Thursday, January 30, 2014

'Lovely Lies 2' by Lashanta Charles


After Makynzee’s kidnapping, Kalil is left struggling to maintain his composure. He was supposed to protect her and he failed miserably. He’s left tormented by thoughts of what Nyeem may be doing to Makynzee or if she’s even alive. One thing is for sure, He needs to regain his focus because now he’s faced with the unlikely task of getting her back. Nyeem, the psycho stalker turned kidnapper, has finally succeeded in conquering his ultimate goal – making Makynzee his. So what if she was in a perfectly good relationship with Kalil? And does it really matter that he had to kidnap her to get her? It seems as though he’s taken full control of everyone’s lives and has no intentions of letting that control go. Because of him lives may be lost, Makynzee’s fate is unknown, and the chaos he’s brought with him has taken up permanent real estate.


Excerpt:

I saw the flashing lights before we reached the studio. Police tape, ambulances, cops, and reporters were everywhere.the makings of a crime scene. Hindsight tells me that the “wind knocked out of me” feeling was me knowing that my baby was gone. KJ’s cries had escalated to screams and him telling me to go get Makynzee, a full-blown tantrum. My mom had asked me what was going on as though I hadn’t been with her the whole time. In less than ten seconds my eyes had scanned the parking lot at least a dozen times. I needed to see her. I willed myself to just catch a brief glimpse of her. Her hand, her jacket, her backpack.anything, just her. If I could see her, I could stop the tremors building inside me. Instead I saw Donte holding Jaida’s hand as they loaded her into an ambulance.


Jaida.Makynzee’s best friend, they’re like sisters. Another sign that my baby was gone. If she were there she would have been holding Jaida’s hand too. I can’t remember if I put the truck in park before I’d jumped out and made my way to Donte shouting his name. He’d looked away and shook his head when he saw me. I’d pushed Kaeden and an EMT away to keep them from closing the ambulance doors.
“Where is she?” I’d asked. I needed him to tell me what I already knew. My mind wouldn’t process it, wouldn’t accept it. His reply was pathetic enough to make me hit him.

“I tried to stop him, but I would have shot her if I did.”
“What the hell does that mean? Where’s Makynzee?” I’d asked as I dragged him from the ambulance. Three cops with their guns trained on me, Kaeden trying to pull me away and Karmen and the EMT yelling for me to let him go did nothing but irritate me more. He had one job, one responsibility. The one thing I’ll never forgive him for failing. KJ’s cries were his saving grace. I let Kaeden pull me away. I tried to block Donte’s voice out as he finally said what I thought I needed to hear.
“He took her, Kalil. I tried to stop him, he shot Jaida and took her.”


Get to know Lashanta:

1. What were your biggest concerns while writing this novel?

Since this is my second novel, I was (still am) mainly concerned about that whole “sophomore curse.” I keep second-guessing myself and thinking I won’t be able to top my first novel. I feel like I’ve grown mentally and as far as my writing is concerned, but that thought will always be in the back of my mind.

2. Compared to when you first imagined the novels, did they end the way you planned them to?

No, not at all. It’s funny because I’m going through the exact same thing with my current work, but the is novel changed about a quarter of the way through the second book. I had it in my mind and I had an ending all mapped out and the characters decided it wasn’t going down like that…they’re an unruly little bunch, lol.

3. Being a new author, how did you handle the critics?

Thankfully, I received so much praise and constructive criticism in the beginning I was actually ok and better able to deal with the negative when it finally came. Not saying it didn’t bother me, I’m pretty sure I shed a few tears (lol), but I was surrounded by quite a few supportive people who prepped me pretty well and made sure I knew that not everyone would like my work and overall I would love for them to be, but I’m definitely okay with that.

4. You reference an array of music throughout your work, would you say this stands as a soundtrack?

Definitely. I’m a music-a-holic. When Makynzee says music makes you feel, that’s my wholehearted belief. I feel like everything needs a soundtrack; life in general needs a soundtrack.

5. Book two is set to release February 11, 2014, will there be a third book?

This is where the lovely lies end (sniffle, sniffle). I struggled with this, but what I didn’t want was to lose the “oomph” of this story and have it take on a totally different direction or get lost in translation by letting it have too many books. I love my characters and these were my first babies, so it was definitely hard and bittersweet, but I have to make myself move on.

Bio:

Lashanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Urban / African American Fiction has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off of their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. 
She published her debut novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and will release the sequel, Lovely Lies 2, in February 2014. Currently she is working in her third novel, Splitting Karma, along with other projects. In recognition of her work, Lashanta was named National Black Book Festival’s 2013 Best New Author and was nominated for 2013 Breakout Author of the Year through the African American Literary Awards Show. Lovely Lies was also awarded Most Underrated Book of 2013 for the Literary Scream Awards.
Currently she lives in Killeen, TX, with her husband and two children. She is pursuing a degree in English at Drury University and also serving in the US Army. Her hobbies include spending time with family, traveling, eating, and of course, writing. Her motto is “strive to excel, not to equal.”

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'Inevitable Act. 1' by Johnie Jay

Angel McCloud is done with love after experiencing a broken heart by her deadbeat boyfriend. Vowing to take a break from relationships, now its all about her. Angel wants to have a little fun and cater to her sexual beast without commitment and drama and with the handsome, star wide receiver from the Detroit Lions, her delectable-bodied personal trainer from the past visiting town, and a coworker that’s been sniffing up behind her for a while now, it seems like she will get that chance. That is, if the sexy mystery man that keeps invading her life, thoughts and dreams, stops making her feel a craving that she never has before. Future Crowne used to be Mr. Nice guy and the hopeless romantic but it only seemed to get him overlooked and misused.


What a difference 5 years can make. Future is now the epitome of a player and a ladies man and to protect his heart he has no problem giving women a dose of their own medicine. Now they get only sex and great sex at that. Unfortunately he may have met his match with the sultry sexy Kandi. The one thing that he didn’t plan for was what felt like fate in the form of an unknown woman, rearing its head into his plans. Follow these two seemingly different people through exciting and tantalizing paths, drama filled nights and sexual triangles as they find out their inevitable truth.


Get to know Johnie:

1.  Tell us what this book is about.
Inevitable is a romance novel about soul mates.  I decided that instead of giving you one perspective I’ll give you the entire path of the two connecting, from both the main male and female characters.  You get to see what goes on in the other persons head what they are thinking what they are doing at the same time as the other.  I think through looking at both you will be able to get a clearer picture of the undeniable path of the two soul mates crossing.

2.  Why did you choose to write this book?

I wrote Inevitable to show that there may very well be a perfect person out there for you but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the person, themselves are perfect.  If there is such a thing as a soul mate then they will be what you need as well as what you want and sometimes what we need to complete us and to make us better may be indeed a hard pill to swallow.
3.  Tell us why your writing is unique.
I pride myself on keeping it real.  I really don’t think sugar coating things in my writing is the best policy.  Life isn’t sugarcoated which is what makes it more exciting and intriguing and it makes you take it seriously.  I want real people to be able to relate that’s why my characters are imperfect and the situations and scenes aren’t always ideal.  Life is unpredictable and I try to write the same way, to make readers look forward to the next page because anything in my novel is possible.
4.   What can we look forward from you?
To improve.  I always want to write better.  I believe I owe this to the people who will read my books.  No matter if they thought it was great, I want to blow great out of the water on the next book!

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