groups.

Active in several ministries in her church, she also spends any spare time she can find reading, writing, traveling and enjoying her grandchildren. 

Coming soon from Alice is her next release BORDER DANGER, to be published by Prism Book Group. It is an inspirational romantic suspense and deals with the dangers of border patrol agents assigned to the Texas-Mexican border in Brownsville, Texas. 

In BORDER DANGER border patrol agents Brooke Hudson and Darien McKee experience different situations while on assignment that shake their faith. She considers resigning from the agency, but will try reassignment instead. Darien is forced to transfer from the Yuma Sector after an incident in the desert. They are assigned as partners. A personal relationship develops between them. An incident occurs that makes it necessary for them to be assigned different partners, but they continue to see each other socially. Brooke’s new partner makes a rash decision that puts her in jeopardy. Will her faith help her out of the dangerous situation? Darien realizes he loves her. When she disappears, he finds his faith returning as he searches for Brooke. Will he find her in time?

What does your writing process look like?
 Messy. Like my workspace! I get an idea from wherever. Often it's something I read or hear or something that comes up in a discussion. What comes to me is just a general idea. Then my  mnd starts a 'what if'  journey.  My first novel, 'Snowbound with Love' was triggered when a weatherman stating that it was early February and we had already had seventeen snowstorms. My last novel, 'Border Love' and the next, 'Border Danger' were triggered when we spent several winters in Brownsville, Texas and I saw how close the border fence was to Mexico. The Rio Grande River is narrow and shallow there and you can see Mexico through the chainlink fence. Students commute to Texas Southernmost University by walking across a bridge.
 
What makes your writing space special to you?
Even though I had a bedroom on our third floor converted to an office, I use the dining room table. Everything I might need is there. I guess it's special to me because nobody else could find anything there. 

What book do you wish you could have written?
I can't think of any.
 
Is there any subject you could never write about?
Abuse or cruelty of any kind.
 
Do you have any special writing habits?
Of course not.  All of my writing habits are perfectly normal. After all, they're mine! Unless you count that I need my cup of tea as I write. Flavored. (I prefer Constant Comment or Earl Grey.) Or that I have to play Microsofts' Solitaire & Mahjong games of the day before I start working. (This used to be my reward for after. I don't know when it changed.) When I'm revising or editing, I have gospel or country or old school music in the background. When I'm writing from scratch, though, I need it to be quiet. Other than those, I'm just a regular author.


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

BLISSFUL SUMMER!

It's going to be a BLISSFUL SUMMER as I welcome fellow Kimani authors Cheris Hodges and Lisa Marie Perry with their latest summer blockbuster! They're bringing us two exotic locations and two couples who discover the thrill of rekindled passion in this hot summer read!

MAKE YOU MINE AGAIN by Cheris Hodges
Supermodel Jansen Douglas is living her dream. Now a wedding in Paris is about to reunite her with the high school sweetheart she left behind. But Atlanta CEO Bradley Stephens won't let their stormy past stand in the way of reclaiming his first and only love.

UNRAVELED by Lisa Marie Perry
Ona Tracy's plans to seduce her high school crush unravel when the reunion trip she books turns out to be an erotic-themed cruise to the Bahamas! Rather than abandon ship, she recruits blond-haired, silver eyed Riker Ewan to be her hookup, unaware that the hot-bodied ex-marine isn't who he seems to be...

The authors were both kind enough to dish on what the inspiration was for each of their stories.

Lisa Marie, how did you come up with your main couple?
I knew from the start that I wanted to write an interracial couple who experience an instant attraction and connection. Ona is African American and Riker is Caucasian. In the past I've written interracial couples whose conflict has zero to do with racial and cultural details, but I wanted to give Ona and Riker a different journey. Ona is a quirky multitalented performer--and a liar. Riker is a Boston-bred ex-Marine and current blue-collar bartender--and also a liar. They end up aboard an erotic-themed cruise, each harboring secret agendas, and when they meet, lust binds them both and doesn't let go until their every vulnerability is exposed and every inhibition released.
 What was the best part about writing your story?
Writing Ona and Riker's lust-at-first-sight romance was by far the best and most fun part of this experience. They are so sexy and dirty together and they do--and say--things that I absolutely would not.
Please, pick a favorite scene from your story and give the readers some background on what you did to create it.
Easy--Ona and Riker's first kiss! It's sensual and dramatic and exhilarating--at least to me. ;-) Enjoy.
Lisa Marie, how can readers get in contact with you?
I love hearing from readers. Visit me at www.perrytalebooks.com and also on Twitter (@PerryOrdinary).

Cheris! So how did you come up with your main couple?
I love to see people who used to be in love discover that they still love each other. So, with Jansen and Bradley, I wanted to bring them together with each one of them thinking they didn’t have a chance. And a hero who thinks he has a chance to steal his one true love from another man is so much fun to create.
What was the best part about writing your story?
I love Paris. I haven’t been yet, but I’ve done enough research on the city to feel as if I belong there. And Paris was the perfect setting to rekindle romance. So, aside from the romance between Jansen and Bradley, researching Paris was SO MUCH FUN!
Would you pick a favorite scene from your story and give the readers some background on what you did to create it?
One of my favorite scenes in Make You Mine Again, has to be when Bradley tries to pretend seeing a picture of Jansen with her “fiance” doesn’t bother him. I tried to think of a certain ex of mine and I hope this would be his reaction when I showed up in a major publication on the arms of a fine famous man. I actually asked him how he would feel about it. That clown laughed.
 And, how can readers get in contact with you, Cheris?
I’m all over the Internet. Readers can visit my website: www.cherishodges.net, follow me on Twitter @cherishodges, follow my blog: www.cherishodges.blogspot.com and they can also get insight on Blissful Summer at www.blissfulsummerromance.wordpress.com

Thank you, ladies! I can't wait to get my Blissful Summer read on and since I love a good tease both authors were kind enough to leave us with a taste of what we can expect!

An excerpt from UNRAVELED by Lisa Marie Perry

Exchanging the glasses for contact lenses, and trading the sweats for a black mesh bikini top with a bow and matching bottoms, Ona swept up her swim tote and joined Regan.
            “That is not a bikini,” Regan accused. “It’s sheer.”
            “Not completely. The bow hides the nipples and the bottoms are solid at the crotch and booty crack.”
            Scoffing, Regan insisted, “I’m only considering your welfare.”
            “You said that before.”
          “Last night you were on Nicholas’s lap and now you’re going to be lounging around a pool wearing that in front of him? It’s an attention-getter.”
            An attention-getter …  Perfect.
          They’d gotten no farther than halfway down the hall before Cole Stanwyck nudged between them, securing his arms around their waists. “The two hottest women onboard. I would’ve been the king of PAAC if I had the pair of you keeping my arms full. Where are you headed?”
            Ever the composed, cool one, Regan gave her deep gold curls a toss. “Cole, juvenile come-ons don’t affect me.”
            “That hurts, Regan. Stilts, make it up to me.”
            Hesitant to linger in his company, Ona at last said, “We’re going to the lower deck.”
            The walk was uneventful, meaning Cole didn’t try to stick his hand between her legs, as he’d tried to when they were seniors at PAAC. Ona hadn’t realized she was sweating until the three of them arrived at the deck. What further concerned her was that she might’ve panicked had Regan Waltz not been there to protect her in a strange, accidental way.
            “If you’re going to be sitting on anybody’s lap, let it be mine,” Cole said as he escorted Ona and Regan to the doors where two crewmembers stood by to offer assistance. “Nicholas didn’t book you for the entire trip, did he?”
            Regan snapped, “Ona has someone, Cole, and it’s not Nicholas. She has someone else and they’re having plenty of sex. So can you please stop the bullshit?”
            Ona and Cole froze as Regan untangled herself from his hold and started to stalk out on the pool deck ahead of them.
            “Regan, wait,” Ona tried, craning her neck to see the woman through the people cutting across her line of vision.
            Regan paused to accept a rolled cool towel and a bowl of fruit from a row of pool refreshment staff. “The only reason I’m not going to a champagne pool right now is because Rajon asked everyone to show up here,” she hollered to the pair. “I’m only doing this because I respect that man more than I’ll ever respect you, Cole.”
            “Repressed bitch,” he sneered at Regan’s back.
            Ona pushed against him. “Let me go. I will not listen to you call her that.”
            “You don’t like her, and she sure as hell doesn’t like you.”
            “That’s true. I’m not going to deny it. But I didn’t come to this deck to make alliances. I came to catch up with the group. Some of us want this to be a positive experience.”
            Cole snatched his arm from her waist, and because she’d been struggling against him, she stumbled at the abrupt freedom. He made no move to steady her—not that she would’ve let him, anyway. “I’m positive you’ve been experiencing Nicholas Callaghan.”
            “Think what you want,” she said, scanning the deck and finding roughly half of the group.
            “If you’re with somebody, where is he?” Cole persisted.
            Ona felt sweaty again, uncomfortably hot, but a cool towel or fruit or concoctions from the pool deck’s snazzy bar wouldn’t be of any relief. Stress sawed at her nerves, and she wanted to get away. “He’s …”
            “Where, Ona?”
            “He’s—” Ona’s gaze swung across the deck, and he was there. Not a made-up sex man or a man she could have a genuine relationship with, but Riker Ewan. One hand gripped a safety railing, the other held his phone, and taut muscles bulged across his arms and back. A gray T-shirt and athletic shorts today, and his dog tags were out, dangling from a simple silver chain. Sunglasses concealed his eyes, but she recognized him clearly. Her body had sensed his. “He’s there, on the phone.”
            “I don’t believe you.” Cole said it calmly, as though he almost enjoyed cornering her and forcing her to face her own lies. “Admit you lied and I won’t have you embarrass yourself in front of the club.”
            “Not that I owe you any explanation, Cole,” she served back, “but I’m not available and my marine probably won’t appreciate that I’ve had to tell you so many times. You need to leave me alone.”
            For effect, she crossed the deck to Riker and took his phone from his hand. Disconnecting the call, she whispered solemnly, “I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, Riker, but I need your help.”
            A frown immediately creased his face. “It’s yours. What’s wrong?”
            “You told me you’re at my service. If you meant what you said yesterday about pretending to be with me, kiss me.” Ona wrapped an arm around his shoulders, because she would start trembling if she didn’t hold on to something solid. So many men in her life had assumed that just because she was tall, seemed strong, she never needed support. Would Riker give her that?
            “Are you sure about this, Ona?”
            “Kiss me,” she said again. “Make it good. Make it so nothing and no one else on this deck exists.”
            “Put my phone in my pocket,” he said calmly in her ear, his lip moving over the shell. “My hands are going to be on you and I’m not gonna take them off until we’re done here. And he’s going to envy me. He’s going to want to have this chance with you.”
            Ona nodded because it was true, technically. To be further technical, it was Cole who’d envy Riker and who’d want this chance with her. She didn’t know what Nicholas wanted.
            Riker took her in stages. Large hands grasped her hips, preparing her. Eyes that were simultaneously blue as ice and gray as smoke perused her. Beautiful, warm, hungry mouth claimed hers with a sudden force that had her head snapping back and her legs collapsing.
            His teeth captured her lips one at a time, and his tongue tasted her. To have his strength wrapped around her … To have his firm mouth open to hers …
            No one had ever said a kiss could void all sensation but arousal. It was a lesson she had to learn for herself as he held her and grinded. Moving against her like this, he spoke to her, admitted his desire and coaxed her to admit hers.
            It didn’t feel like a first kiss. It was absent of expectation and curiosity and nervousness. There was just addictive pleasure.

An excerpt from MAKE YOU MINE AGAIN by Cheris Hodges

  “I messed that up. I guess you’re going to get your happily ever after with that guy. Congratulations, Jansen. But how does he feel knowing you ditched him to find me?”
   “I didn’t come to find you. I see you still think the sun doesn’t rise until it hits your ass. You haven’t changed at all, have you?”
   “Oh. I’ve changed. And so have you.”
   “What’s that supposed to mean?”
   “You’re even more beautiful than I remember.”
   A heated blush filled her cheeks, crept down her neck and finally settled between her thighs. “It’s the make up and…”
   “No, Jansen, it’s you. You’ve always been gorgeous. Maybe I wasn’t ready to share you with the world. I should’ve been more supportive of what you wanted rather than thinking you should have hidden your light.”
   She shot him a blank look. “You wanted everything your way, how did that work out for you?”
   “I should probably thank you,” he said.
   “Thank me?”
   He nodded and took a sip of his drink, trying and failing not to look at her cleavage. “I realized that day that I can’t expect my woman to do everything I want her do. And though I thought the center meant as much to you as it did to me, I shouldn’t have made that assumption for you. I still believe with your brain, you could’ve done something more with your life. You could’ve been on the front line teaching these young girls the value of their lives.”
  She wondered if he even realized how saying that three years ago would’ve changed their lives. But right now, he sounded like a pompous jerk. Jansen rolled her eyes. “A little too late,” she said.
   “Better late than never. I’m also thankful for your generosity,” he said. “The donations that you make every year help us further our cause of helping families and victims of domestic violence.”
   “I loved your parents and what they stood for, I’m glad that I can help their legacy continue.”
   “You could’ve done a lot more if you stayed on the staff…”
   “You’re really going to start that again?”
   “No,” he said as he eased closer to her chair. “I’m going to start this.” He cupped her face in his hands and kissed her slow, deliberate and passionate. He slipped his hands between her thighs and a soft moan escaped her throat. Jansen trembled with anticipation, with longing. Inside, Bradley beamed knowing she still belonged to him. Still clamored for his touch as much as he yearned for her.
    Breaking the kiss, he looked into Jansen’s eyes.
   “Do you love him?”
   “What?” she asked, blinking rapidly.
   “Well, do you?”
   “Are you serious? You’re jealous of tabloid headlines?”
   “No, I’m just wondering what kind of man allows the woman he’s supposed to marry to walk the streets of Paris alone.  If you were my woman, I would never allow that to happen.”
   Jansen rose to her feet and glared at him. “Yeah, you’re the same as you’ve always been. Still want to be in control of everything. All men don’t think like you, thank God. Why don’t we just call it a life? There’s nothing else we need to say to one another.”
   Bradley stood up and closed the space between them. “There’s plenty to say,” he said. “I’ve never stopped loving you and—” He stroked her arm. “I can feel how much you want me, Jansen. So, forgive me if I don’t celebrate your engagement. And I’m not going to watch you marry a man that you may like, but don’t love.”
      “I am…” Bradley silenced her with a kiss that made her knees quiver. His tongue filled her mouth, reminding her that no one could kiss like Bradley, no one could find the way to her soul with a kiss. No one but Bradley. And when he pulled her against his hard body, she felt the throbbing of all of his muscles and melted against him. She wanted to peel her dress off and let him have his way with her. She wanted to go back to the days when she and Bradley woke up entwined in each other’s arms and the previous night’s passion became that morning’s desire.


Friday, July 10, 2015

AUTHOR ROOMS Welcomes SHERYL LISTER


Today, AUTHOR ROOMS welcomes author SHERYL LISTER. An avid reader who's been writing for as long as she can remember, Sheryl writes contemporary and inspirational romance and romantic suspense. Her first novel, Just To Be With You, earned her a 2015 Romance Slam Jam nomination for Debut Author of the Year. 

In Sheryl's next novel, Made To Love You, Devin Simms is a man who has never forgiven the woman who walked out on him but when he sees her again, he realizes the passion between them still burns. Vivian Michaels has to face her past and trust her heart when Devin's kisses reawaken memories of the love she still feels for him. Made To Love You is a tale of love lost and rediscovered beneath a Caribbean sun. It's available on July 14, 2015.

Sheryl resides in California and is a wife and mother of three. 

What does your writing process look like?   
I try to write at least five days a week, though not always at the same time. When I'm not writing, I'm usually thinking about writing or 'writing in my head' as my husband calls it. 

What is your least favorite part about the writing / publishing process?
  
My least favorite part is writing the middle of the book. The characters are falling in love at the beginning and finding their happily ever after at the end, and I often want to hurry and get to that part.

Do you have any strange writing habits?

I tend to write phrases and thoughts on colored post-its. Each color represents a different kind of thought (i.e. green - songs, pink - phrases the hero/heroine will say, blue - things I need to go back and add, etc.)

If you weren't a writer what would be your next career choice and why?
If I weren't writing, I would most likely be back working as a pediatric occupational therapist. I spent over twenty years playing for a living. How cool is that?

If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play the leads?

Devin Simms would be played by Lance Gross and Vivian Michaels, would be played by Nicole Beharie.


Wednesday, July 01, 2015

AUTHOR ROOMS Welcomes PIPER HUGULEY!


Welcome to AUTHOR ROOMS!

AUTHOR ROOMS is a new series here on my blog that allows us all a peek into the spaces where new and favorite authors create their magic. Ever wonder where a writer actually writes? Have you ever had questions about how an author does what they do? AUTHOR ROOMS will give us all a little more insight as select authors answer five random questions and show us those places where they wrangle their mojo!

I’m excited to kick off the series with renowned historical author PIPER HUGULEY. In 2015 Publisher’s Weekly named her a top ten historical romance novelist. The Preacher’s Promise, book one in her “Home To Milford College” series was a semi-finalist in Harlequin's So You Think You Can Write contest, and a quarter-finalist in the 2014 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest.

Most recently, Piper won the 2015 Breakout Author of the Year award from the AAMBC Literary Awards. She was also the recipient of two Romance Slam Jam 2015 Emma awards for Debut Author of the Year and Cover of the Year for her book The Preacher’s Promise.

Coming this month from Piper is A Virtuous Ruby, book one in her Migrations of the Heart series. Published by Samhain, Virtuous Ruby is already an award winner, having won the Golden Rose contest in Historical Romance and being a Golden Heart finalist. The official release date is July 14, 2015 and it will be available wherever books are sold.

An award-winning author on the rise, Piper is a masterful storyteller. Rich descriptions, plot twists, and engaging characters make her writing something special, so don’t miss out on her literary treats! Piper blogs about the history behind her novels at http://piperhuguley.com. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband and son.

Enjoy!                                                                  

What does your writing process look like?
Tina McElroy Ansa said, "Thinking time is writing time."  I don't write every day.  I write four days and then think/plot the other three days of the week. It doesn't always work when I have a deadline, but that's my intention.

Do you have any strange writing habits?
I have certain things I like to wear when I write, so I stay warm. I have a sleeveless fleecy writing jacket I like to have on.  As far as any particular place or anything like that, no.  I've had to learn to adapt.

If you were a dessert, what would you be?
A ginger cookie. Spicy but sweet.

What literary character is most like you? And why?
Edana from Octavia Butler's Kindred. For a long time, Edana did not know her heritage.  Through that wonderful story, Butler showed, through Edana, that not knowing your history has a very high cost. Such truth in that book.

What's the best writing advice you've ever been given?

I took a class from the wonderful Dee Stewart in the last few months before she died. She told me that everything that you write has to have a piece of your heart in it.  She said if the writing lacks that emotional connection, it won't sell.  She was right.