Before the Week Ends: PBS Blog Reminders

Hey Guys, don’t forget about these exciting happenings!

Poetry Contest Finalist

The 2nd Annual Poetry Contest is not over people! We received so many wonderful entries and we are revealing our finalists and grand-prize winner soon! Stay glued.

I am Soul Blog Tour

The I am Soul Blog Tour continues on Monday! Be sure to check in to see whose blog I am visiting next and what poem I’ll be featuring.

Even Salt Looks Like Sugar

🔍 Foster youths are one of the most disadvantaged groups in the United States. According to the National Foster Youth Institute, nearly 20 percent of those who age out of the system end up homeless, and nearly 60 percent of young men who grew up in foster care have been convicted of a crime. Being in foster care, separated from their families, also takes its toll on children: Twenty-five percent of kids in the system will suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

👉How does Wanda reconcile her feelings about her foster mother’s attempt to control her life?

📚Remember to preorder “Even Salt Looks Like Sugar,” the eBook at just $0.99 on Amazon and mark this book as ‘to read’ on Goodreads. Proceeds go to fund next year’s poetry contest! This short novel releases 10/2. (the page number on Amazon is wrong btw. It’s longer than 47 pages but still a short read. The actual page number should be showing up shortly)

About.

Wanda wants nothing more than to escape the oppressive upbringing of life with her abusive foster mother. Miss Cassaundra manipulates the system by bringing lost children into her home turned whorehouse and collecting the money. Wanda knows what it’s like to be abandoned and has no doubt that Abby is Cassaundra’s next case. When an opportunity arises that could save them both, Wanda must find a way to get the paperwork that will secure their freedom. But Cassaundra’s got eyes everywhere and no one can be trusted when even salt looks like sugar.

Pre-Order Here

Mark as to read on Goodreads Here

(come on people…its free to mark as to read…that’s right, simply tap that finger on the link…yes, that’s it. You got it lol.)

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Even Salt Looks Like Sugar, a novella – Coming October 2, 2018

Novella’s have my heart. The Stella Trilogy was a novella series and readers loved it so I had to write another short story! (If I am honest, I think they are kinda my thing).

This book is coming to you on Tuesday, October 2, 2018.

Proceeds from this book will go toward the funding of my next poetry contest.

We are looking to level up BIG time for year three!

This is modern-day literary fiction and is available now for pre-order.

 

Cover Reveal for

‘Even Salt Looks Like Sugar’

Even Salt - Book Cover

 

 

About.

Wanda wants nothing more than to escape the oppressive upbringing of life with her abusive foster mother. Miss Cassaundra manipulates the system by bringing lost children into her home turned whorehouse and collecting the money. Wanda knows what it’s like to be abandoned and has no doubt that Abby is Cassaundra’s next case. When an opportunity arises that could save them both, Wanda must find a way to get the paperwork that will secure their freedom. But Cassaundra’s got eyes everywhere and no one can be trusted when even salt looks like sugar.

Title: Even Salt Looks Like Sugar, a novella
Author: Yecheilyah Ysrayl
Publisher: Literary Korner Publishing
Publication Date: Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Coming October 2, 2018

MARK AS ‘to read’ on Goodreads

PRE-ORDER NOW

Writer’s Wednesday – Beyond the Colored Line

Sooo. Yea. One reason I don’t like saying what I am going to do is because I end up not doing it (don’t ever say what you will do. Bad idea.) So, when I said Chapter 3 of The Men with Blue Eyes was coming this week I did not anticipate not finishing it. But yea, it’s not finished. So, this week I am sharing a Chapter from my novella “Beyond the Colored Line” (2015) instead. Enjoy.


September 4, 1923

“You’s white.”

Margaret and Josephine had their hands on their hips again, Josephine taking the lead role as always. The wind felt soft against their skin and swayed the handmade dresses in all directions, hovering well below her long, skinny legs.

Her pony tails were twists that never really wanted to stay together. Stella got lost for a minute. Slightly envious. She wished her hair was as thick as Josephine’s. But instead hers could never keep a braid. School had just started at Crestwood Elementary of Belvedere City, just south of Boone County Illinois and already Stella could see this would not be a good year. Same as always.

“I’m not white; I’m Negro, same as you.”

Josephine rolled her eyes, “You look white. You sound white. I thinks you white.”

The girls laughed. Meanwhile, Stella’s blood boiled. Her hazel eyes darkened, blonde hair glistened in the sun, and the blush of anger showed quickly in the space of her cheeks and around her ears.

“You’s white ‘cause we say you’s white,” said Margaret.

“That’s right”, co-signed Josephine, “what kind of name is Stella anyway? What, you some kind of slave?”

“Naw, said Margaret, “she ain’t no slave, she massa.”

Josephine turned her head toward Margaret and laughed in her ear but Margaret saw it coming from her peripheral.

“Josephine!” she yelled. But it was too late. Stella was already on top of Josephine pulling her neatly pressed hair and slamming her face into the dirt. She could hear the screams of the teachers nearby calling her name but she just couldn’t stop.

“I’m not white! I’m not white! I’m the same as you!” she yelled, hot tears streaking down her face.

Josephine was crying now as Margaret tried to peel Stella off her.

“I’m Negro the same as you!” she yelled, slamming Josephine’s face into the ground, the screams from the teachers nearing, inaudible to the anger that consumed her.

Later that Day

Judith stood by the door, tapping her foot impatiently against the hardwood floor as she burned a hole in the back of Stella’s head who sat silently on the sofa, her head down.

“You’re going to have to learn to control yourself Stella.”

“But Mom—”

“Did I ask you to say a word?” Scolded Judith, opening the door at the same time. She expected her guest and opened before she could knock. Mrs. Velma Connor, Stella’s teacher, walked in.

“Good Afternoon, I’d like to apologize again for what happened today. May I offer you some coffee?”

“Never mind that”, said Velma, “I don’t specs to be here long.”

“Well”, said Judith, “let me offer you to a seat then.”

The women walked over to the sofa. Judith sat beside Stella as Velma took the sofa across from them and cleared her throat.

“Stella seems to be having a difficult time adjusting. Her temper is far too easily tickled, if you catch my meaning.”

I do”, said Judith.

“We think perhaps she would be better off in a more comfortable environment. Somewhere more of her liking, if you catch my meaning.”

Judith straightened and looked Velma in her sparkling blue eyes, “Not exactly.”

“Well, Ms. May, the accusations from some of the children are hard to ignore.”

“What accusations?”

“Well, you know. Children will be children,” Velma laughed, “It’s just that they don’t take very well with our kind. Surely you ‘d prefer for Stella— “

“Our kind?” interrupted Judith.

“Why, yes.”

“You don’t have to say anything more Mrs. Conner”, said Judith standing. The fair-skinned woman smoothed the apron hanging from her waist and walked to the door. Opening it, she turned to Stella.

“Stella Mae?”

“Yes mama?”

“Go on upstairs so me and your teacher can talk.”

“Yes ma’am”, said Stella, hurrying up the stairs.

Velma remained seated, “Is there a problem?”

Judith smiled, “No. There’s no problem but I do want you to leave my house.”

Velma’s cheeks turned red as she stood, pointing her nose in the air and strolling toward the door. Her face cringing a scowl.

“By the way, the school has placed Stella under suspension, you understand why.”

“Oh, I do”, said Judith, “you see, defending ourselves, is what we’re taught.”

Confusion washed over Velma’s face as she stared into the green eyes of the white woman in front of her, disgusted that she would stoop so low as to lay with one of them.

“What we’re taught? I’m not sure I follow.”

“Oh yes,” said Judith, “It’s one of the first things my Negro father taught me. You know, our kind I guess.”

The pink rushed to the woman’s nose as she hurried out the door.

And that’s how things had been for us growing up. I couldn’t understand what made Mama so strong. She loved Daddy with every bone in her body but society would never have of it. Mama was Negro sure enough as she was white but Papa didn’t trust it. Being with the love of his life was just too costly for him I guess. I thought about Papa that day and all the days afterward as I stood at the top of the stairs, and watched as my mother waved goodbye to my racist teacher with a smile on her face.

– Stella


This book is available now on Amazon.

Get it free in exchange for an honest review. Email me HERE


“Stella: Beyond the Colored Line is a fascinating walk through the ages–from slavery, to segregation, to the black power movement, to modern times. Through the eyes of one mixed race woman, the author touches on major events in African American history, allowing the reader to experience them in real time. The story deepens when Stella decides to live as a white woman and raise her children as whites. As her family grows and develops within a changing society, Stella and her children reveal complex perspectives and attitudes that make it clear that it doesn’t matter who your ancestors were. Nothing is just simply black or white.”

– Christa Wojo.,

Amazon Customer Review

Writer’s Wednesday – Papa’s House

Wednesday is your new favorite day! Lol. 🙂

I would like to share more of my writing with you. I mean, besides poetry. Soooo, I’ve come up with another Wednesday Segment. Welcome to Day One of Writer’s Wednesday. I was late to my workout this morning drafting this so excuse my delay on getting to the comments. I am currently sweating it out during my lunch as you’re reading. Gotta keep it together ladies!

Here’s our Writer’s Wednesday Badge.

Every other Wednesday, I’ll give you either an excerpt from one of my books or something new, a short story or something. I don’t really know but I’ll think of something creative every other week, time permitting.

This week, I am giving you a sneak peek into a scene from The Road to Freedom in a segment I like to call “Papa’s House.” Enjoy!


“This here make you grow hair on ya chest,” said Papa as we laughed, watching as Terry took in the liquor before coughing, and Papa patting his back for rescue as he laughed.

“Breathe, son, breathe.”

“What the hell is that!” said Terry, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand.

“Can’t handle it, huh T?” said Frank, laughing.

Papa’s shoulders bounced up and down when he laughed, slapping his leg as he did so. “That there’s what we call white lightening. Amazing what you can do with a little corn mash. You be alright son, breathe,” he said as Terry went back to his place on the sofa, holding his chest.

We were sitting at the home of Peter “Papa” Whitfield, the white man who offered us food and a bathroom once Ms. Mary’s vittles ran low. Peter ran a farm just outside of town and his faded blue jean overalls and heavy boots gave way to the hard work it took to run this place. Acres of land spread wide on both sides, cows grazed the area beyond the fences, and Rottweiler dogs alerted its master of strangers approaching Poplar Springs Drive in Meridian Mississippi.

The air was unusually cool tonight and the warm coffee blanketed our insides as we rested from the road. Though we would have liked to go on, Ms. Mary insisted we stop and refuel.

“You know, liquor does not actually warm you in the cold. It thins your blood and makes you colder in winter,” said Gary.

“Thank you, Gary, for that irrelevant piece of information,” said Terry.

“Well, I don’t think your friend’s gonna be worried about the cold anytime soon,” said Papa, chuckling.

“What is that heavenly smell?” said Laurie as Sara, Papa’s wife, appeared from the back of the house carrying a casserole dish.

“Why don’t you ladies come find out. Leave the men here to talk about men things,” she said, with laughter in her voice as Laurie and Fae marched on to the back to retrieve more food.

As the women disappeared, headlights invaded their places on the sofa. Papa’s dogs barked and raced toward the unknown vehicle as they growled in the night air.

“You expecting company Mr. P?” said Willie, peeking out the window.

Papa frowned and stood as Sara emerged from the back.

“Papa.”

I don’t think I like the way that she called his name.

“Alright boys, y’all head on over to the back now,” said Papa.

“Why?” said Terry.

“This ain’t the time to be asking questions now boy, go!”

We all scattered to the back of the house, walking past the thick, black curtain that separated the kitchen from the dining room table; where Terry had taken his first, or perhaps second, drink.

“What’s going on?” said Fae.

“I don’t know.”

“Shh,” said Sara as Papa’s voice roared from the front door.

“Tommy Lee, ain’t specs to see you out so late, how’s the wife?”

“Hey there,” said the voice of a deep southern drawl. From the sound of it, Terry wasn’t the only one drinking tonight.

“Oh, she’s be fine. Mighty fine. Say uh, you ain’t got no company on in there do ya, Peter?” said the Tommy Lee voice.

Papa chuckled, “You mean besides my wife?”

Tommy Lee’s drunken voice laughed. “How is Sara doing by the way? She so pretty. Hey! Sara! It’s Tommy Lee!”

“You alright, man? Perhaps we should take this on out in the yard.”

“Perhaps,” said Tommy, laughing. “That’s a funny word, “Perhaps!” he said again, laughing.

“Look a here,” said Tommy. “Word is you’s got some niggers in there.”

“Whoa,” said Terry.

“Shhh!” said Sara as we continued to listen.

“I think you better get on home now Tommy, it’s getting late now.”

“Kicking me out, huh? I ain’t gonna tell you how to run thangs, but you best be careful. Nigra mens and Nigra womens is on the loose now. They’s tryna inflame our nigras and our whites t-t-t…” Tommy’s voice trailed off as if trying to find the words as we listened.

I regretted the once warm caffeine that now had my blood racing, my hands shaking, and my heart pounding out of my chest.

“Alright Tommy boy, I think you best get on the road now, the Missis be waiting,” said Papa as their voices faded away. I noticed Papa’s voice remained calm, and I imagined they had now stepped outside since we could no longer hear the now distant voices.

“OK, everybody just remain calm and stay where you are until I come back,” said Sara, before disappearing behind the curtain.

“What do you think is going on?” said Laurie.

“I don’t know,” said Frank.

“How does anyone know that we’re here?” said Gary.

That was a good question. We’d made sure to keep our travels discrete since the New Orleans incident. But it would also make sense that Frank’s dad would be looking for him. But I kept my thoughts concerning his dad to myself. We all knew he was racist and it embarrassed Frank. Though I’m sure Mr. Hansen had something to do with it, I did not want to disgrace the face of my friend. I went with my second thought instead.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if we were being watched.”

“Or followed,” said Fae.

“I bet it was that punk ass Papa. What kind of name is that anyway? What man calls himself Papa?”

Terry’s eyes had a gloss to it as he spoke. I think by now he was really feeling the liquor.

“I’m tired of this,” said Willie.

“Oh, so you punking out too Willie?”

“Terry come on,” said Fae.

“Naw, I’m asking him a legitimate question. You punking out, Negro?”

“What you just call me?”

“Really?” said Laurie looking at both Terry and Willie.

“I know y’all ain’t gonna do this now,” said Frank.

“Please don’t do this now,” said Gary.

“Shhh!” I was sick of everyone’s talking. Though they spoke in whispers, it seemed our voices carried and would float on out the back room and into Tommy Lee’s ears. Who knows what he wanted or what he heard. We were in Mississippi after all. The stories of their crimes against the Negro were well known in the South. And after the murders of Emmett Till and others, Mississippi’s racism had gained increased attention. People all over the world could read in newspapers and watch on television the bizarre system that protected those who committed crime after crime. I didn’t understand why such hatreds existed for negroes, and my longing for the answer burned its own private hole into my chest. Unless I did my part to find out, I would never be quite whole again. If only I could have explained it this way to mother where she could understand. Being part of the fight for freedom on behalf of negroes wasn’t just some phase I was going through. More so than a desire, it was a need. Otherwise, as a young white man in white America, I could not help but feel guilty on behalf of my people. And as we stood here, fearful of the unknown, I knew that what I felt could not compare to Fae, Willie, and Terry. Considering I was shaking uncontrollably in my own skin, what kind of fear did they experience? And more, what was it like to have to experience it your entire life? The pangs of guilt sought to overwhelm me as we stood there behind the curtain and waited.


TheRoadToFreedom_Ysrayl

“I enjoyed the writing style of the author, who was able to capture different characters through their dialogue and how she wrote their accents. Though Ysrayl is not a white teenage boy, she is able to write his narration convincingly, while also being able to give other perspectives through the rest of the characters.”

– Swimming Through Literature, Amazon Review

*****

Remember, The Road to Freedom as well as Beyond the Colored Line and Between Slavery and Freedom is on sale this month! The Black History Month Stella Sale ends next week. CLICK HERE to order all three books at one low price. All books are paperbacks, signed by me with my author seal. Shipping is also free but this limited time offer won’t last.

Yecheilyah’s Book Reviews – Give into the Feeling by Sarah Zama

Title: Give into the Feeling

Author: Sarah Zama

Publisher: Sarah Zama

Publication date: 03/04/2016

Published: March 04, 2016

Words: 20,030

Language: English

ISBN: 9781310502927

*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*

My first time reading dieselpunk, Give into the Feeling is a Paranormal Romance, dieselpunk novella. We start off meeting Susie, a Chinese American who moved to the United States and is a dancer at a Chicago Speakeasy in the 1920s. When Blood and his brother Michael enter the place and that peculiar feather-brushing sensation overwhelms her, Susie stares toward the black man entering with the long black curly hair passed his shoulders. Except, Susie is already with Simon, the man with the dark lurking shadow following him.

Simon is with Susie and no one is going to take her away from him. After all, he’d given her beautiful things, nice dresses, and an exciting nightlife. Still, Simon couldn’t make her body or her mind feel as comfortable as it did when she was with this stranger. And was it any coincidence she was attracted to the man whose name was the color of the dress she wore that night? Was it any coincidence that blood couldn’t take his eyes off the woman in red?

I must say this was well-written and I thoroughly enjoyed the symbolism, the description of the speakeasy, and the attention to detail especially when it came to how Susie was feeling. The emotional intensity and tension between her and Blood was hot.

I enjoyed reading about Susie’s internal struggle between Blood and Simon. How she struggled to deny herself the crush she had on him for the sake of Simon. It was authentic the way she brushed off her feelings for Blood and tried to convince herself she wasn’t attracted to him. This went along well with the hint of something more sinister taking place at the same time; Simon’s jealousy contrasted against who he truly is.

Ratings:

Plot Movement / Strength: 4/5

Entertainment Factor: 4/5

Characterization: 5/5

Authenticity / Believable: 4/5

Thought Provoking: 5/5

Overall Rating: 4 / 5

Give into the Feeling is available at the following locations online:

BUY IT!

SmashwordsBarnes&Nobles | KoboiBookStore

Goodreads

The book is not currently on Amazon but is available for Kindle via Smashwords

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Be sure to follow this author online!

Blog: www.theoldshelter.com
Website: https://sarahzama.theoldshelter.com/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/JazzFeathers
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jazzfeathers
Instagram:
https://www.instagram.com/jazzfeathers/
Google+:
https://plus.google.com/+Theoldshelterdieselpunk
Pinterest:
https://it.pinterest.com/jazzfeathers/

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Did you just write a book? In need of more reviews? Register Your Book HERE for consideration. I publish reviews to this blog on Friday’s. I also post them to the authors Amazon and Goodreads page and feature the linked book covers on my  Author website and email list. You can also now find my Book Reviewed Authors on my new Indie Author page HERE.

Stay tuned for next week’s awesome author!

My Ingredients for a Series – Guest Post…

As I prepare to release another series (The Nora White Story, 2017), I thought I’d share how I decide if a book will be a series or a novel. Short, sweet, and to the point.

*Comments disabled here. Meet me on the other side*

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Blog Post 3

The Preparation Method

I know right away or before the first book is finished whether or not it’ll be a series. For instance, in “Beyond the Colored Line” (Book 2 in The Stella Trilogy), Joseph and his brother Edward come to blows in their mother’s living room. As a consequence, Jo leaves home.

After I finished writing this scene, with Karen’s voice still screaming her brother’s name as he stumbles down the street, I knew I wanted to explore more deeply Joseph’s story. What happens to him on his journey? Where does he go? What does he do? What kind of thoughts run through his mind? I knew that Book 2 would end, and yet there was still more to explore.

The Ingredient List


a. A pinch of completion
b. A tablespoon of deep plot elements

Most people don’t like having to wait for the next book. This is why…

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SICKER by Christa: Released Today!

Please help me to congratulate my friend Christa Wojo on the release of Part Two of her Psychological Suspense Series. SICKER is now available on Amazon Kindle. Review coming soon.

51OT0Njc6ML._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_About SICKER:

“How did John Branch get so sick? Part II of the gruesome psychological suspense series continues from the mind of John Branch.

John Branch’s sickness has dominated the lives of all those around him, consuming all it can from well-intentioned doctors, compassionate strangers, and trusting loved ones. His chronic illness also bonds him intimately to his wife Susan, trapping them in relationship of unhealthy psychological attachment.

But John’s disease isn’t the only blight in the Branch family.

Injured and loaded with Demerol, John Branch tells his life story from his filthy sickbed. He confesses the horrific secrets of the past. Most disturbing of all, he reveals the philosophy he’s constructed around his condition and tries to indoctrinate Susan. Will she stay with him now that she finally nows the truth, or will she put and end to the madness.”