Friday, December 21, 2007

His Subsitute Wife...My Sister

Drama, Drama and more Drama

Where does it all come from? Certianinly not from personal experiences because my life is very boring.

I work in a 311 call center for the City of Detroit. Now Detroit is the Murder Capital, Hair Capital, we're the brokest city (highest foreclosure rate) and we're the fattest city.

Another title is that Detroit should be Drama Capital of the world.

I've lived and been to a lot of cities. I'll read other city's newspapers, but never have I seen the complications of human interaction that takes place in the wide open in Detroit.

We don't wait to get behind closed doors. We love to get out in the open and tear someone a near hole in the rear and this makes life just a little bit more interesting here (hence our popular titles) and for me as a writer, I find that it makes great fodder for books.

Now a lot of readers do relate with the stuff I put in books and I know it happens in other cities, but nothing like Detroit. (That's just my opinion)



My latest venture His Substitute Wife goes into the emotional drama of a woman realizing when it was too late that she had a good man and has to stay with the decision to share her man or lose him. On top of that he wants a baby and neither woman, who are twins, he's sleeping with can give him that. So she does what any woman would do find another woman who would give it to him, her younger sister.

Keeping it all in the family, in the end one sister will die, one will lose and one will get everything she desires.

Read the drama filled live in progress story starting in January of 2008. Click here to subscribe or check out my blog at:

http://www.sylviahubbard.blogspot.com/

Would you like to read an excerpt? Okay, CLICK HERE!



See you there.



Your author,



Sylvia Hubbard

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Drawing The Line - Pushing the reader to the limit


A look inside my head:

At this point in the story (Chapter 4 of Drawing The Line) I really had no idea where to go.

This story was constructed in my head way before my Mistaken Identity days. Back in 2004 to be exact when I was trying to also push out Stealing Innocence II and revamping the Stone's Revenge thing.

I knew I wanted something different for Shane, but I wasn't sure I knew how to deliver it to the reader.

I didn't want the regular romance for her. You know the boy meets girl, there's a lot of conflict, miscommunication and so forth, boy loses girl and then boy wins girl back.

I wanted to throw the biggest monkey wrench and push the limits of my readers to the point of no return.

Yet, I like good sin. (Yes, that's an oxymoron). I wanted the reader to accept the situation I planned for Shane.

This is the point (Chapter 4) is where I put the brothers together. In the beginning, they weren't going to be together. I had planned to some how share her between the two men, but I needed justification.

Now that I'm going back in the story, I want it different from the situation I set up in Mistaken Identity. I loved that one and please don't ask me how I put that twist together because I'm amazed at my own brillance with that one.

Fiction should push the limits of the readers. You should read not just to find out how the main plot is going to end, but also change your look and views of reality. Who knows what people do and accept behind closed doors? How do you know the person sitting next to you is normal? We don't know and fiction allows you to see their life. See what you've never seen before and good fiction makes you feel, taste, and show.

Journey with me. Cross the line and don't look back.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


Searchable Whereabouts, is the story of murder, lies and deceit. It's a mystery/suspense novel that will have you laughing, surprised, bitting your nails and in disbelief right towards the end, while Rahkel Williams takes you into her life and on her journey of solving her beloved uncle's mysterious death. Searchable Whereabouts is a true page-turner.

Searchable Whereabouts was a different write for me. Well it was more mysterious and my mind just went all over the place when developing this book. Althought it took me about 3 years to finish, it's done and ready for the world.

View my upcoming events at my website: http://www.tinishanicolejohnson.com/


Book Trailer for Searchable Whereabouts
video

Friday, August 31, 2007

Meet the Cast of Wicked Ways


One day when I had five free minutes an idea came to me about my upcoming novel, WICKED WAYS. As many of you know that is the sequel to GETTING HERS. Well, I wanted to do something a bit different this time. So I let my characters lead the way... the result is my Wicked Ways blog.

Here you can see and meet the characters, read what they have to say about themselves and each other. And I will plant some information along the way, leading up to the release of Wicked Ways on Oct. 2.

So when you get a minute, stop by Wicked Ways

Bear with me as I continue to build the site. But in the meantime feel free to leave your comments!

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Paige's Tangled Web Revealed

I did it once before with a previous release and it was fun, so I thought I would try it again. Here's my one on one interview with the main character of Paige's Web.

Paige Christine Webb is the #1 Events Planner in North Texas.

Shelia Goss: I heard as a single woman, you have several rules you follow. Do you care to share it with the audience?
Paige:
Sure. Rule number one: Date More Than One Man. Rule number two: Never Agree to an Exclusive Relationship. Rule number three: Run Like a Track Star at the First Sign of Love.

Shelia: Those are some rules. So how many men are you dating right now?
Paige:
There’s Marvin. He’s a computer programmer. He’s a few years younger than I am, so I guess you can call me a cougar (smile). Now Alvin (fanning herself), I can’t get enough of Alvin. He’s older than I am, but you would never know it because he has more energy than the energizer bunny.

Shelia: Sounds like you have your hands full with those two. Anyone else?
Paige:
Oh how could I forget Tyler. Tyler and I have been friends for a few years. We met during an event hosted by Antonio, my ex-fiance, events.

Shelia: Is your ex-fiance the reason why you don’t trust men?
Paige:
I never said I didn’t trust men. I would rather play them before they play me.

Shelia: Can you elaborate?
Paige:
Yes. As you can tell, meeting men is not an issue. My problem is with the “ever after.” I don’t think men really want a serious commitment. Take Antonio. He knew he was stringing me along but didn’t tell me he didn’t want to get married until the day of the wedding. How do you think that made me feel?

Shelia: I’m sure it must have hurt.
Paige:
It hurt deep to the core (touching her heart). I felt humiliated and let down. I got depressed and vowed to never allow myself to be put in the position to fall in love again.

Shelia: Sorry to hear that. I know there are many of the audience who have gone through heartaches before. How do you find the time to juggle the men you mentioned?
Paige:
I’m the owner of one of the fasting rising event planning companies in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. My organizational skills are superb. Managing three men is a piece of cake compared to my day to day business operations. (A one carat pear-shaped diamond ring sparkles when Paige moves her hand).

Shelia: That’s a nice ring. Did you buy it to ward off men?
Paige:
Well, uh. No. (Averting eyes)

Shelia: Hmmm. Is there something you’re not telling me?
Paige:
There is, but if you want to know more, read Paige’s Web. (Paige leaves a copy of the book on the desk).

More about Paige's Web:

The idea for Paige’s Web came to me out of the blue. I thought it would be interesting to show that men aren’t the only ones who have commitment phobias. People assume that it’s always the woman who wants to settle down; but in Paige Christine Webb’s case, it’s the men. She finds herself tangled in a web of lies as she works her way through her insecurities.

Paige was a fun character to write. Some of the situations she finds herself in are comical and will have readers laughing out loud.

Paige's Web will be in stores in October.

Shelia M. Goss is also the author of My Invisible Husband, Roses are thorns, Violets are true and Double Platinum (coming Spring 2008). Visit her website for more information: www.sheliagoss.com.

Monday, August 27, 2007



The process of manuscript to novel to published work doesn't end when the publisher sends the book to the distributor for pre-sale orders in the bookstore. The next major phase of marketing and publicity is fully underway. This is the time when reviews, booksignings, interviews and other publicity are conducted.
My book - Straight To The Heart, a September release, has already been sighted in Walmart. It's available in bookstores for a month, via on-line sources like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or eharlequin.com for an extended period. As a first, the book's format is also available as an e-book via http://eharlequin.com/. All future books will be in print and electronic.

Straight To The Heart is the third in a series. Bad news is that Sweet Surrender (Book 1) and Here And Now (Book 2) are sold out, even on my publisher's site. Good news is that http://barnesandnoble.com/ and http://amazon.com/ may still have copies.

Reviews for Straight To The Heart (published Harlequin - Kimani Press) are coming in:

Romantic Times Bookclub: Multilayered characters, intertwined lives and stories with an unexpected twist make Straight to the Heart (4), by Michelle Monkou, intriguing.

Single Titles.Com: Straight to the Heart is like smooth dark chocolate, and got this reader’s attention from the very beginning. Omar and Stacy are realistically created characters that felt remarkably like close friends. When they shared a scene, there were fireworks. Both are intelligent and self-reliant, warm and loyal to those they care about, passionate and sexy. Manager, Brenda is a little on the “hard-edged” side, but understandably so; she adds that extra “something” to make the storyline fresh and original. Author, Michelle Monkou is a gifted writer with the uncanny ability to draw the reader right into the lives of her characters. Definitely an author to watch, she has certainly made a fan of this reader.

Upcoming booksignings:

BWI airport (Waldenbooks) on Sept. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Turn The Page - Author Nora Robert's family bookstore on Nov. 3 (see http://ttpbooks.com/ for schedule)

To stay connected:
Join mail list on http://michellemonkou.com/
Add Friend on http://myspace.com/michellemonkou

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Marathon


I'm currently taking a mental break in writing my latest short story Marathon. My main character, Alex, is dealing with the loss of his right leg while serving in the military overseas in Iraq. The devastating effects have taken their physical, mental and emotional toll on Alex and his relationship with his wife, Cynthia.

I've been on a roll this past weekend and getting ready to put the finishing touches on the short story. It took me a minute to get into the mood to write again because I wasn't sure how to begin. I approached this task similar to the way I wrote each chapter for my novel One Love: create a handwritten outline identifying the characters, settings, themes, goals, etc. I wanted to accomplish in the story. Sometimes the ideas work and sometimes they don't, depending on the direction my writing takes me. Below is a sample of an outline from One Love (Spoiler Warning: If you haven't read One Love and are interested in doing so, you may want to skip this part!):

One Love
- Chapter 22
  • P.O.V. - Regina/Gigi
  • Chapter's goals - Gigi confronts both Cami, her best friend, and Leon, her ex-boyfriend.
  • Setting - The Crimson Moon Coffeehouse and Camille's, Cami's hair salon.
  • Round II - Gigi vs. Cami
  • Gigi was suppose to meet Leon at the Crimson Moon, but he no-showed.
  • Cami reveals to Gigi she didn't go through with her abortion. Gigi will have flashbacks about her experience while Cami's talking. Gigi will also regret her decision.
  • Gigi's lines in this chapter:
    • "Someday, Cami, I may find the heart and the strength to forgive you, but I won't ever forget what you said."
    • "A drunken mouth speaks a sober mind..." (This was omitted!)
  • April, the girls' friend, will be there as a mediator, much to Gigi's surprise.
  • Leon leaves Gigi a message on her answering machine at home.
  • Gigi calls Chris, her romantic suitor, the night before but he never returned her call (This too was omitted!)
  • Gigi picks up a flyer for the One Love poetry series that features Chris.
  • The main objective will be the end of Gigi's and Cami's friendship. On the flipside, it's the beginning of Gigi's and April's renewed friendship.
  • April will call Gigi later that evening to speak with her. She'll reveal to Gigi she had an abortion. (This was changed slightly as April wound up coming to Gigi's house unannounced!)
  • Crimson Moon Coffeehouse
    • ceiling fan, zebra and leopard print chairs, African tapestry on orange wall
    • multicolored ceiling lights and beige sofa
    • silver beaded curtains
    • dessert trays
    • black mermaid along red wall
    • music playing - A Tribe Called Quest's Award Tour (This was changed to Common's The Light).
    • Koko Darling, the owner - scarlet dress, black flats, brown skin complexion, silver earrings, black scarf
    • cafe latte, cappucino (Gigi winds up drinking the former)
Good music also puts me in the mood to write: a song that represents the essence of what I'm trying to capture in any piece - poem, short story, essay, chapter, etc. For Marathon, I've been repeatedly listening to Don Henley's New York Minute because it's the perfect for the story's theme: appreciating all that you have.

Well, the night is young and I need to get back to work. Hope this advice was beneficial for you.

For more information about me, please check out my website and the following links:

http:/www.BillHolmes.com
http:/www.myspace.com/BillHolmes
http:/www.myspace.com/BillHolmesPoetry

Take care and be blessed.

;-)

Bill Holmes
Poet, Writer and ESSENCE Best Selling Author of One Love
www.BillHolmes.com
"Every word I write is an extension of my breath, my heart, and my soul that I want the world to share and to remember long after my life has come to an end."

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Evolution Of Romance In The Book You're Writing




I'm in the midst of writing my live story sexual intrigue romance called Sex Weed (http://sylviahubbard.blogspot.com/) I really understood the evolution of romance. The hook line in Sex Weed is "One taste and he can't get enough."

It's about Dyson who decides to get revenge by sleeping with his brother's wife, Melissa, but what he thought he could just tap ended up being a very involved relationship with this mysterious young woman.

Of course it has the usual non-communication isues in a romance, deceit, lies and you can't have a good romance without a lot of drama.

In the beginning of Sex Weed we open to Dyson trying to blow Melissa's back out across his desk. Pile driving in her for his own demented selfish sexual pleasure. Blackmailed to enjoy the pleasure of Dyson's rough lovemaking, Melissa does enjoys it and their relationship is that.
Sex Sex and more sex, wherever they can get it and however they can make it happen.

As the story evolves, as much as they try to keep their own emotions at bay, the drama that plays out between them and the people around them draws them closer and closer together and they find themselves in a position where the doorway of love is in front of them and although both of them want to walk through, of course its all a matter of trust when it comes to love.
Since this is one of my live story's where I post on a daily base (three times a week to be honest) a lot of the readers who got on this train to read Sex Weed had complained that this was just going to be another sex story, but now as we hit the balls out climax where danger is coming down fast and their relationship is in jeopardy of ending, the readers are finding out that this story is more complex than what they thought.
But isn't that what love is? Complex?
One reader commented on the story by saying:

I love this update.. This story has so evolved from the first chapter where lust and hate filled melissa and Dyson..to now , where love and trust are fighting for equal supremacy...but I know their avowals of love is but an inch away! Love your stories sylvia. Wow!
In all of this, I learn as I opened up Dyson and Melissa's hearts to each other for the reader is that everyone falls in love a different kind of way. It's kind of like eating food at the table.
Everyone has the same plate with the same portions, but how it's eaten and tasted from each
individual at the table is a different kind of way.
I like having people fall in love and I think as a writer, having a different experience for your reader is important. True there really can't be a new way to write a book, introduce a plot or even bring out the wonderfulness of a character, but there are a trillion ways to fall in love. And
Each book of love is a different story.
And I hope to explore all the new ways in every way in each book I write.
Sylvia Hubbard, Author

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Happy Birthday To Me!


July 27 is my birthday. And I'm not shy about shouting it to the rooftops or celebrating my accomplishments. Why else are we here on this earth, but to develop and celebrate what God has given us.

I'm not having a party - did that last year. And what a blast that was. Nope, this year, I will stick close to home, hang out with my family and do what I always do.

Yet I have lots to be grateful for like my upcoming novel - Straight To The Heart - hitting the bookshelves in September. I can't wait. I am excited about this story and its characters.


Straight To The Heart is the third story in the Masterson series.

Meet Omar Masterson, the youngest in the family, who takes some bold steps toward independence. As a TV Video and Talk Host, his first assignment lands him in the spotlight of Stacy Watts, hip-hop singer/actress. Together the two must battle and make amends with their past or be destroyed, canceling any hope of a life together. Their fierce love for each other is swift and direct, like an arrow - straight to the heart.

Hurry and pre-order your copy on http://Amazon.com or http://barnesandnoble.com

HarlequinKimani Press

Romance ISBN 0-373-86034-X
September 2007

Michelle

Checkout my updated website

http://michellemonkou.com

http://myspace.com/michellemonkou

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

"What Ever happened 2 MY King" Trials, Tribulations and mad Struggle but now ready for the World!!!!!!

“What Ever happened 2 My King,” is my first published novel and let me tell you―that book is my baby. I first started writing this novel when I was just 19. I came up with the title back then and started jotting down ideas but it wasn’t until March of 2005 that I committed and dedicated the time and effort I needed to complete the piece; from that point it took me about 4 months to finish it.

With “What Ever Happened 2 My King”, I wanted to reach out and touch everyone, urban, suburban, young, and elder, men and woman. The response I’m receiving from readers is CRAZY LOVE!!!! Let me put it this way, the book is over 300 pages and people are reading it in a day or two, yeah it’s one of them!! It makes me feel proud that people really enjoy my writing because I know that when I purchase a book I want to be captivated and entertained; however, I wanna peep some lessons and messages as well. My books will always be described as gritty and raw but not one person that read one of novels can say they didn’t gain something from it.

My journey has been rocky, no doubt!!! The demand for the book was high in B-more since word of mouth is a great promotional tool, but what’s demand if you don’t have the funds to fill orders!!!!!! I found myself loosing it; I had Bills, Bills, Bills, so what dough I made I had to use it instead of flipping it for more books; I guess you can say I was on my grind―Amazon orders, Barnes and Noble.com orders, street orders, book store orders; I couldn’t fill any of them and I was about to loose it, so I took a deep breath, took a step back; got a second job, did some research and met a few great authors that were willing to give me advice and some type of guidance―shout out to Jessica Tiles and Lisa Woodson!!! I learned how to get distribution and was directed to a great publicity firm “Donna Hill Promotions”. Okay, I done took my two steps back to take 5 steps forward. I am now ready for the world and will keep hitting my readers with captivating yet motivational urban page turners.

I must shout out my family; my mother Glenda Brooks, My father Michael Smith and Lil’ brother Deontay (Smokey) Smith―keep your head up baby boy!!! I also wanna say peace to all of the people down in B-more that had my back from the start; the hoods, the burbs, the barber shops, hair salons and corner stores that let me post my posters and sell my books; I especially wanna shout out Urban Knowledge Book store at Mondawmon Mall, Sand Sephia and Sable Book Store at the Plaza and Words by Wendell Bookstore for being the first three stores to stock my book!!!!!

AYE YALL, PEEP MY WEBSITE FOR MORE INFO ON ME AND MY BOOKS!!!!! www.lakishiansmith.com (Show a Sistah some LOOOOVVVE!!!!)

Sunday, May 06, 2007

One Love Wins 2007 Alternative Soul Award for Best Novel



It's been one year since the release of my first fiction novel One Love and what a roller coaster ride it has been for me. I couldn't begin to imagine all that I've accomplished the past twelve months selling and promoting my novel up and down the highways on the East Coast. What I also couldn't have predicted is the positive response I received from all the feedback and praise that literally exceeded my expectations. Sure, I thought One Love was excellent and well-written, but you never know what someone else would think when they get their hands on your book. All the time and energy I dedicated and put into learning how to write fiction paid off big time when last weekend when my baby (yes, One Love is my baby!!!) took home the 2007 Alternative Soul Award for Best Novel at the Alternative Soul Awards in Atlantic City, NJ.

I have to give much thanks and praise to my friend Raymond Tyler of Darkseed Communications for considerating One Love to be nominated in this category. I have to also give a special thanks to my dear friend, sister and publisher Jessica Tilles who took a chance and published my novel last year. There are so many people who assisted me along my journey including my sister and writing partner, Uva; my writing instructor, Janet Benton; my editor, John Wooden; my friend and legal counsel, Tonya Marie Evans-Walls; my parents, William L Holmes Sr and Sandra L Baytops; my brother, Mike Holmes, and my entire family and friends for their support! There are three individuals/group I need to make a special acknowledgment because I wouldn't have achieved this honor without their influence in my life:

First and foremost, God, my Lord and Savior, Who is the foundation of my inspiration because it takes great strength and courage to pursue and accomplish our dreams.

My dear friend and brother, Gene Roberson, who allowed me to use his name and likeness in One Love. The novel wouldn't have been possible without his experience, humor, and insight.

Most importantly, to everybody who has supported me over the past ten years in all of my creative endeavors! Your encouragement and enthusiasm gave me the drive to continue writing and dreaming during the tough times when I felt like giving it all up. There are not enough words to express how sentimental and special you are to me!

Praise for One Love

"Holmes pens a hip contemporary tale brimming with passion and sass. One Love is definitely one you won't want to miss!" - Tracy Price-Thompson, bestselling author of Knockin' Boots

"Bill Holmes writes with savvy, creating characters we all love to read about." - Jessica Tilles, bestselling author of Fatal Desire and Unfinished Business

"Can the past really hinder our success in the future? Bill Holmes does an excellent job of exploring that question and more in One Love." - John Wooden, author of A Moment of Justice, A Lifetime of Vengenance

"Holmes' writing is well-developed, with a very fulfilling ending." - Gary Johnson, Black Men In America.com

"One Love was a great read! I thought Regina and Chris were strong and dimensional characters that could possibly flow into a sequel." - Shawan Lewis, author of Help Wanted

What happens when a poet struggling to find inspiration and a single woman frustrated with the dating scene cross paths? Bill Holmes answers this question and more in One Love, the hot novel that's masterful, intense and has people talking.

Excerpt from Chapter One:

She always looked sharp going to work, and today was no exception. The one thing about her, which always turned me on, wasthe confidence in her stride. There was something so commanding about the way she walked, like Maxine Shaw from Living Single. I wasn't sure if she was an attorney, but she had that elegant, classy beauty like Vanessa L Williams. The linen khaki business suit she was sportin' on this humid June morning worked well against her cinnamon complexion. Her auburn shoulder length hair she usually wore down was pinned up.

Uh oh, she must have realized I'd been checking her out because she made eye contact with me. The quizzical look on her face told me she thought she might know me, too. But she wasn't certain either. She sat down in the empty seat across the aisle from me, next to the balding white guy sleeping against the window.

"Hi," I said.

"Good morning," she replied.

She pulled out her BlackBerry and I went back to writing in my journal.

For more information about One Love and Bill Holmes, please visit the author's website at www.BillHolmes.com.

Searchable Whereabouts

My book, "Searchable Whereabouts" will be released January 2008 through Xpress Yourself Publishing. Be out on the lookout for it. "Searchable Whereabouts" is not my first book, but the first to be published.

This book took me about three and a half years to write. It wasn't easy, but persistance is what will keep you writing until it is complete.

Briefly, "Searchable Whereabouts" is about a young woman who's trying to unravel the mystery behind her Uncle's murder. She goes out of her way to find out the truth, but the truth is not something she is prepared for.

For more info go to: http://www.xpressyourselfpublishing.org/authors.htm

Unfinished Business...is finished!

After two years of fighting with my inner self to complete Unfinished Business, I FINALLY completed it. And, I think you will be pleased. At least I hope you will, considering I am NOT going to write about Raven anymore. I really can't stand her! She works every nerve in my body. I'm almost certain this will be the last installment of Raven Ward and her skanky antics.

Unfinished Business was the hardest book I had to write, because I didn't want to write it in the first place. I thought I was done with Raven, and her whorish ways, in Sweet Revenge. But, my readers were displeased with the ending. So, after many emails asking me to please write another installment, I did. Even though it took me two years to write it. And, it's a very quick read too. BAB's (big ass books) are not my type of reads or writes.

So, the release date was set for April 17, 2007 and the pre-orders were coming in, BIG TIME! There was no way I was going to play around with people's money and not ship those books out on time. The date is April 1 and I have 13 chapters completed, which isn't the half-way point in the book. Finishing the book was going to be tricky because I run Xpress Yourself Publishing, with 14 authors who requests my attention, 24/7, as well as new titles that were being released. Oh, and let me not forget that I am the full time caretaker for my mom and dad, who constantly calls out my name, running me up and down the stairs, all day long. By April 7, I had finished the book and shot off to an editor who did the quickest editing job I'd ever seen. And, I'm almost sure there is an error or two. As a matter of fact, I've already received an email from a reader, pointing out the fact that I had left the word "a," which threw off her reading experience.

I made my deadline and I couldn't be happier. BUT, I will never, ever write like that again. For your reading pleasure, however, below is a brief snippet from Unfinished Business. To learn more, you can visit my web site at www.jessicatilles.com!

* * * *
He brushed his hands through his curly tresses, down to the back of his neck where he threaded his fingers together. He needed a haircut. Unable to stop fidgeting, he ran his hand across his five o’clock shadow. He needed a shave too.

“Even when we were separated, I never cheated on you. Don’t get me wrong, the temptation was there, but I loved you more than anything.”

“You’re using past tense. You don’t love me anymore?”
“Yes, I still love you. I can’t stand your ass at the moment, but I can’t stop loving someone at the drop of a hat either.”
Exhaling discreetly, Arthur felt a sense of relief. She still loved him. He smiled inside.
Morgan looked down at the floor and then at her toes. She wiggled them, flexed her foot and then pointed her toes toward him. “Not even my sister. Regardless of how she betrayed me, I still love her. I knew Raven was capable of many things, but her fucking you…well, I guess it really shouldn’t surprise me in the least.” She gently tapped her head against the door. “There was nothing I wouldn’t do for Raven. Her back was always secure as long as I was around. It would’ve been nice to know what it felt like for my sister to have had my back, every once in a while. Humph, all the shit I got that girl out of.”
“She’s sick. She has a problem.” Immediately after the comment left his mouth, Arthur wished he could press rewind. Damn!
Morgan gave him another menacing look into his eyes and hesitated. “What’s your excuse?”
Arthur noticed the warmth was no longer there; and it terrified him. “My actions were inexcusable and I’m beating myself up for it. We’ve overcome so many obstacles and I know we can overcome this.” Falling on his knees and crawling toward her, “Please don’t give up on me, Morgan,” he begged. Reaching her toes, he leaned down and kissed each toe. “I don’t want to think of living life without you.”
She tilted her head to the side and gnawed on her bottom lip. “Did you kiss her toes? You’ve never kissed my toes before now.”
Damn, Arthur thought, as he dropped his weight on her legs in defeat. “How long are you going to make me pay?”
“Forever!”
His warrior’s pride shattered, Arthur buried his face between her calve muscles and sobbed. “Oh God, Morgan…”
Seeing her man’s broken spirit, Morgan’s face softened. She pouted her lips and reached for his head, running her fingers through his hair and down to his cheek, pulling him up toward her.
Staring deep into his eyes, she noticed that the sparkle was gone from his pupils.
They were gone from hers as well, for she no longer trusted him.
He pulled himself closer to her face and grazed her lips with his. “I’ll do what ever it takes,” he whispered, his tongue stroking her bottom lip.
Her lips trembled as she softly moaned his name, giving him more hope.
Arthur’s eyes remained opened, peering through to her soul, hopeful while hurting, trying to find an ounce of forgiveness. Not expecting to be pardoned really, he knew the journey to righting this ship was going to be a hard road to travel. However, he was willing to endure it no matter how bumpy or how far. Until death do us part, was his vow and he was sticking to it. The question was, was she?
He slid his hand up her thigh, to her abdomen, finding comfort caressing her breast.
Morgan inhaled quickly, while drawing her eyes tighter, squeezed out a single tear, causing a thin stream to flow down her cheek. She shook her head defiantly.
“Not now, baby. Not now, don’t turn me away,” Arthur encouraged.

His tongue savored the saltiness of her skin as his lips brushed her ear, traveling across her cheek, down her lips, and then tasting the sweetness of her mocha cream-flavored lip-gloss.
Morgan’s lips trembled against his. “You need a condom,” she whispered.
The unaccustomed request sent chills throughout Arthur. Stopping, he pulled himself up on his knees and squared his shoulders. “I need a what?”
“You’ve been with someone else. I need to protect myself.”
“Protect yourself from what?”
“Arthur, you had sex with another woman.”
“For God’s sake, Morgan, I can’t keep doing this.”
“Then do what you have to do.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?”
Morgan shrugged her shoulders. “However you perceive it. Shit, Shalimar said it best, ‘make that move, right now, baby.’” She snatched up her shoes and headed toward the stairs. “I don’t want you in the bed anymore. Since you’re not leaving the house, then you should move your things into the guestroom.”
“Aww come on, Morgan. Now you’re being ridiculous,” Arthur shouted angrily as saliva sprayed from his mouth.
“I suggest you use Hanna and her five sisters,” his wife announced sarcastically pointing in the direction of her punnanny. “Or better yet, get some ass from Raven, because you’re never going to touch this ass again!” Her message emphatically delivered, she stormed up the stairs, into the bedroom and slammed the door.
Arthur slouched against the wall. Peering downward at his crotch, his dick was hard as a two-by-four.
“I’m not giving up, Morgan,” he yelled up the stairs to a closed door.

Visit www.jessicatilles.com!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Visit Me @ E-Spire Entertainment News


Check out my blog spot with E-Spire Entertainment News whose managing editor is none other than author Shelia Goss. If you swing over there, leave a comment...let me know you stopped by.

http://e-spire.blogspot.com/2007/04/five-questions-with-michelle-monkou.html

To purchase Here and Now or Sweet Surrender, go to http://eharlequin.com

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Straight To The Heart - Ready for Pre-Order!


Yep, it's April and my book won't hit shelves until September, but it's all about setting the pace. So here's the link to Amazon's pre-order for my September release - Straight To The Heart.

http://www.amazon.com/Straight-Kimani-Romance-Michelle-Monkou/dp/037386034X/ref=sr_1_8/102-3055184-2482547?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1177189268&sr=8-8

Meet Omar Masterson, the youngest in the family, who takes some bold steps toward independence. As a TV Video and Talk Host, his first assignment lands him in the spotlight of Stacy Watts, hip-hop singer/actress. Together the two must battle and make amends with their past or be destroyed, cancelling any hope of a life together. Their fierce love for each other is swift and direct, like an arrow - straight to the heart.

Peace and Blessings

Michelle Monkou
http://www.michellemonkou.com

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Finally Published... now what


Wow, what a journey!!! I am finally a published author. The excitement has not waned but the reality has finally set in...I gotta work!!We aspiring authors imagine as soon as our books hit the shelves that fortune and fame will be quick to follow. We look at the Nora Roberts and the Terry McMillians and immediately imagine our novel on the small small screen or nearest cinaplex. We imagine reviews pouring in from Publishers Weekly , blurbs in Essence Magazine or radio interviews galore. Then we realize that the phone hasn't rung , no one has yet to return your email and your publicist has assured you that the book signings are being scheduled. Doesn't anyone recognize my gift! Yes, you just have to wait until the pass on the good news about your novel to their friends. In the meantime, keep positive, don't slack on your day job, and use every opportunity to promote yourself and your novel.Now, I don't have all the answers nor am I an expert but I have started off to a modestly good start. Here are a few tips that I think helped me make steady strides.


1) A Myspace page - its free and you have access to more people than you can imagine. Post excerpts from your novel ( with approval from your pub if you have one), thoughts for the day, etc. Make friends with not only fellow authors or book clubs but people that may fit your demographics. Do not narrow your friends down by race or gender. But be wise, a 55 year old retiree may not appreciate your literary rendering of hoodlife. If you feel your novel falls into a genre that an established author writes in , acquaint yourself w/ some of their friends.


2) Enlist foot soilders - Friends and family should be armed with postcards, promo excerpts and what ever else you may have that can promote your novel. Try get family and friends that work at hospitals and large corporations. Choose your troops carefully. If they are not the most loquacious or outgoing do enlist them unless the specifically ask you. While they may support you , don't make them feel guilty of they are not comfortable being outgoing.


3) Become an internet sleuth - Surf for sites that feature authors or post work. There are tons of web sites that feature authors, post book signing, interview, etc. Some are fee based, so decide of the fee is worth it.


4) Be an online columnist or blogger - What better way to build a readership than writing an online column or blog that revolves around the subject matter of your novel or book. Many website and web zine take on columnist. Even though you in most cases you will not get paid, you have a world wide presence.


5) Join online groups- Make sure to not only join writers groups but reader and literary lovers groups. Be interactive and post comments and questions regularly so people can get to know who you are.


6) Vistaprint.com - this website by far has the lowest printing cost I have ever seen.


7) Exhale - If you can work overtime for a J-O-B. , you can work overtime to make your dream a reality. Rome wasn't built in one day , it took hard work , planning and faith.


I hope this little list helped. I will post so more stuff shortly but know above all else that the greatest asset you have is you and the greatest source is the GREAT I AM. The Creator gave identification of self as "I am that I am ..." So never position I am in a negative...


Peace!!!! Check my synopsis & excerpt on my my personal blog !!!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

My Publishing Journey - Installment 3


Every Friday, I will take you on my publishing journey. I will provide a window into the world of an author, my interaction with the publisher, and the marketing/promotions involved.
Okay, so I'm a day off with this post. This week was a slow week with the writing because of a tedious week with the day-job. But you've got to earn an living. I did manage to crank out a second chapter for my young adult proposal.
The biggest hurdle with writing young adult is to keep the sentences fairly simple. I'm not pretending to write high-brow lit, so long convulted sentences with SAT-type words are not the order of the day. I'm also not writing with heavy dosage of hip lingo since most terms are dated six months to a year later. If that's the case, then my book would be dated by the time it got to the publishers and then finally to the bookshelves.
I'm enjoying the story as it unfolds, which sometimes doesn't always happen if I get mired into the pitfalls of writing: sagging middle of the story, weak characters, stilted expressions etc. The cast of characters is getting bigger. Maybe in the rewrite, some of them may not be necessary to the forward movement of the heroine's story. There is a developing subplot with her best friend, but I'm careful not to let it overshadow the main plotline.
So heading back to work on the third chapter. Here's hoping that I don't fall too behind with my timeline.
Enjoy your Valentine's day.
See you next week.
Michelle

Saturday, February 03, 2007

A BOOK IN A WEEK


I was coming off a frenzied three weeks of hammering out WICKED WAYS, the sequel to GETTING HERS, when I decided to take a break and check my email. (Mistake #1). I read an email from my editor from Harlequin saying that she couldn't wait to read my next installment in my Pause for Men Series on Friday. Needless to say it was Wednesday at the time. My hands began to shake and I went into a mild panic attack. Of course my editor MUST be insane. I didn't owe her a book in two days! I scrambled through my files and located my contract. YIKES! She was right. And not only was she right she was actually giving my 2 days grace. I was fresh out of ideas, so the only thing to do was ignore the email of course! I still needed a week to finish the book I was working on.
I eventually called my agent who contacted my editor who graciously said, "Friday is fine." Friday! That was a week away. I finished WICKED WAYS, emailed it to my editor and took a one day break to clear my head. But the only coherent thought in my head was that it was impossible. Yet, I had no choice. The cover was already produced and it was scheduled for release in July. What I needed was a plan. And the one writer friend I knew who could knock out a book in record time was my girl L.A. Banks (aka Leslie Esdaile). After consoling me for about ten minutes, she told me of a plan of action.
1. I needed to be selfish, cut myself off from family, friends and the dreaded internet.
2. Start at 6 am. (yick)
3. Write in blocks of four hours. Take an hour break in between for food and exercise.
4. Stop by ten p.m.
5. Make my notes for the next day and go to bed.
Well... I did exactly what she said. My generaly daily output on a good day is anywhere from 20-25 pages per day. With this plan I was able to up the ante to 35-40 pages in a day.
Fortunately, it was regents week and my son was off from school, so instead of spending the hour in the morning getting him up and out and to school, I had that time to work. And I worked.
But Friday arrived I only had 156 pages. Panic once again set in, but I was going to be brave. I called my editor myself and once again she was very gracious and said "Monday, first thing is fine." Ouch.
I continued with the plan throughout the day and through the weekend. When Monday came I had 210 pages. But miracles to happen. I wrote a grand total of 55 pages in one day. I emailed my completed manuscript at 4:45 on Monday!!! Much to the delight of my editor.
Of course this in NOT something I would recommend on a regular basis. However the plan works. It is simply a matter of being focused and staying the course.
With any book, you must have a plan of action and goals that you set for yourself. If it's five pages per day or a chapter per day, stick with it and do it.
The bottomline is, a writer writes!
Good luck

Friday, February 02, 2007

My Publishing Journey - Installment 2


Every Friday, I will take you on my publishing journey. I will provide a window into the world of an author, my interaction with the publisher, and the marketing/promotions involved.

This week I did manage to finish up my proposal launching a five-book series. I was two days late from my timeline, but nevertheless, got it done. It ended up being a four page synopsis and three chapters (49 pages), which I emailed to my agent.

I took a day off then started working on my yound adult proposal. Since this is a new genre for me, I solicited an author-friend's quick approval. I finished the synopsis and the first chapter and got it off to my author-friend. I have two more chapters to write, probably by this weekend, which means my agent will have another proposal by next week to market.

While working on the young adult book, my agent emails me that the editor is interested in seeing additional proposals, ASAP. I'm faced with setting down the young adult ficition that no one is knocking down my door for, or working on the proposals that an editor wants to see.

I know the answer seems pretty clear, but....

I'm sticking with my young adult because I'm too close to finishing the required three chapters. I wrote the first chapter in less than a day, so I think that I can finish the other two over the weekend.

I do know that one of the romance series will take place in Europe. Haven't nailed down a country, but I'm pretty sure my American heroine is going to have a wonderful time in a foreign land with the man of her dreams.


See ya next week, for the next installment.

Michelle Monkou
http://www.michellemonkou.com

Friday, January 26, 2007

My Publishing Journey - Installment 1


Every Friday, I will take you on my publishing journey. I will provide a window into the world of an author, my interaction with the publisher, and the marketing/promotions involved.
Last week I turned in my book (untitled, scheduled for release Sept. 07), thereby completing the terms of my contract with my publisher. This means that I have no further commitments for any of my books. This also translates to being currently without a publisher.
First, I spoke with my agent to discuss my plans and goals. Considering that there is about a year (give or take a few months) from the time a book is bought to the time the book is released in stores, my goals must take that timeline into consideration. Therefore any proposals I write from this point, if bought, probably won't be on shelves until 2008. Editors are hard at work filling their slots year to two years in advance.
Since most of my current books are tied to a series, which is dictated by readers' choice, I will continue in this trend for my next proposal. My proposal consists of a synopsis (3-5 pages) and three chapters (15-20 pages per chapter). I'm steadily working on this proposal with a self-imposed deadline to send it to my agent by Monday 1/29.
I started my proposal last week Thursday and planned to have it done earlier this week. However, my plans and reality didn't match. Kids had homework, projects due, and lots of studying for tests with the end of the quarter approaching. Now I'm about a week beyond my goal, but that really doesn't matter. I'm still writing every day. Now I'm on Chapter 2 where I'm filling in some of the background to the characters' relationships. Hopefully I'll have a productive weekend and can send it off to my agent. I'll let you know.
See ya next Friday for my next installment.
Michelle Monkou

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Motivation for Love Scenes



As I reached the first love scene in my book Sin's Iniquity, I realized something was different. I was actually reluctant to do it. I couldn't figure it out. I mean usually I'm so hyped about the love scene I can't wait to write it.

But for this one, I found it difficult to embrace the fact that now that these characters had all the tension and it was nothing to stop them from giving the reader what they wanted.


My fingers were reluctant, but I got the characters alone and she was perfectly ready to give him whatever he wanted.

Still i wasnt' in the mood, so I stepped away from the computer and looked at my work area. There as nothing turning me off to the fact that i couldn't do it. There was nothing physically wrong with me. Matter of fact, I was feeling pretty randy with no one to turn to so coming up with the scene was no problem.


Then it hit me...

Oh lawd, how could I forget the most important part of getting to the good part.

Music. I had been playing MJB in my headphones and even though she was jamming in my head, I just couldn't feel my male character.

So I switched up to Brian McNight and started to get in the mood. I sat back down, but there was something still wrong. Brian was getting to the good part, but not taking me there.

So I switched the CD again to Robin Thicke. Nice white boy with a melodious voice to groove too. And he was telling me how much he loved me. Yes! Yes! Yes!!!

With my eyes closed my fingers began to type.

Yes, Robin, you got it. Thank you !

And that's my motivation.



_______________________________


Sylvia Hubbard is an author, blogger galore and mother of 3 living, working and writing in Detroit, Michigan.


Join her as she releases Sin's Iniquity online at: http://sylviaHubbard.blogspot.com

Monday, January 15, 2007

January Release - HERE AND NOW














Happy New Year, one and all!

My latest book - HERE AND NOW - has hit bookshelves this month, January 2007. This book is the 2nd in the Masterson series. The first book of the series is SWEET SURRENDER, which was part of the Kimani Press imprint launch in its third month, September 2006.

HERE and NOW takes up the story of Laura Masterson who steps out of her family's shadow to forge her own life. She reunites with her college sweetheart, Chase Westfield, who learns how to live life outside the spotlight after his Olympic career is threatened.

Laura Masterson is a physical therapist. I had the opportunity to meet a physical therapist after I was hit from behind while in my car. My back and neck were injured and I had a series of appointments with the therapist. Then I met one of the managers of the company and he was an ex-athlete who, after an injury, turned toward sports medicine. I already had the premise of the ex-athlete, but no career for Laura Masterson. One day, I shared my story and asked if it seemed realistic and that's when I learned that the manager had been an ex-pro athlete. Then I spent time interviewing my physical therapist.

I had pages of notes, but ended up using very little in the story. After all, I'm writing a romance story and the importance and attention had to be on the two characters. Their careers are simply a layer to who they are and what passions drive them. This is the true nature of conducting research and then writing the stories.

Reminder to readers: Many times books may not consistenly make it into the stores or on the shelves. Please do not let that deter you, ask the booksellers to order the books. Otherwise, bookstores will determine, based on their electronic records, that authors or genres of books do not have economic value. The books can also be ordered through http://eharlequin.com.

My first 2007 interview is posted on The Pink Heart Society under the Sunday Spotlight. Feel free to leave a comment (http://pinkheartsociety.blogspot.com).