Release day party for Want by Stephanie Lawton!

Forbidden fruit can be the sweetest—or the most dangerous.

Julianne counts the days until she can pack her bags and leave her old-money, tradition-bound Southern town where appearance is everything and secrecy is a way of life. A piano virtuoso, she dreams of attending a prestigious music school in Boston. Failure is not an option, so she enlists the help of New England Conservatory graduate Isaac Laroche to help her.

She can’t understand why he suddenly gave up Boston’s music scene to return to the South. He doesn’t know her life depends on escaping it. Julianne must face down madness from without, just as it threatens from within. Isaac must resist an inappropriate attraction, but an indiscretion at a Mardi Gras ball—the pinnacle event for Mobile’s elite—forces their present wants and needs to collide with sins of the past.

Will Julianne accept the help she’s offered and get everything she ever wanted, or will she self-destruct and take Isaac down with her?

Early Praise:

“A heart-rending, romantic, and compulsively readable debut. You will remember Juli and Isaac for a long time to come!” –R.A. Nelson, author of Teach Me and Throat

“A powerful masterpiece, exploring tough issues, sweet love, and high stakes…”– Aubrie Dionne, Author of “Paradise 21”

“This story opened my eyes to how exciting contemporary YA romance can be” – Lisa Voisin, Author of “The Watcher”


Buy the book now at Inkspell Publishing Store and enjoy a special EXCLUSIVE 30% discount! Offer valid only till 14th June!

Curious about some “behind-the-curtain” scenes? Read her short story “Aftertaste” for free!


Faded Denim Excerpt: Sex and war before breakfast


Excerpt  to new adult fantasy romance

This is it!  Gabriel was obviously in pain. She feared her favorite romance novels had not prepared her as much as she thought, but there was no better place to make love. Intricate portraits hung along the walls. Plush, red carpet led up to a fireplace surrounded by antiquated books inscribed in Latin. A balcony leading out to a view of open sky was behind them. Everything felt so right. Her chance to comfort Gabriel like the lover she so yearned to be had finally come.

Intuitively Gabriel lowered his hands, “I’m sorry.” Those two words were his favorite.

She rested her fingers just above his belly button.

Brows furrowing, Gabriel stared at her puzzled. She swore there were leaves falling in his pupils.

She leaned forward.

“Blissany . . . what are—?”

She kissed him. His lips were sweet and soft like cotton candy. When she pulled away, her lids fluttered open to see nothing, but red.

Flustered, Gabriel moved from the couch. “That was . . . that was . . .” he searched his armoire for a shirt with gaping holes for his wings. He even threw on a red fanon for good measure.

“Um . . . I . . .” he refused to look at Blissany.

She knew that she had done something wrong. Something in her had wished that Gabriel would have kissed her back. He had to want her, otherwise why would he have her awake in his bed every morning only to feed her biscuits? She was dressed in a silk gown that clung to her figure. These gowns were made for lovers.

“That is—was… Michael,” Gabriel stuttered unable to form a coherent sentence. He was ready to fully ignore what just happened. “He is Nivide’s personal assistant, ranked the First Highest of all the High Custodiae. He arrived today to discuss what happened earlier.”

“That’s nice.” Please tell me my kiss wasn’t out of place. She felt like an idiot. Things weren’t going like they did in the urban fantasies she read except she was talking to a man with wings.

“Shall we breakfast on the balcony?” Gabriel drew her attention back to him. He refrained from touching her as they walked to the balcony.

Eating on the balcony was usually the high point of her dream. It was beautiful out there. Up so high people rode by on solid masses of clouds. All were dressed in exotic cloaks. Now the same beauty failed to move her. Gabriel offered her a sort of golden tint tea. She stared blankly at it saying nothing.

“This is straneyberry tea,” he continued, filling the silence. He showed her the fruit. It was large, red, and shaped like a heart. The outside of the fruit were lined with seeds. She burst the seeds on accident with her nails. Honey splattered dripping down her fingers. She licked them, unconsciously. Gabriel should have kissed me passionately.

“Blissany,” he began.

A couple of winged beings flew out windows and past Gabriel’s balcony. They uttered, “Salve,” as they flew by. These winged beings were always male, always beautiful. She should have stuck to dreaming about horribly nerdy, unattractive males. Those were the only ones that would kiss her.

“Blissany,” he called again. He offered her cookies made of sun dew. She took three absentmindedly. The syrupy-doe bread would make her feel better.

“Please listen to me.”

“What’s wrong with me?” She asked.

 Read more

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Maryann Reid: guerrilla marketing book strategies to catapult your career

When one thinks, “how to market my book,” they should think Maryann Reid.

When Reid released her third novel Marry Your Baby Daddy, she used event marketing to catapult her book into the limelight with a grassroots movement centered around social issues her readers could identify with.

Marry Your Baby Daddy Day was “a group wedding specifically for unmarried couples with children” that took place September 29, 2005, John Stossel and Eric Hanan wrote in an article named after the event for  ABC 20/20.

It is just one of the things Reid has done to establish herself as a brand and a publishing powerhouse.

If one wants to sell books, they have to get out there and connect with their readers.

How are you going to do this?

On Saturday, June 9, Maryann will be featured on my blog. Because she has made appearances on CNN, The CBS Early Show, and The Wendy Williams Experience,  she will give tips on how to create a video presence and a market for your novel.

Reid coaches writers and entrepreneurs in her Sell It Before You Write It Bootcamp, equipping those serious about a successful career on creating a market that will attract agents and publicity.   Please check out her website, connect with her through social media, and read her biography to learn more.

Maryann Reid BIO

Award-winning author (St. Martins Press) and social entrepreneur Maryann Reid has been featured by countless media outlets including USA Today, Essence, Glamour, The CBS Early Show, and The Wendy Williams Experience.

Maryann’s first book Sex and the Single Sister: 5 Novellas was published by St. Martins Press when she was just 25 years old. At that time, Maryann had no idea that her journal entries would become characters and later become a book. But she quickly learned the power of the media and pop culture influence on publishers and their decision-making. Because of the popularity of HBO’s Sex and The City, she hit the zeitgeist and signed her first book deal with St. Martins and the strong support of a stellar agent. Several books later, Maryann coaches others on how they can sell their own books, attract agents and publicity in half the time they would on their own.

When her third novel Marry Your Baby Daddy was published, Maryann was able to address a social issue that she cared deeply about and rally a new movement. As a result, she and her books have been profiled in The New Yorker, Newsweek,, NBC Nightly News, etc. for her innovative approach to life and solving its complex issues. Later, Marry Your Baby Daddy was optioned by Hollywood actress Holly Robinson-Peete and Dolores Robinson and is still a part of Maryann’s growing platform as social entrepreneur.

As a business coach and professional speaker, Maryann has gathered a diverse roster of credentials and affiliations:

  • · Author of 5 novels and several short stories by St Martins Press and Penguin Putnam
  • · Lecturer at various universities including St John’s University and Fordham University in NYC in Creative Writing and Business Communications
  • · Referred to as the “Oprah of Brooklyn” for her work with women and philanthropic efforts like Marry Your Baby Daddy Day
  • · Guest expert and social commentator on top-rated nationally syndicated radio shows like NPR’s Fresh Air, The Michael Baisden Show, Fox News Radio, CBS Radio, The Gayle King Show on Oprah Radio, etc
  • ·Invited by USATODAY to write a novella, Single Black Female, for the acclaimed Open Book section
  • Lifestyle expert at

Maryann has been invited to speak to some of the most innovative groups all over the country and has received over 20 million media impressions worldwide via major news outlets like ABC News 20/20, NBC Nightly News and CNN. She is a popular guest lecturer at colleges, where she has taught her publishing and media techniques to influential groups and thought leaders.

Maryann received her BA in Journalism from Fordham and developed her writing and love for news at Random House and CNN. She later received her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from the University of Miami.

Maryann has taught creative writing and nonfiction courses at major universities in NYC and Miami, FL.

She is also a certified scuba diver.

Jessica Roberts: how a simple idea evolved into a novel

Jessica Roberts speaks on a very interesting point, the harsh reality of marketing, in her interview.

One of the reasons she said marketing was hard is the tools that are readily available to traditionally published authors are not available to self-published. Then she talks about Amazon.

Although it is a dog-eat-dog world out there for the self-published, it is the same for any artist in any field.

Warren Richie’s article, Inside US lawsuit: How Apple, publishers allegedly brought Amazon to heel, describes how the environment is changing. Here is also a more recent update on the lawsuit, written by Julie Bosman, Justice Dept. Sues Apple . . . After reading these articles, one is not only educated about the publishing market, but learns a favorable environment for self-published authors has been created, one they can capitalize on if they have a superior product and knowledge of marketing.

Even in such an environment, only the best will succeed. I am of the opinion just because someone is traditionally published does not make them the best. Only readers can determine such.

For all you readers, read Roberts’ experience when it comes to writing, and the tools she has learned to use when it comes to marketing her novel.

Straight from the author’s mouth: how a simple idea evolved into a novel

1. Can you tell us about Reflection? Why did you choose to write this book? 
I’ve always loved to write. I can remember in one of my high school classes—way, way back when (laughs)—doing a timeline of my future and filling in the blanks with phrases like “Complete my first book when I’m 20”, “Write my second book when I’m 25”, and so on. So I guess I’ve always had the desire to write.

Also, I knew I wanted to write for a young adult audience since those are the books I enjoy reading the most. Those first looks and first kisses—there’s nothing better!

One day I was in my bathroom drying my hair in front of the mirror, and a scene popped into my head—the balcony scene in Reflection. The following day I was on my computer. I enjoyed writing that scene so much, I knew I had to write a beginning and an ending. And that’s how it all started.

A few years later I finished my debut Young Adult novel, Reflection, a sweet, spicy college romance with a twist!

What is Reflection about? The short teaser on the book’s cover says:

“What if six perfect months with the guy of your dreams, turned out to be nothing but a dream?”

So the book is basically about a spunky high school grad named Heather who leaves her small hometown and ventures off to college. Something happens and she lands in a coma. In the beginning of the book she wakes up from the coma and proceeds to retell her story of attending college and falling madly in love with a rugged classmate named Nick. Throughout the whole book, we as readers are trying to figure out if her love story is real or if it was just an amazing, potentially heartbreaking dream she had while resting in her coma.

2. How long did it take you to write Reflection? Can you talk about your writing process?

If I compiled all the writing days together, it probably took about 4-6 months to write Reflection. But since I wrote in spurts, here and there whenever I had time, taking the summers off in the process, I would say it took about 3-4 years from start to finish. I wouldn’t recommend doing it that way. It’s hard enough to sustain some semblance of fluency even if you write every day. But when you’re a mommy, you do what you gotta do!

Writing process . . . hmm. I don’t know if I have one particular writing process. Obviously, any novel starts with an idea. I’ve always had an active imagination. It’s bothersome at times, especially late at night when I want to fall asleep and my thoughts won’t let me. I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell the characters in Reflection to shut-up so I could get some sleep.

I guess I’m not the best person to answer that question because I know I should have some sort of writing process, but I don’t. For me I write when the dialogue and scenes come to me. Then I compile the scenes together so the story flows, with an engaging beginning, a climax, and an ending.

3. Any editing tips? 

I’m psycho about editing. Still, I can’t tell you how many edits I went through – am still going through. The best advice I can give is to let A LOT of people read your manuscript before you publish it. A LOT!!

4. If you could share one tip you learned with self-published and traditionally published authors who share the same dream of being a successful author what would it be? 

I’ve realized that if you go the self-publishing route, it’s a lot harder to get your book out there so people know about it—which is soooooooo frustrating!

Publishing companies, in contrast, have marketing tactics and promotional connections that bring their books to the masses fast, and those avenues are just not as readily available to self-published authors. It sucks, but it’s the truth. I got ahold of Amazon one day and asked what it would take to be a part of their “featured books” email blast. The rep. told me they are reserved for companies that have contracts with them – namely the big publishing companies. However, there are base packages that include a little advertizing corner in some random location on the Amazon website, starting at $10k. No biggie. Only the price of A CAR! (laughs)

If you do self-publish: goodreads; book bloggers who offer review services; and self-promotion through social media such as facebook, twitter, etc. are great places to start. The goal is to reach a large audience. And don’t forget to be patient. It takes time!


Jessica Roberts: what if it all were a dream?

“What if six perfect months with the guy of your dreams turned out to be nothing, but a dream?”

‘I would cry myself back to sleep,’ was the first thought that popped into my head. The second was, ‘What a powerful tag line.’

This powerful tag line was chosen for the young adult romance, Reflections, by Jessica Roberts.

Reflection is such a beautifully written novel, almost leaning towards a literary read.

The perfect read for anyone who wants to relive the magic of their first love, Roberts reveals how she was able to capture such beauty in her author feature on June 2.

In the meantime, feel free to read my review, and connect with Roberts.

She is such a sweetheart. Believe me, you will not regret Facebooking this author.


Superheroes Wear Faded Denim Review

“The author has wonderful command of language”

Superheroes Wear Faded Denim is a bright well-written paranormal novel. The characters are lively and engaging. Caught in amazing circumstances, they are believable and real. The author has wonderful command of language and writes with a fresh voice as she describes the characters’ journeys from everyday university students to heroes intent on saving the world.

Though the circumstances of the plot are often dire, there are moments of comic relief, especially as the major characters try to balance their university experience with their global responsibilities. To complicate matters more, the students must also deal with a variety of non-human characters with their own agendas.

It is a great read. I look forward to more books from this talented author.

– Sharon Drane

Reflection by Jessica Roberts: a 3/5 star read any preteen would love

“I still had forty long minutes with Miss Ice and Mister Fire Hands . . . Between the two of them I felt like fried ice cream.”

You want to learn how to write a good metaphor? Read Reflections by Jessica Roberts.

It tells the story of Heather, a methodical and untrusting young woman who is heading off to college.

When a jarring event puts her in a very vulnerable position, she has to learn how to break down her walls and trust.

The writing was poetry.

When Heather is heading to her first class of the day, the college hallway is described as a “fishbowl.” In my mind Heather is instantly morphed into a startled gold fish, unnerved by “the multitude on the outside of the glass.”

Not only did Roberts make good use of literary devices (this author used patterns ladies and gents), she also created strong tension between the character and her environment.

Goodness! Roberts knows how to use words to heighten the mood. Such actions as Heather having her arm touched becomes just as intense as a damsel being chased by thieves.

One of the problems I had with this novel is I disliked the third person to first person POV switches. Because Heather’s voice was not so different from the narrator’s,  I saw no need for them. The writing was strong enough for me to overlook the switches.

Problems I struggled to ignore were the slow pacing and the length of the chapters. A lot of the repetitive descriptions in the chapters could be cut out, making the novel perfect.

Even though Roberts did a very good job painting a realistic hospital environment, I could not get over Heather’s college experience. It seemed so high school to me.

To give Roberts some credit, I went to a university that took up a fourth of an entire town, making my college experience very different from Heather’s.

I give Reflections 3 stars. Readers ages 9 to 13 will thoroughly enjoy this book.  Go ahead Miss. Roberts! You’re on your way to defining a generation.

 “His voice pressed into my ear like a meteor trenching into the earth’s floor, sheathing my ear-way with deep, heat, hotter than his touch.”

Love for Literature Reigns Supreme