Monday, April 22, 2019

20 Questions with John Joseph Doody, Author of The Guild Saga Series @johnjosephdoody #20Questions

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I earned a B.A. in Biblical Studies from Coral Ridge University and Seminary, as well as an M.A. in Political Science from George Wythe College. My first publication was a short story, TELEPIO 690, which appeared in Sidetrekked Magazine, Issue #48. My other publications are, my first novel (actually a novella), THE WONK DECELERATOR, my second novel, THE LATE, GREAT BENJAMIN BALE, my third novel, RETURN OF THE CRIMSON WITCH and a fourth mini-book, a prequel to the Guild Series, THE DAUGHTER OF GETH, which is available only in ebook. I am currently working on a science fiction/horror novel, THE DARK. One of these days I might even finish it.

Happily, I have a wife and four children and live in Florida.

Website Link:
Twitter Link: @johnjosephdoody
Facebook Link:

1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
I prefer the nights, especially after midnight.
2. Do you outline or are you a pantster?
I’ve tried to abide by the outline, but alas, I’ a pantster.
3. Which comes first – plot or character?
4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?
If I’m doing the rough—quiet. If I have content issues—quiet. Noise doesn’t bother me any other time.
5. Favorite TV show?
I rarely watch TV anymore. I suppose my favorite show of all time would be Cheers, and I loved Frasier.
6. Favorite type of music?
Contemporary Christian rock and roll.
7. Favorite craft besides writing?
Carpentry. I love to work with wood.
8. Do you play a musical instrument?
I’m a musical illiterate.
9. Single or married?
Married to the wonderful Kerri.
10. Children or no?
I have four kids.

11. Pets?
We have nine cats—four outside and five inside

12. Favorite place to write?
My neck and back decide that. Lately it’s been at the kitchen table, which makes the open door, shut door scenario impossible.

13. Favorite restaurant?

14. Do you work outside the home?
Yep, but I am working on changing that.

15. What was the name of the last movie you saw?

16. Favorite outdoor activity?
Fixing up the mansion.

17. Pet peeve?
Junk mail.

18. Your goal in life?
To travel, where I want, when I want.

19. Your most exciting moment?
Has to be the birth of my kids.

20. The love of your life?

Inside the Books

Author: John Joseph Doody
Publisher: eTreasures Publishing LLC
Pages: 131
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
For Earthers dwelling in Guild space, it is a one-hundred year journey back to Earth. An unimaginable voyage, until now.

When Guild commander and crack pilot, Thad Cochran boards the shuttle destined for the casinos of Timmerus, finding a way back to Earth is not on his radar. He wants the five-percent finder’s fee the Guild is offering for a black box held by the lizard-like Yazz. Thad has a dream: With the loot he will get for stealing the Wonk Decelerator, he can buy a ranch on Beta Prime.

But things begin to fall apart for him in the dark caverns of Timmerus, and Thad must reconsider his priorities in life. Has he discovered a cause greater than his dream? Are there actually more important things to life than money and his dream? What about the woman who is waiting for him? What about freedom in the galaxy? And what about his discovery, fashioned by the gnarled hands of a brilliant, old Yazz, that could change everything?

Thad Cochran has a choice to make. He can fulfill his quest, escape with his life and be rich. Or he can fly with the Wonks … one more time.


Book Excerpt:

Thad opened his eyes, aware of a sense that the murky sun was dropping on the horizon. He panicked momentarily until he realized he still had a half hour before the prearranged confab with Maggie. 

He headed for the bathroom to change into darker clothes for the journey. The bathroom had Thandimonean stone flooring, golden faucets and a huge commode one nearly needed a ladder to get up on. 

Thad rubbed his face and ran his tongue over his teeth. He might as well clean up while he was in here. He stripped, broke out his toothbrush and was busy about his business when he heard a creaking hinge. 

He stepped out of the bathroom in his skivvies, toothpaste frothing in his mouth. 

"Commander Cochran." 

He heard the voice, glanced at the open door, but saw no one. 

"Yeph?!" he gurgled, toothpaste spraying everywhere as his voice took on a falsetto tone. 

"I’m up here, silly boy." 

Thad looked up, and his heart tried to jump out of his gullet. The woman, the one he had seen in the space port and had suspected of being a droid, crawled across the ceiling like a spider chasing after a bug. How she managed to cling, upside down, her head twisted a hundred and eighty degrees and looking directly at him, was a repulsive mystery to him. 

Oh, you’re a droid all right! 

He had never seen a Mandroid capable of walking on ceilings. This droid’s techno was impressive and scary. 

"You should go back to your people, Commander Cochran," she said, as she crawled down the wall, her head twisting again, cracking and popping back to its original position. 

He knew there was no sense in trying to get away, or in trying to fight with this droid. She was too fast, too strong. He had no weapon to use against her, and worst of all, he was in his underwear. 

Thad swallowed his toothpaste. 

Once on the floor, she meandered over to him and, with a critical expression, eyed him from head to toe. She was beautiful, but she smelled of a peculiar blend of perfume and something like burnt rubber. 

"There’s only death waiting for you here on Gar Mega. Go back, Commander, before it’s too late." 

With that, she walked stiffly from the room, leaving the door open. Thad wasted no time, sprinted to the door, locked it and leaned against the wall, his legs trembling beneath him. 

She’s probably got a key that pops out of her finger or something. I know I locked that.

Author: John Joseph Doody
Publisher: eTreasures Publishing LLC
Pages: 370
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
The destinies of two men depend on Maggie Thorn. One is dying and the other is dead…or is he?

Captain Maggie Thorn is on a formal Guild mission, supposedly to kidnap the yazz scientist, Gravian Endrenicus, and return him to Thandimone. But she also has a personal score to settle with the lizard-like inhabitants of Timmerus. She intends to make the yazz pay for what they did to Thad Cochran—the one the yazz call the Thieves Guild pilot. The man she loves.

Supreme Fleet Commander, Admiral Geoff Grangore knows of only one man who could get Maggie to Timmerus and back while traitorous eyes are watching. That man is an old drunk who lives deep in the Thandimonean wilderness with his pet Eno, Snot. Benjamin Bale is suicidal and cantankerous, and Maggie can’t stand him—at first.

Bale is a dead man. At least, that’s what everyone was told. But this dead man has a final mission to perform. The greatest star pilot in the galaxy has a chance to redeem himself and make right a great wrong. A wrong which he can never forgive or forget. A wrong that cost him everything.


Author: John Joseph Doody
Publisher: eTreasures Publishing LLC
Pages: 407
Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy
The Bashtier call Wonk space, Eerindark—The Place of the Dead—and Thad Cochran, the only pilot to go there and live, will soon find out why. The sacrifice of Benjamin Bale brings Thad back from the dead. But is he truly free from the death grip of the Wonks?
A body is discovered behind an apartment wall in a small town on the planet Daggon. With the mystery thrust upon him, Admiral Geoff Grangore must pursue a dangerous quest for the truth—is it somehow connected to The Wonk Decelerator?

Dreams and visions are dancing in the heads of the yazz. Something bad is coming to the frontier—a hidden enemy only the Guild traitor, Alexander Hamilton Patho knows.

Patho sends an assassin to Daggon and his conniving gaze is on the M-3 Wonk vessel. It seems civil war is imminent and those who control the power of Wonk travel will rule the known galaxy. Therefore, it must not fall into Patho’s hands.

It is time for war, and time for Maggie Thorn to learn the truth about who she really is. It is also time for The Return of the Crimson Witch.


Monday, April 15, 2019

How 2 Write a Book...Just Do It! By Kevin C. Alston @kcasrkev1 #writing

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How 2 Write a Book...Just Do It!

By Kevin C. Alston

   The hardest part in writing any book is the subject. What are you going to write about? Will it be long enough? Do you know enough about the subject to actually write a book, not a few pages, a whole book?  The way that I look at it, don't worry about the length. You won't have any idea until you finish anyway. Just try to make sure that you have a passion for the subject you are about to write about. It makes the entire process a whole lot easier. Take your time to get it all done. Write for a little while, then put it away. Come back to it later, read what you've already written, then begin where you left off. More than likely you will add things that you didn't have the first time around. You might even delete some things. The goal is to take your time to get it all down, then clean it up. That was the process that I utilized when writing my first book. I had no clue how to write one, & definitely didn't know anything about publishing one. But, my time had come to write this particular book. A lot of sadness went into my delving into the how's & why's of the diseases that we all are more than too common with today. So I wasn't going to let it deter me that this was unfamiliar territory for me. I charged ahead, taking my time, & letting God guide my pen & thoughts. And right now, I'm more than pleased with the entire process. And though at times it seemed too slow for me, I had to constantly remind myself that if it's God's will, then the timing is always right.

About the Author

Born & raised in the small town of Mullins, SC, by God-fearing parents who instilled religion into his life at an early age, he's had an insatiable appetite for knowledge since birth. God blessed him with a keen, analytical mind, & an almost feverish desire to help others. He is a U.S. Air Force veteran, married to the love of his life, with five wonderful kids, & a deep passion that still burns within him to help the less fortunate, through whatever means necessary.  The correlation between what we eat & the epidemic-like rise in diseases of today has the author on an impassioned mission to get to the bottom of what he thinks is a big conspiracy by our government & Big Business.

His latest book is The ‘Real’ American Diet.

About the Book:

Author: Kevin Alston
Publisher: Xlibris Publishing
Pages: 48
Genre: Memoir/Nonfiction

This book is a culmination of the author's life, but mainly the past 10 years, where personal tragedies have led him to discover more about the correlation with food, nutrition & the diseases of today, & how it affects us all. 

This program is an experiment of sorts, with the author using himself as the guinea pig, with positive results having been discovered, & hopefully, in time, even bigger positive results yet to come. 

Between our government & Big Business, we, the people, are already involved in an experiment.  It's like a big laboratory.  With all of the harmful toxins that are allowed in our air, food, &  water, diseases are at epidemic-like levels, & the author, for one, would like to know if there is more to this than is being told to us. It speaks volumes when other nations refuse to accept grains & meats from us, or at least it does to the author. 

Most of the ailments we suffer from today emanate from our guts, & our poor diets keep the sickness-wheels turning, costing each of us millions of dollars, a whole lot of heartache, pain, & suffering.  It's time to make a change, & that change started with the author's experiment on himself.



Finding Your Writing Home by David W. Berner @davidwberner #writing

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Finding Your Writing Home

By David W. Berner

Virginia Woolf called it a “room of one’s own.” George Bernard Shaw wanted his old hut to be a hideaway from people so he could work. Dylan Thomas wrote in the privacy of a room above an old boathouse in Laughnare, Wales.

A writing place, a sacred spot to work, has been key to the work of many famous writers. And as I began my writing life years ago, working more seriously writing essays and books, I too, found I wanted that special kind of space, a room of my own.

For many years, I wrote almost exclusively in coffee shops. The buzz and whir of a coffee house was comforting, and the act of people watching was both research and a release. But in time, I wanted something more personal, a personal space where I could fall hard into my thoughts. 

So I studied Thomas’ boathouse, Shaw’s hut, and then Thoreau’s cabin. I considered photos and drawings, noted what they kept inside these writing places and how they worked in them. I found more—Roald Dahl’s shed and the extraordinary shack of poet Robert Stephen Hawker built into a hillside Cornwall in England. Then I read Michael Pollan’s book, A Place of My Own: The Architecture of Daydreams. It’s the story of his planning and building a writing hut for himself in the Connecticut woods.

With all this and a dream, I set out to build my own writing shed.

I found a company that could deliver an 8-by-10 foot structure, complete with shingled roof, a window, and a door. It needed to be painted and the inside was unfinished. A flat bed and a Bobcat moved it into a corner the backyard, we maneuvered it into place and augered it into the ground. I soon began the process of insulating, nailing barn wood paneling to the walls, tiling the floor, and whitewashing the unfinished ceiling to best match the interior of Thomas’ boathouse. A bookshelf and a desk came next. I moved two lamps and a space heater inside. White blinds were installed on the window and the door. I lugged in books, a chair, and my old six-string acoustic guitar. And when all was complete, I lit a candle and sat at the desk in the quiet of a spring evening. I had found my writing home.

I would love to tell you that since the building of the shed, all of my books have soared to the top of the bestseller list and I’m now in the process of writing a literary masterpiece. Of course this is not the case. But I write in my shed nearly every day of the year now. I read and I think there. I take no phone calls. I read no email. The shed is my holy space and it has become my source of literary light; it is my writing home.

There is no perfect writing environment. It is entirely a personal matter, as individualistic as a hairstyle. And it could also be a moving target, shifted by specific needs or project’s requirements. The late writer Jim Harrison said at one time he could only write in his cabin or his house, but in an interview for a publication for the University of Iowa, Harrison added that he got liberated once and wrote an entire novella in a Montana motel. But whatever or wherever it is, it is worth the search for it.

Nearly all of the writing of my latest memoir, The Consequence of Stars was done inside my shed. And there is no doubt that that special place helped me focus on the memoir’s main theme of “finding home.” The shed is my home, my writing home, and it brought the overall thread of the book to a complete and full circle, and solidified my belief in the power of what Hemingway called “a clean, well-lighted place.”

It seems some writers, like Harrison at one time, may always be looking for a fresh creative space that gives renewed energy to the work. And maybe someday I’ll go searching again, but for now, the small shed in my backyard, 150 feet from the house’s rear door, is my one and only hallowed space.

About the Author

David W. Berner is a memoirist whose personal stories tell all of our stories. His memoirs reflect on our collective relationships and how those experiences link us to the world we share. From stories of fathers and sons, to road trips, travel memoir, pets, and music, David's books are mirrors of our common human experience. 

Storytelling has been a part of David's life since his days as a young boy, delivering The Pittsburgh Press newspaper. He began telling his own stories and the stories of others as a reporter for numerous radio stations, including freelance work at National Public Radio and more recently for CBS in Chicago.

David's reporting background has given birth to award-winning memoirs and novels based on his own experiences.

He has been the Writer-in-Residence for the Jack Kerouac Project in Orlando, where he was privileged to live and work at the Kerouac House in Orlando for two-and-a-half months. He later was honored with the Writer-in-Residence position at the Ernest Hemingway Birthplace Home in Oak Park, Illinois.

About the Book:

Author: David W. Berner
Publisher: Adelaide Books New Yotk/Lisbon
Pages: 200
Genre: Memoir/Essays

THE CONSEQUENCE OF STARS is a unique and thoughtful memoir on our eternal search for home. Told in a series of essays on love, loss, travel, music, spirituality, and the joys of solitude, memoirist David W. Berner, reaches deep to discover where he belongs and ultimately where all of us belong.
"Berner gives us both travelogue and memoir in living, breathing depth and color." --- D.S. White, Editor-in-Chief, Longshot Island

"A writer with an enormous sense of humanity." -- San Francisco Review of Books

"Reflective, engaging...Berner's authentic storytelling takes you with him on his travels through the chapters of his life where in the end, he reveals connections to finding a place to be, his home under the stars." -- Nancy Chadwick, author of Under the Birch Tree


Adelaide Books

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

The Brave Art of Motherhood by Rachel Marie Martin @finding_joy #motherhood #mom #guest

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The Brave Art of Motherhood
By Rachel Marie Martin
Several years ago my best friend Maria and I attended one of those paint and sip classes.
The room was filled with people all painting the same image, following the same steps, and yet, when it was done all of our paintings looked different. Some of us spent more time on the trees, others on the moon, some had darker shades of colors and others had more purples. All of us made mistakes too. I remember mine and how I tried to fix it but I still knew there were spaces were I messed up.
My friend Maria couldn’t see the mistakes, you know.
And when we were done the whole class stood together sharing their paintings and not one single painting looked the same. They were all uniquely beautiful, but not one alike.
That’s the art of motherhood, my dear friends.
All of us start our journeys with this intent to be good moms, to raise our kids well, to live a life of joy. And just like the painting class none of our stories look the same. Some of us have times of mistakes or hardships. Sometimes it is easy and the story seems to just flow. Sometimes we can feel stuck in a season or a part of the story. And all of our stories are, just like the paintings, uniquely beautiful.
You see art is messy.
It rarely looks like the end product. There are times where we doubt, where we have to spend extra time, where we wonder if it will ever turn out to be anything beautiful, where we wish we could start over but we’re stuck, where we just keep trying, where we have times where it is easy. That is our motherhood stories.
Listen sweet sister, just because our stories, our motherhood paintings, don’t look the same means one is better than the other. They are both wonderful, both beautiful, both worthy.
You are enough in your story. You are enough when you fight for your heart. You are enough when you try again and again. You are enough when life is messy. You are enough when life is good.
You are brave.
That’s the other part, the last part. So often bravery seems to be reserved for the big moments in life, but bravery also happens in the in-between spaces. In the days when you just don’t know what to do next and you will yourself down the stairs and you make breakfast. In the times when you walk into a doctor’s office and demand answers. In the moments when you walk and walk and walk with a colicky baby. In the every day showing up to a life that is imperfectly perfect.
You see my friends, no where does it say motherhood is perfect.
But all of our messy, imperfect, trying, showing up motherhood stories are unique masterpieces.
Because they all matter.
So stand with your friends and don’t compare and don’t grade – but rather – love the collective story.
Of motherhood.
About the Author

Rachel Marie Martin believes in the power of the human spirit to overcome, to thrive and to find deep joy and because of that she pours out her heart via these platforms: she is the writer behind the site, partner of, co-host of the Amplify Podcast, and a featured writer for The Huffington Post. Her top blog post, "Why Being a Mom is Enough" has surpassed 1.9 million Facebook likes and she has had her articles translated into over 25 languages. Her site reaches millions of visitors and has a robust, engaged Facebook community. Her articles have been featured in The Huffington Post, iVillage, The Today Show, Star Tribune, iVillage, Stuff New Zealand, PopSugar, Parents, What to Expect, Mamalode, NBC Parents, Dr. Greene, and many more. Her first book, "The Brave Art of Motherhood", published by Penguin Random House, was released on October 9, 2018.

She speaks worldwide about a variety of empowering topics ranging from motherhood to social media marketing to website strategy to writing to creating an authentic community. She believes in living each day intentionally and loves working with others to cultivate a vision, realize their potential and see their dreams become a reality.



About the Book:

Author: Rachel Marie Martin
Publisher: Random House
Pages: 204
Genre: Self-Help

Full-time blogger, speaker, marketer, podcaster, and single mom of seven, Rachel Marie Martin presents a wake-up call to those of us who have found ourselves stuck in the 'I'm just a mom' phase of life.

Yes, this book is about motherhood . . . but really, this book is about finding yourself again and following your passion WHILE being a mom. Inspired by her incredible story, Rachel's words always come straight from the gut; they are visceral, real and soul searching. She challenges you to find the courage to break cycles, to take off masks and not let fear take control. This book is a balance of tough, "no excuses" ways of approaching life, while allowing breathing room and grace for yourself, for as we all know, life and mothering are not perfect.

After inspiring and conversing with thousands of women, Rachel has surmised there is always a reason to hope, to move forward and a reason to dare doing what you thought was impossible. (Yes, including what you are skeptical of accomplishing right now). She encourages you to say yes to your dreams and stop waiting for "someday" or "one day" or "when something happens".

Prepare to change the way you think about yourself and your life. This will be a book you read over and over armed with a highlighter in one hand and a journal for introspection in another.


Monday, April 8, 2019

20 Questions with Sheila Roberts, Author of 'The Summer Retreat' @_sheila_roberts #20Questions

5:40 AM 0 Comments

Best-selling author Sheila Roberts has seen her books published in a dozen different languages and made into movies for both the Hallmark and Lifetime channels. She’s happily married with three children and lives in the Pacific Northwest. When she’s not hanging out with girlfriends, speaking to women’s groups or going dancing with her husband she can be found writing about those things near and dear to women’s hearts: family, friends, and chocolate.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction/romance, THE SUMMER RETREAT.

Website Address:

1.      Are you a morning writer or a night writer?
I’m a sometime during the day writer. J
2.      Do you outline or are you a pantster?
I like to know ahead of time where I’m going, so I pre-plan. Not that I won’t take a detour somewhere along the way though, but I like to have a story destination.
3.      Which comes first – plot or character?
4.      Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?
Either quiet or instrumental music. If I play something with lyrics I wind up singing instead of writing. J

5.      Favorite TV show?
Right now? Blacklist.
6.      Favorite type of music?
Anything but jazz or rap.
7.      Favorite craft besides writing?
Sadly, I’m missing the craft gene. When I’m not writing books I write songs.
8.      Do you play a musical instrument?
9.      Single or married?
Married for a million years.
10.  Children or no?
Yep, three. Sadly we lost our handicapped daughter a couple years ago. That was hard.
11.  Pets?
Used to have. Now the only animal in my life is my husband.
12.  Favorite place to write?
At my computer, in my home office. But I can write almost anywhere.
13.  Favorite restaurant?
Anyplace they serve Thai or Chinese.
14.  Do you work outside the home?
Writing is my only gig.
15.  What was the name of the last movie you saw?
We recently rented LaLa Land on Redbox. Not sure I liked it all that much. A logical ending, but not what I’d hoped for.
16.  Favorite outdoor activity?
17.  Pet peeve?
When my other half splashes all over the bathroom mirror and doesn’t notice it.
18.  Your goal in life?
To please God.
19.  Your most exciting moment?
There is no “one” moment. Let’s boil it down to top five: my wedding day, the day our kids came into our lives. And getting to pray with a friend who’s life was in turmoil. She made a big decision that day, became a Christian and turned her life around. This God stuff works!
20.  The love of your life?
My husband, who’s always there for me, who was right there on the front lines when I battled uterine cancer, who’s been a great father and now is a great partner in my business. He’s the Rock of Gibraltar. He’s my hero.

About the Book:

Author: Sheila Roberts
Publisher: Harlequin/MIRA
Pages: 384
Genre: Women’s Fiction/Romance

Celeste Jones has plans for a perfect summer with her boyfriend (and hopefully soon-to-be fiancé)—until he dumps her to be with the woman he’s had on the side for months. Heartbroken and furious, Celeste resolves to move on. When the going gets tough, the tough…okay, the not-so-tough go to the beach.

As soon as school lets out for the summer, she waves goodbye to her first-graders, packs up her bikini and heads for Moonlight Harbor, where she knows her big sister, Jenna, will receive her with open arms. Jenna could probably use some help at the Driftwood Inn, and Celeste is happy to do chores around the place in exchange for a relaxing summer escape. She just needs something—or someone—to distract her from her troubles.

Finding The One can be tricky, and Jenna is determined to make sure Celeste gets it right this time around. Not that Jenna’s an expert. She’s still trying to sort out her own love life. But if both sisters listen to their hearts, eventually they’re bound to discover that life—and love—is good at the beach.



Barnes & Noble

20 Questions with Dr. Louis R. Negrete, Author of 'Chicano Homeland'

5:10 AM 0 Comments

Dr. Louis R. Negrete was born and raised in Los Angeles. During his distinguished career, Dr. Negrete served as Director of Project Head Start for the Council of Mexican American Affairs and was also a founding member of the new Chicano Studies Department at the California State University in Los Angeles. He served as professor of Chicano Studies for some 35 years at Cal State LA. CHICANO HOMELAND is his first book. Dr. Negrete makes his home in Los Angeles, California. 
Web site for book at

1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer?

I am mostly a night writer. I prefer to write when I am alone and undisturbed.

 2. Do you outline or are you a pantster?

I write without an outline. I write as thoughts occur to me and I make changes when I see the entire sentence for clarity.

 3. Which comes first – plot or character?

I try to identify what people are doing about a situation and describe it’s evolving parts. I realize that some activists may not like what I write but it’s more important to record what is going on than to impose my own political beliefs.

4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?

I prefer quiet when I am working on my manuscript. I turn off my radio and television when I sit down to write.

5. Favorite TV show?

I usually watch news television channels, like CNN, for current events. I look mostly for developments affecting the Latino people in the United States. Mainstream news outlets cover little or nothing of the life experiences of Latinos unless immigration as a national threat and immigrants themselves are viewed as threats to our country.

6. Favorite type of music?

I like all forms of music, from oldies of the 50’s and 60’s to current hits. I had an extensive collection of records including the Doors, Santana, the Stones, Beatles and even some of the great comic records of my day, including Cheech and Chong, George Carlin and Richard Pryor. Mexican music reminds me of growing up at my grandmother’s house with the music I heard all my life, from childhood to now.
7. Favorite craft besides writing? 

I stay busy as an 84 year- old taking care of my house, my family and my health.

8. Do you play a musical instrument? 

 I never learned to play a musical instrument although my son plays guitar.

9. Single or married?

I am a single widower.

10. Children or no? 

 I have two daughters and a son, with five adult grandchildren.

11. Pets?

I have always had dogs. Now my son brings his dogs to visit me. I now keep a lizard aquarium.

12. Favorite place to write? 
I prefer to write at home where it‘s quiet.

13. Favorite restaurant?
I go regularly to my neighborhood restaurant, La Morenita, in Lincoln Heights, where I order my favorite Huevos a la Mexicana. I recommend it to everyone.

14. Do you work outside the home? 
I am now retired, so I do my writing at home.

15. What was the name of the last movie you saw?

I saw the film “Roma” last night with my daughter. It was a fantastic movie.

16. Favorite outdoor activity? 

I enjoy walking in the nearby park. I enjoy meeting new friends and staying connected to the neighborhood.

17. Pet peeve?

I don’t like it when I cannot find a place to park.

18. Your goal in life?

I devoted my life to teaching, organizing and encouraging the younger generation to fight for social justice.

19. Your most exciting moment?

My most exciting moment was the realization that I had been elected vice-president of the associated students at Cal State University, Los Angeles, during my senior year. The campaign was unforgettable as I learned the importance of involvement with other people in politics. I was a member of the founding faculty in the first Chicano Studies Department in the United States.

20. The love of your life?

The love of my life now centers on my family.

Author: Louis R. Negrete
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 136
Genre: Historical/Nonfiction

Los Angeles author-educator Dr. Louis R. Negrete lived and now tells the compelling, dynamic story of the movement for the rights of Mexican-Americans in the USA, particularly those In California.  In his riveting, powerfully written historical book, CHICANO HOMELAND,  retired college professor Dr. Negrete vividly describes the issues that sparked the Chicano civil rights movement, that saw unbridled police brutality, institutional poverty (that still even exists today, he says), demands for better schools, the  anti-Vietnam war protests and the support for undocumented immigrants.
Mr. Negrete’s CHICANO HOMELAND captures in its historical pages the early Mexican settlement in Los Angeles to the 1950s Zoot Suit riots in L.A. to where Chicanos stand today in the California culture. He gives us a colorful, vivid history of a people that every Hispanic should read, especially as he says, “Chicanos and Chicanas, so they can know where they came from, how they got here and be inspired to chart a course to a genuine, lasting political power for what is now the largest ethnic minority in the United States.”
Commented author Dr. Louis R. Negrete on his book, “I believe that Americans must fight back against racism and national politics. The Chicano movement was a success but resistance to racism must continue, especially with the anti-immigrant policies popular today. I wrote the book based upon my experience growing up in Los Angeles, aware of persistent demands for justice and an end to racism. Younger Mexican-Americans and other minorities should know this part of United States history.”


Thursday, April 4, 2019

Why I Wrote About Josephine Baker by Sherry Jones @sherryjones #writing

6:09 AM 0 Comments

Why I Wrote About Josephine Baker by Sherry Jones

My novels tell the lives of extraordinary women in history who overcame formidable obstacles to achieve their highest potential—which, for me, always involves making a positive difference in the world. I delve into these women’s lives in hopes of inspiring others and myself.  And yet when I first considered writing about Josephine Baker, the African-American performer who hit it big in Paris in the 1920s, I expected a romp. I wanted it, in fact. Having wept as I wrote The Sharp Hook of Love, my tragic novel about the 12-century French lovers Abelard and Heloise, I was ready for some light-hearted fun. A pretty woman who danced and made funny faces wearing nothing more than a skirt of bananas seemed just the ticket.

But Ms. Baker, as it turned out, was a lot more than a nude, comic Parisian dancer.

Josephine Baker was a woman who lived life on her own terms, fearlessly and with heart. Raised in poverty by abusive parents, she dreamed big, pursued her goals with passion, and succeeded beyond even her wildest imaginings—and then risked all, even her very life, to make the world a better place.
First as a World War II spy for the French Resistance and then as a trailblazing U.S. civil rights activist, Josephine Baker used her power and her platform to fight for justice and equality against the forces of tyranny and hatred, prefiguring the anti-colorist activism by current celebrities including Colin Kaeparnick, Oprah, and Rihanna.

From the 1917 East St. Louis race riots to the 1963 March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to the adoption of a “Rainbow Tribe” of 12 children of various races and cultures, Josephine Baker dedicated most of her life to eradicating racism. Although she felt encouraged by the changes that occurred during her lifetime, she knew the struggle for “her people” was only beginning. She was a fighter to the end, and also a lover—not just of individual men and women, but of all humanity.
When I feel overwhelmed by the vitriol and violence rearing its ugly head in America today, I draw on Josephine Baker’s courage, strength, and determination for the power to persevere. I wrote JOSEPHINE BAKER’S LAST DANCE with the hope that it will inspire others to keep fighting the good fight—to, as she said in her 1963 speech, “light that fire in you, so that you can carry on, and so that you can do those things that I have done.” Given her many remarkable accomplishments, it’s a tall order, indeed.

Author: Sherry Jones
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 304
Genre: Biography/Historical

From the author of The Jewel of Medina, a moving and insightful novel based on the life of legendary performer and activist Josephine Baker, perfect for fans of The Paris Wife and Hidden Figures.

Discover the fascinating and singular life story of Josephine Baker—actress, singer, dancer, Civil Rights activist, member of the French Resistance during WWII, and a woman dedicated to erasing prejudice and creating a more equitable world—in Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.

In this illuminating biographical novel, Sherry Jones brings to life Josephine’s early years in servitude and poverty in America, her rise to fame as a showgirl in her famous banana skirt, her activism against discrimination, and her many loves and losses. From 1920s Paris to 1960s Washington, to her final, triumphant performance, one of the most extraordinary lives of the twentieth century comes to stunning life on the page.

With intimate prose and comprehensive research, Sherry Jones brings this remarkable and compelling public figure into focus for the first time in a joyous celebration of a life lived in technicolor, a powerful woman who continues to inspire today.

Purchase Josephine Baker’s Last Dance in paperback,  ebook,  and  audiobook  formats on  Simon and Schuster’s website (available on Amazon,  Barnes and Noble,  BooksAMillion,  Indiebound,  Kobo,  and  other sites). Learn more about Sherry’s books  at

I, Beatrice of Savoy, am mother to four queens. What other woman in the history of the world could make this claim? None, I warrant, and none ever will.
Yes, I am boasting. Why shouldn’t I? Do you think my daughters rose to such heights by happenstance? A woman achieves nothing in this man’s world without careful plotting. I began scheming for my girls before I even held my eldest, Marguerite, in my arms.
Margi was no ordinary child. She spoke in sentences before her first birthday. But then, she is a Savoy, and we are no ordinary family. If we were, we would not have become guardians of the Alpine passes and rulers of an expanding domain, as well as friends of kings, emperors, and popes. How did we achieve such feats? Not by brutish battles and conquests, but with shrewd alliances and strategic marriages. My children, too, would marry well, I determined, and increase our family’s influence as never before.
Here is how I fulfilled this vow: I raised my daughters as if they were sons. Oh ho! I see shock on your face. Are you surprised also, then, to learn that I called them “boys”? Having taken my schooling alongside five of my eight brothers—in philosophy, Latin, astronomy, mathematics, logic, diplomacy, debate, hunting, archery, even swordplay—I recognized this: knowledge is the key to power. Why do you think men reserve it for themselves, leaving only fluff and nonsense for girls? What good to a girl are needlework, curtseying, drawing pictures, and feigning interest while a man prattles on and on about himself? These endeavors—the essence of feminine schooling—serve only to enhance men, and to diminish women. Wanting success for my girls, I taught them as though they were boys, endowing them with true power—the kind that comes from within.
When Margi was nearly of age, I enlisted my brothers to find a king for her to marry. Being Savoyards, we plotted. Amadeus, Guillaume, and Thomas praised her beauty, intelligence, and piety in courts near and far, and before every guest they entertained. Meanwhile, I charmed Sordel, the troubadour, to write a song in her honor, then paid him handsomely—with gold and, yes, kisses, but not the prize he preferred—to perform it before the French King Louis IX. Thusly captivated, the king sought Margi’s hand—and before long, my four daughters were queens of the world.
I would have made them kings, if I could. Instead, I made them mothers of kings. It was the best I could do for them, and for the House of Savoy—for my family—now and in the future.
Family is everything. Nothing else matters. All other bonds may be broken—friendship, marriage, even queenship—except the ties that bind us to our relations. This is the second lesson I taught to my daughters: Family comes first. To my great sorrow, however, my words fell against their ears and bounced away, like seeds on a bed of stones.
If only they would heed my admonishments now, and help one another. Instead, they seem intent on tearing one another, and our family, apart. And I? I cajole, and advise, and lecture—and avert my gaze from them lest I cry a weak woman’s tears. O, how it breaks my heart to see my girls suffer.

Author and journalist Sherry Jones is best known for her international bestseller The Jewel of Medina. She is also the author of The Sword of MedinaFour SistersAll QueensThe Sharp Hook of Love, and the novella White Heart.  Sherry lives in Spokane, WA, where, like Josephine Baker, she enjoys dancing, singing, eating, advocating for equality, and drinking champagne.

Her latest novel is Josephine Baker’s Last Dance.


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