Meet the Author with April Henderson, Author of A Letter to You

April Henderson is an Author, Youth Advocate, and Speaker with extensive professional experience in the educational and social service field, targeting the needs of at-risk youth and their families. She obtained her Masters of Education in 2006, and has dedicated her leadership to servicing child victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking, as well as homeless and runaway youth. In 2002, she started The Restoration Home, a nonprofit that offers programming for girls and young women.

April Henderson knows firsthand how turbulent it can be to cope with adversity during the teen years, as she lost her brother at the age of sixteen. Her journey of overcoming this tragedy and rediscovering her identity, hope, and courage led her to a career of working with youth in the social service field and education sector.

Get to know April:

 ARBC: What inspired you to write your book, A Letter to You?

My inspiration to write this book came partly from my own struggle of losing my brother at the age of sixteen. When I lost my brother, I was depressed, suicidal, and had an identity crisis- I wondered who I was now that he was gone. This was a very difficult and devastating time for me, and on top of that, I still had to deal with the dynamics of being a teen. Moreover, my inspiration came from leading a team while working with girls who were victims of sexual trafficking. I would have Tuesday Chats with the girls, and they could talk to me about anything. What I noticed during this time was that the girls shared many of the same issues. No matter the location where I worked, whether in the school system, in the church, at the homeless shelters, or with my current organization, there were common issues that all girls dealt with. I saw my “teen self” in these girls. From that point on, I thought about all the other girls who needed support, encouragement and guidance- and that is how the book came about.

ARBC: What can readers take away from your book?

Readers can expect to be encouraged, empowered, enlightened and inspired as they navigate their everyday lives. They will be challenged to grow and evolve overall as a person.

ARBC: Does your book have a lesson? A moral?

The letters are written from the perspective of an older sister/mentor talking to a younger sister/mentee. Each letter offers meaningful advice and key insights that will help encourage, educate, empower and inspire girls as they navigate through life.

ARBC: What is your favorite letter in this book, and why?

In all 50 letters, there is a section that states, “ From One Sister to Another”. This is where I inform the readers that I can relate to them. This is my favorite part because I believe that ultimately all people want to be understood. I try to communicate to the readers that “ I feel you, girl! You are not alone!”

ARBC: Are you planning to write other books?

I certainly am! I am already working on my next book! I feel like there is space for my voice in the world, and I am filled with stories and messages that I believe will resonate with others.

ARBC: What’s a cool/interesting fact about yourself?

Although I am truly a girly girl, there is still an inner tomboy inside of me. I am at home hanging with the girls sometimes, and the fellows as well!

ARBC: What is some advice you would give aspiring or first-time authors?

You don’t have to have all the answers before you start. Allow that creative flow to express itself naturally. If you only have a sentence at first, write it down! If you only have an idea, write it down! If you cannot write it down, record it so that when you are ready to write, you will remember it. Just get started! Just do it! One sentence will turn into two, and before you know it, you’ll have a paragraph. There is no perfect time, so you must start now. Take it from me a wife, mother of two small children and a professional. You can do it!

Find the book and the author:

Facebook: ACHenderson2

Instagram: ACHenderson1

Twitter: ACHenderson

Email: aprilwatson245@gmail.com

About The Book

A Letter To You is a book of 50 inspirational letters written to teen girls and young women. The letters cover various topics, from self-esteem and comparison issues, to relationships and decision-making. Other topics include overcoming loss and adversity, dealing with mean-girl behavior, and social media bullying. The work is written from the perspective of an older sister/mentor talking to a younger sister/mentee. Each letter offers meaningful advice and key insights that will help encourage, educate, empower, and inspire girls as they navigate through life.

Book Available for Purchase On: Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Barnes & Noble and Books A Million

Interview with Mario D. King and Jae Henderson

Meet Mario D. King

mario-king

Mario D. King writes to change the world with works that will spark an educational revolution. He made his literary debut in 2013 with the release of his hip-hop novella, The Crisis Before Midlife. Met with rave reviews by readers, he decided to continue to encourage change in the community through literature with the release of his first nonfiction project, What’s Happening Brother: How to strategize in a system designed for you to fail. In it, Mario provides a realistic discourse that embraces accountability and responsibility to systematically address the problems ailing the black community. Through his meticulous research, he explores solutions in education, entrepreneurship, leadership, community, and spirituality, amongst several other topics, to transform the thinking of black men and their respective counterparts. His love for the black family propelled him to embark on a different kind of journey with Where Do We Go from Here? King hopes that by helping to illustrate how misguided relationships can negatively affect the lives of all involved, people will make wiser decisions and strengthen black families.

Mario received his bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga where he studied global culture and communication, psychology and sociology. He received his MBA from Kaplan University and will continue to stir up change and motivate those with whom he comes in contact. A native of Memphis, Tennessee, this husband and father of three now lives in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he continues to be a positive influence in his community.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

-I always knew I was going to do something related to the arts. That love for the arts soon transitioned into writing. So, in a way…you can say I’ve always wanted to be a writer.

What is your process working with a co-author?

-Working with Jae on the Where Do We Go From Here series was my first experience working with a co-author. I’ve enjoyed the experience. Our process has been just to feed off of each other’s energy. Working solo is easy in a way, meaning that you only have to question yourself as it relates to the path of your story. In contrast, working with a co-author you are challenged to compromise, which is good it takes you out your comfort zone and grows you as a writer.

How do you do research for your books?

-It depends on what I’m writing about. I gather research from a variety of sources. My best research is speaking with actual people.

Tell us about Natalie from Where Do We Go From Here II.

-Natalie is a flawed individual like the rest of us in this world. Jae was able to build and grow her character. I’ve known and know women like Natalie. I think she’s highly relatable and the audience will pick up on that. Like Natalie, many of us are in search of that one thing/person that gives us the validation we seek in life. Her validation just happens to be the love from Marcus.

What do you want readers to take from your books?

-I want readers to feel satisfied. I want them to feel as if the time they spent reading my material was worth it. Beyond that, I can’t think of anything else.

Where can readers find you?

-Readers can connect with me through various Social Media outlets.

Facebook: @authormariodking

Twitter: @MarioDKing

IG: @MarioDKing

Blog: www.mariodking.com

Company: www.mdkentertainmentllc.com

Meet Jae Henderson

jae-henderson

Jae Henderson’s writing exists to motivate others. She invites readers to join her on a most entertaining journey that imparts some sage wisdom and assists readers in further realizing that we may not be perfect, but we serve a perfect God. Now the author of five books, she began in 2011 with her debut inspirational romance novel, Someday. In 2012, she released the sequel, Someday, Too, and followed it with the finale to her trilogy, Forever and a Day in 2013. She followed those with two books of inspirational short stories, Things Every Good Woman Should Know, Volume 1 and 2.

Jae is a graduate of the University of Memphis where she earned a BA in communications and an MA in English. She is the former host and producer of On Point, a once popular talk show geared toward youth and young adults. Other accomplishments have included serving as a contributing writer for the award-winning, syndicated Tom Joyner Morning Show and a successful career as a voice-over artist. Her signature voice has been heard in hundreds of commercials and even a couple of cartoons. When Jae isn’t writing, she works as a public relations specialist. She currently resides in her hometown of Memphis, Tennessee.

How did you start in the public relations field?

My internship in grad school was at a minority-owned marketing firm and one of the services they offered was public relations. I naturally gravitated to it because of my background in radio and media. It was a great foundation for what I’m doing now. After I left the firm, I did PR freelance part-time and it eventually evolved into full-time. My company is called Put It In Writing Professional Writing Service and PR and we’ve been going strong since 2003.

How did you transition into doing voice over work?

I worked in radio for about ten years, and it was quite common for the production people to ask other employees and on-air talent to voice commercials. Although, I didn’t get additional pay for it. When one of the production people told me that there were companies that would be willing to pay me to do voice work I was like sign me up! I found a local company that represented talent and it kind of took off from there. My biggest “breaks” have been voicing commercials for national brands like McDonald’s, Regions Bank, Fred’s, Faygo and Applebee’s.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes. I’ve always written in some form but in college I was a broadcast journalism major. I wanted to be a television news reporter/anchor and I thought most of my writing would be for that field but I ended up going into a totally different direction writing PR materials and literary fiction. “Where Do We Go From Here” with Mario D. King is my eighth book. It’s been a great journey.

What is your process in working with a co-author?

Mario and I work really well together, and we basically took turns writing the chapters. We began with an outline to help us determine how we wanted the story to play out. We purposely made the outline very broad so that each of us was free to use our creativity. He wrote from the perspective of the primary male character, Marcus, and I wrote from the perspective of the primary female character, Natalie. Even though we each knew what we ultimately wanted to happen, we didn’t dictate to one another how it should happen. This made reading each other’s chapters very exciting. When I would see his chapter in my email, I couldn’t wait to read it and discover what Marcus would do or say and determine how Natalie would respond to it. During the review process, we edited one another’s’ work and gave feedback to make sure that things were consistent and made sense.

Tell us about the character Marcus from Where Do We Go From Here II.

Marcus is the charming successful good boy turned bad because he’s been hurt by love. Unfortunately, while trying to move past the hurt he unintentionally hurts others. He wants to do right but for a man who was used to working hard and getting everything he wants losing the love of his life threw him for a very big loop. One minute you love Marcus and the next you hate him. Mario has done a great job developing him, and I’ve enjoyed watching Marcus work through his problems/pain and struggle to get back to being the man his Christian parents raised him to be. I believe the readers will too.

 What do you want readers to take from your book?

That every decision has a consequence and your actions often impact more than yourself. Therefore, it’s very important to choose wisely.  I also want them to walk away saying, “Dang that was a good book, and I can’t wait to read the sequel. Jae Henderson and Mario D. King make a great team.

Where can readers find you?

www.jaehendersonauthor.com

www.facebook.com/jaehendersonauthor2

www.twitter.com/jae_henderson

www.instagram.com/jaehendersonauthor

About The Book

where-do-we-go

Purchase at Amazon.com

When Temptation, Secrets, Betrayal and Heartbreak Collide!

It seems as if the no strings attached relationship between Marcus and Natalie has left them in quite the predicament. Marcus, the handsome successful bachelor, now finds himself in the role of soon-to-be father while trying to sort out his feelings for three different women. There’s Natalie, the pleasant distraction turned soon-to-be mother of his child; Chanel, his rebound ex-girlfriend and former friend of Lisa, the woman he was once madly in love with and wanted to marry. Deep down, Marcus wants to be a good man but he’s finding it hard to be with one woman when his heart is cut into pieces.

Natalie, the not-so- innocent bystander in this whole ordeal has a secret she’s fighting hard to keep. If she confesses her sins the baby she’s carrying might not be enough to hold on to the man she yearns for. But Marcus isn’t the only one with options. Jackson, her generous and supportive boss, is offering her a sweet escape.

the drama. Will Marcus choose love with Natalie or head in another direction? And if he does choose Natalie, will she still be there waiting to welcome him home.

Delve into part two of this entertaining thought-provoking series that expertly illustrates what can happen when you allow lust to determine your direction. There could be consequences and repercussions of epic proportions that leave you asking the question, “Where Do We Go From Here

Link

You can find the Where Do We Go From Here series at www.facebook.com/jmwheredowegofromhere

Interview with Misha Jordan, Author of Remembering Lauren

misha-jordan

Stopping by Authors & Readers Book Corner today is former police officer turned financial analyst, Misha Jordan. She enjoys writing mysteries and thrillers. Misha is a member of the Tallahassee Writer’s Association, she actively collaborates with local writers to continually hone her craft. Her debut novel, Remembering Lauren, launched in August 2016.

Misha is a native Floridian, currently residing in Tallahassee with her husband, daughter and two adorable furr-babies. Her hobbies include cosplay at Renaissance Faires and conventions, rock painting and gaming (both table top and online).

In addition to supporting her local animal shelter and encouraging the public to adopt a pet/save a life, Misha also encourages everyone to check out the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children website (www.missingkids.org) often and really look at the pictures and information inside. You never know when you might be in a position to help a family who is missing a loved one.

Let’s get to know a little bit more about Misha Jordan.

A&RBC: Why did you choose to leave the police force to become a financial analyst?

MJ: I didn’t initially leave the police force for the financial world. There were a few stops in between. My mother was an accountant, so I’d been encouraged to take accounting courses in college to go with my law studies. When I found myself still searching for a feeling of purpose after the birth of my daughter, I went to work for a CPA firm and put those skills to work. To my surprise, I actually loved it and continued the journey from there.

 A&RBC:  What drew you to writing mysteries and suspense thrillers?

MJ: To be honest, I didn’t have a genre in mind when I began. I’d been writing short stories most of my life and they were fairly eclectic. I began writing Remembering Lauren and I let the characters tell me what genre their story fit best with.

 A&RBC:  As a former police officer did it help you in your writing Remembering Lauren?

MJ: Absolutely. You have to remember, I was a police officer before the body cams and laptops in the patrol cars. Things were very old school and policing involved more interaction with the community on a personal level. This particular story is set in a small town. Policing there can involve wearing even more hats.

 A&RBC: I see that you’re a pet lover. Do you support any animal organizations?

MJ: Yes. I am an avid supporter of my local animal shelter. Both of our dogs are adopted and we couldn’t be happier. I much prefer supporting my local animal shelter/organizations than the national ones. I know exactly where my support goes here. I see it every day.

 A&RBC: What does Misha Jordan do for fun?

MJ: Aside from writing, I enjoy painting, tabletop gaming and online gaming. I belong to several clubs that get together and play games. I take a lot of my ideas for characters from some of the conversations we have.

A&RBC: Did you self-publish Remembering Lauren?

MJ: I did. I worked very hard on it for about 9 months and self-publishing gave me the most control over the cover and venue. It has been an invaluable experience, teaching me about the business side of writing as well. With the sequel, I may attempt to go traditional publishing, if for no other reason than to compare the two experiences. 

 A&RBC: What was your biggest challenge?

MJ: For me, it was probably time and editing. I was lucky that I knew several teachers, lawyers, and other professionals willing to beta read and show me all the mistakes I’d made. I did a massive edit and re-write after that, and it probably went through about two additional editing rounds after that. I wanted to put out a quality product, not just something thrown together.

 A&RBC:Tell us about Remembering Lauren.

MJ: Remembering Lauren isn’t really about Lauren. It’s about the main character, Nikki. She went through a horrible event where she lived. She’s had a hard life and didn’t have the support system many of us do. This story is about how she chose to deal with what happened to her and how she used that to end up helping someone else, which gave her the strength to do her own healing.

 A&RBC: Tell us about Nikki Freeman.

MJ: Nikki is fierce. She’s independent, a little jaded in some areas, but still naïve in others. She’s had to rely on herself most of her life and that has caused her to build walls around herself that are tough to get through. She also goes through a bit of culture shock in moving from a city environment to a very small town. The entire dynamic is different and she feels like a fish out of water.

 A&RBC: The story is set in Florida, is this a state that is familiar to you?

MJ: Yes. I was born in South Florida and grew up in various parts of it. I lived in large cities like Miami and very small towns as well. Aside from a few brief times in other states, I’ve grown up in Florida and very much consider it to be my home.

 A&RBC: What is your favorite quote?

MJ: It’s actually something I saw in college that I’m sure is not actually an Egyptian saying, but this is how it was when I found it. “Trust your neighbors, but keep your camel tethered.” – An old Egyptian saying.

Something about this quote makes me laugh every time and it has fueled many a short story.

 A&RBC: Where can readers find you?

MJ: The easiest way is through my website www.Misha-Jordan.com. There are links on my website to my Facebook Author Page, my Twitter account and direct email. I’m also on Goodreads and my book can currently be found on Amazon.com.

About Remembering Lauren

remembering-lauren

After a brutal attack in the city leaves her scarred, Nikki Freeman flees to the sleepy little town of Glenwood, Florida for a chance to regroup and find peace again. Small town living brings challenges of its own and she struggles to find her place in this deep rooted community. What she doesn’t count on is discovering Glenwood has a few not-so-sunny secrets hidden in its recent history.

Encouraged by her new friends and haunted by her past, Nikki delves into the mystery of a young girl who vanished seven years earlier, the night before Prom. Had she not survived her own attacker, would she have been forgotten as well? As her investigation leads to unexpected places, she’s forced to ask herself just how much she’ll risk to find a stranger.

Purchase at Amazon.com

 

 

Interview with Sids Ahky Stevens

own-your-stupidity

Stopping by for a chat today is author Sids Ahky Stevens. She is the child of a strict single-parent and the results of her father not wanting to be in her life assisted her in being a troubled kid.  When she was ten years old, she was hit by a car.  Sids’ mother wanted to protect her so  she had Sids’ grandmother to raise her.

Sids  pursued her master’s degree, established my faith, found love, and had two children.  She lost her son to sudden infant death syndrome.  After his death, She worked hard on her marriage, and soon they we’re blessed to have our beautiful daughter.  Sids  focuses on achieving more attainable goals, establish her faith, and serve her community.

 Let’s get to know a little more about Sids Ahky Stevens

A&RBC: Who is Sids Ahky Stevens?

 SAS: Sids Ahky Stevens is a black female self-published author that was looking to find happiness and self-worth.  Sids Ahky was taught good moral values by her amazing grandmother, but she just wanted to gain her parents’ approval.  Her mother tried her best, and her father made promises that he failed to keep.  She thought that having a connection with her parents defined who she was.  As time passed, she understood that she had to come into her own womanhood.  The mistakes, the challenges, and the unforeseen occurrences are a part of her growth.  Despite everything, the story, which has your everyday kitchen talk delivery, reflects how Sids Ahky is a much stronger person than she realized, and she can be loved and appreciated.  She can also use her mistakes to share with the next generation because her experiences are relevant, edgy, and most of all, it is worth being heard.

A&RBC: Do you believe people are a product of their environment?

SAS: People can be a product of their environment, but anyone is subject to change.  Your environment can help others to understand you, but at some point, you should grow.  You should not use your environment to justify unacceptable behavior, abuse your authority, mistreating others, or not stepping up to your responsibilities.

A&RBC: Do you believe you’re a better person having been through what you’ve been through?

 SAS: I am better.  I have my moments, but I keep trying to advance myself and think positive.  I strive to be around positive people that is going to uplift me.  In return, I hope to encourage others, especially the younger generation.  I want them not to make the same mistakes that I did.  If I am able to reach them with my story, I feel better knowing that I made a difference.

A&RBC: Faith and forgiveness, are they important to you?

SAS: Absolutely, both qualities complement each other.

A&RBC: Why do you believe it was the right time to write this particular book?

SAS: It is the right time because too many of our youths are making mistakes.  They need someone to be a voice to let them know that it is never too late to turn their lives around.  They have to believe that someone has their best interest at heart.

A&RBC: How did you prepare to write such an intimate book about yourself?

SAS: My book was actually a journal that I wrote 3-4 months on the subway and bus.  Once I was passionate about the story, the flow came natural.  I just wanted to get the approval of my mom.

A&RBC: What is the one thing you want readers to take from your book?

SAS: The overall message of Own Your Stupidity is to forgive others even when you think that they are not worthy of forgiveness.  We have to move forward.  Life is too short to stay hurt and waste time over the things that you can’t change.  The change starts with all of us encouraging each other.  Our youths need someone that can impart wisdom and their experiences.  When you read this book, I hope that you share it with your children and have an open discussion about this.

A&RBC: How do you feel, now that the book has been released?

SAS: I am thrill and thankful to all my supporters.  I reached my goal.  I am an author.  When I was a child, I had dreams of being an author.  Now, it is a reality, and I am grateful that I have this opportunity to tell my story.

A&RBC: What advice would you give to a young girl wanting to know how to overcome the pain of her past to move on to a positive future?

SAS: The advice that I would give a young girl is always have an experienced protector.  My protector was my grandmother.  She always had my back and inspired my mother and others through her example.  If a relative is not available, don’t be discourage.  Find someone that gives you comfort.  A friend can stick to you closer than a brother.  As long as the person is experienced and positive, embrace whoever can help.

A&RBC: Tell readers where they can find you.

SAS: Well, I am a social media addict.  I try to respond to everyone.  I am currently doing book readings.  Just check my pages for details and listings.  And also, keep on the watch for Own Your Stupidity has been picked up for a short film by We Connected Productions, LLC.

ABOUT THE BOOK

A woman examines different stages in her life, including tribulations.  Can she be a product of own environment without her biological father around?  It has an impact on many of her decisions, especially when it comes to love.  As she confronts life, she cannot deny what has been unfair to her.  With different self-examinations and growth, the unconditional love of her grandmother, and the power of forgiveness, she is able to accept her own responsibilities and still have inner peace.  By owning her truth, she has become more appreciative and thankful for the things that really do matter, her family, and her supportive friends.

SOCIAL MEDIA HANDLES

Email:  Sidsahkystevens@gmail.com

Instagram: Sids Ahky Stevens

Twitter: Sids Ahky

Facebook:  Own your stupidity

Personal Page: ownyourstupidity.com

YouTube:  Own your stupidity by Sids Ahky Stevens