Audiobooks And The Multifaceted Ways We Convey Words

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Are audiobooks considered reading?

The busy American lifestyle often limits the time one has to pick up a book, which can devastate someone who loves reading. Audiobooks offer a solution, giving people access to amazing (and not so amazing) titles that they can enjoy during their commute while running errands or traveling. Some people suffer from motion sickness if they look down and read. They don’t enjoy the luxury of reading a book when on a long train, plane or car ride. So, audiobooks are a blessing.

I belong to a lot of avid reading groups on Facebook. As I read posts, I often see people defending using audiobooks. While I have encountered no one who would purport that listening to an audiobook is not “real reading,” I suppose the argument must exist, or else there wouldn’t be posts about it. Ironic because the origin of the word read does not involve or restrict the activity to the written word. Yeah, you can not ask a literary critic about a word and things not get geeky.

Continue reading “Audiobooks And The Multifaceted Ways We Convey Words”

Author Tools to Keep A Story Together

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Share how you keep your characters, storylines, etc., organized. Do you use an outline? Notecards? Post-its all over your walls?

I am back, everyone. I’ve missed writing for this blog hop, but I was slammed…hard…with a number of illnesses and was laid out for weeks.

Yeah, it took a while, but I am better now and ready to go!

Okay. How I keep track of everything needed to write a cohesive novel, novella or short story. What fun! And how convenient that I recently wrote articles about high and low-tech productivity for the awesome Haute Hijab blog. Below are some tools I use to keep things in check while story writing, even rebellious characters like Quinn Ang and Raad Khouri.

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High-Tech Tools

Continue reading “Author Tools to Keep A Story Together”

The Black Muslim Atlantic, African American Muslims and The Single Story

Original post- NbA Muslims

NbA Muslims Staff

 The Black Muslim Atlantic is a concept coined by the Muslim Anti-Racism Collaborative co-founder and managing director, Margari Aziza.

The Black Muslim Atlantic draws from Paul Gilroy’s Black Atlantic. Aziza describes the Black Muslim Atlantic as an endeavor of transnationalism through literature, intellectual exchange, visual & performance arts, and travel.

The Black Muslim Atlantic is looking at past connections when Muslims from Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and the Americas shared ideas and produced a unique and transcendent culture. We can look at that richness and heritage and glean it happening now on social media, where we are networking, sharing and debating each other. – Margari Aziza

Mis Quince Años (24) Continue reading “The Black Muslim Atlantic, African American Muslims and The Single Story”

LWL Interview: Sara Allen on Writing and the Power of Language

A fellow Muslim romance writer? I am here for all of it! I was thrilled to learn about Sara Allen and her extensive work writing in a genre often frowned upon by Muslims, despite the rich history of sensual literature in Islamic culture. She has written seven books, including her latest, Disposable. Check out the blurb.

Disposable

Blurb
Available at Amazon

Disposable by [Allen, Sara]When Caryn Blake, a prominent, black litigation expert, walks in on her cheating husband entertaining his latest girlfriend, she goes a little crazy. After everything she’s done for him; giving him the space to live it up, while she makes the moves securing a name for herself and fame for both of them, the betrayal is just too much. However, revenge is bitter-sweet, especially when it’s taken too far.

Caryn decides to take a much-needed break in the most remote state she can find. With nowhere to go and no one to take her. Caryn makes the most of a bad situation, finding friends and a lover she never thought she deserved. Continue reading “LWL Interview: Sara Allen on Writing and the Power of Language”

Muslim Author’s Books Link Faith and Sex

10 % Discount (6)Original Post – About Islam, by Layla Abdullah-Poulos

Conversations about sex and sensuality can be particularly uncomfortable in Muslim cultures.

Although there are immediate connections between the Islamic faith and the sexual gratification of its adherents, many Muslims across the globe find themselves challenged by the idea that their sensual pleasure may be considered Islamic. Consequently, there are few and limited social discussions, written works and modern scholarship on the topic of sex for Muslims.

Islamic historian and erotologist Habeeb Akande writes books to encourage Muslims to reacquaint themselves with the rich tradition of Islamic links between faith and sex. Akande has authored several books on faith and sensuality, including Kunyaza: The Secret to Female Pleasure, A Taste of Honey: Sexuality and Erotology in Islam, Illuminating the Performance: African and Arab Erotology and Illuminating the Difference: Black, White, and Brown Women.

Erotology in Islam

There is a rich tradition of Islamic erotology (the study of sexual behavior) lost to most Muslims in modern society.  During his studies at al-Azhar University, Akande attained access to Islamic scholarship studying sex in the context of faith.

“The origins of Islamic scholarship about eroticism date back to ninth-century Abbasid Baghdad,” explained Akande. “A number of Muslim scholars spent a considerable amount of time studying the nature of sexual desire, eroticism, and the art of lovemaking, both for men and women, within an Islamic context.”

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Continue reading “Muslim Author’s Books Link Faith and Sex”

Black Muslim Authors 2020

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Join me and authors as we connect with readers and discuss the importance of building narratives.

  • 2/22/20
  • 11 am to 4 pm EST
  • Hartford Public Library
  • 1250 Albany Ave, Hartford CT 06112

Author Interrupted – Dealing with Distractions

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What are your top three distractions and how do you deal with them?
Note: I am writing this post on the road. Please forgive any typos.

A writer’s life is full of all kinds of distractions, which can make finding the time to develop ideas and getting out of one’s head and onto paper (or the screen) difficult. I have mentioned that time management can be an external factor hindering writing.

Damn those twenty-four hours in a day. They just won’t listen and become more. Authors have professional (novel writing is not the main source of income for most) and personal lives, each demanding energy and time. Finding sufficient time to develop a plot, construct character arcs and write content can be difficult.  One cruel irony is that creative often burgeons when there is no time. Authors scramble to find a moment to weave a story, but frustration usually sets in when the brilliance blazing in their minds flickers into embers because that’s how it often works. Write right now or risk losing everything.

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Continue reading “Author Interrupted – Dealing with Distractions”

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”

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 Writing, A Numbers Game

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How many hours a day do you write? How long on average does it take you to write a book?

When I saw this week’s Open Book Blog Hop prompt, I laughed because it coincides with some realities I have had to face while participating in NaNoWriMo this month. The month-long writing challenge is meant to get writers to sit themselves down and finish a set goal during November.

Although I signed up for NaNoWriMo years ago, I had not participated. Why? That’s for another blog post. This year, someone encouraged to consider using NaNoWriMo as a tool to complete book four in the Brothers in Law romance series. Brandon and Hawwah want their story out there,  so I agreed.  I am half-way through the challenge and only have a little over 4k of my 50k goal achieved. I have been writing but not just the manuscript.

nanowrimo

Continue reading “Book Writing, A Numbers Game”

Lyndell Williams Character’s Closet: Marcus Kent #urbanromance

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Original Post – Special Edition: Dress Up/Dress Down with Lyndell Williams [November 8, 2019]

Marcus Kent’s Closet

In the urban romance, Sweet Love–Bitter Fruit, Harlem lawyer, Marcus Kent wakes up each morning before the crack of dawn. He kisses his sleeping wife snuggled next to him and slips out of the bed, heading into his walk-in closet. The small room contains a spectrum of clothes reflecting the professional and personal activities filling his busy life.  Continue reading “Lyndell Williams Character’s Closet: Marcus Kent #urbanromance”

A Baby-Making Impasse

LWL Widescreen (3)Sweet Love-Bitter Fruit is the second book in the Brothers in Law series. It is a steamy and exciting stand-alone book that tells the story of Marcus and Toni Kent, a successful Black New York couple struggling with infertility.

After multiple in vitro attempts, Marcus decides he can’t take seeing the woman he loves in so much pain, but Toni is still on board with the idea of more treatments. Will a baby-making impasse tear this dream couple apart?

Enjoy a sneak peek at this fantastic duo, who have to fight to keep life from crumbling their rock-solid union.

Sweet Love–Bitter Fruit

Available at

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Excerpt:

Click to Preorder“Hi”—Marcus hovered over the nurse panting—“my wife is very sick,” he said over the
sound of gurneys rushing behind him. He tightened his grip around Toni’s waist, his muscles burning as he strained to keep her from crumpling to the floor. He hefted her up further against his body, her head rolling against his chest. The emergency room sliding doors ground closed, drowning out her soft moan. “It’s gonna be okay, Sweetness.” He barely got the words out of his closed throat. They hadn’t been okay since the morning.

Toni had begun the day getting out of the bed and vomiting. He went for his run and returned to sounds of her retching over the toilet. She assured him it was a passing thing and insisted that he go to work. Her clammy skin and cold hands told him otherwise, but he Continue reading “A Baby-Making Impasse”

Do It Write: Where Lyndell Williams Writes

Original Post: Romance Lives Forever by Kayelle Allen

Untitled design (5)Lyndell Williams, welcome to Romance Lives Forever. I’m Kayelle Allen, author, and owner of this blog. Happy to have you here!

How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing in varying capacities since I started writing for my college newsletter. Once I got bit with the writing bug, I expanded into writing for online publications as well as writing essays for a literary journal, books, and peer-reviewed articles.
This year, I had several short stories published in collections and published my first novel.
What was your first published book?
My Way to You is my first novel. It is an interracial romance about an Asian American lawyer who falls in love with an African American pro-Black blogger. They have to learn to comfort each other as each encounters levels of racial microaggressions from society. They also have to worry about her big brother finds out, who would not appreciate his best friend and little sister dating.

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Tell us about your writing space or home office.
My writing space is in a corner of my bedroom in our family’s cozy cape. I bought one of those affordable big box store tables and a swivel chair to stake my claim. The table hosts my laptop (pc of course) with an attached keyboard and second monitor. My writing demand requires the ability to work from multiple screens.
I also have a wonderful lamp I got from my daughter as a gift. It has multiple settings, which is great when I’m trying to work at 4 a.m. while my husband sleeps.
Anything special about your space?
My space is also “mommy central.” Because I try to get writing done during a day packed with mothering 6 kids and homeschooling as well as communicating with colleagues and students, I have a bunch of non-writing supplies, such as combs and brushes to do my little one’s hair and moisturizing butter to keep everyone’s skin smooth. Continue reading “Do It Write: Where Lyndell Williams Writes”

Three Quick Reads for Busy Readers

OPEN BOOK (11)Tell me a story in three-hundred pages or fewer. Authors I know used to laugh at me when I said that back in the day. They would roll their eyes if I asserted that even three-hundred pages pushed the limit. Then I wrote my first novel. The interracial romance between African American Regina Kent and Korean American Simon Young topped off at three-hundred one.

Yeah, let’s not talk about that. The focus here is that I am still a fan of quick reads in all their forms—flash fiction, short stories, novelette, and novellas. Bring ‘em.  Lucky for me, my fave genre romance includes a tradition of writers penning shorter works besides full-length novels.

Three books (not all of them are romances) captured my attention over the last couple of weeks when I was running around, yearning for a nice escape through my e-reader.  Bickering doctors and lawyers, cyborgs, and widows all gave a little break as well as a chance to laugh, cry and sigh. Continue reading “Three Quick Reads for Busy Readers”

LWL Interview: The Magical World of AEM

Mis Quince Años (7)I first connected with Amy Miller when I joined an author’s blog hop. She is a superb writer of all things magical. Her books are full of all kinds of wonderful creatures. She sets her pen and keyboard on fire to bring readers into different worlds.

Amy Miller, who uses the nickname AEM to sign her books, is the author of the Endeavor Series and other random literature. While it’s rumored that she’s a homeschooling mama of 4 and wife of some dude who works with computers, most of the time she’s spotted with her nose in a book or clicking away on a laptop. Her main fantasy series, based in Oklahoma, blends old and new magical creatures and themes. Because seriously, the kind of bra worn while riding a dragon is important, ya’ll. Currently, she’s working on book 5, Fervent Desolation.

Check out the blurb for her book Phoenix Incandescent.

Fresh out of college, Charlotte is running the Wayfarer’s Inn, a castle in the middle of farmland that gives humans the chance to vacation amongst mermaids, centaurs, elves, and dwarves. The guests don’t know that the magic is real, but Charlotte does. For now. She hasn’t developed powers like her father, so now she must either marry into the magical world or have her memory wiped and live on her own.
What’s a girl to do?

Her parents throw her a last chance ball to find a suitable husband within the magical world, but the dancing is interrupted. Join Charlotte and many magical characters, old and new, as she ditches the ball gown, picks up the quarterstaff, and begins a journey that will expose the secrets her family has kept from her.

See what I mean? AEM recently shared her perspective on writing fantasy and worldbuilding. Continue reading “LWL Interview: The Magical World of AEM”

Why Seasons Matter in Fiction

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Do your stories and worlds reference seasons and do they play into the plots of your books?

Seasons provide important time elements to a story’s plot. The environment in which characters interact is significant in setting the tone and helping readers keep track of how much time has passed between plot points.

Time passage within a novel can be large (days, months, and years) or small (a few moments or minutes), and all of it can affect the story’s pacing, grabbing readers’ attention or losing it. A lot of my novels involve events requiring longs periods of time to pass from the book’s beginning to the end.

Anchoring Time

Continue reading “Why Seasons Matter in Fiction”

Call Me Rufus: Naming Characters

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How do you select the names of your characters?

I recently gave members of my Facebook reading group a chance to help me select a name for the main male protagonist of a Muslim vampire romance I am drafting.

Yeah, you heard right. Just wait for it. Anyway, I had initially selected the name “Rufus” for him. I had my reasons, but readers weren’t even trying to hear any of them. I got all kinds of negative feedback. Some asked how in the world I even thought up such an old-time name. Continue reading “Call Me Rufus: Naming Characters”

Pens, Knives, and Guns: The Power of Crafting Words

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What was an early experience when you learned that language had power?

I think humans have an innate appreciation for the power contained in language. We have a need to communicate from the moment we leave the womb. Crying, whimpering, whining and cooing are all methods that infants have to convey their feelings and desires.

It can be so strong that many mothers and primary caregivers learn the meanings behind each utterance coming from the tiny person, finding it almost impossible to ignore. The impact of our children’s infant cries frazzled each one of my nerves, motivating me to satisfy or wreak havoc on whatever or whoever was upsetting them. People didn’t start calling me Mama Bear for nothing.

Yeah, kinda like that. So, knowledge about the power of language is something intrinsic. We know its influence on those around us. When people are past the infancy, “cry to get what I want stage”, it is important to recognize how compelling words can be on one’s mindset and those around them, especially words strategically used to convince, inspire, anger and degrade—some of which may become branded in one’s psyche, influencing their internal dialogue and actions. Continue reading “Pens, Knives, and Guns: The Power of Crafting Words”

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