Monday, December 17, 2007

Dare by Abiola Abrams

Dare is the crazy, sexy, smart debut novel by BET host Abiola Abrams of indie film show The Best Shorts. DARE is the sizzling story of a sociologist who goes undercover and winds up in too deep as a racy rapper searching for love in the glam world of entertainment. this chick lit version of Faust, set in the world of Hollyhood is a searing tale of love, music and temptation.

Meet Maya Hope. Double-dipped in cocoa with brick-house curves, she's a lover of jazz, a political poet, and a sociologist. Her best friend and roommate, Athena Jackson, is her opposite in every way- a petite ex-cheerleader who's always blaring rap, grinding out rhymes, and ready to take the next man home. When Maya is forced to pinch-hit in an audition and bust Athena's rhymes, she finds herself on an undercover escapade in the wild world of hip-hop as the raw, sexy, roughneck Jezebel. After striking a deal with her own personal devil, Maya sets off on the tempting roller-coaster ride of a lifetime -- finding music, more fun than she's ever had, and even a man or two...but not without Faustian consequences.

An off the hook cast of colorful characters includes Lucy, the diva deluxe brand-addicted publicist from hell; Shell the Boy Wonder, wunderkind entrepreneurial label mogul party boy and Thug, the gritty handsome hardcore rapper with something to prove.

Brimming with electric sensuality, Dare is an unforgettable, envelope-pushing odyssey of two gutsy women playing by their own rules.

Abiola Abrams is a BET personality and her debut novel DARE is a romantic comedy available at, Barnes and Noble or wherever you buy books. Find excerpts or more from Abiola and Dare at, or

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Interview with Maggie Ball

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The book was, in many ways, a journey for me. Not so much in terms of
the plot, but in terms of the overall theme. I'm not sure enjoy is the
right word, but I got the most value out of exploring the key theme of
how we make meaning in our lives -- how we make our short time as a
person on earth into something valuable, important, permanent. I needed
to create that meaning for myself and in writing the book I was able to
explore and make that concrete.

What was the biggest challenge in writing this book?

I think the biggest challenge for me was in overcoming my sense of being
not up to the task. I read a lot of good books -- not just good books,
but great books, and so I tend to aspire to producing books of a similar
calibre to what I read. That's daunting when you're reading books
written by Umberto Eco, Peter Carey, Margaret Atwood or Julian Barnes.
It's a hard uphill road and keeping that nagging sense of self-doubt
which is always present quiet for long enough to get the job done was my
biggest hurdle.

Who is your favorite character and why?

Well Marianne the protagonist certainly gets the lion's share of my
attention. It's her story and her journey and although the book is
written in third person, it's all her point of view, so I'd have to say
Marianne. But I also like Miles, the antagonist. I didn't want him to
come across as one sided or evil, and although he's not a force for good
in Marianne's life, I can certainly see both the seductive nature of his
gifts, and the little boy lurking under the bravado (that's my maternal
instincts coming out).

What do you enjoy about writing in general?

One thing I enjoy is how writing provides a kind of mandate for
observation which is very useful when you're under duress. In the
middle of an argument, or when everything is going wrong, there's always
a sense of the art I'm going to make out of the pain. I like to observe
the way a person might curl their lips, or hold their head. It helps
provide objectivity in the most subjective of situations!

What's next for you? I'm working on quite a few projects at the moment.
There's a full length poetry book I'm doing titled Impact Enigma
(exploring the usual subjects -- the universe, parenthood, love,
death...). Then there's novel 2, Black Cow, a treechange story moving
between the corporate world and the country. It's like Dilbert meets
The Good Life. After that there's Evie's Song about my grandmother, who
was a singer in the Catskills during WW2, and after that, well I have a
few other projects in mind. The only thing I need is more time!

Monday, December 10, 2007

Sleep Before Evening by Maggie Ball

Marianne is teetering at the edge of reason. A death in the family sends her brilliant academic career and promising future spiraling out of control until resentment towards those who shaped her past leads her on a wild and desperate search for the truth about herself. On the seedy side of New York, she meets Miles, a hip musician busking the streets and playing low-rent venues in a muddled bid to make his own dreams come true. In her new life, she finds anarchic squalor, home grown music and poetry, booze, drugs, sex, violence, love, loss and, above all, exhilarating freedom on her troubled journey from sleep to awakening. This gritty, relentless story unfolds with the same cool detachment that motivates the central character to peel back the layers of her life and expose the painful scalding within.

Purchase on Amazon.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Twisted Fairy Tales, edited by Julie Darcy

I am pleased to announce the release of “Twisted Fairy Tales” by Eternal Press. Familiar children’s stories re-written for adults. Sometimes weird, sometimes sexy. (Warning: some stories are erotica. Eternal Press rates this 3.5 hearts. (Their erotica usually rates in flames.)


Sindarella by Lisa Logon (Mild Erotica)
Man Hunt by Sally Odgers
The Christmas Present by Lisa Logan (Erotic)
Mirror, Mirror by Rob Rosen
Rapunzel By Yu-Han Chao(Erotica)
How Cats Lost the Power of Speech by Joshua Babcock
It Can’t Be Mine by Jane Toombs
Three Twisted Fairytails By Kandy Phair
Pebbles in the Stream by Richard E Friesen
Cinders By Karina L. Fabian
Angel with an Attitude by D. J. Sylvis
I Holler Hot Dog By Jane Toombs

My own story, “Cinders” is definitely in the weird category.

Check it out at

Monday, December 03, 2007

An Interview With Carole McDonnell

Carole tours this month with the Christian Fiction Review Blog.

1. What inspired you to write this story?

Several things. An old Elizabethan ballad, "He's young but he's daily growing." The story of Hagar in the Bible. We Christians never think of her as a person living her own life whose life was then interrupted. I suspect we never really care about what the lives of slaves were before they became enslaved. Don Richardson's great missionary book, Eternity in their hearts. There was also an interview I saw with Pastor Richard Twiss of Wiconi International and World Christian Gathering of Indigenous People. These groups work to establish forms of worship that are more connected to the culture. For instance, Pastor Twiss organizes Christian pow-wows. Most Christians are not Europeans, and yet most of the Christian literature is written by European Christians. In addition, many Christians across the globe have had two struggles: They often have had to choose the religion of their oppressor because Christianity and imperialism were so closely-linked. And they had the European ways of worship pushed on them. Although they had their own ways of worshiping the Creator, they had to use the Lutheran or the Roman or the English ways. It was cultural imperialism. So now there is a large movement among Christians across the globe to understand and worship Jesus through their own culture. For instance, Indian Christians who understand Jesus as the one who frees them from karma and their sin debt, as the one who is the divine Guru and the Light, the Truth, and the Way.

2. Who is your favorite character and why?

I think it's Loic, the male protagonist. He lives in a world where there is a lot of hierarchy, especially in the spirit world. And that is something that is very common in shamanistic societies..the idea that God is so far away, holy, and otherwise preoccupied that we humans can't deal directly with him and we need intermediaries. There is so much of that in spirit worshiping societies. Mountains behind mountains, as some of my Haitian friends say. My main character, Loic, is immature and -- as far as he knows and is able-- a kind of good pagan. He's spoiled but kind-hearted. He's ill. (I always make a point to create main characters with an illness -- emotional, psychological, spiritual, developmental.) He's a Christian-figure, as opposed to a Christ figure. His illness has made him spoiled and arrogant. Plus, he's the son of a clan chief. All this makes him the sort of person who would rebel against the spirits and shaman who want to come between humans and the Creator. So it's a kind of divine arrogance.

3. How have your personal faith and beliefs influenced your story?

I wanted to write a Pentecostal Book of Acts kind of novel. So many Christian novels don't include that and for me, Christianity without the charismatic gifts is merely powerless doctrine. Of course many people wouldn't want that kind of natural supernatural stuff in their books, but that -- I believe-- is what Christianity is supposed to be. Full of power, Christ in us, the hope of glory, treasures in vessels of clay.

4. What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Being brave. I had to trust God that a secular publishing company would accept it. I also had to get the storytelling style right. I wanted it to be high fantasy, but high fantasy with a folkloric style. Not the Euro-tradition. I also didn't want it to sound stilted. I read Native American rhetoric, slave narratives, and old Chinese traditional and classical poetry so I could get the style just right.

5. What was easiest?

The battles with the demons. That was fun to write. I knew instinctively what the demons would say.

6. What's next for you?

I have to decide which of three works-in-progress I'm working on. I have to work on getting some sleep. I battle fibromyalgia so it's interesting writing through the fog and the sleeplessness. I keep thinking that I'm always writing stories where my characters have trouble sleeping. I suspect that when I start sleeping again, they'll start sleeping also.


Sunday, December 02, 2007

CFRB Presents: Wind Follower by Carole McDonnell

Although it is not entirely to her liking, grief-stricken Satha, a dark-skinned woman from a poor Theseni clan weds young Loic, the wealthy Doreni son of the king's First Captain. Loic, graced with ability to see into the hearts and minds of others, begins to help Satha overcome her sorrows. Despite coming from different tribes, they begin to forge a life together. But when Satha's own compassion is used against her and a treacherous enemy contrives to dishonor her in Loic's absence, Loic's love turns to anger and disgust. Embittered, Loic must still avenge his honor and Satha's and he sets out on a journey that brings despair as well as spiritual discovery. Battling him are the Arkhai, the spirits of the land who know his quest will lead him toward the God whom they have usurped. After his departure, Satha is kidnapped, sold into slavery and learns, first hand, how cruel the pioneering Angleni tribe can be. Both face great hardship, danger and anguish apart, but with the Creator's aid there remains hope they will be reunited and heal the love the world has torn asunder.

Learn more at the CFRB Blog Tour.

Order at Amazon!