From warrior to romance. Lonz Cook is a Marine Corps veteran of 20 years and the author of numerous romance novels. He's a screen writer, an Adjunct Professor of Management, and a technology specialists. BPM: Tell us about your most recent work? ...

 

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Black Pearls Blog Tours - 5 new articles



 

Intimate Conversation with Lonz Cook



From warrior to romance.  Lonz Cook is a Marine Corps veteran of 20 years and the author of numerous romance novels.  He's a screen writer, an Adjunct Professor of Management, and a technology specialists.

BPM:  Tell us about your most recent work? Is this book available on Nook and Kindle?
Online dating is how a large number of people find their mates these days. It’s like a phenomenon on how different things happen on a social basis. Rarely are people introduced in person or found by attending a club or function as the major means of meeting.

A Cyber Affair is a story of two people who find each other online, and begin the process of dating. How they share their journey is the story.

BPM:  Give us some insight into your main characters or speakers. What makes each one so special? 
One thing I love about Tiffany and Manny is they are real people. You know, your neighbor, a friend of a friend, or simply a person you work with. Tiffany isn’t a beauty queen though she is attractive and Manny isn’t the typical obnoxious millionaire with a garage of boy toys to impress. These are common day to day middle-class people.

These characters have normal problems like dealing with divorce or working to recreate family connections. Tiffany is divorced and strict about her dating selection, working a real 9-5 and minding her business at exploring dating websites with a purpose.

Manny is a retired Navy Chief Petty Officer, rebuilding a relationship with his daughter and going through career withdrawals while defining his future. He’s the reflection of a high intense career to the mundane factory day to day job.

BPM:  What inspired you to sit down and actually start writing this book? Why now?
Online dating is a real situation where people are taking a chance with cyber space reality. I spoke to a number of people who experienced the good, bad, and ugly with online dating. The inspiration came as I heard stories of success and wondered how they arrived to make all the decisions to become united with a new mate.

When I explored online dating, words simply jumped onto the page and before long there was a story worth telling.

Online dating is relevant more so than attending a jazz festival in Spring. It’s the way of change and since so many are personally involved, it captures a part of our social behavior.

BPM:  What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
Showing the relevance of online interactions was one of the most enjoyable things I created with this book. Social media is our major means of maintaining relationships or creating friendships and opportunities for love. In the process of staying connected, I too ventured with curiosity onto dating sites, simply to answer a lot of questions with my friends and provide accuracy in writing this novel. What I have learned online is amazing and having experienced the multitude of behaviors ranging from abnormal to shocking was eye opening. And I mean shocking!!! I had to share the extremes.

BPM:  Where do your book ideas come from? Are your books plot-driven or character-driven?  Why?
I get ideas from observing people and their behavior. Or I get ideas from a conversation where a situation portrays the best scenario for a good realistic story.  You know, like mother-daughter relationships where there is a hate-love vibe between them. Or how love prevails after years of separation because of distance or illness. Or how a married couple rarely converses at dinner in a restaurant and have levels of contentment ooze through their body language.  These concepts are character driven because there’s a lot of stories based on behaviors and my mind to create unique situations.  What if scenarios that seem like reality.

There are times I create a plot simply to make the characters come alive. I do this because it’s about behavior in situations. I love to write common behavior where they address issues based on reality, especially where the heart is concerned.

BPM:  Are there under-represented groups or ideas featured in your book? 
In this particular novel, A Cyber Affair, I’d say yes to under-represented groups. We, as a people, aren’t aware of the hardships a military person endures with family. The servicemen and women often fail at marriage and parenting because of deployments or operational commitments. These conversations aren’t common to the general public. What most see on the surface is the tip of the iceberg when it comes to  the challenges servicemen face between career and family.

Second I’d say under-represented are the military kids who deal with battling parents. Or should I say the child who loves both parents but caught in the middle? In this novel, you’ll find Suzie, Manny’s daughter doing her best to support her father and enjoy their relationship, in spite of mom.

BPM:  How does your book relate to your present situation or journey?
Since I’m a romance writer, every page is part of me in a sense. I practice what I write to ensure the story has a realistic accuracy that pulls readers into scenes. I travel to various locations to give readers the feeling of being in the room or venue because I describe the environment well enough for the imagery to match.

Being a retired Marine, I saw the deployment cringe where marriages fought a good fight but didn’t have the endurance to win.

I write about behavior and since I’m observant on all levels, I tend to keep the journey realistic. I’m a writer and writing is my first love and food for my spirit.

BPM:   Did you learn anything personal from writing your book? 
The education about online dating is amazing. I had heard of the term Catfish but never really understood it’s meaning. But with the depth of deception a number of people doing, it’s pretty concerning. This is where I had learned that a lot of people are not being themselves. And it’s both genders.

Second, I used a different technique while maintaining my voice. I typically have a lot of things moving outside of the antagonist and protagonist. But this time, I wrote with minimal secondary stories. I was more specific to the two major characters’ views.

BPM:   Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?
This is a difficult question but I’ll do my best to answer without embarrassing a new friend or contact.

I talked to a friend who met her lover online and when they finally met in person she ran. I mean physically ran because through all of the online video chats, she never saw his height. His being tall turned her off. In her words, she had perceptions of size being a serious matter and it scared the life out of her.

I talked to another lady who got engaged over the internet. I mean literally accepted the commitment. I asked her how and she answered that the connection between them was amazing. She never saw him, outside of pictures, no video calls, no cell phone calls, they simply shared hours of chatting online. She took this engagement very seriously and before she sent thousands of dollars, she asked someone to validate his story. She had a divine intervention because she found out the true meaning of a catfish first hand.  Her story was amazing at how she kept accepting excuses based on her need. A dangerously developed behavior for some women.        

BPM:   What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them? 
Since A Cyber Affair is relevant to current dating, and the way our social changes have been modified in finding a mate, I expect this novel to make a difference. I want people to pay attention to prospects with online dating. My expectation is this book aids in showing how two people can meet and date while being entertainment and become an enjoyable conversation piece.

Will it become a bestseller? I can’t honestly say it will, however, it’s always a dream to have one.

BPM:   What projects are you working on at the present?
A Cyber Affair has a back story character that took a life of its own. I’m currently working on a story titled, A Loss Too Great, which is a spinoff.

Also, I’m editing the sequel to When Love Evolves, one of the Sisters and Romance box sets. This should be out either in the fall or early winter of 2017.

BPM:   How can readers discover more about you and your work? 
Find me at www.LonzCook.net, WarriortoRomance on Facebook, Lonzcook on Twitter, Lonzcook on Wordpress, Lonzcook on Periscope and Lonzcook on Pinterest and Instagram.


Connect with Lonz Cook
www.lonzcook.net
Instagram: lonzcook
Twitter: @lonzcook
FB: https://www.facebook.com/WarriortoRomance

Purchase A Cyber Affair by Lonz Cook
Kindle Link:   https://amzn.com/B01HUMYM72
Paperback:     https://amzn.com/1943904030





           
 



 

#PowerRead: A Cyber Affair by Lonz Cook



A Cyber Affair by  Lonz Cook


The Online Search for Mr. Right

What Tiffany doesn’t know about online dating, she learns by living the thrills of navigating profiles and meeting men on the internet. She learns the secret of avoiding the “Catfish” and finds the one who keeps her head in the clouds, until they physically meet.


Tiffany Wilkes, “SanFran Pearl,” spends hours on dating websites. She’s tired of guys who can’t charm the lid off of a garbage can and sick of God awful blind dates, and mindless encounters. Meeting men at work is a competition and a risk of breaking a dating policy that results in termination.

SanFran Pearl searches for a local suitor interested in a meaningful relationship.  Her humorous approach wins a positive response but the connection wanes to disappointment.

When SanFran Pearl receives an interesting email from “Lost Sailor,” Manny Perez - a Navy retiree near Miami, her spirit of chance shoots to the stars. Instead of her typical approach, she’s googling for a background check that’s best suited for the FBI.

Is Lost Sailor a catfish or the catch of the century?



Excerpt: A Cyber Affair  


Chapter 1


OMG! What the hell am I doing? Tiffany frowned as she sat amongst the passengers waiting for her flight to Las Vegas. She glanced around the terminal, hopeful that someone would read her mind and give her some direction. The gate attendant announced her boarding section. Tiffany rose from her seat, edged through the crowd with her laptop backpack, pulling her carry-on, and got in line. She held her ticket while she moved closer to the gate agent.  Why am I doing this? she thought while watching eager passengers in front of her hand over their tickets and walk through the door. She stepped to the gate, ticket in hand, and stared. The agent reached for the boarding pass, slid it from her fingers, and scanned it on his machine. “Is this your first flight?” asked the agent.

“No, it isn’t. I’m a little nervous about this trip.”

“Don’t worry; no one cares what you do in Vegas.” He smiled and returned her ticket.

“I hope he cares,” Tiffany mumbled as she walked through the door. Suddenly the gangway darkened, black as a moonless night. Her hand became moist. The carry-on didn’t seem to cooperate. It was as if something was trying to deter her from boarding the flight. Tiffany yanked her carry-on, finally won its cooperation and walked down the center of the tunnel. The passenger in front of her disappeared into its darkness and conversations behind her went silent. She saw a dim light appear as though the gangway had become a path of torture. Suddenly a bright light near the cabin door led her, as if directing her feet one after the other, deeper into the passageway. She pulled the carry-on and took each step carefully. Her heart pumped like a car engine on a race track. Tiffany walked slower, as if her hesitation could delay the plane’s take off. With each step, she heard warning bells.

“Miss, are you okay?” A fellow passenger’s voice broke her trance.

“Ah, I think so,” Tiffany kept her eyes forward. She saw the fully lit tunnel for the first time, the door to the airplane now directly in front of her. She entered the aircraft with her carry-on in tow.

“Hi, welcome aboard,” the flight attendant greeted her.

“Hi.” Tiffany smiled and turned right to walk through the economy class section. She looked at the seating chart and glanced at her ticket. "Seat 21C," she read, and walked towards the rear of the plane. Tiffany glanced at the row numbers - 8…9…10… moving further back 19…20… “Excuse me,” she said to her seating companion.

“Sure, no problem,” He rose from the seat and moved aside. Tiffany lifted her carry-on, grabbed her backpack, and slid through the tight aisle. As soon as she cleared the first seat, the guy moved right in behind her. “I’m sorry.” Tiffany looked behind her while dropping her backpack on the floor.

“No problem. I was expecting you,” he smiled.

Tiffany pushed her backpack under the seat in front of her, grabbed her seatbelt, and buckled up for the flight. She watched passengers boarding and averted her gaze to look out of the window. Anxiously, she glanced at her watch while butterflies fluttered through her stomach. The idea of having a last chance to escape the unknown tampered with her mind. She watched other passengers board and thought I can get off the plane right after that guy sits down. The gentleman sat, but before she could move, the flight’s lead attendant announced, “Prepare the cabin for takeoff, cross check and all call.” Passengers were instructed to secure electronics and buckle down for the flight. When the cabin door slammed shut, Tiffany realized that it was too late to run.

Tiffany Miles was the only child of strict parents. She wasn’t part of a popular crowd in high school, but she loved her circle of friends. Tiffany was average in size and cute, with unique features: curly black hair, a straight nose, and oval brown eyes. She hadn't received much male attention in high school, but when she did date, her parents selected young men from among their church friends. She rarely disagreed with the guys her mom and dad selected for her. The few times she went against their guidance, all hell broke loose and her parents would tighten their control.

Tiffany tried her hand at dating in college. She moved into the campus dorm and there found new freedom to date and explore as she pleased. What she didn’t know about dating men became a substantial lesson in reality during that first semester. Some men take advantage of naive girls. She accepted every offer to go on a date from any man who asked. Tiffany was sensual with some and enjoyed the physical desires of others. She didn’t know what not to do. Her roommate took notice and reeled her in, explaining the differences between dating and being used. Her roommate also started checking out her dates, showing up on occasion to see if Tiffany was following her advice.


( Continued... )

© 2016 All rights reserved.  Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Lonz Cook.  Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.


Purchase A Cyber Affair by Lonz Cook
Paperback:   https://amzn.com/1943904030
Kindle Link: https://amzn.com/B01HUMYM72





           
 



 

#PowerRead: The Promised Land by Sherryle Kiser Jackson



Eighteen months into their marriage and ministry, Will and Rebecca Donovan are now faced with new challenges. Recession, sickness and stagnation hit the Grace Apostle Methodist church in a major way. With crippling doubt in his ability to lead his church community through this crisis, Will finds it hard to aid or even bring hope to his congregation when there is little hope in obtaining the one thing he desires most.  He’s left to walk the thin line between hanging in there and hanging it all up.

There is no place to hide when the truth comes looking for Rebecca. She wrestles with infertility and the best time to reveal it to her husband. Her plans to be Super First Lady in an attempt to silence her husband’s cries for an offspring are thwarted when answers to the questions that have haunted her from childhood overtake her. Passions are ignited as old grudges with longtime rivals are dredged up and exhausted, but can they be laid to rest?

Can Will and Rebecca find what they need in one another when the Promised Land seems just beyond their grasp?



Purchase the Print Edition

https://www.amazon.com/Promised-Land-Sherryle-Kiser-Jackson/dp/1530256194


The Promised Land is the third stand-alone installment of the Land of Promiscuity series.
Secrets, indiscretions and a crazy twist of unrequited love have taken these two best friends from promiscuity to promise in the first two installments. In The Promised Land they find the path is not a utopian road paved with gold.


Watch a dramatic excerpt from my novel, The Promised Land. Scar Tissue is the inevitable conversation between a husband and wife about secrets of the past. Go here:  https://youtu.be/zgsCicpYqLA



The Promised Land Book Reviews


One of the things I appreciate most about Sherryle Kiser Jackson’s work is her authentic portrayal of real people living out real faith, flaws and all. As an avid reader, particularly of inspirational fiction, I actively seek out great stories about characters I relate to and grow to care about. It's an added bonus when I also come away with a thing or two I can use in my own life. Few authors accomplish this the way Sherryle does. In The Promised Land we see parts of ourselves and the people we know in the characters. We locate our own lives within their story and we receive a message of hope as well. If you are in the market for a compelling story, then The Promised Land is an excellent choice.
-- Isunji Cardoso, Author of "Faith Lifts: 31 Daily Boosts for Sagging Faith"


In The Promise Land, Sherryle Kiser Jackson illustrates the true meaning of spiritual growth, forgiveness and redemption.  As a Pastor and First Lady live out his sermons, they face their own mistakes, weaknesses and doubts on the way to God’s revelation of their own “Promised Land.”  Ms. Kiser-Jackson wraps faith and deliverance in realistic, imperfect characters in a writing style that holds a mirror to our souls; Giving the reader hope in the power of divine restoration and grace.
-- Norma L. Jarrett, Essence Bestselling Author of The Sunday Brunch Series, Sweet Magnolia and other novels


About the Author

Multi-published author, dynamic speaker, teacher, wife and mother, Sherryle Kiser Jackson hails from Prince Georges County Maryland. Trained at Salisbury State University, she’s a teacher by profession, but a writer by pure passion. She serves up her unique brand of Soul-Satisfying Reads as her writing style reflects an honest commentary on her life with Christ. Her first novel, Soon and Very Soon, was published in 2007 followed by her sophomore title, The Manual, in 2009. Soon After, Taylor Made, Land of Promiscuity, Path to Promise round out her traditionally-published bookshelf. Submissionary and most recently, The Promised Land are published on her own publishing company Holy*Ghost*Writing*. In 2015, Sherryle embraced her inner playwright and have put up one stage play and several dramatic presentations from her novel in and around the  DC Metro area.  Sherryle lives in Charles County, Maryland (DC) with her husband and children.


Bringing to fruition what the Lord allows and the Holy Spirit Endows

http://www.sherrylejackson.com
https://twitter.com/sherrylejackson
https://www.facebook.com/sherrylej
https://www.facebook.com/SherrylesLitWorld/







           
 



 

#PowerRead: The Jubilee Taylor Series by La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson


A Name That Sang
(Book 1 in the Jubilee Taylor Serial Novel)


Meet Jubilee Taylor, a quiet man living in Smith Bridge, Tennessee, one of America's few remaining Black townships. Jubilee spends most of his time in the small dry goods store he runs, playing checkers with his longtime friend, Langston Haynes. The rest of the time he spends trying not to remember the days before he lost most of his hair and his left leg.  

Jubilee's tranquil days are interrupted when Della Jean Martin, descendant of the township's founder, decides to throw a celebration to mark Smith Bridge's centennial and Jubilee's past rides into town on a Greyhound bus wearing a synthetic wig of honey colored curls. 

Readers will find themselves laughing and crying along with Jubilee and the other colorful characters of Smith Bridge.

Buttermilk and Baseball
(Book 2 in the Jubilee Taylor Serial Novel)



What started with tissue paper flowers and a huge banner reading "Happy 100th Birthday Smith Bridge" in "A Name That Sang" has turned into something all together different. There are some things that time and celebrations cannot fix. Could this be the case for Jubilee Taylor and Hannah Jefferson? The past has more questions than answers for Jubilee. Hannah wonders if returning was such a good idea after all. She soon realizes that it will take more than a new wig to come to peace with her past. Find out what brought Jubilee and Hannah to Smith Bridge; a place of both refuge and regret.

Top Customer Reviews

 
In just a few pages, Crosby-Johnson takes readers with her carefully placed words on a visually smooth simulated ride through the town of "Smith Bridge." You will quickly meet current and former residents, identify their triumphs and be amused by their individual quirks. All of whom make their way to a local church to celebrate "Smith Bridge's" 100th anniversary. Crosby-Johnson then leaves you wondering, what such an evening will bring? Will the dynamics shift?...in a room full of such big personalities? Feels like this ride through "Smith Bridge" has some unexpected jolts ahead...Can't wait to find out what will happen next...buckle up! 
 
  
 
I enjoyed this glimpse into the fictional town of Smith Bridge, Tennessee. Crosby does a remarkable job with character and setting. She captured my attention and kept it the whole time. I felt like I was right there in Smith Bridge. I can't wait to find out what happens next. I hope to get a deeper look inside the lives of Hannah, Jubilee, Olivia, Langston, Nan, and Della. I have taken a liking to them all. Looking forward to Book 2.


About the Author
La Rhonda Crosby-Johnson
, educator, writer and Certified Integral Coach is Founder and CEO of BARUTI Enterprises; dedicated to creating and supporting environments for transformation. She was born in Oakland, California and was a product of Oakland public schools before entering San Francisco State University.  She received a Bachelor’s of Social Work in the winter of 1984.  La Rhonda, a much sought after speaker and facilitator, is proud of her almost 35 year career focusing on women’s wellness.  She currently devotes her time to writing and her transformational coaching practice.  Website:  www.barutienterprises.com





           
 


 

The Sisterhood: Exploring Mental Freedom Through Fiction!



From a pioneer in technology and transformation, Nichol Bradford, comes an empowering story, African-American women joining together to fight slavery in the new millennium.  A reinvention of the futuristic action genre, intelligent technology, hot cars and sleek offices are paired with unique heroines, proud black women.  The book, based on a revolutionary premise black female action hero moguls, is called THE SISTERHOOD. Our goal is to introduce Book One  of The Sisterhood Trilogy to 2,000 women! The ebook is available for free downloads!  Please go to Amazon and join our movement by getting your copy today and please tell all of your friends!

THE SISTERHOOD tells the story of what becomes possible when intelligence and hope are channeled into an outrageous mission. Founded by Vivian Delacroix – The Sisterhood is a massive corporation built over decades by black women to support black women & girls wake-up and prosper.
Eventually, their progress is noticed by a ruthless enemy with pawns in the US government and ties to drug makers intent on controlling the world.  The Raptor assassinates Vivian triggering a Homeland Security investigation, a Senate inquiry, and a series of increasingly dangerous events. To survive, the women, led by Chief Security Officer Tonia Rawlings, must fight against unseen forces rushing against all odds to outwit their foes – even as they execute the final stage of Vivian’s secret plan. 
As their enemies draw near, the women risk everything, testing the bonds of faith, marriage and friendship. Along the way, they discover awful truths, make strange alliances and learn why they are the most dangerous women the world has ever seen. Together, they put everything on the line – testing themselves and the limitations the world tries to place on them.

THE SISTERHOOD is more than a book it is also a teaching narrative and a community.  Each of the women represents one of nine leadership traits (discipline, self-knowledge, financial stewardship, service, sacrifice, education, vision, innovation, and entrepreneurship).  In the Sisterhood, how they address challenges to their survival illustrates what is possible with collective action and individual excellence.   The book has great reviews with book clubs like AAMBC and has been a #1 hit on Amazon in African-American Mystery, Thriller and Suspense Fiction.
Nichol Bradford, MBA is the CEO of the Willow Group and Executive Director of the Transformative Technology Lab at Sofia University (transtechlab.org). She has served as a senior executive in video games with responsibility for strategy, operations, and marketing for major brands including Activision Blizzard, Disney, and Vivendi Games. She is a fellow of the British American Project, currently serves on the board of the Brandon Marshall Foundation for Mental Health, and is a former term member of the Council on Foreign Relations.  She has a large social media presence and a community website. http://thesisterhoodcommunity.com


Would you be interested in receiving a copy of THE SISTERHOOD for review? If so, please download a free copy June 23-27, 2016.  After reading the book, please share your feedback in the way of a written review on Amazon.com.  Here is the link to download the book and to view the other 5--star reviews, click here.




 



The Sisterhood: Book One 
Personal Message from Nichol Bradford


I  believe in the power of WOMEN CHANGING THE WORLD. A group of women, who share a vision and who act in unison towards that goal – over years -- is a dangerous, and unstoppable force.  The Sisterhood, is about such a force. Nine women, all friends, band together to build a technology company, to fund a foundation that teaches women and girls to think for themselves, to liberate their minds, and to choose…whatever they choose…consciously.

I’m deeply motivated by the idea that when the mind is free, we are able to get out of our own way and see through society’s limitations on us, and from that position of power we are best able to unleash our gift in service to ourselves and all of humankind.  In that moment, we create choice and options in our lives. This drive for mental freedom for all has run through my entire life – it’s even the “why” of meditation.

Step into your power!   Download the book today.  
https://www.amazon.com/Sisterhood-Book-One-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B006IMLCRE


 


The Sisterhood is for women who want to make a difference with their lives -- women who care about their communities, families, and lives and want to make positive change. The Sisterhood is more than a book, it is also a teaching narrative. Each of the women represents one of nine leadership traits (discipline, self-knowledge, financial stewardship, service, sacrifice, education, vision, innovation, and entrepreneurship). In The Sisterhood, how they address challenges to their survival illustrates what is possible with collective action and individual excellence. They present a powerful illustration of what a group of focused women can do together and the book has been used by women’s organizations worldwide as a model of how women can interact with one another while they create change.

So, who is a woman of the Sisterhood? If you are reading this newsletter then she might just be you. Or maybe she’s the woman who works next to you. From businesswomen to teachers to any profession, any smart and talented woman you admire could be a secret member of The Sisterhood.  That’s part of the fun of the book too – wondering about the women in your life to guess who might be in The Sisterhood already – because maybe it isn’t just a book!






           
 


 

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