The Journey Begins

Be sure to Follow Tehilayah’s new blog! Tehilayah is an inspiring author and poet working on her first book. She is also a contributor to my 2nd Annual Poetry contest!

No Line Left Behind

Thanks for joining me.

Like any journey there are uncertainties. But how would we know what the journey holds if we do not at least try to experience it. Introductions are always awkward and sometimes uneasy so we will just jump into it.

My name is Tehilayah (pronounced, Te-hil -la -yah). Simple right? My name means, “Song of Praise to Yah”. Can you believe that I like singing. Yes, I sing everything. I make everything a song. For example, I sang instructions to my children to get ready for bed. Yes, there was a whole song. I personally thought it was cool but the look on my children’s faces said otherwise. It’s the side of me that’s goofy and carefree. I am a wife to an amazing and supportive man who pushes me to step out my comfort zones. Sometimes I can be a bit stubborn but I…

View original post 161 more words

Advertisements

Author Spotlight: Yecheilyah’s 2nd Annual Poetry Contest Judge: Tehilayah Ysrayl

Today we are introducing and spotlighting Tehilayah Ysrayl, mother, wife, poet and our 2nd Annual Poetry Contest judge! Join me as we catch up.

Copyright©2018. Tehilayah.

Tehilayah, whose name means song of praise, is an aspiring author and poet who was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana. She attended IPFW and Ivy Tech Community College and currently works for a life insurance company. Tehilayah has been happily married for six years, has four beautiful children, and a Jack Russell named Sevyn that is selective in who he deals with and has a “big dog” mentality.

20170729_233728

Tehilayah and her Hubby

This mother is not afraid of the stage, presenting her poetry at various venues and impromptu poetry gatherings in her city. She enjoys singing, sewing, reading, wine, whiskey and, most importantly, words. Some of her favorite poets include but are not limited to, Langston Hughes, Maya Angelou, Amiri Baraka, Countee Cullen, Sonia Sanchez, Steven Willis, and Rudy Francisco.

Tehilayah is also a voracious reader and fell in love with Urban Fiction because of Donald Goines. From there she branched off to discover other authors like Sista Soulja and the love stories that Eric Jerome Dickey brought, Carl Weber and many more. Currently, Tehilayah is enthralled in the Ashley and Jaquavis novel series. Tehilayah reads not only for the entertainment but also for the techniques in writing.

Tehilayah_Ysrayl_1-1

Currently, this karate mom is working on her first book, a collection of poetry! “No Idle Word” is about encouraging the faint at heart, providing awareness to the ignorant, and healing to the broken.

Blog: https://nolineleftbehind.wordpress.com/

IG: @tehilayah/

Twitter: @tehilayah

Email: tehilayah12@gmail.com

Coming Soon

T - Mock 3

Author Spotlight: Yecheilyahs 2nd Annual Poetry Contest Judge: Lisa W. Tetting

Today we are introducing and spotlighting Lisa W. Tetting, poetry contest judge! Lisa is an author, blogger, poet and freelance writer. Let’s catch up!

Copyright©Lisa W. Tetting.

Lisa is a former call center supervisor currently based in Birmingham, AL 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.

8678978954637475

She created her own brand of Romance that she dubbed LoveRotica – Love stories with an edge of sexy under the pen name L. Loren and Miss Loren does not disappoint! One of the most consistent authors I know you can rest assured Loren’s got something hot and steamy always in the works. Some of her books include The WanderLynn Experience Series: Book 1 – The Layover, Book 2 – Island Adventures, Book 3- Destination Home,  and Book 1 in the Triple threat Series titled Egyptian Nights. Her most recent work is Hall Pass, book one in the Walk of Fame Series and Love is Color, a collection of sensual poetry, short stories and visual art that depicts love in its rawest form. Lisa’s work also includes books outside the Erotica genre such as her debut The Mistreatment of Zora Langston and Southern Horror Stories. She was also featured in Volume 4 of SOUL Magazine.

Hall Pass (Walk of Fame Series 1)

Ari’s boyfriend has just granted her a Hall Pass to sleep with Hollywood’s sexiest actor, should the opportunity present itself. When she suddenly gets her big chance to live out her fantasy, things take an unexpected turn.

Dallas Monroe is sick of being labeled a man trophy. He wants desperately to find true love and change his sex symbol image to that of a serious actor. When he runs into PR Rep, Ari Nicole Couture, she will change his life forever.

“I don’t review erotica but I must say, L. Loren, is turning me into a fan! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was, in my opinion, well balanced for my taste. Just enough sexy, drama, and humor to keep me reading. I can tell it was fun to write because it was fun to read.” – EC

GRAB HALL PASS HERE

Love is Color Anthology

Love is Color is a collection of sensual poetry, short stories and visual art that depicts love in its rawest form. The stories are a gathering of diverse authors from different genres coming together to create a work of art. Whether you like second chance romance, fire-breathing dragons, interracial love, or a little bit of mystery. This book has something for you. Come see why Love is lived in Color and not in Black and White!

Love is Color is dedicated to sisterhood! There is a freedom that comes with supporting one another and fostering each other’s dreams. As the saying goes, “You can tell who the strong women are – They are the ones you see building one another up, instead of tearing each other down.” – Unknown

GRAB LOVE IS COLOR – ANTHOLOGY HERE

The Layover (The WanderLynn Experience Book 1)

Vivacious, witty and feisty, Lynn Sutton is living the life she desires, with the smarts to match and no strings attached. As the successful owner of a luxury travel concierge service, she is building an empire that only a goddess like her can handle. Until one day, life throws the ultimate curveball when she loses her only sister in a tragic car accident and becomes the sole guardian of her niece and nephew. After years of focusing solely on the twins and her career, Lynn is left with the empty nest syndrome when the twins go off to college. She decides it’s time to refocus on herself and her love life. And she’s got her sights set on one man…Connor.

Wealthy and intelligent, Connor Wyatt has never found his true love. Trapped in an arranged and loveless marriage, he craves the one thing his wife refuses to give him, a family. When he meets the beautiful aunt of the young man he is mentoring, she immediately awakens his dormant heart and loins. When his marriage falls apart, he renews his friendship with the beautiful and curvy Lynn in the hopes that he can rekindle a fire that has been smoldering within for years. And an unexpected flight layover brings Connor the chance of his lifetime.

The chemistry between the two is undeniable, but outside forces threaten to douse their inferno forever. Will this love connection finally be made? Or is it already too late?

Read book one in The WanderLynn Experience Here

And the book that started it all…introducing Ms. Zora Langston…

The Mistreatment of Zora Langston

Zora Langston is nine years old when her father dies, leaving her in the hands of a mother who is anything but loving and siblings who never considered her family. Without her father, she is truly alone. Before the dirt has even settled on his grave, there’s a new man of the house, and he has no interest in being Zora’s father.

Despite her hardships, Zora remains true and allows faith to help free her from this new, horrible life she’s found herself in. She finds solace in her aunt and uncle and, for the first time, starts to discover what it’s like to have a real family. However, just when she thinks she has escaped her tormentors, new abusers emerge, old ones return from hiding and she must find the strength to survive.

GRAB YOUR COPY OF THE MISTREATMENT OF ZORA LANGSTON HERE

Instagram: @rebirthoflisa
Email: rebirthoflisa@aol.com

Author Spotlight: Yecheilyah’s 2nd Annual Poetry Contest Sponsor: Tinzley Bradford

Today we are introducing and spotlighting Tinzley Bradford, poetry contest sponsor! Tinzley is an author, relationship coach, motivational speaker, and correspondent for Bold Favor Magazine.

Tinzley Bradford was born in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s a single mom who knows all about single parenting while dating. For years through her dating blog, “And You Wanna See My Feet” and her tell-it-like-it-is YouTube videos, she has helped single moms and single women get their love lives together. The relationship coach has also been seen giving single mom dating advice on “Dr. Drew’s on Call” TV show on HLN, and The Single in Stilettos Show with Match Maker and Dating Coach Suzanne Oshima. Her local media 11 Alive News in Atlanta has been featured in a slew of articles, such as Mommy Noire interviewed by Top Relationship Coach Abiola Abrams, Single in ATL.com, Thoughtful Minds United and a ton of other blog post appearances. Tinzley is known for her no-nonsense advice for single women and strongly believes in refusing to settle for any old treatment as the key to living a settle-free life and not tolerating any behavior that is not healthy for you.

A Message from Tinzley

“I write because I want to share my message and help single moms and women make wiser choices when choosing their mates. I truly believe God has given me a gift to educate women by changing the way they view themselves hence changing the way they view what having a healthy fulfilling relationship should look and feel like. I write because I want to heal you, women, who are broken, who have been lied to, taken advantage of, mistreated, used and abused, misled. I want to be that voice of reason outside of your spiritual connection that gives you the courage needed to overcome ALL obstacles, bad or abusive relationships and self-esteem issues. I’m here to inspire, I’m here to encourage, I’m here to share, I’m here to not only help you learn to love yourself enough to not settle, but to love yourself period whether you are in a relationship or not.

Screenshot_2018-04-15-12-14-33-1

Bradford at the10th Annual UnSung Heroine Awards where she has been honored. Congrats Tinzley!

I offer insight on the importance of not settling for unfulfilling relationships which I believe can often lead to drug abuse, depression, abusive relationships, prostitution, sex trafficking, mental illness, and self-hate. Over the years, I’ve seen so many broken women who just can’t seem to get unstuck and many of them have become this way after being in a bad or abusive relationship. I’ve seen people with so much potential become drug addicts, prostitutes, criminals, abuse victims, and many become mentally ill, insecure, and no longer have any get up and go about themselves and they have just given up on hope. I want you to know it’s time out for settling for mediocrity and not wanting better for yourselves. I want you to know that no matter what your past or present situation may look like, there is hope…. You Are More!” – http://www.tinzleybradford.com

The Book

The Settle-Free Dating Method for Women

A beacon of life and hope not only for single mothers but for all women! Tinzley’s Settle-Free Dating Method will SET YOU FREE! “AND YOU WANNA SEE MY FEET” was the book based on the popular lifestyle blog by top relationship coach Tinzley Bradford. The quirky name of her blog came from an unfortunate encounter from one of her many pursers who wanted to judge her worthiness based on her feet when he wasn’t even up to her level to himself. A single mother herself, she’s the daughter of a single mother and the mother of a single mom and for her, the cycle ends now! The Settle-Free Dating Method is more than just a dating guide…this is a way to conquer your relationship life and make it fun, healthy and spicy so you get the love you deserve! Because YOU ARE MORE!

Twitter: @TinzleyB
Instagram: @TinzleyB

Available on Amazon and @ the Medu Bookstore at Greenbriar Mall, ATL Ga.

A New Generation of African-American-Owned Bookstores

After a steep decline, the number of black-owned independent bookstores is growing.


Mahogany Books opens in Washington D.C.

When Troy Johnson began tracking the number of black-owned bookstores in the U.S. in 1999, there were more than 325. By 2014, that number had dwindled to 54, a decline of 83%.

“They were closing left and right, and the major ones were struggling,” said Johnson, who runs the African American Literature Book Club, an online book database. Today, Johnson estimates, there are at least 108 black-owned independent stores, a number of which have opened in the past six months, marking a substantial reversal. “Last year was the first year I added more stores to the list than I took away,” he noted.

The surge in black-owned indie bookstores is notable at a time when both bookselling and publishing are wrestling with issues of workforce diversity.

Read through to the ORIGINAL article HERE.

Author Spotlight: Yecheilyah’s 2nd Annual Poetry Contest Sponsor: Dr. K.E. Garland

Today we are introducing and spotlighting Dr. K.E. Garland, poetry contest sponsor! You may remember Kathy from her excellent Introduction Interview on this blog HERE. Well, she’s back and has a lot of exciting things going on! Join me as we catch up.

Dr. K.E. Garland

garlandk

Katherin Garland was born and raised on Chicago’s west side. She has spent much of her adult life teaching secondary and post-secondary classes in Florida. Kathy is an amazing writer and First Place Royal Palms Literary Award-winning writer for Creative Nonfiction. Her work has been featured in the South Florida Times, Talking Soup and For Harriet. The Unhappy Wife is an anthology of 12 fictionalized stories of real women’s marriages. Her first book, Kwoted includes 100 original and inspirational quotes focused on living a conscious life. She typically writes in order to inspire social change. Other examples of her work can be found on her personal blog.

Kwoted

The quotes encompassed in this book are the result of advice and mantras that the author lives by and offers to those around her. Through this book of quotes, she hopes to broaden the range of encouragement and support for any person who seeks to live consciously, activate dreams and participate in relationships with their whole hearts.

Support Kwoted Here

The Unhappy Wife

You may remember The Unhappy Wife from my five-star review earlier this year (check it out HERE).

Twelve women share one thing in common – the quest for being happily married to the men they chose; however, each one finds herself in an unexpected marital predicament. Inspired by real events and told from each woman’s perspective, these short stories are firsthand accounts detailing the realities of marriage well after each woman said, “I do.”

Four women represent The Voiceless Wife. Although circumstances vary, these women give their power away to friends and family. The result is a loss of intuition and self. The Detached Wife symbolizes five different ways wives can be disconnected from their husbands and themselves. Sex, intimacy and self-discovery are central to understanding these women’s narratives. The Committed Wife includes three women who demonstrate the depths of devotion. These final stories show that wives sometimes need more than loyalty to be happy.

Also included is an afterword by Dating and Relationship Coach and Instructor, and founder of Relationship Architect Academy, Anita Charlot. She gives valuable insights as to how and why some women become “unhappy” wives and what we as women can do to maintain healthier relationships.

Support The Unhappy Wife Here.

Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships

I am “uber” excited for this one! Daddy is Kathy’s latest anthology and is currently available for preorder. She is also doing a special feature of the writers who contributed to this piece on her blog.

A father’s presence is important in a daughter’s life. He is the first man a little girl sees and knows. He demonstrates how men relate to women. But what happens when the father-daughter relationship is dysfunctional? Daddy answers that question.

Included are fourteen memoirs that describe the impact a failed father-daughter relationship can have. These women share essays and narratives that detail various stages of breakdown. Whether an event occurred in childhood, adolescence, or adulthood, each story explains how their father’s physical, emotional, or psychological abandonment has affected them.

The book is separated into two parts. Part I shows the proverbial truth in the phrase, hurt people hurt people. While some stories confirm why or how men mistreat their daughters, others show how daughters sometimes internalize neglect and continue the cycle either with the relationship they have with themselves, or others. Part II illustrates how compassion can lead towards a path of inner peace and happiness, no matter the state of the relationship.

PreOrder Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships Here

Kathy’s NOT done! She is currently a sponsor of my 2nd Annual Poetry Contest and has generously donated six books! Six ya’ll. This means you have a chance to win a copy of both The Unhappy Wife and Daddy: Reflections of Father-Daughter Relationships when you support this contest. Details of how to enter are coming soon. In the meantime, stay tuned for more Author Spotlights for this year’s contest and be sure to go support Kathy’s work! You won’t be disappointed.

bitmoji-20170402033318

10 Lessons My Book Signing Taught Me

  1. You have to learn to sell to a small audience before you can sell to a larger one.

Sometimes social media can give a false perception of success, whereas we think we have to constantly be working and grinding and that we have to have a lot of people support us. The truth is that we really just need a few committed individuals to build with to lay the foundation for where we ultimately want to be. If ten dedicated readers bought a book at $10 and left an Amazon review, that’s already ten reviews and $100. This is just an example and it may not seem like much to start but over time that number of dedicated people will grow. Don’t look to other people to determine what success is for you. Start off giving your best to the few people who are already there to support you.

  1. Don’t underestimate the power of your worth. People will travel for you and go through great lengths to meet you, hear you speak or buy your book.

I was worried that I had chosen a bad time for the morning signing. I knew that not everyone had that day off work and that the noon time slot meant many were still going to be at work. Tyler Perry’s Acrimony also released that same night and I don’t think myself more important than Mr. Perry in peoples list of priorities (they’ll choose him over me lol) However, the traffic turned out to be decent and a few people had traveled to buy a book in person. They came from Florida, North Carolina, and Gwinnett County Georgia.

IMG_20180401_131028_720

  1. It doesn’t matter how much you plan, things do not always go as planned. (and that’s OK)

When things go opposite of your wishes, don’t stress. That’s the plan itself and one day, you will be grateful things didn’t go as you intended. I was late for my own signing but I arrived at just the right time. The original time turned out to be too early for most people anyway but I had not taken into account lunchtime! The one, two o’clock time slot was perfect far as traffic flow.

  1. Genuine kindness goes a long way.

When I explained to people that support was not just financial and that they can take a business card if they didn’t want to buy a book, many of them changed their minds and bought a book. I wasn’t being deceptive, I actually meant what I said and was grateful for the people who did just take cards. If they couldn’t afford a book or maybe they were a passerby who didn’t know me and wasn’t sure, they could just visit me on the web. The fact that I had accepted this as a form of support (just as we do online), people were willing to go the extra mile for me just as my kindness had done for them.

20180330_143712

  1. Use what you got.

Another concern of mine was that I didn’t get the chance to get my poster, my colorful table coverings, and other author swag but I just focused on what I did have and put my energy into that. I didn’t have a card reader but I was at a bookstore, we can just use the register for change. I didn’t have author swag but I did have business cards which was the most important thing. I didn’t have a poster but I did have my voice, I can just speak. I shouted and got silly and communicated with the people. I made them laugh so they stopped at my table. I got up and walked around. Sometimes I was inside the store and sometimes I was outside talking to people who passed by. It’s not about what you don’t have, it’s about what you do have that matters most.

  1. Be yourself

I learned you don’t have to have a million strategies in place; you just have to be yourself. I think one of the greatest deceptions of being online is that things are actually a lot less stressful in real life. I thought I was going to be shy and worried about what to say and how to say it and how I was going to sound but none of that mattered. When it was time, I spoke and I didn’t need to have a long list of “author strategies for a book signing.” Just open your mouth and talk. Let the words come from the heart. Just be yourself.

  1. Embrace the growth.

My life since my last big signing event (2016) has changed dramatically. I am no longer a member of the same organizations and no longer communicate with the same people. I was saddened by the reality of that change and how only a select few of some of the people I considered family was still there to support me. However, when I got the chance to sit down and look at the pictures, it occurred to me that I have an almost entirely new group of readers! Of course, there are still my most faithful readers who will always be there and I am immensely grateful for their friendship and dedication. They are the core and the foundation. When I saw all the new faces, however, it helped me to appreciate them too and to notice my growth. Life is not about preaching to the choir all the time; it is also about bringing new people in and building with them.

  1. Keep writing.

I intended to sell some Stella books. I didn’t have to buy any because I still have some in stock. The reality, however, is that the final installment of The Stella Trilogy released two years ago so most people were interested in my new material (Renaissance and I am Soul). This showed me the importance of staying consistent with my writing and always having something fresh in store for my readers. Again, to sell to large audiences is to first sell to a small one and one way to take care of your readers is to consistently produce. There will always be room for older works but this weekend motivated me to write more. Whether it’s novels, poetry, short stories or blog posts! I want to give my best to those who support me.

9. Black men are supportive.

20180330_14114120180330_140841

There was a surprisingly large number of Black men who supported me! They came in droves and some of them even traveled. It was humbling. When this group of men surrounded me for the picture, I felt power and powerful. And even though I didn’t know them personally, I felt protected in a way. I could feel the energy. I also thought maybe as women we can be more supportive of each other in this same way. Let’s root for one another and support one another without preconceived notions. Let’s fix each other’s crowns without telling the world it even needed fixing. Let us crown each other the way these men crowned me.

10. Relationships sell books.

Finally, I learned that relationships sell books. Some of the people who traveled to see me did so because they had already known me over the years for my work both in publishing and in ministry. I had known some of them for several years and others I was just meeting for the first time, but they knew me because they are familiar with my work. I love to blog and I enjoy keeping up with an email list for this very reason: it helps to build relationships and to cultivate bonds. It makes live events that much better because you get to meet the people you’ve been building with over the course of time but never met. You get to put a face behind the name and verbally communicate in ways far more powerful than texting will do and that is priceless.

For more pictures of this years signing, visit the pictures page of my website HERE. I also uploaded pictures of the 2016 and 2014 signings.