Thursday, April 17, 2014

Talking Book Covers with Designer Junnita Jackson


.:Junnita Jackson:.
Brooklyn born and raised. A 70's baby. A lover of words. A spoken word artist. A graphic designer. A mother, wife, sister, friend and daughter. Just...me.


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When and why did you start designing book covers?
I started designing covers when I couldn't find an affordable option for my 2007 debut novel, If It Don't Hurt It Ain't Love.


To you, how important is the cover to the success of a book? At least for that PURCHASE of the book?
Very important. The reason we even pick up a book we didn't initially go to the bookstore to buy is because the cover design called out to us.



Here's a tough question: What are three of your favorite book covers... that you have designed of course? And why?
These are my current favorite covers, they were all in my Predesigned Cover Collection until someone fell in love with the story they told. The first one (Revelations of a Drug Lord cover) I'm so very drawn to, and actually had a hard time parting with it once the client claimed it because I couldn't help but to wonder what was so deep on his mind. The second one (Karma cover) taught me a lesson in typography and how the font can actually change the genre of the book even if the image stayed the same. For this one, I went with a font that whispered paranormal in my ear. And the last one (Destiny cover), I loved because it was bold and controversial. She has a needle in her arm, and I knew it would take a bold author to claim it as their own.






For you, what are three things that every great cover should have?
The three things that every great cover should have is a clear readable font for the author's name, a clear crisp image that portrays some idea of what the book is about, and a layout that's easily read as a thumbnail sized or full sized image of the cover.













Are you currently having any specials on your book cover designs?
I am currently holding a sale for $250 for custom designed paperback covers and $10 off any predesigned cover. Both sales run until the end of this month.


Anything else you'd like to tell the CLG audience?
Not only do I design covers, but I also design and print coordinating bookmarks, postcards and business cards for an author's arsenal of promotional material.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Optimist-Kit: Support This Creative, Inspirational, and Motivational Project Today!

I have been blessed to meet wonderful people who exude positive energy, an energy that not only attracts you to them but also makes you want to be filled with that same positive energy.

Author and entrepreneur Pachet Burson is one of those people in my life, and when she told me about her new endeavor, I was compelled to share in the hope that those who love to inspire, who love to be inspired, who love to dwell in and celebrate their and others' creativity would join in and contribute to this worthwhile project!


Pachet Burson is a mother of three, wife, writer, blogger, and creative mind. She’s been called a “creative trifecta” because of her love of all things innovative. Whether she’s taking pictures, writing stories or making jewelry, Pachet believes that creativity is something that everyone possesses and it should be utilized daily to aid in inspiring, motivating and problem solving. She aspires to encourage and empower others to tap into their creative sides and continue the cycle of inspiration, motivation and empowerment. When she’s not working, avid coffee drinker Pachet is reading with the kids, eating sushi with her husband in Chicago, or lusting after Optimus Prime while eating butter pecan ice cream. You can learn more about Pachet at the following online outlets: her blog | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram




Not too long ago, Pachet was inspired to create her new project, THE OPTIMIST-KIT. The Optimist-Kit is a monthly subscription box service featuring a journal, a writing utensil, stimulating trinkets and a unique 30-day inspirational challenge all packaged together with a creative theme.


Pachet told me that inspiration for The Optimist-Kit struck "when one of my followers on Instagram commented on a picture I took of an affirmation I wrote. Something told me to reach out to her, and I did via email. After she emailed me, I told her that I wanted to send her something like a care package. At that time I had no idea what I wanted to send, but I swear, God spoke to me and told me 'This is what you’re going to do. This is your business.' And just like that, I started drafting my idea of The Optimist-Kit."

With her divine inspiration for the kits, Pachet sees big things for what the Optimist-Kit can do. "At the end of the day," she said, "I want to share the power of creativity and passion with the world. I believe that we harbor so many thoughts, dreams and even baggage that we cannot truly be ourselves because we fear of what others think. 

"I used to fear sharing my ideas, dreams and even past experiences with others out of fear of what they would say, but journaling helped me open up and also helped me share some of my experiences with others. I said recently, if I can inspire one person then that’s enough for me and it’s true. All it takes is one."


Pachet's ultimate goal of The Optimist-Kit is broken down in four words: CREATE. INSPIRE. MOTIVATE. REPEAT.
  • CREATE: A daily writing ritual to ignite innovation and positive thinking.
  • INSPIRE: Oneself and others to find their passion(s), let go of negativity and embrace the person that we have all been blessed to be and become.
  • MOTIVATE: Others to be part of a positive movement and pay it forward.
  • REPEAT: Create the ultimate cycle of optimism and passion.

Pachet has already launched her April kits, and is currently fundraising for The Optimist-Kit via Booster.com. She is looking to raise $600 to help fund the upcoming kits for May, June and July through the purchase of t-shirts that she has designed.



Pachet is selling shirts featuring these four cores via Booster for just $24. These shirts will not only help raise funds, but they will also help spread the word about The Optimist-Kit.

"I believe that The Optimist-Kit is needed for anyone and everyone looking to release their inner thoughts and/or uncover their passions," Pachet said. "I would truly appreciate your support in any way that you can give it. Buy a shirt, spread the word about the fundraiser daily or weekly, no matter how you do it, please know that it will not be taken for granted."

To purchase a shirt and view Pachet's campaign, please check out her Booster campaign HERE.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Touring with Many Strange Women Author Parker J. Cole





Solomon Greene made a deal with God--If He'd send him an unattractive woman, he'd marry her on sight and do what was spiritually right by God. After all, he needed an ugly wife to help him escape from his sordid past. Celeste Martin made a deal with Solomon. She'd be his ugly wife. All she wanted in return was his name. She was in love with her sister's fiancé and he would be the only man she'd ever love. Solomon had no idea that he'd find his wife fascinating. Celeste didn't know that one taste from her husband's lips would have her wanting more. Yet many strange women were between them. Could Solomon ever escape from his past? Could Celeste ever love her husband?




Purchase Many Strange Women today at Amazon [ebook / paperback] and Barnes & Noble!

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Parker J. Cole is a writer and radio show host who spends most of her time reading, knitting, writing, cooking, and concocting new ideas for stories. Her first novel, Dark Cherub, won Best of Spring Reading 2013 from eMediaCampaigns. She lives in Michigan with her husband and their beloved dog, Sarah.


Learn more about Parker via the following online outlets:


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SNEAK PEEK

MR. AND MRS. SOLOMON GREENE

The thought of kissing her husband was repugnant. The idea had the attraction of eating an apple with a worm in it. The longer Celeste Greene thought about it, the more distasteful it became.

“I hope you don’t intend for me to actually kiss this man, Reverend,” Celeste bit out in a carefully controlled voice.

The minister was a short black man whose gray hair had receded until his head looked like a polished teak wood surface. Dark rimmed bifocals rested on his nose and gray bushy eyebrows lifted in surprise.

“Excuse me, Mrs. Grane?” His voice was deep and rumbled like gravel shifting at the bottom of a fish tank.

“I refuse to kiss this man.”

The minister closed the Bible in his hand and pressed it against his Santa Claus belly. He cleared his throat.

“Mrs. Grane, I have married couples for a good many years. I can honestly say I’ve never heard a wife speak so about her husband. Although, the decision is yours, may one ask why you choose not to kiss your husband?”

“Because I don’t know him.”

Celeste could see the minister’s confusion as he glanced over at the tall silent man by her side. She looked at him too but only saw his profile. Her new husband reeked of unwashed body odor and alcohol, although his clothes didn’t display any hint of those noxious smells. In fact, his clothes were perfectly tailored to him, the dark blue suit with its sharp cut and the pastel colored green shirt under it gave her husband a handsome appearance.

Too bad the clothes could not do anything about his stench.

Celeste had no idea her husband had spoken until she realized his mouth moved. He still chose not to look at her but directed his statement to the minster.

“The name is Greene.”

“Greene?”

“Yes, my wife’s new name is Mrs. Solomon Greene. With an ‘e’.”

“Indeed? Well, I do apologize for the mistake.”

Celeste folded her arms and turned fully toward her husband.

“Solomon, are you ready to sign the papers so we can get back to the hotel room?”

“Yes, Celeste. Let’s get this over with.”

A scant fifteen minutes later and Celeste felt the sun warm her face as she stepped out of the small church. Of course the June sun blazed brightly in the sky on this, the most unexpected day of her life. The snow shrouded Rocky Mountains in the Denver skyline only added to the physical perfection of the day. Why couldn’t it be rainy and gloomy? Why couldn’t lightning and thunder shake the ground to mirror the feelings that swarmed inside of her? Why should the sky be the bluest she’d ever seen it and the sound of the birds that twittered from tree to tree create a song to accompany her discomfiture?

“I appreciate that you married me, Celeste Greene,” her husband said from somewhere behind her.

She turned, her arms still folded. “It’s the least I could do.”

Gratitude welled inside Solomon’s heart as he once again realized his wife had none of the attributes he found sexy in a woman. He had hoped the woman he married would have the beauty of a gargoyle but a plain face would do just as well.

He studied his new wife. The top of her head reached his shoulder. She held her body stiff and her face remained devoid of expression. It emphasized her unattractiveness. If she never smiled at all, it would be wonderful.

She wore a peculiar outfit—a blue skirt that brushed the tops of her shoes, a blouse buttoned to her neck with long sleeves buttoned at her wrist and her hands were encased in plain white gloves. It had an old fashioned look to it, like something from the pioneer days. It obscured her figure and Solomon breathed a sigh of relief. His belief in God had been restored.

The Lord had sent an unattractive woman to be his wife. His eyes began to water and he blinked furiously. He could hardly break down and cry a bucket of tears in joy right now.

“I’ve called my driver,” he told her as a metallic glint caught his peripheral vision and he whirled his head to see a sleek black limousine Hummer turn the corner and stop in front of them.

Celeste didn’t respond. Her silence made him want to click his heels. A woman who didn’t talk incessantly had to be a godsend. Perfect!

Moments later, he sat by her side as the vehicle moved. The scenery passed and Solomon appreciated it as the light of the sun beamed on the ground. The leaves rustled as a gentle breeze wafted through them and the sight of birds as they flew by lifted his spirits. It was a lovely June day and he’d found his wife.

Purchase Many Strange Women today at Amazon [ebook / paperback] and Barnes & Noble!

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Tour is hosted by WNL Virtual Blog Tours. Check out Parker's book tour schedule at their site.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Touring with The Predatory Lies of Anorexia Author Abby Kelly




I want. I want you to want me. I want you to think I am the smartest, the thinnest, the most beautiful. I want you to want to be me. I want to be enviable. I want to be impervious. I want to need nothing. I want you to know that I am strong. I want to think I am better than everyone else. I want.

I’m willing to give up everything. I will give up mind and future. I will give up health, happiness and peace. I will give up family, friends and fun. I will give up rest and comfort. I will give up food. But please, just let me keep faith.

In this raw telling of her long struggle with anorexia, Abby Kelly reveals the predatory lies that ran rampant in her disordered mind. She will lead readers through the fight to her final victory.

Readers will find empathy, compassion and insight in these pages. Most of all, they will find hope for recovery and a life beyond the battle.

Purchase The Predatory Lies of Anorexia: A Survivor's Story today at Amazon!

Also, meet your next favorite book -- this one! -- at Goodreads!



Enter to win a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card at Rafflecopter today! Click the link below the image!

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Abby Kelly is a nomadic, military spouse writing from wherever she momentarily finds herself with her husband, their wonderful dog, Brave, and two tolerable cats.

Abby began writing in the process of recovering from a more-than-decade long eating disorder. She credits Jesus Christ for her full recovery and for filling her with a passion to encourage others to seek freedom from their own addictions and struggles.

Now, Abby writes for numerous Christian publications as well as maintains her personal blog, Predatory-Lies. In her free time, she and Brave enjoy volunteering in hospitals and schools as a pet therapy team through Pet Partners.

Learn more about Abby and The Predatory Lies of Anorexia at her website and on Twitter and Facebook.

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From Chapter 1, “The Flight”

“You will never see me again!” I screamed. I knew I was running out of time as we approached the airport. “I’ll die there! I’m never coming home.”

“Abby, stop. You are getting yourself all worked up and we have to go inside now.” My father parked the car in the dismal parking garage. Ignoring my residual choking on tears, he got out of the car and began to extract the suitcases, careful not to get any dirt on his jeans.

Daddy always looked sharp, one more thing I hated about myself. In the last several years I had become more of a skeleton freak show than an attractive daughter he could be proud of. My face was gaunt and haggard and wore the look of an aging smoker. My breasts were flat and my waist curve-less, like a prepubescent boy. I wore sea-foam green sweat pants with the word “SPIRIT” in block letters down my right leg. The sweats hung around my thighs like a tent missing poles, but I liked them because I felt small inside them. A sloppy white t-shirt blaring “SPIRIT” as well, topped the ensemble.

“Abby, get out of the car.”

I debated for a moment, but knew that I’d never win. The wildest of my tantrums were no match for Dad’s strength, but until now, at least in the battle of wills, I had triumphed. Two days prior my parents played their trump card.

“We’ve tried everything.” My parents had me cornered in their bedroom. Mom spoke because I listened more calmly to her. “We’ve been patient while you’ve promised over and over to try. We are really, really worried about you.”

Mom’s voice broke there. Dad turned and glared at my little sisters eavesdropping from the bedroom doorway. Two sets of chocolate brown eyes and one blue pair ducked back into the hallway. Then he shut the door and stepped forward.

“You promised to gain ten pounds in two months.” Dad’s voice was taut. The six-foot-four man that I once thought invincible slouched beneath a heavy burden. “Over a month ago, you agreed to the ultimatum that you would gain eight pounds. You’re nowhere near that. You need help and this is not a discussion. Remuda Ranch agreed to admit you, and we need to be there the day after tomorrow.” Daddy turned and left the room.

I slumped to my knees on the floor. “Please, please, please, Mom! Don’t send me away. I can’t be gone for two months. You might as well disown me. I’ll die there!”

Purchase The Predatory Lies of Anorexia: A Survivor's Story today at Amazon!

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Tour hosted by Write Now Literary Virtual Book Tour! Visit Author Abby Kelly's tour page at WNL Virtual Blog Tours.

Monday, March 10, 2014

HOT RELEASE: A Secret Worth Keeping by Lakisha Johnson


Shelby is a career woman turned housewife who enjoys the friendships that have been built with her 5 best friends; Camille, Lynesha, Raylin, Kerri and Chloe. They are all career women with different businesses, husbands and even children but something is missing and they can’t seem to find it at home, in a store or even in a book. So, they search for this missing piece in the beds, arms, cars and even offices of other men who don’t mind paying for what Dem Dam Divas can offer. They enjoy the thrill of sneaking, creeping and even vacationing on someone else’s dime but they soon find out that all good things come to an end. What happens when it becomes too much? From secretly wanting someone who doesn’t want you, loving only to not be loved back and being caught up in a dream that you’re about to be awaken from; will it be worth it in the end? Will they regret their actions or stand by them? Will they finally question whether this secret is really worth keeping?


You can purchase A SECRET WORTH KEEPING at Amazon [Kindle | Paperback] and Barnes and Noble [Nook | Paperback]!

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Whet Your Appetite with TWO Excerpts from A SECRET WORTH KEEPING
FYI: There is some HEAT


Excerpt One

Ray

“Good morning, Ray; Mr. Johnson is waiting to see you in his office.”

Thanks Ashley, I said. I knocked on the door that was already slightly open. “Hey, you wanted to see me?” He motioned for me to come in while he finished up a call. Once he hung up, he looked at me with the slight hint of an attitude and said, “Yea, since I didn’t hear from you this weekend!”

“Oh, do I detect an attitude? Seeing that I am not your wife, I don’t have to check in.”

He said, “You may not be my wife but I pay you like you are!”

“Yea, you pay because it’s worth every dollar and I do the things your wife doesn’t. Now, if you don’t want anything I have some work to do.”

He grabbed me by the arm before I could move and pushed me up against his desk. He pushed the intercom, “Yes, Mr. Johnson;” said Ashley.

“Ray and I will be busy for the next 30 minutes, no interruptions!” he barked.

“Yes sir,” she said.

He pushed up my pencil skirt and ran his fingers between my legs, surprised that I had no panties on as he hurriedly tried to undo his pants.

“Slow down baby, she ain’t going nowhere.”

“I know but dam, she’s so hot and wet!” he said.

“Yea I know but remember we are at work and I don’t need you screaming like a girl!”

He laughed and said, “Then put something in my mouth to shut me up.” I, of course obliged.

I pulled my skirt the rest of the way up, pushed myself back on his desk and spread my legs wide enough for his head to nestle right in between them. I wanted him to get all the glory of my freshly shaved candy box and his tongue hit the bull’s eye on the first try and I was in Heaven. He parted my lips and sucked like he was trying to find how many licks until he got to the tootsie roll center!

“Oh my God!” is all I could say as I grabbed this man by the head. As I begin to have an orgasm out of this world, he stood and I took every inch of his long, thick cock as I wrapped my legs around his back. I put my hands on his ass and I pushed until I made sure I had it all.

“Dam girl!” he said as I laid back a little further to make sure he was feeling every bit of me. Oh, don’t get me wrong; I love this sex but I won’t let him see it. I grabbed his arms and rocked with him until we both came together.

“Baby, you will make a man sign over his company for that shit!”

“Yea, I know. Consider that a thank you for our trip this weekend,” I said as I walked out passed Ashley smiling before he even had a chance to respond.

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Excerpt Two

This has been a long day! After hanging out with the girls, I knew better than to schedule this shipment today but I have some sexy new plus size outfits that are sexy yet sophisticated enough to show off the right curves at the right time. Now, its 7PM and I’m sitting here daydreaming about this new lingerie even though I need to get to home.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” this voice says!

Shit, you scared me and who are you calling ma’am?” I asked.

Good God, I thought to myself as I turned around to see a man that made by mouth fall open.

“I apologize, I didn’t mean to scare you but the door was open and I’ve been trying to get your attention,” he said. “I forgot one of your boxes on my truck this morning.”

“Oh, that’s fine you can sit it over there and thank you for bringing it back,” I stated.

“No problem. I didn’t want you to be angry with me so I decided to not wait until Monday. My name is Xavier, by the way.”

“Xavier, nice name and it fits you well,” I threw in.

“Thanks, I got it from my dad,” he said.

“Baby, if your dad is as fine as you; he can deliver me anything at any time.”

He laughed and said, “Why does it have to be my dad?”

I replied, “Because you might not be able to handle all this woman.”

He turned to walk away and I thought I had scared him off but when he locked the door and began walking towards me, licking his lips saying, “I might not but I’d sure love to give it a try,” my panties got wet. Hell, even my nipples got hard.

I began licking my lips and making direct eye contact with him. I was standing there looking good in my black skirt, thigh high boots and low cut shirt and I couldn’t wait until he took it all off.

“Are you sure you can handle this? I don’t want you to have to quit your job because you’ll be scared to come back,” I said. He walked over and put his tongue in my mouth which was answer enough for me. He picked me up and believe me when I say; he wasn’t scared to handle this big girl! Baby, he picked me up so high; I thought I was going to fall but he said “Just relax and enjoy it.”

He placed my back against the wall and wrapped my legs around his head while he was standing. “Shit, Shit, Oh Shit” ….this man licked my lady like it had been months since he’d eaten. Whew, I felt things that I had never felt before. I was so wet that I could not contain myself. All, I could do was scream out as he licked me clean. He then put me down gently as I pushed him away from me. My legs felt like jelly but I couldn’t let him see me sweat. I ordered him to take off my skirt, leaving me with my black see through bra, panties and thigh high boots.

“Come here,” I ordered and he said “Yes ma’am” with a smile on his face. I could see the print of his cock through his work pants and my eyes were screaming OMG, I’m going to enjoy this.

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Lakisha Johnson was born on May 2, 1977, in Memphis, TN. She is a Christian who wasn't always saved and who still, sometimes, make mistakes because she is human. She is the daughter of one strong woman, granddaughter of another strong woman, wife of one husband, mother of two children, sister to three brothers and three sisters, cousin to many, niece to seven uncles and two aunts, an aunt to five nephews and eight nieces, best friend to six wonderful women, and friend to all those who show themselves friendly! She is one whom God chooses to bless everyday he allows her eyes to open. She is a college graduate with two associate's degrees in Information Technology. She is a writer of Daily Devotionals and tries her best to be an encourager to all those who look to her for encouragement.

I am not perfect but I am a work in progress, so pray for me. I won't claim to be a bible scholar or even called to preach but I have been given a gift of writing, so writing I shall do.

Learn more about Lakisha, her thoughts, and her literary treats at the following online outlets: