Tag Archives: New adult

New Release: Denise Turney’s Love Pour Over Me

Denise Turney:

Denise Turney is a professional writer who brings more than thirty-two years of book, newspaper, magazine, radio and business writing to a project. She is the author of the books Portia, Love Has Many Faces, Spiral, Rosetta’s Great Adventure, Long Walk Up and Love Pour Over Me. Denise Turney is an internationally celebrated author who is listed in various entertainment and business directories, including industry leaders such as Who’s Who, 100 Most Admired African American Women and Crosswalk. Denise Turney’s works have appeared in Parade, Essence, Ebony, Madame Noire, The Pittsburgh Quarterly and Obsidian II.

Title: Love Pour Over Me

Publisher: Chistell Publishing

Release date: March 2012

Website: http://www.chistell.com

Purchase Link: http://www.chistell.com/order.php

Link to Tour on Main Site –  http://www.virtualbooktourcafe.com/3/post/2012/05/love-pour-over-me-by-denise-turney.html

A father and son’s estranged relationship threatens to destroy the son’s only chance at real love. But is a painful childhood enough to choke a young man’s promising future? Love will find and heal the most broken hearted, disappointed, abused and ashamed. Love has come. There is no turning back.

Excerpts :

EXCERPT ONE

 

Chapter One

It was Friday afternoon, June 15, 1984.  Raymond Clarke lay across his bed.  An empty bowl of popcorn was on the floor.  Snacking did little to ease his excitement.  In less than three hours his year round efforts to prove himself deserving of unwavering acclaim would be validated in front of hundreds of his classmates.  Tonight was his high school graduation, the day he had dreamed about for weeks.  He knew his grades were high enough to earn him academic honors.  Even more than his grades were his athletic achievements.  He hadn’t been beaten in a track race in three years; he won the state half mile and mile runs for the last six years, since he was in middle school.  People would cheer wildly for him tonight.

The television was turned up loud. “Carl Lewis threatens to break Bob Beamon’s historic long jump record at the Olympic Trials in Los Angeles this weekend,” an ESPN sportscaster announced.  “Beamon’s record has stood for sixteen years.  Lewis . . . “

Raymond got so caught up in the mention of the upcoming Olympic Games that he didn’t hear the front door open.

“Ray,” his father Malcolm shouted as soon as he entered the house.

“What?”  Raymond leaped off his bed and hurried into the living room.  “Dad?”

“What?  Boy, if you don’t get your junk–”

Raymond watched his father wave his hand over the sofa, the place where he’d thrown his sports bag as soon as he got home from graduation practice at school.

“Get this sports crap up,” Malcolm growled.

Silence filled the house.

Raymond grabbed his sports bag, carried it into his bedroom and tossed it across his bed.

His father exited the living room and entered the kitchen.  Like a dark shadow, frustrations from spending ten hours working at a drab automobile plant where he drilled leather seats into one Ford Mustang after another while his line supervisor stood at his shoulder and barked, “Focus, Malcolm.  Get your production up,” followed him there.  It was in the furrow of his brow and in the pinch of his lip.  “Ray.”

Raymond cursed beneath his breath before he left his bedroom and hurried into the living room.  Seconds later he stood in the kitchen’s open doorway.

He watched his father toss an envelope on the table.  “Letter from Baker came in the mail.  Something about you getting some awards when—“  He reached to the center of the kitchen table for a bottle of Steel Fervor.  He’d stopped hiding the alcohol when Raymond turned five.  The alcohol looked like liquid gold.  Felt that way to Malcolm too.  “you graduate tonight.”

Malcolm took a long swig of the whiskey and squinted against the burn.  He tried to laugh but only coughed up spleen.  “You’re probably the only kid in the whole school who got a letter like this.  Everybody up at Baker knows nobody cares about you.  Letter said they thought I’d want to let all your relatives know you’re getting some awards so they’d come out and support you.”

Again Malcolm worked at laughter, but instead coughed a dry, scratchy cough that went long and raw through his throat.  “We both know ain’t nobody going to be there but me and your sorry ass.  Don’t mean nothing anyhow.  They’re just giving these diplomas and awards away now days.”  On his way out of the kitchen, bottle in hand, he shoved the letter against Raymond’s chest.

Raymond listened to his father’s footsteps go heavy up the back stairs while he stood alone in the kitchen.  When the footsteps became a whisper, he looked down at the letter.  It was printed on good stationery, the kind Baker High School only used for special occasions.  Didn’t matter though.  Raymond took the letter and ripped it once, twice, three times — over and over again — until it was only shreds of paper, then he walked to the tall kitchen wastebasket next to the gas stove and dropped the bits inside.

“Ray.”

He froze.  From the sound of his father’s voice, he knew he was at the top of the stairs.

“Give me that letter, so I’ll remember to go to your graduation tonight.”

Raymond twisted his mouth at the foulness of the request, the absolute absurdity of it.  He didn’t answer.  Instead he turned and walked back inside his bedroom.  He grabbed his house keys and headed outside.  At the edge of the walkway, he heard his father shout, “Ray.”

Raymond didn’t turn around.  He walked down the tree lined sidewalk the way he’d learned to walk since Kindergarten – with his head down.  He stepped over raised cracks in the worn sidewalk, turned away from boarded windows of two empty dilapidated buildings and told himself the neighborhood was just like his father – old, useless, unforgiving and hard.

A second floor window back at the house went up.  Malcolm stuck his head all the way out the window.  “Get your ass back here,” he hollered down the street.

Raymond sprang to his toes and started to run.  His muscular arms and legs went back and forth through the cooling air like propellers, like they were devices he used to try to take off, leave the places in his life he wished had never been.  It was what he was good at.  All his running had earned him high honors in track and field.  He was Ohio’s top miler.  He’d made Sports Illustrated four times since middle school.

“Ray.”

“Yo, man, you better go back,” Joey chuckled as Raymond slowed to a stop.  Joey, a troubled eighteen-year-old neighbor who dropped out of school in the tenth grade, leaned across a Pontiac Sunbird waxing its hood.  “If you don’t, your old man’s gonna beat your ass good.”

“Aw, Ray’s cool,” Stanley, an equally troubled twenty-one-year-old who pissed on school and failed to get a diploma, a man who couldn’t read beyond the third grade level, said.  He stood next to Joey.  His hands were shoved to the bottoms of his pants pockets.  “And we know the Brother can run.  Damn.  We all can run,” Stanley laughed.

“Ray, remember the night we ran away from that Texaco station, our wallets all fat?” Joey laughed.  He talked so loudly, Raymond worried he’d be overheard.

“Thought we agreed to let that go,” Raymond said.  He looked hard at Joey then he looked hard at Stanley and the nine-month old deal was resealed, another secret for Raymond to keep.

One glance back at his father’s house and Raymond started running again.  He ran passed Gruder’s an old upholstery company and Truder Albright, a small, worn convenience store, all the way to the Trotwood Recreation Center six miles farther into the city.

EXCERPT TWO

It was eight o’clock.  Raymond told himself not to but he turned partway and glanced over his shoulder.  It was as if he’d suddenly been plagued with dementia, because he forgot the years of abuse heaped upon him with Malcolm’s calloused hands.  He wanted Malcolm to walk through the convention center doors sober and real proud like.  He wanted Malcolm to be glad to call him his son.

“To the students, as I call out your name, please stand and make your way onto the stage.”  Principal Jones flipped through a stack of stapled papers then he pushed his mouth close to the microphone and said slowly, “Sharon Appleseed.”

A loud round of applause, whistling and “way to gos” pierced the air.  It went on like that for more than an hour, until all but two students had received a diploma – Raymond and Janice Thompson, a bright sixteen year old who sat in a wheelchair due to spina bifida.

Principal Jones sang Janice’s praises.  Hers had been a stellar academic career right from the start.  “She’s earned her way onto the Honor Roll every year since the Seventh Grade.  She was voted to Girls State by our finest instructors.  She has won three presidential academic citations.  And,” Principal Jones laughed, “I’m sure her parents appreciate this most.  She has earned a full scholarship to Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia.”  Principal Jones’ hand went out.  “Ladies and gentlemen,” he beamed, “Please stand and congratulate the Class of 1984’s Salutatorian, Janice Thompson.”

Janice pushed the wheelchair toward the stage and everyone stood and applauded wildly.  Amid the swell of noise and the sea of people, Raymond looked over his shoulder and searched every face for Malcolm.  His gaze darted in a crazed fashion.

Then he felt a tap on his shoulder.  It was his friend, Paul.  They sat next to each other.  “Yo, Man, is your pops coming?”

Raymond turned away from Paul, faced the stage and stood tall, head up, shoulders back.

When Paul tapped him again, he jerked his shoulders hard and shrugged him off.

The auditorium grew quiet.

“And now, it’s time for us to bestow the top honor.”  Principal Jones smiled before he said, “This young man has earned high commendations academically and athletically.”

In short intervals, Paul, several members of the track team and Raymond’s high school track coach turned and looked to the back of the auditorium toward the entrance doors.  They prayed for Malcolm to show.

“Damn,” Paul muttered when he turned around and faced the stage for the eighth time.  He bumped shoulders with the guy who stood next to him.  “That asshole ain’t coming.”  He lowered his head and his voice.  “Ray’s pops ain’t coming.”

“This young man has earned All-City, All-County, All-State and top national honors in cross-country and track and field.  In fact, twice he’s been listed as the top high school miler in the country by Sports Illustrated and Track and Field News.  He has earned four Presidential academic citations.  He’s been on the Honor Roll since the Seventh Grade.”  Principal Jones scanned the auditorium for Malcolm.  When he didn’t see him, he spoke slower and started to make things up in the hopes that time would become Raymond’s friend.

“I remember when he first came to Baker.  He was a scared young man, but not anymore.”  He pursed his lips and gave Raymond a nod.  “He’s ready to take advantage of the full scholarship his achievements have gained him.”  Principal Jones glanced at the doors.

A few students and several parents squirmed in their seats.  Some people glanced at their watches as if to say “Come on”.

“He has maintained a 4.0 grade point average since the ninth grade.  He hasn’t missed a day of school since the third grade.”  The doors demanded his attention again, but no one came through them.

“Ladies and Gentlemen, please congratulate Baker High School’s Class of 1984 Valedictorian, Raymond Clarke.”

Paul clapped until his hands stung.  A few students stood in their seats and hollered out, “Go, Ray!”  Before long a chant went up.  All the students pumped their fists in the air and shouted, “Ray-mond!  Ray-mond!”

Raymond’s heart beat wildly in his chest.  He clamped his teeth down against his bottom lip and jailed the rising emotion.  He extended his hand when he neared Principal Jones’ side.

“Well done,” Principal Jones told him as he handed him his diploma.  He patted Raymond’s back.  “You did a fine job, Son.”  He shook his head,   “A fine job.”

The chain lock was on the front door when Raymond got home that night.  He jiggled the chain and tried to get it to slide open.  When that didn’t work he walked to the back of the house and tried to open the rear door, the one leading to the backyard.  He cursed as he realized a chain lock was on the back door as well.  Then he looked for an opening.  He was in luck.  The kitchen window was ajar just enough to allow him entry.  He grunted and pushed up.  The screen didn’t even bang when it landed in the sink.  He crawled through the window like a thief.

When he reached the stairs, he saw a flicker of light coming from the second floor.  “Dad,” he called out softly, then louder as he made his way up the stairs.  “Dad.”

A newly pressed blue striped suit coat hung across the chair in the corner of his father’s bedroom.  The television was turned down so low it sounded like it was humming.

“Dad?”

The bed was empty, covers bunched together near the foot.  The shade to the room’s one lamp was tilted as if someone had punched it.

“Dad?”

Raymond walked across the hall. He started to scream.  “Dad?”  He ran back down the stairs.  “Dad?” he screamed as he made his way through the house.

He saw the shadow, curled and bent like an old man, at his bed’s edge.  Silence was his escort into his own room.

Malcolm stood slowly.  His body leaned right, from his shoulders to his ankles.  His hands were clenched.  His eyes were slits.  “Why didn’t you tell me?” he demanded.  His hands, then his arms and legs quaked.  He took heavy Frankenstein-like steps toward Raymond.  “Why didn’t you tell me?  Why didn’t you tell me?”

When no more than a few inches separated them, Raymond saw the red in his father’s eyes.

Malcolm stepped forward again, and this time, Raymond stepped back.  He prepared to duck.  “Tell you what?” he stammered.  Fear had gone into his body.  He felt like, instead of blood, electricity was coursing through his veins.

“Why didn’t you tell me?”

“What?  What, Dad?” Raymond screamed.  “Tell you what?”

Also read:

https://lawreigns.com/2012/06/18/denise-turney-how-to-land-author-interviews-and-increase-sales/

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4/5 by blogger of Books, Books, and More Books

“While not my usual fare, this book was definitely worth reading. “

 

This book is very surrealistic.  It requires an ability to put aside the “normal” view of the world and accept the world of the book to fully grasp the concepts and ideas of the book.  It would drive my husband crazy, but I enjoyed it for the most part.  At times I was lost and confused, but those were rare.
The plot was so intense, dark, and gritty with hints of humor, romance and a fabulous subplot to boot.  The characters were unique yet very believable and realistic.  The characters evolve from “normal” to superhero and try to do the right thing.  It was interesting to watch the dynamics unfold.
While not my usual fare, this book was definitely worth reading.  I enjoyed the author taking on issues not generally dealt with in literature.  I give this book 4 out of 5 clouds.

3/5 stars posted on Once Upon A Twilight

“I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more from Law Reigns.”

Superheroes Wear Faded Denim introduces us to two main characters Blissany Cherry and Don Shimada. Blissany is shy self-conscious art student and a sleepwalker who just happens to be the key to defeating one of the greatest evil this world has ever known. Don is outgoing, popular and basically has a bright and successful future ahead of him until that is he starts having hallucinations of war and destruction. Together they are bound by destiny to save the world.

All in all a great concept but I have to say that this book was difficult to get into. However, once all the characters are introduced and you have some sense of what the heck is going on it sucks you in. Normally I wouldn’t recommend a book that takes 100 pages to really get interesting, there are however a few exceptions and Superheroes Wear Faded Denim is now at the top of the list. Don’t get me wrong there are some very intriguing moments that keep you reading but it just takes a while to really take off.

I think one of my favorite things about this book is that it changes POV. Don was my favorite to read even though he was a bit of an ass at times. Blissany sometimes is frustrating to read, you really want her to snap out of her funk. Luckily that’s when Don’s chapters would come in and the story would advance making you excited to get back to Blissany to see what she was up to and how it would work its way back to the story. I really enjoyed this book and I am looking forward to reading more from Law Reigns.

Once Upon A Twilight

Victoria Smith: Growing a market for New Adult fiction

New adult author and book blogger Victoria Smith gives us some insight on how she built a community of likeminded individuals over the internet, creating an impressive online presence.

Promoting new adult fiction through book reviews, networking, and promotions, she has helped many authors gain success and a voice in an underappreciated market.

Looking for a reviewer or someone to connect with? Check out Miss. Smith’s blogs and NA Alley, a resource for all interested in new adult fiction.

Having recently obtained a publishing contract for her science fiction romance novel, The Crimson Hunt, Miss. Smith offers some advice on creating a query package. She has provided links to submissions.

If you do nothing, click on the links below and check out her examples. Examples of synopses and queries helped me create a straight-to-the-point cover blurb, landing me review requests even though I am self-published author. So thank you Miss. Smith for sharing the love and knowledge.

Straight from the blogger’s mouth: Growing a market for New Adult Fiction

Can you tell me about your blog and the objective you hope to achieve?

Sure!  My blog is about my journey as a new writer as I write characters that fall between the categories of Adult and Young Adult fiction.  I write what’s called “New Adult” fiction, which features characters that are usually between the ages of 18 – 30.  “New Adult” displays these characters’ journey as they transition into adulthood.  They can be featured in college, starting their first jobs, or paying their first bills.  The publishing industry hasn’t really taken to this type of fiction yet, so my blog discusses my experience with writing this type of fiction despite the low market for it.  I also review books, which feature twenty-something aged characters, so others can read books about “New Adult” characters.  I try to spread awareness of this new category through my experiences writing it and the reviews I do.

 

As a book reviewer, what do you look for when you consider reviewing a book? 

 

First, I have to make sure that the books I review are perfect for the audience that reads my blog.  I try to feature books that are, what I like to call, “perfect for twenty-somethings.”  It can be Young Adult fiction or Adult fiction, but it has to be able to reach that audience.  A good example would be maybe a 17 or 18-year-old character that has become completely independent due to unique circumstances.  Say they are a single parent, or they have become the soul provider of their family because of an injured parent.  Maybe they grew up in hardships and have had to rely on themselves to survive.  These are mature experiences that could definitely relate to twenty-something readers and writers.

I also try to make sure that romance is one of the central themes of the writing.  I love reading Young Adult and Adult romances and find those stories compelling. I’m also a big fan of speculative fiction in contemporary settings.  Say a girl is a college student by day and a superhero at night or the local bartender down the street who took the job to pay for school is an undercover alien.  I love seeing stories like these!

 

How did you get your blog started and how long did it take before you saw results?

I started my blog November of 2011.  It took about a month and a half when I started gaining more followers.  I held contests and joined Twitter.  I also sought out other bloggers who reviewed books like I did, or were writers like me.  I commented and participated on their blogs then they would come to mine and do the same.  Before I knew it, I started to get a following and the rest is history as you say!

 

What are some tips?

The biggest tips I can give are to join Twitter and find other blogs like yourself. You have to network if you want people to come to your blog.  Make friends! Not only is it fun, but you also get to meet some cool people.

 

As a writer, I know you said you were undergoing the querying process. Can you talk about a bit about your book, the querying process and what you have learned?

I actually just started researching the querying process recently for my new adult science fiction romance, THE CRIMSON HUNT.  My book is about a college junior who falls for a mysterious collegiate on her campus.  But her involvement with him lands her at the heart of a murder, in which she has been named the prime suspect.  He is the only one who truly knows of her innocence, so she becomes completely reliant on him to survive.  But as the two become closer, she realizes that he may have had more involvement with the murder than he lets on. She has to determine who her true allies are before she loses more than just her rights as a free citizen.

 

With this project, I was editing and getting my packages together for publishers because I knew I would be submitting it by the end of the summer.  I created a standard package by making a two-page synopsis, blurb, and query letter, which included a blurb about the book and my writing credentials.  While getting the package together, I heard about a contest from an editor that was actively seeking new adult manuscripts.  I entered the contest about a month ago and won.  Here’s my entry here.  I submitted my full manuscript to them and they offered me a contract for publication about two weeks ago!  So, I am now officially a new adult author.  Here’s the announcement I made on my blog about it here.

I suppose I learned that you just have to make sure that you concentrate on your work first and foremost.  Really polish your manuscript to the best of your ability, so when opportunities like pitch contests and other things come around you are prepared.  Obtain a critique partner and beta readers to read your work.  They’ll catch things that you might not necessarily have seen yourself.

 

If you could share a bit of wisdom with aspiring authors who desire to create a successful blog, what would it be?

As writers we naturally want to show our work to the world, so it’s easy to only want to discuss your personal craft on your blog.  But what you have to make sure of is that there is a balance.  Research your reader and feature things that they would like to see on your blog then insert your own stuff into the mix.  You’ll build a following then you can feature more and more of your own work.  Make sure you network with other writers and readers via Facebook, blogging, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. to create friendships.  They will come to you if you come to them with the same awesome attitude and spirit!

Connect with Miss. Victoria Smith:

 

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New adult fantasy romance Faded Denim excerpt: Master of the Facade

An excerpt from chapter three of my new adult fantasy romance, Superheroes Wear Faded Denim. One of my main characters, Don Shimada, is getting his first taste of insanity.

“A million dollar grin could not stop his mind from going places he didn’t want to go.”

Don’s face became as blank as the screen behind him. The conversation with Cassandra was edged in his mind as if he had written it down. Fear kept him from standing. He could just imagine his true self coming out. He’d become laconic, a side of him he’d rather not show.

“Actually,” Cassandra approached the podium with her Versace accessories in tow. “I’ll take it from here.”

Thankful to Cassandra, Don relaxed in his seat.

“I love the idea of doing this joint week.” She began her speech in true corporate fashion. “This week is about bringing women’s issues to light. Without you beautiful men, it would not be possible to host a week of events focused on love, appreciation, and respect for women.”

Cheers rose from the crowd as the lights dimmed. Don noticed a portal opening between the fourth and fifth row of chairs. It was a luminous grey space. He blinked. The portal was gone. He took a deep breath. I can control this.

“Sunday of course I’m excited because praise is what I do for all who don’t know. Instead of holding church at Bethel of the Lamb, we’ve decided . . .” Cassandra’s words faded into a distant hum.

A grey haze covered the entire room in a thin veil causing everyone it touched to stop moving. Helplessly, Don watched the vestiges of the room morph into a tall, curving archway. The homely navy carpet became marble tiles. Soon four winged men swept through the archways bringing in gusts of cold wind. Rococo robes adorned their towering frames. The darkest of them all commanded Don’s attention. He was a warrior angel smelling of soot and grime. His dreads fell down his back, the tips wound in gold.

I’m becoming like my mother. He had only known madness through her. Her madness defied all logic: there were no hallucinations or anything dramatic. A master of her feelings, she seemed to fool everyone, even the doctors. The media lionized her as the real life superwoman. Open a magazine and there she would be wearing her scarves and artsy dresses, never any spandex. She always made sure to include in every interview this quote from her autobiography: ‘I couldn’t just sit around queen of a conglomerate knowing that there were women suffering around the world.’

Every time he read that quote, he got sick. His mother would never let the truth slip; her past caused her to flee. Packing everything but her sanity, she ran from the safety of her husband’s mansion to some of the most desolate places in the world. To this day, he could not get his father to explain why he funded her crazy expeditions, or why he allowed her to take his only son. Don survived twelve years of his mom’s madness. At eighteen, he ran far and fast, vowing to never lose his sanity. Now here he was, another insane Shimada.

On the outside he looked like the next cover model for a Nightlife campaign. He smelled of ocean beaches. Yet a million dollar grin could not stop his mind from going places he didn’t want to go. Just like his mother, a master of the façade, he was going to work damn hard to make sure no one was the wiser.

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