Characters Being True to Themselves

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Your characters have been placed in Witness Protection. What three truths about themselves do they want to keep?

We can never hide all of who we are.  Things will eventually come to the surface, even when the feds inject someone into a new life to safeguard them from immediate danger. The famous mobster Henry Hill is a prime example.

Hill entered the U.S. Marshals’ Witness Protection Program after he became an informant and testified against his fellow mobsters.

Think Tekashi 6ix9ine, who ratted out fellow Blood gang members. A book was written about Hill’s life as well as the movie Goodfellas.

Anyway, Hill spent years in the Witness Protection Program, committing so many crimes that he and his wife were eventually kicked out. He just couldn’t shake the lawbreaker deep inside. Although they are products of my creative author’s mind, there are things about my Brothers in Law series characters that they will not let go of, even if they are placed in hypothetical witness protection.

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Brothers in Law

Continue reading “Characters Being True to Themselves”

#WIPWednesday-Building on Broken Dreams

I’m working on finishing Building on Broken Dreams, book three in the Brothers in Law series. I am having the biggest problem with deciding where to start the story. It is about brother Adam Kane and Maryam Avery. Maryam meets Adam after surviving an abusive relationship with Raad.
The relationship between Maryam and Raad feeds some important plot points, so I wanted to give background to readers without doing a bunch of flashbacks. This is from a chapter I put in the “extras” file, but I am considering starting the book with Maryam and Raad and have a couple of chapters with Adam adjusting to life as a new Muslim and trying to shake off some of the more shady parts of his past.
In this scene, Raad is waiting in a hotel for Maryam to arrive.


The phone lit in Raad’s hand. He answered, lifting it to his ear while staring at billowing white sails backed by greenish-blue water and marsh. “Where are you?”
“As-salam alaykum. I’m sorry. Traffic was horrible.” A surge of passion shot down his spine. Even her voice sent him spinning out of control. “I’m pulling into the parking lot now.”
“Room 345.” He disconnected and paced between the bed and window, fruitless in his effort to calm his beating heart and heavy breathing. He arranged to meet her to end it, but thoughts of what he would do to her infused his mind, clouding any ability to be rational. She was meant to be another conquest, just another notch on his belt. Instead, Maryam imbued his spirit. Before he knew it, he was professing his love for her. He meant it at the time.
His lips and fingers tingled at the prospect of caressing her and delighting in her brown tone contrasting against his ivory skin, enthralling his senses. In her arms, he vowed to marry and build an unattainable life. It was necessary. She was a Muslim woman. A fling was unthinkable, so he told her what she wanted to hear, and she became his.
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Continue reading “#WIPWednesday-Building on Broken Dreams”

From Me to Them – My Childhood Reads

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#openbook What is your favorite childhood book?

Ugh. It is so hard to name a favorite anything, especially for something like childhood, which involves an expanse of time and stages of development. My favorite thing to read when I was in fourth grade was not the same as in kindergarten. Just like shoe sizes, my favorite reads grew along with me.

It is difficult for me to scour my memory and pinpoint one favorite book. I was surrounded by them as a child. We had so many books that I would set them up in a circle in the middle of our living room and read them one by one.  I carried them with me whenever possible and always had a healthy stack next to my bed.  So, I won’t be naming one favorite book.

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Instead, I will list a few books from my childhood that I read to my children. Continue reading “From Me to Them – My Childhood Reads”

BOOK REVIEW: Heart of a Warrior Angel

Original Post: Reedsy Discovery

Heart of a Warrior Angel: From Darkness to Light by [Love, Lali A.]

Review by Layla Abdullah-Poulos
By Lali A. Love
$14.99, 238 pp, paper
$2.99, 183 pp, Kindle

We all have aspects of our family about which we may think, yeah that’s one reason why I’m messed up. In Heart of a Warrior Angel, the main character, Lilac Noble has that in spades. Not only is her father off his rocker, but he also dumps heaps of dysfunction and abuse on his wife Mira and daughters—hold on, let me look up their names because there are a lot of them—Lilac, Jasmine, Violet and Rose. He is quite the busy violent sociopath, and the Noble women spend the entire book either subjected to, trying to escape or healing from his mistreatment.

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Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Heart of a Warrior Angel”

The Dual Life of the Self-Published Author

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How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

Control is something I have a difficult time relinquishing to anyone. I can delegate easily enough but must maintain the power to make the final decisions, especially when it comes to my writing.

Like many authors, I put a lot of myself in my books. I have been exhilarated while writing some scenes and depleted by others. More than time and talent, storytelling requires energy. After completing a fleshed-out plot, I am usually vested in it and the characters, making it hard to detach myself and place it into someone else’s hands. I figured out pretty early into the novel-writing process that I did not want to let go.

Mis Quince Años (24) Continue reading “The Dual Life of the Self-Published Author”

BOOK REVIEW: Marriage of Time

Review by Lyndell Williams
By Mariah Stone
$12.99, 194 pp, paper
$3.99, 196 pp, Kindle

What is a pregnant woman to do when cornered by her mafioso ex? Why she gets some help from a magic-packed old lady with the ability to catapult her through time.  In Marriage of Time by Mariah Stone, the main character Mia is smart, beautiful and very fertile. She had finally escaped her abusive Goodfella boyfriend Dan only to find herself knocked up. She tries to keep him from learning about the little bundle of joy, but we all know that never works out. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Marriage of Time”

#NewRelease Open to Love

I am thrilled to have my new romance, Open to Love released by After Hours Publications. Readers have been waiting for me to get Hafsah and Faheem’s story out for a while. This steamy, Muslim couple reflect the diverse and complex American Muslim experience.


1575626427Available at Amazon

From award-winning, bestselling author Lyndell Williams, the story of Hafsah and Faheem, a Muslim couple struggling to keep their raging desire for each other from getting out of control.

Hafsah grows closer to Faheem, falling hard for the sexy younger man. He is smooth and stokes feelings she meant to suppress.

Faheem uses all his charms to make sure Hafsah becomes his, but flirting can be a dangerous thing when committing to no sex outside of marriage. The two play with some serious fire that might burn them both.

The book made it on three bestseller lists on Amazon and became a #1 New Release.



LWL Interview: Tiffani Velez Writes History, War and All That Good Stuff

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As people wrap their holiday presents, I am posting the final Layla Writes Love author interview for 2019. I am thrilled to introduce readers to Tiffani Velez. I met Tiffani through a mutual author acquaintance via social media.  I became an immediate fan after reading her bookA Berlin Story, which was called “hauntingly beautiful” by Geekwire.  Her ability to write a solid stream-of-consciousness piece garnered my respect. So much so, that I passed my first novel to her before publishing.  Continue reading “LWL Interview: Tiffani Velez Writes History, War and All That Good Stuff”

Male Authors, Female Characters and the Wonders of Writing Sex

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I have read many social media posts and articles from women expressing shock and frustration on the ways some male authors describe female characters and sexual encounters in their writing.

Here is one example.

Yeah, the dude wrote that women’s insides are “mazes” and men “conjure up” pee.  There are far worse. This one just gave me so many giggles when I read it that I had to share. Some of my other favorites include: Continue reading “Male Authors, Female Characters and the Wonders of Writing Sex”

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