Food and Romance – Bean Pies for the Heart

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#OpenBook

Share a recipe for a food that comes from one of your books.

Yay! Food is so a part of my romances. I like to use some of what characters eat as symbolism.

For example, in My Way to You, I have Regina either making or eating eggs to represent the fragile but nourishing nature of the developing relationship between her and Simon. They are so good for each other, but things constantly threaten their ability to be together.

But, I’m not sharing an egg recipe. I’m picking something that Regina’s brother Marcus and his wife Toni eat.

Marcus Kent loves him some Toni. He calls her sweetness, and she is the main person to bring him to equilibrium. Basically, she got him on lock, and he goes out of his way to make her happy.

In one scene of My Way to You, Marcus treks from Harlem to the famous Abu’s Homestyle Bakery in Brooklyn. Abu’s is a historical landmark for New Yorkers, especially African American Muslims like me. They have some serious oven action going on, and whenever I get a chance to travel the 2 hours, I stock up, because the cakes and pies are everything.

Toni has a similar liking for the bakery, so Marcus picks up a box of assorted pies for her.

Check out the excerpt.

Continue reading “Food and Romance – Bean Pies for the Heart”

OpenBookBlogHop-Layla Writes Love 2019 Goals

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#OpenBook

Share your writing goals for 2019.

Mis Quince Años

I’ve been asking writers and authors to share their 2019 writing goals all last week.

I reached out to romance authors and ask them to tell readers some of their goals for this year, and I did the same for Muslim authors on the NbA Muslims blog on Patheos.

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It was great reading what authors and writers had planned as well as including some of my goals. I also took a moment to take part in an Instagram author’s challenge post.

 

I’ve been busy planning and goal making. So, I’m going to use this Open Book Blog Hop post to round up all of the goals I made and maybe add a couple of more.  Here we go! Continue reading “OpenBookBlogHop-Layla Writes Love 2019 Goals”

Just a Taste – LW Book Excerpts

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#OpenBook

What are some of your favorite lines from your books?

I love reading authors’ favorite lines from their books. Many authors take a lot of time and energy to draft particularly poignant prose (that alliteration is not an example), to grab readers’ attention and offer some inspiration, humor, humanity—a bunch of stuff.

I’m a little daunted to find some of my favorite lines from my book—singular…as in only one written so far—because I’ve spent so much time with my words. It’s difficult to step back and look at something I took so long to make cohesive and fluid as layers of individual components.

Continue reading “Just a Taste – LW Book Excerpts”

Failsafe from Failing Students

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What would you do if you knew you could not fail?

Failure, or fear of it, is very effective at making both the timid and bold hesitant. Even just the thought that success won’t be achieved is enough to keep one stagnant. So, having the barrier produced by a fear of failure is refreshing and makes the mind run rampant.  Mine has, and I shall now have at it.

As I went through school as a kid and during my college years, I encountered one disturbing constant. My education was always tainted by implicit and explicit bias and racism from either my fellow students, faculty or administration. Continue reading “Failsafe from Failing Students”

#MFRWauthor – Italian Ramadan

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Ramadan is a special holiday for Muslims all over the world. Those who are able to spend daylight hours fasting and engaged in increased worship, which is the primary purpose of the month.

But when the sun sets, there are 30 days of some of the best eating of the year. Whether at home with family, invited to neighbors and friends homes, or visiting one of the many large community meals, the food is fantastic.

Here in the United States, the diverse American Muslim population means that break-fast meals (known as iftar) can have a cornucopia of food from people of native-born (i.e. African American, Latinx American, Native American, European American) and immigrant Muslim backgrounds.

One staple dish in my family is baked ziti. I make a big pan to feed my husband and kids fasting for a couple of days. I will also make a couple of pans to bring to my local masjid (mosque) for a community meal. I always bring home empty pans.

Recipe

Continue reading “#MFRWauthor – Italian Ramadan”

First Time Unboxing

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#OpenBook

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

People often romanticize the idea of the first time, which-ironically-I as a romance writer tend not to do.

Steeped in perfection-only the best parts about doing and/or experiencing something are brought to the front of our memories and shared. Even when the experience is not so fantastic, we tend to tell it as a form of comical relief. Not exclusively, but we frequently do sugar coat and look forward to doing or seeing things for the first time, despite the actual quality of the experience.

The first is not always a good or even the best time a person may experience. Let me see… Continue reading “First Time Unboxing”

Death on a Calendar

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If you had the option to know the date of your death, would you want to know?

Death is something that we as humans generally avoid like—well—death. We spend an incredible amount of time, energy and money during our waking hours keeping the Big Sleep at bay.

It motivates a lot of the things we do and buy.  Billions are spent on pills, potions and procedures. Even after death, more money is dumped into preserving bodies from becoming rotting carcasses. It’s been that way for millennia. I’m looking at you, Egyptian Pharaohs.

Look at those big things, and what they did to the bodies *gag*. That’s how uncomfortable people generally are with the idea of dying. So why the heck would anyone want to know when they’re dying? Continue reading “Death on a Calendar”

The World’s A Stage for Writers Too

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#OpenBook

This week’s Open Book Blog Hop question is one I’ve  asked so many authors—”What advice would you give to someone who wants to become a writer?”

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**Side note – I will send the first Open Book Blog Hop blogger who tells me the GIF reference a My Way to You ribbon bookmark :)** UPDATE – Congrats, aurorawatcherak!

Okay, now. It is a staple question on my and many interviewers’ list because it’s very important.

Writers make writers.

Well-written creations offer examples and inspiration for those seeking to make a mark in the world with ink—hence the adage “read good writing to become a good writer. There is also so much to learn from talented writers’ blood, sweat, tears (real ones-’cause writing is no joke) and experiences.

Like most writers and someone who’s been at various layers of the writing process (teacher, writer, editor, author, mentor, etc.), I have a lot of advice, but I think one of the most important things I can tell aspiring writers and authors doesn’t involve the craft—not directly. Continue reading “The World’s A Stage for Writers Too”

Precious Second Chances-Who Deserves one?

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#openbloghop

Do you believe everyone deserves a second chance?

I’m assuming this week’s blog hop question refers to personal relationships. So, here we go.

When someone tells you who they are, believe them the first time.

Maya Angelou

We miss you Lady Maya!

The idea of second chances can fill people with a sense of hope. All doesn’t have to be a loss. As a romance author, I’m a huge fan of books with a second chance at love plot.  Heck, a lot of my stories feature one or both protagonists stepping back up to the plate to give love another try.

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And…cue in the crappy metaphor.

The thing is, those are made up people with characteristics that I design in them to ensure the required romance HEA (Happily-Ever-After). With real people, it’s much more of a gamble to trust again. Hence, Maya’s famous quote.

People rarely change and will adjust how they treat you even more infrequently. So, whenever someone screws up, there are a few things to consider before allowing them a second chance.

Continue reading “Precious Second Chances-Who Deserves one?”

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