Curtis Bunn is an essence #1bestselling author and founder of the National Book Club Conference, an organization that hosts an annual literary event for African American readers and authors. This year, the conference was in Atlanta and while I did not get to attend; I did have the chance to visit the InterContinental Hotel where the event was held. I did not get to meet Bunn (who was in the other room hosting Terry McMillan) but I did get to speak to some people there, learn more about the conference and next year‘s festivities, which lead me to Bunn‘s website. A title like “The Old Man in the Club” made me laugh and after reading several pages of the first chapter from Amazon‘s Look Inside feature, I decided this would be my first Curtis Bunn read. I was not disappointed .
I loved the message of this book more than the story although the story is good too. It is easy to judge Elliott but that ties into the author’s message.
Elliott Thomas is a sixty-one-year-old man who hangs out at the club. Not only does he hang out at the club but he flirts with and dates young women. Elliot is also divorced and sees a therapist. He meets Tamara, a twenty-five-year-old and they begin dating. Tamara is also a friend of Elliot‘s twenty-something-year-old children. I like Elliot but I disagree with his lifestyle. Elliot was convicted of something he didn’t do and I felt the reason for that conviction and him dating young women just looks bad. I didn’t think his past justified his desires to pursue younger women by any means. A thirty-five-year-old difference is just too much. I also really dislike the way his children treat him. Elliot’s ex-wife Lucy is also holding onto something. I long suspected what her secret was and I was upset that she would allow Elliot to endure abuse from his children because of something that wasn’t his fault.
But Elliot is not just an old man in the club. The author did well to provide us with multiple layers of his life. He is more complex. He has a past, trauma, and triggers. Elliot was convicted of something he didn’t do and endured other life-changing things in his life.
There’s also a craft chapter at the end of the book where the author explained his inspiration for writing the book and why as well as a list of discussion questions. This was helpful and rather than taking away from the book, I think it was needed and nicely done.
Despite my feelings about the characters actions, they were fully developed and representative of real people. Their decisions did not take away from the book but made it more realistic. Things are not as they appear. The message is: We instantly assess a person‘s values, motives, and character without ever having sat down to get to know them. It makes you think about our perceptions and how we judge others with no knowledge of who they are or where they’ve been. Everyone has a story and well-written as it is, this is Elliot’s.
“In our universe, a star explodes and dies every single second and there’s you, worrying about work tomorrow.”
Tasha sighed and signed out of her Twitter account. It amazed her how exactly those words had summed up her life. Technology was a trip.
Curtis: Hello love.
Tasha: Not a good time.
Tasha slid the smartphone under the covers as her husband entered the room.
“Hey babe,” he said planting a kiss on her lips. She watched him walk away. Completely compact with everything she’d ever wanted in a man. As he slipped out of his shirt she took the opportunity to admire the dark chocolate, toned physique of her child’s father. Standing 6’1 the man had beauty and brains and had swept her off her feet ten years ago and everything else had been storybook. In less than a year they were married, Carson was born six months after that and their combined salary afforded them the luxury of the two-story house sitting comfortably between two large Oak Trees in Elmhurst Illinois.
Tasha hated those trees. They had somehow become the mocking occasion of her perfect life. Successful real-estate agent, wife, mother, and homeowner and yet here she was, stuck between two men; both just as large and overwhelming as those trees. She’d have to remember to have at least one of them cut down. Their existence, how they mocked her very life, was too much to take.
Anthony walked off, discarding of his clothing on the bathroom floor and wrapping a towel around his waist. “What time you getting off tonight?” he yelled.
“Nine, this case is really kicking my butt.” There it was. Another lie. It was her fourth lie this month. She knew because she counted. It was difficult at first, but whenever she thought about rolling around on the floor with her boss it became much much easier.
Curtis was nothing like Anthony and that reality was perhaps one of her greatest fears and pleasure too. More so than the betrayal, the lies, even more so than the sex was that these men couldn’t be any more different. It was that, their differences, that Tasha loved even more than getting caught. She smiled wickedly. Why did the thought excite her so? She’d built trust with Anthony and how she capitalized on that trust. Taking advantage of their years she played the men like strings. Pulling and tugging on their position in her life and manipulating the occasion.
Tasha met Curtis when she was just an intern at Curtis & Law and he was well aware that she was married. Tasha preferred it this way and often beamed with satisfaction. If ever there was an occasion to sleep around she’d found it. If ever there was a secret to deceit, she’d cracked the code. Her life with Anthony was secure and she made it clear she would never divorce him. Curtis was OK with that and vowed that their time together was nothing more than a thing.
Curtis: Tash, you there?
The text alert startled her and Tasha scrambled to mute the phone alert before it became noticeable. One downfall to cheating was extreme paranoia, everything was exaggerated and Tasha was sure the muffled sound of the phone could be heard through the sound of the shower. Peaking down at the screen she rolled her eyes. This was starting to get old real fast. He knew he had no right to call her that. Only Anthony called her “Tash.” Curtis had professed his love last night and somehow thought it gave him free reign to be the first man in her life. She thought she’d made it very clear that would never happen. Maybe I should just call off, thought Tasha. The dread of the workplace had become intense. Any occasion to which she had to see Curtis face in public sent her cascading through mental turmoil and she felt she would explode.
“In our universe, a star explodes and dies every single second..”
Tasha scrolled her Twitter timeline once more. Her addiction to technology had her constantly checking her phone. Or was it nerves?
“…a star explodes and dies every single second..”
Is this what death feels like? she thought. Am I dying?
Anthony was her everything and her heart broke at the thought of what this would do to him if he ever found out and yet, the thought was quickly erased by another lie.
Please, I’m tripping. Men do this all the time. Tasha told herself to soothe the bruise of adultery seeping from her pores.
Anthony walked out of the bathroom. A towel wrapped around his waist and another one he used to dry his hair. Goodness, that’s a beautiful man. Tasha thought.
Curtis: Meet me at the spot, One hour.
Startled, Tasha scrambled to answer her text.
“Tell Curtis you’ll be late this morning,” smiled Anthony, seductively approaching his wife.
Tasha smiled a wicked smile. Poor Ant, he would never know. It amazed her how color had such an impact on the way people saw the world. Anthony would never suspect a culprit in the proper, brown haired, blue-eyed white boy that is his wife’s boss.
Tasha: I need a few hours. (wink)
Curtis: OK love.
“Tell Curtis you’ll be late this morning,” Anthony smiled but his blood raced. She had been with him again. He could tell by the racing of her eyes. How they searched him, bouncing back and forth between him and the cell phone she kept tucked underneath the covers. He smiled, hoping it would calm her nerves some. She was a mess and he wondered how long she would keep this up. How much longer could she take hurting herself to hurt him? How much longer would she take him into her arms, poisoning their love with the kiss of her lips? How much longer would he let her?
Anthony smiled again and let the dry towel fall to his ankles, his throbbing manhood at full salute. He would be with her again for the last time, or so he told himself. He approached her, watching as she sneaks text on her phone before pushing it back into the sheets. Anthony watched her racing eyes and let his body cover hers, hoping to calm her. At least for tonight. He swallowed hard and kissed his wife on the lips, tasting for the last time the flavor of deceit.
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!
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.
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
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
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?
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.
Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Emunah Y’srael. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Emunah Y’srael and I was born in Brooklyn, NY. First generation Carib-American with Hebraic roots.
Your name is beautiful. What does it mean?
My name Emunah means Faith in Hebrew.
Beautiful. What would your perfect writing / reading room look like?
Ah, the thought is so relaxing. The room would have a huge bay window overlooking nature (beach, lake, meadow) something breath-taking. Lots of natural light, a comfortable chair for me to recline and write. I am old school and love writing my first drafts with pen and paper. Oh, yes and lots and lots of pens for some reason they tend to wander off from time to time.
Lol. Don’t they? Emunah, what was your childhood dream?
My Childhood dream was raising a family in a quiet, peaceful, natural environment filled with love and laughter. No, really, I always dreamt of the simple life and still do. As we speak I am writing it into existence.
“Writing it into existence”. I like that. In your own words, what is humility?
Humility in my estimation is the ability to accept wrongs, take advice, understand that not everyone knows everything. Humility is being comfortable with giving and receiving. and accepting we are not perfect.
What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
I am already on it, the wildest most amazing adventure for me has been and continues to be the journey to the center of my soul. Wherever that takes me physically adds to and helps to unpack the things that have been there all along.
Nice. Does blogging help you to write?
Yes, I started blogging more lately and it helps to keep my creative juices flowing. A lot of my work is historical research and blogging helps me share my findings.
Speaking of research, what genres do you write in?
Historical Non-Fiction, Fiction Romance, Coming of Age Fiction, Women’s, Fiction, Self Help
Emunah, we like to jam out here on Throwback Thursdays. What kind of music do you like?
Depends on my mood, reggae, blues, country, jazz, classical it all depends.
When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
Even to this day, that first published book gives me shivers. Back in 2005, I started on a journey of healing. I wrote my autobiography still unpublished but, I did publish a self-help tutorial inspired by the book in 2010. I tried to do it myself, laying it out was like plucking hairs one by one. It was stressful but once I got it done and published it took another five years before I published again.
What takes up too much of your time?
I would say research, I love researching and sometimes I delay writing because I’m concerned about not knowing enough on the subject matter. This is why lately writing fiction has added balance to my research obsession. I can express myself and write interesting stories without having to quote sources. I like both genres and feel they both have value.
What do you think of the world we live in?
The world we live in is beautiful and ugly, it is peaceful and chaotic, it is hopeful and hopeless it all depends on how we choose to look at what we see.
Perspective. I like that. What do you love about yourself?
I love my resilience.
What don’t you like about yourself?
My tendency to be consistently inconsistent.
Why is writing important to you?
Writing is important to me because it captures my thoughts, allows me to see my words, refine my message and share it with the generations to come. It also allows the audience the privacy to receive the message, thought or story in their own time.
Alrighty then Ms. Emunah. You have a way with words. I’d have to check out your books! In your own words, what is love?
Love, oh wow love is giving, helping to restore, support or establish balance. Love allows us to be in alignment with the universal laws that govern creation and when we love it transcends our feeling. Love is an action word.
“Love allows us to be in alignment with the universal laws that govern creation.” Yaasss!
OK, had a moment. I’m back. Lol In your own words, what is truth?
Truth is complete, it has not holes or gaps, it is 360 like a circle from point to point.
What a pleasure to have you, Emunah! We enjoyed you beautiful. Thanks for spending this time with us today.
Emunah Y’srael is an expert in DIY Soul Improvement with over 20 years actively dedicated to her own soul journey. She is the creator of the a myriad of self improvement projects. Emunah has authored to date four books, all available on amazon.
Additional Info from the Author.
New Release – Island Love:
What could be more innocent than a good girl’s first crush? Jackie Brown was a sheltered teen who only knew sports and school, but when the new boy piques her interest she makes up her mind to take a chance at the game of love. But when her not so secret admirer decides to up the ante, the deck is shuffled and something goes terribly wrong. As secrets pile up a mistake she made in high school may cost her real love in the future. Will she reveal her hand in time or will her secret destroy her chance for true love forever?
Emunah Y’srael delivers a tale that is reminiscent of the writing styles of Mary Monroe, Brenda Barret, and Sista Souljah just to name a few. Island Love is her debut novella the first of a four part series, inspired by a Toni Morrison quote Emunah decided to write the book she wanted to read. Island Love is funny, culturally transparent and speaks to the awkwardness of coming of age and falling in love.
Today I’d like to extend a warm welcome to Marie Lavender. Welcome to The PBS Blog! Let’s get started.
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Marie Lavender, and I am from the Midwestern U.S. I was raised in a small town in Indiana.
Lavender. Nice name! Marie, what would your perfect writing / reading room look like?
Oh! I would have a true bibliophile theme, perhaps the furniture that mimics a shelf of books? Plus, I would choose peacefully, yet inspirational quotes to display on the walls. Anything that might spark my creativity.
Ooh. That sounds nice. I would so love a chair made of books. Yesss. What is the most annoying habit that you have?
Sometimes when I’m nervous, my right leg bounces up and down. This drove my parent’s crazy when I was a kid!
Lol. What do you hate most about writing advice and what do you love?
I think those who generally offer advice mean well. And I love that people are so willing to help! However, there are some types of ‘advice’ we should take with a grain of salt. For example, a school of thought exists, one that impresses upon us writers that we shouldn’t talk about our current writing project, or we’ll lose interest in it. I’m not sure that’s altogether true. I’ve never had any trouble in that regard; in fact, discussing it with someone, at least an individual you trust, is a way to find a great sounding board for potential issues that might come up.
Plus, there’s another piece of advice which has always bothered me – “write what you know”. Yes, we should draw from our experiences, but I think we also tend to live vicariously through our characters. We put ourselves in their shoes. What would I do if I was Jake or Brenda? We wear those costumes and take their journeys. So, I don’t think we always need to have experienced their traumas firsthand. Writers house a wealth of empathy inside them. Research can only take us so far; at some point, we must put ourselves in the situation and imagine how it would feel if that happened to us too. I just believe that writing what you already know is somewhat limiting.
Interesting. It reminds me of how the process is different for everyone. What job do you think you’d be really good at?
Actually, when I was a kid, I secretly wanted to own a bookstore. That would be pretty cool! Being around books all the time would be quite a dream.
Speaking of childhood, what was your childhood dream?
I always wanted to be a writer. I remember telling my relatives in an excited voice, “I’m going to be a novelist!” Of course, I don’t think I realized it would be this much work. LOL.
What skill would you like to master?
Hmm…that’s a good one. I’ve always wanted to learn to play the piano. My problem is that I’ve never been able to read sheet music. Even when I took choir classes from elementary school to college, I just couldn’t get my head to wrap around the idea of the music notes. I couldn’t tell you what was a B or a high C. As a soprano, I could always match a pitch pretty well, though. So, I think maybe I’m just not meant to play the piano!
Wow, so many people would like to play the piano. That makes those who already know how pretty special lol. What would be the most amazing adventure to go on?
I’d love to go to Ireland! I have deep Irish roots, so I’d like to see what it’s like to visit.
Cool. Marie, 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’ve always wanted a beach house. I don’t think I’d be too picky, as long as it was pretty and I could plant myself on the back porch, listen to the waves of the ocean as a sort of white noise, and write like a maniac.
What’s your favorite drink?
Chai iced tea with coconut milk. I haven’t been able to enjoy that for many years now, because I’m on a no-caffeine kick, but I really loved it.
No caffeine? You poor soul. Lol
What state or country do you never want to go back to?
The one I live in! LOL. For several years, I’ve really wanted to get out of Indiana. It’s just dead here. The economy is crap, and it’s hard to get inspired because there’s nothing going on here. Very little to see. I mean, I’ll come back to visit my family, but I don’t want to live here for the rest of my life.
Into music? What songs have you completely memorized?
Mostly the ones by my favorite artists – such as Paramore or OneRepublic. Other songs I have memorized were tunes that impacted me in some way, were emotionally compelling. One that I can think of off the top of my head is “Wrapped In Your Arms” by Firefight. My music tastes are pretty eclectic, but that one still makes me cry a little.
What’s your favorite food?
Chicken Oscar. I love the blend of crab meat, chicken, asparagus and hollandaise sauce. I’ve never cooked it for myself, but I had it at two different restaurants, both of which are now closed. So, I hope I can find another that makes it at some point.
Lol. Alright. Let’s get back to writing. Does blogging help you to write?
Blogging is a completely different animal, so to speak. If I’m writing an article, I am using a different part of my brain and all my creativity is shut off. I do try to make the blog post attractive with pictures. However, once I’m finished with that project, I can focus on a story.
What genre do you write in, why?
I’m a multi-genre author. I am all over the place. I have published in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. But some of my works in progress encompass the categories of time travel, dystopian, horror, comedy and erotic romance. Why do I write in all of those fields? I just let the muse lead me where it wants; I’m hardly in control! Though I lean toward romance, sometimes I surprise myself with something entirely new. In 2015, I even wrote and published a children’s fantasy.
Who is your favorite writer?
At the moment? It’s a cross between J.R. Ward and Chloe Neill.
When did you publish your first book? What was that like?
Technically, my first book was released in 2010. That was a collection of literary fiction and poetry. It was really exciting, actually! It was fun to think of myself as a published author. Soon, I plan to re-release the book, combined with two other previously released books, as a full collection. It will be titled Madame Lavender’s Collection of Ramblings: Tales, Snippets & Poetry.
Very cool. If you could live in a movie, which would it be and why?
I love the movie Kate & Leopold. I’m a sucker for a good time travel romance, so it was right up my alley. So timey-wimey and romantic! I love the blend of modern and Victorian era in that film.
In your own words, what is love?
Love is the deep gift of yourself – it is beyond pettiness or these trivialities we often bother ourselves with. Love is the source of everything, and we are bereft without it. Even if we don’t experience love in our lives at first, when we do, it’s extraordinary because we wondered how we existed without such a treasure. Plus, when someone really loves you, you can tell. It is unconditional, not just convenient. Real love doesn’t expect anything in return; it just is, and when you can give your heart back to someone, it’s that much more beautiful.
Indeed. Marie, who is your best friend?
It might be cheesy, but my best friend is my fiancé. He means everything to me.
That’s not cheesy at all! My hubby is my bestie, hands down. Would you like to have children?
Yes, I would love to have kids someday. I will be turning 37 this year, so I’m definitely not getting any younger! LOL. And even if it turns out that I can’t have any children of my own, we could always adopt. I think sharing a child with the love of my life, having someone we could love and raise, would be awesome. Plus, since we both have cats, it would complete our little family.
Nice. What takes up too much of your time?
Uggh…marketing! I really need to focus more on writing stories.
What do you think of the world we live in?
I think if we don’t stop hating – and I mean in every direction, even at home – we’re going to be in a lot more trouble soon.
What’s your favorite TV Show or Movie?
I have so many! The one I’m currently watching is Chesapeake Shores. Favorite movie? I think I still have a soft spot for The Princess Bride. Even though it’s silly, there is something incredibly romantic about it.
Have to agree with you there. Princess Bride is pretty good. What TV channel doesn’t exist but really should?
A channel featuring films based on books! I love books!
Wow, that would be awesome. Like, an entire channel totally dedicated to movies and TV shows based on books. Yaass. Marie, why is writing important to you?
Writing is a kind of freedom that I’ve never experienced in other parts of my life. I can take on different personalities, drive down roads I haven’t seen before. I fall in love with my characters and go on their journeys with them. When I’m in the midst of writing a scene or chapter, it feels like home.
If you had one superpower that could change the world, what would it be? Why?
I’m a fan of peace. I’d want to be a version of an empath – reading people’s emotions but sending them back to the person and those around them. This would be done in a manner to show what someone else is going through. I think a lot of us feel we’re misunderstood. Our pain is often silent. If we knew more about what the next person was feeling, maybe we wouldn’t be so quick to judge or hate.
Indeed. In your own words, what is truth?
Truth is the human condition. Truth entails a realization that we may not have known before. Sometimes the truth is good, sometimes bad. But in the end, it’s a necessary evil, I think. I’d rather have the truth than a lie. The fiction that I write is full of hard truth in many ways.
What a pleasure to have you, Marie! We enjoyed having you. Thanks for spending this time with us today.
Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for a little over twenty-five years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Since 2010, Marie has published 22 books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance, fantasy, science fiction, mystery/thriller, dramatic fiction, literary fiction and poetry. She has also contributed to several multi-author anthologies. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series, The Blood at First Sight Series and The Code of Endhivar Series.
Additional Information from Marie:
Bestselling multi-genre author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 21 other books. DIRECTIONS OF THE HEART placed in the TOP 10 Books of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. TOP 20 Authors of 2017 on Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews blog. Mystery Blogger Award for 2017. A to Z Blog Challenge Survivor in 2016. March 2016 Empress of the Universe title – winner of the “Broken Heart” themed contest and the “I Love You” themed contest on Poetry Universe. SECOND CHANCE HEART and A LITTLE MAGICK placed in the TOP 10 on the 2015 P&E Readers’ Poll. Nominated in the TRR Readers’ Choice Awards for Winter 2015. Poetry winner of the 2015 PnPAuthors Contest. The Versatile Blogger Award for 2015. Honorable Mention in the 2014 BTS Red Carpet Book Awards. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 10 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.
*I received a copy of this book as a gift from the author*
Coed is a romantic comedy about a man and woman who invests in a barber-beauty shop business called Coed. In a scene reminiscent of the movie Barber Shop, men cut hair on one side and the women do hair on the other. Owners Travis “Trap” Barber and Sade Styles are best friends whose friendship is put to the test when Sade’s lease is up and she moves in with Travis. Being “besties” is one thing but can Trap and Sade maintains a platonic relationship while living under the same roof? The novel seeks to answer this question in a hilarious way.
I loved this book mostly because the author had me rolling. Make me laugh like that and you’re a winner in my book. When Sade moves in with Trap, they each fight to control the feelings they have for one another like Sidney and Dre from the movie Brown Sugar. It is obvious they are attracted to each other on multiple levels but Sade has a man and Trap’s a playboy. Eventually, Sade breaks it off with her boyfriend and Trap insists on attending Myrtle Beach with her to see Lalah Hathaway. What he doesn’t know is how deeply the trip would impact them both.
While Coed is funny, I enjoyed the important messages throughout the novel as well and how it took on a more serious feel toward the end. We get to understand more deeply about the past of the main characters and what contributed to them being the way that they are. It was refreshing and I appreciated this because it is not something we often think about in relationships period. That is, why do people do the things that they do? What makes them tick? So, they are exhibiting off behavior, but why? Have we sought to understand or did we write them off? Instead of casting one another off, see people through the eyes of love. Usually, when someone is being nasty it’s because they are going through something. If we thought of this more, I think the world would be in a much better position.
My least favorite part was that there were instances where the author inserted himself into the narrative. I found this distracting and unnecessary. I also think the “He Said, “She Said” at the beginning of the Chapters is not needed. The author is talented enough to capture whose perspective we are reading without it.
However, none of these took away from the story. At the end of the day I was still laughing my butt off and Trap and Sade’s past revealed was really the final touch this novel needed to bring it on home. I stayed up late just to see what would happen. If you’re a fan of Brown Sugar, Barbershop, and The Best Man, you’ll want to read this book.
I recommend it for lovers of romance, comedy and drama. It has it all.
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.