Monthly Archives: April 2014

HEY! It’s the Nonnie Jules Blog Tour!

Here we are on the third day of my 15 day “HAPPY BIRTHDAY:  ARE YOU WATCHING NONNIE WRITE?” Blog Tour and today I’m with one of my uber-supportive fellow board members, Beem Weeks.  Beem and I share a common passion.  Most of you know him as @voiceofindie on Twitter.  I know him as my very supportive and loyal friend.  Support, is what we both stand for and strongly believe in.

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This month marks the one year anniversary of my burst onto the social media scene and during that time, I have published three REALLY GOOD books, and have learned so very much about the industry.  Although I’ve been a writer for most of my life (actually, I was born one), I only just became a published author in 2013.  Some might say “In that short amount of time, what does she know?” Well, I’m here to tell you that “SHE” has learned a lot!  “SHE” has taken the time to hone her skills in the writing department as well as her knowledge.  “SHE” has taken the bull by the horn and run full speed ahead in building her author platform and establishing herself in the writing industry.  “SHE” is making her name KNOWN.

On each stop of my tour, I share with you tips on writing, publishing and support, all topics equally important to the writing industry.  I hope that what I am imparting, you will take, mull over, and then act on in the best interest of YOU.

 

With that being said, here is…

“JUST LIKE MOTEL 6, I’LL KEEP THE LIGHT ON FOR YA!”

In the days of old, you would never have had such open access to authors.  Wanting to speak with them, see them, interact with them, was an evil none dared expect, yet many were hopeful about.  Having their contact information such as a direct mailing address, was just unheard of.  There were publicists, managers and agents that you had to go thru just to request an interview or a speaking engagement.  And most of the time, your requests never even reached their waters.

Today, we Indie Authors are a different breed.  Readers worldwide have all the means necessary to reach out to us and to interact with us directly.  Email, voicemail, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn…all avenues open to the general public.  So, with that visibility and accessibility, why do so many authors keep their readers in the dark?  Any opportunity that you have with a reader is a new opportunity for you to turn them into your very own loyal fan for life…you know the ones I’m speaking of, don’t you?  They’re the ones who buy your books MERELY because you wrote them!

Here are just a few ways that you can become your very own version of MOTEL 6:

1)       Make selling your books to new readers the start of a lifelong relationship.  Don’t just take someone’s money and run, engage and allow yourself to be engaged.

2)      Encourage readers to contact you and regard this as an opportunity to serve them, to help attract new readers through word of mouth, and to publicize everything you can offer them…in this regards, many great reads.

3)      On social media, take the time to reach out to your followers ever so often and try to respond to everyone who has reached out to you directly with a question, tid bit or even just a morning Hello.

4)      Welcome the chance to say THANK YOU and always reward those who so generously help you.

I know authors who act as if they are on top of the world, and in their minds, almost untouchable.  But here’s the deal, when your ego is that big, the pop when it explodes makes a noise so loud that if you weren’t standing alone before it happened, you will surely be standing alone afterwards.  I don’t want you to have to stand alone.  My wish is for you to be successful beyond measure and surrounded by adoring readers and fans…always.  But for this to happen, you must make yourself accessible to those who can make you successful.  It is a must that you stand out,  because as we say in the South,  Authors are as common as churches and liquor stores…there’s always one on the very next corner.  That means, that if you’re not open or if you don’t deliver, the products or services can be readily found elsewhere and very close by.

My tip, leave the light on for your readers.  That light is your WELCOME mat and in its steady flashing, there should always be a tiny whisper that says, “Come on in, I’m here for you and I’ve got just what you want to read.”   Be your own kind of MOTEL 6, because we know that no matter how far or how late you’re travelling, somewhere, they’ve left the light on for you and are anticipating your arrival.

Thanks, Beem to you and to all your wonderful FANS!  I know you have lots of them!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

 NONNIE Jules grew up loving books and everything about them.  She has traveled the world, jumped out of planes and climbed many mountains, all thanks to the wonderful world of literature.  She lives with her husband and two daughters on a very quiet strip of land in Louisiana, where red dirt roads and pick-up trucks go hand in hand.  She is the Author of three great reads at present:  “THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!; “Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend” (a novel);  and “SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!” Nonnie is also Founder and President of the widely-known and highly successful, Rave Reviews Book Club, as well as being a sought-after book reviewer with a strong “eye” for perfection.

She continues to write from many different genres and hopes to teach and touch minds and hearts alike with her very unique style of writing.  She loves positive feedback on her writing and personally responds to each and every email.  Nonnie can be reached at nonniejules@gmail.com, on Twitter @nonniejules, and do follow her blogs WATCH NONNIE WRITE! {nonniewrites.wordpress.com}  and ASK THE GOOD MOMMY {askthegoodmommy.wordpress.com}.

Nonnie’s  feet are firmly planted in her two most important platforms:  Parenting & Support, where she continually invites the masses to join her.

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BUY LINKS:

“THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TO RAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS,” 100 Tips On Raising Daughters Everyone Can’t Help But Love!tinyurl.com/lod5jtj      createspace.com/4355124

“Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’s Friend”tinyurl.com/lyd5dtg   createspace.com/4386308

“SUGARCOATIN’ IS FOR CANDY & PACIFYIN’ IS FOR KIDS!”amazon.com/dp/B00IRIA0I4

 

 

Introducing Angelia Vernon Menchan

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It is my great pleasure to share in the Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight Author Program. This week the spotlight shines on indie author Angelia Vernon Menchan.

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SOUL TIES: BE CAREFUL WHO YOU BED AND WED: 

FIRST CHAPTER

ANGELIA VERNON MENCHAN

Soul Ties: Be Careful Who You Bed!

Fletcher Mitchell stared out the window and was unable to accept that his wife, the woman he loved and married was getting out of the car with another man. Unable to move or react, he watched the guy walk around and open the door for her. Offering his hand, she took it and got out. He opened the gate for her but wasn’t stupid enough to walk inside. He held his breath, praying she wouldn’t be dumb enough to allow him to kiss her in front of their home, but he wasn’t sure because if she were bold enough to allow him to bring her home when her husband and children were inside, she might. It took everything in him not to go outside and confront them but his sons were inside. Thankfully, she simply flicked her fingers and strode up the sidewalk with the guy watching her until she got inside.

Denisha jumped out of her skin when Fletcher stood up, turning on the light. The shock on her face quickly changed to a mocking look. The one she always got when she knew she was wrong and no longer cared. He knew she had not cared for a long time and tonight was the final proof. There was so much he wanted to say but he refused to utter a word. Making his way to the room where his twin sons slept, he sat in the recliner next to their beds. The words his mother had uttered two years earlier pounded in his head, “Son, be careful who you tie your soul to, everything that is good to you is not good for you and ripe fruit soon spoils.”

Pain rocked through him because that is exactly what had occurred. He had tied his soul to her, allowing her to mother his children and his life was filled with rotten fruit.

Soul Ties

Chapter One

Two Years Earlier…

Walking into the nightclub, Fletcher Mitchell could feel the pulsing music. He had decided to attend graduate school at USC and was enjoying the left coast. He was an east coast man in his blood but after breaking up with his longtime girlfriend he needed distance. Los Angeles was a long way from North Florida. After graduating from the University of North Florida he had worked for a few years at United Parcel Service because they had paid his tuition. The management training program was good but he wanted more. When USC accepted him and his company provided him with a transfer that paid more, he was all in. The company had found him a great roommate who was also a co-worker and fellow student, Rashad Ferguson.

He liked Rashad but Rashad was a ministerial student and a bit too preachy. He had heard enough about God and sin from his parents. His parents had become staunch Christians about ten years ago when he turned fifteen and for all of his high school years it had been God this and God that. Though he moved out at nineteen, they still always referenced God when he saw or spoke to them. He loved his parents dearly but he was tired of it, besides they seemed to have forgotten they weren’t always saved. Richard and Cynthia had once never set foot in a church. He found that hypocritical. Shaking those thoughts from his head, he started moving to the music. He had minored in music production and he knew he had some moves. He also knew that being six-two and muscular and slim the women were watching him. His smooth, dark brown skin and short fro didn’t’t hurt either.

Deneisha Young watched Fletcher from across the floor. She loved the sensual way he danced and wanted to know him. Other than the dark skin, he was her type. She had always been attracted to lighter skinned men like her dad, but there was something about Fletcher that held her attention. Starting her own dance she danced up close to him, with her eyes closed and hips swaying. Taking in her curvaceous body and pretty face, Fletcher touched her lightly, causing her eyes to open.

“Let’s show them how it’s done.”

Smiling, she followed him to the floor and they danced through four songs. Drenched with sweat, he took her hand leading her to the bar.

“What’s your poison?”

He asked in a deep, sexy voice. He wanted to kiss the mole beneath her eye.

“Tall, dark, handsome men who can dance.” Grinning down at her, he winked.

“To drink in a glass.” Her tittering laughter pierced him.

“In that case I will take a margarita. Tequila makes me crazy.”

Loving the sound of that, he ordered a margarita for her and Heineken for himself. He stared at her while they sipped. There was something hypnotic about her stance and her eyes.

“So what’s your name lady and what do you do?”

“I’m Deneisha Young but my friends call me Neisha.”

“Then Deneisha it is. I’m a business student and work for UPS as an IT manager.”

“I work as a paraprofessional at USC. I was in the military for three years, that’s how I ended up out here. My folks live in Alabama. My dad is a music producer.” His ears perked at her words.

“Really? That’s cool. I write music in my spare time, I also play a few instruments. What else do you do?”

“I’m a dancer!”

She started dancing as if moving up and down an imaginary pole.

“A stripper?”

He started humming the strains to ‘I’m in love with a stripper’ by T-Pain. She giggled again at his words and in tune humming.

“No, but for the right man, I am willing.”

For the remainder of the night they danced and flirted. He knew he could take her home but he wasn’t ready just yet. She wasn’t his usual type. Physically, she pretty much had it nailed but he really loved brainy women and she seemed pretty content to be a Para-pro.

Deniesha thought about Fletcher on the way home. Her friend Karen hadn’t been feeling him and was making her opinion known.

“I didn’t care for him. He had the arrogant, stuck up air about him. That boy from the middle class, slumming, with the hood chick’sthing.”

“Karen, how did you read all that into it. I spent three hours with the man and didn’t get all that.”

“I know the type. He is at USC and has all the bougie signs. I am sure he left some girl back home who he is in love with who will have his babies.”

Deneisha’s eyes met her friends and immediately she felt enraged. She got tired of being told she wasn’t good enough. She came from a good family, her mom being a paranoid schizophrenic, notwithstanding. She furiously rolled her eyes and continued staring out the window. She really wanted to slap Karen or spit in her face.

Deneisha was from a long line of volatile women who dealt with everything by hitting. Her mom had been hitting and cussing at her since she was a young child. However, she would be the first one in the church, dancing and praising and damning folks to hell. Her father on the other hand was a passive man; many would call him weak; he was from a hardworking, lower-middle class family who had married her mom because she had gotten pregnant at sixteen. Rena Young was also abusive to her husband. She had been raised to believe that a woman got all of a man’s money and hit first before she could be hit and that was how they lived. Fortunately, Ron was a naturally passive man who allowed Rena full reign. He loved her and would do anything to keep her, including allowing her to poison the minds of their three daughters of which Deneisha was the youngest.

Fletcher was the only child of middle class parents who had worked towards their own version of the American Dream. They had been born of parents who wanted more for each generation and they were no different. They had been married eighteen years and Fletcher fifteen when they had bought their first home. Before that, they had lived in nice apartments in good neighborhoods. His dad worked as a postal carrier who earned a good salary and his mother was a high ranking civil servant and had a side job as a sought after cupcake artist. Several years ago they had moved into a newer home in the country and were living out their blessings as their mother called it. She had often told him that God had taken care of them when they ignored him but now that they gave him praise and honor, their blessings overflowed. He had to agree with that because he had always thought they lived well, but it was nothing in comparison to how they were currently living. God or someone was blessing them.

Get your copy here: http://www.tinyurl.com/l7knvca

 

 

This Is Rip ‘N Time

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I started my Twitter account @voiceofindie with the idea of helping indie authors and their work reach potential readers. It quickly morphed into a platform that includes indie musicians, photographers, and artists. Basically, I’ll tweet links and retweets for just about anybody with a creative endeavor needing a little extra word-of-mouth promotion. Because that’s all Twitter really is: word of mouth.

Recently, an EP came into my possession. This recording contains three fantastic tracks from a metal band called Rip ’N Time. But this isn’t your average band with the standard formation story.

Rip ’N Time began as a class project at a West Los Angeles high school. The course, taught by seventh period instructor Gunther Parigaliy, is called Multimedia Studies. The students in this small class were encouraged to create separate projects that would come together as a single affair. What they’ve accomplished deserves an A+ and the opportunity to record a full-length album.

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Rip ’N Time consists of Riley Ripintyme on lead and rhythm guitar, Langston LaBelle handling vocals and rhythm guitar, and the strong rhythm section of Vincent Tarrega and Akemi Lee on drums and bass respectively. They cite bands as diverse at The Beatles, Queen, and Smithereens as influences. Toss the Bangles and the Byrds into the mix and you’ll get a pretty good feel for this band’s sound.

The EP, entitled Playing Her Guitar Suite, is just a sample of Rip ’N Time’s potential. It’s a taste of dreamy guitars and rock-steady rhythms. I hear hints of eighties rock mingled with classic sounds reaching further back through the seventies and dipping into the sixties. These two girls and two guys bring it all together into a cohesive sound that takes listeners on a journey into a faraway land—perhaps even to another world.

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“Playing Her Guitar” is the lead-off track, setting the mood with its haunting melody and layered textures. The guitar work here is stellar, playing loose and sassy against the lead vocals, calling to mind a conversation taking place somewhere in the ether.

The middle track, an instrumental called “Twisting Road,” marches in on a great 1980s vibe with a twist of the modern. It’s the longest of the three songs, clocking in at just over eight minutes—and still not long enough. This one is my favorite of the collection.

Another instrumental closes out the EP. Entitled “Suite Dream,” this song is big and thick with sound. The press release that arrived with the CD refers to this track as a guitarchestral symphony. I’d have to agree with that proclamation.

The instrumentation on this project is solid. Riley Ripintyme can hold her own as a guitarist. Her style draws me back to another great female axe slinger named Lita Ford. Girls can play. Period. Riley seems poised to carry the proverbial torch into the next generation of guitar heroes.

Akemi Lee on bass and Vincent Tarrega on drums provide the very foundation on which this band rests. Good rhythm sections often take years to jell. These two sound like seasoned professionals.

The art work for the EP incorporates a storyline into the music via a graphic novel included as liner notes with the CD. This is a wonderful example of the talent that flourishes within every aspect of this project.

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If you’re a music fan, this is one you’ll want to check out. If you just enjoy the creative process, here’s a fantastic example of the finished product.

I would like to thank Emily G. Woodbind, the band’s publicist, for alerting me to Rip ’N Time’s existence. This is a very cool endeavor. I only wish my high school had offered such a class way back in those long-ago days of the 1980s.

Show a little love and get this CD. You won’t be disappointed.

Get your copy here: http://playingherguitarsuite.com/store.html

 

 

Connecting With Readers

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As writers, most of us are thrilled to read reviews of our work posted on sites like Amazon and Koobug. Unsolicited, these words can spur sales of our books. They can also let us know where we lack in this craft we’ve chosen.

Then there are those messages that are of the personal nature, not intended for anybody but the author. I receive these every so often in the message box of my Goodreads account. These come from readers who were touched by something I’ve written or were reminded of some lost memory stirred back into their conscience by one of my short stories.

“Thanks for the message in your story,” they may write. “It brought back an event from my younger days—an event I’d long forgotten.” We never truly forget, though. It may slip from our thoughts but it’s always there, tucked away until the moment it’s challenged to reappear.

The thing is, I don’t set out to weave messages or lessons into my work. I write to entertain. But even so, messages appear. I believe these are out of our hands. Our egos tell us we are just creating. But there is somebody somewhere who has experienced what we’ve written.

I recently wrote a short story called Remaining Ruth, in which a teenaged girl cuts herself with a razor blade, in the privacy of her bathroom, just to have that one thing her parents can’t take away from her.

The messages were almost immediate: “I, too, was a cutter.” “I knew a girl just like Ruth.” “I didn’t cut myself but I did develop an eating disorder.”  “My sister did this for years.” This particular story touched a nerve with so many readers, though that wasn’t my intention.

My novel, Jazz Baby, has prompted many such comments as well. Talk centers around the race relations within the story; Emily’s sexuality; the struggles Emily faced to achieve her dreams; women’s rights issues. I was asked by one reader why I chose to not use the N-word in the story—after all, it is set in 1925 Mississippi and New Orleans. The truth of the matter is: that wasn’t a conscious decision. I hadn’t even really thought of it until the reader brought it up. I suppose there may have been a desire to avoid the stereotypical racist clichés. The very real racism of the deep south of early twentieth-century America is indeed present within the story; I just found more creative ways to express it without resorting to what’s been written a million times in a million other stories.

And somebody found a message in that unintentional deletion.

Not every message need be heavy, either. After I wrote an essay about a childhood incident entitled Bigfoot Was My Father, I received many wonderful stories from readers wanting to share some silly moment their own fathers provided. I am honored and humbled that so many people consider me worthy of their memories.

As authors, we create worlds and characters that wouldn’t exist without us. It’s what we do. We convince ourselves of a story’s originality, of its uniqueness. But there will always be somebody somewhere who will be reminded of a long lost moment in time. It may not be spelled out in exact detail, but it’s there. It may be the metaphor you used to describe the loss of a loved one or the silly joke your main character’s love interest tells while trying to woo the girl. It will remind somebody of something. And that’s a blessing. It means you’ve written a piece in which others find a connection. It means your story matters to another human being.

There’s a verse in the Bible that says: There is nothing new under the sun; that which has been will happen again.

I believe that. We just tell it in our own personal way.