Tuesday, December 27, 2011

4 Ways to Showcase the Southern Voice in Contemporary Novel Writing

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In my novel series my main character bounty hunter Angel Crawford must solve mysteries steeped in southern history and family secrets. In A GOOD EXCUSE TO BE BAD Angel has to immerse herself in Atlanta’s megachurch culture and rely on her friendship with her handsome single pastor to save her sister and herself from a killer. In SOMEONE BAD AND SOMETHING BLUE (releases July 2012) Angel introduces us to contemporary speakeasies, moonshiners, southern gentlemen’s clubs, and interracial romance, in order to save a single mom and her daughter from a killer and a community whose family code is too old and steeped in so much tradition that it doesn’t make good common sense.
Although these issues are paramount to southern history and culture, my job as a contemporary suspense author is to make the stories universal, relevant, and page turning to any reader, regardless of region. So how can a southern writer accomplish this goal?

1. Write about the thing that keeps up at night.

I am a mom. So, of course, my maternity keeps me up all night. I want to be the best mom I can be. Yet, I’m very flawed. Therefore when I created Angel, the bounty hunter. I wanted someone who seemed to have it all figured out, be just as wrong as we all can be. I wanted her chief concern to always be her mission to take care of her family, no matter the cost. This objective is universal to all parents.

2. I brainstorm story ideas by seeing what’s relevant in today’s news with what’s going on with my main character.

When I wrote A Good Excuse to Be Bad Atlanta megachurches hadn’t gone through the scandals that we’ve read about the past few years. However, as Christian journalist, I had witnessed things behind closed doors that I knew would be interesting to build a story around. To keep my story universal—not limit it just to Atlantans—I incorporated the IRS investigation of megachurches a few years back to ground my story in a realistic setting that would related to readers across region.

3. Peel back the 4th Wall.

Both of my novels introduce Angel Crawford readers to a culture they wouldn’t know about without insider knowledge (ie: Armor Bearer Societies, bail recovery in Georgia, modern moonshining, and Gentlemen fashion aficionados.) All of these cultures and clubs are unique to southern life, but also fascinating to the world.

4. The joy and tradition of storytelling.

I come from a long line or oral storytellers. They never imagined to be writers or to make profit from their stories, but they loved to tell them. Southerners have a rich heritage of oral storytelling, spoken word, coupling rhythm and diction to create pace…it is a southern charm that we have privy to. I make sure I use it as I write by speaking out my prose, listening to the dialogue as I reread it, and making sure each sentence carries a rhythm that fits the mood of the scene. I like to put my arms and feet in a story just like southern cooking.

Now… what do you do to showcase your regional voice in your story?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Hot Boyz/Hot Girlz Virtual Christmas Party on Marissa Monteilh's FB Page 12/20/11

Okay, so if you want a chance to win this gorgeously classy yellow Dooney & Bourke handbag, all you have to do is 1) purchase Hot Girlz on Amazon or B&N (now reduced to $4.99/Kindle and Nook) between now and 12/19/11, 2) email your receipt to ylgore74@gmail.com by noon EST on 12/20/11, and 3) come to my FB page on Tuesday, 12/20/11 at 8:00 p.m. EST to see if your # is chosen by a special guest - it's a Hot Girlz Virtual Christmas Party where we'll also give away: a Hot Girlz tee-shirt, 2 book copies, a Bath & Body Works gift card, and a bottle of red-berry Ciroc (for these items you do not need a proof of purchase, just be prepared to answer ?'s about the Hot Boyz series - proof of purchase is required for the handbag - value $300). Merry Christmas from Marissa Monteilh!


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Black Authors Network's Black Books Weekend Event - Join Us

On Monday, November 28, 2011, please join the GA Peach Authors, Jean Holloway, Electa-Rome Parks, Gail McFarland, Dwan Abrams, Miranda Parker and Marissa Monteilh, as we join Ella Curry and the Sankofa Literary Society for her phenomenal, annual Black Books Weekend interviews on BAN radio.

We are honored to participate from 8:00 - 9:00 p.m. EST, 11/28/11. We'll each discuss the business and our works, as well as read excepts from our most recent titles. Please log in to the link below, or call in so we can chat with you - 646.200.0402

The Peach Divas thank you!

Black Author Network Blogtalk Radio - Link

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Our Last Tour Stop for 2011 - The Central Library, Atlanta 11/19/11

We hope you can come out and join us for our final 2011 date on Saturday, 11/19/11, from 12:00 noon to 5:00 p.m. - we'd love to meet you! We'll have books available and we will participate in panels/readings/Q&A. Gail, Dwan, and Electa will appear from 12 - 3, and Jean, Miranda, and Marissa from 2 - 5. Please check the Central Library link for more information: http://www.socialweb.net/Events/130590.lasso

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Take A Moment . . .

As a romance novelist, I write about a lot of body parts -- really!  When I talk about my female characters, breasts are usually a very important feature.  And of course we all know that October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

See how cleverly I brought that together?

Anyway, I found a site that allows you to just click to support FREE mamograms for women.  No running or walking, no reaching for your purse.  Just a click of your mouse and you can help women who might otherwise remain undiagnosed to receive a lifesaving mamogram.  The link is visible -- all you have to do is take a moment.

I did.

Free Mamograms

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

6 Reasons Atlanta Made Amazon.com Top 20 Most Well Read Cities in America List

This summer Amazon.com announced its list of the Top 20 Most Well-Read Cities in America. Atlanta placed 20.

Why did Atlanta make the list?


1.  Vibrant Book Club Culture

Atlanta has a vibrant reading culture. In every county you can find bookclubs meeting in libraries, coffee shops, winebars and hosting their own events. RAWSISTAZ Book Club has its annual RAW Affair in September, the National Book Club Conference meets here every year in July, and many more.


2.  Book Events Galore!

a. The AJC Decatur Book Festival is the  largest independent book festival in the country. Last year some of the most popular authors in the country were there like Jonathan Franzen and Emily Giffin. (Shameless plug. You can meet me[Miranda Parker] there this year. The DBF doesn’t just work the 3 day Book Festival it hosts year round literary events. This month they hosted a dinner with NYT Bestseller Kim Severson.

b. The Georgia Center of the Book is the state affiliate of the Center for the Book at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Dekalb County Library is its host and sponsor. It funds some of the best literary events in the city. June is going to be an incredible month with Tayari Jones and  Mary Doria Russell visiting.

3. Reading and Reader Hot Spots.

I’ve spent many date nights at Barnes & Noble Peachtree Starbucks.  The Grounds Coffeehouse is a nice place to listen to author readings.  The now gone Vino Libro (Wines and Books) was a great hot spot for readers and wine connoisseurs. There are also nice spots for poetry reading and spoken word artists like Hank Stewart’s White Linen Affair.

4. Popular Authors in Resident

  • Emily Giffin
  • Pearl Cleage
  • Kathryn Stockett
  • Joshilyn Jackson
  • W. Dale Cramer
  • Natasha Trethewey
  • Karen White
  • Karin Slaughter
  • Jelani Cobb

5. Independent Bookstore Haven

Atlanta also houses nationally recognized independent bookstores like:

  • Foxtale Bookshoppe
  • Blue Elephant
  • Outwrite
  • Charis
  • Medu
  • Little Shop of Horrors
  • Eagle Eye
  • Acapella,
  • to name a few

6. Strong Reading Initiatives

a. Atlanta’s R.E.A.L. Men Read is a great organization and mentoring program for Atlanta Public Schools

b. Literacy Volunteers of Atlanta is an organization that assists with adults with learning to read.

I’m sure other cities have a great reading culture. These are just my reasons why Atlanta made the list. What should I add?

To Read More  about Amazon’s Top 20 Most Read American Cities list Click  here.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Six Days Until The HOT GIRLZ Party! 10/29/11

We're doing a daily countdown on Facebook to celebrate the upcoming release of the sequel to HOT BOYZ, called HOT GIRLZ. This is actually my first sequel and I'm very excited about its debut. The final title in the trilogy comes out in October of 2013, called L.A. HUSBANDS AND WIVES.

I hope you check out the HOT GIRLZ on Saturday, 10/29/11 - the title is available in trade and ebook format on Amazon. It's time for the wives to tell it all and it's hot! Thanks!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

GA Peach Guest Author - LM Blakely

We're happy to announce our newest guest author - GA Peach LM Blakely will join us for our event on 11/19/11 at the Central Library in Atlanta - Central Library Event Link. The Peach Divas are looking forward to mixing and mingling with her, and are honored to have this talented author sign with us!!

LMBlakely is a native of Albany, Georgia – a “military brat” who has traveled and resided in the Philippines, California, Oklahoma, Okinawa, Japan, New Mexico and Florida. She currently lives in Atlanta, GA and is studying for her Bachelors in Network Management. She found inspiration to write by journaling, playing different instruments, and composing ballads. Music was her first love and she had aspirations of becoming a songwriter. Her love for writing and her vivid imagination blossomed until her passion changed which resulted in her earning the title of “Author.”

She is the author who introduced Niqi, Chance, Tiffany, Denim and Shay from the Wikked Chronkicles. She is currently working on several projects as well as the upcoming follow up to Wikked. Don’t sleep on LM, if she’s quiet, she’s busy writing. She will surely entertain her readers with her titles. She can go from one extreme to the next, plus she is quite versatile writing in any genre. Ms. LM, will leave you surely entertained and wanting more.

For more information visit LM Blakely

Sunday, October 9, 2011

HOT GIRLZ Book Video

Twenty (20) days and counting until the release of Hot Girlz, the sequel to Hot Boyz. This is my first sequel and I'm so excited! Wanted to share the new book video that my son did for me. I'm smiling ear-to-ear - enjoy!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's all a blur!

Help! What has happened to my eyes? I have five pair of reading glasses, two that are hiding from me (guess I need my glasses on to find them) and three that I have either on my desk, in my purse, or on my nightstand. I'm far sighted - I can see the very top of the roof across the street and tell you if there's a dime or a nickel on the third shingle from the right. But close up - please!

My granddaughter actually reads the price tags for me when we shop - how sad/cute is that? Now, I am glad to have my eyes and my sight and I'm happy to be able to see at all, far away especially - I don't need glasses when I drive, so yes, I am blessed. I love my eyes.

Don't get me wrong.I just can't help but to wonder if I would need to rummage through the dollar store eyeglass section (1.75 to 2.00) as often (and yes, I have gone to the eye doctor for prescription glasses, I lose those, too) if I weren't a writer. Also, these days we all use computers so much and the strain we put on our eyes is worse than ever.

I watched a report on CNN that said young children are in need of glasses at a younger age now because they're playing games on small screens and using computers. We use our cell phones and that adds to the problem. And yes, we're reading books on devices, many on screens that are smaller than actual books themselves.

After four to six hours of writing (sometimes more) I force myself to stop and give my eyes a rest. My eyes can get red and dry, so I use eye drops often, but my eye doctor told me that our eyes can get addicted to the drops and we shouldn't use them too often. If we do use drops, the artificial tears type brands are better.

So, this post is a way of checking in with my fellow writers to see if I'm in the minority on this or not. I've had great 20/20 vision for years - this just started about six years ago, though it is also true that I'm no spring chicken so maybe this would've happened anyway.

All of you young folks who laugh when grandma pulls out her spectacles, beware! You, too, could one day have five pair, three that you can find and two that are hiding from you! I'm just saying!

Authors, don't sit too long, stand up and stretch out those legs, and don't stare too long, give those precious eyes a rest!


Thursday, September 22, 2011

A day in a writer's life...

Since publishing my first novel way back in 1997, my friends claim that they have spotted a genuine “writer’s peeve” in me  And they may be right…
When is the last time you bought a scarf?  Okay, maybe you bought more than one – anyway, is that why a very nice Atlanta boutique recently posted signage offering lovely scarfs for sale?  Maybe a lot of people see nothing wrong with that, but the ghost of my third grade teacher cringed at the sight of that sign and I felt her do it, deep in my heart.  As a writer, I felt a determined need to stand up for my language. Okay, maybe it was a hair over the top, but I felt a need to locate management and offer a flash English lesson.  And after the fact, I probably should have just bought the scarfs and left the store.
But, no, I found the manager and explained that the plural of scarf is scarves, not scarfs.  Then I explained why (and then we had to talk about leaves vs. leafs, and the difference between deer, deers, and dear).  Do you know that the woman told me that she’d heard that, but she didn’t see why it mattered?  When I suggested that if it didn’t matter, perhaps there was no need for a sign, she seemed offended because a store needed signs.
I had a headache.
I couldn't help thinking about the consequences of writing a book that was as grammatically and syntactically tilted as that sign (oh, and there were others, like the sign for the Lady's room...).  So, long story short, I finally gave up on the conversation because we clearly did not speak the same language.  I left the scarfs in the boutique and went across the street to another store where scarves were being sold for .20% off.
.20%.  Really.

Guess I’m just a glutton for punishment… but at least the scarves are pretty.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ode to Writing by Electa Rome Parks

I think I've loved you since the first time we met.

There was something about you that spoke to me, spoke to me with a passion and genuine honesty like nothing ever before. When I was in your presence, I realized my full potential, my destiny, and became whole.

To this day, when I'm with you, I come alive. I burn with the fervor of a woman possessed. I can't get enough of you. Just the thought of being with you makes my body ache and burn with desire.

You complete me. I know, I realize that's a very strong statement. But it's true, you make me whole. I couldn't imagine life without you. You're my beginning and end. My alpha and omega.

You're the keeper of my secrets and desires. You share my dreams as if they were your own. You delight in my triumphs. And my failures and hurt, you ease the pain with the stroke of a pen. You embrace me in loving arms with your magic and power.

When I become one with you, I feel...


In the deepest throes of my pain, just the thought of being without you, of not having you in my life. . . makes me so unbelievably sad. I can't phantom life without you. I need you. I desire you and I cling to you so desperately. Can't you see that?

We've had our ups and downs over the years. I guess that's just part of life, part of any relationship. But I can't continue to live like this. . . not knowing if you love me back. I think you do, but sometimes I'm not so sure. I shouldn't have to struggle and back pedal and take three steps forward to take one back. I shouldn't have to hustle every day of my life to prove my alliance. Don't tease me and make me work so hard to prove my faithfulness. I've shown you over and over again how deep and true my passion runs. I know I love you much more than you love me.

I realize I need you much more than you'll ever need me. I accept the fact that you have other friends in your life that love you just as much as I do. I'm willing to share as long as you will commit to me when you're with me. I adore you. Can't you see that? You are so beautiful. Only you can awaken my soul and create magic all around. I'm totally sprung.

I don't want to sound desperate and lonely, but I can't lose you, not now, not ever. I need you in my life like I need air to breath, eyes to see. You nourish my soul, my very being. I don't think I could go on without you. Does this give you pleasure? Pleasure that you have so much power over me?

Please try to understand. I can't, I will not, go on without you. Knowing I'd do almost anything to keep you in my life makes me take a good, hard look at myself. What type of woman am I?

How damaged I must be since I can't survive without you? How desperate I must be to beg you to never leave me? How deranged I must sound to adore you even if you sometimes don't love me back?

See, I've loved you since the first time we met. And no matter what, I can't live without you.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

The Muse

As a full-time writer, I get many people asking me what is my process to creating a book. I usually laugh at that question. Not because it's funny; simply because there's nothing mystical or magical about the creative process. I don't have candles lit or music playing in the background. I will say that more often than not I'm in my pajamas and robe drinking a cup of green tea with my lap desk and laptop. Then I just write. Sometimes in silence, othertimes with the TV on low.

If my muse is visiting, then it's a great writing day. I can easily get a few thousand words written. Those are the days I boast on FB or Twitter that I've written 3,000 or more words.

I like to write when I don't feel the pressure of a deadline. Having deadlines isn't the problem. It's the procrastination leading up to the deadline that becomes a problem. When my publisher gives me a date to have my next book turned in, the date seems so far away. So instead of writing a little every day, I slack off, thinking I have plenty of time to get it done. Pretty soon, one year becomes six months, six months becomes three months, three months becomes a few weeks, and I still have 55,000 words to write. Pressure. And with pressure comes a little thing called writer's block.

Writer's block always seems to come at the most inopportune times, causing more stress than a little bit. Insomnia is often a result. Staying up half the night wouldn't be so bad, if the creative juices were flowing. Since halting the creative flow is writer's block's job, it becomes frustrating to say the least.

The next question would be how do I overcome writer's block? After many sleepless nights and feelings of anxiety, I force myself to write something...anything. Most of the time it's a slow start, but it's a start. If I'm still having problems, I start talking to my characters, hoping and praying that they talk back to me. At some point, they talk back.

Although I'm elated when my characters talk to me, they tend to change the story quite a bit from the original concept, making my pitch to my editor obsolete. My synopsis almost always has to be changed. Nonetheless, the book gets written, and I celebrate with a sparkly drink. Cheers!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

September has started off with a BANG!

I'm so jazzed! Please get October, 2011 edition of Essence Magazine with Michelle Obama on the cover and look for the article, "My Miracle" on page 170. Yep, it's me!!! ;o)

Somehow they got wind of a story I wrote about an accident I was in on my way home from a book tour stop in MS in 2008!

And yesterday "Ace of Hearts" audiobook went live! Take a listen:
a target="_blank" href="http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jeanholloway2">http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/jeanholloway2>

Last, and definitely not least, Full House will be released 11/11/11.

Have a great productive week,

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Welcome to Peach Diva Miranda Parker - Our Newest Official Member

Well, we offered the sixth spot in our group to Miranda Parker this week via conference call and she accepted. We are proud and honored to have her. She brings a great deal of knowledge to the group regarding the business, and is a very talented writer. Miranda's first event with the Peach Divas will be Saturday, 11/19/11 at the Authors on the Square event at the Central Library in Atlanta. Central Library event link

Welcome Miranda - let's, as you say it, "Get Peachy!"

Please click on Miranda's photo to the right to be directed to her website.

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Diva Writer - 30-Scene Writing Process

The first step when I decide to write a novel is to obviously start out with an idea that moves me, that I'm excited about. For me, I need a working title right off the bat. Once I have that, I write a one-paragraph synopsis and then I begin creating characters, learning about them and their character arcs, naming them, doing an extensive resume on each one - who they are, where they're from, their education, dysfunctions, who their parents are, their temperaments, habits, and their issues. Without issues you have no story.

Once I have some idea of who the characters are (because it can change as they surprise even me once I start writing) I plot it out by writing an outline (by plotting I mean the selection and arrangement of events in the story). Some of my outlines have been six pages and some have been eighteen. I didn't always write outlines, but since I've experienced submitting titles to publishers based upon three-chapters and full outlines, I've used those outlines as roadmaps and have found outlines to be invaluable tools.

In the outline itself I determine the setup that leads to introducing characters, I expose their issues and wants, thrusting them into stumbling blocks of action or as I call it, fiction friction, building tension, then moving to the height of the climax, then the falling climax, and then finally the resolution, which doesn't necessarily mean all issues are resolved or that all characters grow.

Now here's the part of my process that really moves me along in writing a book: I break down the outline into thirty (30) scenes (you can use 40, 50, 60, whatever works for you), and each scene becomes a chapter. I immediately format my Word document with thirty chapter headings, i.e. Chapter 1, Chapter 2, etc., and under each chapter heading I type one or two sentences of what that scene is about.

I print out that "word-map" as I call it, and then I can start at the beginning of the book, or the middle, or the end (I prefer to start at the beginning and go chronologically but that doesn't always happen). I can write what moves me that day, or what I'm in the mood for. I may not be in the mood for the party scene in Chapter 12, so I'll write the courtroom scene in Chapter 22, or the church scene in Chapter 6, etc. And even if I'm not feeling some scenes, I still take it on and it eventually flows. Those turn out to be some of the best ones. And when I'm done, my story may have deviated away from my original outline, so I make adjustments accordingly, but it rarely deviates from my original one paragraph synopsis.

Most of my books these days are approximately thirty chapters, some more, some less, and each chapter can be seven to ten pages, some more, some less.

This process works for me. I don't always have a prologue, but I usually have an epilogue.

I also use a calendar that's taped to my office wall - I have to see it, not on an electronic device but in my face, to schedule the production and determine how long it will take me to sit down and complete the first draft. Depending upon my timing and availability, I can write a chapter per week, or a chapter a day, or more. I've written as much as five chapters in one day (all day). That's when my muse is with me. If I fall short or do more than I've scheduled, I'll adjust my calendar so that I'm not as . . . okay, I'll keep it real, so that I'm not as stressed by looming deadlines (looking like the girl in the photo above).

So, there you have it. Folks have asked me and I'd never taken the time to write it out. Please share what tips work for you. I'd love to hear it! I hope this was helpful.

And yes, I am called the Diva Writer, Diva in a good way!

Write on :)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Guest Author K. L. Brady: My Aha Moment - The Story Behind The Bum Magnet

K. L. Brady is a D.C. native but spent a number of her formative years in the Ohio Valley. She’s an alumnus of the University of the District of Columbia and University of Maryland University College, earning a B.A. in Economics and M.B.A., respectively. She works as an analyst for a major government contracting firm and is an active real estate agent with Taylor Properties, writing by night (often into the wee hours of the morning). She lives just outside of D.C. in Cheltenham, Maryland, and is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.

Originally self-published, her adult novel, The Bum Magnet, was published by Simon & Schuster's Pocket Books in March 2011. The Bum Magnet was the winner of the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards for Multicultural Fiction, as well as the Third Place Grand Prize Winner for Best Fiction of 2010. Moreover, the African Americans on the Move Book Club selected Ms. Brady as their 2011 Female Author of the Year. The Bum Magnet sequel, Got A Right to Be Wrong, will be released January 31, 2012. K.L. Brady's website is www.authorklbrady.com.

If you've turned 40 and had that "what do I want to be when I grow up?" panic attack, then you'll relate to why I wrote the book. If you haven't turned 40 yet, this is what you have to look forward to if you don't pursue your dreams.

I had an Oprah “aha” moment one day in the summer of 2008. I was coming up on my fortieth birthday, feeling like I’d reached some level of success in my life, but I wasn’t really fulfilled.  I kept trying new ventures that always seemed to fail.

As I got to thinking about what I wanted to be when I grow up, I was flipping through an edition of the “O” magazine and watching her show when it just hit me that I wasn’t living my best life. I’d always wanted to be a writer. I’d been writing in my diaries and journals since I was maybe seven or eight years old. Although I have two degrees, I’d always let the fact that i didn’t have a degree in English or any fiction writing experience keep me from starting. But with the fortieth birthday looming, D-Day had arrived. I pushed those negative thoughts out of my head and decided to honor this gift God gave me and write a book about a woman who took stock of her life and decided to make a major change. I wrote the book in four months and edited for or five months.

Of course, I wanted what every author wants, you know. I wanted a six-figure multi-book deal. I wanted to be on Oprah and to make my rounds on the morning show circuit. I wanted to blow kisses to my beloved fans. All that stuff. But let me tell you, the publishing industry is nothing if not a sharp dose of stark reality for most authors.

After querying my book to literary agents all over the country and getting rejection after rejection after rejection, doubting myself and my writing ability, listening to people tell me, “You need to put this book in a drawer and start the next one,” I had a come-to-Jesus moment and I had to decide who was I writing for. Was I writing for the publishing industry? Was I writing for other authors? Or was I writing because I loved writing and had a story to share?

I realized I was writing because I love writing and telling stories and making people laugh. I do feel that was God’s plan for me. So, darn the book deal. I decided to publish my book myself. And if ONE reader’s day was brightened or if they were moved by this story, that would mean I was fulfilling my purpose and God’s purpose for my writing, and that has been my focus ever since. Acclaim is nothing without readers.  Acclaim for me is getting that note on Facebook or Twitter saying, “I loved this  story” or  “Your book helped me realize that I’m a bum magnet” or “I was  laughing so much my family thought I was crazy.” That’s acclaim. And I’m gonna have the same measure of success whether I sell one book or one million—my only goal is to touch a reader’s life in some positive way.

And it’s funny that in a way that ONLY God can do, my decision to write for the love of writing and honor my gift from Him is what helped my book deal find me.  Four months after I published it myself, an executive editor from a publishing house contacted me about acquiring the book and the rest, as they say, is history.

The story came to me in an epiphany as I was reading a self-help article about dieting. And I laughed to myself because I thought, "How many of these dang articles have I read?" They give you 12 steps, and the first I do in my mind is negotiate. "Well, I don't have to walk two miles a day, maybe just two blocks" or "I can eat vegetables three times a day, but I'm going to eat them with fried chicken." Yet, I still expect to lose 112 pounds.

So, I thought I'd write a story about a woman who attracts more players and goes through more break-ups than the law should allow. She knows it's a pattern in her life that she needs to stop so when she happens upon this self-help article about emotional baggage and toxic men, it hits her like a lightning bolt. And she goes through these same "negotiating" motions with the article, except it's not a food diet, it's a man diet. And just like a dieter that drives past the McDonald's and stops for "one little Big Mac" and knows full well she should've gone home and eaten a carrot stick, so Charisse, the main character, stops for a big "something else."

And that is how The Bum Magnet came to be.

- K. L. Brady

Sunday, August 14, 2011

New York, here I come!

I'm so excited! (Pointer Sisters, 1982 LOL)

The Visionary Book Store and Weston United have invited me for a signing, reading and reception Aug. 20th in Harlem. Although I'm a born & raised NYer, I haven't been back in years and it's been even longer since my last time in Harlem. I'm told it's called Upper Manhattan now, but it will always be Harlem to me, the home of music and literary legends and the Harlem Renaissance.

I appreciate this opportunity to give back. You see, in my youth I was a victim of domestic abuse, but I'm here to testify that there
is life after you leave your abuser.

If you are in the NY area, the reception is 5 p.m. Saturday at the
Gallery M
123 W. 135th St. (off 7th & Lenox)
NY, NY 10030
I'll be in the Gallery from 4 p.m. for book signing.
Please stop by the Gallery M, but if I don't see you, I'll be back after the trip to let you know how everything went.

Have a blessed week.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

GA Peach Guest Author - Miranda Parker

We're happy to announce our very first guest author  - GA Peach Miranda Parker will join us for our next event on 11/19/11 at the Central Library in Atlanta. The Peach Divas are looking forward to mixing and mingling with her, and are honored to have this talented author sign with us!!

Miranda Parker is the author of the Evangeline Crawford Bounty Hunter Series. After graduating from Agnes Scott College in Decatur, Georgia, she began working as a journalist. She began writing features for newspapers and magazines in 1991, focusing on subjects in lifestyle, religion arts and entertainment, and publishing over 50 articles. She began writing fiction in 2005 after she took a year-long online writing workshop taught by Chuck Palahniuk[Fight Club.] Her first published short fiction piece, Straddling the Fencewas awarded one of the best short stories of 2005 for Infuze Magazine.

However, writing fun, fiesty, redemptive bad girl gone good stories is her passion. Now Miranda Parker writes comic romance suspense novels. She is currently very busy writing stories for Kensington Dafina.

She resides with her family in Georgia near a horse ranch and her daughter’s Girl Scout Troop. On a perfect day she can be found curled up with a good book or in a movie theater with a bucket of popcorn.

The GA Peach Author's Next Appearance 11/19/11!

Books / Literature - Lecture/Discussion
Date & Time: Saturday, November 19, 2011
12:00 PM-5:00 PM  
Suggested Audiences: Elders, Adult, College 
Central Library
1 Margaret Mitchell Square
Atlanta, GA 30303 
Cost: Free and open to the public
Description: Join us for a celebration of local authors and their literary works. We will host book readings from the following authors: Gregory A. Freeman, The Last Mission of the Wham Bam Boys: Courage, Tragedy and Justice in World War II; Jennie Helderman, As the Sycamore Grows; and Rene Silvin, Noblesse Oblige and Walking the Rainbow. At the authors tables, meet and greet local authors, such as Tiffany Brown, Marissa Monteilh, Miranda Parker, Charles Williams, and many more. 
More Information: E-mail: comments@co.fulton.ga.us
Phone: 404-730-1906
Entered by: Atlanta-Fulton Public Library System 
Central Library event link

Monday, August 8, 2011

Truths About Being a Published Author

“It has been a pleasure, an honor and a privilege to be a published author; it is one of the true joys and accomplishments of my life. Not everyone has the opportunity to realize a dream and I feel totally blessed to be in that number. During my tenure as a published author, I’ve discovered certain truths.” – Electa Rome Parks

1. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. Everyone is not going to love or even like your novels. And that’s OKAY.

2. Everyone, their mother and cousins will want to point out any editorial errors they may find within the pages of your books. Everyone’s a critic.

3. You don’t necessarily have to go to college to become a successful writer. I believe there are elements of writing that comes naturally, just like breathing.

4. Everyone thinks they can write a book. However, every book in the marketplace isn’t necessarily a good book.

5. Everyone thinks their life story should be a book.

6. Talent will only get you so far. Sometimes it’s all about being in the right place at the right time.

7. The right “handlers”, i.e. agents, editors, pr person, make all the difference in the world.

8. Every fiction novel has some element(s) of truth. Don’t believe the hype.

9. Writing is a business. Sales are the bottom line. No matter how talented you are, if you don’t have the sales, you won’t get the next deal.

10. There is such a syenergy when creative minds come together; it’s magic.

11. There is such a sense of freedom and joy in having the ability, from the very core of your soul to express yourself to the world; it’s almost like giving birth.

12. The new “renaissance” authors are making history and some are creating legacies.

13. Writing is a lonely and hard business to be successful in. Most of us can’t quit our day jobs.

14. Every author should pen at least one book that gives back to the universe in a positive, appealing manner to the masses.

15. You have to have a real love affair with the beauty and power of words in order to stick with it because the industry, like a lover, will take you through ups and down and sometimes screw you over.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

"...No one knows the day or hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself..."

Leslie Eisdaile Banks
1960- 2011
Those words are from the bible (Matthew 24:36) and while they mean many things under many circumstances, today for readers and writers alike, today they mean a farewell to a talented and lovely woman.  Author Leslie Eisdaile Banks, also widely known as LA Banks, passed today. 

Known to many of us for her bright and passionate romances, Leslie is also going to be remembered for her stunning Vampire Huntress series.  More than that though, many of us will remember her for simply being kind, generous, and funny.  While Leslie was a woman who took the time and invested the passion that it takes to nurture the art and craft of writing, she was also a woman who was willing to read and edit for others.  She was a fabulous storyteller who happily shared her experiences with other writers and with just a few well chosen words, she could take you there with ease -- and make you like it. 

None of us could have predicted that today would be the day when Leslie would succumb to illness, but anyone who ever shared her company could have told you that she was loved by family and friends, alike.  Anyone who ever turned the pages of her stories could tell you that she and her work will be remembered by readers and writers for many years to come.  In the company of other writers, there will be smiles and fond memories every time her name is mentioned.

And all of that is good.

Well done, Leslie.  You will be missed.  

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Send your essay (Aha Moment) for inclusion in non-fiction book by Electa Rome Parks!!!

My road traveled to becoming a mature, wiser woman has been an amazing journey consisting of glorious ups and devastating downs, and everything in between, which still continues to this day. Life really is a journey, not a destination.
I firmly believe it takes a village to raise a child. Wouldn’t it have been great if when you were a child, someone had shared their life lessons with you? Gave you a blueprint so to speak? Made your journey through this maze called life a bit easier?
Well, that’s what I would like to compile, a sharing of life lessons in non-fiction form for our young women. I intend to interview at least 100 women, age 21 and older, who are willing to share for publication, an “AHA moment” in life.
If interested in being interviewed, via essay submission, please contact me at novelideal@aol.com for further details, submission guidelines and consideration. Please place “AHA MOMENT” in the subject line.
Let’s make a difference!

Peace & Blessings,


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The GA Peach Authors at the historical Hammonds House Museum

The GA Peach Authors were privileged to be included in Written Magazine's kickoff to the 30 Books In 90 Days event at the beautiful, historical Hammonds House Museum. We were joined by esteemed authors L.M. Davis (picture above on the far right, as well as below), Kenny Blue (pictured below), and Daniel Black, and we enjoyed the many readers and writers who filled the room. There was a lot of laughter, and I mean a LOT, sharing of our journeys and experiences, and we answered some great questions from the audience. It was a fun-filled Sunday afternoon of conversations about books, the craft of writing, and the importance of reading. Michelle Gipson (on the far left, pictured below), the event organizer, did an awesome job.

By the way, the Hammonds House Museum and Resource Center of African American Art is a fine arts venue whose mission is to preserve, exhibit, and increase public awareness about the contributions that visual artists of African descent have made to world culture. It was built in 1872, and is one of the oldest homes on the West End here in Atlanta. You can visit the Hammonds House website at http://www.hammondshouse.org/aboutus.html

This was the 2nd stop of our tour- next stop is Ft. Benning on 7/16/11, and more events to follow.

While we each write different types of stories, one thing is the same, we love what we do and look forward to meeting you along the way.

Please contact us if you'd like to request an appearance. We'd be glad and honored to discuss the possibilities!

Monday, May 2, 2011

This Saturday, 5/7, come join us at the Southwest Regional Library in Atlanta!

We're excited about this, the first stop of our tour - we're looking forward to meeting you. We'll discuss the importance of reading and writing, and answer your questions. Plus, it's Mother's Day weekend, so if your Mom would like an autographed book, this is the place to be!

Join bestselling authors:
Dwan Abrams
Kendra Norman-Bellamy
Jean Holloway
Gail McFarland
Marissa Monteilh a.k.a. Pynk
Electa Rome Parks

Check this link for info: Southwest Regional Library

Monday, February 7, 2011

Tour Dates

Thus far, we have the following dates scheduled. Please check back as this list will change:

Saturday, May 7, 2011 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Atlanta's GA Peach Authors - Reading and Writing Discussion
@ the Southwest Regional Branch Library
3665 Cascade Road, S.W.
Atlanta, GA 30331
Meet six of Atlanta's foremost authors, writing in genres ranging through romance, suspense, Christian fiction, and more. The cost is free. Suggested audience: Adult

Sunday, June 26, 2011 - 2:00 p.m.
Featured Authors
Kick-off - 30 Books in 90 Days event
@The Hammonds House Museum
503 Peeples St. SW
Atlanta, GA 30310
Hosted by: Written Magazine

Saturday, July 16, 2011 - 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Atlanta's GA Peach Authors - Book Signing
Ft. Benning
Main Exchange
Ft. Benning, GA 31905

Bio - Dwan Abrams

Dwan Abrams is the award-winning, best-selling author of When the Fairytale Ends (the 2nd book in the Married Series), My Mother's Child (sequel to Divorcing the Devil), Married Strangers, Divorcing the Devil, Only True Love Waits, and The Scream Within. She's the founder and facilitator of the Just Write! Workshop. She was also inducted into "Who's Who" in Black Atlanta. Please visit Dwan on the web at www.dwanabrams.com for upcoming releases, tour dates, and author appearances.

Bio - Jean Holloway

The daughter of an entrepreneur, Jean saw the only limitations you have are the ones you put on yourself. In the early 60s, her father owned his own cab in NY, which was unusual for a Black man armed with a tenth grade education.
Jean's debut novel Ace of Hearts started in 1980, in answer to a bet, yet it wasn't published until 2007. Two years later,  Black Jack was released and Deuces Wild's release date was on her 60th birthday! She is now working on Full House, book 4 of her Deck of Cardz series. The moral of her story: Never give up your dream.

Jean now lives in Kennesaw, GA with her husband, Fred and their dogs, Kayla, a Lhasa Apso and Max, an Afghan. Their six grown children all live nearby. They have nine grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

Jean is now the managing partner of her publishing house, PHE Ink - Writing Solutions Firm.

Bio - Gail McFarland

Gail McFarland is the published author of more than 100 short romantic confessions and stories and seven novels including: SUMMERWIND (BET/Arabesque), WHEN LOVE CALLS (BET/Arabesque), THE BEST FOR LAST (BET/Arabesque), BOUQUET (with Roberta Gayle and Anna Laurence, BET/Arabesque), LADY KILLER (LULU Books), and ALL FOR LOVE (LULU Books), and DREAM RUNNER (Genesis/Indigo).

A dedicated wellness/fitness advocate, Ms. McFarland is currently an active fitness instructor and wellness consultant. She happily admits that DREAM RUNNER is the first of her novels to combine her love of sports and fitness with the passion of romance. DREAM KEEPER, the much anticipated sequel to this well received novel, is slated for December, 2009. Also in 2009, Ms. McFarland returned to her romantic roots with short stories and confessions, in conjunction with Lady Leo Publications, and is looking forward to being a part of the February, 2010 anthology, CAN A SISTAH GET SOME LOVE?

A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Ms. McFarland now makes her home in Atlanta, Georgia.

Bio - Marissa Monteilh

Marissa Monteilh (Mon -Tay), a former model, television news reporter, and commercial actress, originally self-published her first book, May December Souls, in November 2000, and within three months, signed a two-book deal with HarperCollins for the re-release of May December Souls, and a second novel, The Chocolate Ship.
Marissa signed another deal with HarperCollins for her third title, Hot Boyz, and the next year signed a two-book deal with Kensington/Dafina Books. The first Dafina title, Make Me Hot, was a nominee for a 2006 African American Literary Award. The trade version of the second title, Dr. Feelgood, was released in trade format in 2007, and the mass-market version dropped in the spring of 2011.
Life Changing Books published Something He Can Feel in 2008. The self-published e-book version was released on March 1, 2011. An inspirational e-book novella called The Six-Letter Word debuts on May 1, 2011, and the long-awaited sequel in the Hot Boyz trilogy, called Hot Girlz, hits the shelves on September 24, 2011. Marissa also writes under her pen name, Pynk, http://www.authorpynk.com/.
Originally from Los Angeles, Marissa now resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her family.

Bio - Electa Rome Parks

Electa Rome Parks currently resides outside Atlanta, Georgia. After successfully self-publishing her debut novel, The Ties That Bind, New American Library, a division of Penguin Group, bought the rights. Electa signed a three-book deal with New American Library. All three books were immediately chosen as Black Expressions Book Club main selections and embraced as Books of the Month by book clubs across the country. Dubbed a "book club favorite," avid readers have embraced Electa's true to life characters that tackle prevalent and heavy hitting issues. 
Since then Electa has become a bestselling author of several other mainstream (Loose Ends and Almost Doesn't Count) and erotic (These Are My Confessions, Ladies' Night Out, Diary of a Stalker and True Confessions) novels with Penguin Group, HarperCollins and Kensington. The self-proclaimed, Queen of Real, Electa has been a frequent guest on radio shows, has been nominated for many industry awards and has been interviewed by newspapers, AOL's Black Voices, Vibe Vixen, Upscale Magazine, Today's Black Woman, Rolling Out and Booking Matters, to name just a few. With a BA degree in marketing and a minor in sociology, she is following her true passion and working on her next novel and first screenplay.