Thanks so much Lisa for taking the time to read and review Book One in The Nora White Story. Your time is truly appreciated and I am glad you enjoyed it. Head on over folks and see what Lisa has to say.
It has been a year of Sundays since I did a book review on this blog, but when this book came along, I couldn’t help myself. It gave me so many feels I couldn’t help myself!
Here are my thoughts:
Nora White is a farm girl from Mississippi who dreams of moving to Harlem and becoming a writer. Her biggest wish is to write alongside the legends of the era like Langston Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston!
Ok, I must stop here! This book was after my heart. I absolutely love both Langston and Zora! In fact the main character of my first book is named for them. I was swooning when the main character not only befriended, but became a contemporary of these icons! Nora was living the life J would have wanted, had I lived in the 1920s.
The book flashed back and forth between Nora’s family back…
Welcome back to Introduce Yourself, a new and exciting blog segment of The PBS Blog dedicated to introducing to you new and established authors and their books.
Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to L. Loren. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
Hi! My name is L. Loren and I live in Greenville, SC.
What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?
My perfect reading room would have a huge bay window overlooking a back yard with a willow tree and a lake off in the distance. Oversized, colorful pillows would line the bench where I would relax and read my favorite stories. There would be plush carpet and lots of color on the wall with my favorite quotes adorning them. I would also need a soft blanket and table nearby setup with a china tea set decorated with and dragonflies.
Ohh. Nice! How many siblings do you have?
I have two brothers and four sisters. I am the baby so I am spoiled.
What was your childhood dream?
I had many dreams as a child but one I remember fondly was being a movie director.
I can totally see you directing a film! What skill would you like to master?
I would like to master screenwriting. I still have that movie dream. Lol
In your own words, what is love?
Love is a verb. It is something that can be felt and seen. It is when you care for someone regardless if they return the sentiment. You give your everything to that person just to make them happy, even if it means you must sacrifice. Love is everything! (OK you got me… I’m a hopeless romantic)
That’s OK. Hopeless romantics need love too! What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
I have many adventures just waiting to be taken, but the one that comes to mind right now is taking a cross country trip with my husband, visiting each and every NBA Arena. You know the whole VIP treatment; getting behind the scene tours, attending the games and getting to meet players, taking pictures of each arena in a special location.(Every arena has that one special spot).
Speaking of locations, if you had unlimited funds to build a house that you would live in for the rest of your life, what would the finished house be like?
I am too non-committal for this question, but it looked fun. I don’t think I could live in one place for the rest of my life. I do have a dream house that I would like to have in Jamaica. It would be a small cottage with an amazing kitchen, a nice patio out back that overlooked a pool. The back yard would have lots of space for a BBQ grill, fire pit and a cobblestone path that led to the ocean. There would be lots of trees for shade and a place for me to write outside.
Jamaica is nice. What’s your favorite drink?
I love a good Arnold Palmer, but it has to be made right. That’s why I never order it when I go out. I like to make mine at home. Too much lemonade ruins the whole thing.
What genre do you write in, why?
I write erotica because it intrigues me. I love being able to express my sexuality in a book that allows others to do the same. I can write anything I fantasize about and do anything I ever dreamed up in a book without the consequences of real life. Sex is a part of being human and when people start to accept that, they will stop thinking of it as something to be hidden and done in the dark.
I must say people, if you’re looking for a sexy read, L. Loren’s your girl!
What songs have you completely memorized?
The safer question would be what songs haven’t I memorized. Lol I love music. My poor husband is regulated to listening to my renditions of most songs that come on the radio, especially those from the 70s. I can sing non-stop on the oldies stations.
Yes, oldies are the best. Though I’m picky about which oldies I like lol. Loren, what’s your favorite food?
I love any type of pasta, unless it has seafood in it.
Shut. The Front. Door. I LOVE pasta. What’s your favorite color?
Orange is my favorite color, with purple coming in a close second.
Yess. Purple is beautiful. Who is your favorite writer?
This answer changes with my mood, but right now Maya Angelou!
Can’t argue with that one! If you could shadow your favorite artist, who would it be?
That’s a tough one. I have many artists that I would love to shadow. If I could only choose one, I would say Sylvester Stallone. He is such an interesting man to me.
What kind of music do you like?
My taste in music is eclectic. I will rock out to country as much as I will R&B, pop or rock. I even get into classical and instrumental at times. I have a thing for the blues and I will listen to rap, but I’m old school. Don’t bring that ratchet mess to me. It will get dismissed with a quickness.
Loll! Let’s talk about your writing. When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
My first book was published in 2015 and it was scary as all get out. (Yeah, I’m from the South. Deal with it. Lol).
If you could live in a movie, which would it be? Why?
This question is AWESOME! I live in movies in my head as a writer so there would be many movies. Right at this moment I would be Monica Wright in Love and Basketball. That movie touched my heart. I was her when I was in college, only the dude I was with played baseball. I would have to change the ending though, because dude was a dog. I would much rather have the man I am with now, my hubby.
So it would be more like Love and Baseball (*stops to roll on the floor laughing. Wipes eyes*) Lol. I had to do it.
Who is your best friend?
Doug Tetting is my best friend, lover, protector, giver of dreams and the best comedian on the planet.
How long have you been married?
We’ve been married 16 years, and together 21.
Yaass! I love it. Would you like to have children?
NO! Why? It is not for me.
Whhaaattt????? Nooo Lisa! (*Dabs the corner of right eye*)
What takes up too much of your time?
Social Media, but it is a necessary evil.
I know right. What do you wish you knew more about?
Writing for TV and Movies. That’s why I’m taking a course!
Loren, I think you still have dreams of being a director! Tell us about the course.
I am taking the Master Class- Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television. So far, the course is amazing. It delves into the inner workings of developing a show for television and all the steps you need to take to make it successful. Shonda Rhimes is the Queen of Thursday Nights and she knows great television. I am enjoying the course because it lets the students into her personal process, which is something you usually don’t have access to.
What’s your favorite Historical figure?
Cleopatra! She was bad ass.
Lol. What are your thoughts on Race?
I think race is something that is used to separate people and cause friction in the world. It is far too important in the world.
I know right. In your own words (not Google’s) define racism.
Racism is an excuse people who have a particular hue of skin, use to make them feel better about themselves, by belittling and demeaning people who are different than them. An unnecessary evil!
What’s your favorite TV Show? Movie?
My favorite TV show is hard to pinpoint. I love Scandal, NCIS, and Underground. I used to love Criminal Minds, but they got rid of Hotch and the show has gone downhill. My fave movies vary between, The Color Purple, An Affair to Remember, Forrest Gump, Love and Basketball and the Rocky movies, including Creed.
I enjoyed Creed myself. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
Women’s Sports Channel!
Let’s talk about books. What is the most thought provoking book you’ve ever read?
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee.
Yea, that’s a good one. Loren, why is writing important to you?
I can’t live without it. It is a part of me that I must do.
Why is it a must for you?
I must write because I believe it is what I was put on Earth to do. I have a million stories in my head just waiting to be written. I am always coming up with new ideas for stories and I get excited just thinking about them. I see the world through a writer’s eye and always have. It has just taken me longer to gain the courage to write it down for others to enjoy.
What do you love about yourself?
I love that I have an open mind and my willingness to try new things.
If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be?
I have the superpower, but I don’t have the ability to infuse it into everyone. It is LOVE! Why? If people focused on love instead of hate, this world would change for the better. I’m not saying I want a utopia where people walk around like mindless drones smiling at the moon. I am simply saying, if people opened their hearts more instead of using hate to lead, things would get better for everyone.
That’s probably the deepest answer I’ve gotten on this interview yet! You’re onto something Loren. Love is a superpower indeed.
In your own words, what is truth?
Truth is the ability to step outside of yourself and see things for what they are, without any emotional attachment. Emotions cause truth to be skewed and then nobody knows what really happened.
Coming June 20, 2017
*WARNING: This book contains explicit sexual content and is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18. Let’s get the children out of the room please.
Once upon a time there was a beautiful young woman named Egypt, and she loved sex. Cursed by her mother’s dying declaration, she thinks she is unworthy of love. Locking her feelings inside an impenetrable ice block, she hides behind casual sex. Aided by her Naughty Fairy Godmother, she creates a playlist of rules to live by to avoid a broken heart.
When the ruggedly, sexy businessman, Harper Beckmann enters the restaurant where she is the executive chef, she feels drawn to him in ways she never felt before. When he denies her offer for a casual hook-up and offers to take her on a date instead, she is intrigued. Unable to resist his charms, she allows him to break all of her rules, including kissing on the mouth.
Harper has been playing the field since his fiancée left him for his best friend. A romantic at heart, he longs for the love of a good woman. When he meets Egypt, he knows instantly she is just what he needs to cure his aching heart. If he can break down her walls and get her to admit she loves him too, Beckmann may just be the one to break the curse.
Thanks so much Loren for spending this time with us. We enjoyed you!
Loren is a former call center supervisor currently based in Greenville, SC with her loving and supportive husband.
Growing up the youngest of seven in a small town in North Carolina, she embraced her love of reading which helped to develop her imagination.
Her desire to write lay dormant for years until she found the courage to look within and her passion could no longer be ignored.
Thunderclap is a pretty new platform, launching April 28, 2009. The platform is just starting to gain momentum and is still a challenge to work with for many. For that, I thought I’d talk a little bit about what it is, how it works and why I use it.
Thunderclap is easy to set up and offers both free and paid options. The program, allows individuals and companies to rally people together to spread a single message at the same time. It works by collecting social media pledges of the message and publishing that message to the social media pages of those who pledge on the same day and at the same time. The more people who support the campaign, the greater the social reach.
Here’s what Thunderclap has to say:
A tool that lets a message be heard when you and your friends say it together. Think of it as an “online flash mob.” Join a Thunderclap, and you and others will share the same message at the same time, spreading an idea through Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr that cannot be ignored.”
Why I Use It
I got into using Thunderclap last year because I knew I would not be at home when my book launched and would need help promoting it online.
Independent Authors wear many hats: writer, publisher, marketer, promoter, production managers, editors, and designers. To some extent, the Independent Publisher must become all these. Although we will at some point outsource a lot of these things (editing, book cover design, formatting) we still dip our hands into the process at some point. As Independents, we have the added advantage of controlling every aspect of taking our book from concept to execution. However, getting our books noticed in the sea of books is not easy.
Think about it: On the one hand, anyone can publish a book. With Amazon’s Createspace, Lulu, and many others, it’s easier than ever to publish a book. In fact, thousands and thousands of books are published every day.
While the ease of publishing has made publishing easy, it has also made it a most challenging process. With millions of books published daily, how does an Indie Author stand out?
Word of mouth is still the best way to spread a message and Thunderclap can be easily compared to a digital word of mouth: a way to spread the word about something special from person to person online.
Below are some frequently asked questions about Thunderclap:
Are you being paid for my social pledge?
No. I receive no monies for your social media pledge.
Why is it called a pledge? Is this some kind of vow?
You are not vowing to do anything. It is called a pledge because Thunderclap pledges to post my message to your account one time and one time only, that is on July 15, 2017.
Thunderclap asks for permission to post on my behalf and access to certain information which I am not comfortable with.
Your information is not being shared and the process is safe. It is no different than the apps and social media pages you already have displaying a similar message asking permission to post on your behalf.
How much does it cost to pledge?
It costs you nothing. You can support an Independent Author 100% free. No agendas or hidden fees.
Thunderclap is helpful to Independent Authors like me because it gives us the opportunity to spread our message without self-promoting which people are already used to and to some extent, hate. Indie Authors on low budgets, such as myself, do not have the luxury of publicists who can promote them. I have no PRs or anyone who can generate and manage publicity for my books. I would love that but I don’t have the money to pay anyone at this time. In such instance, you, my dear readers are my publicist. Independent artists are all about the people and there’s no reason for me to sugar-coat that you are the strength behind the success of Independent Authors like me.
If you enjoy reading this blog I would be honored to have your support.
I am recording my daily actions and my experience with the program and I’d love to share it with you when the campaign is over. I’ll share what works and what sucks.
I’ve already noticed some things I could have done better and some things I’ve done well.
Decide where you want to support me and click on where you want to support where it says Support with Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr or all three. (You can help me go up 3 points with all 3!)
Next, you will see this message below. My automatic message is displayed but you can make this your own. When you’ve finished, click on Add My Support.
Next, you will see this screen, asking you to authorize Thunderclap to use your account. This is where some are skeptical. As stated, I’ve supported others Thunderclap myself and all it means is that on July 15th, your message (or mine) will post to your account. It does not happen more than once and Thunderclap does not post to your account at any other time.
If you have a large social following, you can even fall into my Thunderous Supporters category as seen below which makes you look pretty cool.
My goal is to get 100 people to agree to share the message about the release of Renaissance by July 15, 2017 (I am at 69% so far). When I hit 100, on July 15th, that message will be blasted out to all those who agreed to share, spreading my message farther than I could ever do alone.
It’s SUPER easy to participate- click THIS LINK and then click “support with Facebook” or “support with Twitter” and that’s it!
When Noelle Harrison meets Clark Johnson on her way out the church doors, she immediately discerns that his kindness is not appropriate for a married woman. Already we can see Noelle struggling. Should she go out to lunch with the young, fine, Clark? He claims he just wants to be friends, is that possible? Can a married woman be friends with another man without romance being involved? This is the question I asked myself as Clark and Noelle made plans for lunch.
The plot thickens as we discover that Mr. Wayne Harrison is a workaholic who is always away on business. In fact, he is so busy that he practically ignores Noelle’s cries for attention and is not as helpful with their two sons as he should be. Frustrated with being ignored, Noelle continues to go on lunch dates with Clark while struggling to hold onto her integrity. Clark wants Noelle and he wants her bad. She has taken over his mind and is now all he thinks about. Noelle has no idea the kind of life altering decision a simple lunch date can be.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. For me, it has a mixture of everything. Of course, there’s the serious question of fidelity and married life but there’s also drama and laughs (Clark’s a bit of a crybaby. I am sure that’s him smiling on the cover.) When things got deep my heart broke for each of the main characters (Noelle, Wayne, Clark) at different points in the story. It reminded me of how precious marriage is but also how important it is not to play around with someone’s heart. The Love Labyrinth is a smooth read, not too fast and not too slow with some well-developed characters.
For me, indie publishing has consisted of a lot of trial-and-error to determine what things work and what things do not. Unlike other types of sales and marketing, as an author it is not only about selling books, but, to some degree, you are selling yourself. This is something I’m extremely uncomfortable with, but I’ve found some ways to adjust my approach to make it more tolerable.
This list consists of some of the things I’ve tried that have worked for me. Your mileage may vary.
Blatantly asking people to buy your books doesn’t work. Instead, I’ve tried to use my blog, Facebook, and other social media to try to convince people that my work might be worth checking out. I do this by trying to entertain or teach with the material I post.
Word of mouth is extremely important. Your existing readers are your best salespeople. I like interacting with them…
I am honored to have the opportunity to introduce you to a new author. She asked me if I could help her to promote her new release and of course, I am always willing to help. That said, you don’t know Sojourner yet but you will! She will be interviewed on this blog next month. Until then, she has a new release! Whoop!
First, let’s get to know Sojourner a bit:
Born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. Sojourner McConnell lives in Winchester, Kentucky with one of her daughters and three of her thirteen grandchildren. She has six grandchildren in Alabama and four that live in Michigan. With all those children and grandchildren, she has crafted her storytelling skills. Sojourner’s new book is a children’s chapter book, Who’s That in the Cat Pajamas which is available on Amazon now.
Her next book, Blip, is a Sci-Fi book with humor and intrigue and is due out by December 2017. The Path of the Child, The Power of Forgiveness, and 31 Days of October are also available in paperback and in eBook format on Amazon and other retailers. Sojourner brings a taste of strong personalities with a healthy dose of southern charm to her characters.
When not writing, she is busy entertaining her Australian Shepherd, Beau. Unfortunately, Beau tends to get jealous when she spends too much time working on the computer.
OK already, that’s enough. We don’t wanna give away too much of the goods before the interview! Now, about the book!
When the wind brings the cries of children to her ears, Dolcey is spurred into action. Comforting and aiding children in need are her main focus. Welcome to Dolcey’s world. Welcome to a world of magic and endless possibilities. When Emily has a big problem, her family tries to help, but some problems need something special to make things right. Just when it seemed she was destined to be doomed, she discovers an unexpected savior- a magical cat that will lead her on a spectacular spectacle of an adventure like no other!
Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the author of Young Adult, Black American Literature, and Poetry. The author of eight books (most notably, The Stella Trilogy), Yecheilyah is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story”. Renaissance: The Nora White Story Book One is due for release July 15, 2017. Revelation: The Nora White Story Book Two is due for release December of this year. Yecheilyah is also a Blogger and Book Reviewer. Originally from Chicago, IL, she now resides in Shreveport, LA with her husband where she writes full time.
Q & A
What do you do and Why do you do it?
Thank you, Lisa, for having me. I am an Independent Author of Black American Literature, a Poet, Book…