Monday, October 22, 2012

MSRL: AAMBC, New Book Release, Where Did We Go Wrong? by Monica Mathis-Stone

Thank you for reading "my summer reading list" and for being a book lover. Through my blogging platform, I also serve as a blogger for AAMBC Public Relations, a company founded by author Tamika Newhouse (www.aambc.com). It is my pleasure to help Tamika increase exposure for up and coming authors and to help spread the word about what's new in creative writing! 

AAMBC (African Americans On The Move Book Club)
New Book Release
Where Did We Go Wrong? by Monica Mathis-Stowe

Synopsis of Where Did We Go Wrong?

Best friends Gabby, Maxine and Joy protect each other at all costs, even if it means keeping secrets that turn their lives upside down. Gabby has no boundaries when it comes to getting what she wants. She pulls out every trick in the book to keep her daughter’s married father out of their lives but keep his money in her bank account…Maxine lives for her family but when her husband’s excessive spending lands them in more debt than they can handle, the stress takes a toll on their perfect marriage…After Joy’s loyalty to her controlling mother causes her to lose the only man she’s ever loved, she marries a man she barely knows. After her wedding, she quickly realizes she made the biggest mistake of her life and it puts everybody she loves in danger. Unfortunately, someone will have to pay the ultimate price with their life.

Interview with Author, Monica Mathis-Stowe


Question 1: Have you always wanted to be a writer?
I always enjoyed reading novels, but decided I wanted to became a writer in my mid-teens after reading a chapter where the author described a scene so vividly, I actually thought I was there. I wanted that power-the ability to make people feel and experience life through my stories.
Question 2: Tell me about your book.
Where Did We Go Wrong? is my newly released romantic suspense novel. It is about best friends Gabby, Maxine and Joy who protect each other at all costs, even if it means keeping secrets that turn their lives upside down. Gabby has no boundaries when it comes to getting what she wants. She pulls out every trick in the book to keep her daughter’s married father out of their lives but keep his money in her bank account, while Maxine lives for her family but when her husband’s excessive spending lands them in more debt than they can handle, the stress takes a toll on their perfect marriage. After Joy’s loyalty to her controlling mother causes her to lose the only man she’s ever loved, she marries a man she barely knows. When the wedding is over, she quickly realizes she made the biggest mistake of her life and it puts everybody she loves in danger. Unfortunately, someone will have to pay the ultimate price with their life.
Question 3: What would you like your readers to get out of your book?
I want readers to experience the bond and the connection between these three women. They support each other as they deal with the challenges in their lives and relationships. No matter what they’re going through and no matter how wrong they are, they stick together and support each other through it. Their bond is admirable and I think every woman should have a friendships like theirs.
Question 4: Where did you get the inspiration to write your book?
Author, Monica Mathis-Stowe
The relationships I have with my girlfriends inspired me to write this book. I wanted to tell a story about everyday women going through issues and difficulties in their lives and how their girlfriends helped them through it. I read so many novels and hear about reality television shows that focus on creating chaos and conflict between women and that’s not good. I wrote this book to show the positive side of true friendship between women.
Question 5: What sets your book apart from other books in the same genre?
If you love African-American romance novels or urban fiction in general, then this one should be on your must read list! The three main characters are strong, independent and educated women who go through enough conflict and drama to keep you turning the pages. Reading Where Did We Go Wrong? will take you on a roller coaster of emotions. This novel is a combination of drama, comedy, suspense and romance with enough sizzling sex scenes to keep you wanting more. It’s definitely in a genre of its own.
Question 6: As an author, what is your writing process? How long did it take you to start and finish your book?
I try to write every day. I would love to write every day, but it doesn’t always happen. Sometimes life gets in the way. Before I start writing, I listen to music to arrange my thoughts for the scene.  Sometimes I listen to the same song over and over until I can create the scene in my head. Once I have it, I turn the music off and start pecking at the keyboard until the chapter is done or until my family needs me. It took me four months to write the first draft of Where Did We Go Wrong? and a year of rewrites and edits to complete it.
Question 7: What’s next for you?
I’m currently finishing the sequel to Where Did We Go Wrong? and I just completed an outline for a new novel, The Firefighters’ Wives. I have a lot of stories inside of me and I’m just getting started. This won’t be the last you’ve heard from me.
Excerpt from Where Did We Go Wrong?
The bond between girlfriends, best friends, is unbreakable, Joy thought as she zigzagged and weaved through the Beltway traffic. She drove as fast and as calmly as she could with Gabby huffing and puffing through her labor pains in the passenger seat. Her normally light-skinned complexion turned a pale shade of red with each contraction, but she still managed to look beautiful through all her pain.

Joy glanced through her rear-view mirror at Maxine, who had decided to follow Joy and Gabby to the hospital in her minivan, in case she needed to leave to tend to her family. She had already let three cars jump between her minivan and Joy’s car. Since her friend didn’t know how to get to the hospital, Joy thought Maxine would have attempted to follow her more closely. Drivers were definitely taking advantage of her careful driving, with the many “Caution-Baby on Board” stickers plastered to her bumper. She was so far behind, Joy couldn’t see her anymore.

When Joy arrived at the hospital’s emergency room entrance, she jumped out of her Toyota Corolla and ran inside the hospital to get help. Within seconds, she returned to the car with a nurse and an orderly pushing a wheelchair. She assisted Gabby into the hospital and left to find Maxine.

Back in her car, Joy pulled out her cell phone, and called Maxine. “Girl, where are you?” Joy asked, trying to sound calm. She didn’t want to make timid Maxine more nervous than she already was.

“I’m lost. You were driving so fast, I couldn’t keep up,” Maxine whined.
Joy shook her head. “What exit are you near?”

“I see a hospital sign. Should I take that exit?” Maxine asked anxiously.

Joy sighed in frustration. “Yeah, follow the signs to the hospital. I’m gonna park my car in the garage and meet you in the lobby.”

“Okay. Bye.” Maxine hit the End Call button on her steering wheel as she took the exit.

Joy hung up and sped toward the parking garage. She turned into the first available spot and ran back to the hospital. She didn’t want Gabby to be alone when she delivered.


Web Links for Where Did We Go Wrong?:


Twitter:           www.twitter.com/MMathisStowe
Author Site:    www.MonicaMathisStowe.com
Email address for readers to contact me: MonicaMathisStowe@yahoo.com
Links to where book can be purchased:
paperback purchase – www.MonicaMathisStowe.com and Amazon.com
Book Trailer:   http://youtu.be/2j4Mpj3suHI




Thanks for reading and supporting my summer reading list! 
Follow me on Twitter: @ivywriter 
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Saturday, October 20, 2012

MSRL: Cookbook Review, The Meat Free Monday Cookbook by Annie Riggs



The Meat Free Monday CookbookThe Meat Free Monday Cookbook by Annie Riggs
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love this cookbook, with a foreword by celebrities Paul and Stella McCartney, along with the accompanying website, www.meatfreemondays.com,   It's all about encouraging us to take account of our meat consumption as well as to pay more attention to the environment and climate around us. And, since I'm trying to incorporate more fun vegetarian based dishes into my meal plan (especially dinner), I thought this was the perfect companion for me. And I also like that the meal plans for a truly Meat-Free-Monday are all laid out from breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  The only thing I don't like about the book is that some of the ingredients may be inaccessible or just that realistically, I'm not going to find them (just being honest). But I do like that it offers to many creative ways to think about how we can easily prepare our food and be okay without eating meat with every meal.


View all my reviews


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Read all of my cookbook reviews at http://cookbookingschool.wordpress.com

Monday, October 15, 2012

MSRL: AAMBC, New Book Release, There Is A Miracle in 21 by Lorieen Henry

AAMBC (African Americans On The Move Book Club)
New Book Release
There Is A Miracle In 21: God Completes by Lorieen Henry

Thank you for reading "my summer reading list" and for being a book lover. Through my blogging platform, I also serve as a blogger for AAMBC Public Relations, a company founded by author Tamika Newhouse (www.aambc.com). It is my pleasure to help Tamika increase exposure for up and coming authors and to help spread the word about what's new in creative writing!



Synopsis of There Is A Miracle in 21:
With a unique candor and glimpses of desperation, GOD allows Lorieen to use There is a Miracle in 21: GOD COMPLETES as therapy. Welcome to Lorieen’s therapy with GOD! Journey with her through the MESS to the MIRACLE! It is an unorthodox book where she shares her struggles while simultaneously pouring out her heart, hope, inspiration and encouragement as the Lord allows. Whether she is sharing feelings of inadequacy, confessing faults or sharing words of encouragement, she does it with a heart to glorify GOD



Lorieen Henry grew up in the small town of Flora, MS. Her parents Willie Lee Jackson, Jr. (deceased) and Karen M. Jackson instilled great morals and values in her and introduced her to Jesus as a child. She accepted Jesus as her Savior at the age of 7 and has been excited to share about him ever since.
Lorieen commissioned by God as an exhorter is a homemaker and a veteran of the United States Army. She graduated from the University of Southern Mississippi August 6, 1999 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcast Journalism and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army that same day.
Lorieen served as an Army Logistics Officer for 8 years supporting both Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. She had the opportunity to travel the world by being stationed in Korea, Germany and Virginia as well as deployments to Hungary, Macedonia and Turkey (in support of Iraqi Freedom).
Since exiting the Army, Lorieen’s time has been devoted to her family, church and community. Lorieen is “Seasoned for this Season” and is fully aware that her Purpose = Impact!
Interview with Author, Lorieen Henry:
1) What inspired you to write this book?
Author, Lorieen Henry
This book journey arose from discontentment in my life. The realization that I had become someone I didn’t want to be inspired the writing of this book. I was so unhappy with my situation until it hurt. I once had a pastor that always said, “Hurt people, hurt people”. I didn’t want to hurt others. However, I couldn’t recognize my blessings, and I felt as if I were being cursed. Therefore, during “my woe is me” session in September 2010, I had the epiphany of taking a 21-day journey in hopes of change. I quickly grasped that “Pain pounds out your purpose and propels you to your destiny if you dare to trust God to complete.” God took me from my messy state to my Miracle.
2) Is there one person outside of family members that played a significant role in your book journey?
My Prayer Partner is a true gem. Our daily fellowship is a fountain of life. Matthew 18:19 says again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. Her support and prayers were especially critical down the home stretch when I wanted to quit as well as during my reluctance to submit my completed manuscript to the publisher. This book is in the hands of readers because not only were people praying for me, but I had a prayer partner praying with me and speaking words of affirmation at every turn. The most memorable words that she spoke into my life are, “My Purpose = IMPACT!” Having a prayer partner has been a life changing experience. If you don’t already have a prayer partner, I encourage you to ask God to send you one. The relationship is like none other.
3) What’s your favorite part of your book?
My favorite part of the book is the letter to the reader on page 9. I love the letter because my goal is to usher in the presence of God even before the book is read. I feel that with the song, scripture and prayer the atmosphere is set for the Holy Spirit to take control. Let’s face it, I really didn’t know what I was doing as a writer. However, I knew that I needed to get my feelings out to become better and in doing so I must trust God to complete.
4) Can you share a little of your current work with us?
It would be my pleasure. Although my book is not a book of poetry, I had some poetic moments throughout. “Lord, It’s Me” is a poem that I feel many will be able to relate to.

Excerpt from There Is A Miracle: God Completes
LORD, It’s ME!
I’m afraid to be successful! What if I succeed?
As I travel down this road, I wonder where does it lead?
I feel guilty about my feelings! I know GOD wants me to have the best.
As I fight the demons in my head, I know that this is just a test.
Funny how I know what’s going on and ultimately who is in control.
But I must admit I sometimes give way to fear which delays me from reaching my goal.
Though my goal is delayed, I don’t quit, I continue to beat feet down this path.
Rising and falling! Falling and rising! The cycle is starting to get old.
So, I reach up toward the heavens and stretch my hands out to thee.
I say, “Lord, help your child, you know who it is …Lord, It’s ME!”
5) What message do you want readers to take away from this book?
You don’t have to be perfect or have it all together. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; and all these things will be added unto you. (Matt.6: 33, KJV) If you try and fail, continue to seek. Don’t give up! You don’t have to fit a mold or covet someone else’s journey. Be YOU! God can take you to heights you never knew. He can use your uniqueness for His glory. Trust God to complete!
6) Do you have any advice for other writers?
WRITE! WRITE! WRITE! What may not be right for your current project just may be right for a future project. Then again, some things you have to write down as a vent. Other things that you write can serve as inspiration for yourself or for others. Everything you write doesn’t have to be placed in a book or for a specific project. However, at an appointed time, you will find that it was placed within you to share with someone. Our words breathe life if used Purposefully! Be responsible with what you write. Your writing may be the only words that make things right in someone’s world.
7) What’s next for you?
You can look for my 3rd title: “Seasoned for this Season” in December 2013. My 2nd title is already out. It is an E-devotional, “Dig In” (September 2012) which samples some of my writing from “There Is a Miracle in 21: God Completes!” Over the next 24 months, I will be busy with school. I’m pursuing a Master of Arts in Education as well as a Christian Life Coach Certification. I’m excited about what God is doing for me and my family. And as always, I will be encouraging others along the way and testifying of the goodness of Jesus.



How to find the book:
Book Link:




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