Friday, June 28, 2013

Diva sits down with Dawn Forte', Author of "The Sum of My Mistakes"

Dawn L Forte' is a native of Plainfield, NJ. The mother of two adult sons and two adult daughters aged twenty-one to twenty-seven. She's also the grandmother of a beautiful five year old granddaughter and adorable four year old grandson. She's a poet in her own right, performing in various spoken word/open mic venues. 'The Sum of My Mistakes' is her first fictional novel. She is currently working on "The Sum of My Mistakes II" and a poetry book. A victim of Fibromyalgia, a Chronic Pain disorder, Dawn can be found most days fighting this terrible disorder, or she can be found relaxing comfortably at home with her family, reading a good book or on her computer writing her next project. Dawn can be contacted via email at or

Can you please tell us a little about yourself.
A little about myself... Well I'm a single mom of 4 and grandmother (They call me Dee Dee) of 2. My family means everything to me!! I've been writing forever. Seriously writing for 15 years.

What inspired you to write your first book?
It was just time... I was seeing someone and it ended... I guess this was my way of dealing with the relationship's end.

What do you wish more people knew about the publishing side of things?
That's it's a rough process... you have to be careful when you're trying to become published. Make sure you and your publisher/publishing company are a good fit. Just because they'll publish you doesn't mean they're good for you.

How did you come up with your title?
I also write and perform poetry... I had a poem called "The Sum of My Mistakes." That was not the original name of the book.

What author(s) has influenced your writing style?
Carl Weber is my biggest inspiration... I love his writing style and I hope to be as successful and he is. E. Lynn Harris... I loved his writing style.

For your first book, how long did it take you to find an agent?
Unfortunately I still don't have one... Let's just say my publisher and I weren't a good fit.

How important was a "platform" in selling your books?
Very important, but unfortunately I didn't realize it until after the fact. I wish I could do a lot of things differently.

Do you have book signings coming up where readers can meet you?
I presently don't have any scheduled... I'm seriously focused on my writing right now. I took a little vacation from my writing... from everything really... and I've been focused on my poetry and performing. I'm going to take a little break and work on my life as an Author and hope some of the things I'm looking for in my literary world I'll be able to find. Another publisher, a marketing team, a PR person, and agent, things like that.

Can you tell us about your upcoming project(s)?
Well... I'm working on "The Sum of My Mistakes II" and a poetry book. I'm still promoting "The Sum of My Mistakes" and praying hard for my Best Seller dreams to come true. I'm also working on opening up a publishing company in 2014. I'd like to learn more about the business before I venture out into the Publishing world.

What advice do you have to an aspiring author?
Write... write and write!!! Don't stop writing! Do your homework!! No matter what you plan on doing self publishing or if you're looking for a publishing company DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Don't sign with the first publisher that comes along. Investigate and expand your possibilities. If you're thinking big things... aim for big things. Don't limit yourself. Open your mind... believe in your work and never read while you're trying to write. Investigate your agent, your PR person, your literary agent, EVERYBODY!! Have a marketing plan/team and get a Manager if you can. So you can concentrate on writing. Also let your team do their jobs!!!

Social Media Contacts:
Sexy Evan Roberts is the owner of Chef Life Enterprises, a culinary supply company. He's also the boyfriend of ex stripper/porno star Saniya Wheeler. After getting caught cheating once again, karma begins to catch up to Evan. When he's faced with making a life and death decision involving his #1 enemy, will he step up to the plate? or allow his selfish behavior to possibly claim a man's life?
Thick and sassy Saniya Wheeler is heartbroken when she catches Evan in a compromising position with his employee. When Saniya goes running into the arms of another man will he end up capturing her heart or ruining her life? 
Mrs. Macy Long is obsessed with Evan Roberts which leads to much headache for Saniya. When these two ladies' lives collide who will be the victor in this crazy love triangle?
To purchase Dawn's book on Paperback or for your Kindle, click here.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Review: Hollywood Strangers

Hollywood Strangers
Hollywood Strangers by Brenda Stokes Lee

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Whew...where do I start? Brenda Stokes Lee bought intense heat with this novel.

Tatyana Fuqua is a young lady who aspires to be an actress but unfortunately, that intense need draws her to the snakes in the entertainment industry. After a big fall out with her long time friend and attorney, Lee, she comes upon some good fortune or so she thinks. In walks, Andrea Weeks whose brother, Dylan is a top name in the industry and he wines and dines Tatyana in order to show how her life would be when she signs with him. After struggling through life and working as a Barista, Tatyana wants nothing more than to be that big name so without consulting Lee, she signs on the dotted line.

This story will take you on a whirlwind as Tatyana becomes involved in sex, lies and unspoken fantasies. Through it all, she meets a Prince who delivers hardcore, mind blowing, earth shattering sex to her. The Prince gives her some information that forces Tatyana to realize that she was being bamboozled by the Dylan Weeks Agency and reaches a turning point in her life.

One click to find out what will happen next as Tatyana figures out what to do with this new information she has received from the Prince.

If you love graphic sex scenes and suspense, this is the book for you. Brenda Stokes Lee delivers great character development and a mindblowing plot to readers. I look forward to reading more from this author.

View all my reviews

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Review: Give Me You

Give Me You
Give Me You by Tia Kelly

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Mya and Donovan was that couple you wanted to see together. They were friends who moved to the next level. It was romance at its best. I think it is great when you go through so much that you know that person's strengths and weaknesses. It helped blossom the relationship. I, like other reviewers, wish it had been longer to give a little history of both of the couple's family/past but in any case, I truly enjoyed this story. Maybe a longer novel will be made of the two of them in the future. Great job Ms. Tia Kelly!!!

View all my reviews

Review: Love's Rebound

Love's Rebound
Love's Rebound by Tia Kelly

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was an ok read by Tia Kelly. Shelby is a strong and independent woman. While at a professional ball game with her son, she meets Eric. From Eric, Shelby suffers through a case of mistaken identity only to find out a little more about her past. This story will take you on a journey of the one person who connects the both of them. Unfortunately, there is not a good flow to the story as it is choppy at times. If there was a better flow, as the basis of the story was great, it would have been rated higher.

I would like to suggest to the author a developmental editor as she has great plots but the flow isn't always what it needs to be for her story. I look forward to watching Ms. Kelly grow in her writing journey.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Chatting it up with Author of Lovely Lies, LaShanta Charles

LaShanta Charles was born and raised in 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. Through trial and error, she has developed a unique writing style that she fully embraces. She penned her first official novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and is currently working on the sequel.

Currently she lives in Killeen, TX, with her husband and two children. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in English at Drury University and also serving on active duty 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.”

Can you please tell us a little about yourself.
I was born and raised in Orangeburg, SC and have been on active duty in the US Army for almost 12 years. I love spending time with my family, watching TV, eating, and of course, writing. I love having fun.

What inspired you to write your first book?
I love writing and it's always been my outlet, so the first book I wrote was from just wanting to write. Lovely Lies, isn't the first book I wrote, but I wrote it and pushed myself to have it published because I was told that I wouldn't do it. Kind of like reverse psychology!

What do you wish more people knew about the publishing side of things?
It can be unfair. Being a published author has become much more accessible with all of the new technology there is, so not as many people put forth the true effort needed to put out a good quality product. There can be great stories from new authors and we catch a bad rap because of those who neglect certain aspects such as editing.

How did you come up with your title?
My novel was originally titled Through It All, but my publisher and I decided that wasn't catchy enough. We went to the drawing board quite a few times and we came up with Lovely Lies.

What author(s) has influenced your writing style?
When it comes to a specific author, there is none. I take influence from those known and highly favored such as Terry McMillan, to those just starting out such as my label mate Shewanda Pugh.
For your first book, how long did it take you to find an agent?
I still don't have an agent!!! I spent roughly 18-24 months trying to "sell" my book to a publisher on my own. I spent that whole time being told NO!! I was devastated each and every time, but eventually I got used to it. Surprisingly when I got the yes from Delphine Publications I also had two other offers from different publishers.

How important was a "platform" in selling your books?
A platform is very important. Without one you're just throwing yourselves out there and basically asking not to succeed.
Do you have book signings coming up where readers can meet you?
July 3 - Bayou Soul Writers & Readers Conference (New Orleans, LA)
July 4-8 - Essence Music Festival (New Orleans, LA)
Aug 30-31 - South Dallas Book Fair (Dallas, TX)
October 24-26 - National Black Book Festival (Houston, TX)

Can you tell us about your upcoming project(s)?
Currently I'm working on the sequel to Lovely Lies, as well as brainstorming for two additional projects that I haven't thought of titles for.
What advice do you have to an aspiring author?
Keep writing, don't be afraid of being told no, and don't be afraid to ask for help and advice. 

Social Media: (personal website) (publisher's website)


Makynzee has spent all of her life being dependent on people who've always disappointed her, especially her abusive mother. Everyone lies to her - her sister, her uncle, even her beloved father. When her mom strips her of her one true love, gymnastics, she's determined to find and maintain her independence. There's only one little She sets out to find a job as a dancer at a gentlemen's club, but finds Kalil instead. With his looks, money, and charisma any woman would be crazy not to want him and Makynzee's no different. Falling for him fast she soon discovers some things just aren't adding up and Kalil may not be the man she thought he was. He wants to be with her and provide for her, but can he protect her? When a love-struck fan becomes obsessed and begins attacking and stalking Makynzee she questions Kalil's ability to be her protector. Makynzee has no idea who he is, where he came from, or why he's here, but he's determined to have her even if that means eliminating everyone she knows and loves. By any means necessary, right? She belongs to him and he's claiming what's rightfully his, no matter the circumstances. When truths are revealed, they threaten to tear Makynzee's soul apart and chaos becomes her life. Will she be able to escape this temporary insanity or will she become a permanent victim? 

Purchase Links: