In My Fuzzy Neighborhood

In My Fuzzy Neighborhood: Interview with Unoma Nwankwor

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In My Neighborhood today is Unoma Nwankwor , an Akron, Ohio born author who spent her childhood and early adulthood years in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. She possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Finance and a Master’s degree in Global Management. She is the multi-published of several books and is also the recipient of the 2015 Nigerian Writer’s Award for Best Faith Based Fiction Writer. Her work has appeared in Africa Book Club, USA Today HEA blog and The Kenyan E-zine; Wamathai.  Her stories are described as a fusion of faith, romance and African spice. Unoma is also the co-owner of KevStel Group LLC and resides in Atlanta Georgia with her husband and two children.

Let’s get to know a little more about Unoma Nwankwor:

FF: Can you tell us four words that describe your writing style?

UN: Descriptive, persuasive, cultural, entertaining.

FF: Do you have a writing process? If yes, briefly explain. 

UN: There are two things I must do before I write a book. Create a character profile and outline the story. My outlines are not rigid but they give me a general guideline.

FF: Why do you write books?

UN: Simple, I write to spread the good news of the gospel while entertaining and educating my readers about the continent of African especially my home country Nigeria.

FF: What genre do you write in? Which genre is your favorite?

UN: I write Christian Fiction with romance as a sub-genre. I also read in those genres, Christian  and Romantic fiction.

FF: Describe your ideal place of escape to write your books.

UN: I have a full time job in addition to my writing and family obligations so I can’t even imagine an ideal place to write. I have to get it in when I can. However in another life, it will be a beach front villa where the waves of the ocean will serve as my white noise. Funny, I think I’m one of the rare group of writers that can’t write in silence.

HCMN (RGB) (2)FF: Tell us about your current book.

UN: My book He Changed My Name was released in February 2016. It tells the story of an unlikely pair. An embattled pop star, Ayanti and a pastor Mensah. The couple meet when the Ayanti is sentenced to community service in the Mensah’s church. He helps her through her issues of un-forgiveness and hopelessness while she opens his heart to the amazing possibilities of finding love in unlikely places. One reviewer called it a “Gratifying love story of forgiveness and redemption.”

Fun Facts

FF: What is your favorite thing to do before a book signing?

UN: Take a moment to absorb the atmosphere and give thanks to God.

FF: What city would you love to have a book signing or speaking engagement?

UN: New York

FF: What is your favorite drink or beverage?

UN: Coca Cola & Coffee

FF: Are you a early bird or night owl?

UN: Night Owl. People run away from me in the morning…LOL

FF: If you could collaborate on a book with any author, who would it be and why?

UN: My writing bestie, Nigeria Lockley. She and I have common thoughts but write from different perspectives so it would be great to put that in a work of fiction.

FF: What is one tip you would give authors on how to show appreciation for their readers?

UN: Gifts, thank you cards  and birthday shout outs especially when they are unexpected.

Getting Serious

FF: What advice would you give your younger self?

UN: “It” will come. Enjoy the season you are in. I always had a knack for eagerly awaiting the next step of my life that I never stopped to enjoy my process.

FF: What is one thing you would change about your life?

UN: This may be sound cliché but nothing. Everything in my life brought me to where I am at this point in my life.

FF: What is your motto for life and career?

UN: I’ll never be able to give 100% in all areas of my life at the same time. I have long laid down that expectation. My motto is not to allow any one area to suffer for too long. As a wife, mom, author, career woman and entrepreneur. All areas will not get 100% of me at all times but my goal is not to allow any specific area to suffer too long.

FF: What is your favorite scripture or quote?

UN: My favorite quote is one by Laurel Bleadon-Maffei “I found my heart upon a mountain I did not know I could climb, and I wonder how many other pieces of myself are secreted away in places I judge I cannot go.”

FF: Thanks for the interview.

UN: Thanks for having me.

To learn more about Unoma Nwankwor and to purchase any of her titles visit her at

http://www.unwankwor.com/

 

 

A Hint of Romance

A Hint of Romance: A Romance Series by Donna Hill Worth Sharing

In this month’s A Hint of Romance, I’m sharing a romance series written by Donna Hill, an author known for her passionate love stories. The Lawson’s of Louisiana series is about a family of strong minded characters that love drama and secrets.

These are four books of the series worth sharing:

Spend My Life With You

spendDescended from a legendary political dynasty, Lee Ann Lawson has been the glue that holds her sprawling clan together. But being primary caregiver has meant putting her own dreams on hold. Preston Graham is about to change all that. From the moment they meet—at an estate in Baton Rouge—Lee Ann can’t stop thinking about the ambitious, seductive junior senator from Louisiana.

All his life, Preston has focused on only one thing: rising up the political ladder. Marriage isn’t even on the ballot. Until Lee Ann. The passion she arouses is hot, irresistible…and all-consuming. Can he convince the senator’s daughter to toss her hat in the ring—by giving her heart to him and a love that comes only once in a lifetime?

Secret Attraction

secrets attThe heiress to a political dynasty, Desiree Lawson is more interested in tossing her hat in the ring than in playing the field. But when Desiree’s twin decides to play matchmaker in order to find her a suitable date, the serious-minded senator’s daughter has a change of heart. Spence Hampton is a charismatic Baton Rouge playboy who is famous for his amorous exploits. He’s also the man Desiree has secretly desired for years and when the opportunity presents itself, she knows it’s time to take a chance.

Forced to love and admire Desiree from afar, Spence finally has his chance to be with the stunning Louisiana sister. Their first date is beyond his most passionate fantasies. With everything finally going their way, can he convince the reticent beauty that his playboy days are over and become the top candidate for her heart?

Sultry Nights

sultryHer Rules
Dominique Lawson lives life on her terms, making up the rules along the way. This beautiful Lawson twin and heiress to a glittering Louisiana dynasty goes after what she wants—and usually gets it. But Trevor Jackson seems immune to her charms. That’s until Dominique plots her all-out sensual assault on the blatantly sexy contractor, who’s as cool as they come. Now passion is heating up the Southern sky.

His Passion
Dominique may be his boss, but Trevor plans to show the pampered princess what desire is really about. Never mind that they clash on just about everything—it’s only a matter of time before the blue-blooded beauty is his. Can he convince Dominique that they belong together, now and for all the sensual nights to come?

Everything Is You

everythingJacqueline Lawson is a maverick focusing on her career abroad—a world away from the conservative Lawson dynasty. But when the award-winning photojournalist returns home to Baton Rouge after a high-stakes assignment, her parents welcome her back with open arms. But there’s a shadow over Jacqueline’s homecoming. She’s hiding a secret—one she’s determined to keep.

Raymond Jordan has sworn to uncover all of Jacqueline’s secrets, and her on-again, off-again lover is the only man who has ever gotten under her skin. Raymond didn’t follow Jacqueline back to the United States just to let her get away again. The freelance photographer has been by her side in the most dangerous places, and now he wants them to be a permanent team. The passion’s as hot as ever between them. But love means putting yourself in the line of fire. Is Jacqueline ready to risk her heart?

*Synopsis per Amazon.com. Click on images to purchase.

 

 

My Fuzzy View

My Fuzzy View of Memory House by Bette Lee Crosby

Memory-House-ebookBette Lee Crosby entertains readers with her unique mysteries and this time is no different. In book one of The Memory House Collection, Memory House, Bette shares the story of Ophelia Browne, a elderly woman given the ability to safeguard memories so they are not forgotten. It takes a certain type of person to take on this big responsibility and now it is time for Ophelia to past the job on to another loving and caring person.

Annie Cross life is changing especially after meeting, Ophelia after walking into her bed and breakfast. She starts to believe there is a life after heartbreak. The two ladies get to know each other and soon Annie is picking up on the memories within the house. Ophelia is sure the memories have chosen Annie, she just has to convince her to accept. As time goes by, both ladies will meet some obstacles and Ophelia hopes this will not be the end.

What I love and enjoyed about this book was the bond that grows between Ophelia and Annie.  It was also enjoyable to see Annie discover the memories and how she handles it. The author doesn’t disappoint with the mystery element of the story and with characters that are easy to fall in love with.

To purchase Memory House or other titles by Bette Lee Crosby visit her at http://betteleecrosby.com/

 

In My Fuzzy Neighborhood

In My Fuzzy Neighborhood: Author Kathryn Leigh Scott

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Visiting In My Fuzzy Neighborhood is Author/actress Kathryn Leigh Scott. She is the author of Jinxed (2015) and Down and Out in Beverly Heels (2013) the first two mystery novels about amateur sleuth Jinx Fogarty.  Kathryn also wrote nonfiction Dark Shadows: Return to Collinwood and the paranormal mystery Dark Passages with an affectionate nod to her stint on Dark Shadows. She has also written the memoir Last Dance at the Savoy: Life, Love and Caring For Someone With Supranucler Palsy (2016) and completed the novel September Girl. She continues to work as an actress  (The Goldbergs and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D).

Let’s get to know a little bit more about Kathryn Leigh Scott:

FF: Can you tell us four words that describe your writing style?

KLS: Mysteries and romance: humorous, edgy, fast-paced, surprising

Memoir: candid, probing, insightful, accessible

FF: Do you have a writing process? If yes, briefly explain.

KLS: I begin with “what if?” and write a paragraph in answer; then the work begins! The paragraph becomes a synopsis, a loose outline and eventually a book.

FF: Why do you write books?

KLS: I’m compelled to write and I learn so much I didn’t know I knew.

FF: Describe your ideal place of escape to write your books.

KLS: My leather chair and footstool with my laptop on my lap

FF: Tell us about your current book.

KLS: I have just completed SEPTEMBER GIRL, a stand-alone fiction book about a romance rediscovered that I’ve wanted to write for a long time. I’ve also written LAST DANCE AT THE SAVOY: Life, love and Caring For Someone With Supranuclear Palsy, a memoir that is more about life and love than the prime of life disease that claimed my husband.

FF: What prompted you to share this story?

NEW savoy sales graphic blk jpgKLS: LAST DANCE AT THE SAVOY is the book I wished I could read when my husband was diagnosed with this rare brain disease, one of a family of neurological diseases that Robin Williams was also diagnosed with, and for which there is no treatment or cure. I kept a journal while caregiving and that diary provided the template for the book.

 

Fun Facts

FF: What is your favorite thing to do before a book signing?

KLS: Take a deep breath and remember to be entertaining and brief!

FF: What city would you love to have a book signing or speaking engagement?

KLS: Honestly, I’ve already held book signings in London, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Minneapolis and too many other great places to properly list. How about Paris? But then I’d require an interpreter.

FF: What is your favorite drink or beverage?

KLS: Water, followed closely by wine

FF: Are you a early bird or night owl?

KLS: Early!

FF: If you could collaborate on a book with any author, who would it be and why?

KLS: Edith Wharton, for Heaven’s sake!

FF: What is one tip you would give authors on how to show appreciation for their readers?

KLS: Assume their appreciation of language! The joy of reading is finding precise, expressive use of language to convey ideas and emotions . . . and if the perfect word choice is not widely known, I’ll use it anyway. Again, thank you Edith Wharton, PD James, Julian Barnes, etc. etc.

Getting Serious

FF: What advice would you give your younger self?

KLS: Leap in! Have confidence in yourself.

FF: What is one thing you would change about your life?

KLS: I’d be younger and know all I know now.

FF: What is your motto for life and career?

KLS: If not now, when?

FF: What is your favorite scripture or quote?

KLS: Love thy neighbor . . .

FF: Thanks for the interview.

KLS: Thanks for having me.

To learn more about Kathryn Leigh Scott and to purchase any of her titles, visit her at http://www.kathrynleighscott.com/

In My Fuzzy Neighborhood

In My Fuzzy Neighborhood: Author Susan M. Boyer

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In My Fuzzy Neighborhood today is author Susan M. Boyer. Susan is the author of the USA TODAY bestselling Liz Talbot mystery series. Her debut novel, Lowcountry Boil, won the Agatha Award for Best First Novel and the Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense. Lowcountry Boneyard, the third Liz Talbot mystery, was a Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance Okra Pick and is nominated for several awards. Susan loves beaches, Southern food, and small towns where everyone knows everyone, and everyone has crazy relatives. You’ll find all of the above in her novels. She lives in Greenville, SC, with her husband and an inordinate number of houseplants.

Let’s get to know a little bit more about Susan M. Boyer:

FF: Can you tell us four words that describe your writing style?

SB: Fast-paced, Southern, humorous, first-person.

FF; Do you have a writing process? If yes, briefly explain.

SB: The first stage is daydreaming, coming up with a crime. Then I write it out in detail—who did what to who, from the villain’s point of view. Next I outline how my detective will solve the case. The first draft comes next, but every day I read and edit what I wrote the day before, so by the time I’m finished, I’ve already edited it once. Typically I let it rest—step away for a few days, then dive back in with another round of edits. Then I print it out and edit again. Things always look different on paper. Once I’m reasonably happy with it, if time permits, I’ll send it to a beta reader. I comb through her notes for things I missed and make any changes that resonate with me. Then it goes to my editor.

FF: Why do you write books?

SB: I love creating stories. I’m a life-long book-lover. Writing my own is my dream job.

FF: What genre do you write in? Which genre is your favorite?

SB: I write mysteries, and I would have to say that’s my favorite, though I read very eclectically. I also love Southern fiction, women’s fiction, mainstream fiction, romance, and some paranormal fiction.

FF: Describe your ideal place of escape to write your books.

SB: The beach, in a one-bedroom oceanfront condo, close enough to Charleston that I can make day trips in for research.

FF: Tell us about Lowcountry Book Club and Liz Talbot.

SB: Well, Liz Talbot is a private investigator, licensed by the state of South Carolina. She lives on the island of Stella Maris, just north of Isle of Palms, near Charleston. Many of her cases take her into Charleston.

Lowcountry Book Club FINALIn Lowcountry Book Club, she and her partner are hired by a prestigious Charleston law firm to find out who pushed Shelby Poinsett out of her second-floor library French doors into the brick courtyard of her Tradd Street home. Poor Shelby died of head injuries, and her husband was arrested for her murder, though he maintains his innocence. Jury selection starts in two weeks, so Liz and Nate are playing against the clock.

 

Fun Facts

FF: What is your favorite thing to do before a book signing? 

SB: Honestly, most of the time I’m traveling, so I’m focused on getting there half an hour early and just having fun meeting readers. I don’t really have any pre-signing rituals, though I do have a particular blue pen I like to use.

FF: What city would you love to have a book signing or speaking engagement?

SB: All of them. I wish I had time and the resources to go everywhere. I can’t think of a specific city I’d most like to visit for a signing other than to say I most enjoy going places where I can meet readers in person who I’ve only previously met through email, social media, or by virtue of the fact that they’ve read my books.

FF: What is your favorite drink or beverage?

SB: I drink a lot of peach iced tea. And I share Liz’s love for Cheerwine (a cherry flavored soft drink). If it’s after five, I love a glass of pinot noir. And champagne—I can usually think of a reason to drink champagne.

FF: Are you an early bird or night owl?

SB: I’m such a night owl. I’m trying so hard to convert myself to an early bird because it would fit the rest of my life better. But it’s just not in my nature. I like to stay up late reading, then get my eight hours in.

FF: If you could collaborate on a book with any author, who would it be and why?

SB: Honestly, I can’t see myself ever collaborating on a book. Writing is too personal of an experience for me. That said, I do enjoy contributing to the occasional anthology or cookbook.

FF: What is one tip you would give authors on how to show appreciation for their readers?

SB: This is hard because most of the authors I know—myself included—appreciate their readers so much and do everything they know to do to let readers know that. The best way I know is to be as accessible as I possibly can through my website, email, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. and to respond as promptly as possible when a reader reaches out. That said, my sister and I had this conversation recently. She’s an avid reader, but wants nothing to do with social media, and would never dream of contacting an author. I said to her that she was the reader authors needed to figure out how to reach. Her response to me was this: “I don’t want to be reached. I want to browse books, choose the ones I want, read them, and go on about my business. I don’t want to have a relationship with the authors I read except through their books.” And I believe there are many readers who feel that way. Not all of them, of course.

Getting Serious

FF: What advice would you give your younger self?

SB: Stick with that English major. Start writing earlier. Don’t take the detour for the steady paycheck.

FF: What is one thing you would change about your life?

SB: If I could have a few more hours every day, that would be great. I could relax and smell the roses a little more. Seriously, I’m really happy with my life.

FF: What is your motto for life and career?

SB: I don’t think I have a motto per se. I have a list of things I try to follow, I guess. The usual things—be kind, treat others the way you’d like to be treated. If you can’t say something nice, keep quiet.

FF: What is your favorite scripture or quote?

SB: One of many favorites is a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

FF: Thanks for the interview.

SB: Thanks so much for having me!

To learn more about Susan M. Boyer and to purchase any of her titles. Visit her at:

Social Media:
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In My Fuzzy Neighborhood

In My Fuzzy Neighborhood: Author E.N. Joy

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In my fuzzy neighborhood today is BLESSEDselling Author E. N. Joy and writer behind the five book series, “New Day Divas,” the three book series, “Still Divas,” the three book series, “Always Divas,” and the three book series, “Forever Divas,” which have been coined “Soap Operas in Print.” She is an Essence Magazine Bestselling Author who wrote secular books under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY. An All Night Man, an anthology she wrote with New York Times Bestselling Author Brenda Jackson, earned the Borders bestselling African American romance award. And her Urban Fiction title, Dollar Bill (Triple Crown Publication), appeared in Newsweek and has been translated to Japanese.

After thirteen years of being a paralegal in the insurance industry, E. N. Joy divorced her career and married her mistress and her passion; writing. In 2000, she formed her own publishing company where she published her books until landing a book deal with a major publisher. This award winning author has been sharing her literary expertise on conference panels in her home town of Columbus, Ohio as well as cities across the country.

Her children’s book titled The Secret Olivia Told Me, written under the name N. Joy, received a Coretta Scott King Honor from the American Library Association. The book was also acquired by Scholastic Books and has sold almost 100,000 copies. Elementary and middle school children have fallen in love with reading and creative writing as a result of the readings and workshops E. N. Joy instructs in schools nationwide.

E. N. Joy was the acquisitions editor for the Urban Christian imprint for ten years. In addition, she is the artistic developer for a young girl group named DJHK Gurls. She pens original songs, drama skits and monologues for the group that deal with messages that affect today’s youth, such as bullying

Let’s get to know a little bit more about Author E. N. Joy
FF: Can you tell us four words that describe your writing style?
ENJ: Soap Operas in Print
FF: Do you have a writing process? If yes, briefly explain. 
ENJ:  I have a ghostwriter; the Holy Ghost. So typically I’ll just go sit down in front of my computer and begin taking dictation. As a very creative person, I like to work on a schedule, I like to be organized, and I like for both my mind and working environment to be clutter free. Clutter blocks my creativity; it slows the flow. Clutter stifles my creative thoughts and the process itself. But can I work in a junkyard if need be? Absolutely!
As a creative person, life happens, so I’m always prepared to write anywhere, under any circumstance and condition. But my preference is for those circumstances and conditions to be conducive to what allows me to be most creative.
I’ve missed my flight before and wrote chapters of a book in the airport. I’ve even written content while stuck in standstill traffic. I’ll often send myself a voicemail message in my character’s voice of what they want to say or do. Trust and believe that I can and will get my story out by any means necessary, but I prefer a space where it’s just me, myself, my characters, and my ghostwriter.
FF: Why do you write books?
ENJ: I always say that the greatest “Ah Ha!” moment a person could ever have is when their life begins to make sense. At first I used to write books to become a famous author, but now I write books to make God famous. My life began to make sense when I realized not only why I write books, but why God wanted me to write books. Writing the books is a ministry. Selling the books is a business. My ministry is delivering God’s message through the written word in the form of literary entertainment in order to point the world in the direction of the Kingdom. So I went from focusing on being a bestselling author to being a BLESSEDselling author. I went from focusing on one million copies sold to one million souls saved. I went from focusing on selling out of books after every literary event to my readers being sold out on Christ after reading every book. That is why I write.
FF: What genre do you write in? Which genre is your favorite?
ENJ: When I first started writing I wrote poetry, women’s fiction, and erotica under the name Joylynn M. Jossel. I wrote street lit under the name JOY. I now write Christian fiction under the name E. N. Joy (The ‘E’ stands for Everybody and the ‘N’ stands for Needs), and I write children’s and middle grade books under the name N. Joy. I’ve dabbled in some romantic short stories and I’m having an absolute ball with those, but I must say that my favorite is Christian fiction. I absolutely love how God uses me to deliver messages to His people. Keep in mind, the message is always for the messenger first, so I get double-blessed!
FF: Describe your ideal place of escape to write your books.
ENJ: The Caribbean is both where I am inspired to write and can spin amazing tales. Give me a nice breeze on the balcony or some sand between my toes and my mind goes to unimaginable places. The sound of the ocean water lapping up against rocks or rolling back from the shore talks to me.
I put the final touches on my book, I Ain’t Me No More, while in the Dominican Republic. I wrote some amazing chapters for You Get What You Pray For while in St. Martin. My family vacation this year will be in the Bahamas (one of the few places that mosquito disease hasn’t struck), so I can’t wait to see what written words will manifest while there. Yes, my family hates when I work on vacation, but ask any author/editor and they will tell you that those manuscripts have a powerful pull. Plus, when you love what you do, you don’t have to take a vacation from your work; you take your work on vacation.
FF: Tell us about your current book. 
ENJ: I have two books that just released. One is part of my romantic shorts and it’s titled The Miserable Wives Club. The Miserable Wives Club is one that the members don’t want anyone to know they belong to . . . especially their husbands!
onesundayatatimefrontMy latest full-length novel is One Sunday at a Time and it’s book two in my “Forever Divas” series.  In this soap opera in print, the main character, Deborah, asks herself, “What does crazy look like?” Let Deborah tell it, it’s the reflection that looks back at her in the mirror. She has a career she loves, two beautiful children and a handsome and successful husband. Her life seems to be the blueprint almost every woman she knows would kill to live. But working full-time, being a full-time mother, full-time wife and a full-time Sunday only Christian seems to be taking its toll on her. With all the scheming and shenanigans Deborah orchestrated to get this lifestyle, she might have to come up with a whole set of new ones to maintain it.
Lynox is Deborah’s husband who she thanks God for putting back into her life after a game of cat and mouse that defies the laws of romance. He feels that all Deborah needs is to let her hair down, maybe make some new friends and live a little. When Deborah agrees and then suspects Lynox of having an affair with the woman that he suggested she form a friendship with, will he live to regret his own advice?
Fun Facts
FF: What is your favorite thing to do before a book signing?
ENJ: My favorite thing to do before a book signing is to make sure I have my pack of Red Vines on hand. Twizzlers will serve as a backup if I can’t get my hands on the vines.
FF: What city would you love to have a book signing or speaking engagement?
ENJ: New York! I haven’t had a book signing in New York since the Harlem Book Festival back in 2000. Although the majority of my readers are in the South, I have a pretty nice following in the Big Apple as well. I try to turn my out of town book events into a family vacation as well, so my family, along with some readers, is urging me to hit New York here in the near future.
FF: What is your favorite drink or beverage?
ENJ: I’m crazy about Dr. Pepper. Out of all the diet sodas, Dr. Pepper is the one that tastes the most like the original mix. But if I’m not on my Weight Watchers kick, I go for regular ole Dr. P! I only buy soda for my home about three times a year. If I kept it on hand, I’d drink it every day. I’d rather my fat grams come from something like brownies rather than in liquid form.
FF: Are you an early bird or night owl?
ENJ: I’m both an early bird and a night owl. Sleep is overrated. I’ve got stories to write!!!!! My characters couldn’t care less what time of day or night it is. When they have something to say, they expect me to give power to their voice regardless of the time. Of course that power is in the pen. I do some of my best work at the wee hours in the morning or in the middle of the night, both occasions when the house is pretty much silent and the voices of my characters reign.
FF: If you could collaborate on a book with any author, who would it be and why?
ENJ: I’ve already collaborated with my favorite author in the universe, Brenda Jackson. Back when I wrote secular books we did a book together titled An All Night Man. It earned the Borders Bestselling African American Romance Award. I’m now collaborating with Nikita Lynnette Nichols on our “Angel” series project. Book 1 is titled She’s No Angel.
FF: What is one tip you would give authors on how to show appreciation for their readers?
ENJ: Acknowledge them. Is it really that hard to take five minutes out of your schedule to like a post or to wish them a happy birthday? Reader appreciation is why I love and admire Brenda Jackson so much. She mastered that early on in her career. I want my readers to form a connection with the characters I write about, but I want my readers to form a relationship with me. That’s why even though I love social media, I still have my good old fashion email address book that I use to send my readers a more personal newsletter. I also see to it that at least two or three times a year I make a physical appearance in order to connect personally with my readers and not just virtually online. Nothing will ever take the place of face-to-face networking and interaction.
Getting Serious
FF: What advice would you give your younger self?
ENJ: “Tomorrow your older self will have to live with the consequences of the choices you make today, so be wise and have peace with every decision made.”
FF: What is one thing you would change about your life?
ENJ: I would change the fact that I stayed in an abusive relationship for seven years. I hated myself while in that relationship. I hated everyone around me, and therefore those closest to me. My firstborn son, being one of them, got the brunt of my hate and anger.  When I wrote the story about my past in my book, I Ain’t Me No More, it was a form of deliverance.
FF: What is your motto for life and career?
ENJ: There is a big difference between doing the best that you can do and doing all that you can do. Do all that you can do to achieve great success in both your family life and career, calculated with your own measuring cup and weighed on your own scale.
FF: What is your favorite scripture or quote?
ENJ: “But my life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus…the work of telling others the Good News about God’s wonderful kindness and love” Acts 20:24 (NIV).
To learn more about Author E. N. Joy or to purchase any of her titles visits:
Website: http://enjoywrites.com/
Social Media:
Facebook: AuthorENJoy
Twitter: @enjoywrites
Pinterest: @authorENjoy
Instagram: @bestselling_author_enjoy
Periscope:  @Author_E_N_Joy
YoutTube: https://www.youtube.com/user/enjoywrites
All Things Women Fiction

All Things Women Fiction: Three Women Fiction Books Worth Reading

I love suggesting and discussing books in genres I care about and believe avid readers will enjoy.  In All Things Women Fiction this month, I am sharing my three women fiction picks worth reading. This month I am featuring books written by Kim Boykin. I absolutely love the setting of her books, the hint of drama and the unforgettable characters. I enjoyed being on the journey reading how these women Nettie Gilbert, Vada Hadley and Zora Adams dealt with the obstacles in their lives. Here are my Kim Boykin picks for July:

A Peach of a Pair

a peach

March, 1953. Nettie Gilbert has cherished her time studying to be a music teacher at Columbia College in South Carolina, but as graduation approaches, she can’t wait to return to her family—and her childhood sweetheart, Brooks—in Alabama. But just days before her senior recital, she gets a letter from her mama telling her that Brooks is getting married . . . to her own sister.

Devastated, Nettie drops out of school and takes a job as live-in help for two old-maid sisters, Emily and Lurleen Eldridge. Emily is fiercely protective of the ailing Lurleen, but their sisterhood has weathered many storms. And as Nettie learns more about their lives on a trip to see a faith healer halfway across the country, she’ll discover that love and forgiveness will one day lead her home . . .

A Palmetto Moon

palmetto

June, 1947. Charleston is poised to celebrate the biggest wedding in high-society history, the joining of two of the oldest families in the city. Except the bride is nowhere to be found…

Unlike the rest of the debs she grew up with, Vada Hadley doesn’t see marrying Justin McLeod as a blessing—she sees it as a life sentence. So when she finds herself one day away from a wedding she doesn’t want, she’s left with no choice but to run away from the future her parents have so carefully planned for her.

In Round O, South Carolina, Vada finds independence in the unexpected friendships she forms at the boarding house where she stays, and a quiet yet fulfilling courtship with the local diner owner, Frank Darling. For the first time in her life, she finally feels like she’s where she’s meant to be. But when her dear friend Darby hunts her down, needing help, Vada will have to confront the life she gave up—and decide where her heart truly belongs.

The Wisdom of Hair

hair

“The problem with cutting your own hair is that once you start, you just keep cutting, trying to fix it, and the truth is, some things can never be fixed. The day of my daddy’s funeral, I cut my bangs until they were the length of those little paintbrushes that come with dime-store watercolor sets. I was nine years old. People asked me why I did it, but I was too young then to know I was changing my hair because I wanted to change my life.”

In 1983, on her nineteenth birthday, Zora Adams finally says goodbye to her alcoholic mother and their tiny town in the mountains of South Carolina. Living with a woman who dresses like Judy Garland and brings home a different man each night is not a pretty existence, and Zora is ready for life to be beautiful.

With the help of a beloved teacher, she moves to a coastal town and enrolls in the Davenport School of Beauty. Under the tutelage of Mrs. Cathcart, she learns the art of fixing hair, and becomes fast friends with the lively Sara Jane Farquhar, a natural hair stylist. She also falls hard for handsome young widower Winston Sawyer, who is drowning his grief in bourbon. She couldn’t save Mama, but maybe she can save him.

As Zora practices finger waves, updos, and spit curls, she also comes to learn that few things are permanent in this life–except real love, lasting friendship, and, ultimately… forgiveness.

*Click book images to Purchase. To learn more about Kim Boykin visit her online at http://kimboykin.com/

 

In My Fuzzy Neighborhood

In My Fuzzy Neighborhood: Author Emily Liebert

emily

In My Fuzzy Neighborhood today is Emily Liebert. Emily was born and raised in New York City, attended the Horace Mann School and Smith College, where she graduated with a B.A. in English Language & Literature.

After college, Emily landed her first job as an Executive Assistant at ABC News, where she honed her organizational skills and helped produce television specials for Peter Jennings Reporting. To this day, she is a whiz with “To Do” lists.

Since childhood, Emily’s had a passion for writing, so when the opportunity to become Editor-in-Chief of The WAG—a luxury lifestyle magazine covering Westchester and Fairfield Counties—presented itself, she jumped at the chance. During Emily’s five-year tenure, she wrote hundreds of articles, including celebrity profiles, travel, fashion, and beauty.

Ready for her next adventure, Emily became a full-time freelance writer, penning lifestyle pieces for media outlets such as, The Huffington Post, Oprah.com, Elite Traveler, Robb Report, Gotham, and Cottages & Gardens.

In 2009, Emily edited Kerry Kennedy’s New York Times bestseller Being Catholic Now: Prominent Americans Talk About Change in the Church and the Quest for Meaning.

The following year, Emily published her first book, Facebook Fairytales, which was featured at the 2010 Frankfurt Book Fair, and Emily was one of 20 guests of honor—among Elizabeth Kostova, Russell Banks, and Lisa See—at the renowned Literary Feast 2010, a privilege reserved for best-selling and buzz-worthy authors. Shortly thereafter, Emily was hired by Microsoft as the spokesperson for Bing’s partnership with Facebook and appeared in 30+ television and radio spots for the brand, which garnered exceptional ratings.

In 2012, Emily wrote her debut novel, You Knew Me When, which published on September 3, 2013. Her second novel, When We Fall, published on September 2, 2014. Those Secrets We Keep, her third novel, released on June 2, 2015, and her fourth novel, Some Women, came out on April 5, 2016, all with Penguin Random House.

Emily is featured often in the press, by outlets such as: Today Show, The Rachael Ray Show, Anderson Cooper, FOX News, Good Day New York, Oprah Radio, Martha Stewart Radio, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, InStyle, People StyleWatchOK!, Nylon, Ladies’ Home Journal, Woman’s World, WWDWoman’s Day, The New York Post, The Washington PostThe New York Daily News, The Chicago Tribune, Boston Herald, People.com, and The Huffington Post.

When Emily’s not writing, she teaches Pure Barre classes and enjoys traveling, cooking, and cozying up with a good book. She’s been known to ride on a Harley Davidson. And she does a mean Running Man on the dance floor. Emily lives with her husband, Lewis, and their two delicious little boys, Jax and Hugo, in Westport, CT where she moved kicking and screaming for fear that there would be no Chinese food delivery at three in the morning. She was right.

Visit Emily online at http://www.emilyliebert.com/, like her on Facebook or send her a tweet on Twitter.

Let’s get to know a little more about Emily Liebert:

FF: Can you tell us four words that describe your writing style?

EL: Modern, concise, funny, strong voice (sorry five words)

FF: Do you have a writing process? If yes, briefly explain. 

EL: I typically write between the hours of 11am and 2pm (while my kids are at school or camp), take a break to concentrate on emails, publicity and so on, and then I edit that day’s work sometime after 4pm but before 6pm. I always write in my home office. I have the ability to tune out a lot.

FF: Why do you write books?

EL: Because I have a lot to say. And sometimes it’s easier than talking. Characters bud and develop in my mind and I feel compelled to explore them on the page.

FF: Describe your ideal place of escape to write your books.

EL: I don’t escape to write my books. I like to be in my home environment with everything at my fingertips. I’m a creature of habit.

FF: Tell us about your current book.

EL: SOME WOMEN is a thought provoking novel that examines the intricacies of marriage, friendship, and the power of unexpected connections. On the surface, the three leading ladies may not have much in common. Yet when their lives are thrust together and unlikely friendships are formed—at a time when they all need someone to lean on—Annabel, Piper, and Mackenzie band together to help each other navigate their new realities.

FF: Tell us a little about Annabel, Piper and Mackenzie.

EL: Annabel is someone who has everything under control. She devotes her time to her twin five-year-old boys and to keeps her household running seamlessly. So when her husband of a decade announces that he’s leaving her, without warning, she’s blindsided. And suddenly her world begins to unravel.

Piper is a single mom and has always done her best to balance it all—raising her daughter Fern by herself and advancing her career as a crime reporter. Only now that she’s finally met the man of her dreams, Fern’s absentee father arrives on the scene and throws everything into a tailspin.

Mackenzie is married to the heir of a thriving media conglomerate. She has many reasons to count her blessings. But with an imperious mother-in-law—who’s also her boss—and a husband with whom she can no longer seem to connect, something has to give.

Fun Facts

FF: What is your favorite thing to do before a book signing?

EL: Eat! I need my fuel. If it’s at a bookstore, I love to browse the other titles and the cookbooks!

FF: What city would you love to have a book signing or speaking engagement?

EL: Paris, especially if someone else is footing the bill.

FF: What is your favorite drink or beverage?

EL: I love a spicy Bloody Mary with three olives.

FF: Are you a early bird or night owl?

EL: Neither. I need at least eight hours of sleep a night, otherwise I’m a maniac. Ideal wake-up time would be 8:30am. Ideal bed time would be 10pm.

FF: If you could collaborate on a book with any author, who would it be and why?

EL: I could never collaborate on a work of fiction. But I’d jump at the chance to collaborate on a cookbook with Bobby Flay. Hello? Bobby? (P.S. I do not have the credentials to write a cookbook.)

FF: What is one tip you would give authors on how to show appreciation for their readers?

EL: Reply to them! I answer every message, every Facebook post, and every tweet. I also collaborate with brands to offer my readers fun giveaways. For example, for SOME WOMEN, Gerard Cosmetics created a lip gloss collection named after my book and characters. All of my readers who pre-ordered and many who ordered within the first month received the collection when they bought the book.

Getting Serious

FF: What advice would you give your younger self?

EL: Be patient. Everything will come. Oh, and never ever cut bangs.

FF: What is one thing you would change about your life?

EL: I’d try to relax more. If that was humanly possible for me.

FF: What is your motto for life and career?

EL: I don’t believe in mottos.

FF: What is your favorite scripture or quote?

EL: “As time went on, and the months and years came and went, he was never without friends.” It’s from my favorite book Charlotte’s Web. The quote is in SOME WOMEN, which has a number of references to Charlotte’s Web. I love it because my closest friends are like family to me. They inspire me every day.

some-women

An engrossing and thought provoking novel that examines the intricacies of marriage, friendship, and the power of unexpected connections…

Annabel Ford has everything under control, devoting her time to her twin five-year-old boys and to keeping her household running seamlessly. So when her husband of a decade announces that he’s leaving her, without warning, she’s blindsided. And suddenly her world begins to unravel.

Single mother Piper Whitley has always done her best to balance it all—raising her daughter Fern by herself and advancing her career as a crime reporter. Only now that she’s finally met the man of her dreams, Fern’s absentee father arrives on the scene and throws everything into a tailspin.

Married to the heir of a thriving media conglomerate, Mackenzie Mead has many reasons to count her blessings. But with an imperious mother-in-law—who’s also her boss—and a husband with whom she can no longer seem to connect, something has to give.

On the surface, these three women may not have much in common. Yet when their lives are thrust together and unlikely friendships are formed—at a time when they all need someone to lean on—Annabel, Piper, and Mackenzie band together to help each other navigate their new realities.

Available at Amazon/Barnes and Nobles/BAM

Who Did It?

Who Did It?: Three Mystery Books Worth Reading

I love suggesting and discussing books in genres I care about and believe avid readers will enjoy. In Who Did It? this month, I am sharing my three mystery picks worth reading. These books provide enough humor,  suspense, twists and turns to keep you turning pages. I really enjoyed the fact that the women in these books are the ones trying to solve what is happening.

Here are my three picks for July:

The Obsession by Nora Roberts

obsession

“She stood in the deep, dark woods, breath shallow and cold prickling over her skin despite the hot, heavy air. She took a step back, then two, as the urge to run fell over her.”

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can’t outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

Murder House by James Patterson and David Ellis

murder

It has an ocean-front view, a private beach–and a deadly secret that won’t stay buried.

No. 7 Ocean Drive is a gorgeous, multi-million-dollar beachfront estate in the Hamptons, where money and privilege know no bounds. But its beautiful gothic exterior hides a horrific past: it was the scene of a series of depraved killings that have never been solved. Neglected, empty, and rumored to be cursed, it’s known as the Murder House, and locals keep their distance.

Detective Jenna Murphy used to consider herself a local, but she hasn’t been back since she was a girl. Trying to escape her troubled past and rehabilitate a career on the rocks, the former New York City cop hardly expects her lush and wealthy surroundings to be a hotbed of grisly depravity. But when a Hollywood power broker and his mistress are found dead in the abandoned Murder House, the gruesome crime scene rivals anything Jenna experienced in Manhattan. And what at first seems like an open and shut case turns out to have as many shocking secrets as the Murder House itself, as Jenna quickly realizes that the mansion’s history is much darker than even the town’s most salacious gossips could have imagined. As more bodies surface, and the secret that Jenna has tried desperately to escape closes in on her, she must risk her own life to expose the truth–before the Murder House claims another victim.

Meddling with Murder by Ellie Campbell

meddling

Crouch End Confidential, the agency started by housewife and mother, Cathy O’Farrell, with ex-cleaner, Pimple, is failing badly. Hardly surprising when Cathy’s too soft-hearted to charge their only clients, little old ladies seeking lost pets and a school kid searching for his stolen bike. A new case involving a teenager in possession of an unexplained Glock pistol promises to change all that. Quickly Cathy’s deep in waters over her head, forced with hilarious results to pose as a mathematics tutor, a subject of which she’s truly clueless. There’s also the tricky situation of best friend and new mother Rosa hiring her to investigate her fiancé, Alec, plus the mysterious sabotage of Cathy’s friends’ cycle shop and a gang of yobbos dealing drugs at her children’s primary school. Worst of all, an ill-fated trip to rural Norfolk has Cathy’s husband, Declan, intent on buying a post office and transplanting the family to safer climes, threatening to tear Cathy permanently from her beloved North London home. Pretty soon Cathy’s risking her friendships, her marriage and even her life untangling all these messes. But that’s what you get for meddling in murder…

*Click book image to purchase. Synopsis via Amazon.com

Fuzzy Findz

My Fuzzy Findz: Hidden Riches by Felicia Mason

hidden

Purchase at Amazon.com

The cover of this book makes me wonder what riches are hidden and if the woman is holding all the cards to it. It is also the reason along with the synopsis that made me buy it. Hidden Riches is about bringing out the true color of three siblings once their eldest sibling dies.

Characters

Ana Mae Futrell, the eldest of the Futrell children has passed away causing her remaining siblings to return to North Carolina. Ana Mae is certain her two sisters and brother never made an effort to get to know her. She is able to turn the tables by leaving clues in a blanket sort of like her will.

Mary Coston, Marquerite Foster and Clayton Futrell all have the same thing in common, none of them really knew their sister Ana Mae. When they go back to their hometown to bury their sister the fortune she has left comes with stipulations.

View

As a reader, it was wonderful getting to know these characters. I enjoyed the clues in the quilt causing the siblings to come together, which ultimately made them learn more about themselves and their sister. This book was about family and working through their issues, but also made me want to call my family members just to check in.

Therefore, Hidden Riches by Felicia Mason is my fuzzy findz for July. I will be sharing my new fuzzy findz next month. Stay Tune!