Meet the Author: Interview with Nicole Falls

Visiting Authors & Readers Book Corner today is author, Nicole Falls. Falls is a contemporary Black romance writer who has “become the Russell Westbrook of Black Indie Romance” written on her vision board. She is also a ceramic mug and lapel pin enthusiast who cannot function without her wireless Beats constantly blaring music. Other things she loves include Trevante Rhodes, Kofi Siriboe; both of whom she’s willing to risk it all for. IT. ALL. When Nicole isn’t writing (or lusting after chocolatey actor baes), she spends her time trolling her friends and family while drinking coffee and/or cocktails or checking off yet another of these great United States visited in her quest to see some land! She currently resides in the suburbs of Chicago. She stopped to share her publishing experience and to share her current title, Smitten.

A&RBC: Tell us about your publishing journey.

It happened by chance. Well, not completely…but mostly. I’ve been writing and/or making up stories since I was a young kid. I had aspirations of being published by a major publishing house in high school, but resigned myself to it never happening in college. Along the way though, I kept writing. Whether it was academically, on my personal blog, or in various writing exercises with friends who were aspiring authors, the fire dimmed, but never was fully extinguished. In early 2016 I was listening to a Deborah Cox song “The Morning After” and an idea for a short story came to me. I jotted down a skeletal idea in an app I used for writing at the time and commenced to writing it a short while later. I shared the idea with a friend and she was intrigued.

While writing the short more and more things about these people were revealed to me, so I decided to not put restrictions on its length and just kept writing. What resulted was a novella length work. I shared (most) of it with exactly three people. They really liked it, but they were also my friends so I felt they were contractually obligated to say they did, LOL. The same friend with whom I’d shared my initial short idea was killing it in the indie publishing lane, so I got on board with releasing this via Amazon very quickly after conversation with her. After some hemming and hawing (& a profanity laced threat from more than one friend), I hit publish and Nicole Falls was born.

I’ve only been published for just under a year now and honestly? It has been one of the most rewarding periods of my life. One of my love languages is praise, so it is very exciting to have people read my work and let me know that they enjoyed it. Readers of indie black romance are some of the toughest critics and to know that they’re rocking with me? It’s a high not easily replicated.

A&RBC: What genres do you write in?

For now, I only write contemporary romance. I’ll probably dabble in women’s fiction at some point when I have a bit more time to focus on longer projects.

A&RBC: What are 4 things you believe every writer should have when starting a writing career?

– The desire to tell a story: This seems so basic, but if you are not writing because you were led by a gnawing desire to tell a certain person (or people’s) story then what are you even doing here?

A well-stocked bookshelf: It doesn’t have to be plentiful, but it should be varied. A mix of fiction and non-fiction, a variety of genres and writers. You should be exposed to many writers and varied writing styles. This will be key in helping you develop your own style, imo.

An unwavering faith and confidence in yourself: This is something with which I struggled at the beginning of my writing career. I’m talking about before even completing and finishing my first work. It took way longer to come out than it should have due to me not completely being confident in my place in the literary landscape. Be sure you know who you are and what you want to attain via writing. This will help sustain you if/when you receive bad reviews, ahaha!

Writer Friends: I cannot even put into words how it is important to have a community of peers around you. Non-writers don’t always get it. Having people around you who understand the “voices in my head”-ness of it all keeps me sane. It’s also aspirational when you see your writer friends outchea killing the game with each release. There are so many who inspire me to keep going and push through when I feel like throwing the towel in.

A&RBC: Do you believe every author should be an avid reader?

Absolutely, as the proverb says, “Iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” As I stated earlier, I believe that reading writing across a broad variety of genres greatly enhances a writer’s skillset.

A&RBC: What has been the most challenging and rewarding thing for you as a writer?

The most challenging thing has been beginnings. I often go into a project knowing the meat of it, but not really where it all began. I’ve actually been stalled on a project because I tried starting it in several places and none of them seemed to be right.

The most rewarding thing is complete strangers connecting with my words. It’s one thing if your friends and family read your work and compliment it, but when someone who doesn’t know you from a hole in the wall identifies with your characters or says such and such part made them feel any range of emotion…there’s no greater high. My favorite thing ever is being tagged in social media posts or receiving messages from readers.

A&RBC: Tell us about Smitten.

Smitten is a typical boy meets girl story. Coming off of Adore You, I wanted to write a story about strangers with undeniable chemistry connecting and seeing what came of it. Celena made an appearance in AY and she stuck with me, so I knew her story would be next.

A&RBC: Tell us about Celena Payne.

Celena is the anti-Nicole, LOL! I told so many friends that she really caused me to stretch the bounds of my writing because some of her actions and reactions are so unlike how I’d comport myself in similar situations. She is sweet, unflinchingly loyal, and ultra-forgiving.

A&RBC: Tell us about Karim Holt.

Karim is a boss. There’s no hesitance in his actions. He’s a man who is sure of himself and what he wants for his life. He adores his mama, but isn’t a mama’s boy. He’s remarkably solid, self assured, and compassionate.

A&RBC: What new projects are you working on?

I’m in the process of putting together a semi #sekrit project that will hopefully be out in the world by the end of this month. If you’re following my website, you’ve gotten a small taste of what’s to come. I wanted to challenge myself to do a certain thing and then it spawned an idea for a whole project.

I’m also plugging away at Celena’s sister Pat’s story. She and her hero are giving me a bit of a hard time, but I’m hoping they’ll be ready for y’all by the end of Q3 of 2017.

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

Currently on social media hiatus right now, but you can find me on the interwebs at. . .

www.nicolefalls.com

www.facebook.com/AuthorNicoleFalls

www.twitter.com/_nicolefalls

www.instagram.com/_nicolefalls

More on Smitten

Celena Payne was heartbroken. Ghosted by her most recent ex, she was over the whole “romance thang”. Instead she was focused on her career, family and friend, until…

Karim Holt had recently moved back to his hometown to help his mother care for his ailing grandmother. Between family obligations and opening a new business, he was a busy man, with little time for socializing. A spontaneous night out led to…

A chance meeting. Sparks flying. Romance brewing. Celena and Karim’s undeniable chemistry alter their lives in ways neither could have imagined.

Meet the Author: Interview with Stacey Covington Lee

Having fallen in love with literature at an early age, it only made sense for Stacey Covington-Lee to seek a career that would allow her to combine her passion for writing and her Communications education from Savannah State University.

During her lengthy career in the insurance industry as an Instructional and PC Trainer, Stacey wrote and developed multiple training guides and manuals for both insurance companies and local government.

It was at the encouragement of a dear friend that Stacey wrote and released her first novel, The Knife In My Back. Continuing her exploration of love, friendship, and betrayal, she has since given us The Knife In My Back 2, Bitter Taste Of Love, Hate The Way He Loves Me, and her much anticipated, When Love Ain’t Enough.

Stacey is an Atlanta native and has found great enjoyment in visiting book clubs and speaking at various events throughout the country. She loves hearing from readers and invites everyone to visit her website, http://www.staceycovingtonlee.com, follow her on Twitter (@covingtonlee) as well as Facebook (www.facebook.com/staceycovington-lee) and IG (scovingtonlee).

Tell us about your publishing journey.

Publishing has in fact been a journey. When I originally released my first novel, I did so with a self publishing company. I paid them for the cover design, editing, typesetting, all of which was sub-par. Thankfully, I was soon picked up by a small, independent publisher, and then another that had a larger following. I can honestly say that I learned so much from the independent publishers, what to do, what not to do, self promotion, and most importantly, how to successfully publish my own work. Thats what I’ve done with When Love Ain’t Enough and will continue to do.

What genres do you write in?

I am truly a Contemporary Fiction author. My novels are an intriguing combination of suspense and romance. I pride myself on packing each drama filled story with some aspects of love, deception, redemption, and at times, obsession. Hooking the readers at page one and keep them anxiously flipping the pages is always my goal.
What are four things you believe every writer should have when starting a writing career?
Every writer should have a good amount of patience because nothing happens over night. An excellent editor is also a must for every writer. A willingness to research not only their book topics, but the publishing options that will best suit their needs. Last but not least, every writer should have a great marketing plan to ensure that their family and friends aren’t the only ones that will read their work.
Do you believe every writer should be an avid reader?
While I know some good writers that aren’t big readers, I definitely believe that being an avid reader helps one to sharpen their writing skills.
What has been the most challenging and rewarding thing for you as a writer?
The most challenging thing has been promotion. Many think that a few social media posts in key reading groups is all thats needed to have a best seller. It would be nice if that were the case, but it takes a lot more than that. A great marketing plan and execution of that plan is key. The most rewarding aspect is, without a doubt, having readers reach out and tell me that my work positively touched their lives. That means the world to me.
Tell us about When Love Ain’t Enough.
When Love Ain’t Enough is a story that gives the reader a birds eye view of how terribly wrong things can go in a marriage when people don’t appreciate what they have. The main characters, Vince and Rozalla, have a beautiful marriage, but when Rozalla falls prey to the negative influences of a friend, she unwittingly destroys her marriage and falls painfully hard into the trappings of a smooth talking predator. Trying to regain what she once had with Vince could cost someone their life.
Tell us about Rozalla  and Vince.
For Vince and Rozalla, it truly was love at first sight. They met and married young and were able to build a beautiful life together. They weren’t rich, but Vince, a successful mechanic, and Rozalla,a nurse, were comfortable and most importantly, they were in love. Vince is the epitome of a good man and would do just about anything to make his family happy. Rozalla loved her family, but even in her forties, she was susceptible to the influences of others. She’s still learning to trust herself and not the ramblings of others.
Tell us about Heather Ramos and Harrison. 
Heather is a lovely, single woman who embeds herself into Rozalla’s life. Some might deduct that since she isn’t in a happy relationship, she doesn’t want Rozalla to be in one either. Harrison is a smooth, handsome man that comes into Rozalla’s life just as she is seeking the excitement that she thinks she’s been missing. However, Harrison isn’t the generous, kind man that he pretends to be. He would better be described as dangerous.
What new projects are you working on?
I am currently working on a romance novella that will release late summer, early fall. I am also really excited about the family drama novel that I anticipate releasing towards the end of the year.
Where can readers find you?
I invite readers to visit my website @ www.staceycovingtonlee.com and follow me on Twitter (@covingtonlee), IG (@scovingtonlee), and Facebook (facebook.com/staceycovington-lee). I also have a Facebook group that is full of positivity, great conversation, and weekly short stories. Search FB for Stacey’s Reading Sanctuary and click to join.

About When Love A’int Enough

Love, commitment, and protection; what every woman wants from her man and exactly what Rozalla had with her husband, Vince. That is until the deceitful and conniving Heather Ramos worms her way into Rozalla’s life. With less than honorable intentions, she’s convinced her friend that nothing Vince has ever provided is good enough and he’s no longer man enough to fulfill her desires. Heather and her overpowering influence give Rozalla the courage to tell her husband that she’s no longer satisfied with the life that they’ve built. Heart in hand, Vince asks Rozalla what else he can do to make her happy. Rejecting his efforts, she tells him to drop dead. Little did she know the strength of her words.

The sexy and very tempting Harrison seems to possess all of the qualities that Rozalla has been longing for. His passion and generosity make him the perfect guy to fill the newly open position in her heart. But when he goes from dream boat to nightmare, Rozalla longs to return to the life she once knew. However, the sins of her past and desires of new lovers may have destroyed her chances for a happily ever after. In this dramatic and sexy novel, you’ll instantly become engrossed in a tale of greed, lust, obsession, and betrayal. Find out if the love that Rozalla and Vince once shared is buried forever or if it can be resurrected from the ashes.

Meet The Author: Interview with Teresa B. Howell

Teresa B. Howell is an Exceptional Children’s Director that has two Master Degrees in education and leadership.  She has received numerous awards and accolades in her profession, dedicated to mentoring and teaching students within the school system.  Teresa was born and raised in the church.  She witnessed the good and the not so good while not only attending, but also serving in various capacities in different church organizations.  Teresa decided in July 2015 to put her experiences and observations on paper, and her first novel That Church Life was born.  She aspires to be more than just the average Christian Author, which can be noted in her writing style.  Teresa’s literary path is inspired by her faith, family, and close friends.  She currently lives in Durham, NC with her husband and children.

Q & A with Teresa B. Howell

Tell us about your journey as a writer.

I started writing songs as a young age. After high school my professor encouraged me to go into writing and I laughed.  After a tragedy a few years ago I finally put the pen to the paper and a novel was born.

Tell us four words describing your writing style.

Unique,  descriptive, exciting, mysterious

Do you have a writing process? If yes, tell us about it.

No I do not.  I write when I am in the mood.

What or who inspires you?

I’m inspired by other writers who are seasoned and who help me with my journey.

Tell us about Walking In Victory International.

Its my very own self publishing company.  I started just to produce my books but others decided to join along.  I had several authors at one time but I realized that my calling is not publishing, its writing so I only have 2 authors signed at this time.

Tell us about That Church Life.

It’s a suspense story about 3 girls and their dilemma in church.  A male is involved and there is an unexpected twist in the end.

What message do you want readers to take from That Church Life?

Never let your faith be compromised and always believe that you can overcome obstacles.

What is two things you want your readers to know about you?

I love to entertain and writing is a passion

What new projects are you working on?

That Church Life 2, Delayed but not denied.

How can readers find you?

www.teresabhowell.com

www.facebook/teresabhowellwiv

www.twitter.teresawiv

Instagram:teresabhowell

Learn more about That Church Life

The Church Gal Crew is leading the way to Salvation at Mt. Zion Holiness Church. Feisty Natalia Freemon is the “head” of the crew. Rebellious and outspoken, she has no problems challenging the church status quo. Years later however, her loss of faith will tragically impact her life.


Michelle Hanks, a country girl from a hardworking farm family is the peacemaker and “soul” of the crew. Although struggling with self-confidence she is wise beyond her years and can’t wait to escape the farm life and find success; even if it costs her soul.


Missy Jones, the “heart” of the crew, has the face of an angel and a voice sent from heaven. A pastor’s daughter raised in the church, Missy loves the ministry and her place in it. But the flesh is tempting, especially when it comes in the form of sexy church musician and Mt. Zion playboy Tommy.


In spite of her dedication to the word, Missy falls hard for Tommy, and then falls out of favor with the church. Trapped in a cycle of relationship abuse, Missy’s world is falling apart until Beanie, a reformed stick-up man turned Deacon, shows her real love. But when tragedy strikes, Missy is torn between the truth, that could jeopardize every-thing she loves, or a lie that could be her damnation.


These three best friends drift away from each other and the church but come back together through spiritual downfall, relationship crises, drug addiction, and even murder. Can the crew survive the drama involved in That Church Life?

Purchase at Amazon.com

Meet The Author: Interview with S. F. Powell

A native of the Washington DC Metropolitan area, S.F. Powell writes fiction with works focusing on life, relationships, and sometimes love. Her stories touch on the elements of several genres because life is sometimes a suspenseful mystery carrying moments of romance and humor, maybe with enough drama that it seems right out of science fiction.

A writer since her teens, as an adult she was stirred to write her first novel. Taking a chance, her submission for Like Sweet Buttermilk won first place in the Black Expressions Fiction Writing Contest, and inspired her to write the follow-up, Obscure Boundaries. She is a member of the Black Writer’s Guild of Maryland and currently working on books three and four.

A wife and mother of three, when she isn’t writing, reading, or spending time with family, S.F. Powell likes watching documentaries, a good orange soda, working puzzles, or enjoying something in the horror genre, be it books or screen.

Other works

Obscure Boundaries, another Dr. Naomi Alexander novel, is also available. This time, Dr. Alexander is providing grief counseling.

I’m currently working on a third work featuring Dr. Alexander: Broken Benevolence, in which Naomi is treating a woman trying to overcome the effects from a violent attack as well as the oppressive relationship that is her marriage.

What inspired you to write this book?

After taking a few creative writing classes at the local community college, I had seeds for stories, but nothing that ‘popped.’ Sitting on a park bench working on some of my poetry, I noticed a couple being romantic, engaged in a little excessive PDA. Watching them, I had questions about relationships and the role of forgiveness, and decided to explore aspects of forgiveness through a story. I finished Like Sweet Buttermilk after taking the Writer’s Digest novel course.

Summarize the story.

Like Sweet Buttermilk is mainstream commercial fiction centering on the sleuth-type skills of African American psychiatrist, Dr. Naomi Alexander and her approach to treating a married couple in which the husband has killed someone—unbeknownst to the wife. The dynamics of the married couple’s relationship provide a bit of suspenseful romance.

What is the overall theme of this book?

The power of love and forgiveness in the worst of circumstances.

Who are the main characters? Why are they important to the story?

Dr. Naomi Alexander:  A psychiatrist with her own set of personal problems. Naomi’s talents as a therapist help Rick and Viv Phillips repair their broken marriage, and her uncanny reasoning skills aid her in solving a murder investigation.

Rick and Viv Phillips: Married couple in therapy with Dr. Alexander. They explore the pain of infidelity and the harmful effects of complacency in their marriage. Because of Rick’s actions outside therapy however, the test of true forgiveness becomes the crux of their story.

Why will Like Sweet Buttermilk appeal to readers?

If readers enjoy suspense tales, romances, mainstream works that straddle the line of various genres, or books with occasional touches of erotica, they’ll enjoy my stories.

I think readers will get a kick out of Naomi, her quirks, and her approach to treatment. At the same time, readers will enjoy ‘experiencing’ the romance between Rick and Viv in the face of their marriage trials. It’s fun rooting for love conquering all, isn’t it?

How is the book relevant in today’s society?

The growing trend/need for psychiatric counseling in today’s society, coupled with the challenged but tried and true institution of marriage has plenty of avenues for exploration. Marriage and Therapy: the two aren’t mutually exclusive.

Name elements of your story you find special?

Like Sweet Buttermilk has: painful truths and sweet moments; funny moments and sexy encounters; thought-provoking moments, and touch of suspense to keep things interesting.

 Find the author:

Website: http://www.sfpowellboks.com

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/sfpowell

Facebook (profile page): https://www.facebook.com/sfpowell.author

Facebook (fan page): https://www.facebook.com/author.sfpowell/

Blog (S.F. Powell: Sans Serif): blog.sfpowellbooks.com

Contact:

info@sfpowellbooks.com

Like Sweet Buttermilk, set in the suburbs of the Washington DC metropolitan area, is a story of betrayal, deception, and love. The story explores the emotional boundaries within what appears to be an ordinary marital relationship.

Rick Phillips loves his family. To him, family is everything. He is leading what he considers a comfortable home life with his wife, Viv, and their young daughter, when Viv tells him that she wants to separate; that she is romantically involved with someone else.

Rick’s jealously gets the better of him; Viv’s lover is soon found dead… and Rick is a changed man. The boring suburban husband is now a spontaneous, fun-loving man with an intense sexual appetite.

Through therapy with Dr. Alexander, Rick and Viv attempt to salvage their marriage, and events lead to the couple finding renewed passion for each other. Naomi, however, knows everything is not as lovely as it appears … and she fears Viv may be in danger.

Rick’s irrational devotion to family and his recent changes in personality have Naomi worried for Viv’s safety. The no-nonsense psychiatrist becomes the reluctant semi-detective…

Excerpt:

The question sat there among them.

Naomi needed to move on to the next session. She didn’t want to answer Rick’s question. It was a fair one. So what? Naomi decided she would need a shot of Hennessy before sitting down with Mr. Rayburn. “My husband was murdered, Mister Phillips.” No matter how many times she said the word, “murdered” always felt cold, foreign, and heavy on her tongue. She always seemed to spit the word out at people.

Viv placed a hand to her chest. “Oh. Sorry, Naomi.”

Rick’s silence served his apology.

It was enough for Naomi. “No problem. See you in two?” Naomi stood and moved behind her desk. Earlier, she would have shaken their hands. The moment for that was gone now. She sat down and opened Mr. Rayburn’s file.

Rick and Viv made their way to the door.

Naomi found it within herself to ease the tension. “Viv, be prepared to expound on that last outburst. You too, Rick.”

Viv’s eyes flickered with anger before she nodded solemnly.

Rick nodded as well.

“And, guys, seriously: take a vacation.” Naomi smiled.

Rick and Viv smiled, yet Viv’s smile was half-hearted. Rick let Viv out before him and closed the door behind them.

Before the door closed completely, Naomi took a last look at Viv’s rear. Once the door closed, Naomi opened her top desk drawer, reaching into the back for the familiar.

Purchase Info:

Like Sweet Buttermilk is available for purchase from Lulu.com, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Ingram, iBooks, Scribd, Kobo, and others