Tune in to The Works where i will be a featured guest on 3/3/13 @ 6pm.

The Works, with host Keith Williams, is sponsoring its first Annual book month highlighting Authors like myself.

The Blog radio show that provides listeners with information they need to know in order to have a more meaningful and productive life.
Check it out! Also dont forget to tune in 3/3/13 @ 6pm!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/obstalkshow

Upcoming Broadcasts 00:30 OBS Talk Show  The Works This is the First Annual Book Month Events begins. Its a project where we pick selected authors to be on the show to interview and showcase they books. This week, we have Krystal Milton, author of Say A Little Prayer.
 
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Today I want to acknowledge black history month and what it means to me.

I had been so busy with the blog; writing and promoting my books as well as reviewing books that I had almost let the month slip away.

 

When I think of Black history I have a barrage of mixed emotions. First, its pride for all the sacrifices made for a Black woman like me to have such a joyfully encompassing freedom here in America. Next is sadness. There were so many horrible acts committed against the black culture that it is depressing to even think on it. I am also sad because well, prejudice and discrimination is still out there, ever present in our society and its heartbreaking. And last I feel disappointed, in myself, in the lack of structure and perseverance in this culture, in what we have taken for granted.

So bear with me as I fully disclose and explore these feelings. I hope to give you a greater understanding and insight into why I feel these mixed emotions.

Pride

As a black girl growing up, I had been blinded to color, race and ancestry. I had grown up in the melting pot of Brentwood, a very culturally diverse neighborhood on Long Island, NY. I didn’t see any of my friends as black, white, Spanish or Asian, they were just my friends.

My mother, bless her heart, has always told me that personalities make the people. She didn’t say “Krystal you are black” or “Krystal our people used to be slaves.” In fact I didn’t know there was a difference between myself and the people surrounding my life until I learned about slavery in elementary school. I remember sitting in my seat as we read our Social studies textbook and for the first time in my life, I realized I was different. I saw color, hair texture, eye color, and most importantly I saw shame.

I remember crying after I went home asking my family about our history. My mother was very instrumental in explaining to me that my roots, where I derive from, is America. Therefore I am American. Yes, I do know my family has Native American in our genes, we are black but who knows if our bloodline can be traced back to Africa, and somewhere in all that mixture we have Irish in us. That’s what I was told. But back then and even today I am American. My skin tone is Brown, well more like cinnamon, so there you have it. I am a Brown American.

It wasn’t until I had deemed myself less fragile to think about my history, that I was finally able to read about all the amazing things Black Culture has done. I mean who doesn’t know about Martin Luther King Jr., or Rosa Parks, or Malcolm X. Muhammad Ali, Maya Angelou, Langston Hughes….I could go on and on. So once I was finally able to broach the subject, very lightly I might add, I discovered a world of potential, Pride and success. I was proud, even though I refuse to go back. I still have not watched Roots to this day. I have watched Rosewood, Queenie, and Red Tails, but that’s as racial as I can watch.

Sadness

I am sad that this world is so culturally divided. I am a mother and I don’t see how I can explain to my children where they come from if I can’t even deal with the disgrace I feel when broaching this subject.

I am sad that even though we have come so far, we let hate, violence and color stimulated views distort our way of living. Not that I want to compare- but look at the Jewish Culture, this race survived a brutality against their people and they thrive daily. They work as a unit and are so constant in their purpose. But I feel, and some may argue, that the Black Culture has forgotten that we are still struggling. We may have won the war people, but we are losing the integrity of our cause.

I will say we took a large step towards progress with the appointment of Barack Obama to the presidential seat. And Michelle is one of the most active first ladies to hit the scene. But we still have so much work to do.

I am talking about - stop the drug pushing, gang violence, wife killing, baby snatching and molesting, living off of the government and blaming society for our problems- work to do.

We need to stop allowing stereotypes and statistics lead our culture. To me this is a great sadness and we can’t fault anyone but ourselves. Sometimes we let the word “no” or the phrase “I can’t”, get the best of us. And I think we have been so tired of fighting we may have let the towel slip.

I may be wrong, we have so many organizations, not only the NAACP, working for us, but we still have a long long way to go.

Disappointed

Remembering back to when I realized I was different, it had been from the shame of being a different color than what was perceived as the right color. It took me years to realize, I was different because of being me, my personality, my fashion sense, my insecurities to things that really didn’t matter.

We are all human; we have eyes to see, one nose, a mouth which we use to eat, speak, and smile. We have two ears to hear with, hands, feet and organs that allow us to live. The only difference in appearance is our body structure and skin tone. But hey, hating my skin pigment makes no sense really because we all have that too- pigment which is one of the main factors that decides the tone of the skin. So go ahead, hate my pigment, I however have learned to live with it, accept it and even embrace it. This would be my biggest disappointment if I couldn’t live with my own pigmentation.

So while I am still disappointed in the fact that we are still as a nation culturally divided, I will not let it affect me anymore. I have come to the conclusion that we are a flawed species.

Our species, humans, are imperfect by nature. We have a mind that works in mysterious ways. Our thoughts can be considered genius or defective. We have insecurities, hopes and dreams, wants and desires. We all have a way of life that we are comfortable with. There is a need for change and I am sure it will come. I wish it would happen right this moment, that equality as we were promised in the Constitution was more than a hollow promise. Trust me, in every rule there is an exception, this is made when people bend it to their purpose and not for others. Perfection is still but a dream to all. So I pray for the day when we can work together as Americans, not as a color coded entity.

For my part, I will live each day in celebration of being able to live freely. I will not forget the lessons of history but I will definitely not be the one to help repeat it. Instead as my piece to honor the people who paved the way for me, I strive to stay colorblind for this is the only way I know how to live. It is the only way I would want to.

And when the time comes for my own children to learn about their history, I will be sure to tell them, it is the character of a man or woman that defines who and what they are, not their skin. That we were born and raised as Americans; we live in a country where we are free. And our history is the story of how we came from a broken past and trekked on to a promising future. And it is only promised when we do well unto others no matter the culture they come from. This is the lesson we should have learned from the struggle of many races forced to live with racism as their background. Its what, and this is what I believe, they would have wanted for all of us.


 
I am so very excited to have composed my first ever book trailer.
I hope that you enjoy! I know i do!
 
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DWED Reviews Miss Scandalous by Nicole Dunlap


Rating: ***** 5 stars

While I did not get to read book 1 Miss Nobody in the Shaw family series, I did love Miss Scandalous. I can honestly say that even if you do not get to read the first book, it is all neatly wrapped in pretty pink foil paper in Book 2. Nicole has made it very easy to understand the progression of storyline and characters into this new installment of the Shaw Family Series.

It wasn’t hard to grasp the oil & vinegar relationship between Charlene Shaw and her daughter Raven Shaw. Their relationship was very salty, very diluted and very destructive. The lack of trust and love was evident. And even when they tried to repair the damage, to forge together as a united family, the undercurrents of trust issues still kept them apart.

This isn’t your typical mother/daughter relationship. Raven reminded me of a prepubescent adolescent girl who needed a time-out at some points. Yes, she was a grown woman but traumatic events in her past have kept her mind as I had perceived it, in a young state. She tried her best to make decisions that would benefit herself and her young daughter Royael, but she was still pretty much a baby herself.

Although she made me very angry, drinking and being a hot mess when she should be attending to her child, this character Raven is still well defined because her flaws are imminent throughout the book. She has secrets, skeletons in her closet that we get a peak of but are still left holding our breath for more. I understood that she was still healing. Her worst enemy in this book is herself and instead of finding peace within her past and present issues, she is still using the grief of losing her beloved grandfather as an excuse to run amok.

Charlene Shaw I found to be a very double sided person. One minute I related to her and her love for her daughter, the next second she seemed very self centered. And I was not sure if that was because of her career as an actress, as if she was stuck in a role and couldn’t find herself again. She had the world at her feet and yet she still treated her family as if there was a brick wall between them.

Miss Scandalous is a very good story. What I have described here is only a small fraction of the drama and jaw dropping “Oh, no she didn’t” suspense that will make for a great read. I do not want to spoil the experience, but I will tell you I was so angry I couldn’t just vegetate in my bed and just read. My life could not stop so that I could get lost in this book, but oh man did I want to.

Great Job Nicole, this is exactly the kind of books I love to read and I enjoyed the experience immensely. I can honestly say I am biting my nails because I need the next installment, like yesterday lol!

DWED Interviews Nicole Dunlap author of Miss Scandalous

DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve honorarily dubbed myself as “the gumbo genre” novelist because books shouldn’t be lightly seasoned. I write stories with drama, drizzled with suspense, seasoned with romance, and peppered with a few good laughs and an occasional cry. My stories will always revolve around the family unit and most especially mother-daughter bonds as I’m also a counselor. I give guidance to teens dealing with depression, which has given the foundation for Raven’s character. She is the derivative of so many young women’s fears, desires, wants, and depressions.

DWED: Have you always aspired to be a published author?

 I have. But ironically, grammar kinda pushed me away from Creative Writing in college and toward Psychology and Child Development. It wasn’t until I was receiving a Masters in Educational Counseling and couldn’t find a full time job that I set aside my stubborn dislike for misplaced commas–I still can’t spell to well, but blame Microsoft Word–and decided to launch my self-published career. Besides, these characters were swarming around in my head and dying to get out. So it was either them or me.

DWED: Would you say the journey was easy or hard? Why?

Both. The beginning of the journey is easy. Putting fingertip to keyboard has always been fun. The learning of grammar, I’ve decided, will be a lifelong venture. Also, the process of publishing and having my story out into the public is rewarding in itself. You’ll never know how it feels to see so many hours of hard labor being produced and tangible. What’s hard is getting reviews. I haven’t gotten any 2 stars or below, but it is difficult to be scrutinized for what I could’ve did better.

DWED: Who would you say inspired you to write?

 The biggest inspiration in my life is God and the Bible. I find that after I’ve read it, I get a rush of energy. Even though my stories wouldn’t be considered Christian Fiction, they have certain aspects that I’ve learned from my relationship with Jesus. My second biggest influence is for the teens that I counsel. Many of them deal with dejection. They feel like they have to be in a gang or they have to be with that popular guy who doesn’t treat them right. And some go as far to think that their abusive situation is irreparable. Learning from them and helping them has influenced how I write.

DWED: Let’s delve into the book. What started the idea of the Miss Nobody (Shaw family Saga, book 1) & Miss Scandalous (book 2)?

 Working with foster families gave me an insight into how teens feel when they think they’re unloved by their guardians. Sometimes they can’t disconnect themselves from their own parents’ misgivings to understand that there is someone right in front of them who cares. I also work with girls who have the worst boyfriends known to mankind. Raven deals with this issue in book 1. Though her boyfriend, Chris, isn’t as awful as the horror stories that I’ve lived through, I find that some of the teen girls just let life pass them by while being tied down to someone so wrong.

DWED: Was there any negative comments that derived from Raven being in love and producing her half brothers daughter?

 Well, no. I think people were kinda irked out in book 1, until at the end when it is given to the reader, but not to Raven and Jon, that they aren’t related. Most of the Miss Nobody reviews I received about them were from readers who couldn’t wait for them to get back together, no matter what Raven did to his mother, Elise.

DWED: Tell us a little more about Raven and Charlene’s broken relationship. Was it always meant for them to be in such turmoil?

Yes. I don’t write happy endings, my stories border on realism. Charlene began the turmoil in their tense relationship when she abandoned Raven, as a baby, in Miss Nobody. I am showing how a disconnected mother-daughter bond affects all involved from the way that Charlene attempts so desperately to regain Raven’s trust in Miss Scandalous to the way Raven has a fear of abandonment that encompasses her relationship with friends, family and romantic partners. 

DWED: What is something that is not found in both books that the readers should know about both Charlene and Raven Shaw…or will we find out in the next installment?

 I don’t want to give away book 3, Miss Perfect, but throughout each story you should see a progression in their relationship. It is so hard for people to forgive and showing how it can be a lifelong process is really important. You will not like Raven or Charlene at all times, because they are human, they are flawed. Raven will always be a secretive person no matter if her mother or Jon has all their cards on the table. This will lead to the mystery of Miss Perfect. And Charlene, she’ll always be dramatic.

DWED: How crucial did the rape of Charlene Shaw play in her constant mental displacement?

It was a constant in Miss Nobody. I love how dreams have a place in our reality. I don’t think I displayed it so much in Miss Scandalous for Raven, but in Miss Nobody, dreams showed how Charlene hadn’t fully gotten over being raped by Roy Timmon/ Royland Timothy Alder.  It takes years to cope with such trauma, and even then, it can be difficult to truly overcome being raped. Throughout the series her hesitance of herself, the constant self-doubt will slowly wan, except for intense turmoil moments–in which she will resort to drama-mode.

DWED: Is there anything in the book that can be said to relate to your life in some aspect?

 I don’t know how, but some of my life events have correlated with Raven’s. I hadn’t noticed it until reading Miss Scandalous for, maybe, the third time. From being a pregnant teen at the age of eighteen to the fire in book two, yup that happened to me. What’s even more coincidental is my daughter was the same age as Royael when the house fire occurred.

DWED: Can we get a sneak peek into what to expect from the Shaw girls next? Will Charlene’s and Raven’s secrets finally come out into the open?

Miss Perfect will show my constant need to evolve as the “gumbo genre novelist”, in that the story will have more mystery, action, and suspense–I will never leave the drama aspect, though. Actually Raven’s secret will be revealed pretty soon into the story. I know readers like the climax of not knowing, but if as a writer, I hold on to the plot for too long that can bite me in the rear. The secret ain’t gonna be pretty, though and it will lead to a lot of trouble for herself and Charlene because Raven is a hothead.

DWED: What can we look forwards to seeing from you throughout 2013?

I will have Miss Perfect perfected by the end of summer. I am also going to go full mystery action in a standalone novel that I am currently writing for Amazon Episodes. I like to think the story will be like watching a series on Starz or HBO. But the untitled story has proven very interesting which is good, because it sucks to start a story and I can’t even tempt myself to finish.

DWED: What other avenues are you using to promote Miss Scandalous?

I’m exclusively through Amazon Prime, so I’m promoting it to members with Kindle prime who like freebies. When it comes out I will have a book giveaway on goodreads. If anyone wants to sign up, and add me as a friend because I’m not only a writer, I’m first and foremost a reader.

DWED: What would you say to all aspiring authors like yourself?

Believe in yourself. Take the criticism with a grain of salt. And by all means, cross your fingers and hope someone reads and loves your story.

DWED: Is there anything we haven’t covered that you would like your readers and potential readers to know about both your work and yourself?

I’m addicted to pinterest.com I have to boards dedicated to Charlene and Raven, with photos. Add me if you’d like. Also, I like free, so if you do to snatch up my novel Miss Nobody on March 2 or 3rd. It’s been on Amazon Best Sellers paid list for women’s fiction and family dysfunction.

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The Busy Life of Ernestine Buckmeister By Linda Ravin Lodding

The cutest children's book Trailer I have seen yet. Very Beautifully done.
 
Congratulations to our Giveaway winners!

First Prize- $25 Amazon gift card

Eisah Vakohler

Second Prize- $10 Amazon gift card

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Third Prize- 20% off coupon for Charge that to the game & Field Advantage on www.smashwords.com

Tempest Avery


Keep looking out for more giveaways and contests!
 
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DWED welcomes new followers to my twitter @kbaby920

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DWED Reviews-The Chronicles of Covent Kingsblood, Tale two of The Shade Chronicles

Review Rating- ***** 5 stars

I was very intrigued by Kingsblood. It was almost as if I was stepping into a 3D realm of vast open marshes, blood and gore, Assassins and culturally depraved characters, which in our day would be thought of as menial and poor. J. L Ficks has a very vast imagination.

I wish this was a video game! I am a girly nerd, not that that is a bad thing. I love anything creative, from books to art, from painting to playing a video game on my Xbox 360. I could totally see myself glued to the TV mastering the arts of being an assassin. In Kingsblood I would be playing the title character Shade, who is not your ordinary assassin. He has a conscience. He has a soul. He fights with himself constantly because he was trained to be a killer and nothing else. Not a family man, not a robin-hood save the world from degradation. He was trained to serve his king and I loved the fact that not only was he a kick ass soldier, but he was also in sync with his inner compassion. Though he fought it, it could not be taken from him. He was still a lost boy searching for a reason to live.

But the book is not just about Shade and his missions. It’s about unique characters with different races that can be easily related to. They have in-depth personalities, even their surroundings is visually stimulating. There were times when I became confused, I had to put the book down and go online to the website and read about all the races, characters, view the map to get a good vision of what I was reading. And that’s what hooked me most. There is an interactive site! I don’t have to rely on just my own imagination. The Author has given us an expansive tool to really enjoy the book. To get a feel for what he wants the reader to visualize as they follow Shade on his journey.

I don’t want to spoil this experience for anyone, so I will not go into much detail. You have to read this book. You have to visit the site. You will be amazed at how much heart, time and effort J. L. Ficks has put into this series. Its original, it’s fascinating and it will leave you wanting more.

I would not recommend this book if you don’t want to put in the time to read it. To understand the world J. L. Ficks has created I really suggest you go to the site; learn about the world, character and races before diving right in. But if you are a fantasy and action lover, this is definitely the book for you.

Great Job J. L, you put your soul into this and I can honestly say it was an amazing journey reading this novel.


DWED Interviews J. L. Ficks author of The Chronicles of Covent Kingsblood, Tale two of The Shade Chronicles

 

DWED:I was intrigued by the storyline as well as highly developed cast of Chronicles of Covent’s Kingsblood. How was this world created?

Covent was first dreamed up by J. E. and I many years ago in high school. We started with just three characters and then we just kept adding from there. New characters led to new races and nations, then we quickly got to mapping and a world was born. Unbeknown to many, J. E. is a pretty decent artist in his own right. He got out an art pad and some color pencils and drew this, the very first map ever map of Sylvane (the continent where all the stories take place).
As you can see, Sylvane was a bit cramped and only had two named cities. We also had a silly habit of slapping mountain ranges in between nations to prevent war. We’ve since learned conflict is what makes a good story and opened up passes, LOL! We have expanded this map to insane proportions. If you would like to read about the full story of the making of our world I suggest you read this post on our old blog on The Evolution of a Fantasy Map.



DWED:Shade is a unique assassin who seems to have developed a conscience, was that something his training could not destroy inside of him?

Good observation. After Shade stream-rolled through so his mark and dozens of minions in Shade I: Waiting Game, I wanted to poke at his cold and seemingly invincible persona. I wouldn’t say he developed a conscience, but his training buried it down so deep he nearly had forgot it was there. I thought it logical that Shade would lock away his softer feelings in his struggle to survive as an orphan and which helped him to embrace the cold hard mantle of an Unseen Assassin.

I also liked the conflict this formed in Shade throughout Kingsblood. Most of his decisions, including those he protects in Jile are self-surviving, but part of him is starting to care. These are dangerous feelings for an assassin. The nature of his mission and the unwanted tagalong in Jago forces him to repeatedly confront such feelings. I picture Shade’s heart being as hard and callous as stone, but life is scrapping away breaking through to the softer tissue. And beneath this decade old callous lurks the pale flicker of a conscience.



DWED:Tell us more about your website? I found it a very useful tool when trying to get a picture in my mind of the different races and persona’s involved with the characters.

The website is a major part of our vision. There are far too many fantasy series out there where you read the general sales description, but you still have no idea what the book is about or sometimes who even the main character is. Being long time video gamers we noticed how games did a much better job promoting characters, races and places in their upcoming books, so we thought why not do the same for fiction?

Many of the popular fantasy books are downright intimidating these days with authors not pausing to explain new ideas and you feel lost in the vision. That said we understand how essential it is for description not to slow down the flow of the story, so we thought why not update our website with new characters, races, factions, creatures and place with the release of every new book? This way the world keeps growing and readers can reference the website without us forcing us to redescribe everything every time. In addition we’ve had tremendous influx of concept art generously donated to us from a variety of talent artists, so stop by and check it all out at the ChroniclesofCovent.com! Don’t miss our highly interactive map or timeline that will grow more and more useful in the future…

DWED:Is there anything about Shade that’s not in the book? Or will we learn about it later on in another installment?

YES! There’s a ton more to learn about Shade! We have several more Shade Series specific books planned, many ego-shattering moments and a major life-altering event that will set him up for the Triloriad™ itself. I see the Shade Series as being one big story about the bearing out of Shade’s soul and when the dust clears you’ll be shocked with what we do with this cold-hearted assassin. Shade III: The Weeping Grounds has so much in store for him already. Stay tuned!

DWED:Besides the Chronicles of Covent’s Kingsblood, is there anything else you are working on?

Another resounding yes! If I told you of the sheer number of books we are working on you’d fall out of your chair and lock us up as madmen! I am plucking away at Shade III: The Weeping Grounds which puts Shade in the oppressed position of posing as a slave to get to his mark in the Slave Trade and it is SOOO different than any Shade book that had come before it. It will also make you question the good in traditionally good races as you see their darker side and whether the evil races are really fully evil. If you want a foretaste of what we have in store there’s a rocking free sample chapter at the end of Shade II: Kingsblood.

We will also be releasing the first installments of our other projects, for those who might want to read alternative characters to our dark, cold-hearted assassin. The Last Field of Honor is nearly complete and is part of a trilogy about the bloody and brutal climax of the Elf Wars. We also have Paths of the Magi from our Adventure Series soon to be released that follows the exploits of a band of heroes and deals a lot with the High Mage Order. Many major heroes and villains encountered in those books will be a part in our master epic saga we call the Triloriad™.


Don’t forget that every tale you read now is designed to lead into the Triloriad™. The Triloriad™ is like our Lord of the Rings trilogy. You can think of these other tales like Hobbit tales of various adventures and struggles building into the great threat of the age. We hope by writing books this way will build support, funds and anticipation for the release of the Triloriad™ itself and hopefully put it on shelves across the world.

DWED:In Kingsblood we are given a peak into Shade’s past, how his mother died and his anguish with his father, was that always a part of his drive to do better than his parentage?

I think Shade developed his drive through pain and necessity. His mother was arguably one of the few people he cared for until Jile. The horrible way she died, the uncaring and cruel heart of Shade’s father created a monster inside Shade that he used to survive as an orphan on the streets. Shade’s old master, Lord Sadora, recognized the strength in Shade’s drive over any of his other candidates, who were sons of rich estates.

Sadora become kind of a warped father-figure in Shade’s life, using him to carry out brutal murders in his secret circle of Unseen. Shade reached a point in his life where he realized he had gained the world, but forfeited his soul, so he fled Jui-Sae. He avenged his mother before he left and has been living as a contract assassin out west when the books start. The problem is that he has achieved his dreams, but his profession has cost him everything. The inner struggle you see inside him in Shade II: Kingsblood will only increase in future installments. I think that’s what makes his story so interesting in the long run.

DWED:What was the inspiration behind creating the world of Jui-Sae?

We wanted to do something different than dark elves in Norse Mythology or modern fantasy, which both have them living underground. While we’re big fans of the original drow, we wanted to attempt something equally memorable, but different. We are very pleased with Jui-Sae. The idea was basically to make a flip-side of your traditional sun-blessed Elvish forest kingdom, so Jui-Sae became a majestic night kingdom with some pretty scary borders.

Jui-Sae, also called the Forest of Darkness, is Shade’s home kingdom. The dark elves of our world are surface-dwellers who live in majestic moonstone cities that glow in the night. The trees and foliage of Jui-Sae are black, even the leaves, which deters trespassers, but deep Jui-Sae is quite beautiful. Midnight meadows of glowing flowers light up the night. Our dark elves strive to keep outsiders out, but are not wholly evil like in other modern fantasy worlds.

The decision to make them surface-dwellers also increases conflict, which only enhances story-telling potential. The dark elves have been locked in the Elf Wars with the light elves of Jui-Rae. We felt the rivalry between elves and dark elves should be larger and putting them both on the surface forced them to clash. You can read more about Jui-Sae and the Golden Forests of Jui-Rae in The Last Field of Honor, which is our first installment of the Elf Wars.

DWED:Would you ever consider making this storyline into an interactive game that can be played on a console?

Interesting you ask. I can’t make any promises, but we do have a volunteer group of programmers, concept artists and 3D artists trying to put together a Waiting Game video game right now. That said it feels more like a fan project so we’ll have to see how far they take it, but I’ve been very excited about the level of interest shown by other talented people already. Here’s a rough in progress 3D model of Kishrub, that I think rocks even incomplete.
This model still needs work on the face, eyes and junk armor, but already it’s got me pretty stoked. I’ll have to see how far this group takes the project. Of course, if a major video game-maker approached us it would be hard to say no.

DWED:Is there anything you would like your readers to know about Chronicles of Covent’s Kingsblood?

In terms of plot, characters and climax Kingsblood really felt like a book that just fell together in all the right places. I like Kingsblood so much better than the original that I nearly threw out the first book Waiting Game. That said, Waiting Game laid a good foundation of establishing Shade at the apex of his career and drawing readers into the highly detailed world of Covent. I see the quality of books as the difference between the X-men 1 and X-men 2 movies. X-men 1 was good, but X-men 2 was great. That’s how I’d sum up Kingsblood.


In addition Shade’s rival, Raithe, in Kingsblood felt like the missing ingredient in Waiting Game. Raithe is such a strong villain and his five plus chapter across-city duel with Shade at the end blew away the climax of the original. Also, I was really happy with Doljinaar, City of Kings, which is large enough to make Minas Tirith look like a shoebox. I was really happy with the epic feel of the city and the forgotten depths of the Doljinaar Catacombs that lurked beneath. Also, I really enjoyed fleshing out the Shaltearan Brotherhood, revisiting some old favorites from Waiting Game and how Shade struggled to accept his uninvited tag-along, Jago.

 

DWED:Has there been an author in particular who inspired you to write?

Tolkien would be the most obvious answer, but my favorite fantasy novels are the original Dragonlance chronicles trilogy. Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman are two of the most talented writers I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. I can still picture that story in mind and remember its awesome characters. I also have a high respect for their ability to name characters, which I’m convinced has become a lost art in the present day. I also enjoy the historical fiction of Francine Rivers, who I think is hands down one of the best authors alive today.

DWED:What are you reading now?

I’m currently reading Brandon Sanderson’s Way of Kings and trying to read book two of Dragonlance’s The War of Souls trilogy. Sanderson’s scenes and dialogue have been sharpening me. I get a bit lost in the Shard Magic, but he’s definitely an excellent writer who challenges me to grow. I’m trying to enjoy The War of Souls trilogy from Weis and Hickman, but other than Mina, I’m having a hard time really caring about most of the characters since most of my favorites have died. Still, I’m trying to give it a chance.

DWED:What can we expect from you in the coming year? Tour dates? Releases?

That will be contingent on our new baby. The baby is due in a month and I promised my wife I wouldn’t let the project get in the way. That said we have two books we are finalizing, so I hope to release either The Last Field of Honor or Paths of the Magi by next January latest. One of them may show up earlier than that for 90 days on Kindle to build our customer base. Also, I’m going to be updating the website with FAR more new character, races, factions, creatures and places to build anticipation for our upcoming releases. New artwork will continue to be posted as received. Stay tuned to chroniclesofcovent.com!

DWED:What is something you would like to share to aspiring authors?
I think the best thing you can do is just get your book out on paper. Just spit it out and clean it up later. I’ve known a number of really talented writers who haven’t crystallized their writing dreams because they keep obsessing over chapter one. I’ve got one under my wing right now who has a series with true potential, but he just needs to vomit it out. I’d probably apply that logic to any dream. Keep working at it, ignore the naysayers and one day you very well might pluck those dreams right out of the clouds.

For more on J. L Ficks and The Chronicles of Covent visit the website!

chroniclesofcovent.com

 
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Today’s Throwback Thursday highlights two inspirational women in the entertainment industry who have been influential in many areas in a creative sense to their followers. And yes, I am a huge fan.

Tia and Tamera Mowry started off in a show you may recall “Sister Sister” about twins separated at birth who find each other by mishap at the age of fourteen. As the show progressed we fell in love with Tia’s take no prisoner’s genuinely good personality and Tamera’s eclectic fun spirited personality. The two galavanted through the series as they tackled teenager woes with an adolescent glow.

The show focused on many issues, from makeup and boyfriends, to race and familiatiry. To combining a household of strong willed individuals; in short it touched many topics that still affect our nation today.

After the show ended the sisters did many projects; from going to college at Pepperdine University while taking small roles in Films. On one set Tia met her husband Cory Hardrict and they now share a beautiful son. Tamera recently married fox correspondent Adam Housley and gave birth to their first child.

The sisters have not let the changes in their family structure hinder their careers; they have a reality show that tapes on the Style Network currently signing them for another season. Tia left her concurring role on The Game, a drama series that was picked up by BET after being dropped from the CW. She played a lead role in ABC Family’s The Mistletones during the holiday season of 2012; she also has other projects in the works. In the past year she has written a book about being pregnant and a DVD on Yoga.

Tamera while having a short term role on Strong Medicine has starred in small roles of TV movies as she worked on perfecting her craft and establishing her home with Adam Housley. She has been a pioneer in helping the families Wine business thrive all the while learning the business herself.

Both women are outstanding in their quest at self discovery, happiness and bonding with their family and loyal fans. They are truly humbled by their success even though sometimes it is hard to re-establish their individual personalities while being recognized as star studded twins. Together they have produced a product for Mothers having problems with produciong breast milk, the product "Milky" is a Fenugreek tea that helps women with these issues.

They tackle the many issues of being in the spotlight with grace; upon having Cree affectionately known as “Cree Cree” on their reality show, Tia had to deal with public insults to her sons looks. I will not post these insults as the nature is very degrading. But the stylish diva tackled the insults in such a tactful grace it was admirable. I know she wanted to go “oh no you didn’t?!” but it shows how much more genial and Lady Like she is.

Tamera has had her own issues with public bashings. Having an interracial marriage has opened up a can of worms most American’s shy away from. Being called racial slurs for having such a loving devoted relationship is in itself heart breaking. There was one episode that brought me to balling tears as she spoke about the crude remarks posted on popular media sites about her life. The concern was how her child would be affected. For those who do not know, Tia and Tamera are mixed; their parents are an interracial couple. And I don’t see how that should be a problem. But others may not say the same. Bring in the public eye is no easy task, especially when it comes to ones family. In the episode aired last season a pregnant Tamera opened up to her twin about the posts being said about her relationship and her fear of how her child would be affected by such remarks. In her words (I may not have this entirely correct as I am quoting from pure memory) “Its one thing when it’s me or Adam, but it’s entirely another thing when its your child.” Tamera choked up as she wiped away tears.

One of the things I love so much about both women, is their grace, their humbled personalities and they fact that they stay true to themselves. They laugh and joke. You can understand them, they are not fake. I swear I wish I was their best friends, that I knew them personally, they have the best advice, concern, and appreciation for their life that is contagious.

So as an adoring fan, I give to them my gratitude by writing this piece. They are not perfect, can be sometimes hardheaded or stubborn as hell. But they appreciate the blessings they have, their share their love, and are the epitome of what I am trying to show on this blog.

We can take a lesson from learning how to balance our lives from these two. Good job Tia & Tamera and congrats on all your success, in everything you have done.


Tia & Tamera Mowry

 

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DWED Reviews Christine Corretti Author of A Father’s wish: the tale of king Big Bear the Fat.

DWED Review: **** 4 stars

 A Father’s wish: the tale of king Big Bear the Fat is a children’s book, though I would recommend it for Kindergarten through first grade. I have two toddlers and had to split the book up between two nights for bedtime reading because their attention span is not that great.

We did enjoy the book immensely. There were hand drawn pictures, my son was able to pick out the “Bear” but called the wolf a “dog”. One picture displayed King Bear cuddling with the baby wolf which my son affectionately said “Awww look at the baby” to. It was touching.

The story was engaging almost like a folk tale of a Lonely Bear with immense power over his kingdom, but yearned for something a little bit more. He was a humble king that loved his country and citizens, he lavished them with feasts, yet something was still missing.

In A Father’s wish: the tale of king Big Bear the Fat we follow King bear as he finds an orphan baby Wolf and takes this baby into his home lavishing him with love until the day his real parents show up to find him and take him to his real home.

This book introduces the gentle side of suspense to young children. It shows them how courage, faith and how rewarding good deeds can be. It shows them how unconditional love can be. It shows the softer side of how using ones power and influence can aide in the safety and happiness of others.

This book is an engaging experience to teach ones child about Love, Hope, Faith and doing good for others. No only does it have lessons intertwined in the storyline, it also sheds light on the endangered Wolf population. It has a cause that will warm your heart even after reading the tale.

Good Job Christine, I look forward to reading this book again with my children and also to works from you in the future.

DWED Interviews Christine Corretti Author of A Father’s wish: the tale of king Big Bear the Fat.

 

DWED: First, tell us a little about yourself:

Christine:  Two years ago I finished a Ph.D. in Art History.  Since then I’ve been doing more drawing, offering my artwork for purchase online, writing children’s fiction, and marketing my creative endeavors like mad.

DWED: What is the inspiration behind A Father’s wish: the tale of king Big Bear the Fat?

Christine: A large brown teddy bear my sister Carolyn and I have had for 11 years was the inspiration for my book, A Father’s Wish: the Tale of King Big Bear the Fat.  Carolyn and I used to joke about him, how he’d look in a king’s crown.  Since he’s very large I coined the term “King Big Bear the Fat.”  With time, we elaborated upon the title by conjuring up scenarios about his would-be life as a king who loves to eat and enjoy life in his castle.  One other thing influenced my story: the persecution of wolves in this and many other countries.

DWED: Do you work closely with the organizations listed in the book?

Christine: I wanted to alert my readers to the fact that wolves are an endangered species and that they need our help.  A Father’s Wish has a list of U.S. and Canadian wolf sanctuaries that provide shelter and care for captive bred wolves and wolfdogs who have been abused and neglected.  These centers are great places to visit, and their websites are filled with pictures of beautiful canines.  You’ll be hooked on the animals once you see them online!  Here’s an example:  Full Moon Farm, North Carolina www.fullmoonfarm.org  

I spotlight a new wolf center each week on my Facebook profile page.  When I joined Facebook I befriended many wolf activists, and we share petitions that urge the government to end animal cruelty.

DWED: Did you create the illustrations in the book?

Christine: Yes, I made all the illustrations for A Father’s Wish myself.

DWED: Have you always been multifaceted in a creative sense?

Christine: I’ve always enjoyed drawing and creative writing; even art historical writing has a strong element of creativity.

DWED: What other talents do you posses?

Christine: Other talents?  I do my best at crafting and making jewelry (beading).  I’d love to try creating little objects like Easter eggs and dolls out of Polymer clay.  Etsy has the how-to videos for that!!

DWED: Have you always wanted to be a published author? Why?

Christine: Yes, I always wanted to publish books because I always loved to read and write!

 

DWED: Has promoting A Father’s wish: the tale of king Big Bear the Fat, been easy?

Christine: Book promotion is very time consuming and doesn’t always generate sales, but I’m determined to keep at it.            

DWED: What avenues are you currently using to promote A Father’s wish: the tale of king Big Bear the Fat?

Christine: I advertise my title on Pinterest, Facebook, Book Blogs (ning), and my blog/website.   If you are an Amazon author make sure to create an Author Profile Page so people can get to know/remember you.

DWED: What else would you like readers to know about A Father’s wish: the tale of king Big Bear the Fat?

Christine: My blog/website “The Chronicles of King Big Bear” http://www.chroniclesofkingbigbear.com/  features the ebook and paperback versions of my story as well as a selection of my artwork.  The blog tells stories from the king’s life; all, of course, are accompanied by illustrations.  Recently, I added Pinterest Pin it buttons to my posts and to the bottom of the website’s frame so viewers can share the drawings.

DWED: Are you working on anything currently?

Christine: Right now I’m writing a second children’s title, called Little Book of Puppies.  It’ll be filled with cute color illustrations.  Release date is late winter or early spring.  You’ll be able to find it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I’m also writing a book on how to market your business on Pinterest.  There will be a load of info here, the results of much research and testing.

DWED: Do you have a favorite book or genre?

Christine: I don’t have a favorite book, but my favorite genres are mystery, horror, horror-mystery, children’s fantasy, and some Young Adult fiction.

DWED: Who would you say has been an influence in your life?

Christine: Animals inspire my creative writing the most, as you can see….

DWED: Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?

Christine: One last note: if you are an author of a children’s book please tell me about your work and I will do my best to help you market it.   Please email me at cxc161@cwru.edu with “King Big Bear” in the message box.

Follow Christine on her Journey: http://www.chroniclesofkingbigbear.com/