Monday, October 1, 2012

Music Monday: Mike Peralta

By now you should know that I like many different types of music and singer/songwriter Mike Peralta is no exception.

I do not remember how I first heard of Mike.  I'm pretty sure that he was the recommendation of a friend.

His style is a little Acoustic/Folk but not really.  It's more Alternative to me.

Any-whoo, the guy is super talented and funny as hell!

Here he is covering Sade.  Go ahead and laugh at how he pronounces her name.  It's been corrected.

Give him a listen and check him out on Twitter and Facebook.  He's a real cool dude who loves his listeners.

Plus, he gives out a shit ton of free music!


Live, Dream...WRITE

Monday, September 17, 2012

Music Monday - The 70s

It's been said that I was born in the wrong decade.  Even my own mother believes I should have been born at least 20 years before I was.

When she goes through my vinyl collection, iTunes library, and/or my cassettes, she laughs and says that my taste in music indicates that I've been here before.

What can I say?  I love 70s music.  There isn't much that I do not listen to on a regular basis.  I spent this weekend listening to Kool & the Gang, Earth, Wind, and Fire, The Bee-Gees, Marvin Gaye, The Ohio Players, Parliment, Rick James, The Gap Band, Rose Royce and others.

70s music makes me smile and dance.  Doesn't it make you do the same?

Funk, jazz, soul, disco...the music definitely defined a decade.

Here are a couple of my faves.

and this is the best!

Marvin Gaye's Got to Give It Up Soul Train performance!!!

For Discussion:  What's your favorite 70s song...the one that never fails to get your hips swingin and a smile on your face?

Monday, September 3, 2012

Music Monday: John Mayer

What?  You thought it wasn't going to happen?

Fooled ya!

I took a break from Mr. Mayer.  I admit, the break only lasted about as long as Chad and Evelyn's marriage but it was a break.  And I don't care if that was a low blow considering why Chad and Evelyn are through but let's be honest here, they didn't last as long as Kim and Chris.

I've said before that my relationship with John Mayer's music is like that guy who you know isn't the one but you still keep going back because you know when it's good, it's really GOOD!

Besides, his music has inspired me in different aspects of my life since 1999.  I cannot turn my back on it because the man behind the music does and says a lot of shit I do not like.

I saw an article on called 5 Rock Stars You Won't Believe Are Musical Geniuses and although I was surprised that Mayer was on the list...I wasn't.  See, many people can't get past "Your Body is a Wonderland or Daughters.  But let me tell you, once you get over "your bubblegum tongue" it's nothing short of magical.

The spirit of legends resides in John Mayer once he straps on a guitar.  From blues to pop to rock, the man is definitely a musical genius.

Click here if you don't believe me.

Men giving relationship advice? Hold on, I'm trying to stop laughing.

This post has been a long time coming, but last week was when I realized that I really needed to take the time and write it.  Last week, the movie “Think Like a Man” came out on Blu-ray so I called a few girlfriends over to watch it and have a “Think Like a Man” girls’ night.

We’d all seen the movie when it was in theaters and most of us (I only got to through half) had read Steve Harvey’s bestselling book, Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man, but no one can resist watching that fine ass Michael Ealy over and over…at least we can't.

The conversation afterwards is what got me thinking about why women value men’s advice so much when we have enough women in our lives to turn to.  We all have our sisters, mothers, and girlfriends that we run to with our relationship problems, whether these women be single, married, or their Facebook relationship status says “It’s complicated”.  We value their insight most of the time.

On the other hand, when a man writes a book giving relationship advice to a woman, we soak it up like a sponge and hold on to every word like it’s gospel.  When Act Like a Lady came out, I saw women clutching that book close to their hearts like it was the Bible.


Why do we think that anyone with a Y chromosome is going to give us better advice about men and relationships than another woman?  Is it because we trust men to tell us the truth?  If so, ladies, we have some serious issues.

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man isn’t the first book of it’s kind.  Michael Baisden wrote “Never Satisfied: How and Why Men Cheat”.  Kole Black wrote “Sex Therapy:  A Woman’s Guide to How Men Cheat” and “Sex Therapy II: A Women’s Guide to Understanding Why Men Fear Commitment”…this list is long!

I love men, I truly do.  While I appreciate the attempt to assist us with understanding men so we can find Mr. Right, I do not trust the advice that is given in these books, movies, and talk shows.  Mainly because of the source.

While Steve Harvey and the others may have thought that they were doing a favor to women by revealing the “secret thoughts of men”, I can only say… “Thank you, but PUH-LEEZE!” while giving them the side eye.

Think about it.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Music Monday - Stevie Ray Vaughan (R.I.P)

I've been listening to a lot of different types of music this weekend and at first, I thought I was going to have a hard time coming up with a great #MusicMonday post.

Then I logged onto tumblr (I would insert the link here, but if you want to be privvy to my tumblr blog, you have to do the work to find it lol) and someone had posted a pic of the late great Stevie Ray Vaughan.

I listen to A LOT of SRV.  To me, he's the perfect blend of blues and rock.  He is one of the main influences of my favorite guitarist.  When I was 7, Stevie did a cover of Superstition by Stevie Wonder.  It was the 80s, we didn't have BET so I watched a lot of MTV and VH-1.  VH-1 played the hell out of that video and I watch it whenever I could.  I knew SRV hadn't wrote that song but to my young ears, it was amazing.  Mind you, this was 6 years before I discovered Jimi Hendrix.

There was something special about SRV that I couldn't quite pinpoint at 7 years old, but as an adult who considers herself to be somewhat of an audiophile, I can easily and confidently say that SRV deserves his spot on Rolling Stones 100 Greatest Guitarists list.  Was number 11 good enough?  I don't think so.  I would have liked to see him at number 2, right behind Hendrix...or at least in the top five.

If you want to get to know SRV a little better, Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues: Stevie Ray.  It's a good introduction to SRV and Texas Blues.  My favorite song by SRV will always be Ain't Gon Give Up on Love.

And Stevie Ray Vaughan is the only other artist who the girl feels can cover Voodoo Child...the right way.

For any fan of SRV, August 27th is a hard day.

It's the day that Stevie Ray Vaughan, one of the best blues guitar players that I've ever heard, passed away.  So in honor of Stevie Ray, this #MusicMonday is dedicated to his blues playin' legacy.  I hope you enjoy Stevie and learn to love him and his music as much as I have.

Here's to you Mr. Vaughan!

From Wikipedia:
He was influenced by blues musicians including Albert King, Otis Rush, and Muddy Waters, and rock guitarists such as Jimi Hendrix and Lonnie Mack, along with jazz instrumentalists like Kenny Burrell. He has received wide critical recognition for his guitar playing, ranking at #12 on Rolling Stone's list of "100 Greatest Guitarists" in 2011. He was posthumously inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame in 2000 and a memorial statue was erected in Austin's Auditorium Shores park.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Music Monday - Miles Davis and John Coltrane

"Life of the party and she swears that she's artsy but you could distinguish Miles from Coltrane"

Believe me, that's not a simple feat.

My introduction to jazz was Miles Davis and it came in the form of an episode of The Cosby Show.  The song was If I Were a Bell and it was the very last song played on The Cosby Show.

I was so young but I remember thinking that the song was so beautiful and unlike any of the jazz that my mother played.

When I got to middle school and joined the band, my mother wanted me to play the saxophone.  I chose the trombone.  I wasn't being rebellious.  We just didn't have the money to pay for an instrument and the school only gave out so many...and everyone wanted to play the flute or sax.  Trombone was all that was left when it was my turn to chose because I wasn't playing something girly like the clarinet or flute.

Friday, July 27, 2012

"Love is Chemistry. Sex is Physics."

chem·is·try   [kem-uh-stree]
noun, plural chem·is·tries.
1.the science that deals with the composition and properties of substances and various elementary forms of matter.
2.chemical  properties, reactions, phenomena, etc.: the chemistry of carbon.
3.the interaction of one personality with another: The chemistry between him and his boss was all wrong.
4.sympathetic understanding; rapport: the astonishing chemistry between the actors.
5.any or all of the elements that make up something: the chemistry of love.

"Love is Chemistry.  Sex is Physics".

I came across the quote when I started doing research for Untitled and it has stuck with me ever since.  We've all mistaken love for something that it is not.  Often what we mistake for love is simply lust.  I'm guilty of it.  Confess.  So are you.

When I started writing Untitled, I had to ask myself...repeatedly, what was really happening with Sunny and Aiden.

As a romance author, I know to know the difference between love being real and love being physical.  My books wouldn't be considered romance novels if the love between my characters wasn't believable.

It's one thing to write about sex, it's so much harder to write an entire novel with characters who genuinely love each other.  The chemistry between the 2 characters has to spill from the pages or else no one is going to believe that Aiden just didn't want to "tap that".

I could write all day about sex.  Writing about sex is fun.  The physical attraction between two people that is so dynamic that all they want to do is rip each other's clothes off is fascinating.

But I am not Zane.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Music Monday - Bob Reynolds

Bob Reynolds - Melody Architect
By most jazz listeners' standards, I am a newbie, especially when I start to mention my favorite jazz artists.

It's okay.  I'm cool with that.  Because jazz is an acquired taste and to really appreciate it, you have to study it.

Bob Reynolds is a super talented jazz saxophonist, composer, and all around good guy that I "discovered" through...guess who...John Mayer.

I first heard Bob on stage with JM during the Continuum era and I thought "hey, this guy is good.  My mom would really like him."  My mother is really into smooth jazz.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Write What You Want To Write

“I’m the kinda guy, I’m always gonna need new colors to paint with. And it makes it difficult on, I think like a emotional or whatever— like commercial side, because you’re not really quite sure what another of my records is gonna sound like, so it’s kinda like starting over again with an artist. It’s not like you can just put the next record out by me and people go ‘Oh, that’s Mayer, cool.’ I like being sort of the author of many different types of books, but the tone of my writing is kind of the fingerprint.”

John Mayer recently said this when speaking of his upcoming album, Born and Raised,  When I read this, I was thinking about book genres and typecasting.

The success of A Hustler's Promise (1 and 2) really got me thinking about my writing and what genre I want to stick to in order to acheive the type of success and have the type of career that I've dreamed of.  I've got my foot in the door...

Now what.

In reality, I can write just about anything.  Whether it's good or not remains to be seen.  I want to write contemporary romantic fiction with a real life aspect to it.  I want to write relatable characters and focus on the experiences that many of us go through every day.

I want to write romance...but I'm not talking about "Roman Candle Fireworks, Hollywood, Hot Pink Love.  I'm talking about "I GOT YOUR BACK LOVE"

I like to believe that all my books carry that element, that underlying element that makes women think that I can have a Jay, a Corey, or Rayshawn because THEY DO EXIST.

Face matter how plain and ordinary Anastasia Steele is, we all aren't stumbling upon Christian Grey.

But can we take a minute and swoon over him. *swoon*

Monday, April 30, 2012

Relationship Quote of the Week: Bob Marley

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. 

You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. 

They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. 

There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. 

The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all.

 A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. 

You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. 

You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. 

Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Ryan O'Connell breaks down what love is!

 You can stop taking quizzes in Cosmo. Here’s what love really is.
Love is still wanting to hold someone after you climax. After the initial euphoria from the orgasm wears off, you’re replaced with a sense of calm rather than a panic. You don’t want to search for your clothes, scramble to find your keys and figure out the best way to tell them, “See ya later forever!” You’re fine with chilling out in bed with the person and maybe ordering pad thai later.
Love is unattractive. It can expose our worst traits: Jealousy, irrational fears, heated anger; the gang’s all here! While it can bring out compassion and tenderness, it can also make you behave like the ugliest version of yourself. That can be okay for a little while, but love with real longevity should be like a xanax rather than an adderall.
Love is not afraid to be schmaltzy. There’s a reason why the most popular love songs are so lyrically simple. You can drown it in metaphors all you want but love usually boils down to, “You make me so happy. I want to hold your hand. I just want u 2 be mine 4ever!” You can be a 50-year-old linguistics professor at Columbia University and still find something to relate to in a Mariah Carey ballad if you’re in love because the feelings are so universal. It’s humbling, isn’t it? No matter who you are or what your background is, love can reduce you to Mariah Carey mush.
Love is an all-consuming drug. It gives us these natural highs we’ve only read about in books or heard in songs. It’s addictive. It’s what keeps us going to bars, drinking glasses of wine, going to that stupid house party in Bushwick; it’s all for the possibility of finding love. In the wrong hands, love can be dangerous and scary. If someone lacks a healthy foundation, love can kill. All of these crimes you read about in the newspapers are usually linked to passionate love. “I did it because I loved them just…too much.”
Love is not what our parents had. In high school, you never wanted to think about your mother and father having once slept with people in the backseat of cars and feeling warm and happy. That would make it feel less special and young. It would make love have less to do with you when, EXCUSE ME, it has EVERYTHING to do with you.
Love is getting drunk with your significant other at a party and taking a cab home with your bodies intertwined. You feel safest in these moments, the most secure. Entering a social gathering with someone who loves you is the biggest security blanket. People leave the party as a parade of droopy expressions and sad cocktail dresses. But not you. “Sorry guys, I’m in love! I’m taking a car!”
Love is fucking stupid. Love is fucking smart. Love is about betraying yourself, of compromising your ideals for someone else’s approval. That’s actually the bad kind of love, but I guess it all blurs together when you’re young or when you’re old or when you don’t love yourself.
Love is your significant other telling you about their favorite album and then making a point to fall in love with it on your own. Love is wondering why your better half loves certain things. You think you can find remnants of them in their favorite films, books and songs, but you usually can’t.
Love is finding yourself feeling protective over someone else’s well-being Love is being incensed with rage when someone or something has done your lover wrong.
Love is wanting your partner to cum. And if they can’t, just say, “That’s okay. I’m enjoying this.” It might be bullshit, but they’ll be orgasming in the next five minutes. Trust me.
Love isn’t always marriage. Marriage is spending $60,000 so everyone can know that someone loves you. You know what’s certainly not love? Debt. In some cases, love can be divorce.
Love is a back massage, a mindfuck, a hard cock, a pair of perfect breasts, of feeling unashamed about the cellulite on your body. Love is someone giving a shit about you enough to argue. Love is not passive. Love is “Don’t fucking touch me right now.” Love is “Who the FUCK were you talking to?” Love is sometimes hating yourself for a second. Love is hate. Period. Indifference is the real killer of love and the true antithesis.
When love leaves you, you should be lying on your bathroom floor with no resolve. You’re smoking cigarettes in the bathtub and crying about everything bad that’s ever happened.
Love is someone seeing the beauty in you and wanting to bask in it every day all day. Love is not guaranteed. We are not owed love. That’s why when we get it, we know how lucky we are and hold on to it for dear life.
So, yeah. That’s what love is. Anyone know where to get some?
Ryan O’Connell 

Writer's Block is just a Mind Game

I've never experienced true writer's block.  I used to think that I had the perfect cure for when the words wouldn't come.

Multiple projects.

I have a blog, I write poems, short stories, and I have quite a few WIPs.  Until 2 weeks ago, they've always been my back up plan.  Then 2 weeks ago, I experienced what so many authors cry about.  Real live unadulterated WRITER'S BLOCK.

Writing anything besides my password to my computer was futile.  Wanna know how serious this was...

I couldn't even come up with tweets!  You know, the type of tweets that writers are supposed to put out.  Couldn't do it.  140 characters or less and I couldn't come up with anything.

And the more frustrated I got, the worse it got.  My fingers would hover over my keyboard and tears would fall.  People laughed at my frustration but I was scared.  What if I couldn't write again.  What if everything I tried to write from that point on was pure garbage?  

I'd never move to New York, that's for sure.  I'd be stuck in Atlanta, with 4 books under my belt and nothing else.  These kind of thoughts made it worse.  But I couldn't figure out where the block was coming from.  What was blocking me.  If I could figure that out, I could get through the problem.

Music has always been my inspiration to write.  Over the last 2 weeks I've listened to my entire John Mayer collection...over 1300 songs, TWICE! Not to mention Mary J Blige, Otis Redding, Bob Reynolds, Jimi Hendrix, Jay-Z, Coldplay, Maroon 5, Etta James, Joni Mitchel, Coltrane, Miles Davis, the list goes on and on. Nothing happened.

I read books, lots of bad books.  Books that I knew I wouldn't finish.  Reading bad books always makes me angry and makes me want to write.  It's that "I know I can write better than this!" mindset.  Nothing.

I spring cleaned, hung out with friends, consumed more bottles of wine than I want to mention and still I couldn't write.  Saturday I woke up at 8am and decided that was the end of my writer's block, damnit!  I was going to write something!  Fast forward 12 hours and I still hadn't wrote anything.  Then I started to cry.   What was the problem?  I started thinking about it, harder than I'd ever had.  And I came up with 2 things.  Fear and anger.

Fear because even though all my eggs aren't in one basket, my writing career is very important to me and eventually I want to do this and only this.  Sooner rather than later and when I think about how much I want this, I freak completely out.  It seems to be going well but sooner or later my luck always seems to run out.  And I can't have that happen again...not with this.

And anger because I'd been letting what other people have to say actually get to me.  It's rare for me to let other people's opinions have such an impact on me...very rare.  I'm not writing to change the world.  I'm writing to change my life and the lives of the people I love.  And there's a word for people who deliberately try to stop your flow, who intentionally knock your hustle.  And there are ways to get around them.

Am I still struggling with Unsung?  Hell yes!  But only because I want it to be perfect just the way I wanted A Hustler's Promise 2 to be better than the first part.  Writer's block is real but it's not about not knowing what to write, it's figuring out how to play the game.  It's knowing what you want and going after it and ignoring the tiny voice in your head that says "this isn't going to work" because that's what it is.  It has nothing to do with your talent.  It's your mind playing tricks on you.  

You are your own worst enemy.  If you fail, it's not because you can't do it.  It's because you won't let yourself do it.  Don't give in to the fear.  We fight for what we want and need every day.  Why would it be any different with your writing?  

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Books I Didn't Write: Anew by Chelsea Fine

Two years ago, Scarlet awoke in the forest alone, afraid, and unable to remember anything. Lost and confused, her life was a mystery...until she met a boy with a familiar voice.
Gabriel Archer has a voice from her past, and Scarlet is determined to remember why. She immerses herself in his life only to discover he has a brother he's kept hidden from her: Tristan Archer.
Upon meeting Tristan, Scarlet's world becomes even more muddled. While she's instinctively drawn to Gabriel, she's impossibly drawn to Tristan--and confused out of her mind. But as she tries to piece together her history, Scarlet realizes her past...might just be the death of her.

Typically I don't read a ton of YA Novels but I met Chelsea through the Indie Book Collective and her book, Sophie and Carter, was pretty good so I wanted to check this one out to.

I really enjoyed this book.  So much that I put off reading Silence by Becca Fitzpatrick to read Anew.  Chelsea brought a new and interesting twist to a love triangle which anyone who knows me, knows that I can't turn down a good love triangle.  Anew was a refreshing read, full of suspense and romance.

I'm glad that I read this book and now I can't wait for Book Two: Awry.

Message to Chelsea:  write faster!!!

Love your friend,

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Untitled for a good cause? Yup, I'm all for that!

Saturday, while sitting in the laundromat (don't ask, it wasn't fun), I met 2 absolutely incredible people.  Sonja is retired Army for 5 years and Patrick recently retired a few months ago from the Army.  He'd lost an arm  in Iraq.  They've been married for ten years.

As we talked, it became clear that retiring had never been Patrick's plan.  He genuinely loved serving his country and my heart broke for him.  Here was this person who truly loved his job and wanted nothing more to continue to serve his country and couldn't.  While we were getting our clothes out of the dryers, Sonja mentioned that she thinks that Patrick is depressed & is having an extremely hard time adjusting to civilian life.  She wished that there was something she could do to ease her husband's pain.

My conversation with this couple left a lasting imprint on my heart and soul.  There's nothing I can do to take away Patrick's pain or make him happy again.  There's nothing I can do physically.  But I remembered something.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Sequels are least for me

Saturday, March 24th, I participated in a book discussion.  The book...A Hustler's Promise.

At first, I wasn't going to participate.  Why?  Because I was scared to death to hear/see what people were going to say.  I'm a little bit paranoid and a lot less confident than I appear, but aren't we all?  I mean, authors are always a little insecure about their work, right?  Please say I'm not the only one.

At the time of the book discussion, A Hustler's Promise 2 was done and ready for me to hit publish on KDP.  But as the discussion progressed, I realized that I couldn't release the second part of A Hustler's Promise as is. There were topics brought up in the discussion that made me realize that if I released this book as is, I was going to piss off a bunch of readers.

And I couldn't do that.

Saturday is when I realized the importance of not just reading Amazon and Goodreads reviews but actually LISTENING to your readers.  It was truly an eye opener.  Even though I loved how the second part turned out, I deliberately left out parts that I felt weren't important.  Turns out, I was wrong.  The same elements that I thought were not important enough to be included in the sequel were the exact same elements that my readers wanted to know.

So I put them back in.  I stayed up until 3 in the morning, rewriting a couple of chapters, adding a little bit of this and a little bit of that.  Only after I was completely satisfied that I had answered reader questions without taking away from the story, did I hit publish.

And that's when I freaked out.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Untitled's new look. Kinda makes you swoon.

Have you seen it?

If you haven't...take a looksie.

Untitled has a brand new look!  I changed the cover for...reasons LOL.  There were a lot of them.  I liked the old cover, don't get me wrong, but this new one....


I figured since I updated the Amazon file...made some revisions.  Caught some errors that weren't there before.


And added a super fabulous Bonus Feature, I'd give it a new look.  Shout to to my AMAZING cover designer Jared Rackler for coming up with this cover within 3 hours of getting my email.

What do you guys think?
I've written 3 books.  Not a big number but it's definitely a good start to builiding my virtual backlist.

I've been active on Twitter for awhile and on Facebook, my social media platform is expanding which I hear is basically the key to Indie success.

This is where I struggle the most.

I know the basic rules of self promotion:

1) Don't spam your followers with nothing but promo posts/tweets

2) Promote onto others as you would like done to you

3) Be entertaining and educational in tweets/posts.

But how much is really too much to talk about your book?  I've had people tell me that I don't talk about them enough but when I tweet about it more than a couple times a week, I start to feel self-conscious.

Of course I'm thrilled as hell that A Hustler's Promise is sitting at the top of 2 bestseller charts on Amazon and Change of Heart has joined the rankings.  But how many times can I say that without my followers thinking "here she goes again.  I wish she'd stop bragging."?

Monday, February 27, 2012

Healthy Obsessions are Good for the Soul

My Mayer tattoo.
 Lyrics to "Perfectly Lonely"

Sounds like I should be in an AA meeting or something, right.

But I have been a superfan of various musicians, artists, and authors for a very long time.

Jackie Collins, E. Lynn Harris, John Mayer...the list is LONG people.

But what exactly is a SUPERFAN?

My definition may be different from yours.  You might think "crazy, obsessed, stalker" but NOOOO!  That is not me.

I've never stalked anyone in my life.  Not even on Twitter or Facebook.

but whether it's listening to your favorite artist and building relationships with the people who love him/her/them too or reading every book that your favorite writer puts out over and over,


Healthy obsessions make us feel better.  It's fun to get on Twitter or Facebook or tumblr and talk about it with your friends.

Don't be ashamed if you're obsessed with the Twilight series.  Let your hair down and fangirl it out with the rest of them.

Because at the end of the day, the fandom that you belong to starts to feel like family.  Like people you care about.

And if you're lucky like me,  you may develop friendships with people that you'd never have met in your every day life.

I met my best friend through the John Mayer Fandom.  I love this woman like a sister and I can't imagine life without her.

See how that works?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Indies Unite for Joshua

If you're following me on Twitter, you've probably seen quite a few tweets mentioning Indie GoGo and Indies Unite for Joshua.  If you haven't clicked on the link, let me give you the backstory.

Joshua is 21 years old.  He's an awesome kid and brilliant!  He's also the son of indie author, Maxwell Cynn, who is also incredible.  Joshua was diagnosed with Acute T-cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia and it has invaded every part of his body.

Finding this out broke my heart.  Not only because Maxwell Cynn is an incredible person and author and no family deserves to go through this, but also because Joshua is such a great young man.  He's the first person in Max's family to be on course to graduate from college, but because of the damn cancer, he may not be able to.

Did I mention that this young man has a perfect 4.0 GPA and three and a half years of college under his belt.

After reading Maxwell's heartwrenching post about what was going on with his son, I felt sick...useless.  After all, what could I do?  Besides pray and send those prayers and well wishes to the Cynn family?  Then I got an email from Eden Baylee (who is also freakin fantastic) and there was some light.

Click here :)

This is why I choose to be and stay Indie!  This is a fantastic group of individuals who not only support each other's writing careers but when something like this affects just one of our indie family members, we unite like the SUPERFRIENDS and get things done!

Most of us have been touched by cancer, or know of someone who has. By supporting Max and his family, we hope to lessen their financial burden to allow them to concentrate on Joshua's treatment.
Max is already putting all the proceeds from the sale of his books toward his son's treatment. As authors and artists, we'd like to do our part. We are offering our love and prayers, but we're also donating our books and services.  

$10,000 will pay for just some of the medical expenses not covered by insurance. It is a long road to recovery, and your donations will reduce the cost of prolonged cancer treatment. 

We don't believe in taking and not giving back, so we're offering some amazing perks for your donations. It's our way of saying "Thank you" for your support of Max, Joshua, and his family, as well as bringing visibility to a horrible disease. Please, please please check out the site and donate.  This isn't a "buy my book" plea.  There is a family that needs our help and the indie community that Max is so proud to be a part of has stepped up.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Faves:Music edition

I've been a little under the weather.  Well, not a little.  A lot!
Therefore, I've been spending a lot of time in bed and in the house listening to music.
My friend gifted me with a fantastic turntable and I've rediscovered my love for vinyl.  Here's a taste of who's been serenading me through my sickness.

Also, I've been writing a lot over the last 2 days and this music has been a HUGE help.

John Coltrane - Equinox

Miles Davis - Bitches Brew

Buddy Miles - Them Changes

Monday, February 6, 2012

Don't be that guy!

Last night while most of America was watching Eli kick Tom's ass, I was half watching Super Bowl (whatever number we're on) and catching up on my favorite blogs.  I also was looking for some new ways to cross promote and get my 3 books more exposure when I came across a blog post that I thought was going to be relatively interesting and one of those "we're in this together" posts.

Boy, was I wrong.

Granted, the author started off talking about how great being an indie author is and how tight the community is but then WHAM! The second paragraph became a bash fest for those indie authors (like myself) who sell their books for 99 cents.

Apparently, according this blogger/indie author, those who sell at 99 cents or OMG!!! give their books away FREE for a few days are just part time writers who just write for fun and do not understand the importance of editing, cover art, etc, because after all, we're only doing this as a hobby.

Excuse my French but I call bullshit!

It would be a complete waste of time to defend why I sell at 99 cents.  I'll let my Bestseller status speak for itself, but come on, one of the best things about being indie is the community of Indie Authors who are supportive of each other and work together to take the publishing industry by storm.

Don't be that guy who feels that because you paid a cover artist and an editor a shit-ton of money, you have to criticize other authors.

That's just not cool.

We all work hard, even the authors who write for fun and give away their books.  Sure, some books are better than others but that only applies to the books.


Plain and simple.  Because at the end of the day, we're people and who are you to say that you're better than me because you charge $3.99 for your book and I charge 99 cents for mine?

There should be a standing rule in the Indie author community..."Thou Shalt Not Bash Other Indie Authors".  You should have to agree to those terms before hitting publish on KDP.

It's okay to feel that you wrote a better book or novella than someone else and it's absolutely okay to have an opinion on the whole 99 cent pricing thing...I don't know an author who doesn't have an opinion on any and/or everything.  But when you're opinion is put forth in such a way that puts down another person's hard work...well, just don't do that.  Find a better, less meaner way to get your point across.

In layman's terms...

Don't be a douche.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Friday Faves

If you've checked "If I was a stalker..." page you'd immediately know why this is one of my fave videos that exists on YouTube.

Seriously, how dope is this.

#yes I said dope.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Official Release: A Hustler's Promise

It's here!

I started A Hustler's Promise on November 1, 2011 as part of NaNoWriMo.  I've been working on it every single day since then and I'm so happy that it's finally up on Amazon.

This is the first 2 part book that I've written and the first urban fiction novel I've written.  I was apprehensive about writing an urban fiction novel, namely because of the stigma that is attached to urban fiction.  It started out as a romance novel but as it progressed (and the characters started speaking to me) I knew that no matter how I tried to spin it, urban fiction/urban romance was the only genre it would fit it.

I'm proud and I hope you all enjoy it!

What's more important than family?  Nothing, according to Jaicyn Jones and her boyfriend Rayshawn.  As the pair take on the hard streets as the new age Bonnie & Cldye, the promises that they've made to each other won't be broken, no matter what.

E-book Available now on Amazon and Smashwords
Paperback Available on Amazon

BREAKING NEWS: UNTITLED will be free on Amazon for 24hrs starting 1.10.12 to celebrate A Hustler's Promise breaking the top 100 in Multicultural Romance on Amazon!

Who Says a White Boy Can't Play the Blues?