Tuesday, April 21, 2009

LaVerne Thompson is Here

WHY WRITE IR/Interracial romance?
Why not? I’m originally from Trinidad and my husband is an Anglo American, so it just seemed to me like that’s the characters I should write about. And I got tired of reading stories where racial differences and outside conflict completely overshadowed what’s supposed to be a romance. I wanted to write characters that reflected other kinds of relationships. While the characters in my stories are involved in interracial relationships, racial conflict is not a factor in my stories. I write romance, I’m not trying to write social commentary. When I pick up a romance I just want to be pleasantly entertained. My characters are interesting and appealing enough for anyone, and my storylines have enough going on that I don’t need to use racial conflict as a crux to hold the story together all the time. In fact my stories never use it.
Following is a blurb and the excerpt of one of my best selling works. HOLD ON was No. 1 at Red Rose Publishing and is now currently available in print from Amazon and Target.com

One phone call changed both their lives.
A real life knight in shining armor, except he isn’t in armor he’s in a suit. But the first time Lena Douglas lays eyes on Stephan Grayson that’s what he seems to her. He saves her from a violence that still haunts her nights, but at least he’s there to hold her should she wake. But the nightmare’s not over, it stalks them both now. Something from her past that will not let go.
But then neither will Stephan. He saved her once and he’s not about to let anyone, especially Lena stand in the way of what is happening between them.
But will Stephan always be there to shield her from her past?


“911 Operator.”
“Hello…listen I’m at the corner of Broad Street and Denny Way. I’m looking into the second floor of a garden style apartment opened onto Broad, and it looks like there’s a…a robbery taking place.” Stephan spoke anxiously into the phone, his voice cracking mid-speak.
The emergency operator on the other end replied in a steady tone, “I’m dispatching a patrol car to the area sir. Stay on the phone with me. Are you one of the victims or do you know the people involved?”
“No, no it’s not me and I don’t know them. I’m in my car. Hang on, the light’s changing. I’m going to make a U-turn and park on the street so I can keep watch.” He ignored the car honking at him because he had cut in front of it. The building in front of him, and the woman in trouble his only focus. The sun hadn’t been down for very long, but the open lighted walkway in the three-story building allowed Stephan a pretty clear view.
“Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to remain in the car,” the operator insisted in a forceful voice. “How many people are involved?”
“Two, I think. A man and a woman, he grabbed her purse and she tried to run. Hurry!” he cried.
“Help is on the way. Please try to stay calm.”
“My God!’ the man exclaimed. “He just hit her… she’s trying to fight him off. He kicked a door open and…he’s…he’s trying to drag her in!” His words were coming faster, rushing to get the information out. “She’s fighting back. I can’t just sit here watching this.”
“Sir, please do not leave your car,” the operator said firmly. “The person could be armed as well as dangerous. Wait for the authorities.”
“I’m sorry. I’m already at the building. Tell the cops, when they get here, it’s the second building from the corner, second floor, the door at the top of the stairs. I’m going to leave my phone on so you can listen in, but I’m putting it in my pocket.”
Without waiting to hear a reply, Stephan did just that.
As he ran up the stairs he could hear a woman’s screams. Why isn’t anyone trying to help her? He had seen three other doors with apartment numbers on this floor. Surely one of them was occupied. It didn’t matter, he was here and he wasn’t going to do nothing. Too late, he wished he’d taken the time to grab a tire iron from his car. But he had stopped rational thought as soon as he glimpsed the woman in trouble. He’d just have to rely on being in good physical shape. It wasn’t like he was a fighter, in truth he used his mind not his muscle. Now he may have to use both, and so far he hadn’t been using much of his so-called intelligence tonight. An intelligent person would have waited on the sidewalk and pointed the cops in the right direction.
Stephan stopped at the now closed door he had seen the man kick open. A scuff mark near the bottom of the panel confirmed he had the right place. He put his ear to the wood but could hear nothing. Turning the doorknob he found it unlocked, and cautiously pushed it open. He slipped inside leaving it slightly ajar so the cops could enter easily.
Muffled sounds were coming from the interior of the condo. Taking a step in the direction of the noise, ragged cries suddenly rent the air. A hallway, probably leading to a bedroom, stretched in front and to the right of him. There were no lights on, but the blinds were partially open, and the glow from a street lamp provided enough light to illuminate the small room.
Glancing to the left he spied a kitchen. His heart pumped blood into his system, adding strength to his resolve. Moving quickly, he headed there first for a weapon. As soon as he pulled a knife from the block on the counter, the wail of a siren whined from a distance, at the same time he heard a scream that curled his soul.
Throwing caution out the window he ran down the short hallway, fear setting his pace. Stopping in front of the only room he gripped the open doorframe. The scene unfolding before him chilled his blood.
The dimmed overhead light showed a woman lying face down on the bed, and a man in dark clothing sat on top of her, straddling her legs to hold her down. She kept screaming and bucking to try to throw him off, but he kept laughing, and using one hand to hold both of hers on her head while he ripped her blouse with the other. So engaged in his activity, he didn’t even hear Stephan behind him.
Stephan wanted to stick the sonofabitch with the knife in his hand. But he spotted an empty metal potpourri bowl on a stand near the door. He didn’t want to shed any of the man’s blood on the woman if he didn’t have to. He put down the knife and picked up the bowl. Using all of his strength, fueled by his anger, he smashed it against the side of the bastard’s head.
Like a bowling pin toppling over, the man fell off the bed onto the floor, hopefully out cold for a while. When the weight holding her down disappeared, the woman on the bed flipped over. She raised her tear streaked face and her eyes momentarily collided with Stephan’s before shifting to the man on the floor. As her gaze returned to his, fear flooded her beautiful chocolate colored eyes. She gasped, and backed up against the headboard.
Even with puffy eyes, tear tracks on her face, and a bruise on her toasted almond colored cheek her beauty still shone through. Stephan’s heart, which had been racing before, stopped in mid beat. Wide round eyes, had captured his attention first, set in an oval shaped face with a bow for a mouth, centered off with the cutest nose that started narrow but flared at the end, even more as he watched her take a deep breath.
He held up his hands, but realized he still held the bowl. He slowly placed it at the foot of the bed. “It’s okay,” he said trying to sound reassuring and non-threatening. “The police are on their way. I won’t hurt you.”

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hello Again

Hey Y'all, I just wanted to stop by and drop a bio of our next Author on the Blog. LOL
LaVerne Thompson is a friend on myspace as well as a fellow author. She'll be stopping by tomorrow to blog about her books.
Just to wet your lips a bit. I'm going to post her bio. Make sure you all stop by and check her out.
Thanks y'all.

LaVerne Thompson, like so many others, has been writing stories for as long as she can remember. She is now a multi-published award winning bestselling author, an avid reader and a writer of contemporary, fantasy, and sci/fi sensual interracial romances. She is currently working on several projects. When not working on one of her stories, or shuttling her girls to and from school and their various activities, she can usually be found on online. Visit her website at lavernethompson.com or check out her blog at isisindcblog@blogspot.com to see excerpts of her stories and what's coming soon.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Checking In with a Surprise...

Hey all, How's it going? I want ya to know I also blog at http://wildromanticladies.blogspot.com/. So, check me over there sometimes too. I'm chatting and traveling so please check back here or my myspace for info. I'm going to post a Free Read here before it goes up on my site.
I'm still working on a story called Torn. Here's a blurb:
Alyssa Kendall is a bookworm and movie-watcher extraordinaire. She lives her life in the pages she reads and the movies she watches. Never did she expect Julian Turner to have any real interest in her. When he saves her from becoming someone’s hood ornament neither could resist the connection. Alyssa wants to fall in love; she wants to throw caution to the wind with Julian.

Once she opened her heart, Julian suddenly has to leave. Shattered, Alyssa tries to put him behind her. Four years later they ran into each other again.
Can they pick up where they left? Or has Alyssa moved on with her life with stable and sexy Christian. The battle for Alyssa’s heart has begun. Can Julian and Alyssa find the spark they once had? Or does her heart truly belong to Christian. Find out in Torn.

This is the free read though. LOL Just a sneak peek into what I'm toying around with right now. So, I don't know where you guys are located but I'm on the East Coast and it's still a little chilly. The sun is out but it's cold. It's like a lie. You look out the window and see the sun shining, no clouds in the sky. And you say to yourself, "Self, it looks warm and inviting today. Let's go to the park."
You hurry and get dressed and ran outside to find it windy and chilly as hell! I guess it is what it is, right?

Ok what's up with this Twitter? I have to say I have a blogger, a myspace and a face book now I'm crazy about Twitter. I'm Raven K Starr over there so follow me. Wow it really sounds like an anthem for stalkers though. LOL

Alright I'm going to leave ya with my Free Read. Go on and read it you've deserved it. LOL
Talk, chat, Tweet ya all later.

A Legacy Lives On.
By Raven Starr

Taylor fidgeted in her seat, the hard back of the pew dug into her skin. The paper-thin material of her black blouse offered her little to no comfort from the scratchy wood. Her tear-filled brown eyes darted around as she tried not to look at the corpse in the coffin lying in front of her. Taylor looked up instead and marveled at the high vaulted ceiling. Three gold chandeliers dangled above her; they seemed to sway to the sweet lull of the organ music.
She swallowed back the huge dry lump of grief threatening to spill over and consume her right here and now. She blinked; her eyes fell on the beautiful lilac coffin containing her beloved grandmother. Her heart pounded in her chest, it thundered so loud she swore the whole church could hear it. Dots of sweat beaded on her brow as she tried to catch her breath.
She examined the casket for any visible flaws and found nothing out of the ordinary. What was she looking for? Taylor couldn’t keep her eyes from embracing her grandmother’s serene expression. Her brown skin seemed as soft in life as well as in death. Salty tears streaked down her face and she quickly dabbed the corners of her eyes with a white handkerchief with embroidered flowers.
The organist played as a member of the congregation sang a hymn that sent shivers down her spine. Taylor hadn’t been in this church since she was a child. What a shame her grandmother’s death brought her back inside these doors again. It took more strength than she could muster to pull her gaze away from the casket. She shook her head and tried to focus on the sermon that the preacher was giving.
A whizzing and hissing noise from the air conditioner filled the church making several people mumble complaints. Murray, Kentucky had been her childhood haunt, her home away from home, the special place where she’d spent summers with her grandmother. All those days were over. Every Sunday they would come to church, Taylor remembered her time in the choir and how her grandmother beamed when it was her turn to sing.
Taylor put a smile on her face as a slew of people came to shake her hand or give her a comforting hug. She wished the smile on her face was true, but all she felt inside was numbness. Her hands shook as the time neared for her to speak. Nervously, she picked up the paper with the poem she had to recite; it crackled loudly shaking like leaves in a fall breeze. Not wanting to disturb the service, she swapped the paper for her handkerchief, which she began folding and unfolding. ‘I have to keep my hands busy,’ she thought. “Idle hands are the devils workshop;” she could hear her grandmother say.
Her aunt’s big, soft hand squeezed her shoulder lovingly. Taylor turned her head to gaze at this woman, who by all rights should be sobbing and wailing, but instead was the epitome of strength and grace. Her aunt flashed a knowing smile and wink. Taylor knew she was at peace. Why wasn’t it that simple for her?
She remembered her own mother’s death and the way she felt then, is the same way she felt now, a jumbled mess of emotions stirring about in her soul. In the last five years, she’d had to live through losing her mother, and then her father two years later of multiple myeloma. After that death dealt her another blow when she lost a very good friend.
Now the crème on top, losing her grandmother made her feel as if the ground underneath her feet had disappeared and she was weightless floating in the ether.
Her grandmother always stood in her corner, silently and then sometimes not so silently fighting for her. Wave after wave of memory hit her as if she were sand and the waves dashed upon her. She tried stifling the urge to stand up and flee, weeping like a lost child. When her big brother stood up to speak about their grandmother’s life a thought dawned on her- death isn’t the end. As her brother told the church of their grandmother’s life, she’d learned things about her she’d never known. Her grandmother had worked at the Pentagon being one of the first black women to work there. When her grandmother turned her sights on helping the sick she became an RN. A true smile tugged at the corners of her mouth. No matter what life had dealt her grandmother, she always had a smile on her face and joy in her heart. Her grandmother’s strength was her strength; the same blood flowed in her veins too.
“Go with God,” Taylor whispered softly.
As the day ticked by, the cloud of anger surrounding her heart slowly began to fade. She looked down at her hands, they were no longer shaking and her heartbeat had returned to normal. Yes, she was sad her grandmother was gone, but she lived in not only the people she touched, but through each and every member of her family.
“Let your life shine,” she recalled the preacher saying. “People will not remember you for the car you drive or the clothes on your back. It’s your life they will remember; so let your life shine. Give all your troubles up to God and He will find a way.”
With all the death and hardships she’d experienced in her thirty-something years on this planet when it came to faith, hers was shaky at best. When pains struck, Taylor hid deeper and deeper inside herself, casting doubts on everything especially her belief in the Lord. But as the words of the Bible began to make sense, she decided to give her pain up to God and let Him clear it away. She closed her eyes and let out a long exhalation. This was not a time to question her faith or to let her anger guide her footsteps any longer.
She looked at her grandmother again and the answer was clear. It was time to stop running and face her fears of the darkness, instead of being separated from her family she needed to embrace them. No more should she run and hide, angry at God and her family most especially herself. It was time to let it all go, to give it up to God. For the first time since childhood she wanted to step on out faith and truly believe. If she had learned anything from her grandmother is she had her unwavering belief.
Taylor looked at every face in the church, remembering memories, laughter and tears they had shared. But in each family member she saw a bit of her grandmother. Her grandmother didn’t leave, her legacy lives on in the five generations she’d spawn.
This family had all begged and borrowed to come back home for Big Mama’s funeral. There were no complaints, just love and affection making the years of change while indifference become a shadowed memory of the past. Some of her family she hadn’t seen in years but it felt like a misty summer memory. But in everything she learned, love brought this family back together again. All the grudges were let go it wasn’t worth it. Living life isn’t what keeps a family apart, its living life without love and belief.
Taylor thought about what she had in Connecticut, a high-rent from a heartless slumlord who never fixed a thing, to a sprinkle of friends, but no real family. In all honestly, she had nothing but stress and grief, struggling to make ends meat all alone. If anyone asked her to describe herself in one word it would be lonely. Everything she wished and searched for had been right in front of her all along. All her doubts, grudges and silly misunderstandings ebbed away along with the frayed ends of her intense loneliness. Look at how far her family had come from the days of slavery and the wars that plagued this country. Her family had endured and stayed together. She shared a rich beautiful heritage, something to be proud of and something she wanted to share with her own children.
No, her grandmother’s spirit lived on inside her heart, with every shared memory her legacy lived on. Taylor finally understood where she belonged. She belonged with her family, thick or thin, good and bad; this was her home and her family. From this moment all she knew was the truth. To be able to trust in her faith in God and let Him guide her heart. She knew she could not outrun her problems any longer. It was time to truly believe and step out on faith. It was time to live in the light of the truth and not hide in darkness of regret.
Her grandmother’s blood was her blood and she would let her life speak for itself. With each day, she would let her life shine to continue the legacy of her grandmother and all of the people before her. With God’s help Taylor knew that this was just the beginning.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Inside the heart and mind of Raven Starr.

Happy Sunday Afternoon All.

Well, this is my day to sit back and meditate on the week that has ended and the one beginning in a few hours. This new year has brought me great joy. I have ups and downs but this year, I truly can't complain. I've received two new contracts within the last few weeks and I'm proud.

It was hard to get back to writing after I wrote The Perfect. I don't know why, honestly. My process usually requires me to take a small break after finishing a story. I use this time to clear my mind and ready myself for the next adventure. But I was at a stale-mate, my first in my writing career but certainly not my last, I'm sure.

I felt lost without writing but when I sat down to do so, the words didn't flow out. I just sat here, in limbo wishing I could but not wanting to write. If that makes sense.

I know all writers have their own way of creating their work. I love to light candles, meditate a bit and then find the perfect music for the feel of the story I'm writing. Like if I'm writing a fight scene I like Metallica , Creed or something hard and raw. (No perverted thoughts you guys. LOL)
If I'm feeling romantic it's Earth, Wind and Fire, Barry White and something smooth. Jazz helps too.

But none of my tricks of attracting my muse helped and I just sank. I started to write a story first entitled Twin Souls but after writing more of it, I found the storyline very close my life, including the death of my mother. I had to stop writing it. Even after I changed the title to To Start Again I still couldn't bring myself to write about my mother short but traumatic hospital stay and her death.

I have grief still in my heart even though it's been 6 years. The wound left by my mother's death has a hold on me. I'm for the belief in life after death and that our souls carry on. So, in saying that I hope my mother watches over me. I pray that she can see the progress I've made in my life. Right after her passing, I must admit I lost my way. It took 2 years to find my way out of the darkness.

I find my release in writing. It made me feel, connect and truly grieve over what I'd had and lost in my short lifetime. In knowing what true lost, I was reborn. I love my family more and more each day, never sure if we will all greet the dawn together. I try to fill my heart with as much love and understand as I can. So everyday writing wasn't a chore. It was a release.

Now, feeling as if I'm again stepping into the unknown the ground beneath me wobbles and threw me off my writing urge. It took some digging and some looking inward, but I found my strength again. I take each day as it comes. No pressure. My dreams and goals are important to me. So, I sit everyday and bang out my word count, which is only 1,000 words a day but at least it's something. Going from nothing a day to 1,000 words is pretty decent, I think.

I want to find the strength to complete To Start Again, but maybe the reason why I can't finish it is my life is completely written yet. There are still some surprises to come. Lovers to be found, teachers to learn from and children from all over to teach. I know now that my writing isn't a fluke. I'm not a one hit wonder.
I am Raven Starr! You better recognize! LOL

Take Care of yourselves, my friends. Live, Love and laugh everyday!
Raven Starr