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Monday, September 26, 2011

Guest Blogger: Author Luna Charles

MEN ARE NOT THE PROBLEM

Selene opens the door to her hand her heart melts. It was only two months prior that Michael dumped her, leaving her in Miami to return to his hometown of Sarasota, presumably to make something more of himself. It had been painful for her to let go, but at the end it was for the best. He had been a selfish and inconsiderate lover, escorting her around his white world as if she was his black Haitian Barbie.

Selene had taken charge of her life and overcame emotional and physical abuse, as well as the biased opinions of others regarding immigrants since coming to the US. Yet somehow still in love with this spoiled bad boy, she packs her bags and leaves with him, telling herself that love is worth the risk.

However, when an unexpected pregnancy and job loss turns her love sick world upside down, it is then that Michael’s true callous and cold heart is revealed. Struggling with the demons of her past and now the misfortunes of her present, Selene realizes Men Are Not the Problem.

Men Are Not the Problem knows no boundaries as this uplifting tale drives you from tear jerking moments to candid real life hilarity. Painfully blunt and remarkably inspiring Men Are Not the Problem will leave you knowing what real love is and should be.



LUNA CHARLES is a self-publish author and the Director of Hardcastle Enterprises Corp., a business dedicated to helping those who are ready to realize the full potential that they have within. As the oldest of 5 kids from a single mother, Luna learned early that life may not seems fair but hard work and dedication will get you to where you want to go. Daily in her work, she strives for excellence using those early lessons to reinforce her spirit and those around her when times get tough. Her first novel Men Are Not The Problem is a heartfelt story of overcoming adversity and finding the love within which can conquer all wounds. Along with writing, Luna spends her time speaking to the youth in her local Florida community, raising her two daughters and spending time with her husband. She is currently working on a journal due out later on this year. Luna is Haitian by birth but has lived in South Florida for the last 21 years of her life.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Thursday-13: Reasons I Love Being a Full-time Writer


Guest Blogger: Author Anita Heiss

1.       I get to tell stories for a living. It is true that I weave historical, cultural, political, geographical and social facts throughout my novels, but I use fictional characters and storylines to get my serious messages across. It is the opportunity to think creatively and to 'make up' stories as I sit at my desk in a suburban office space that I am grateful for.

2.       I can redress the imbalance in the way the history of Australia has been recorded. I have said it often; the way the colonisers remember and record history is always going to be significantly different to the way the colonised remember and record history. And so I am glad I can write books that tell our - Aboriginal Australia's – side of the story. It is why I wrote the historical novel Who Am I? the diary of Mary Talence, Sydney 1937 (Scholastic, 2001) which has now been translated into French, Spanish, Farsi and Chinese (released Sept, 2011).

3.       I put urban Aboriginal people and our lives on the Australian literary radar. Before I wrote Yirra and her deadly dog, Demon and Demon Guards the School Yard with the students of La Perouse Public School, there was virtually no Australian literature reflecting the lives and experiences of urban Aboriginal kids on the east coast of Australia. I want the world to know and understand that 1/3 of our people live in urban centres, which is another reason I have written four adult novels for women (Not Meeting Mr Right, Avoiding Mr Right, Manhattan Dreaming and Paris Dreaming) – to showcase strong, sassy, sexy, intelligent, educated, often career driven Aboriginal women, also living in major Australian cities, and sometimes travelling internationally as part of their work.

4.       Working with creative kids. Much of my paid work these days allows me to spend time in the classroom with school kids from Grade 4-12 creating characters and settings, short stories and writing poetry. These are some of the my most rewarding days as I see the creative minds of young people given the time and freedom to just explore their ideas and run with them. Some of these students are part of gifted and talented programs, some are struggling with literacy, but ALL of them have the ability to tell stories - they just need the opportunity to do so.

5.       I travel and see places I might not otherwise visit. I am most grateful for the opportunity to visit new cities, towns and communities at the invitation of festivals, schools and organisations. This year alone I have / will visit major cities like Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Adelaide. I have visited Kalkarindji (NT), Deniliquin, Albury, Armidale, Tumut, Cowra, Gunnedah (NSW) and Noosa (QLD). Internationally I have /will do author events in Noumea (New Caledonia), Ubud (Indonesia), Houston and New York (USA). It is meeting my readers and fellow writers at these places that inspires me to write more, and reminds me of the amazing and privileged life I have. And I am most grateful for each and every invitation.

6.       I’m part of a politically active industry. The writing community I am part of speaks out and engages on important social issues on both a national and international level. Australian writers rallied together early in 2011 to raise much needed funds for flood victims in QLD. I was part of at least three different writing-based fund-raising projects at that time. And each year, the entire Australian book industry supports Indigenous Literacy Day to which advocates for the rights of imprisoned writers around the world, highlighting the right to freedom of speech we have in Australia that should never be taken for grant or abused! to raise awareness and funds to get literacy resources into remote Aboriginal communities. I am also a member of Sydney PEN 

7.       I get to talk about books a lot! Thankfully my friends like books as much as I do and so we are never short of conversation. Even if we don't like the same books, we still value the role of the book in society and get passionate about stories and storytelling. It's fair to say that many of my dearest friends are writers also.

8.       It makes for interesting conversation when I go through customs. I like writing ‘author’ on my departure / entry cards at airports, and often the customs official will ask what I write about and we’ll have a quick chat. The women particularly like to hear about the Mr Right series!

9.       Launches are fun! Let's face it, if someone else is going to throw you a party, invite all your friends, pick up the tab and have speeches about how wonderful you and your work are, then of course it's going to be fun. I am blessed that with Random House Australia as I have been fortunate to have some wonderful events in my honour and I need to acknowledge the role that booksellers like Gleebooks and Avid Reader have also played in making such launches some of the most memorable professional moments of my life.

10. I am my own boss. It's fair to say that I don't want to be a manager and I don't want to be managed. So, heading to my office in my own time and planning my day according to my own priorities is just the way I want my life to be. Of course I have publishing schedules to meet, school workshops to plan, and admin that needs to be done, but I massage my daily work load to fit in with my exercise routine, family responsibilities and my need to have a social life. I have found a sensible work life balance (I think) and in 2012 plan to do LESS travel so I can actually enjoy my own bed a little more as well.

11. I make change. If I didn't think my work and words made a difference to someone somewhere I would stop writing. It’s the feedback from readers all around Australia (and indeed those abroad) who remind me of the importance of writing with a purpose, a message and with integrity.

12. Writing is sexy! Don’t laugh at me. I have been an academic, a publicist, I’ve pulled beers and worked in fast food, and I can tell you that being a writer is most definitely the sexiest career choice I’ve made. Especially when I can write at home sitting in my underwear!

13. I see my books on the shelf! I won’t like to you, I like seeing my books on the shelves in bookshops, at the airport and in department stores. It’s always a rush. Manhattan Dreaming has been out for 18 months now and it is still on the shelves… and that’s saying something in my industry.


Dr Anita Heiss www.anitaheiss.com is the author of adult fiction, children’s fiction, historical fiction, social commentary, poetry and satire. Her latest novel is Paris Dreaming and her memoir Am I Black Enough For You will be released through Random House Australia in April 2012.













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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

5 Fun Fruit Snacks


1. Chocolate covered frozen banana – Insert Popsicle stick in a medium banana.  Melt semi-sweet chocolate chips. Dip banana until covered. Place on pan with wax paper and freeze.
2. Fruit skewers – Use the wooden skewers and alternate with a grape, strawberry, and pineapple chuck.
3. Apple slices with caramel dip – melt caramels in the microwave, then “dip baby, dip.”
4. Fruit salad - Cut up your favorite fruits and toss in a bowl. Squeeze a little lemon juice and sprinkle with coconut. If you feel adventurous, use a fruit that you have wanted to try.
5. Dried fruit mix – Take a large freezer bag and toss in apricots, banana chips, papaya, cranberries, and nuts.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

What's Next for Kay Gibbie?

I have good news everyone! My coloring book, “My Mama’s Sweet Potato Pie/EL PAY DE CAMOTE DE MI MAMA,” is coming out in November and my children’s book, “Are There French Fries in Heaven?” next year. Of course, they are food-related; I would not have it any other way. I started writing children’s books long before my women’s fiction and chick lit days. I am writing under the pseudo name – Kay Gibbie. Check back for more details and “Like” the Kay Gibbie page on Facebook! Thank you for your support!