Friday, September 4, 2015

Fairy Tales for Grown Folks

Featuring Ines Johnson's Pumpkin and Curvy Ever After...

It's a month of fairy tales for grown women. Just because we've left the playroom and bedtime stories behind, doesn't mean that we still don't crave our own fairy tale. Why else do we read romances?

My friend and fellow author Ines Johnson has created a sweet and smart fairy tale that combines the real world drama of a single mother. Her characters are rich and heartwarming. Her novel, Pumpkin: A Cindermama Story is the first book in her standalone series dedicated to the single mother that still believes in fairy tales. And will even be featured on Nook's First in Series
Amazon Purchase link:

My most recent book, Curvy Ever After has been released! This book of short stories is intended to turn up the heat on your favorite classic tales. They're for those of us who still believe in fairy tales or at least want to believe, but who've turned into complete freaks. ;) The first seeds of this idea came to me when I saw two billboards side by side at the movie theater. The movies were Cinderella and Fifty Shades of Grey. And I thought, "Huh, that's the perfect example of how our tastes change from little girl to grown woman." Not saying everyone is interested in BDSM, but the erotic aspect, many of us are now into. And so, Curvy Ever After was born!

I also put together a book trailer for Curvy Ever After. Take a look...

Amazon Purchase link:
I hope you enjoy these featured Fairy Tales from Ines and myself. Maybe a little something to heat up your end of summer/Labor day weekend!


Thursday, June 25, 2015

Literary World + Social Media = High School?!

So I hear tell that there's some drama going on in the literary world. I don't know exact specifics because I refuse to be pulled into high school bullshit. I'm too old for that crap, and it's not like I participated in it when I was in high school.

Anyway, I've heard and felt that it can be very cliquish within certain groups. I still feel like an outsider sometimes because often other authors don't make newcomers feel welcome. I've been told by readers that authors of one genre will try to sabotage authors from another, simply because the genre is becoming too popular for their tastes. Or they're trying to sabotage an author because they're getting some recognition from several readers. I've heard that they send in their cronies or loyal readers to write awful and/or unfair reviews just to lower their ratings. And I have a sneaking suspicion that it's happened to me as well, but I have no proof. Maybe this is all hearsay, but I don't think so. If not...

NEWSFLASH: If someone's work is good, no amount of sabotaging is going to work. And now you've just gone and pissed off Karma and have a shitstorm of bad luck heading your way. Way to go! How about instead of trying to ruin someone's career that they've worked just as hard as you have for yours. You could spend more time working on improving your writing and promoting so that you don't have time to worry about what other authors are doing.

I made this one up myself. ;)

There are millions of readers and they read hundreds of books. So there is definitely plenty for all of us. Sometimes the sun will rise on your time, and you have to enjoy it while it's there. Other times, the sun will set on you and rise for someone else. We can all share the sunshine.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Fast Love or Slow Burn?

It's been awhile since I've posted anything, but after seeing a particular critique that I have gotten quite a few times from readers. I felt it was time to clarify.

Often times I get reviews where readers don't like how quickly my main characters fell in love. They wished that it took longer for the couple to fall in love. Well, when you get a Twyla Turner novel, just know that more than likely, the couple will fall fast. Why?

1. It's FICTION. This is not a memoir. It's not an autobiography. It's a made up story in my mind. It's make believe. It's an interpretation of real life. Not the real thing. Though I'm really grateful that you felt so connected to the characters that they felt real.

2. More than likely I will never write an epic novel that's 1,000 pages long or even close to it. I love reading full-length novels, where you really get to know the characters. But epic, long-winded novels where you know every single thought of the character, from sunup to sundown, is not my style. I'm not a fan of reading it, so I'm not a fan of writing it. I don't want a long narrative, where my character is at war with her/his feelings for so long that my readers say, "Would they hurry up and admit they're in love, already?!" I will not write a whole lot of useless neurotic tangents to add to my word count. If the storyline that I'm writing calls for twisting and winding prose that adds up to 1,000 pages, then so be it. But in my opinion, I'd rather have readers say, "I wish the book was longer." Versus, "Wow, she just rambled on and on about nothing."

3. Great for long-running TV shows that make you tune in week after week. Not good for books. Especially when the reader is up at 2am on a weeknight, reading one more chapter because maybe it'll finally be the chapter they profess their love to each other.

So those are my thoughts on the subject. Hopefully, it cleared up any confusion.

'Til next time...

Saturday, May 16, 2015

My Readers

First and foremost, I would like to say...

I'm not a #1 Bestselling Author as of yet (still holding out hope though), but I am making strides towards that goal. How, you ask? My readers. Don't get me wrong, I know that spending some time (and maybe money) on marketing and promoting are very important, but when it comes to books, there is absolutely unequivocally no promoting in the world that is better than word-of-mouth!

So in this, I have to give much love and thanks to my readers. Your praise, and the positive word-of-mouth you've spread about my novels is humbling. And I'm smart enough to know that I couldn't have gotten even this far without you.

Also, to those of you that have found me on social media, I so enjoy talking with you and hearing how much my characters have touched you. In fact, it's often the highlight of my day. Especially, if I've gotten a terrible review or suffering from writer's block. You inspire me to work hard. Of course, I want to do it for myself, but now that I have you in my life, I feel as if I have a responsibility to you as well. Seriously! If it wasn't for the fairly constant inquiries you all made about the sequel to Scarred, I wouldn't have worked so hard to finish the last two books. Which in turn, is becoming my most popular series. So I am truly blessed to have you in my life and I thank you thank you thank you!!!

'Til next time...

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Monday, May 4, 2015

To Blush or Not To Blush...That is the Question: The Struggle Describing Black Characters

So I felt the need to write this post based off of criticism myself and other authors have received. I am a black female and believe that my race of women are hands down, some of the most beautiful women in the world. But when it comes to describing characters, it is very difficult to articulate into words the nuances of our physical features without making every single heroine look exactly the same in every book.

Case in point
My character Lexi in my Damaged Souls Series, has green eyes. This is a rare occurrence, but it does happen in our race. The reason I gave her green eyes was to differentiate her from my other heroines in past and future novels. I have a relatively good grasp of what every heroine and hero is going to look like, even for my future books and I don't want them all to look alike.

Yes, I can have fun playing around with size, height, body type, skin tone and hair, but when it comes to our facial features, we've got limited descriptions. I.e. full lips, almond shaped dark brown eyes, high cheekbones, etc. Maybe next time around, I'll have to study some pictures and see if I can come up with other adjectives to describe my next characters. But aren't the eyes, the windows to the soul? Eyes are big descriptors when expressing emotions, and I don't want every single book I write to say, He looked deeply into her dark brown eyes. Her beautiful brown eyes filled with tears. Her light brown eyes widened with shock. Her chocolate brown eyes sparkled with joy. So on and so forth.

Now on to the subject of black characters blushing. First, I'd like to say that, if you are human, you can blush. EVERY single person on the planet can blush unless you have some medical issue. Now whether you can see the blush or not is another story. I am a medium dark skin color and I blush ALL the time. People have even pointed it out to me that they can see my cheeks turn pink. So when I describe a dark-skinned female that blushes, I am describing bashfulness, embarrassment, etc. Just the look on someone's face can tell you that they're blushing, even if you can't see it. But to my readers, I will try my best to find other ways to describe the feelings associated with blushing, on my darker skinned characters.

I can't speak for all of my fellow authors who write black characters, but I did want to give some insight into why I describe my characters the way I do. I hope this helps.

Til next time...

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Long Time No Talk

So it's been a while since I've posted anything. I've been busy writing two books back to back, but I thought I'd stop in a say a little something. Whenever I've released a new book or about to release one, I am this Tangled meme to a tee. I wonder if all artistic careers come with this type of uncertainty. Anyway, I just wanted to stop in and give you all something to chuckle at and to let you know that you are not alone in the constant cesspool of self-doubt.

Til next time...