As you all know, I am preparing to go away from the online scene for awhile. Before I do I am running an eBook sale on Renaissance for any of you who’ve been waiting to get your hands on it. From now through Wednesday, August 23rd you can get it for the low price of 99cents.
When seventeen-year-old Nora White successfully graduates High School in 1922 Mississippi and is College bound, everyone is overjoyed and excited. Everyone except Nora. She dreams of Harlem, Cotton Clubs, Fancy Dresses, and Langston Hughes. For years, she’s sat under Mr. Oak, the big oak tree on the plush green grass of her families five acres, and daydreamed of The Black Mecca.
The ambitious, young Nora is fascinated by the prospect of being a famous writer in The Harlem Renaissance and decides she doesn’t want to go to College. Despite her parent’s staunch protest, Nora finds herself in Jacobsville, New York, a small town forty-five minutes outside of Harlem.
Shocked by their daughter’s disappearance, Gideon and Molly White are plagued with visions of the deadly south, like the brutal lynching of Gideon’s sister years ago. As the couple embark on a frightening and gut wrenching search for Nora, they are each stalked by their own traumatic past. Meanwhile, Nora learns that the North is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Can Gideon and Molly overcome their disturbing past in time to find their daughter before it’s too late?
From the most recent review:
“I’ve never felt more at home when reading a book until I read this. It felt like I was in history class, but I actually learned history. You know what I mean? A teenage girl aspiring to become a writer during the time of the Harlem Renaissance – that’s literally what’s going on. Within that, there’s life. Life of her, life of her parents, life of people around her. I have to say that this is my first time reading something that I had a COMPLETE grasp on. I understood everything from how they spoke to how they thought. Very impressive in my opinion. I don’t only recommend this, I think this is something that can be read in class.” – Amazon Customer Review
Just a heads up that due to technical difficulties, I have removed this blog from Amazon’s Kindle for blogs program. If you’ve subscribed you will be unsubscribed in 48-72hrs. I’ll let you all know if I try it again. Being the program is still in Beta, it looks like they still have work to do (and its been in beta a long time). In the meantime, you can always follow my Amazon author page for blog updates as well as Goodreads to stay in touch. (and, this blog of course)
Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Felicia Denise. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
Felicia Denise is my real name, and I’m a southern girl by birth—Ole Miss—but grew up in Michigan, got married and started a family in California, moved back to Michigan and now I live in Arizona.
Watch out traveler. Always wanted to visit Cali. Now, you know I have to ask. Since Friday came out, how many times have someone said to you “Bye Felicia?”
LOL! Actually, I’ve probably said it to other people more than it’s been said to me! I also have half a dozen t-shirts, a coffee mug, a keychain and a cap that say, “Bye Felicia!” Both my sons have it as my ringtone. LOL!
How many siblings do you have?
I am one of nine—six girls and three boys. We lost our youngest brother twenty-five years ago to AIDS-related pneumonia at the age of twenty-nine. I don’t believe the eight remaining of us have all been in the same place at the same time since his funeral. There’s always one missing.
Awwue. I am so sorry to hear that. How long have you been married Felicia?
We’ll celebrate our 34th wedding anniversary in mid-September!
Whoop! Yass. Do you have children?
Yes, three. Our oldest son lives a couple of hours away and works for a major medical corporation; the younger son is a member of the National Guard and works in security, and our daughter is an Army wife who works on base. Notice there was no mention of grandchildren… but I have four grand-dogs!
In the Best Interest of the Child (September 30, 2016)
Not grand-dogs loll. I understand that you write, are you employed outside of writing?
No. I had to leave the workforce almost twenty years ago because of chronic illnesses—osteoarthritis and Fibromyalgia.
What was your childhood dream?
To sing with Up with People! LOL! They were a group of young men and women who toured the country regularly…singing in schools, on college campuses, at sporting events, etc. And I loved to sing when I was a kid! My parents’ friends would pay me a quarter to sing at BBQs and picnics LOL! And I sang it all—Aretha Franklin, Freda Payne, Barbra Streisand, Mahalia Jackson—just give me room!
When I was thirteen, a large mass grew over my thyroid and larynx. Fortunately, it was benign. It took a year of surgeries and rehab, but I did go back to singing. Only instead of standing with the girls and singing soprano, I had to stand with the boys and sing bass!
Cool! You gonna have to sing for us one day. So sorry about that mass, glad you everything went well.
You named some artists and I know you be jamming out with us on Throwback Thursdays! So, please tell us more about the kind of music you like.
I love music… end of story! My playlists are so eclectic—60s folk and Motown, 70s funk and disco, 80s Soul, R&B, and boy bands, 90s power females… all mixed in with Classical and Country! The only music that annoys me is gangsta rap and grunge.
Yea, the music today irks my nerves. I don’t even know what to call it but it’s not music. What skill would you like to master?
Playing the piano! Always wanted to learn and even owned a piano at one time. My children were young and involved in every group and club imaginable and there just was never enough time for lessons and practice.
I’d love to learn to play the piano too. Let’s talk about writing, what’s the most difficult thing about being a writer?
Finding your audience.
The most exciting thing?
The emails from readers when they make a real connection with characters and plot. There’s truth even in fiction.
Indeed it is. What is the most thought-provoking book you’ve ever read?
The Bible. Some believe it’s just a book of rules on things you can’t do, but think about it. Nearly every existing trope or genre can be found in the Bible. There’s a lot going on the pages of the Good Book, which is why it takes at least a year to read and comprehend it properly.
Probably the best answer to that question I’ve had here yet. You KNOW I agree. I think people will be surprised at how much information is in the bible. Giants? Bible. Demons? Bible. Righteous and fallen angels?Bible. Black History? Bible. It’s all there.
Religious, no. Spiritual, yes. My maternal grandfather was a Methodist pastor and I was raised in church, but I am not a fan of church doctrine. To me, it’s the underlying problem of ANY religion. Man interjecting his rules and wills where they don’t belong and for non-religious reasons.
I knew we connected for a reason. I gotta share some information with you! Who is your favorite writer?
Two-way tie between Toni Morrison and Jonathon Kellerman. They couldn’t be more different in genre and style, but before I finish the first chapter of any of their books, I’ve crossed into another world.
Family Matters (In the Best Interest of the Child #2) (August 2017)
The subjectivity! Everyone wants you to buy their book or enroll in their class because they have the sure-fire method for becoming a bestselling author and selling truckloads of books. But that just isn’t true. What works for you may not work for me. And it isn’t because I did anything ‘wrong’. An author must put in the time—hit a few and miss a few—to find what works for them… and it doesn’t happen overnight.
Say THAT. What do you love about writing advice?
I love the common-sense advice. It removes all the mystery and double-talk and explains in two or three paragraphs the information you need to know.
Indeed. Now, I met you through the blog so let me ask you, does blogging help you to write?
Actually, for me, it’s the opposite. Writing helps me blog.
I like it. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
JRR Tolkien Network! “All Hobbits, All the time!” I’d never change the station!
What? Lol. Felicia girl you got me rolling.
What TV channel exists but really shouldn’t?
TRUtv…ugh! It was nice when it was CourtTV, now it’s just desperate reality shows and people saying, “Hold my beer and watch this!”
I grew up in the 60s and came of age in the 70s and would give anything to have those days back. They were not perfect times, by any means, but the movement for change was a positive one and shared among the masses. Today, pick any ten people and you could get ten different agendas. Diversity was once our strength, now it’s the focus for oppression. It saddens me to look into the eyes of children and the elderly when they realize how little their lives matter with the changes taking place.
Hmm. Right. In your own words, what is love?
To understand and accept someone into your heart, regardless of their shortcomings or differences, without expecting anything in return.
We enjoyed you lady! Thanks for spending this time with us today. Now, bye Felicia :-).
Writing has been a hobby of Felicia’s since grade school, but other than serving as editor and writing for her high school newspaper, she never publicly shared anything until the early 2000s when she began writing fan fiction. At the urging of a good friend, Felicia took on the challenge of NaNoWriMo in 2015, writing what would become her first published book, In the Best Interest of the Child. It was released in the fall of 2016.
Currently working on several projects, Felicia plans to release book 2 of In the Best Interest of the Child – Family Matters, in summer 2017.
The summer is pretty much over but I have not exactly taken a vacation or a break. That’s about to change.
In about two weeks I will be going on a vacation of sorts and taking some extensive time off. I’ll be away from social media, and the blog. I am going completely offline from August 27th through September.
This means that I will not be here to share your posts and that all Introduce Yourself Interviews will be scheduled to go live ahead of time. Authors, this means it will be YOUR responsibility to promote your posts if your interview is scheduled when I am gone.
For those of you who are interested in being interviewed on this blog between now through September, you will need to get your questions in to me before Wednesday, August 23, 2017 so that they can be scheduled to go out. Anything coming into me after August 23rd (even Aug 24th) will be scheduled for October through the end of the year.
August 28th and the entire September is open. If you want to be interviewed before October, email me ASAP so that I can schedule you for an open slot. I am dedicating this week and next to scheduling interviews. I will literally be on a plane on August 27th so don’t wait until the last minute. The deadline is 8/23. No exceptions.
If you are an author and new to this blog and are not sure what “Introduce Yourself” is, GO HERE. Read through the post, choose your questions and send them into email@example.com before August 23, 2017 if you want to be scheduled in September.
Keep In Mind
I am not an editor and will not edit your questions. If you are extremely sensitive about this please be sure your questions are edited before you send them into me. Introduce Yourself is a free service and only covers very light, basic editing using Grammarly.
Post this message to your Facebook Page: “The North turns out to be much more than Nora expected. Learn more in Book One of The Nora White Story by Yecheilyah Ysrayl. https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0692913440
The Truth She Knew is the story of a young woman who is manipulated by an abusive mother. Lynn uses religion for control purposes and has convinced her daughter that she is possessed by the demon of lust. Then, in comes, Walker Farren and Lacey feels what it’s like to be loved for the first time. Walker’s family—his mom and brother— exhibit a kindness that Lacey does not experience at home. Finally, she can experience normalcy. But not for long.
Lacey lives with her mother Lynn and her mother’s friend Patsy (though rumors swirl they are more than friends). Lynn sits in her favorite chair and utters prayers that she says keeps her in tune with God who reveals to her everything there is to know about what Lacey is doing and where she is. The number of times to which Lynn is right terrifies Lacey and she is convinced that her mother does, in fact, hear from God.
Lacey’s mom is all the way off the chain, using emotional, verbal, and physical abuse to control Lacey’s every move. The deeper Lacey falls for Walker, the more conniving her mother’s methods and my heart broke for her. I found my mouth hanging open in many instances that involved Lacey and her mother. The lengths to which she has gone to convince Lacey that she is possessed is astonishing. I enjoyed how the writer showcased Lacey’s naivete and youth. I also like that Lacey had friends who could help her so that the book was not all dark and gloomy. I was also happy to discover little plot twists toward the end because I was starting to think some things were too good to be true but I’ll leave it there. You’ll have to read the book to know what I am talking about.
The Truth She Knew is a well-written story of young love, abuse, and mental illness. I look forward to reading more into this series. (Though this is a book about Young Adults, it is recommended for ages 17+ Contains language, sex, and violence.)
Plot Movement / Strength: 5/5
Entertainment Factor: 5/5
Authenticity / Believable: 4/5
Thought Provoking: 5/5
The Truth She Knew is currently FREE 99cents on Amazon. Go get it.
I didn’t intend on posting again today but one of my favorite authors posted something to her IG that sparked something I had to share. As you see above, this author is Bernice McFadden and this is her sharing the rejection letters she received for her novel Sugar. I have this book as well as her novels This Bitter Earth, Glorious and I’d like to get my hands on Nowhere is a Place and The Book of Harlan but I digress. Needless to say, the writing is on point. Long story short, you all know that Sugar has gone on to do very well despite the 75 (yes, seventy-five…let that settle) rejection letters. For Indie Authors, we may not be looking for publishers, but we have rejection letters too. I want to encourage you not to give up when you get one:
Negative Reviews – One of our most obvious rejection letters is the negative review. While all authors, no matter how they are published, get negative reviews, for the Indie Author it can feel like the ultimate rejection. Not from a publisher or agent but from the people who we slave so hard for, Readers. When a reader rejects a book it can really put a damper (who says that?) on an author’s mood. But, think about being rejected 75 times. Would you have tried for the 76th? The next time you get a bad review, think of McFadden and how important it is not to quit on the vision. If McFadden had given up, there would be no Sugar.
No Reviews – I came into the game (for lack of a better term though I hate using it. This ain’t a game lol) late because I did not start publishing my books with Amazon in the beginning. I also did not have much insight or people around who could help me to understand this growing industry. That said, reviews weren’t very important to me (neither was Amazon for that matter). However, we are all aware by now how important book reviews are to Indie Authors. But what if you don’t have any? Or very little? This can feel like a real let down and crush an Indie Author’s mood. Especially when their peers have over one hundred and they only have one or two. I am not saying to look at what every one else is doing, not at all. But I’d be lying if I said no reviews on a book doesn’t feel bad. We’ve all been there so let’s just keep it all the way real. No reviews can feel like the ultimate rejection. Honest reviews help to prove that an author’s work is worth reading which means that none can be a real let down. A real rejection. I tell you to think of McFadden’s 75 rejection letters and ask yourself if you were her, would you try again? Would you still want to write if you had 75 bad reviews? Sheesh. That can make one depressed! Lol. But, I am showing you that it’s the same thing for Indie Authors who are their own publishers and thus rely on the social proof of readers to help people to see that they really aren’t bragging about themselves.
No Sales – And of course, need I not leave out the ultimate rejection letter for Indies, no sales! Nothing screams rejection like no one buying your book. Does that mean you should stop writing? Of course not. My first novel is full of mistakes (which is why I took it off market for now lol) but if I had not published the first book, mediocre as it was, there would not have been a tenth. My point is, just keep writing and keep trying. You know you are close to the mountaintop when everyone starts to fall off. When people start giving up, that’s when you’re close. When you feel like giving up, that is when you should push the hardest. It means you are almost there. I am not saying this to sound all “cliche”. I am saying it because it’s real. My husband was just telling me I am too hard on myself and I’d like to extend the encouragement your way. Especially since we didn’t have a “No Whining Wednesday” today 🙂
So, there you have it. Three Rejection Letters Indie Authors receive. When you get one, think of McFadden’s 75 rejection letters. That had to be depressing at some point but she kept at it and so should you.
Do you know of any more “rejection letters?” Tell us about them! What was the most heartbreaking of your rejection letters? How did you recover from it?
Don’t forget that there are tons of people willing to help to spread the word about your awesome authorness! Including me. My Introduce Yourself Interviews for authors will pick back up next week. However, I am in need of authors for August! It’s a free opportunity to let us get to know more about you and your books.Click Here to learn more. Again, it’s FREE and I must say, the Introduce Yourself features do very well in views. Many of them are the top viewed on this blog which means these authors get a lot of shine! All genres welcomed. (Those of you who have already been featured, if you have updates, new books coming out, let me know so we can do an update post).