Tag Archives: writers

I don’t know. I love art. I love random moments of inspiration. Like,  feeling as if a quote is speaking directly to you. Bringing you face to face with clarity: I’m not the only one; it won’t last; it’ll get better.

Here are a few more of my FB favorites; some are inspirational pages, some art, some informative. Take a look! A lot of honest advice, “quotography” and a bit about this writer’s journey as an entrepreneur.  (I actually found this picture there) – A must follow. Really positive, uplifting and makes you think. (And introspective is a good way to be.) – This author/blogger/editor not only shares writing tips, but has written a great book about becoming an entrepreneur. I learned of this author/book cover designer via twitter. She shares book covers of authors she has worked with, as well as ready-made designs. Very kind, great at what she does. I check this page often. She shares beautiful quotes on life, love and friendship. On this page, find scriptures and words that are straight to the point, right to the soul. (This depends on your personal beliefs) Great site, wide variety of informative links Great parenting tips and articles for new parents Art!!!!!! There’s nothing like 3d art. Had to share this one. I think you’ll like it. If you are a writer, searching for a reviewer, visit this page. If you love new product reviews and blog posts about those products, visit this page.

What are some of your favorites? Have a link to share?



How do you handle rejection? What is rejection, really? Last week, I was working on this post about authors and the way some of us take criticism so poorly. I didn’t like the direction in which it was going, because it wasn’t authentic. I  ended up deleting most of the post.

It wasn’t authentic, because I wanted to say: Don’t let bad reviews get to you. There will be mean-spirited people, individuals who are tactless. There are always people who despise anything that is not their idea of perfection. We have to be prepared to sift through doubts, discern the intentions of others, all the while, remain steady and unwavering in our determination. I was going to say, that we should be grateful for people who point out errors. And last but not least: we should never bash or harass someone who’s honest with us.

But honestly? I don’t know where I stand with rejection and criticism. Its so easy to pat someone on the back and tell them not to worry about it. It’s so easy until its YOU.

So I thought about it. And on the surface, I take it well. Then, I have a bit of a delayed reaction. I mope, and I blame it on “tired”. Then I tell myself that I can create something even better next time … and I pick myself back up.

I don’t lash out or verbally attack people, and I don’t believe that that is acceptable. I do believe a lot of the lashing out, the meltdowns, the rants, come from a misunderstanding of “rejection”.

I’m thinking back on the early days of American Idol, which I stopped watching years ago, but find a perfect example. (Bear with me.)

1. There were many artists who were incredible, but were not chosen. It seemed that the show already had an idea of what they wanted.

Sometimes, rejection has nothing to do with your talent; sometimes its just not what readers/listeners/publishers/reviewers are looking for.

2. Judges may have judged harshly, but more often than not, they were giving one basic criticism:
Work with a professional and come back to us. (I learned this the hard way, and I still have to step over my ego and what I think I know, and consult a professional.) For instance:

Imagine pouring your heart and soul into your journal, proofreading it yourself, then sending it to publishers. Probably not going to get the news your heart desired. Not because you didn’t write something beautiful, but because the professionally trained eye of an editor catches things many of us wouldn’t know to look for.

Many things can be said about rejection and criticism. My points are: put rejection and criticism into perspective. Redefine them. Use them as a way to blossom.

Other articles I’ve enjoyed!: – one writer’s take on confusing our passion with an excuse to be irrational – one reader’s take on confusing our passion with an excuse to be irrational – on mistakes

The sixth annual World Autism Awareness Day is April 2, 2013.  Today, I am excited to share a word from Nicole Storey, who says:

World Autism Day? No! World Autism WEEK!  As an author and a mother of an autistic child, I try to do my part to support autism, whether it be research, grants for people with autism, therapy, resources for parents, and the like. World Autism Day gives the world a chance to show their support for all autistic individuals and I want to do my part.


So, with that in mind, my publisher, Inknbeans Press ( and I are offering a special edition e-book that includes all three titles of the Grimsley Hollow series written so far for only $6.99! With every purchase of this book, a donation will be made to Autism Speaks. The book will be available for purchase from Monday (4-1-13) until Friday (4-5-13) ONLY!

For those who aren’t familiar with Grimsley Hollow, I got the idea for the series from my son, and he is the main character and hero of the books. It is a YA fantasy with a touch of paranormal and a lot of Halloween! It is recommended for ages 10 and up.

Please consider grabbing a copy of this book and helping autistic individuals everywhere. Remember, not all heroes wear capes and these extraordinary people ARE heroes! Here are the links below:

Nicole Storey’s Face Book Page:

Twitter: @Nicole_Storey

Amazon US:

Amazon UK:

Barnes and Noble:

Kobo Books:

Thanks so very much for your support! Together, we can make a difference!


Thanks for the inspiration, Nicole!

“Don’t underestimate a person with autism. Try to understand them”


“I don’t need autism awareness. Autism acceptance will do just fine”


“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it is stupid”


Find more quotes here:


Where were you chronicles: Nadia

You ready for this?” Ray asked as he and Nadia stood waiting in line at a restaurant downtown.

I think so,” Nadia said smoothing her dress.

You look fine,” Ray said watching the door as he waited for Christian.

I’m just nervous. You and him have been talking. I’ll be new to him. And what if, what if he asks whose idea it was?”

Here he comes. Calm down,” Ray said placing his hand in the center of Nadia’s back.

Christian forced a smile as he and Cassady joined Ray and Nadia in line. “I never been here, before. Looks sadity. Like her,” Cassady said eying the lovely restaurant, then smiling at Nadia.

Nadia eyed Cassady. Am I the only one who heard this, she wondered.

Hi.” Nadia held out her hand stiffly to Christian’s younger sister.

She tried not to ignore Cassady, but she could hardly take her eyes off of him. Christian nodded his head and forced a smile. Nadia wanted to run to the restroom and cry; he was beautiful. Her son was absolutely beautiful.

Where were you?



by Donesha Thompson

Her heart races at the speed of light with the strength of 200 horses combined. She looks over the heads of witnesses finding their presence irrelevant to the occasion. Mind is blown, like that of a dandelion in a summer storm being chased by sand’s fury. She is faced with the light of her like, but the doom of her past decision. Reconcile, reconcile, reconcile…

How silly she feels, but this is the perfect moment in an imperfect world. She has gathered her pieces together before they scattered away and she’s nothing left. Nothing can describe to her, no one can erase for her the beauty she saw and felt from the eyes of the soul, and the thump in her chest. Tomorrow does not have to come to her, tomorrow means he could be elsewhere. She wants to live where time stood still to reconcile, to reconcile, may he let her share his world.

Just Beneath the Surface I and Into the Atmosphere are now available in print!into the atmosphere full

(Although Into the Atmosphere is available, it will not be sold online). For details, feel free to

contact me at ari.r.james at!                                                                                                    

Into the Atmosphere is a book about letting go: releasing our fears, doubts, pain and scars into the atmosphere.

Moving forward means letting go and handing our burdens over to God. Releasing our hurt is much easier said than done; this book is the first step toward identifying, releasing and moving forward.

Just Beneath full

Here are 7  facts about a few of the characters for this 7th day of March:

1. When her mother is distracted, Diamond, one of the main characters, will find herself in a dangerous relationship.

2. The ending has been considered quite suspenseful, and death will come to one of the characters

3. Kendall finds herself questioning the strong-willed woman she once was; she doubts herself as a wife and mother.

4. Diamond’s high school experience becomes very complicated, filled with vicious gossip.

5. Diamond’s younger brother grapples with feelings of hatred toward his sister and resentment toward his parents.

6. Kendall finds that everything she once believed about domestic violence is a myth — it could happen to anyone.

7. Diamond asks: “Is any attention better than no attention at all?”

When Kendall Berkely takes a look in the mirror, she not only desperately wants to run away from the stranger staring back at her; but she also knows that her days are numbered. She can feel it in her bones, and has the bruises to prove it. To make matters worse, Kendall will soon discover that her seventeen year old daughter, Diamond is on a path nearly just as dangerous.

After the demise of the family unit she once knew, a distracted mother, and being forced to accept a new stepfather, Diamond finds herself knee deep in a multitude of mistakes. When Diamond finds herself more lonely than ever before she crosses paths with Bobby Lidell; a teacher’s aide with a dark side. Just as Diamond realizes that she is in over her head, her mother and father have already been notified, and will do everything in their power to protect her.

But what is lurking in the shadows will not stop until a vow has been kept; what is lurking just beneath the surface will come seeking revenge.



Bookworm’s Nook:

An Avid Reader’s Perspective

Hello and welcome, OOSA BookClub!

Would you like to share a bit about yourselves?

We are an online book club and reviewing team, dedicated to giving honest reviews. Our mission is to further promote African American literature by taking special interest in new and self-published authors.

What is your favorite thing about reading?

“My favorite thing about reading is being able to escape from the real world and spend time with the characters and their stories. Reading is very relaxing.” – Flashette

When did you fall in love with reading?

“I never know how to answer this question. Obviously you want to date back to your first experience. For as long as I can remember, I have always loved books. I had to be 3, I think. I used to carry the really big picture books with limited words around. I would read them over and over and over again pretending that I was a character in the book. I remember being so caught up in a pretend book world and believing that in books, I could do or be whatever it was I wanted.” – Crystal

What are your favorite genres and why?

“Romance – At the end of the day what woman does not like romance. I am a romantic at heart and a good romance puts a smile on my face and lightens my mood.” – Lashonda

Do you prefer paperback books, e-books or both? Why?

“Although I have an e-reader, I still prefer holding a hard copy of the book in my hands. I rarely use my e-reader, but I keep a stack of books by my nightstand.” – Flashette

What, in your opinion, makes a writer one of ‘the greats?’

“A true love of the craft that shows in the attention to detail in the story. The ability to appeal to different audiences. Consistently producing bodies of work that keep the masses wanting more and talking about it, anticipating the next work.” – Lashonda

What types of characters do you find yourself relating to more than others when reading?

“More and more in books today, we have characters that are over the top and larger than life with perfect minds and flawless bodies. I prefer the more practical characters. Relatable characters. Down to earth and realistic characters. Characters that remind me of myself, a family member, a friend or a co-worker.” – Toni

Are there books that you find yourself revisiting? (Either in your mind or literally picking up the book to reread it again and again).

“I find myself re-reading ‘Mama’ by Terry McMillan. This takes me back to when I first started reading Black authors and enjoying the stories they tell. I also re-visit novels by J.D. Mason and Bernice McFadden because they helped me get through challenging times in my life.” – Flashette

Has a book ever brought you to tears? If so, what book and why?

“There have been quite a few. The most recent – SILENT CRY by Dywane D. Birch. The book is from the voice of a child with an abusive father and an abused mother. Readers see what abuse does to the children and how it affects their lives. The story was filled with so much information, pain, fear, and hope. While I’ve read plenty of books about abuse, I’ve never read a book that shows how the children handle the abuse that they are experiencing. I felt sad for the children and as the author revealed how the abuse affected them, it made me hurt for them.” – Crystal

Do you ever find yourself more connected with the darker characters/antagonists in the books you read?

“Absolutely! Protagonists and heroines are good, but there’s nothing like a greatly written villain. The kind of villain or antagonist that has readers drawn into them, rooting for their success or hoping they don’t get caught. Characters you love to hate and hate to love. That’s a testament of a true writer – one that can make you like what you shouldn’t.” – Toni

If you could introduce two characters from two different books you have read, who would they be and why?

“I’d love to introduce Lydia Martin from ‘Wife 101’ and First Lady Rawls from ‘Taylor Made’ by Sherryle Kiser Jackson. Both ladies counsel within the church. I believe that these two characters in one setting could learn from the other enhancing their ministries.” – Crystal

What is one book you wish you could see on the big screen? What books, in your opinion, were better as books, not so much movies?

I would love to see ‘Little Black Girl Lost’ by Keith Lee Johnson on the big screen. I would hope that Keith was sitting in the director’s seat to prevent the importance of the story from being compromised.

In my opinion, Terry McMillian’s books were much better as books. I think on the big screen they failed to capture the true bond in the relationships Terry wrote about. For example: ‘How Stella Got Her Groove Back.’ Stella and her son Quincy have a wonderful relationship. They talk about everything. In the movie, this relationship is lost as the main focus is put on the love interest.’ – Crystal

Think of your favorite book (or one of your favorites): What songs would you consider the perfect play list for this/these book(s)?

“One of my favorite books for all of last year was A’ndrea Wilson’s ‘Wife 101.’ That book’s playlist would include ‘Pieces of Me’ by Ledisi, ‘Yes’ by Musiq and ‘Spend My Life with You’ by Eric Benet and Tamia.” – Toni

If you could star in the movie adaptation of your favorite book, who would your co-stars be?

“I love Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice.’ I’d cast Boris Kodjoe as Mr. Darcy to my Elizabeth Bennet.” – Toni

What would you tell younger generations, who don’t realize the importance of reading, or how enthralling books can be?

“The same thing I tell my kids. Find something you love, a comic book, a mystery, a vampire story, and just read. Once you get past the fact that your peers think reading is punishment you will be able to read and see the story play out in your head like a movie. You will find reading is like watching a movie or a TV series. It can be entertaining.” – Lashonda

Visit OOSA Online Book Club here: