Posts Tagged With: Amazon

MWN Spotlight ~ Nancy Barr

Nancy BarrWhere are you from?

I was born in Illinois, lived in Southern California for several years as a child, and have lived in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula since 1981.
Tell us your latest news?

I switched careers from journalism to higher education about seven years ago and since then have earned a master’s degree in rhetoric and technical communication and started teaching communication to engineering students at Michigan Technological University.  I’m now working on a PhD, but I’ve started a new fiction project as well.  I have no idea when it will be ready for publication, but it’s great to be writing fiction again.
When and why did you begin writing?

I discovered I loved writing when I was still in elementary school.  I started keeping a journal of sorts to help me deal with life.  I never thought of being a professional writer until college and then an internship led me to a job at the local newspaper.  I began my first novel in 2000 because I felt I had a story to tell.  The characters had been developing for a few years and it just seemed time to put them on paper.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first felt like a “real” writer when my second book, “Page One: Vanished,” was released, even though I had been a “professional” for many years by then.  The first book felt like a fluke, a dream, but the second book made me feel like a legitimate author.
What inspired you to write your first book?

There was no single thing that inspired me.  The “Page One” trilogy’s protagonist, Robin Hamilton, was VERY loosely based on my experience as a small-town newspaper reporter.  She’s just prettier, smarter, and scrappier.  None of the other characters have any association with anything real and neither does the plot, except the opening scene in Ludington Park, where the first murder takes place.  I used to walk through the park quite regularly and that’s what started the creative process for that book.
Do you have a specific writing style?

Yes, my journalism experience taught me the value of concise writing.  I love words, I just use them strategically.
How did you come up with the title?

The publisher, Susan Bays of Arbutus Press, wanted to develop a brand for the books, thus the “Page One” tag, indicating a news story worthy of page one.  Then each book has a teaser about the plot.  The first one revolves around a hit and a run death, the second book deals with the disappearance of several young women, and the third one deals with the drug trade (the U.P.’s notorious winter is also a character).
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Resilience.  Life deals my characters a lot of heartbreak but they come through it stronger.



How much of the book is realistic?

These situations certainly could happen, but they are pure fiction.  Unfortunately, “Page One: Whiteout” is the most true-to-life as U.P. communities struggle to deal with the influx of drugs like heroin and home-grown crystal meth.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Robin’s mother died when she was 10, while mine died when I was 9.  I wanted to explore a strong father-daughter relationship, like the one I had with my own father.
What books have most influenced your life most?

Beverly Cleary’s Ramona books and Judy Blume’s books about adolescence got me hooked on reading as a child.  By the time I was 10, I was reading everything mystery or paranormal-related in the school library.  When I read my first Stephen King book, though, I remember thinking, “I could do this, I could see myself writing someday.”  Of course, it was another 15 years before my first book was published, but that’s where it started.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Stephen King.  I must have read his book “On Writing” at least a half dozen times now.  I use his advice about eliminating clutter from your writing when I teach my engineering students.  It’s true regardless of genre.
What book are you reading now?

I’m never reading just one book at a time.  I’m reading a history of the Vikings, a scholarly work by Nancy Hartsock called “Money, Sex, and Power”, and the fifth book in the Harry Potter series (I never had time to read them when they were released!). Next will be “In the Sanctuary of Outcasts:  A Memoir” by Neil White.  It’s Michigan Tech’s Summer Reading Program for our incoming first-year students.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I’m sure there are lots of great ones out there, but I’ve been so focused on my graduate work that I don’t get much time to explore new fiction authors.
What are your current projects?

I’m working on something very different from my first three books.  It’s a mystery of sorts that takes place in the Copper Country in the early 1970s (a period which has really captured my imagination), just after the last copper mine shut down.  It will be darker, edgier, and more along the lines of an early Stephen King work than the “Page One” trilogy.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Teachers!  I was lucky to have some great teachers along the way who pushed me to do my best and challenge myself, never allowing me to settle for “good enough.”
Do you see writing as a career?

Absolutely! I write novels for entertainment, academic articles for my day job, and I teach writing.  It’s the only thing I know how to do to pay the bills!


If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not at all.  What finally made it into print is the third complete rewrite.  My writing has matured over the years so I’m not as enamored with the first one, but many reviewers thought it was a good first effort so I don’t beat myself up about it too much.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My mother was an avid reader and I caught the bug from her.  From there, it was just a natural progression to writing.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

It has a strong female protagonist (naturally), a newcomer to the Keweenaw who is a product of the Sixties, unafraid to challenge the status quo.  I haven’t quite figured out the trajectory of the plot because it’s early in the creative process, but I’ve sketched out some unique characters.  I’m very big on strong characters in my novels!
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Plotting is always the toughest for me.  There’s a balance between simplicity and complexity.  I want the story arc to be simple enough to connect with readers, but to have enough complexity to keep them engaged to the last word.
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

Other than Stephen King, I have favorite books of certain authors.  I’ve read Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca” countless times (Mrs. Danvers is one of my favorite characters ever!). I love Anne Rice’s first two books in her vampire series.  William Kent Krueger’s mystery series set in and around the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is beautifully written. And I could go on and on.
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Not so much now since it’s been a while since I’ve released a new book, but I still periodically give library talks, which I love!
Who designed the covers?

The publisher, Susan Bays, designed each cover.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Again, it’s always the plotting.  I have the most fun with characterizations.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

With each books I become a better writer and I have learned to appreciate a great editor!
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Focus on developing your craft any way you can.  Write blogs, be a columnist for the local newspaper.  Put together a family history.  Enter short story contests.   Just keep writing and putting your work out there.  Develop a thick skin.  No matter how great your writing, someone will always find fault with it so develop and nurture your own writing style.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

I appreciate your loyalty.  I know many people would like to see another “Page One” book, but it’s time we all moved on. I like to think Robin is enjoying her new life.  I look forward to

meeting more of you when the next book is released!

  • Name of Author– Nancy Barr
  • Name of Book(s)– “Page One: Hit and Run” “Page One: Vanished” “Page One: Whiteout”

Excerpt: Page One Vanished excerpt

Page One VanishedPage One WhiteOutPage One Hit & Run


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A-Z Guide: How both my books reached #1 on Amazon @Nicholas_Rossis

Pearseus, Rise of the Prince (book 2 in the series) book cover

Pearseus, Rise of the Prince (book 2 in the series) book coverA-Z Guide: How both my books reached #1 on Amazon.

via A-Z Guide: How both my books reached #1 on Amazon.


This was an amazing article I read in my research hour on Nicolas Rossis’ website that I must share with you!

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Motown Writers Network Author Feature~Victor ‘Billione’ Walker

Billione This week’s featured author is no stranger to the limelight, so shining a light on him is something he’s used to! A singer, poet and author, Billione (pronounced bil-LEE-yon) is one of Detroit’s most up and coming people to keep an eye on. He is the author of several books, including his most recent poetic play the Birth of Mars, and No Tea. No Shade, a novel set in Detroit. His thought provoking work touches on various subjects related to being a Detroit native, LGBT experiences and examining masculinity.

Come and experience the gifted one, Billione, as we talk to him about his work!

Where are you from?

I was born and raised in Detroit. Most of my writing is pulled from my experiences as a Detroiter.
Tell us your latest news?

I recently released my first work of fiction entitled No Tea. No Shade. Set in Detroit, it is a story about the dapper, charismatic Chauncey King, a successful Editor-in-chief of the Detroit Daily News. Chauncey goes from reporting the news to being the center of his own scandal after coming face-to-face with his turbulent past. His life seems to unravel until he meets Malcolm Dandridge at a local bathhouse and realizes that in order to be happy he must first face his biggest fear.
When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing song lyrics as a child. My mother kept a journal and I would read the words she wrote and sing them. What she wrote sounded like love songs, full of joy and pain.
Other forms of my writing emerged out of my love for reading. As I child, I read books about a number of things but struggled to find characters that were similar to me. After writing song lyrics, I eventually wrote poetry and eventually fiction.


When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I first considered myself a writer when I began writing news in the Mumford High School newspaper. I didn’t particularly like writing news; my Journalism teacher convinced me that I was good at it. So, I stuck with it. When I went home, though, I secretly wrote song lyrics and poems.
What inspired you to write your first book?

After meeting one of my favorite authors, the late E. Lynn Harris, I mentioned to him how his characters resonated with me, and his writing inspired me to write my own novel. He told me to be sure to send it to him when I did. After getting news of his passing in 2009, I remembered how I never started working on my novel. Remembering that meeting, I began taking notes on ‘No Tea. No Shade,” and dedicated it to Lynn.
Do you have a specific writing style?

I don’t know if I have a defined writing style, but I simply write about what I know: Detroit, being Black and gay. It is important to me to stay in my lane and offer my readers an authentic experience.
How did you come up with the title?

The title No Tea. No Shade. is a common phrase in the gay community said when you want to tell someone the truth without offending them. I heard RuPaul say it frequently on RuPaul’s Drag Race and knew it reflected the circumstances of the book.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Our lives are best spent coming to terms with who we are, building authentic relationships and getting our own truths. Life is too short to be spent trying to please others. When we face our darkest fears, it will be then that we can truly deserve to live in the light.
How much of the book is realistic?

Every character in No Tea. No Shade. has elements pulled directly from my life. Of course, there are some elements that are made more dramatic to enhance the reader’s experience, but it’s all realistic and quite autobiographical.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I pulled from everything I know: Personal experiences, things I’ve heard about and things I never read about but wanted to. No Tea. No Shade. is the type of book I would read.
What books have most influenced your life most?

Books like Ishmael by Daniel Quinn, The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and Their Eyes Were Watching Godare among my favorite books and have helped shape my personal philosophy.  I have also been influenced by authors like George Orwell, Alice Walker, Ntozake Shange, and Toni Morrison.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I consider Sylvia Hubbard a mentor. She has helped me go from a poet with a desire to self-publish to an author with multiple titles under my belt. I learned almost everything I know about independent publishing from her and the Motown Writers Network. I am sincerely grateful for the guidance and support I’ve received.
What book are you reading now?

I am currently reading an anthology of coming out stories entitled Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, edited by Derrick Tennial out of Atlanta. I contributed a story entitled Thirty-Eight, about my coming out as gay and how the messages I received through television as a child of the 80’s shaped my identity as a man.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I am inspired by a number of new authors, especially those writing poetry. Poets like Joel Fluent Greene of Detroit’s Café Mahogany days is releasing his first book of poetry this month. I am excited to celebrate him and read his new work. Also, Detroit poet T. Miller released a book called Coming Out Of Nowhere that took conversations that happened on social media to a different level.
What are your current projects?

I am currently preparing to bring my poetic play entitled The Birth of Mars to the stage. It was inspired by For Colored Girls by Ntozake Shange and the Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. Mars took 6 years to write and examines masculinity in America.
Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Being a poet and having the opportunity to perform in Detroit has connected me to so many people. The artist community has been so supportive and encouraging. People like Dimonique Boyd, Crystal Campbell, jessica Care moore, Legacy Leonard, LaShaun Phoenix Moore, Omari King Wise, Kalimah Johnson and so many more have supported me as a poet and fiction writer.
Do you see writing as a career?

From the response No Tea. No Shade. has gotten, I could definitely see that happening. I love writing and enjoy the process of bringing characters to life. It isn’t easy crafting a story that makes sense, but when it’s all over, I feel accomplished and successful.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

Not one thing! I love my characters and the story. Well, maybe one thing… I would make it longer. The story is short, but gripping.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My interest for writing grew out of reading. My grandmother was an avid reader and it rubbed off on me.
Can you share a little of your current work with us?

I am currently finishing up my sixth book of poetry entitled Grand Boulevard. It is mainly about my experiences as a Detroiter. I dedicated it to the late, great Detroit poet Blair.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

I am the king of the comma! For some reason, commas end up randomly in my writing, in places I am not so sure they belong. That’s what good editors are for!
Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

E. Lynn Harris and Alice Walker are among my favorite authors. Their books resonate with me because they require me to face my fears related to being Black, gay and an artist. They also have the best characters!
Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

I travel frequently for my books, whether to perform poetry or to discuss some of the themes in them. Sometimes other people make connections in my writing that never even occurred to me.
Who designed the covers?

I designed all of the covers for my books. I am interested in having someone else design the covers for my future publications.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The most difficult part of writing books has been keeping track of the storylines and making sure they don’t conflict with each other.
Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned that the process of writing novels takes time and cannot be rushed. Creativity in any form should not be rushed.
Do you have any advice for other writers?

Observe people in their environments. Find out how people move, speak and interact. I did a lot of people watching in public places for No Tea. No Shade. The descriptions in the book are real. If you go to where my characters are and do the things they do, you will see exactly what they see.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Yes. Thank you for joining me on this journey and for supporting all of the stories and words that emerge from my mind.

No Tea No Shade


No Tea. No Shade.


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MotownWriters Author Interview-Eddie Connor Jr

EDDIE CONNOR is an author and international speaker from Detroit, Michigan. He empowers purpose, by sharing his testimony as a survivor of stage 4 cancer. Connor is the founder of Boys 2 Books, which provides mentorship to young males via literacy, leadership, and life skill enrichment. Eddie Connor and the was nationally featured in the BET Documentary, “It Takes A Village to Raise Detroit.” He speaks extensively on the subjects of leadership, overcoming obstacles, and maximizing your purpose. Much of his work extends throughout Jamaica and South Africa. His other books include: Purposefully Prepared to Persevere, Collections of Reflections, Volumes 1-3: Symphonies of Strength, and E.CON the ICON: from Pop Culture to President Barack Obama. 



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First Chapter Friday with Author Angil Tarach-Ritchey

Behind the Old Face: Aging in America and the Coming Elder Boom

Please support this very important senior advocacy project The Elder Boom Foundation

Angil TarachBooks by Angil Tarach-Ritchey

Behind the Old Face: Aging in America and the Coming Elder BoomSee a book preview

Quick Guide to Understanding Medicare, Medicaid and other payer sources 2011

You Tube-

Educational information and resources can be found on my blog “Aging in America”

 By Angil Tarach- Ritchey RN, GCM


Angil Tarach-Ritchey RN, GCM is an author, speaker, consultant and national expert in senior care.  With over 30 years experience in senior care and advocacy Angil is very passionate about eldercare and is well respected in her field.

Angil has written for several websites including NurseTogether, the Alzheimer’s Reading Room, Wellsphere, the National Senior Living Provider’s Network, Ann Arbor News, and her own blog, Aging in America.  Her passion and expertise have led to being published in the Chicago Sun Times, Maturity Matters, Medpedia, Vitamins Health, Medworm, Alzheimer’s New Zealand and several other publications.  She has been featured on Nurse Talk, WE Magazine for Women; Women on a Mission, Life Goes Strong, Living, The Caregiver Partnership, You and Me Health Magazine, His Is Mine, and Abec’s Small Business Review and quoted in several publications, such as Reuters, CNBC, Consumer Affairs, PTO Today, Women Entrepreneur and more.

Chapter 1

The Nursing Home Love Letters

My story in the nursing home

What would you title a defining moment in your life, the moment that

changed everything? My earliest defining moment came in a box of love

letters. No, not letters to me. It all happened with a box of love letters I

found in a nursing home.

My love for the elderly began when I started working as an aide in a nursing

home in 1977, when I was seventeen years old. My girlfriend’s mother,

Mrs. Berry, was a registered nurse and the nursing home administrator.

She was a tall, fairly thin woman with blonde hair. Although Mrs. Berry

was “cool” most of the time, it was apparent when she was angry or had

enough with teenagers in her home. She would make it clear she’d had

enough just by the look on her face. I liked Mrs. Berry and respected her,

but I also feared her. I never knew if she really liked me or not. Her daughter,

my friend Marcy, worked for her mom at the nursing home as a nurse’s

aide. She would tell us stories about the residents at her job, and most of

the stories were amusing. I needed a job, so I thought I could do what

Marcy was doing. I approached Mrs. Berry several times asking for a job.

I think she was passively ignoring me, but I was persistent . . . when Mrs.

Berry was in a good mood, that is. After a month or two of asking her

repeatedly to hire me and give me a chance, she finally agreed with the

comment, “I’ll give you a chance, but I don’t think you can do it.” What

Mrs. Berry didn’t know was that I am highly motivated by disbelief. I have

accomplished more in my lifetime because people told me I couldn’t do

something than because people told me I could.

It was a warm, humid day in June 1977, and I was about to begin my first

job as a nurse’s aide. When I arrived at the nursing home at 7:00 a.m.,

never having cared for an elderly person before, I assumed there would

be some sort of formal training. My training was to follow another aide

around, and basically do what she did. I wanted to follow Marcy, because

we were friends and her mom ran the place, but Mrs. Berry wouldn’t allow

that. I know she expected we would be goofing off or doing some kind

of foolishness if we worked together, so she had me follow a nurse’s aide I

had never met. I have to say, I was a little intimidated by the ninety or so

residents, some walking through the halls with canes and walkers, some

being wheeled down the hall in wheelchairs, and others yelling or talking

to themselves. But I had to prove to Mrs. Berry I could do it, so I just took

it minute by minute. There was no way I would confirm her notion that I

couldn’t do the work.

My first day seemed to be a test of my physical and emotional endurance.

I worked sixteen hours that day, and within a few hours on the job I

was involved in a medical emergency. We were passing lunch trays when

the whole room turned chaotic in response to a resident choking on her

lunch. The whole situation seemed to be happening in slow motion,

even though it only lasted a few short minutes. I realized the resident was

choking, because her table mates were yelling and I saw her gripping her

throat. Since it was my first day and I was not ready for a situation like

this, I looked around the room to make sure an employee knew what was

going on and would react. I had never expected to see something like this,

especially on my first day of work. As my eyes quickly scanned the room,

I saw my supervisor frozen in position, fear evident on her face. The experienced

nurse’s aides were either screaming for someone to do something

or trying to ignore the urgency of the situation.

Residents began yelling and getting out of their seats, waiting and watching

for someone to help her. It seemed everyone was waiting for someone

else to react, and no one was moving towards her. As seconds passed, her

face started turning blue. I just knew if no one helped her, she would die.

I had never received training for the Heimlich maneuver, or any other formal

training, but when she began turning blue and no one acted or seemed

to know what to do, I knew I had to do something. I could not watch this

woman die in front of me without doing something! I remembered seeing

the Heimlich maneuver done on TV and figured I had to try it. I ran to

the table and grabbed her now lifeless, thin body and pulled her against my

chest. I clenched my fists around her tiny waist and forcefully pulled her upper

abdomen toward me. I pulled once, twice, and finally the third time she

coughed out the food that was lodged in her throat. Her body then regained

life, and her blue skin began changing back to a light pink pigment. She was

going to be okay. I was flooded with emotions: disbelief, shock, fear, relief,

gratitude, anger, and pride. Of course, I was relieved and grateful, but I was

angry that my supervisor had no idea what to do and didn’t even attempt to

help this lady. I wondered how she could be the person in charge. I wondered

what would have happened to this lady if I hadn’t at least tried the Heimlich

maneuver or if it hadn’t worked. The truth is, I was not sure I could do anything

to help. I was in shock and petrified that I was going to see someone die

right in front of my eyes. This was a lot more than I had bargained for when

I asked Mrs. Berry to give me a chance. After the adrenalin dissipated, I felt

very proud for having saved the resident’s life and that I had lost the intimidation

I felt just minutes earlier. I also lost respect for a supervisor I barely

knew. This was my initiation into senior care and advocacy.

The facility was supposed to support independent to semi-independent

living, which today we refer to as assisted living. There were three floors:

the first floor residents were independent; the second floor residents were

mostly semi-independent with a few dependent residents; and the third

floor housed all the residents who shouldn’t have been living there. I believe

it was set up that way so when visitors or potential new residents’

families came, they would see the very best in independent living. There

were no tours beyond the first floor to my recollection. I continued working

as a nurse’s aide on the afternoon shift. I was responsible for all of the

residents on the third floor.

My residents were either totally physically dependent, or had Alzheimer’s

or some other form of dementia. Back then we described a person with

dementia as being senile. My responsibilities were to keep my incontinent

residents clean, to get everyone to the dining room for their dinner

and medications, to pass dinner trays, and to feed those who could not

feed themselves. I was also responsible for entertaining the residents after

dinner, which meant sitting them in the day room to watch TV while

I cleaned up dinner trays and tables, changed residents, gave baths, and

started getting residents ready for bed.

The day shift was responsible for half of the residents’ baths and grooming

each week, and I was responsible for the other half. I was the only aide on

the third floor afternoon shift. I don’t recall how many residents I had to

care for; I just remember it was a lot of work. I had responsibilities and experiences

on this job I never would have imagined: shaving a man with a nonelectric

razor; being with a person with dementia; cleaning an incontinent

person; tying people to their beds to keep them safe from falling; feeding an

adult; and, convincing someone to take a bath when they refused.

There was no training to teach me how to do these tasks or to deal with

dementia patients. Nurse’s aides were just hired and put to work, until

1987 when Congress passed the Omnibus Reconciliation Act, commonly

referred to as OBRA. Safety concerns and the lack of quality care

in our nation’s nursing homes inspired OBRA, which required training

nursing home staff. Talk about old school; I was doing this work for ten

years before the U.S. required training.

One night, a few months into my job, I started my shift looking through

the bath book to see who was scheduled for a bath. I also looked through

the documentation from the day shift. There were residents on the dayshift

schedule who hadn’t had a bath in a month or more. I was outraged

and saddened. I gave thirty-two baths in one night. I worked a couple of

hours of overtime to get it all done, but all the residents on the third floor

were now clean and cared for. Was this the first night of a lifetime of senior

advocacy? Looking back over thirty years, I think it was. I couldn’t understand

how anyone could let this happen. The residents were people, and

they needed help. What if these lazy nurse’s aides were deprived a bath for

a month? What would they want?

I had no idea at the time how significant the bath night and another experience

I had would become in how I have spent my life caring and advocating

for seniors. The experiences clearly had their own purposes. One

began my life as a senior advocate; the other was the major contributing

factor to the empathetic care I have provided all of my life. Thirty years

later, there are many patients I still remember, think about, and hold dear

to my heart. I remember a retired teacher who had dementia and filed

things in her bra. She said they were her files, as if she were still teaching.

I remember a couple who walked the halls holding hands; the husband

wore the layers of men’s and women’s clothing his wife dressed him in. I

remember a tall thin lady with dementia, who was either glowingly joyful

while singing in her high-pitched, out-of-tune voice or so angry she hit

and scratched anyone who came near her. I can still picture these residents

clearly, and I hold fond memories of them in my heart.

One evening, our assignment was to clean our residents’ closets and

drawers. One of my residents was a lady named Ann, who couldn’t

speak or do anything for herself. She quietly lay in bed day after day.

Ann never had a visitor, so I knew nothing about her. While I was working

in Ann’s room, I found a box in her closet. In it were no less than

thirty letters and cards. I sat on the floor and started to read them, one

after another, as tears fell from my eyes. They were love letters from

a husband to his wife. Never had I known, or even heard about, such

profound and amazing love. This woman, lying there alone seemingly

unloved, had actually shared a fairy-tale love, rare and amazing, with

an adoring spouse. I can still vividly recall sitting on the floor with her

box in my lap, tears dripping from my face, reading the letters while frequently

pausing to look at Ann lying in that bed, almost lifeless, wishing

I had known her sooner.

I wished I knew about her life when I started caring for her. For many

months, I had looked at her as just some old woman lying in the bed who

needed help. Truthfully, until that day I didn’t give her much thought other

than the duties of keeping her clean, dry, and physically comfortable. Not

that I didn’t occasionally think how sad it was she never had a visitor or

any indication that someone cared about her, but that was the extent of

my thoughts and involvement with her. Before I left my shift that night, I

acknowledged Ann. She was no longer just some old woman. I went to her,

and while gently stroking her cheek and forehead I said, “Your husband

sure did love you.” I said goodnight and went home. That was all I could

say, given the emotional state I was in after reading all those letters. I’m

not sure if I was more sad about Ann’s loss and being alone in that nursing

home or guilty for not seeing her as a real person with a real life.

It was through her letters that I got to know Ann, who couldn’t tell me anything

about herself. As far as I knew, her deceased husband was all she had,

and now I felt more responsibility to take care of her for him. That was when

the meaning of care changed for me. Previous to this night, I felt that I provided

pretty good care given the number of residents I had and the duties

that needed to be done. I kept Ann clean and dry, but I didn’t know how to

communicate with someone who couldn’t acknowledge me or speak back.

Although I gave good physical care, there was no emotion involved, no human

connection; I was very quiet when I provided care for Ann.

I now had something to talk to Ann about. Caring for Ann changed into

something much more meaningful. I felt a special bond with her. Those

love letters gave me much deeper empathy for my residents. I started looking

at all of the residents, wondering what lives they previously had before

they ended up in that nursing home. That revelation inspired me to find

out as much as I could about them. I read their charts, asked questions,

listened to their conversations more intently, and observed their actions.

From time to time, I would read Ann’s husband’s letters to her. I don’t know

whether Ann could understand or even hear anything I said, but I felt that

her spirit heard and understood. I also felt as if her husband was looking

down from heaven, grateful for someone who was telling Ann about his

love in a comforting and caring way and taking care of her physically.

Ann’s inability to speak was due to aphasia, a speech and language disorder

that impairs a person’s ability to communicate It is most commonly the result

of a stroke but can occur from any severe head injury and affects over

one million people in the U.S. Aphasia can be expressive, meaning the person

can fully comprehend language but cannot verbally express thoughts,

feelings, or preferences. Aphasia can also be receptive, meaning patients

can’t understand verbal or written language. People often assume that a person

with expressive aphasia cannot understand or comprehend, but that is

far from the truth. Not knowing whether Ann had receptive aphasia, I truly

don’t know if she understood me when I talked to her and read her love

letters to her. But, I think there is something in our souls that allows us to

connect even when the typical means of communication are not possible.

My three-decade passion has been based on empathy. Can you imagine

being in Ann’s shoes? Can you understand what it must be like to have

lived a fairy-tale life with a best friend, experience a love like no other,

only to lose that person and decline to the point where you are alone and

unable to care for yourself? I don’t know if it was true or not, but I heard

Ann’s decline was a result of losing her husband. We often hear about

couples who have been married for many years dying close in time, so her

decline following the loss of her husband wouldn’t surprise me.

Ann’s is just one story in a countless numbers of stories. There are thousands

of elders living in nursing homes, alone and unable to care for

themselves. What kind of care do they get when their healthcare workers

know nothing about them and don’t even think about what their lives

were like before they ended up helpless and in a nursing home? Just like I

did. I’ve worked in long-term care for decades and never saw any training

programs that focused on communicating with persons with aphasia, or

even explained what it is. I also have never seen any training programs

that elicited empathy—other than The Virtual Dementia Tour®, which

provides a great learning experience. I know from my own experience that

patients like Ann are not spoken to or treated with the compassion that is

essential to providing good care. Instead, they’re regarded as work to be

done rather than a person to whom care is given. It is up to us as a society

to understand that there is a person and a life Behind the Old Face.

In over three decades of spending time caring and advocating for seniors,

many experiences brought me to write this book, but a single experience

at a funeral home inspired the idea and title; I share that experience with

you later in this chapter. Throughout this book, I will share my experiences

and the stories of a few of the seniors I have spent time with, but

my experiences and their stories provide only a small glimpse of what is

Behind the Old Face. This book is intended to tug at your heart strings, to

make anyone interacting with or caring for an elderly person think differently,

and to subsequently improve the way we treat seniors and the care

we provide. Care should never be just a physical-care task. Anyone can

provide physical care, but great care providers offer an emotional component

to their care that makes it great. There are unpaid caregivers, such as

family, friends, and volunteers, as well as a wide range of paid caregivers,

including nurse’s aides, therapists, nurses, social workers, and physicians.

No paid care giving job is more important than another. No care recipient

is more important than another. Whatever your care giving role, you need

to provide care with respect, compassion, empathy, and kindness. All care

recipients should always—without exception—be treated with dignity,

respect, and from an empathetic point of view.

Every single one of us has heard, “Treat people as you want to be treated,”

but how many of us really do? How many nurse’s aides, nurses, physicians,

and family caregivers provide the treatment they would want to receive?

Do you treat every single person you come in contact with, have a

relationship with, work with, or care for as you would want to be treated?

As you read this book and the stories of the people in it, you will and

should experience a myriad of emotions. I will tell you some of the most

amazing stories I have ever heard, from the lives of seniors I have been

privileged to know and spend time with. These aren’t famous people with

amazing newsworthy stories; these are everyday stories. These are the life

stories of your parents, grandparents, neighbors, aunts and uncles, the old

man driving too slow, the grey-haired old woman that you have to wait

on in the store, the patient you have to feed or change, the Alzheimer’s

patient who is difficult, and the dementia patient who asks the same questions

over and over. These people are us. They are us, with many more

years of life behind them. You will hear about their challenges, their

dreams achieved or not achieved, their contributions and accomplishments,

their service to our country or to a cause, their devastations and

joys, their thoughts, feelings, and opinions, and their points of view about

what it’s like to be a senior today.

Even after my decades of spending time with seniors, I still hear things

that are surprising to me, and things I have never thought of. While interviewing

one lady for the book, she told me a secret. At her request, I

will not use her name or feature her story in the book, but she told me

something that gave me another perspective into things that seniors think

about. She was a lovely ninety-one-year old woman I’ll call Susan. Susan

grew up in England, and even years after being in America, she still

had a lovely English accent. I cared for her while her husband was in the

hospital. She was happily married for over seventy years, and she adored

her husband. During interviews, I ask specific questions to initiate further

conversation and to better understand what it’s like to be old. One question

I ask is, “Who is your hero?” When I asked Susan this question, she

said it was her husband, but as we continued to talk about her life from

childhood on, she asked, “Can I tell you a secret?”

Susan started talking about her first love when she was nineteen. Her blue

eyes sparkled as she told me about their weekends spent dancing at a local

hangout. He was a
very handsome man, a man of honor and values, who

could dance “as gracefully as Fred Astaire,” she said in a giddy, schoolgirl-

crush way. They were together a few months when he went into the

military. While he was away, she met her husband. You may think the rest

is history, but it wasn’t. Her entire life, she had thought about her first

love and how things may have been different if she had waited for him.

Imagine spending seventy-two years thinking about a lost love and the

what-if ’s.

Susan described times they would run into each other after he returned

from the military and she was already another man’s wife. They had an unspoken

bond they both recognized and possibly even longed for. She described

the small bits of conversation they had and said he would always

ask, “Are you okay, Susan? Really? He never married, and Susan wondered

if it was because he wanted to marry her. She thought his “Really?”

carried an undertone of a deeper question. Susan thought he wanted to

know if she was truly happy with another man as her husband. He was

too much of a gentleman to get between Susan and her husband, so she

felt there were words that were never spoken. They eventually lost track of

each other because of her move to the U.S.

Her secret revealed that she never let the memories or the what-if ’s go.

She kept them quietly stored away in her heart for over seventy years. It

was a heartwarming story. I felt a bit sad hearing it. I was sitting with a

wonderful woman of ninety-one who had never gotten over her first love.

I was honored that I was the first one she had ever told this to. I was also

surprised by what I had been told. Susan went on to tell me how wonderful

her husband had always been to her and how she never regretted marrying

him. She kept her thoughts secret her whole life so as not to hurt her

husband, who was her hero.

We talked about her life over the course of a couple days. She shared her

experiences as an elderly woman in the hospital. Susan described an experience

during one of her hospital admissions. A couple of nurses mimicked

her accent. This had happened years before we met, yet had stayed

in her thoughts and feelings. Susan described feeling disrespected, belittled, and treated as if she had no feelings. The mimicking nurses made her

feel like they thought she was stupid because she had an accent. I would

guess there was no mal intent on the part of the nurses, but they didn’t

think about Susan’s dignity or feelings either.

As you progress through this book and read about the lives of the people

described in it, you will read about situations that will warm your heart

and others that are disturbing. Both are intended to cause you to think,

put yourself in someone else’s shoes, and move you to a more compassionate

perspective when it comes to our elders. It is my hope that the

stories will be heartwarming enough to cause you to be kinder and more

thoughtful, and disturbing enough to inspire you to become an advocate

for better treatment of one of our most vulnerable populations.

Funerals reveal who we have been

In my work and life, I have been to countless funerals, home viewings, and

memorial ceremonies. Funerals can be as unique as the individual who

died, but in the last ten to fifteen years, I have noticed increasing numbers


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This Week’s MWN Feature~Laura Lee


Metro Detroit native Laura Lee divides her time equally between writing and producing ballet educational tours with her partner, the artistic director of the Russian National Ballet Foundation.  She is the author of more than a dozen non-fiction books with such publishers as Harper Collins, Reader’s Digest, Running Press, Broadway Books, Lyons Press and Black Dog and Leventhal.  Her Pocket Encyclopedia of Aggravation has sold more than 85,000 copies.  She has also written one collection of poetry (Invited to Sound), and a children’s book (A Child’s Introduction to Ballet).  She brings to her writing a unique background as a radio announcer, improvisational comic and one-time professional mime.

The San Francisco Chronicle has said of her work, “Lee’s dry, humorous tone makes her a charming companion… She has a penchant for wordplay that is irresistible.”

Angel is her first novel.














Questions with Laura:

Where are you from?

I live in Rochester Hills.

Tell us your latest news?

I am promoting my debut novel, Angel. I have a non-fiction book with Reader’s Digest coming out in the near future.

When and why did you begin writing?

I started writing as a child and published my first article at the age of 12. It was called “My first day of junior high school.” My
father was a writer and insisted I was a “born writer” but it didn’t occur to me until much later that writing was a special skill.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

There was a series of little things. My father pushed me in that direction– he suggested I write about junior high and submit the
article, for example. I wanted to be an actress and majored in theater in college. I never got cast in anything, and in my senior year, when I auditioned my last time and failed to be cast, I took my anger and frustration and turned it into a one act comedy, which a
group of students performed and I got great feedback for it. Realizing acting was not going to be my calling, I went to broadcast
school to become a radio announcer. As the other students struggled to write ads and news copy, I whipped them off and got praise. I
started to get the idea that I could do something maybe everyone else didn’t find easy. I started writing articles for local papers in a
half-hearted way when I worked in radio, encouraged by my father. It wasn’t until I burnt out on radio that I started taking the writing
seriously. I got a job at the Times Union in Albany, NY as a reporter and feature writer beginning as a temp, filling in for someone on
maternity leave. I had no formal training in journalism or writing and was hired on the strength of my clips. It was great training in
writing quickly and not waiting for the muse or to get your artistic thing together. I published my first book while working at the paper,
and I didn’t look back from that point on. Now I’ve written 14 books, both non-fiction and fiction.
What inspired you to write your first book?

I wouldn’t call my first book particularly “inspired.” I mentioned in passing to my father that I thought it would be interesting to
write a book about the real people behind familiar names like Sears, shrapnel, Chef Boyardee and so on. He didn’t let it go until I’d
produced a proposal and some sample chapters and sent them off to everybody using Writer’s Market. I was surprised when I got a call
from a publisher that wanted me to write it.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I am focused on fiction now, and would like that to be my future direction. What works for me in fiction is to start with some sort of archetypal image and to relate it to the specifics of a character in a certain setting and situation. I have a recognizable voice, I think,
in my humorous non-fiction. Now I’ve only published one novel, but I have two more that I’ve written that I’d like to put out and I hope
that I can develop a fiction voice that people recognize and appreciate.

How did you come up with the title?

My novel is the story of a minister who sees a young man and initially confuses him for an angel, although society would view him
as anything but. His relationship with the young man changes everything in his life. So Angel seemed like the best title.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I hope that it presents more questions than answers. I would like people to read it, think about the story, and let it speak to them in
a personal way. The message will depend a great deal on the reader, as it should be.

How much of the book is realistic?

It is all realistic. It’s a story about two men and their relationship. It is set in a church community. No aliens or vampires

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

I drew on my experience working in a church to make the setting realistic, but it is not autobiographical in any way.

What books have most influenced your life most?

When I was in high school I had to read everything by Douglas Adams. In my early twenties I had to read everything by Milan Kundera. Now
I’m reading a lot of poetry and theology.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

I didn’t have to choose. It was my father.

What book are you reading now?
The Big Red Book by Rumi.

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

I have been reading a lot of really old stuff. If I haven’t read it yet, it’s new to me.

What are your current projects?

I’m seeking a new fiction agent for a novel which I actually wrote before Angel and which I recently updated and revised. I’ve finished
a sequel to Angel, but that book really has to sell a bit more to make it worth publishing. I’m waiting for the non-fiction book I finished
this summer with Reader’s Digest to come out and there are a couple of follow up projects that might spring from that. I am also working on
a more theological project. So there are a lot of directions. I have a lot of literary egg baskets.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Not surprising for a writer, but I am a solitary character by nature. One time I did have a strong community in which I was highly active
was when I lived in New York and volunteered for the Guthrie Center. (Folksinger Arlo Guthrie’s non-profit.) Since I came back to Michigan
in 2004, I’ve become much more focused on writing, and much more of a loner.

Do you see writing as a career?

It is a calling, which is a bit different from a career, but it can be a career. Don’t get me wrong, I use “calling” in a matter-of-fact
way. I don’t think there is anything special about having one. Every career has a certain aspect of that. When someone gets laid off from
any job, he has a bit of an existential crisis. There are some fields of endeavor which are skewed much more that way. A person would do
them whether he got paid or not because not doing it would be unimaginable. If you would not feel that you were you if you didn’t
write, that’s what I mean by calling. This is an area where Angel has a touch of autobiography because one aspect of the story is this issue
of having one’s calling threatened. Writers face that all the time. Is it a career if I’m not being paid? If I can’t make a living doing
what I love am I a failure? Am I not who I think I am? Paul, the protagonist of Angel, talks about the downside of having a calling.
If you believe you know what you are supposed to do, you question your ability to do it well enough. He wonders whether people are so
imperfect that they are doomed to fail God either by failing to know what their calling is or by thinking they know and not doing it as
well as they would like. So that is what I mean by calling. My sense of self and my career are tied to each other in a way that might be
unhealthy, but what can I do? If it is unhealthy, I hope I do not get well, because I like who I am. Doing writing as my career was always
important to me. Some people are happy to make their money another way. That’s probably smart. It’s a choice.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

No. I wrote it over the course of a decade and revised and revised and revised. I am happy with the final version. If it had not been
published, I would probably still be fiddling with it, but there is a point when you’re done and you have to stop re-thinking it.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?


Since the loss of his lively, charming wife to cancer six years ago, minister Paul Tobit has been operating on autopilot, performing his
religious duties by rote. Everything changes the day he enters the church lobby and encounters a radiant, luminous being lit from behind,
breathtakingly beautiful and glowing with life. An angel. For a moment Paul is so moved by his vision that he is tempted to fall on his knees
and pray.

Even after he regains his focus and realizes he simply met a flesh-and-blood young man, Paul cannot shake his sense of awe and
wonder. He feels an instant and overwhelming attraction for the young man, which puzzles him even as it fills his thoughts and fires his
feelings. Paul has no doubt that God has spoken to him through this vision, and Paul must determine what God is calling him to do.

Thus begins a journey that will inspire Paul’s ministry but put him at odds with his church as he is forced to examine his deeply held
beliefs and assumptions about himself, his community, and the nature of love.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

One of the challenges is to resist the urge to make characters more articulate than they would be in life. As a writer you can find just
the right words to express an emotion, but your characters are not professional writers. So sometimes you have to “ugly up” the perfect
expression of something because it just wouldn’t be realistic for, say, a 24- year old recovering alcoholic to speak in poetry.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?

I am an eclectic reader. There is not one writer that I am focused on at the moment.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

No, but I am on tour five months out of the year with my ballet project.

Who designed the covers?

The cover artist of Angel was Anne Cain based on a concept I proposed.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The novel evolved out of a trip I took in 2000 to Mount Rainier in Seattle. I took a bus tour and the driver was entertaining and kept
talking about burning out on his old job. Toward the end of the tour, someone asked what his old job had been and he said “a minister.”
There were a number of things that stayed with me about that, which I thought would make a great novel. The fact that Mount Rainier was
beautiful and a dormant volcano, and the idea of someone who burned out on the ministry to become a mountain guide. I was reading a lot
of Eastern thought at the time, and it seemed to me that there could be a great story about someone having some kind of life change, maybe
a crisis of faith, or a new direction, that put him on a course that would separate him from his congregation. It would “breathe” the
beauty of the mountain, show how he was called to both. I didn’t know what the “thing” would be though, that separated the minister from the
church and brought him to the mountain. I had a feel for what itwould be, but no specifics. I spent the better part of a decade
meditating on it and trying different things. When the “thing” came to me– that he would fall in love with a man– everything fell into
place and I wrote it quickly as if a tap had been turned on. I just had to catch the water.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I became quite interested in the Bible as a result of imagining the inner life of a Christian minister.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

The main thing is not to rush it. When I first decided I wanted to be a writer, I felt pressed to write a novel and I rushed to get one
on paper and it was terrible. You have to do a lot of bad writing, and you need the patience to let an idea lay fallow for a while, maybe
for years. A professional photographer once told me that the key to taking memorable photos was just to take tons of pictures and most of
them won’t be good and a few will be brilliant. I write like mad. I don’t throw anything away. Eventually some of the stuff that I thought was trash turns out to have gems in it. The longer I work at it, the more automatic the process becomes and the better the
gem-to-trash ratio gets. So the advice is that everything takes much longer than you wold like it to. You need the patience of Job.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

Angel gets slapped with a lot of genre labels, and some of them scare off certain readers. Don’t be put off by the idea of a “gay Christian
romance.” It is something other than that, and I hope you will give the book a try and decide what animal it is for yourself.

Name of Author: Laura Lee
Name of Book: Angel
Author Website:
Amazon Link
Twitter Link: @LauraLeeAuthor

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Which one would be best for a writer? The New @amazonkindle or the iPad Mini

A year ago when I bought my Amazon Kindle, I immediately fell in love with the device. I wrote an article on my blog about how wonderful the features were for a writer, including what apps to use.

CLICK HERE to read my review of the Amazon Kindle and why it’s nice for writers. Also read the comments as well!

This year the fight for devices is all about giving the user a TKO experience and from what I’ve seen, the new Kindle Fire is still coming up number one in my book.

Now Amazon has a Kindle Fire HD.

It’s like The regular Kindle on crack! Including a camera, better pixels, faster WiFi.

Recently I’ve gotten asked a lot of times by writers should they go ahead and buy an iPad Mini. Most times these are people who wanted to get an iPad anyways but couldn’t afford the price tag.

I’ve seen and handled one and for the price, I would say if you really wanted an iPad, I’d still wouldn’t invest in one. Just get the Amazon Kindle Fire HD 8 inch LTE for $499, which has a bigger screen and all the comforts of a regular fire plus a little bit more. Click here for more information about this device.

But if you want to save $400 of the 699 you would  pay if you bought an iPad plus get a tablet you can utilize as a writer, without breaking your bank, get the Amazon Kindle HD.

To help you really see the potential and comparison, see the picture Amazon put together.

If you’re ready to get yours or give a writer a great gift for Christmas, CLICK HERE to buy yours today.

(I would sure love one too, so I don’t mind a gift, hint, hint, HINT!) 

Related articles

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Wednesday Book Candy Feature~Holy Suspicion

This week’s Book Candy feature is Holy Suspicion by Melissa Love

Victoria and Travis Winter were once the Reverend and First Lady of their own mega church in Indiana, Indianapolis. It wasn’t until nine years ago, when their two oldest daughters, Reva and Rhonda exposed accusation about their Christian husbands. Feeling embarrassed with the lost of their church members and income, they left Indiana and moved to Detroit with their youngest daughter Naomi, to get a fresh start. The Winters found their new home at One True Worship, the third largest church in the Detroit area. But Victoria didn’t want to be just a regular church member. She wanted to become Second Mother of the Church, a very high position for a mother-in-law. In order to have this accomplished, she must convince Naomi to fall in love and marry Pastor Kyle Smith; a wealthy and famous pastor of a multi-billion dollar family. God-fearing Naomi does everything a Christian woman is supposed to do. She attends all her church services, church events and she even help out when asked. After offering a bible study for their daughter, Victoria is so happy to see Naomi finally has the pastor eating out her of hands. But Naomi has a secret! This secret Victoria uncovers is enough to ruin her dreams of getting the position she so eagerly wanted, as well as having Naomi married off to a prestige family. Will this secret cause them to move again?

This week you can get Holy Suspicion for free on your kindle. Promotion date is from 10/9/2012 to 10/13/2012.  Also check out Melissa Love’s contest page for a chance to win more prizes. click here

Amazon page: Holy Suspicion

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Motown Author Feature~Tenita Johnson

Creative and innovative are understatements when it comes to describing her work. Well-known for transforming others’ thoughts and ideas into written masterpieces, her writing style has catapulted her into a creative writing success for over 15 years. But through perfecting the craft of writing, Tenita Johnson realized her keen eye for spelling and grammatical errors would not only lead her into a career as an editor, but enable her to start her own writing and editing business, So It Is Written LLC.

Tenita’s passion for writing helped aid her in choosing to attend the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she received a Bachelor of Journalism with an emphasis in News/Editorial. Her internship at the Columbia Missourian as not only a reporter, but also as a copy editor, helped hone her writing and editing skills to successfully compete in today’s journalistic and writing industries. Through her visionary writing, Tenita seeks to inspire and uplift others when they seem to have hope lost.

100 Words of Encouragement: Tidbits of Inspiration, her debut book, not only offers hope to make it through the current state of this economy, but to persevere through any trying situation one may encounter in everyday life. This written compilation of daily words of encouragement also emphasizes the belief that if you can condition your mind to think positively, eventually your circumstances will follow. But Tenita’s success is surely not only measured by her own.

Through her So It Is Written LLC, she helps authors around the nation perfect their manuscripts and successfully complete the publishing process. She also offers professional biographies, press releases and proposals, creating distinct brand images for authors long before their books hit the shelves. Together with her education, poise and charisma, she seeks to not only become a better writer and entrepreneur herself, but even more so, she seeks to help other authors bring their visions and dreams to manifestation. For speaking engagements or to purchase your copy of 100 Words of Encouragement, please visit or email

Read below to find out more about author Tenita C. Johnson!

Where are you from?

Chicago, IL

Tell us your latest news?

I am looking to launch my 2nd book in the summer of 2013 titled When the Smoke Clears, the story of my life, told from the other side of victory.

When and why did you begin writing?

I began writing in high school. Both for my school yearbook as well as to release anger and hurt.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I had several published articles in college.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I was unemployed and began to send out emails of inspiration to 5 friends. One of them suggested that I not only keep them, but make them into a book. So I did.

Do you have a specific writing style?

I write to encourage and uplift.

How did you come up with the title?

I sent 100 emails and Googled if 100 Words of Encouragement was taken and it wasn’t. So it was pretty simple!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes, the message is always don’t give up, don’t quit, don’t throw in the towel…without the preached Word.
How much of the book is realistic?

Most of it, if not all of it, are real-life accounts of times in my life where I felt down, but pulled myself up again.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

My own real life
What books have most influenced your life?

The Bible, Rev Run’s Words of Wisdom

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

Steve Harvey, because he writes the real and doesn’t sugarcoat anything.

What book are you reading now?

Act Like a Lady, Think Like a Man

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

Tonia Carter

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

My Greater Grace Temple church family

Do you see writing as a career?

Yes most definitely!

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in  your latest book?

I would change the inside layout and have a professional designer design the pages and I would remove the Bible verses.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Offering ways for people to cope or overcome obstacles in life, when sometimes I am still struggling with those things myself.

Who designed the covers?

Rochelle Mann of Mann Made

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Fear that it is not good enough, it is not from God and fear that Bible scholars would challenge me.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

Start marketing 6 months in advance. Hire a professional editor and even still, review the edited copy before going to final print. Don’t order 500 or 100 copies in case you do find an error. Launch your website BEFORE the book comes out and take pre-orders.

Author & Book Info:

100 Words of Encouragement: Tidbits of Inspiration

Author Website:

Amazon Link:100 Words of Encouragement Amazon Page

Facebook Link: 100 Words of Encouragement

Twitter Link: TenitaJohnson

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Wednesday Book Candy Feature~C.D. Jamerson

C.D. Jamerson is a 2012 Michigan Chronicle Woman of Excellence honoree. In addition to her traditional educational experience, she is a graduate with honors of the Harvard University Executive Education Program and is certified in both Leadership and Management. Read as she talks about her second- edition book A Princess Cut Diamond- How to overcome your past and reign as a Princess in your God-given Kingdom.


Where are you from? Detroit, currently living in Southfield MI.

Tell us your latest news? Release of my Book second edition “A Princess Cut Diamond: How to overcome your past and reign as a Princess in your God-given kingdom

When and why did you begin writing? I began writing seriously in high school as a member (and later editor) of the Pershing Times

When did you first consider yourself a writer? When I held my book in my hand for the first time back in 2005.

What inspired you to write your first book? A class that I took in church called purity with purpose. It further reinerated that I has a story to tell an dthat my testimony was important to help liberate others

Do you have a specific writing style? Its usually conversational…like I’m talking to my best girlfriend..but very direct and pointed. I am not one to beat around the bush or sugar coat realities. I serve it straight.

How did you come up with the title? Princess Cut diamonds are my favorite wedding ring has 41 Princess cut diamonds in it! But aside from that a woman at my church shared a vision with me that also confirmed that “diamonds” would be a part of this project (Its in the book). Also, I am a international pageant Queen holding several titles so the concept of royalty and monarchy is something that is also very much a part of my character.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? YES, that regardless of the past…regardless of the hurt and current stresses…you have a PURPOSE. There is a reason for your existence and for your pain…because of who you are your are destined for greatness and chosen to reign over your “kingdom”. This book looks at the fight that you are in, applies God’s wisdom and principles, gives you PRACTICAL, APPLICABLE information that you can use to start making changes. This is a book that requires WORK. If you are SERIOUS about operating like royalty from here on out, and leaving the life of the defeated behind you then start here. A Princess Cut Diamond will make you laugh, cry, think but most importantly it will cause you to CHANGE. Invest in you and take the time to train to be and live like the royalty you are called to be.

How much of the book is realistic? All of it.

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Events in my own life.

What books have most influenced your life most? Books by Andy Andrews, John Maxwell, Richard Wright, Anne Lamont, Stephen Covey, Toni Morrison, Terry McMillian

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I’m a cross between Andy Andrews and Terry McMillian…weird but true.

What book are you reading now? The Spying in high heels series

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? I am not sure that she is “new” …but new to me.. I am enjoying inspirational romance type books from Grace Greene

What are your current projects? I am currently working on my book series called “A More Excellent Way” . Its a series that takes everyday tasks such as revamping a wardrobe or remodeling a room and details new, creative and precise ideas to get it done effectively.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members. Stephania Love…a GREAT friend, balanced sounding board.

Do you see writing as a career? Would LOVE to be a “career writer”…currently working in addition to writing but its the goal to be able to write and speak for a living.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book? Actually…this is the second edition of my first book…so that exactly what I did…everything I wanted to change…I changed.

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? It was the one subject in school that I was good at and didn’t have to really work hard at came naturally.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Yes..working on stretching out into different genre’ the “voice” of my writing has to change to adapt to the new audience.

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Andy Andrews…his “parables” are thought provoking and entertaining BUT they also teach and guide the reader to understand next level principles and truths. Terry McMillan’s conversational tone and direct approach on controversial topics is admirable and the lasting effects on her audience are evident in her fan base.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)? I have just been given the opportunity to travel with this book. Its VERY exciting to meet new women and be asked to do keynotes, and workshops regarding principles in the book. I could do that ALL day.

Who designed the covers? I did. I was very specific in what I wanted this time, so I determined to do it myself.

What was the hardest part of writing your book? Editing…deciding what stays and what needs to go..

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? I have learned to respect when people are transparent in their books or in the public eye…it is NOT as easy as people think it is.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Writers do two things that are imperative to their craft. Writers, write and Writers read…all the time. If you are not regularly writing (even in a journal) START. If you don’t always have a book that you are reading…START. Its imperative in order for you to hone your craft to do those two things consistently and diligently.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? To my Princess Cut Diamond readers.. Just know that I am so overwhelmed at #TeamPrincess! The women that are sharing the revelation they are receiving from the book have encouraged ME more than they will ever know. To all my readers and growing fan base…be on the watch for books about everyday that will help you live a next level life!



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Self Publishing And Ebook Predictions For 2012 with Steven Lewis


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Authors: 10 Tips to Sell More Books on Amazon



Kai Mann 

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The Complete Guide To Self Publishing (Free eBook) #kindle

The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing: Everything You Need to Know to Write, Publish, Promote and Sell Your Own Book (Complete Guide to Self-Publishing Everything) [Kindle Edition] Review

“Self-publishing,” say authors Tom and Marilyn Ross, “is a perfect example of the American dream.” The Complete Guide to Self-Publishing, then, is an aspiring self-publisher‘s dream. “This isn’t a book of fancy theory,” as the authors put it; “it’s a practical handbook of state-of-the-art specifics.” In 521 pages, it lays out everything you need to know to publish your own books, from start-up considerations to the possibility of selling to a big publisher: how to choose a name for your press, how to get an ISBN, what cover designs cost, how to find a reliable printer, how to price your book, where to find lighter-weight shipping envelopes, how to generate working capital. The authors’ encyclopedic grasp of the ins and outs of self-publishing is matched by their natural good sense about self-promotion. Turn your signings into events, they recommend; get your books into a variety of venues; use the books as fundraisers for organizations; get online and get reviewed online. The price of this book is negligible considering the cost of proper self-publishing (between $12,000 and $25,000), and, oh, the headaches it will spare you! –Jane Steinberg


A handbook stuffed with essential information on how to get into print, and beyond . . books. With realism and extraordinary thoroughness, every practical topic is covered. — Booklist

I commend you on producing publications that are truly as valuable as their advertising. All too often the product falls far short on the promise. Your books exceed the promise. Thanks for putting real value on the market. — Bill Koch, Special Reports

Incredibly complete and easy to use. If you buy only one book on self-publishing, make it this one, You’ll thank yourself all the way to the bank. — Evelyn Kaye, Founder/President Colorado Independent Publishers Association

The newly revised Complete Guide to Self-Publishing is the best book available on the subject. Period. It’s thorough, user-friendly, and full of tips to save you money and help you sell more books. — Marilyn McGuire, Publisher NAPRA ReVIEW

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2689 KB
  • Print Length: 576 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1582977186
  • Publisher: Writers Digest Books; 5 edition (August 9, 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003YL4AIK
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)

You can download the book and if you don’t have a Kindle you can also download it to your desktop or phone as well!

Click here to download Your FREE Book


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Authors Please Don’t Send Me To

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