Baby Love by Latiera N. Ford

Baby Love book coverBaby Love by Latiera N. Ford
Genre: YA Coming of Age

Synopsis

Love is a little girl who faces a number of challenges between her school and her home. We all can relate to the pressures of not being accepted by our peers, sibling rivalry, lost relationships and the struggle to find love through it all. While directly pin pointing these important issues, Baby Love serves as an open call for awareness that can hopefully bring us one step closer to making a positive change in the lives of all children.

This book is a must read for young adults ranging from age 13 years and older.

Baby Love tells a story of issues that arise for young children that include bullying, issues with family, and it also teaches lessons on self-love, acceptance, and kindness to others.

Add to your Goodreads shelf.

Purchase on Amazon.

About the Author Latiera Ford

Latiera Ford is a career HR Professional turned Author and Entrepreneur. Born and raised in the south suburbs of Chicago, IL., she has always taken pride in hard work and dedication.

Through news outlets, social media, family, and friends she noticed a lack of sensitivity that children have today. This has led to an increase in bullying, lack of positive self-image and acceptance, as well as family issues. Upon discovering this powerful message that needed to be addressed she decided to self-publish her first book entitled Baby Love.

This book provides children from ages 13 and up with a straight forward approach to some of today’s most pressing issues. While tackling the aforementioned issues plaguing some of our youth, it also provides a direct approach on how they can be handled, while also teaching lessons of love and kindness.

Unlike the normal cookie cutter children’s stories, this book is also honest to the core with some of the real issues that exist within families across America.

Baby Love has proven to be a strong book for this Chicago native, and is destined to continue making waves throughout the literary scene. While promoting this project, Latiera is currently in Atlanta looking to further expand her brand through speaking engagements, press, school, vendor events and more!

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A hilarious take on 10 things to do in New Jersey.

Matthew Cox NJAuthor Matthew Cox shares a hilarious take on 10 things to do in New Jersey.

1) Go to a mall.

2) Get stuck in traffic.

3) Pay a ton of taxes.

4) Get stuck at toll booths.

5) Have a pork roll & cheese.

6) Argue about the existence of “central Jersey.”

7) Complain about drivers from New York.

8) Ashbury Park.

9) Confuse the heck out of people trying to explain the difference between the Parkway and the Turnpike.

10) *Jughandles.

*A jughandle is a type of ramp or slip road that changes the way traffic turns left at an at-grade intersection. Instead of a standard left turn being made from the left lane, left-turning traffic uses a ramp on the right side of the road. (Confused? Me too. Google it, there are pictures.) Continue reading

Young Hollywood: Episode 7 – Twisted Mind

In Young Hollywood, Episode 7 – Twisted Mind, Adriana is spooked by the man outside her door, causing Zax to confront his ruthless uncle. Meanwhile, Frankie approaches Adrian with a business proposal.

The Recap

In Episode 4 – Young Hollywood, teen heartthrob, and Young Hollywood’s raising star, Warren Voss uses Adriana’s sudden bolt to fame to advance his own career.

In Episode 5 – The Artist, against his better judgement, Haze goes to see Adriana. He notices there is a man guarding her door and confronts Adrian who gives him no explanation.

Twisted Mind icon

Adriana’s suspicion rose when Haze didn’t return. When the door to her room opened, her heart pounded, the aide brought in her breakfast and before the door closed she glimpsed outside and saw the man again.

What did he do to Haze?

An hour later when the breakfast tray was removed, the man was in his usual position and still no sign of Haze. Adriana knew she needed to protect herself, if someone was trying to hurt her, she was not going to make it easy for them. She looked around the room for something that she could use as a weapon. She swung her legs to the ground and held on to her drip stand for balance, her head spun and the bile in her stomach rose. She wheeled the drip stand into the bathroom and frantically checked around for something, anything to make her feel safe. She froze when she heard the door to her room open.

Oh, my God, fear gripped hold of her as the footsteps got closer.

Then came a knock on the door that sounded like an amplified bass drum in her head. She hurried towards the back of the room and crouched down close to the toilet. Her heart raced and she could feel it vibrating throughout her entire body.

“Adriana? Are you okay?” It was Suiden, the candy striper.

“I’ll be right out.” Adriana’s voice trembled.

“I have your wheelchair, I thought we’d go up to the roof today. What do you think?”

Adriana wondered why the roof. What if Suiden was the one who came to cause harm? Suiden had always been nice to her, she’d have no reason to want to harm her, Adriana reasoned with herself. She breathed deeply, and as she was about to open the door a thought crossed her mind; what if someone hired Suiden to bring her to the roof and that someone was the one who wanted to harm her.

“Adriana?” Suiden’s gentle voice filtered through the door.

Adriana opened the door, her face pale and her body tired, Suiden rushed to help her to the wheelchair.

“There you go, you just need sunlight and fresh air.” She attached the drip to the chair and wheeled Adriana out of the room.

The man outside her room was gone. When Suiden stopped at the nurses’ station to attend to paperwork, Adriana swiped a pen from the counter and slipped it under her clothes. Continue reading

Dr. Strange Beard by Penny Reid

Book cover Dr. Strange BeardDr. Strange Beard (Winston Brothers Book 5) by Penny Reid
Genre:  Contemporary Romance

Synopsis

Hunches, horse races, and heartbreak

Ten years after Simone Payton broke his heart, all Roscoe Winston wants is a doughnut. He’d also like to forget her entirely, but that’s never going to happen. Roscoe Winston remembers everything—every look, every word, every single unrequited second—and the last thing he needs is another memory of Simone.

Unfortunately, after one chance encounter, Simone keeps popping up everywhere he happens to be . . .

Ten years after Roscoe Winston dropped out of her life, all Simone Payton wants is to exploit him. She’d also like some answers from her former best friend about why he ghosted her, but if she never gets those answers, that’s a-okay. Simone let go of the past a long time ago. Seriously, she has. She totally, totally has. She is definitely not still thinking about Roscoe. Nope. She’s more than happy to forget he exists.

But first, she needs just one teeny-tiny favor . . .

Dr. Strange Beard is a full-length romantic comedy novel, can be read as a stand-alone, and is the fifth book in the USA TODAY bestselling Winston Brothers series. Continue reading

Characters, Settings, Plot, Finding Inspiration with Rachel Brimble

Author Rachel Brimble returns and shares with you how to find inspiration for your stories.

Rachel Brimble blog tour Want youThe single most common questions author get asked by readers and interviewers is where we get our inspiration. This is such a difficult question to answer without leaving the person asking the question no more informed than they were before speaking with you!

Inspiration is everywhere…snippets of conversation, news articles, TV programs and movies, your experiences/others experiences, places, history. I could go on and on.

Let’s start with one aspect at a time…

Setting

This is where the majority of my stories begin taking shape in my imagination. I love visiting new and old places, looking for that new story idea. I’m lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK. Wiltshire is rich with history, phenomenal countryside and beautiful villages. On top of that, I am just thirty minutes drive from the famous Georgian City of Bath.

There are so many places to inspire me from the churches and cathedrals, to the tiny hamlets hidden away which are bound to hold secrets. I love wandering around Bath and thinking of the many, many generations of people who have lived in this wonderful city and the struggles they faced and conquered. Look around you and ask yourself, “Who lived here?” “Who fought here?” “Who fell in love here?” “Who lost a loved one here?” And then ask yourself, “Why?” “Who?” “How?”

Templeton Cove came alive in my mind by reminiscing about my childhood holidays – the beaches, piers, oceans and shops all mixed and merged until I had created my own fictional town. Eight books later and I still love Templeton more than any place I’ve created.

Characters

This is a difficult one for me – many writers start their stories with the character, especially in romance. This rarely happens for me. Occasionally, I hear a voice or a line of dialogue and have to find out who said that and why. It usually turns out to be the hero or heroine––although, other times it has been a secondary character shouting to be heard.

I start finding my characters by trawling the Internet for pictures of famous actors or models. Usually one of the faces catches my eye and ‘speaks’ to me. I’ve found my character. After that, I complete a full character sketch looking for their story. The sketches usually produce the characters’ Goal, Motivation and Conflict. After that, I have to start plotting… Continue reading

Q&A with Lisa Becker

Lisa BeckerWho is Lisa Becker?

I’m a romance writer who spends her time like she spends her money – on margaritas and books.

In addition to my romantic comedy novels, which reviewers call clever, hilarious, sexy and smart, I’ve written bylined articles and participated in interviews about relationships, online dating and romance for a range of media including Reader’s DigestMind Body Green, Cupid’s Pulse, The Perfect Soulmate and TV Grapevine.

My grandmother used to say, “For every chair, there’s a tush.” I’m now happily married to a wonderful man I met online and live in Manhattan Beach, California with him and our two daughters. So, if it happened for me, there’s hope for anyone!

Tell us about your most recent release.

A light-hearted, second chance romance, Links explores what happens when nerdy girl Charlotte reconnects with her unrequited schoolgirl crush, star athlete Garrett, 15 years after high school.

Did you have an unrequited crush in high school?

I’m not too ashamed to admit I had such a fierce crush on a boy, I willingly sat with him in the bathroom at parties while he puked up wine coolers, just so I could spend time with him. Thankfully, that soul-crushing time in my life is over, but I couldn’t help but wonder what would happen if I came upon that secret crush today as a confident, successful woman. Continue reading

DM Barr talks Slashing Mona Lisa

DM Barr photoBy day, DM Barr a mild-mannered salesperson, wife, mother, rescuer of senior shelter dogs, competitive trivia player and author groupie, happily living just north of New York City. By night, an author of sex, suspense and satire.

My background includes stints in travel marketing, travel journalism, meeting planning, public relations and real estate. I was, for a long and happy time, an award-winning magazine writer and editor. Then kids happened. And I needed to actually make money. Now they’re off doing whatever it is they do (of which I have no idea since they won’t friend me on Facebook) and I can spend my spare time weaving tales of debauchery and whatever else tickles my fancy.

The main thing to remember about my work is that I am NOT one of my characters. For example, as a real estate broker, I’ve never played Bondage Bingo in one of my empty listings or offed anyone at my local diet clinic.

But that’s not to say I haven’t wanted to…

What was the inspiration for this current novel?

I noticed that two different camps target those who feel they are overweight.  One camp is the traditional weight loss industry but the other is the group of “experts” telling the overweight they’re fine just the way they are—as long as they pay thousands to read books and attend seminars that reinforce this fact. It seems that hope and validation are the most expensive items for sale.  That’s the premise of Slashing Mona Lisa.

Where did the title Slashing Mona Lisa come from?

In my twenties, I was skinny (I always have gone up and down in weight) and was dating a Scotsman in the travel industry. I warned him that I had a tendency to gain weight. He responded, “Don’t do that, it would be like slashing the Mona Lisa.” I broke up with him shortly afterwards.. One of the characters in this novel repeats that line verbatim and it encapsulates my feelings about how some people sum up a person’s entire worth by numbers on the scale.

Have you suffered any of the weight angst that your characters experience in the book? 

I’ve traveled the road between size 2 and size 16 many times in my life and I’ve known men who were kind and friendly to me when skinny and avoided me like the plague when I gained weight. I think a lot of the angst is self-inflicted however, thanks to a mother who in many ways, was like Ana in the book, very concerned about a daughter’s weight over everything else. I have tried very hard not to repeat that mistake with my children. Continue reading

Young Hollywood: Episode 6 – Crotch Rocket

In Young Hollywood, Episode 6 – Crotch Rocket, Kristin is jealous of Leighann and Zax. She tries to play on Joel’s insecurity to get him on her side. Meanwhile, Frankie gets a flashy new toy. Be aware folks, the shine you see on the surface could be a distraction for what’s hiding in plain sight.

The Recap

In Episode 1 – The Tennis Champ, we saw cracks in Kristin and Zax’s seemingly perfect relationship. She and Frankie fell back into old habits as she continues to live a life of lies.

Young Hollywood episode 6

Westwood Academy of Higher Learning catered the off-springs of Hollywood royalty, academic overachievers and the uber-privileged. Joel O’Leary fell into none of those categories; his grandmother, a former porn star, made sure that her grand-children got the best education before she died.

Joel stood a safe distance away and observed Zax Banovic and Leighann DaCosta as they chatted and shared a laugh. It was like the world around them didn’t exist. Pangs of jealousy threatened to creep into his heart as he watched the girl he loved so wrapped up in his best friend.

Joel knew that they were in the middle of a tutoring session, but he wondered if she still had feelings for Zax. He loved her with all his heart and never dreamed that a girl like her would pay attention to a boy like him. Zax was smart and handsome and could breathe in any direction and get any girl he wanted. Leighann was beautiful but didn’t know it, and that made him love her even more. She had the right pedigree, and even though she was a sophomore at Westwood Academy and he was a senior, he concluded that she belonged there more than he did.

“They seem cozy.” Kristin Newman appeared beside him, startling him.

“They’re just studying.” He defended, in response to the suspicious tone of her voice.

“They’ve been spending a lot of extra-curricular time together lately.”

“So? She lost her best friend, and he lost his sister. That’s a bond I’m fine with. You have a problem with that, I suggest you speak to your boyfriend.”

“His brother is dating her sister, I’m sure they’re one big happy family.” Kristin’s voice oozed of envious sarcasm. “BTW, I’m not worried about my boyfriend; you should be worried about your girlfriend. First crushes die hard, a few months ago, she was tripping all over herself to get his attention, and now look.”

“Are you over your first crush, Kristin?” Joel walked away without waiting for an answer.

In the distance, a menacing rumble caused car alarms to go off and the ground to vibrate. Everyone in the vicinity looked toward the sound; a brand-new devil-red Ducati Multistrada 1200S, pulled into a parking space. The driver gave the engine an extra rev as on-lookers whispered among their peers. Curiosity heightened, and one could feel the excitement in the air as teenage girls held their breaths and waited for the identity of Westwood Academy’s latest male-meat to be revealed. The boys however, waited to size up their latest competition. Continue reading

Is the Color of a Character’s Eyes Really THAT Important?

Lee Ann Ward SeeIs the Color of a Character’s Eyes Really THAT Important?

Characterization. It can make or break a novel. Truly. If a reader can’t see into a character’s soul from practically page one, then what is their motivation to keep those pages turning?

Well, nothing. So, here’s my two cents on characterization that should resonate with fellow authors, and let readers know what to expect from my novels. **Hint: I fully flesh-out my characters, and it has nothing at all to do with their physical characteristics.

“He was a handsome man, blond hair and deep blue eyes that melted my insid–” Blah blah blah… Honestly, who cares? Even though it is nice knowing that our leading man has blue eyes, I am more concerned with what I feel when I look into those eyes. And, so are my readers. In every novel, the readers must see the souls of the characters.

No one is going to fall in love with looks alone. Okay, I know, I know… Yes, I have seen Jamie Fraser (shout-out to my fellow Outlander fans), and he is a gorgeous piece of man-flesh, no doubt. But, if he were not also devoted to Claire, and his family, and his beloved Scotland–if he were not the man who never compromised his principles of love and country, well, we wouldn’t love him nearly as much.

Show me a gorgeous character and I will say, “Okay, he/she is gorgeous,” and leave it at that. But show me the beauty of his/her soul–make me fall in love with the true person–and I will follow them into the devil’s hell and back until the last page is read (or red, depending on the amount of carnage). With all the Feels… Continue reading

Book Marketing Tips for New Authors

Marcella SwanIt’s terrifying. Seriously. As a new author, publishing an ebook clearly isn’t for the faint of heart. For two reasons, mainly. The first is all about big scary Amazon. Amazon is so massive and so important for any writer of fiction that such a statement needs no further elaboration. Estimates are that an ebook is published on Amazon every five minutes. And that’s just a guestimate. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s every couple of minutes. Yikes. I have nightmarish visions of my beautiful baby getting trampled by a marauding horde of anguished authors.

Secondly, I suffer from writer’s disease: all words and no marketing. The one thing I have done on the effective marketing side is spend the time and effort to build a mailing list of romance fans. It’s been a slow process but we’ve grown to be a tight little community. I share books I like and on occasion my toils and troubles and they give me all sorts of ideas and kind words. It’s fun. Some of them even read an early draft of my debut novella, My Dream Job, and gave me helpful suggestions. One subscriber even emailed me line-by-line copy edits. Another subscriber was in a car accident and had her husband read her the story in the hospital.

Suffice it to say I’ve grown close to these wonderful people. My novella, Hard Drive, goes on sale August 14 on Amazon and it’ll have to find its way in the teeming thicket that is the Amazon platform. Of all the things I hope for the book (and there are more than a few), one is that it finds an audience even amid the torrent of books. Another is that those people who have been with me from the start—those folks with whom I’ve grown so close—love the book as much I did writing it. Continue reading