Wednesday, April 30, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Zealous Proverbs 31

Zealous - ardently active, devoted or diligent; enthusiastic, eager, fervent, intense, passionate, warm.

15.  She riseth while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

You have to believe in what you are doing.  Anything worth your time is worth a bit of sacrifice - getting up early, giving up time-wasters.  Nothing on this earth, however, is worth losing yourself to gain.  It's a matter of degree.

These days, I think people hear "zealous" and hear "zealot", with all it's negative implications.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  To me, a zealot is self-centered, while a zealous person cares passionately about something other than him- or herself.

18.  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good: her candle goeth not out by night.

Being zealous is going outside our comfort zone for a reason, sacrificing of our time or resources for a cause.  When we find our purpose, or dharma, it resonates inside and out; it feels 'right'.  We feel excited about our new adventure.  When we are "in the zone", we can stay up late and it does not tire us.  What a great way to live!'s the end of another Blogging from A to Z Challenge.  What a rush!  I hope y'all enjoyed yourselves!

One last question...what makes your heart sing?


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Being Young and Proverbs 31

Young - having the appearance, freshness or vigor of youth.

26.  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

In the New Testament of the Bible, Matthew 15:11, Jesus said, "Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."  If  I were to spend years eating unhealthy foods and consuming unhealthy amounts of alcohol and tobacco, well...that's going to take a toll on my physical well-being.  But if I gossip or criticize unfairly or speak unkindly, that will rot me from the inside out and make me old before my time.

30.  Favor is deceitful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised.

The poet Samuel Ullman wrote in his poem "Youth" that "Nobody grows old merely by a number of years.  We grow old by deserting our ideals."  When I started college, I was a musical theatre major.  For various reasons, I gave up my dream and in my sophomore year, I switched to "business".  I gave up on my dream, and in the ensuing years, my soul aged exponentially more than my body.  Ten years later, I had the opportunity to return to theatre, and I took it.  Life became new and my heart re-opened to the spiritual.  I became 'young' again.

What keeps you 'young' and excited about life?


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Also linking with:

Monday, April 28, 2014

May 2014 - Clean Sweep ARC Challenge

Clean Sweep ARC Challenge May 2014

So I was visiting my friend Yvonne at Socrates' Book Reviews, when I saw the above button on her sidebar.  Forty-seven (as of the time I am writing this) other bloggers have signed up to make a concerted effort to reduce the number of ARC's (advanced reader copies) in their TBR (to be read) piles and files.  ARCs are books which have been received at no cost to the reader with the agreement that a review will be posted - on a blog, Amazon, GoodReads, etc.

Below is a list of ARCs I have scheduled for reviews on book tours in May:

from the authors, publisher and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours
Monday, May 5, 2014


from the author, publisher and Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours
Tuesday, May 6, 2014


from the author, publisher and Premier Virtual Author Book Tours
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
(actually this one I've already read, but as I am reviewing it in May, I wanted to put it in this list anyway)


from the author, publisher and Worldwind Book Tours  - review and author interview
also Wednesday, May 7, 2014


from the author, publisher and  iRead Book Tours
Monday, May 12, 2014


from the author, publisher and iRead Book Tours
Thursday, May 15, 2014


from the author and Roane Publishing
Friday, May 16, 2014


from the author, publisher and iRead Books Tours
Tuesday, May 20, 2014


from the author, publisher and iReadBook Tours
Wednesday, May 21, 2014


from the author, publisher and Premier Virtual Author Book Tours
review and guest post
Tuesday, May 27, 2014


from the author, publisher and  iRead Book Tours
Thursday, May 29, 2014


To my chagrin, these are just the ones with scheduled reviews, guest posts or interviews.  There are at least as many other ARCs on my list/in my TBR pile for which there is no organized tour scheduled, but I agreed to review and I want to live up to my part of the bargain.

Come join in!  Click the button (you know the one wa-a-a-y up at the top of the post!)  Have a great May!

#AtoZChallenge - Being 'X-emplary" and Proverbs 31

Exemplary - worthy of imitation; commendable

25.  Strength and honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come.

What a wonderful world this would be if everyone worked to their potential and treated others they way they would like to be treated.  Strength and honour are some pretty stylin' threads!  And while accolades from our peers are definitely nice to get, I believe even more to be valued is the inner glow of satisfaction that we get from doing our best work, even if it is outside our comfort zone.  Every belief system has a provision for recognition of good work from its deity or leader, even if the world shows no notice.

29.  Many daughters have done virtuously, but thou excellest them all.

We are not in competition with others.  (Ok, maybe sometimes, like the Olympics, or elections.)  

Our biggest competition is with ourselves.

To gain that promotion at work is a fantastic thing.  To achieve that status while not resorting to shortcuts and dishonourable behavior is even better.  They say a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.  Sometimes the first step is the hardest.  But then you still have 1,759,999 (roughly) steps to go.  Determination is a commendable characteristic.  

To some extent, the people to whom our children look up seems to be controlled by the media.  Many of them are not exemplary.  Do you remember when Miley Cyrus and Justin Bieber used to be clean-cut? Oy!  Let's be better examples for our children and young people.  Let's turn away from the vain competitions set by the world's standards and do what we know to be right and good.

Who has been a good example for you in your life?


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

I'll be linking with the following groups:


Saturday, April 26, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Welcoming and Proverbs 31

Welcoming - greeting an arrival with pleasure or kindly courtesy; causing a visitor to feel comfortable and appreciated.

15.  She riseth also while it is yet night, and giveth meat to her household, and a portion to her maidens.

Imagine the scene.  It is a cold winter morning.  You wake up and can almost see your breath.  You definitely don't want to get out from under your quilts and blankets.  But then it hits you.  A scent of coffee and warm bread and maybe some bacon and eggs (or something equivalent for the vegetarians amongst us).  Tempted?  

We want our guests to feel comfortable and valued.  Even if the person is a subordinate in some way, it is our duty to show them that their service is appreciated.

Sometimes it is more about what we give than what we get.

26.  She openeth her mouth with wisdom; and in her tongue is the law of kindness.

Even when you disagree with someone, there is a way to express your opinion without belittling the thoughts and beliefs of other people.  The words of one of my high school English teachers comes back to me; she was commenting on a idea expressed by a student (not me).  She said, "That was a great argument.  You are wrong.  But you stated your point very well."  I don't want to tell you how many years it has been since I heard those words.  

Tell us the circumstances of an occasion when you felt welcomed into someone's house (or office, or religious service ....)

(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Friday, April 25, 2014

April 2014 Dewey 24-hour Readathon

Yes, I am that crazy.

I tried this in October, and did more hours than I thought I would be able to.  I did attempt to stay up the entire 24 hours reading, and found out that this is NOT a good idea for me.  I was as sick as I've ever been for the following 3 days.

So, I'm going to do things a little differently this time around.  I am going to catch up/get ahead on some of the books I have signed up to review for various book tour companies in the next several weeks.

A review of 10% Happier will be on my blog on Wednesday, April 30, 2014.  I received a print copy of this book from the author at Litfuse Publicity in exchange for my honest, non-biased review.


A review of Lethal Lily by Joyce and Jim Lavene will be on my blog on Monday, May 5, 2014.  I received an e-copy of this book from the authors via Great Escapes Book Tours in exchange for my honest, non-biased review.


A review of Let Loose by Rae Davies will be on my blog on Tuesday, May 6, 2014.  I received a e-copy of this book from the author via Great Escapes Book tours in exchange for my honest, non-biased review.


Really, if I get through those three books in the 24 hours allotted, I will be surprised.  If by some chance I morph into SRW (Super Reader Woman) and need another book, the next on my list is "Two Performance Artists Kidnap Their Boss and Do Things With Him" by Scotch Wichmann via NetGalley and Freakshow Books.

GIVEAWAY & AUTHOR INTERVIEW: The Publicist's Christina George

(I have been authorized to give away one copy, e-book or print, to one lucky reader.  Please leave a comment or question for Christina in the comment section.  Winner will be drawn by random # on May 2 (next Friday)).


1. Why did you write The Publicist? 

I wrote it because I felt that there were some great stories in publishing that weren’t being told. We hear about how publishing is broken (and it is) and how people aren’t reading, how eBooks are taking over the world. We hear of  huge advances, like Penny Marshall getting $800K for her memoir. But we so rarely hear about the other stories. The authors who struggle in a system that seems lost to them unless they are a celebrity or have been in the midst of a scandal, or even better: a celebrity scandal. There’s also a lot of humor in this industry. Let’s face it, when you mix the ego with creativity you often get a toxic cocktail of out of control expectations and people who think that because they wrote a book, they’re entitled to fame.

2. Are any of the stories real? 

Yes, many of them are real. Though the names have been changed to protect the guilty, as it were.

3. Tell us about Kate, are you Kate? 

I wish! No, Kate’s the kind of person I wish I was.  She tells it like it is, she is sort of lost in a system that doesn’t often support the author and, many times, she’s left to manage an author’s expectations of fame – or lack thereof.

4. You seem to poke a lot of fun at authors. Does this mean that you don’t like authors? 

I do have a lot of fun with these authors but again, many of the stories really happened so it’s not like I just pulled these stories out of thin air. I love authors (and now I’m an author!), but many of them are misguided and, as any publicist will tell you, promoting a book isn’t an easy job. I once had lunch with a very famous book publicist who has since retired from the industry. When I asked her if she’d ever promote books
again she said “Oh God no.” Now, granted, most of us love what we do, though there are days, however….

5. Tell us about MacDermott Ellis (Mac), he’s hot and dangerous and the kind of man many of us could lose ourselves over. Is he real? 

Yes, well sort of. It’s an odd story about Mac, I wrote this character years ago and then met a man very similar to Mac so I was able to give this character even more depth. But yes, Mac is hot. Mac’s the guy your mother warns you about and still, you don’t care.

6. Do you find the time to read? 

Yes, and candidly whether I want to or not. Don’t get me wrong I love books and I love reading, but my job requires a lot of it so I have to make time to read. It’s really an awesome thing though, right? I mean getting paid to read! Who gets that lucky?

7. When and why did you begin writing? 

It’s funny actually, I started writing because I found that I had stories to tell. Stories about stories. So my work as a publicist is never without adventures and I really wanted to share them. I wasn’t sure I could I mean I had never intended on being an author, not really. I worked with them, I promoted them, but to
become one? I hadn’t planned on that at all. Then I realized, I had something to say, so I did!

8. What’s your favorite place in the entire world? 

I love Europe, love it – especially France and Belgium. I hope to see my characters travel there in Book Three!

9. Have you ever considered anyone as a mentor? 

Yes, I have – I’ve had a lot of folks guide me through the publishing world and the marketing world, I’m very lucky to be surrounded by some excellent, talented people.

10. What movie do you love to watch? 

I love, love, love Love Actually. I think it’s just such a good and feel good movie.

11. Sometimes it’s so hard to keep at it ­ What keeps you going? 

I really do love what I do. You know you never want to get into publishing for the money – you do it because you love it. Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life – as they say.

12. If you could do any job in the world what would you do? 

I love what I’m doing now, but I’d love to work in film. I have cousins who do film editing and I’ve always had a knack for cobbling together good videos so I’d love to try that.




Here are the remaining tour dates and locations!

April 25 - Back Porchervations - author interview / giveaway
April 28 - Christa Reads and Writes - review 
April 29 - My Life. One Story at a Time - review
April 30 - Lizzie in Wonderland - review
May 1 -    Steph the Bookworm - review
May 2 -    Toot's Book Reviews - book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 5 -    Afternoon Bookery - review
May 6 -    Svetlana's Reads and Views - review / spotlight
May 7 -    Brooke Blogs - review / guest post
May 8 -    Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers - review 
May 9 -    The Phantom Photographer - review

#AtoZChallenge - The Vigilant P31 Woman

Vigilant - keenly watchful; alert and awake

17.  She girdeth her loins with strength, and strengtheneth her arms.

Sometimes getting our work done is not pretty, or not convenient.  We may have to work at a time of day that is contrary to our internal time clock.  We may have to cram for a test at school.  So we put on the coffee, splash our faces with cool water and get to it.

Parents are (or should be) experts at this practice.  Nobody starts out perfect at vigilance either, so don't freak out.  We put child-safe locks on cabinets so our little helpers can learn to walk before they learn to mix the mop water.  

Drivers are (or should be) experts at this practice.  If you are old enough and skilled enough to get behind the wheel of a heavy piece of metal, vigilance should be on your skills list.  When we lived in Fort Worth, I was driving I-30 westbound one day when a beautiful German Shepherd jumped a retaining wall and ran onto the road right in front of me.  It did not end as well as it could have, but on the other hand it could have been a lot worse, too.  This was before I even had a cell phone.  Please, for the for the sake of all you hold dear, please do not attempt to operate a motor vehicle and a cell phone at the same time!

18.  She perceiveth that her merchandise is good:  her candle goeth not out by night.

Most people reading this will consider themselves either a writer, or a reader, or both.  When we are in the zone with our writing, energy soars and we can spend all kinds of time on the craft.  We pay attention to grammar, spelling, setting, characterization and a million other details in order to exhibit due diligence to our work.

And readers?  How many times have you got caught up reading something that you "could not put down"?  Well, maybe life intrudes (it likes to do that), but in my own case, I found 'extra bits' of time' that may have otherwise been frittered away and put them to good use.  
Something just occurred to me.  Normally, I have been asking a question at the end of my A to Z posts, but neglected to do so on the last three (in my 'rush' to have the week's posts done on Sunday, 4/20).  Hmmm...looks like I'm still working on vigilance.  How about you?


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Thursday, April 24, 2014

AUTHOR INTERVIEW/REVIEW: Burnout by Teresa Trent

(click this banner for the tour page and access to a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card.  In addition, several days are left in the tour where Burnout will be available free.  Check out the author's website (see link below)  for the dates.  There is a cute cryptogram puzzle to figure out the dates!)


It’s November in Pecan Bayou, Texas and while the town is getting ready for the Thanksgiving holiday a deadly fire breaks out at the newspaper office. When Rocky, the editor is nowhere to be found, Betsy refuses to believe he has perished in the fire. The entire town is coming down with the stomach flu and Betsy must deal with her husband’s new found celebrity as an on-air weatherman filling in for and under-the-weather Hurricane Hal . Leo loves all the attention he’s getting, especially from the sexy administrative assistant who works at the station. Is their new marriage in trouble already? Find out in the fifth book of the Pecan Bayou Mystery Series. All the characters you’ve come to know and love are back and you’ll find plenty of the Happy Hinter’s recipes and tips included at the end of the book.



1. When you started the Pecan Bayou books, did you know there would be a 5th title in the series?

Actually, yes I did.  I plotted from the first book what I wanted to happen to Betsy in the next five books.  That means...yes there will be a sixth and final book. 

2.  What was the hardest book for you to write? Why?

Probably the first book in the series, A Dash of Murder because I had to research and create all the characters who live in Pecan Bayou.  I knew what story I wanted to tell, but I am a visual writer and would search out pictures of what I would think each character and each setting looked like.  With every new book, I change Zach and Tyler because they have to be older and there are always new settings and characters.  For Burnout I had to learn about fire, but luckily I have a cousin who is a volunteer fireman who let me ask plenty of silly questions.  Betsy's flu was easy because as luck would have it,  I came down with the worst case of stomach flu I've had in years.  It was ironic I was writing about the flu and then experienced it in such detail.

3. Does one of your books hold a special place in your heart?

Probably A Dash of Murder, my first book, because that was when I met this cast of characters who became such a part of my life.  Aunt Maggie who is part me and part my own mother, Judd, the dad who always shows up with either a kind word or a drawn gun, Leo who stands by Betsy through all of her body-finding mishaps, the kids, the people at the diner and the Best Little Hairhouse in Texas and of course my dear Danny.   My husband and I just watched Saving Mr. Banks, and I was so struck by the line P.L. Travers tells Walt Disney about her character Mary Poppins.  "Mary is family."  What she says is absolutely true.   These characters I created evolved somewhere in all of their entrances and exits and became family.  Sometimes it's as if they write themselves.   

4. Does the writing life get easier or harder? 

Parts of it get easier.  You get to the point where you know what you need to do to write a book.  There are other parts of writing and publishing that are always changing.  Staying up to date on the industry and studying the craft of writing is important and can never stop. 

5. What are your hobbies?

I love to crochet, sing, read and binge-watch NetFlix with my husband.

6. What's the craziest thing you've ever done? 

Waking a homeless person in San Francisco to ask directions.   I was eighteen. It was three in the morning and my friend Becky had driven over from another state and couldn't find our hotel.  We decided to go to a hospital to get directions and there was a man sleeping in the glassed in area between to sets of sliding doors.  He jumped and so did we.  You would think that was the scariest part, but then we found ourselves in the middle of two gangs who had been brought into the emergency room because of a street fight.   Thanks to the police we ended up unhurt and in the right place.   Angels were definitely watching over us that night.

7. If you had to start your writing career over again, would you do anything differently?

I would have buckled down and started writing seriously sooner.  Youth is wasted on the young, right? If you are an aspiring writer, don't waste any more time.  Write, write, write.

8. Do you have any writing rituals? Music, food and drink, lucky socks, etc?

I drink green tea which is probably why my characters drink so much ice tea.   I write on the couch with two book-end dogs, and I love to listen to New Age piano like George Winston. 

9. How do you get your writing ideas?   

Each day I watch the news and read the paper.  Every once in awhile something will just stick in my mind and I start plugging in the characters from Pecan Bayou.  I create my characters when I see or hear a funny sounding name. I can remember following some sort of service truck through traffic one day with the guy's name written on the back.  It was such a goofy name, that I ran home and put it in my computer.   There will never be a Bob Jones in my stories.  Gertrude Fortbottom has a much better chance of making it. 

10. What is your favorite holiday?

That would have to be Christmas.  Someday I want to write a Christmas novel and have written several short stories that take place at that time.



Burnout, the 5th installment in the Pecan Bayou Series (aka the Betsy Livingston Mysteries), by Teresa Trent, was a pleasure to read.  I almost felt like a lifelong resident of the little town in Texas.  Betsy writes a column for the local paper and at the beginning of the book, she is standing outside of the burning newspaper building.  The bad news is no one has seen the editor/publisher "Rocky" since the start of the blaze and it becomes apparent that the fire claimed a life.

This is just the first example of how Ms. Trent draws us into the story.  I really wanted to know what would happen.  I, like most readers felt sorry for Betsy when she steadfastly refused to allow herself to believe that Rocky was gone.

And there was no shortage of people in the small town whose feathers Rocky had not ruffled - from the tax man with a gambling problem, to the head of the middle school PTA, to the pet rescuer who had been convicted of running a puppy mill in years past.

Add to this the fact that Betsy seems to have caught the flu that seems to be spreading like wildfire through the town, her realization that her 'flu' might be something else and a hilarious episode of trying to keep the purchase of a home pregnancy test secret just adds fuel to the fire of this book's assets.

I want to go back now and read the first four installments, read Burnout over again, and then tap my foot until the 6th (and final) installment of this series is published!


(Disclaimer:  I received an e-copy of Burnout from the author and publisher via Great Escapes Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.  No other compensation was offered, requested or received.)

#AtoZChallenge - Unselfishness and Proverbs 31

Unselfish - not selfish or greedy; generous

13.  She seeketh wool, and flax, and worketh willingly with her hands.

An unselfish woman realizes that life is not all about her.  If we are living a righteous life, most of the work we ever do will be for the benefit of other people.  Sure, we earn money and we buy things for ourselves.  But we buy food for our families, support school fund-raisers, buy a minivan instead of a sports car because it's hard to pack the family and possessions into a two-seater convertible for a vacation.

20.  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

We don't all have the financial resources of a Gates or a Buffet, and doubtless we cannot help everybody.  But we can support those in need with what we have.  It may be money, it may be clothing, or furniture, or time.  Sure, most of us a fairly busy individuals, but do I really need to see that NCIS rerun (and it's my favorite show) again, or do I have time to drive one of my in-laws to a doctor's appointment, or to help out in a child's classroom.  

Sometimes we spend a lot of time worrying whether or not the recipient is 'worthy' of our donations.  The inscription on the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor includes the words, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free."  It does not say, "so long as they are productive, have no substance abuse issues, mental health issues or criminal background. (see also section V, subsections 14-27)"  Assuming there is no safety issue involved, a recipient's "worthiness" should not be a deal-breaker when it comes to us being unselfish.


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Trustworthiness and Proverbs 31

Trustworthy - deserving of trust or confidence; dependable; reliable

11.  The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil.

Trust is an extremely important characteristic of relationship, no matter if they are in marriage, family, friendships, businesses, and others.  To be considered worthy of someone's trust is just about the highest compliment they could give you.  In my opinion, one measure of trustworthiness in marriage is that you do not seek physical or emotional intimacy outside of that relationship.  In a business setting, it could mean that when you accept an assignment, that assignment will be completed satisfactorily and on time.

27.  She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.

In the setting and Proverbs 31, and in many cultures today, the household is the purview of the woman or wife.  (Please note I am making no judgment whether it looks that way in your family or not.)  When I was growing up, my father worked as a PhD in Chemical Engineering to provide the means for our family to thrive.  My mother stayed home and kept the household running smoothly by cooking, cleaning and the like.  He provided the 'investment' and she managed the same; neither would last without the other.  Both my mother and father trusted the other to fulfill their part of the agreement, and trustworthily fulfilled their own duties.


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

#AtoZChallenge - Success and Proverbs 31

Successful - having attained wealth, position, honors, or the like.

20.  She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.

What better measure of success is there than when we can say, "You know what?  I have enough.  I am happy.  Let me help others find their miracle."  There are as many different roads to happiness as there are people:  a full belly, a pair of glasses, a well-timed hug, help mastering a subject or technique.  (Note to self:  A-Z Blessings would be a GREAT topic for the 2015 Blogging from A to Z Challenge!) :O)

28.  Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.

OK.  Maybe this one isn't necessarily 'better' than the previous example, but it's pretty dang nice to receive kudos from those closest to us, be they family or friends (or associates).  Our first year in Kentucky, I worked four 10-hour night shifts a week during the Christmas season at the Amazon warehouse in Lexington.  When I came home (close to 7:00 AM) I could barely move.  But when I opened the door, my (then) 2 YO daughter would run through the house towards me, arms flung wide and shout, smiling, "MOMMY!"  I will have a tough time achieving more success than that.


(thanks to Jeremy @ Being Retro for the original button design, to for the definitions, and to for the ability to customize the graphics.)

Monday, April 21, 2014

BOOK TOUR: Love, Life and Happiness I & II by Sheena Binkley

I wasn’t expecting to meet anyone when I arrived at Shaw University. After my last stint at love, the only thing I wanted to focus on is getting through my first semester of college without any drama. That was my intentions, until I met Shawn Walker. At first I didn’t like him. He was arrogant and cocky; someone that I could easily despised, if he wasn’t so damn sexy. But one night changed my thoughts about him. I was able to let down my guard and be myself. Now, I have a second chance at love. Will I let myself love again, or will I continue to live in the past?

After my last girlfriend cheated on me, love was not on my agenda. I tried to escape it at all costs, until I met Riana Robertson. After thinking she was like every other girl, I easily avoided being around her, but that night, when I saw what happened to her, I had to help her. I had to protect her. That night changed the way I felt about her and I realized I could fall hard for her. But will our relationship survive once she finds out the truth about me. Or will I lose her forever…

Falling in love is something I’d never imagined. I didn’t think love existed, mainly because of the way I was raised. Relationships were never in the cards, especially since I gave a chance on one, and it nearly destroyed me.
When I met Marcus Walker, I was only looking for a fling, nothing more; but the more time I spent with him, the more I realized he could be so much more. Not only has he helped me through my family drama but also with a situation I thought was way behind me. Now, I understand what love is and how powerful it can be. But will I let myself be loved, or will I continue to believe that love is not for me?

One thing I said I will never do in my life is fall in love. Being in love is great for some people, but not for me. That all changed when I met Cheryl Thompson.
At first, I thought she would be like the rest, just a one-night stand, but when I saw what she was going through, I realized she was much more than a fling; she was someone I wanted to commit to. Will I be able to trust myself and give her what she needs, or will I end up destroying her even more?

Sheena Binkley first discovered her love for storytelling when writing her first story for a class project at the tender age of nine. Since then, she has composed several short stories and numerous tales that are not only engaging, but simply entertaining. She is also a freelance writer, penning articles on various topics including education and entertainment. Besides writing, she loves reading, shopping, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in Houston (where the weather is always unpredictable) with her husband and son.

1. In five words, describe you as a writer?
Entertaining, exciting, unpredictable, quirky, romantic, and drama

2. What is your inspiration for writing?
I have a vivid imagination, so I think that’s the inspiration I need to come up with storylines, characters, etc.  But I also think it’s my love for writing and being a reader that makes me want to create stories that are interesting and engaging.

3. What are some things that you have to have while writing?
My laptop or iPad (when I don’t feel like turning on my computer), food, and music. Music is the most important element, because that is how I set-up scenes for my stories. Most of the scenes in my stories are based off of songs that I was listening to while writing. That is also why I have playlists for all of my books.

4. Where do you see yourself in 5 years with your writing career?
Even though I love the fact that I’m an indie author, I would love to be with a publishing company. Also, I would love to see one of my books on either The New York Times or USA Today best-sellers list.

5. Name five things that are on your bucket list?
1. To be a New York Times best-seller
2. Go to Disney World (which I plan on doing with my family next year)
3. Go to New York
4. Visit Vegas
5. Try zip-lining (which would be an accomplishment since I’m terrified of heights)