Category Archives: featured post

Haters Comes Out the Woodworks as Tyra Banks Makes the New York Times Bestseller List

Tyra Banks can now add the title “New York Times BestSelling Author” to her resume.

Her new book, Modelland ranked number 2 on the NYT’s bestseller’s list and a movie deal is rumored to be on the horizon.

But it seems to be an online backlash from those claiming that the book was ghostwritten and is nothing but “trash.”

One blog announcing Ms. Tyra’s new NYT’s status produced numerous comments ranging from “crap book+ nice tits/gullible idiots=bestseller”  to “…a lab rat could have written her book.”

My guess is those same commenters never read Modelland, plan to read it, or even knew Tyra wrote a book until they read the blog announcement.

Although there’s plently of criticism from reviewers there’s seems to be more likes than dislikes for Modelland. One reviewer even dubbed it “Hogwarts Modeling School.”

I don’t have the inside track on whether the book was ghostwritten or not.  But when you take into account the numerous celebrities and even well-known, highly esteemed authors who have others write their books, it seems unfair to point the finger at one person without chastising other authors for doing the same.

It’s obvious Tyra Banks is adding to her ever-expanding franchise and frankly I for one refuse to hate on her for basically doing the damn thang!

Virtual Blog Tour: Traci’s Story

About the Book: Traci’s Story

Traci Collins has endured a rough childhood. From taking care of her drunken mother to overcoming a horrible accident that almost killed her at the age of fourteen. Now, at the age of twenty-seven, she has one more demon to deal with: her addiction to alcohol. As Traci struggles to get her life together, she seeks help for her addiction and finds love with Marc Drake, a handsome criminal defense attorney.

While attending group sessions, she meets three strangers: Olivia, Norman, and Kevin. When Traci accepts their invitation to join them for coffee, she learns they all have a story to tell. As they become close friends and start to trust one another, their stories begin to surface.

Doing her best to stay on the road to sobriety, Traci’s world begins to turn upside down. She soon finds herself in a tug of war over Marc Drake. Marcy, her rival co-worker, causes chaos for Traci by threatening her life over the one man she cannot have. 

Finally, Traci will be asked to keep quiet when she learns of, her new best friend, Olivia’s dark secret, a secret that could impact her life forever.

For Ordering Information Click Here

Meet the Author

Marguerite Ashton who hails from Colorado is the published author of Taylini: A Family Saga which received rave reviews over in Europe. Her second book Traci’s Story was labeled “a mini-movie,” only in ink. Her passion for writing crime and suspense novels surfaced in 2002 and has continued to develop through another format, screenwriting.

Before moving to Wisconsin, Ms. Ashton had the honor of working with agent, Peter DeAnello of Big Fish Talent, where she appeared in a commercial for Furniture Row, along with some indie and student films. Shortly after, she had the privilege of collaborating with veteran stock car driver and Executive Director, Jerry VanDenHul at JVI Productions.

After the release of Traci’s Story in 2006, Marguerite decided to keep her other finished works, broaden her horizons and find someone as just as dedicated as she after learning distribution of her books were limited. She hired publicist Tiffany Braxton of Midnight Management and honed in on her craft by entering writing competitions and refocusing her home office into a writer’s library. Through radio interviews and speaking at public schools, she found a way to educate and entertain. Her strong interest in law landed her a spot working for the State Public Defender’s Office where she did intake at the Milwaukee Police Department. During her experience, Marguerite found an interest in using criminal investigation as a basis for her novels.

 In 2009, her screenplay Executive Intent won honorable mention in the 78th Annual Writer’s Digest Writing Competition. Currently she is writing her fourth book and just finished the first in a series with Feigh Books titled Love Always Prevails, a Christian Romance.

For More InformationVisit the Author’s Website at:

Bestselling Author Sued Over Character in Book

I’m not a lawyer. But I was always under the assumption that the disclaimer “the characters in this book is fictional and in no way represent a person, living and/or dead” protected the author from lawsuits based on character representation. Yet, a woman is suing best-selling author, Kathryn Stockett, for depicting her in a “poor light.”

Since I was curious about the exact  wording of the disclaimer,  I quickly grabbed a book from my book shelf, opened it up and… no disclaimer.

Ok, no problem.

So a grabbed another… and another… and another… and  finally after 8 tries I found a disclaimer in Beverly Taylor’s book, Desire of the Heart.

It’s states:

“All characters and web addresses in this book have no existence outside the imagination of the author and have no relation whatsoever to anyone bearing the same name or names. They are not even distantly inspired by any individuals known or unknown to the author and all incidents are pure intervention”

So now I’m scratching my head wondering if I missed the memo. When did publishers stop placing the “…characters in this book is fictional…” disclaimer inside books.  Or do I have the weirdest luck and just randomly pick 7 books that decided to omit it.

Below is the article that started my completely unscientific search.

African-American woman sues author of ‘The Help’ over maid character in bestselling novel

By Holbrook Mohr (CP) – Feb 17, 2011

JACKSON, Miss. — A black woman who once worked as a maid for a relative of novelist Kathryn Stockett is suing the author of the bestselling book “The Help,” claiming she was the basis for a black servant character who she thought depicted her in a poor light.

The novel is based on relationships between white families and their African-American maids in the segregated South of the 1960s, and a driving character in the book is a woman named Aibileen.

Now, a real-life woman named Ablene Cooper, who said she worked for Stockett’s brother, is claiming Stockett used her name and likeness without permission and with embarrassing results.

The lawsuit was filed Feb. 9 in Hinds County Circuit Court in Jackson, Mississippi, where Stockett grew up. It asks for $75,000 in damages, an amount chosen to keep the litigation from ending up in federal jurisdiction, where larger actions are often decided.

Cooper referred questions to her attorney when contacted Thursday. Her attorneys did not immediately respond to messages.

Penguin USA publisher Amy Einhorn said she doesn’t think there’s any basis to the lawsuit.

“This is a beautifully written work of fiction and we don’t think there is any basis to the legal claims,” Einhorn said Thursday in an email.

The six-page lawsuit claims, among other things, that Stockett’s refusal to publicly admit that she based the character on Cooper’s likeness “is so outrageous in character, and so extreme as to go beyond all bounds of human decency, and is utterly intolerable in a civilized community.”

It quotes passages from the book, including one in which Aibileen’s character describes a cockroach: “He black. Blacker than me.”

The lawsuit said Cooper found it upsetting and highly offensive to be portrayed as someone “who uses this kind of language and compares her skin colour to a cockroach.”

“The Help” tells the story of black maids Aibileen and Minny, who work with a white woman named Skeeter on a book about their experiences as domestic help. The black characters fear retribution for working with the white woman on such a book, but Aibileen decides to help in part because black maids are forced to use outside restrooms.

Cooper’s lawsuit claims it was offensive to be portrayed as someone who must use a segregated toilet.

Stockett told The Associated Press in 2009 that growing up her family had a maid named Demetrie, who used a restroom on the outside of the family’s house. Stockett said Demetrie died in the mid-1980s.

“The Help” debuted in 2009, and there are 2.5 million hardcover copies in print in the U.S., according to the publisher’s website. Scenes for a movie based on the book were shot in Mississippi. The film has not yet been released.

“We Aint the Brontes” Blog Tour

The relationship between Charity Evans and her sister Lynzee Lavender brings new meaning to the term “sibling rivalry.” Lynzee writes science fiction, and her New York Times bestseller status gets her into A-list parties and fattens her bank account. She can’t stand the fact that Charity is a published author too, though she swears that Charity is nowhere near as good.

It seems like the publishing industry might agree, because Charity is having trouble getting her contract renewed. Is it possible that Lynzee has had her blacklisted? With her savings dwindling, Charity struggles to pay her bills, and the pressure is putting incredible strain on her marriage. Things only get worse when Lynzee drops a bomb: she reveals that Charity’s husband is the father of a child she gave up for adoption years ago.

Charity’s life goes into a tailspin as she struggles with the shocking news. Should she tell her husband about the child he never knew he had, or would that be more drama than their already fragile marriage can handle? Charity chooses to fight back against her sister in a very creative way, but the fallout from all this drama might leave plenty of casualties in its wake.

Bestselling author Rosalyn McMillan narrates the tale of two literary sisters that will make readers ask: How much of this is based on actual events?

About the Author

Rosalyn McMillan is a dedicated wife and devoted mother of four, and grandmother of five, who is currently surviving both rheumatoid arthritis and Alopecia Totalis, a disease that causes bodily hair loss. Rosalyn worked as a sewing machine operator at Ford Motor Company for nineteen years before medically retiring. She used the challenges in her own life as inspiration to become a successful novelist. Rosalyn loves to research newsworthy stories and use them as sub-plots in her real-life novels.

Her first novel, Knowing, debuted as a highly successful initial achievement. Knowing sold over 70,000 hardcover copies and over 400,000 paperbacks. It was a national best-seller and charted admirably on many book lists.

Rosalyn then followed the success of her first book with One Better, then Blue Collar Blues, The Flip Side of Sin. This Side of Eternity was Rosalyn’s fifth novel; the plot centered around the sanitation workers strike in 1968.

Rosalyn remains a loyal student of her profession by reading two to three hundred books a year. She feels that it’s imperative for an author to keep abreast of the New York Times best-sellers as well as fresh voices of fiction.

Currently, she lives in Memphis, TN, with her husband, John, where they relax fishing in their stocked pond.

Some of her favorite authors are John Sanford, Alice Walker, Maya Angelou, John Grisham, Toni Morrison, Eric Jerome Dickey, Kimberla Lawson-Roby and Terry McMillan.

For More Information:Visit the author online at

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Dreams Thrown Away Blog Tour

About the Book

What would you do if you came home from school to find your parents in the thrust of a murder-suicide, and you were the only child who really didn’t know any living relatives?

• A young girl is orphaned by the tragic death of her middle class parents, days before her high school graduation. (Kalina Denise Harris aka Kali Sperling)

• Banished from her rural, southern town because of the scandal left behind and sent to live with her drunken aunt and lascivious uncle in the Badlands of North Philadelphia.

• Violently attacked by her aunt who thinks she is trying to steal the uncle who had just tried to rape her, she flees the Badlands and hits the streets where she is saved by a well-dressed man who seems kindly and concerned. (Billy Sperling)

• He takes her to work for his wealthy elderly father who appears innocuous and just looking for companionship.  (Jordan Banks)  But, Jordan isn’t just a Grammy award winning jazz musician; he is a clandestine pimp for the rich and famous.

• Jordan introduces Kalina to his grandson, a married man named Ashton Taylor Sperling who guides Kalina into womanhood and steals her heart setting her up for a life in the Sperling controlled household of powerful men.

•  Ashton has a hidden agenda.  He wants a family with his supermodel wife who refuses to have children other than adoption.

• He seduces Kali into a life as a concubine, shared by him and his grandfather.  He showers her with all the material things she could dream of, payment for an Ivy League education, travel, and devoted attention.  Then he plots to have his family.

• Just before Kali graduates college, she gives birth to twins and is drugged, left alone with a note warning her not to come looking for her babies.   Ashton has stolen them to take them home as his adopted children to raise with his wife.

• Kali ignores the warning, and goes to his home to be with her children, but almost loses her life to an enraged and determined Ashton.  She flees.

• On the run for almost two years, she marries a man under an assumed name, only to have the man deliver her right back into the dangerous path of Ashton.

• But, Ashton has mellowed.  His wife is determined not to be a mother.  He longs for a happy family with Kali.  Having tried to find her, he has scared her off twice causing her to disappear again.  This time he waits patiently, and eases his way back into her life.

• He seduces her back into his life by using their children as bait.  Then realizes he loves her, and oddly enough she falls back in love with him.  He was her first love, and he is treating her with the utmost kindness and patience.  And, he has divorced his wife.

• But, the world is against them.  They marry in secret to bring their family together under one roof.  But, Kali is still hesitant and afraid of losing everything, she holds onto one secret just a little too long.

• Her young ex-husband is murdered, and Ashton being the prime candidate with the prime motive is convicted with a life sentence.

• A pregnant Kali fights for Ashton’s freedom, and discovers Ashton’s twin brother Asa is responsible for her ex-husband’s death.  He and Ashton’s father had plotted to kill Ashton’s whole family so they could inherit the money Jordan had left to Ashton and Kali.

• Before Ashton can be released from prison, paid assassins attack him and he goes into a coma.  Kali won’t give up, and takes him home to care for him.  He awakens to find his dreams weren’t thrown away as he thankfully hears the sound of his new son, his small twins and his loving wife.
This novel is the first of four books about the Sperling Family, a group of powerful men who have always had their way.  This young woman, Kali, introduces another element to the family that they are unaccustomed.  She is a woman whom Jordan, the patriarch, has grown to respect and love before he tragically passes away, not a characteristic synonymous with any traits carried by the seven Sperling men.  Kali will rise to become the matriarch and a very powerful woman during this tumultuous series that is filled with sex, lies, murder, and a twist on the power of love that is not found in fairy tales.

Each of the books in this atypical romance doesn’t end with the formulaic happy ending; it ends with room for growth and a determination to have that happy ending with more to the story to be told.

About the Author

Dilsa Saunders Bailey has been writing as a hobby since she was thirteen years old.  Her first short story was The Long and Winding Road, a suspense-filled story involving two teens lost on a road.  It was a writing assignment for the eighth grade and she received an A+.  She was thrilled creating life with the written word, but eventually decided not to pursue writing as a career.  Bailey has always been involved in writing newsletters, business plans, and policies, etc. for her employers and as a member for various clubs and organizations.  She has since changed her mind about a career in writing and has netted a nomination by the Georgia Writers Association for Georgia Author of the Year Award-First Novel Category in 2010.
Her careers in retail management, sales, and healthcare have taken her on many paths, but back to her first loves writing and speaking.  Dilsa is a manager for a large Medicare Advantage health plan, a career that has spanned twenty years.  She is a former Georgia realtor and a public speaker who loves to motivate others to pursue their goals by making the right choices.  She has earned a Toastmaster of the Year Award 2007, a Competent Communicator Award in 2007, and a Competent Leadership Award in 2009 from Toastmasters International.
Her favorite past-times these days are tweeting, visiting with friends on Facebook, blogging on, and working creatively on many soon-to-be published works, including and the sequel to Dreams Thrown Away creating the series, The Sperling Chronicles.  She originates from South Carolina, has spent most of her life in the Northeast, and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband, two daughters, two dogs, and a guinea pig.
Dreams Thrown Away is her first published novel.  The Shadow Shorts Trilogy was her first published e-book that will be released again in 2011.  She is currently working on two sequels and a movie script for Dreams Thrown Away.

Get to Know Dilsa Bailey

1) Tell us about your novel.

Dreams Thrown Away is a mixture of literary, romance, and suspense.  It begins the series with a young woman who suddenly finds herself alone in the world.  She is raised to believe that she can have the best in life.  So she is not prepared for the tragedy that leads her far away from a safe rural haven she has been dying to leave to the harsh big city where people have hidden agendas.  She is lured into a life not quite what she dreamed of having, but can live with because she is seduced by the man of her dreams and all the luxurious trappings she had once thought were at the top of her list.  It doesn’t take long for the reality of her situation to settle in when she realizes she was merely a pawn in a cruel game initiated by the love of her life, the favored son of a powerful family in Philadelphia.  She flees in fear of her life.  But when her lover realizes she was more than a tool he used to get what he wanted.  He will do anything to regain her love and trust.

2) Where did you get the idea for the storyline and do you plan to continue its development?

The story just sort of dropped in my head.  I have been working on it for about a decade.  I have always been interested in real life situations that never are as they appear to be.  The characters’ lives appear to be perfect, and the male characters appear to be upstanding citizens, but they are definitely not.  A real close up character study of this group could easily become a soap opera.  That’s my goal.  After completing the series –about four books total- I will start writing scripts for the television series.

3) Do you have anything in common with the characters?

The only thing I have in common with one of the characters, Kali, is that I grew up in a small town in South Carolina.  Again, observing behavior is my favorite thing to do.  As a result, I noticed that small towns and cities have their own personalities.  I moved from that small town to attend Temple University in Philadelphia and eventually lived there for 13 years.  For me, that was definitely a culture shock, one that I shared in the character’s reactions.  But, that’s where it ends.

4) What inspired you to write a novel?

I have been writing stories since I was 13.  And I love to read.  Working in a demanding career as I do, I am behind on a lot of great novels, but I am playing catch up.  But, whenever I get a chance to read, I always think I can do this.  So I decided to stop waiting.  I decided to just do it.   I wanted to take my stories to another level, a full character study and not just a glimpse.

5)What advice would you give to someone who is interested in getting published?

Have no fear.  Write.  Write.  And, write some more.  Then pursue it.  I didn’t query for this novel or try to go through the traditional route.  I was so excited to finish it, I headed straight toward self-publishing.  There are many options out there now, so do your research.  Remember publishing is like any other business.  It’s a numbers game; never consider yourself a failure no matter which route you take.  Always be prepared.  Write, polish, and submit if you want to go the traditional route, over and over and over.  Write, polish and publish if you want to go the self-publishing route.  And, please either route you take, utilize the services of a good editor.

6) Where can we purchase your book?

My book is available in a paperback format and a Kindle format on  It’s also available at most online retailers and my websites, or

7) Are you available for speaking engagements, events, or book signings?

I love to speak and share what I have learned over the years.  So, yes.  I am available for speaking engagements to share self-publishing tips because I made a lot of mistakes along the way and I don’t want anyone else to go that route.  I am also available to speak to groups about my concept Lather, Rinse, Repeat-Making the Right Choices.  I recently refocused my blog to this concept which entails learning, assessing, and practice, practice, practice to help move you forward and prepare you to make the right choices.
I am also available for book signings and book club visits.  I love to talk about the characters in my book.  I think both Kali and Ashton could benefit from a good psychotherapist.  The book clubs I have visited are really good at analyzing their motives.  Neither of them were angels, and one of them was definitely very dangerous.  Frankly, if I were a man I would Kali a wide berth.  Tragedy seems to befall everyone she loves.


by Dilsa Saunders Bailey
Kalina’s skin was crawling with fear.  She pushed the kitchen door open and heard another loud boom.  She froze.  The noise was coming from inside her house.  Her hand held the doorknob tightly as her mind raced madly.  What was going on and what was she supposed to do?  The kitchen was empty and neat as always.  Her mother would never allow a dish or a glass to sit dirty and unwashed, not even for a second.  Everything was in its proper place.  Everything looked normal.  The white metal chairs with the yellow cushioned seats were in their proper places.  The salt and pepper shakers sparkled in the afternoon sunlight that crept past the bright yellow kitchen curtains.
“No!” she heard her mother scream.  “No, Preach!  No!”
Kalina let go of the doorknob and ran through the small cramped living room.  She had always complained that the furniture was far too big for the room.  She bumped her knee squeezing past the coffee table and the console television set her father had just bought.  Then she heard another piercing scream.
Kalina’s feet hit the bottom stair, and she stood still as she heard her mother pleading.  Then Kalina moved up the stairs toward her mother’s voice as silently as she could.
“I did it for you and for her!”  Charlotte’s voice choked with tears and dread about the money in the drawer she had just earned.
“I did it for you.  Preach, listen to me.  He paid me.  Put the gun down, Preach.  Please, Preach!  Put the gun down!  Let me explain!”
“Once a whore.  Always a whore.  That’s what Momma told me when I brought you down here.  She said you would make me rue the day I laid eyes on you!”
Kalina heard him clearly.  Her parents’ bedroom door was open.  She was less than ten feet away.  She stood stock-still and listened.
“Preach, Preach.  Come on, Preach.  Think about our baby.  Think about Kalina.  You don’t want to ruin her life because of our mistakes,” Charlotte reasoned.
“What do you care?  She could have come home and been the one to find you with that man in our bed.  Charlotte, how could you?”  Her father’s voice was calm as it echoed through the hallway to her standing on the stairs of the small brick cottage.  Then Kalina heard the sound as Preach primed the shotgun.
“Preach, you made her promises you couldn’t keep.  We can’t send her to school in Pennsylvania.  That scholarship money won’t cover enough, and you know it.  I was just trying to help,” Charlotte offered.  “Put the gun down, Preach!  We need to get Deke some help.  He’s losing a lot of blood.”
“He’s already dead, Charlotte,” Preach said so calmly that Kalina’s entire body shivered.  “I never ever would have thought you would have betrayed me – not trusted me.  I had faith in you, Charlotte.  Why didn’t you have faith in me?  I took care of you, of Kalina, the church, my job, all my obligations to everybody.  What was it that made you do this to me?”
“I was lonely, Preach.  You didn’t look at me with that love in your eyes no more.  The only loving eyes you have are for Kalina.  But, that’s not why I did it.  I wanted to make sure she didn’t have to want for anything.  Not the way I did.  That’s how I ended up down the wrong path.  I didn’t have anything.  Nothing.  My parents weren’t there for me.  You know that.  You helped me.  Preach, you know I always loved you for that,” Charlotte was measuring her words.
Kalina absorbed everything, but she didn’t want to understand what she heard.
“I took you off the street, and after all these years you bring the street to my bed, my home that I built for you.”  Kalina heard her father take a couple of steps.
“You built it for us,” Charlotte’s voice became shrill, “for us!  For Kalina.  For us.  Don’t throw it away, Preach!  Not like this.  We have got to stay strong for our child.  You have to help her reach her dreams, Preach.  Don’t throw those dreams away.  Please don’t throw us away!”
“I could have asked the same of you, Charlotte.  I can’t let you destroy me like this.  You’re right.  That’s why we both have to go.  Kalina.  She’ll be all right,” Preach began to sob, and Charlotte began to moan loudly.
“No!”  Kalina tried to yell as her feet became unglued from the landing of the stairwell, and she started toward her parents’ bedroom door.
“No!” she tried to scream again, but nothing was coming from her mouth, or maybe it did but was drowned out by the deafening sound of the gunshot that silenced her mother’s excruciating cries for mercy.
She reached the door just in time to have it blown shut in front of her.  She heard the impact of her father’s body slam against the door as he had put the second shot to the bottom of his chin.  Kalina was thrown against the wall by the force of the door.  She slid onto the floor and sat there for a few seconds.  The house was deadly still.  The smell of sulfur permeated the air.
She found it in her to jump up suddenly and started pushing frantically against the door.  She used all the strength of her one hundred pound frame to get the door slightly open.  She saw her father’s legs stretched out across the carpeted floor.  They were sprayed with blood.
“Daddy!” she screamed.  “Daddy, let me in!”

Love and Forgiveness Blog Tour

LaShawnda Jones is currently living and thriving in New York City. Her prior work includes an autobiographical devotional, My God and Me: Listening, Learning and Growing on My Journey and an autobiographical volume of poetry, Cliches: A Life in Verse. LaShawnda’s writing and publishing work ranges from poetry, to blogging, to designing an annual full-figured fashion calendar. She was a contributor to a daily political blog during the last presidential election and an anthology of letters addressed to First Lady Michelle Obama.

LaShawnda’s current work is a series of short books, focusing on foundational Biblical principles. The series is called the MeatyWord series. The first volume, The Process of Asking for, Receiving and Giving Love & Forgiveness, will be available January 2011.

LaShawnda’s life is an illustration of transition – constant movement and growth from one point to another. She is ecstatic about moving forward on her journey with the LORD. She continues to grow stronger in her faith, wiser in her knowledge and more loving to people as she seeks to mirror exactly the Christ in her.

To keep up with LaShawnda’s journey, subscribe to her blog at

About the Book

Love & Forgiveness is the first of a six volume pocket book series called the MeatyWord Series. Each volume of the series will focus on a very essential Biblical principle and its application in our daily lives.

In Love & Forgiveness, love and forgiveness are defined Biblically and then contrasted with worldly use. The book explores what love is, what love does, how love feels, the importance of repentance and forgiveness and the benefits of both.

About the Book Audio Recording


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