Saturday, December 13, 2014

The Religion, Rage & w(R)iting Blog Tour

Hi, and welcome to The Religion, Rage &w(R)iting Blog Tour for Authors, Shirley-Harris Slaughter, Rhani D’Chae and Harmony Kent. (Click on each author’s name to be taken directly to their Author Page at 4WillsPublishing, where you can learn more about them).

These three authors are wonderful clients of 4WillsPublishing, a publishing House dedicated to helping authors put out the best written, and marketing products for their literary work, possible.

This tour is a surprise tour, which means the authors knew nothing about it until it started!  This is our gift to them to show our appreciation of their work, their dedication to putting out the great written word, and also a big THANK YOU for allowing us to showcase and promote them. 

This is a 3 Author/7 Day/40 Blog Tour!  Yes, for 7 days, The Religion, Rage & w(R)iting Blog Tour will sit on 40 blogs!  And for 7 days, on 40 blogs, you will get a tiny tid-bit of something related to Religion, so that you never forget OUR LADY OF VICTORY, the rage of people, such as that displayed in SHADOWOF THE DRILL, and w(R)iting tips to help you POLISH YOUR PROSE! (Click on each book title to find out more about it)

This will be a fun tour, an inspirational tour, a delightful tour which has been designed to enlighten you, entertain you and help you overcome those feelings which bind us daily and keeps us from growing from point A to point B.  Each day as you stop by each blog to find out what bit of inspiration is being shared, we ask that you take the time to leave a comment for the authors, visit their blogs, Follow them on Twitter and FB, and last but not least, please PICK UP A COPY OF THEIR BOOKS!  They are all 5 star reads!  And this tour wouldn’t be complete, if you didn’t check out The Religion, Rage& w(R)iting Book Trailer!  (Please note:  these bits and quotes were not taken from the author’s books).  

Before we forget, we’ve included another of our authors, Nonnie Jules.  Although she’s a partner in our firm, she is STILL one of our clients!  Her books, THE GOOD MOMMIES’ GUIDE TORAISING (ALMOST) PERFECT DAUGHTERS, Daydream’s Daughter, Nightmare’sFriend and Sugarcoatin’ Is For Candy & Pacifyin’ Is For Kids! are also very interesting and entertaining reads!

On this stop, we want you to dwell on this:
 Being a good writer is 3% talent, and 97% not being distracted by the internet.” ~ Anonymous ~

Thank you for joining us on this stop of our tour.  We are grateful to our host for allowing us to share with this audience and we hope that we have left you wanting more!  To follow this tour, please visit the 4WillsPublishing EVENTS page for the complete tour line-up and to also register to win a SURPRISE pack of books as well as a stint on WHO’S ON THE SHELF WITH NONNIE JULES!  Now, on to the next stop!!!!
Regina Garson's Blog

Monday, August 18, 2014

Our Children Need Us: With Shirley Harris-Slaughter

Mentoring in the Oak Park School District. 
I am very excited to welcome fellow author Shirley Harris-Slaughter as a guest on my blog.

Our Children Need Us
By Shirley Harris-Slaughter

Our Children Need Us: I found that out when I got involved with four freshmen girls in a mentoring program sponsored by the Oak Park School District. I volunteered to be a mentor in the Winning Futures Program conducted by the district. I have to admit that I had an ulterior motive for signing up. I was trying to get more exposure for my book.

I was surprised to have gotten so much more than I bargained for. I was assigned to four girls, which should have been three, but they didn’t have enough volunteers. Right away I realized the girls were jockeying for a seat beside me every week that we met. The leader of this program pointed that out one day, as part of a lesson on the dynamics that play out with these children in these mentoring programs.

I didn’t know that I had a gift when it comes to children and how that gift would bond us together and see us through the program from beginning to the end.  Most troubled kids are not able to do that because they have so much drama going on in their personal lives. The fact that my girls did make it through, was a testament to my skills interacting with them over the entire semester.

Other team leaders with their mentees didn’t fare as well. Some of the children dropped out of the program. They were looking to me to see what it was that I was doing and how they could learn from it. I felt so good about myself that I was able to successfully make a difference in these girls’ lives and they really listened to what I had to say.

Each week they were presented with a project to help them be more successful in life. The first week was “Career Day” and the mentors had to present their job careers. I presented a visual display of what I do as an author. I displayed my book along with poster boards, post cards, and business cards. Just like putting on a display at a book event. I went around the table and pointed out things that I did when putting on a presentation or speaking engagement.
"Career Day"
They learned about grooming, how to set goals, how to write a resume and look for jobs; they also learned how to decide on what college or university they wanted to attend. They learned how to play games and how to lose with dignity and grace while congratulating the winner. The biggest benefit was that they would be able to use this program as a referral when applying to colleges, looking for employment, or to add credits to their high school curriculum for graduation; showing how grounded they had become.

This program was a stepping stone to all that they could be. But the key was to get through it—to stick it out. And they did! I had certificates made up for them to be presented at the banquet put on by the school district. City council was there; the school board, some public representatives and most importantly, the parents.

I don’t know what my girls told their parents about me, but they sure wanted to meet me. Apparently, I was all their girls talked about and so these parents were anxious to see who I was and grateful that I had mentored their daughters. We took pictures and the girls were called to receive their awards. All of them got one because I felt that being in the program and not missing days, was worthy of an award. We have to praise children for everything so they can feel good about themselves.

In another instance, as a member of the Knights and Ladies of St. Peter Claver, a Catholic organization, I served as a chaperone for our Junior Daughter division at the conference in Mobile, Alabama. Again, the parents obviously got a good report card on me.

So, I am grateful I was able to be part of the solution and not part of the problem. Our girls and our boys need us. I love them all because they are so innocent and so close to God when they are young and it is up to us to keep them that way. 

About the Book:

Writing this book was a natural outgrowth of my community activism. Thus, Our Lady of Victory, the Saga of an AfricanAmerican Catholic Community was born. Besides, no one else was going to do it. I didn’t understand initially that I was the chosen one.

Little did I know the “can of worms” I was about to unleash. But I needn’t have worried…no one was ready to challenge my findings. They just pretended like there was nothing to be concerned about. And so I was ignored for the most part with the exception of a few close friends. And then Nonnie Jules crossed my path and I joined RaveReviews Book Club and excitement for the book was re-ignited.

I am a proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club—the place for Indie Authors!

I tried to fight the ebook craze but gave in finally. I don’t think that is good for history and all that implies because you want to hold that kind of book in your hands. I feel the same way about Sci-Fi Fantasy thriller books now that I am a fan. Fortunately, I still have a remedy for you book lovers who cherish putting these kinds of books on a shelf. You can get your limited edition hardcover autographed copy of this precious book, OUR LADY OF VICTORY. Just click here:

Once these gems are gone, they’re gone!

Saturday, June 14, 2014

All Authors Blog Blitz

This week, I am doing something a little different with the blog, participating in an All Authors Blog Blitz. We are all authors, and we are all hosting another author on our blogs. C-Desert Rose hosted me and I am really really excited to host Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli, of Italy. As if that isn't exciting enough for this Alabama girl, we share long term interest and involvements in the space industry as well, and we all know what happens when you throw space geeks together. We talk books and space both, what could be better! I am so excited to have her here. With that, I introduce:

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

Rita Carla Francesca Monticelli

You’ve maybe noticed that I have a long name. Well, this is my real one, not a pen name. I’ve decided to keep it all because it’s something unique, but all my friends just call me Carla.

I’m an Italian independent author, a literary, technical, and scientific translator, and a biologist. Actually I’m not working anymore as biologist, but I’m using my education in the field in both my translation and writing work. I worked as researcher and professor’s assistant at the University of Cagliari (Sardinia, Italy) until 2004, then I started my own business, called Anakina Web (the name coming from me being a huge Star Wars fan), in the remit of which I currently take care of my writing related jobs, including translation, as well as web design.

My work time is almost evenly split between creative writing and translation, though I’m currently focussing a bit more on my writing career. I’m the author of a successful science fiction series in Italy, titled “Deserto rosso” (Red Desert), including four books. It is a character driven hard science fiction series about Mars colonisation, thanks to which I’ve been mentioned on Wired Magazine as one of the ten best Italian self-publishers. It brought me to be a guest at the Salone Internazionale del Libro in Turin, the most important Italian book fair.

I’ve also recently published a crime thriller titled Il mentore (The Mentor), and I will publish my next science fiction novel in November.  
My science fiction series is also going to be published in English. The first book, Red Desert - Point of No Return, is due to release on June 30th. I’m currently arranging an eventual publication in Spanish for the next year.

On Space:

As a biologist, my specialisation is ecology. This branch of biology is about the connections and interactions between living and non-living elements in nature. That applies to our planet, of course, but not only. In fact, it has a lot of points in common with astrobiology for what concerns the origin of life and the conditions that allow life to spread. The two branches are tightly interwoven. Lately I’ve taken some online classes on astrobiology and I’m currently trying to improve my knowledge in the field.  
That fact and my interest in astronomy and aerospace, which I’ve had since I can remember, is partly the reason why I like science fiction too, brought me to become a space exploration enthusiast, in particular for anything that concerns Mars. The Red Planet is the nearest celestial body being similar to our own planet and potentially having the conditions to host life (in the past, in the future, but even right now). I’ve followed and am still following with great interest all the robotic Mars exploration missions.   
My name is one of those brought there in a chip on board of Curiosity (yes, it sounds like I’m fan of her, but actually I am!). I’m eager to see more missions being able to discover more about the past of the planet, when it was covered by oceans and maybe gave origin to life. But I’m even more eager to see humans get there and colonise that new world.

On Space and Writing:

Both aspects of my interest in Mars drove me to write Red Desert. The triggering factor for me was reading Dr. Robert Zubrin’s books, in particular The Case for Mars and his novel First Landing. I started toying with the idea of an astronaut driving all alone on a rover in the Martian desert, in the middle of nothing, and I wondered why he/she was there and where he/she was going.  
I started from that image in my mind to tell the story of Anna Persson, a Swedish exobiologist (an astrobiologist specialised in speculating about life on other planets) and a Mars coloniser, who at the crack of dawn leaves the safety of Station Alpha and secretly escapes with a rover into the desert with enough air for a little more than two sols (Martian days). Why is she escaping? Where is she going? Does she want to kill herself?  
The story is about Mars exploration and colonisation, so there’s a lot aerospace science in it, but also about exobiology, as it speculates on the possible existence of some very simple (microscopic) life forms in the Red Planet, how and where they might exist. It’s hard science fiction for a great extent. I tried to be faithful to actual science, though the story is set 50 years in the future so it left a lot of room to the imagination concerning technology
This is surely an entertainment read, but one of my ambitions is to leave something in the reader when they close the book, even to instil some interest on Mars exploration. I’m an Italian representative of a non-profit association called Mars Initiative, whose purpose is collecting funds to be given to the first project that is going to put humans on Mars. I hope my book will increase the interest of my readership on the importance of this topic for human progress. And I hope to do so by letting them get closer to the Red Planet, feeling its calling, and understanding why it is important that humans get there soon.  
But, of course, there are other appealing aspects in the series: there’s a lot of adventure, suspense, characters’ feelings (including love, of course), even social topics, like the respect for diversity applied on a various range of fields, from religion to race … and more.  
Finally, it is characterised by my favourite theme that you can find in all my literary work: the subjectivity of good and evil. In my stories aren’t real heroes nor villains. Everything is mixed, like in real life. Everybody thinks for themselves and those they love. In fact the protagonist is an anti-heroine, heavily flawed and not willing to become a heroine. Whenever she does something dangerous that may seem heroic, she never does it for “saving the world” but just to save herself or someone she needs (because that person is just useful to her or she loves them and therefore can’t do without them), and this is what makes her human. This is what made most of my readers like the series, even if some of them disliked her attitude.  
Available on Amazon
Anyway to appreciate the characters and the story, you need to read the whole series.  
Red Desert - Point of No Return is a novella, a two-hour read, but it is less than ten per cent of the whole series. It follows Anna’s journey in the Martian desert. While she’s driving the rover aiming to a place we don’t know, she recalls her past and through her memories we understand who she is and why she is on Mars.  
The novella ends with a cliff-hanger urging you to know more. Fortunately the second book will be published in September and it’s a real novel, which shows different point of views on the story and unveils a part of the mystery upon which Anna has stumbled during the mission and which was the reason of her escape in the first place.  
So all you have to do is put on your own suit, lock your own helmet and get into the rover with Anna. The journey will start on June 30th.


I linger to admire the sky that’s turning from salmon to a dirty, pale blue, as the sun drops into the canyon. Its light has become so feeble that I can stare at it without being blinded. I begin to distinguish some stars eastwards. Deimos, the farthest satellite, shines a little bigger than a star just over my head, whilst Phobos seems to come greeting it.
As the solar disk crosses the irregular horizon of Valles Marineris, there it is, a little higher and westward. An azure star sparkling in the twilight. Earth.
I can’t be too specific about this excerpt for avoiding any spoiler on the story. Anyway, I think this one is the most moving part of the novella. It was moving for me to write it. We find Anna watching the sunset in Valles Marineris, in the canyons. She is alone in a very difficult situation, yet she is overwhelmed by the beauty of the sight. Her nerves break when she finally recognizes Earth in the sky. This is when she starts regretting her previous actions and wishing she could change them.

Anna is a very uncertain woman. That’s partly due to her past, which is slowly unveiled all over the series. She changes her mind continuously in normal conditions. And now she is alone in a desert planet for two long days. That’s bringing her to the limit.  
While focussing on her feelings in the attempt to make the reader identify in her, I take this occasion to show science and try to imagine how a sunset would look like on Mars, based on the videos and photos coming from Opportunity and Curiosity.  
I think these two paragraphs show well the two souls of Red Desert, the scientific and the human one. If you want to know more, you will just have to read Red Desert - Point of No Return
As said, it’ll be out on June 30th on Amazon and all major retailers, but it may be pre-ordered on Barnes & Noble, Kobo and iTunes. I’m launching it at only $0.99.  
All updated information about the series can be found on my blog under the tag “Red Desert”:
My official English website is, where you can get in touch with me via social media, read my blog or subscribe to my newsletter and be the first to know about a new release.

See you on Mars!