Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Social Affair Book Tour with Pat Tucker

Purchase at Amazon.com

About A Social Affair: 
Online dating is quickly becoming the norm...
 In A social Affair (Atria Books/Strebor Books; Feb. 2013) readers get a glimpse into the ugly side of online dating, when two people meet on Facebook and create false personas. Their charade turns into a torrid love affair, but they neglect to tell each other they’re married in real life. Online dating statistics indicate more than 40 million people date online, despite the possible pitfalls involved, online dating continues to grow in popularity. Social Media sites like Facebook, and online dating sites such as, Match.com, and others, have become the new singles bars.

About Pat Tucker:

Many of Pat’s stories are ripped from the headlines. Her work has been featured on The Nationally syndicated Tom Joyner Morning show, Essence.com, Ebony magazine, YahooShine, and a slew of radio and TV stations. By day, Pat Tucker Wilson works as a radio news director in Houston, TX. By night, she is a talented writer with a knack for telling page-turning stories. A former television news reporter, she draws on her background to craft stories readers will love. With more than fifteen years of media experience, the award-winning broadcast journalist has worked as a reporter for ABC, NBC and Fox affiliate TV stations and radio stations in California and Texas.   Visit www.authorpattucker.com

Q & A with Pat Tucker

A&RBC: Thank you so much for this interview, Pat!  Can you tell us where you are from?
Pat: Although both my mom and dad were born in Belize, Central America, I was born and raised in South Central Los Angeles, and am a proud graduate of Crenshaw High School, and San Jose State University.
A&RBC: How did you come up with your title?
Pat: Most of the times, my titles come before the story. I will often ask my facebook friends to help me decide whether I’m working with a great title. This one, came from those FB friends.
A&RBC: They say you can judge a book by its cover.  Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?
Pat: My cover was designed by the great and talented Keith Saunders at Marion Designs in Atlanta. He usually takes my vision and brings it to life, however this time, I told him to surprise me, and he did!
A&RBC: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
Pat: A Social Affair is a story about two people who are very unhappy in their marriages. Since they are unable to get a do-over, in real life, they create one on Facebook!
A&RBC: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?
Pat: One of the many messages I hope readers take away is, you must use caution online when meeting people.
A&RBC: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?  
Pat: I think the chapters toward the end of the story were my favorite. This is where our characters face consequences for their actions.
A&RBC: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
Pat: As is the case with most of my stories, often times when something happens in real life, I always think of a different scenario to the story. Online dating is so common now, that these types of horror stories need to be highlighted.
A&RBC:  Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
Pat: People who are close to me say, I may be borderline OCD… Obsessive compulsive disorderJ I do tend to have an addictive personality.
A&RBC: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
Pat: If I could travel anywhere in the world, I’d got to Jamaica again and again and again! I love the country and think the people are some of the most beautiful in this world.
A&RBC: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Pat: I am a nightowl!
A&RBC: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
Pat: My 8 year old daughter loves to write. So who knows, we could see some books in her future.
A&RBC: As a child, were you a dreamer?
Pat: As a child I was a huge dreamer! I was the one who knew what I wanted to be from day one!
A&RBC: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish.  What would that be?
Pat: If I could be granted one wish, it would be to win the lottery, and I would share with family and friends!
A&RBC: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
Pat: THANK YOU for the interview! The pleasure was completely mine! I appreciate your support!

The Holy City by Michael Blake

About The Author

Born in the intercity of Chicago, Michael found himself pulled in two different directions after completing high school.  His dreams of becoming a basketball player was overwhelmed by the peer presure from the neighborhoods, young men who were famous for being street lords….Becoming a young parent, Michael chose the thug lifestyle, fast money, and cars to provide for his family.  After a drastic incident that led Michael to a five year prison sentence, he recollected on past memories and began writing his debut novel “The Holy City”.
Get to Know Michael:
Q: Tell us a little something about yourself?
A: My name is Michael F. Blake…A native of Chicago Illinois.  A father/husband, screenwriter, entrepreneur and the author of an amazing three part series “The Holy City” under Delphine Publication.
Q: How have becoming an author changed your life?
A: It have given me a more positive outlet to express my creativity, emotions, and past interpretations of some of my childhood memories.
Q: What was some of your biggest challenges writing “The Holy City”?
A: It’s kind of hard to believe that during the darkest time of my life, in the midst of serving a five year prison bid, God revealed to me a gift of writing.  Often times writing in the dark, overcoming all the negativity that surrounded me and staying focused was extremely tough to do.
Q: When did you come to the conclusion of making “The Holy City” a series?
A: As I began to write my imagination and creativity took over the pen while recalling key childhood events, memories, and tragedies.  I knew the movie that played in my head for years couldn’t be subject to just one novel.
Q: How can your book be portrayed in a positive light in regards to crime, gangs, and drugs in poverty-stricken communities?
A: Although “The Holy City” refers to one of the high crime area’s of the city, my goal is to bring forth awareness to the new generation about the dangers that the gritty streets hold if they take the path of gangs, violence, or any other crimes just to make a quick buck.  I know it may sound clich`e but really their are only two ways out and we all know that’s death or prison.
Q: Do you see your novel becoming a visual?
A: Most definitely.  To be honest my main objective was to write a movie but I really didn’t know how to construct a screenplay.  After completing my novel and having it self-published while in prison, I was eager to learn how to write a screenplay.  I eventually networked with a fellow inmate that had a book called “How to write screenplays that sell”.  It’s safe to say from that point on “The Holy City” the novel was adopted into a completed screenplay, which can either be a T.V series, web series, or an actual full length film.
Q: What’s next for Michael F. Blake?
A: Continuing book tours in several cities across the country promoting and selling my book while building awareness toward high crime communities across America.  In the near future I plan to start a non-for profit organization for troubled at-risk youths, to encourage and show them better opportunities outside of selling drugs and destroying their own community.  After “The Holy City” series is complete I plan to drop a compilation of short stories to expand my writing genre.
“Like” my facebook company page:  Michael Blake ” The Holy City”
Facebook page: Michael F. Blake
follow me on twitter @MFBlakeinc
go to my website http://www.michaelfblake.com/
also visit my blog site… theholycitynovel.blogspot.com
“The Holy City”  can be purchased at:
personally signed copies at http://www.michaelfblake.com

About The Book
Imagine all your life you were surrounded by poverty…When a life changing proposition is imposed on Marcus Williams he reluctantly makes a decision that would forever change his life.  Leading into a life of blood mischief and crime, would his journey through the cold and gritty streets of Chicago end tragically?  Or would he beat the odds and prevail?  Experience these events at your own risk as you enter “The Holy City”.
“Marcus . . . Marcus! You don’t hear Momma back there callin’ you,” said Chris, his younger brother, as they both sat on the steps of their front porch enjoying a nice summer morning in June.“Huuuhhh!”Marcus responded to his mother’s calling as he snapped out of a trance “Boy, you know you heard me back here callin’ you!” Sylvia yelled as she stood at the back door in her famous all-black satin nightgown. “Get in here and take out this garbage!
           You know it’s too damn hot to be letting this trash pile up like that!” “A’ight, here I come!” Marcus replied, still not making a move toward the door. “Maaannnn, dat nigga gettin’ money,” Marcus said in a hushed tone while staring at Smitty glide down their street in his drop-top cocaine-white ‘79 El Dorado Cadillac with maroon leather interior, bangin’ Al Green’s “Love and Happiness” on his sound system that was so loud that you could actually hear him coming from three blocks away. Honk! Honk! was the sound of Smitty’s horn as he acknowledged the two brothers by throwing up the deuce.
         “Yeah, dat nigga kno’ who I am,” Marcus muttered out with confidence as he threw up the deuce while staring at Smitty slowly drive down their block. “What make you think he kno’ you, you ain’t nobody,” Chris sarcastically blurted out. “What! You seened how dat nigga looked ova’ here. He know wassup wit’ me.” “The only reason he looked this way ‘cause he know Daddy stay here,” Chris said as he began to ease off the porch onto the sidewalk.
“Remember, dats yo’ punk-ass daddy, not mine,” Marcus replied offensively.
“Ahhh! You mad‘cause don’t nobody know you, nigga!” Chris taunted in a teasingly fashion while heading in the direction of one of his friends’house two doors down. “A’ight, we gon’ see ‘who know who’ when I start gettin’ ‘dis
        “Don’t worry, dat ain’t gon’ happen no time soon,” said Chris as he continued to pick at his older brother. “Marcus!”Sylvia yelled harshly from out the house. “Okay, here I come!” Marcus quickly responded with a slight attitude
as he reached out for the door while looking back at Chris.
         On his dreadful walk into the house, Marcus was mumbling some pretty unpleasant words under his breath until his mother interrupted his train of thought. “How many times do I have to call yo’ name for you to get in here and do what the hell I told you to do!” Sylvia snapped as she stood in the kitchen with her hands resting on her hips.
         Even though Sylvia only stood about four foot ten, she demanded her respect from anyone that associated themselves with her, especially men. Sylvia was determined not to allow her kids to disrespect her, but at times, she would show a little leniency toward their smart remarks. “You should’ve asked dat nigga to do it,” Marcus mumbled under his breath while grabbing the bag out the trash can.
“What’chĂș say?”Sylvia asked vigorously after seeing movement come from his lips.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Author of The Week: Alvin Horn

Q & A with Alvin Horn

A&RBC: How did you become a writer?
Alvin: I attribute it to my mother for sending me to the library when she placed me on restriction, often for daydreaming in school. Pages of autobiographies and biographies, of other people lives became daydreams and made my imagination run wild. After reading the work of Richard Wright, Zora Neale Hurston, and Nikki Giovanni, I knew I wanted to be a writer of love poems and stories. “Some of my erotic writings creativity came from my dad leaving men’s magazine in a not so secret place. My friends peeked at the picture, but I read the stories, most of the time …”

As a child, I had a limited ability to hand-write with a pen or pencil. I cannot hold a pencil and produce more than a few sentences without writing them backwards, or writing letters backward, yet it looks correct to me. I have a learning dis-order; my brain waves get confused and it comes out through my writing hand. The name for my condition is Dysgraphia. Dysgraphia involves having difficulty with my fine-motor skills and motor memory. I know what I want to write, but by the time the signal reaches my fingers holding a pencil, it’s a mess.

Back in the day, I would trade writing services. Fellow students would write my assignments out for me, and in return, I’d let them copy from my imagination to improve their school assignments. One thing I did, I used to recite love letters for my friends to give to girls or boys. Finally, as I wanted to write all these poems, short stories and novels you have been reading I got over my shame and sought help by first getting a correct diagnose. In my late thirties, I learned use a keyboard and the effects of Dysgraphia are held in check. I’ve learned to laugh at myself from my heart, instead of my mind beating up on me for what I cannot do, and I celebrate what I can do.

My disabilities in many ways has created my style of writing, much like in the way a blind person sees life another way, certain sense reroute, thus creating a style. Like listening to Stevie Wonder play drums. He hits the drums on the right beat, but he hits different drums on those beats much different from other drummers. His drumming sounds unique but still correct. I hope you keep enjoying my gift, and my style.

A&RBC: Where does your inspiration for your characters come from?
Alvin: From my own need to read books with characters whose lives are not made dramatic from overtop behaviors without having the entire backgrounds of why. From reading classics such as Mark Twain, Richard Wright, Hemmingway, James Baldwin, in many classics complete character development is a major part of the story, equaling the drama in each novel. Everyday people can have compelling lives if you know their story, and I love creating that environment.

A&RBC: What are you hoping readers take from your book?
Alvin: Seeing themselves; I hope they read bits and pieces or more of their own world past and present. I want to open their minds to the possibility of thinking about social issues in different lights through what my characters struggles and joys.  

A&RBC: If you were to write a book about a controversial topic, what would it be?
Alvin: I have thought about a character that for some reason was isolated from people for twenty-years or more and then they would have to interact in society. How would they deal with fear, love, sex, faith or religion, money, and work and more? How would people react to that character? This character is not a prison inmate or war prisoner. What would have someone isolated for the length of time realistically? Open to ideas…   

A&RBC: Most writers have a process or method for writing their books, what is yours?
Alvin: Mine is not complicated. I’m blessed so far not to have had writers block and I can write in the middle of a football game and eighty thousand people screaming yelling. My best time is when I turn on some classic music, like Phyllis Hyman and I can write-away.

A&RBC: What is your favorite genre of books?
Alvin: Crime-murder-mystery and the P.I. and Biographical novels

A&RBC: Are you an avid or occasional reader?
Alvin: Reading three to four books at a time always. One fiction, one bio, one social science, and the Bible.

A&RBC: What are two things you want your readers to know about you?
Alvin: Be careful when you’re talking to me, I’m writing their story or a story with you in it.And, I’ve done a few different things in life. I’m a musician of six instruments, a former boxer, and track all-American, and pro football player, and the 2012 Billboard Awards Best Male Expressionist of the year Erotic- sensual Romantic spoken word Artist

A&RBC: If you could interview one of your favorite authors, who would it be? Why?
Alvin: Harlon Coban and Walter Mosely at the same time with cold beers. They write serious crime and satire at the same time with sexy overtones.

A&RBC: What is or was your dream job?
Alvin: To be a writer who people want to buy my work—enough to earn a respectable living and the reason they buy my novels is because they are desirable reads, and not just because I’m the popular name to buy.

A&RBC: What new projects are you working on?
Alvin: My previous two books Brush Strokes and the recent Perfect Circle are not sequels but are connected though sub-characters, and I am turning them into main characters in my current project. I’ll keep using Seattle and the Northwest way of life that is different from the rest of the country as part of the story. A few new characters in the new book will be a former Secretary of State, and we learn she has an unusually freaky sexual nature. Another Character finds out his mother who gave him at birth was kidnapped or was she, either-way she’s famous for a real life historical event.

A&RBC: Where can readers find you?
Alvin: I’m always on my houseboatliving in Seattle, and it’s easy to contact me through my website www.alvinhorn.com. I do travel a lot because I am a featured spoken word performer. My books are at most retailers, and for sure I can be found on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/alvinhorn

Purchase at Amazon.com
About The Book
Stalking, violence, and philandering threaten the well-being of the professional and private lives of four characters in the Emerald City of Seattle.   Ayman Sparks is the head coach of the East Seattle City University basketball team. He tries to control everything in life like the tight swish of a basketball. He meets a woman, who is really a substitute for his ex-wife, but she pushes boundaries with her deep emotional issues and doesn’t go away without taking a pound of flesh.  

Sterlin Baylor, the assistant coach, is pure playboy, and he bounces women in and out of his bed. Finally, a woman does something foul to him that becomes a life-or-death situation for Sterlin and everyone involved. 

Lois Mae has turned to Internet dating. She is a stylish, full-figured woman who teaches literature at the university. Her dates sometimes turn dangerous as she has a hard time keeping her compulsive sexual appetite under control. Will her history of abuse keep her love dying or will she learn to live for love? 

Vanita Irving is a churchgoing single mother. She is a model of beauty who appears confident and efficient, but she can’t control her life-long struggles with depression. Will she take the right steps to change her life or will she keep repeating her past?

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Self-Help Stress Solutions Ebook Series Virtual Book Tour


Darlene Josaphe helps women manage stress successfully with resources that educate, combined with personal support. Her website, Natural Stress Relief Tips For Women, is an exclusive website for women that provides self-improvement articles, stress reduction resources, and transformational tools to women who want to improve their lives and achieve their life goals.

Natural stress relief tips for women is a site about turning your life from OK to extraordinary by reducing the stress, anxieties, and tensions that rob you of the peace of mind and happiness you deserve. If your life feels like a constant pressure cooker, you're not alone. Women today are under a lot of pressure.

Knowledge is power, and our self-help ebooks for women will empower you to cope with the stresses in your life and achieve your life goals, whether it is happiness, good health, loving relationships, financial freedom, fulfillment ... or all of the above.

To see all that Darlene offers, including a chance to learn more about natural stress relief techniques and tips you can use right now and high-performance strategies that you can use immediately to improve your life, simply take our FREE Stress-busting eCourse and learn how to turn your stress into success!


Consider the common stressors of everyday life: work, family, money and community obligations to name a few. When you let these pressures add up, they lead to stress - in sometimes dangerous levels - which can result in stress-related illness. Walking moves the body in a relaxed way, helps clear the mind and allows the walker to focus on the physical sensations in the body. 

Meditation exercises such as yoga and tai chi often get the spotlight for their ability to clear the mind, relax the body and offer a quality workout. But the simple act of walking rivals these exercises by relieving physical and mental stress and bringing the mind to a new sense of calm. This shows you how to start walking for stress relief.


A recent stress survey carried out by the American Psychological Association in 2011 found that women are more stressed than men and that money is their number one stressor, topping off work and the economy. Basically, these findings show that even though men feel stressed over money, women feel it more and at higher levels. So why is money a more troubling stressor for women? This book will explain why and provide practical money management solutions.

Often times, we start to eat better in response to a particular situation, such as feeling sick or fatigued. Yet these habits wear off and we're back to our normal eating patterns. You can't eat healthy some of the time and expect it to nourish your body for the long haul. 

This book shows you how to follow a healthy eating regimen that will allow you to thrive in the everyday world. You will learn how to keep your expectations realistic, incorporate the healthy foods that you love and weed out the foods that are known for causing stress. It may be hard at first, but the end rewards will be worth your effort.

  There are a variety of factors that can affect a person's view of the holidays, such as money woes, gift-buying, entertaining and traveling. Often times, these negative feelings creep up during the adult years when we have a lot on our plates and may not be able to give 100 percent to the holiday. The winter holidays are always the biggest and most demanding, but even smaller holidays can be taxing on a busy, overworked mom who barely has time for herself. In this book, we'll delve deeper into some of the issues that make modern holidays a stress ball.

  If you're a devoted camper, you already know the endless benefits to a weekend camping trip. But if you haven't yet indulged in these impromptu getaways, or had a bad experience with a camping trip years ago, you have yet to discover the natural beauty and effortless endeavors of camping.

The greatest benefit to camping is that it takes place outdoors. Becoming one with Mother Nature is one of the most effective ways to find peace and harmony, relax the mind and body and enjoy life's simple pleasures. It's amazing how even on a stressful day, listening to the birds sing, taking in deep breaths, capturing the current season and watching the sun rise or set can transform our moods. This is something that no five-star hotel room can accomplish.

We're always looking for ways to release stress, improve the quality of our lives and promote healthy relationships. Yet so many of the "solutions" are commercially inclined and have us spending money on things we don't really need. If you feel that you need some time to get away, relax your mind and body and improve your interpersonal relationships, camping is the most effective, most affordable way to accomplish this goal. This book will show you how to do just that!  

When you really think about it, time is one of the leading causes of stress in today's world. Just because it's something that we can't see, it doesn't mean that it's not having a great impact on our lives. It worms its way into almost everything that we do and the perceived lack of time is something that's going to get any busy woman frustrated and stressed.

If you are tired of the dead weight of burdensome stress, caused by the feeling of never having time to do the things you want to do or if you are tired of feeling overwhelmed, then you need to embrace proper time management methods for stress relief.

If you start today using the time management tips and methods outlined in this book, you'll have established a new habit of time management by the end of the month and you will discover the freedom and stress relief that effective time management brings. 


Stress comes into our lives whether we want it there or not. It's uninvited and can wreak havoc on our physical and emotional selves. Luckily, there are many things you can use to combat stress - aromatherapy being one of the most enjoyable and soothing options at your disposal. This book shows you how to make full use of aromatherapy for stress relief. Starting today! 


Women tend to carry their stress in both mental and physical ways, and that's why the combination of an artistic outlet and an exercise program can truly benefit a woman. There is no easier hobby to begin than gardening, no matter how complex that actual garden. Whether you choose a container gardening garden plan, or toss some seeds into the backyard, this book will show you how to use gardening for stress relief as a wonderful addition to your life and lifestyle. 

To find out more about the series, go to Amazon here:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Chimney Bluffs Book Tour with David Seaburn

About The Author

David Seaburn recently retired after having been the director of a public school based free family counseling center. Prior to that I was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Family Medicine at the University of Rochester Medical Center for almost twenty years. During my tenure there I  taught in a Family Medicine Residency Program, practiced  Medical Family Therapy and was the Director of  a Family Therapy Training Program.

In addition to this I am an ordained Presbyterian minister, having graduated from seminary (Boston University) in 1975. I served a church full-time from 1975-1981 before entering the mental health field permanently. I still keep my hand in ministerial work on a part-time basis.

My educational background includes two master's degrees and a PhD.Common to all the work I've done is a commitment to the needs of others which means being actively involved in their life stories.  

I am also married and we have two adult daughters and an adorable granddaughter. 

Contact this author at: dseaburn@gmail.com

About The Book
Purchase at Amazon.com

When state park ranger Clancy Brisco discovers two bodies and two sacks at the bottom of 300 foot high Chimney Bluffs, he is shocked. When he discovers what is in the sacks, his life is changed forever. Chimney Bluffs is a story about the power of relationships to foster hope and enable healing.
Kate and Mitch Duncan adore their young son, Danny; when he dies unexpectedly after a brief illness, they are inconsolable. Mitch believes their only option is to join their son in the afterlife so he will not be alone; Kate agrees to Mitch's proposal of suicide, not because she believes in the afterlife, but because she feels responsible for Danny's death. They put two sacks in the back of their VW van, one containing their son, the other containing his toys, and go to their favorite place, Chimney Bluffs, Ice Age spires carved out of the Lake Ontario shoreline. Mitch jumps to his death; Kate lives.
Clancy and his young co-worker and friend, Bobby, are overwhelmed by what they find in the sacks. Clancy, furious at what he thinks has been the murder of a little boy, curses Kate as she lies silent on the shore.
Over the course of several months, Clancy, Bobby and Kate will not only become friends, but will live together, their private stories mingling in an unexpectedly transformative way. Clancy, the failed husband who always hoped for a family; Bobby, whose brother's death when he was a boy destroyed Bobby's relationship with his father; and Kate, who struggles with loss and guilt and, in the end, healing and hope.
You can visit David's website at  www.davidseaburn.com

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Claiming Jeremiah by Missy B. Salick

About The Book

On the same night that twenty four-year-old Jordyn Sims has a miscarriage, her sister-in-law Tori Sims conceives a child. Nine months later, Tori, a long term heroin addict, abandons her two-hour-old drug addicted newborn Jeremiah, in a hospital stairwell. Jordyn receives the news and pursues foster adoption. However, Oscar, Tori’s possessive drug-addicted boyfriend, is not about to give Jeremiah up so easily. While in confrontation with Tori and Oscar, Jordyn seeks help from the Administration of Children Services (ACS), only to discover she is faced with a maze of departments, regulations, legalities and overworked social workers. Jordyn, however, remains strong and continues to push through the uphill battle, even after she discovers she’s pregnant.
With all odds against her adoption of Jeremiah, and her pregnancy at high risk from increasing stress, will Jordyn win this tough battle, or will her world crumble before her?
Hazel pulled a black garbage bag from her jacket pocket and gave it to Tori. Another black bag protruded from her pocket.
“You take the living room and I’ll take upstairs.”
Tori walked around the well-decorated house looking for valuables. She saw a silver picture frame with the word FAMILY written in decorative script across the top. It was a family of four: mother, father, little girl, and her brother. Tori stepped back and gazed at the photograph wondering what it felt like to have what they have.
Hazel hurried into the living room, her garbage bag filled to the top. Tori could see a laptop poking out.
“Tori, what you doing standing looking at that picture? We have to go. In and out remember?”
“I . . . uhhh. Do you know these people, Hazel? We stealing from people who have kids you know.”
“No, I don’t know them, Tori, and neither do you,” said Hazel, heading for the back door. “You don’t owe them nothing. Come on. We do this now or you going to be sucking someone off later for that score. You choose. I’m outta here.” The screen door slammed behind her.
Hazel’s words brought Tori back to reality. She quickly rummaged through the coffee-table drawers grabbing what she could. She found a PlayStation, some DVDs and two DSs that had been left plugged in to charge, a dead cell phone, knickknacks from the mantel, and a printer. She scurried down the steps and ran around the corner.
Hazel was waiting for her two blocks down, bumming another cigarette from a corner store regular. When she saw Tori, her face broke into a delighted smile.
“Nice choice,” she said. “Here, I got you a loosie. Ha, I see you got that printer. We should be able to get at least ten for that.”
“Yeah,” said Tori, as she and Hazel walked along the busy street. “It was a waste to leave it behind.”
They arrived at Barry’s, who ran an illegitimate pawnshop from his apartment. He bought everything from electronics to furniture, anything you needed to get rid of.
Hazel pressed the buzzer and they waited. Tori had never been inside Barry’s apartment. She had only waited outside many times when Oscar brought him some hot merchandise.
Barry opened the door. He was tall and had to weigh close to four hundred pounds. He was dark-skinned and his face was covered with a thick beard. He wore black tinted sunglasses even though there was no sunlight in the room. He blew a thick cloud of cigar smoke into Tori’s face. Hazel slipped past him and went inside. Tori stood at the door and peered into the apartment.
“You coming in?” he asked.
“Umm no. I’m going to stay outside. Let Hazel know when she gets back.”
Tori made her way back outside. After three attempts to get a cigarette from someone, a teenage boy finally gave her one. As she puffed the nicotine in the cool air, she mentally counted how much Barry might give Hazel for the merchandise. Even though he was known for low-balling, Tori calculated there should be at least fifty dollars’ worth of stuff in her bag alone. If Hazel had as much as she did, which she did, that would be another fifty. Split down the middle and it would be fifty apiece. It would be enough to buy five bags. Not bad for ten minutes’ worth of work.
And I was able to do it without O.
Tori paced in front of the building and flicked her cigarette.
Damn. What’s taking this chick so long?
As if on cue, Hazel came out of the building flashing a bunch of ten-dollar bills.
“How much we get?” Tori asked, her eyes never leaving the cash.
“A hundred. I tried to get more but you know that cheap-ass wasn’t going for that.”
Tori laughed loudly, as she had calculated that amount earlier in her mind.
“What’s so funny?”
“Nothing. Nothing. Give me my half and let’s go cop from Blue over on Wilson.”
“Blue be having that good dope for real,” said Hazel taking a sniff.
“Yeah, when he got it. That dude be on some other stuff sometimes.”
“I know, right? He a fake-me-out dealer.”
Tori stood over Hazel’s kitchen counter and inhaled the heroin she had copped from Blue. The sink had an annoying leak that hit the dishes with a loud, wet plop every second. The doors from the cabinets were missing and roaches boldly scuttled by.
Hazel shared the one-bedroom with her daughter, sister, and her son. Hazel’s daughter was turning five and could barely speak or say her ABCs. Hazel’s plan was to say that she was special-ed so she could receive more money from the state. In addition to the Section 8 for housing, she received food stamps and cash assistance.
“Yo, I gotta be out Hazel. Thanks for that hook up.”
“No doubt, catch you on the block.”
Tori resumed her search for Oscar along the streets of Brooklyn. Chasing Oscar and heroin had become her daily and nightly routine. The sun would fall and rise again before she laid her head down to rest.
Meet Missy B. Salick

Missy B. Salick is a new author who has written her first novel, Claiming Jeremiah. Her fictional memoir on foster adoption is drawing a hefty buzz, and the online release date isn’t until April 7, 2013 (May 4 in paperback). The novel is small in size, but contains a powerful message. “Children in foster care need a place to call home.”  Salick, a foster care advocate, wrote this book based on her personal journey of foster adopting her four-year-old son.
Before self-publishing, Claiming Jeremiah, Salick spent several years as a freelance business writer for Fortune 500 companies such as: Shearman & Sterling, KPMG, Deloitte and many more. She also had a stint with song ghost writing.  Salick’s experience in the entertainment industry stems from working with entertainment companies and media including Violator, MBK, Village Voice and more. As the founder of J.J. Autumn Publishing, her publishing company is geared towards highlighting urban fiction dedicated to special causes and community awareness projects.
Get to know Missy:
What inspired you to write Claiming Jeremiah?
A: I was inspired to write Claiming Jeremiah after I experienced the foster adoption process with my son. My son was a family member who entered foster care and I wanted to prevent that from happening as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, due to legal and state laws it was harder than I thought. I did research, reading several books and articles on what I could do to stay positive and to learn more about the process. While I found several books about the technical information I needed, I couldn’t find any that illustrated a positive story and outcome.
I wanted more than just information. I wanted to experience the roller coaster ride of someone else’s journey to give me hope. And the stories that were hopeful seemed too good to be true. I wanted the bad along with the good. I wanted the truth. While foster care isn’t always a beautiful and positive subject to speak about, I believe it is a subject that needs more public attention drawn to it in the media and from those who have experienced it from both sides, both the children and the parents. I kept a journal of my own personal trials and tribulations and that lead to the birth of Claiming Jeremiah.
How long did it take to complete from start to finish?
A: I started the novel a year after my son arrived. Once I started writing I couldn’t stop. I would say it took me a couple of months. However, once I finished and reread it, something was missing, it wasn’t complete. I put it down for a year and returned to it after that time, once I had had time to grow, not only in my writing but also as a human being. This story is so personal that I knew the timing and my mindset had to be perfect. After I picked up the pen for the second time it took me about three to four months to complete.
What was the toughest part about writing Claiming Jeremiah?
A: The toughest part about writing Claiming Jeremiah was the character development. It was very important to me to capture each character the right way. The reader needs to be able to experience not only what it is like being each character, but also to get the information they needed to foster a child in care. For instance, from the first chapter you easily understand Jordyn and what she is about. However, with Tori, she is a much more complex character. From the first pages, you see her confused, scattered, and being a heavy drug user who has left her two-hour-old newborn in a hospital stairwell. The normal reaction would be to dislike her character. Tori is misunderstood, however, and I wanted to reveal what it would be like to walk in Tori’s shoes. What causes her to do this to her body, to herself, and to her children? What’s the driving force behind her actions? These are all questions I wanted to explore and give some shape and impression of to my readers. More importantly, I wanted to show her other side and not make her out just to be the villain.
Do you intend to write a second book?  Is this the first in a sequel?
A: Yes, I definitely intend to write another book. Claiming Jeremiah tells the beginning stages of what it’s like to go through the process of fostering a child. The next book will give you more information on what happens when the child is in your home and the stages of adoption.
You are still very young—at what age did you begin this process, and what has it been like being a young foster (adoptive) mother?
A: I began this process when I was twenty-four years old. I must say it has been a rewarding experience. Never in a million years would I have thought I would be doing this, yet alone at this age. It’s funny, because when my husband and I go to trainings or into the agencies we are always the youngest ones there. We usually get bombarded with questions and then praised for our actions.
As a foster parent, since you have witnessed some of the challenges involved in all the red tape, what are some solutions that you can offer?
A: Each situation is different. You have to find what solutions work best for you. For me, I was dealing with two states and therefore had to deal with four different agencies: the ICPC of each state and each state’s local agency. It was a nightmare. My solution was to make sure nothing fell through the cracks. Each day I was constantly e-mailing or calling someone for a status update. My advice would be to find out what the hold up is or what you can do to make the process move faster and more smoothly. The caseworkers have so many cases and things going on, it’s easy for them to get sidetracked. I’ve learned they care as much as you care. If you show extra incentive, they will too.
Why did you start writing?
A: Writing has always and will always be a part of my life. Writing is my comfort zone. Nothing brings me more peace and assurance in my life than writing. There is no judgment when my pen hits the paper. To me it’s my time to be free. I can say what I want, wear what I want, be whom I want. Writing keeps me sane. When I write I have the opportunity to let go and express myself.
What’s your next project?
A: My next project is the sequel to Claiming Jeremiah, but I am also working on a short novella that is currently Untitled at the moment. My readers will get to see a different side of me after reading Claiming Jeremiah. This novella is going to be a romantic comedy.
You are new to the writing industry; what can your readers expect to see from you?
A: My readers can expect to never expect the same thing. I am a prolific writer and my mind tends to come up with stories in various genres. One day I can feel romantic, the next day like a thriller, then inspirational, and so forth. Every day and every story won’t be the same.
Find the author:
FB: www.facebook.com/meetmissy24
Twitter: @meetmissy24
Instagram: @awriterzlife
Website: www.meetmissy.com

Publisher Site: www.jjapublishing.com

Email Address: jjapublishing@gmail.com

Buy the book: