Spotlight on Author Vanessa Davis Griggs

An author and motivational speaker who adores the power of words both written and spoken, at the end of 1996 this former BellSouth employee left 18 years of service and stepped out on faith as she pursues her purpose and passion—writing and speaking. A wife, mother of three sons, grandmother of four granddaughters, Vanessa Davis Griggs resides in Irondale, a community just outside of Birmingham, Alabama. Among many recognitions and awards, she received a Certificate of Special Congressional Recognition March 2010 from Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. of Georgia. Her novel Forever Soul Ties was a 2012 RT Book Review nominee and The Other Side of Divine received RT Book Review’s highest recognition of 4.5 Stars, Top Pick! She’s the author of 16 novels: Destiny Unlimited, The Rose of Jericho, Promises Beyond Jordan, Wings of Grace. Blessed Trinity, Strongholds, If Memory Serves, Practicing What You Preach, Goodness and Mercy, The Truth Is the Light, Ray of Hope, Redeeming Waters, Forever Soul Ties, The Other Side of Goodness, The Other Side of Dare, and The Other Side of Divine. She’s also the contributor of 10 devotionals on Self in the Sisters in Faith Bible (KJV).

It is so wonderful to have you with us today Vanessa, we are excited about this interview. You have achieved many wonderful things in your literary career, the most important being giving back the gift God gave to you. Well done, you are an inspiration to me and other authors who strive daily to do the same. We have some questions to ask you, so let’s dig right in madam!

1.   What made you choose to write in the Genre that you write in?

I write what feels most authentic for me and that happens to be fiction with some Christian characters. I’d say that I didn’t really choose the genre as it actually chose me.

2.  What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?

I love to create something out of nothing. Taking words to create people, places, things, activities, etc. is an awesome way to journey. I especially enjoy watching my characters unfold right before my eyes and cause even me to say, “No he/she didn’t!”

3.   What was the first moment you knew you wanted to write?

I loved writing in elementary school. I wrote plays back then. In the sixth grade, I wrote, directed, and produced a play for my class. After that, I would write church plays. I loved to read and I recall after reading Ernest Gaines’ novel, The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman saying to myself, “I would love to write like this!” I think that reading a good book inspires a true writer to want to write and to write well. And reading a bad book inspires a true writer to say “I’m sure I can do better than this” and proceed to work at doing it.

4.   When you write, do you write for a long period of time or do you write in short burst?

When I write, I prefer not to have to stop if I can help it. Yes, I will shut down to sleep and eat, but I try not to even travel during that time. When the flow is going, I don’t like to find myself not being able to keep going as the plot or characters are on a roll. It’s like watching a good show on TV and not wanting the phone to ring, causing you to miss anything or even have to press pause (even if you have that capability).

5.  Where did your inspiration for this book come from?

The Other Side of Divine is the last installment of The Blessed Trinity Series. There were characters with a lot of drama that needed to be addressed such as Gabrielle Mercedes who had fought so hard to become the mother of Jasmine Noble. Paris Simmons-Holyfield finds herself in a mess as does her one-time, co-worker Darius. There are lots of surprises in this novel. I love the response I’ve received from it from the readers, which now also includes an RT Book Reviews 2013 nomination for Best Multicultural Fiction (winners to be announced May 2014).

6.   What words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

If you’re thin-skinned then this might not be the business for you. There are plenty of places for rejection starting from agents to publishers to reviewers and critics to the readers themselves. You need to be true to you and not try to be a copy of anyone else. Learn the craft of writing (which includes spelling, grammar, and the art of writing, using correct techniques) so that you can be on the top of your game. Then be determined to always get better.

7.  What is your favorite character in your book and why?

In The Other Side of Divine, if I had to choose, I would say Miss Esther Crowe. She played a pivotal role throughout this novel. She’s a special kind of person, someone who shows how one person can make a difference in the lives of many.

8.   What is the best book you have ever read?

The Greatest Miracle in the World by Og Mandino

9.   What is your favorite song?

Unwritten by Natasha Bedingfield. I love the words and the meaning behind this song. It speaks about life and how the pen is in my hand. It’s not about writing a book, but about writing your life and the future that awaits you.

10.   What is your favorite musical artist?

Since I was a teenager, I have loved Earth, Wind, & Fire. I love their older works more than the new so far. Their earlier works have always spoken to me in a deeply spiritual and healing way.

11.  What do you hope to say to people with your writing?

My goal is always to encourage. I like to write about real life situations, but to make the reader feel that no matter what he or she is going through, it’s going to be all right in the end. I’m not talking about living in la-la land, but just to give hope and uplift—to being some light in places of darkness. I also love knowing that I may be educating while entertaining. That’s always so much fun for me.

12.   Do you have an official website?

13.   Where can we find you on social media?

Facebook and Twitter

14.   Where can we find your books?

My books are available with all bookstores and booksellers including brick & mortar and online. Also available at Walmart, Target, and some grocery stores.

Check out Vanessa Davis Griggs ‘The Other Side Of Divine’ on

Feed Your Need To Read

Spotlight on Author Candace Shaw

Born and raised under the sunny skies and the whitest beaches in northwest Florida, Candace Shaw knew she wanted to become a writer after she read Little Women in fourth grade. After graduating from the University of West Florida with a degree in Elementary Education, Candace began teaching and put her dream of becoming a writer on hold until one summer vacation she started writing again and hasn’t stopped.

When Candace is not writing or researching information for a book, she’s reading, shopping, learning how to cook a new dish or spending time with her loving husband and their loyal, over-protective weimaraner, Ali. She is currently working on her next fun, flirty, and sexy romance novel.

Candace Shaw thank you for stopping by to visit with us today. I am excited to meet and get to know the romance novels that you write. If you recommend any cook books let me know, I’m always up for cooking something new. Now that we have you for a few, we have some questions to ask you so let’s get right to it!

1.     What made you choose to write in the Genre that you write in?

I love to write contemporary romance novels because I believe in true love and everyone deserves a happy ending with their soul mate.

2.    What was the first moment you knew you wanted to write?

After I read Little Women by Louisa May Alcott when I was nine years, I was inspired and attempted to write my first play like the character Josephine “Jo”  March. I’ve written ever since.

3.   How do you handle bad reviews?

Bad reviews really don’t bother me like they did in the beginning of my career. After the second one I decided that everyone isn’t going to like my style of writing and that’s okay.  So now I sort of laugh at them and go about my day.

4.   When you write, do you write for a long period of time or do you write in short burst?

Both. It really depends on where I am in the book or on my deadline schedule. In the beginning of the book its usually long periods of time because I’m so excited to write the book and trying to get everything out of my head or off of my notes. Then in the middle, I may have a twist I didn’t see coming from my characters or I get stuck and that’s when the short burst of writing happens. However, if its deadline crunch time, I can write all day with little breaks in between.

5.   Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

My favorite character as of now is Yasmine Dubose from the short, free prequel Simply Amazing and the book Only One for Me.  She is the only heroine thus far that has a lot in common with me. She’s a first grade teacher (I taught first grade for ten years), easy-going, bubbly and doesn’t let too much bother her; however, there’s only so much she’s going to take from her significant other, and she’d rather be alone than be treated as if her feelings don’t matter. You’ll have to read Only One for Me to find out what happens.

6.   Who is your favorite author and why?

While I have quite a few favorites including Walter Mosley and LA Banks, my overall is Louisa May Alcott because she’s the reason why I started writing.

7.   What is your favorite scene from the book or why?

In my first book, Cooking Up Love, my heroine, Shelbi Arrington is a food critic who doesn’t really like the hero’s (Justin Richardson) signature barbecue sauce at his restaurant. They get into an argument over the fact she actually wrote that in her critique about her dining experience. She tells him to bottle his arrogant and pompous attitude and then storms out. Later on that evening, Justin stops by her home with new and improved barbecue sauces for her to sample. One of the bottles is empty, but it has a label that says “Justin’s arrogant and pompous attitude.” She finds it cute and forgives him.

8.   What projects do you have planned for the future?

Right now I’m working on the fourth book in the Arrington Family Series, Prescription for Desire which is Dr. Raven Arrington’s book. Her late husband was a police officer who was killed in the line of duty three months after their wedding. It’s now four years later and Raven has pretty much sunk herself into her work. She’s dating but nothing serious and doesn’t want to marry again even though she longs to have a baby. I decided to send her away to medical clinic in Argentina for a few months where she meets Dr. Armand Phillips, a smooth-talking, ladies man who is five years younger than her.  That book will be released in spring 2014.  The last book in the series, My Kind of Girl will focus on the middle sibling, Dr. Sean Arrington, a psychiatrist and his love interest, Traci Jones who is a horticulturist at the botanical gardens.  My goal is fall or winter 2014 for its release.

I’m also excited about the release of my first book with Harlequin Kimani Romance, Her Perfect Candidate which will be released in June 2014 and is a part of the Chasing Love series. The Chase family are cousins to the Arrington family and the heroine Megan Chase was first introduced in The Game of Seduction. Megan is an upcoming interior decorator who is ambitious, career-focused and prefers her single life until she meets Georgia state senator, Steven Monroe. Megan and the sinfully sexy politician need each other in more ways than they realize and embark on a journey that they both want to win.

9.    What is your favorite time of year?


10.   Where is your favorite place to read?

 In my reading rocking chair I’ve had since high school.

11.   What is the best book you have ever read?

Wow. There are so many but one that has always stuck out in my mind is Everlasting Love by Gay G. Gunn.

12.   Coffee or Tea?


13.   Do you have an official website?

Yes, readers can find out about upcoming releases, book excerpts and works in progress at

14.   Where can we find you on social media?

TwitterFacebook Fanpage

15.   Where can we find your books?

 My books are available with Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Kobo, Smashwords and All Romance eBooks.

I’m currently running a sale on the first book in the Arrington Family Series, Cooking Up Love. It’s on sale for 99 cents until February 1st.

Check out Cooking Up Love on Feed Your Need to Read

NanoWriMo Day 17 How to cure your writers block

It’s day 17, National Novel Writing Month is halfway through and heading to the finish line. To all of my daring novelist that took on the challenge and are still going strong, kudos to you! It is no doubt that this journey is a tough one. With any and everything threating to get in your way it’s almost like you must ignore all interruptions and be determined that nothing come hell or high water will stop you. Granted, some things just can’t be helped like say; Thanksgiving? Ah yes, the turkey holiday is coming up and will be a distraction for most of us. Meaning we will have to write twice as much to stay on target. I can guarantee you I won’t be getting any writing done that day.

There is also, Black Friday. Oh yes, it too is coming right behind Thanksgiving and once again you can count me out for writing those two consecutive days. What does that mean for me and maybe you. We must go hard in the paint! (Insert laugh here) I am already writing a head of schedule just to make sure when those days are missed I will still be on target nonetheless. Right now my NanoWriMo stats show I will finished my novel by November 27, 2013. That’s three days before the deadline. Hopefully, (fingers crossed) by the time Thanksgiving gets here it will be saying winner 2013. I would like to be more than a little a head of the game.

This will be my first year winning Nano if I can stick to my guns and God willing I’ll be wearing one of those Nano Halo’s as well (laughing again). For you who don’t know what the Nano Halo’s are, they are around the heads of past winners of National Novel Writing Month and they’re too cute! So far, I’ve gotten over 30,000 words down and I’ve got just around 20,000 to go. God bless me! If you’re stuck in a rut and can’t seem to find the words or inspiration. Check out this video to help you get out of your writers block! Or as I like to call it, writers funk!

Spotlight on Author Azerline Wilson

My story is quite simple, The way I came into writing is after watching years of soap operas on TV and reading countless number of romantic books. I loved How the author made the characters come to life and wanted to create a new world as well. A world filled with love and joy for my readers, so that they too can escape the pressures of life if only for a moment.

Thank you for joining us today Azerline, it is always fab to get to know new romance writers. I’m glad you decided to follow your dream and provide an escape for readers around the world. Now that you’re here we want to ask you some questions, so if you’re ready here we go!

1.   What made you choose to write in the Genre that you write in?

I love everything about romance, the scenery, the smell and how it makes you feel.

2.   What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?

I like the way writing can relieve my stress and take off the pressures of the day, because for a moment I can be whoever I want.

3.   How do you handle bad reviews?

As a learning experience, a opportunity to grow.

4.   Where is your favorite place to write?

Anywhere it’s quiet and I’m alone.

5.   When you write, do you write for a long period of time or do you write in short burst?

I get a thought in my head and it usually leads to a long period.

6.   What words of advice would you give to aspiring authors?

Write what you feel most passionate about.

7.   What is the most inspiring quote you have ever heard?

When you hold on to your history it’s at the expense of your destiny.

8.   What projects do you have planned for the future?

My third book of the series will be out soon called The Wrong Woman 3, The Richard and Allison story.

9.   What do you hope to say to people with your writing?

I want people to enjoy my books.

10.  Coffee or Tea?


11.  Do you have an official website?

My website is

12.  Where can we find you on social media?

I’m on Facebook.

13.   Where can we find your books?

All online bookstores

Check out ‘The Wrong Woman or Is She’ on Feed Your Need To Read

Spotlight on Author Stacy Deanne

Stacy-Deanne (Dee-Anne) is a published novelist of crime fiction, mystery/​suspense, and romantic suspense with interracial subplots. She started writing professionally in 1997 when she was nineteen years old. Stacy grew up loving the suspense genre. Her idols are Edgar Allan Poe and Alfred Hitchcock. Her love for Psycho and many of his movies fueled her fire for suspense.

Stacy´s books include Everlasting (Simon and Schuster, 2007), Melody (Simon and Schuster, 2008), Giving up the Ghost (Peace in the Storm Publishing, 2011) and The Season of Sin (Peace in the Storm Publishing, 2012). Stacy’s books have been nominated for numerous awards.

Thank you Stacy for coming to hang out with us today. We will definitely have to take a look into your books. I personally love romance drama, and suspense novels for I am a sucker for love! Now that you’re here we have a few questions to ask you so let’s get right to it maam!

1.   What made you choose to write in the Genre that you write in?

I write mysteries and crime novels mixed with interracial romance.  My love for these genres comes from the heart. Since childhood I’ve always loved mysteries and suspense. I love the puzzles that these stories present. I love having to search for answers through twists and turns. I love suspense because it’s the element of excitement and tension. I write interracial romance because I’ve always had an interest in it. I’ve always been attracted to white guys and I believe that love does not have a color.

2.   What is your favorite thing about the writing experience and why?

I love writing itself of course. It makes me happy and I don’t think I could ever stop. I love being published because it allows me to share my work with the world. It’s amazing to not only create characters and a whole new world, but to share that with people all around the world. Authors and readers have a connection that can’t be replaced.

3.   How do you handle bad reviews?

I’ve been in the industry a long time and part of being a professional is to realize that not everyone will like my books or my style of writing. So I might get a bit gloomy if the review is tough, but I move on by remembering the people that enjoy my work. Authors gotta have a level of confidence and believe in themselves to make it in this business. One thing I would never do is respond to a bad review. I am totally against responding to reviews, especially bad ones. I wouldn’t want a reader to feel like I am ungrateful. A reader has a right to not like my book and comment on that just like I can do the same for books I read. I realize it’s nothing personal. They are critiquing my work, not me.

4.   When you write, do you write for a long period of time or do you write in short burst?

I usually write all during the day so I stop and start. I write according to how I feel. Sometimes I wanna write in big chunks, but most times I write constantly all day so I write in segments. I usually write two or three scenes at a time.

5.   What is your favorite character in your book and why?

Detective Brianna “Bree” Morris of my current series is my favorite. I’ve grown so close to her since beginning the series. Each time I write a new book starring her I feel like I learn a little more about her. I’ve grown close to her kind of like you would a real friend.

6.   What is your favorite scene from the book or why?

In the latest installment of the Bree and Steven series, The Wild Life, my favorite scene is the one where Bree confronts her estranged father, George. The reason it’s my favorite is because it’s so emotional.  Bree finally gets the chance to tell George how his absence has affected her as a person and a woman. The audience sees more into Bree and can understand why she makes the decisions she makes. It’s a very important scene and I think those that grew up without their father around will relate. This scene not only ties The Wild Life together but it answers questions from previous installments.

7.   What is the worse book you have ever read?

The Catcher in the Rye.  Ugh. I HATED Holden Caulfield. He was so arrogant and obnoxious. The fact that the story was told from his point of view is why I didn’t enjoy it. I also give The Catcher in the Rye the credit for why I don’t like first person books now. I read Catcher in the Rye in school and ever since then I have had a dislike for first person books. No offense to those who write them, but I haven’t read many I enjoyed. I find many first person books told from a character’s POV that’s either arrogant or uninteresting. That was the big issue with Holden. I feel like if you’re gonna do the first person POV then the character needs to be someone folks will wanna hang around with for an entire book.

8.   What is the best book you have ever read?

The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. It’s one of the books that made me interested in suspense. Wilde does a brilliant job of giving up a well-rounded villain in Dorian Gray. I love villains that are three-dimensional and that you have to root for yet dislike at the same time. This is one of my favorite books ever. Dorian was such an intriguing character and Wilde does a wonderful job bringing us into Dorian’s treacherous world.

9.   What projects do you have planned for the future?

Oh I have a lot going on. I have started three short story serials that will be releasing soon in installments. I have two novels coming out in 2014 and another in 2015. Right now I am also working on a new book for a new series and hopefully I’ll be announcing another deal for that one soon. The book I am working on now and the opportunity presented from it was unexpected and I am very excited. So I might have even more work out in 2014. We shall see.

10.   What do you dislike the most about the publishing world?

The industry has some very nice people in it but also some very selfish and hateful people. There are so many people that are willing to step over others to get what they want. What really bothers me is that many times it’s the ones you trust or who you thought were on your side that end up sticking it to you in the end. I recommend to every author to be careful of who they call friends in this industry. For me it’s safer to stay in my own lane and take care of business. I don’t put myself out there because I’ve been burned by so-called friends enough.

11.   Where do you see yourself in five years?

Wow, there are so many possibilities. LOL! I have no idea. I have plans that I am working on now but can’t say how things might end up. I hope that my work keeps rising to another level. I hope maybe there is a TV show made of my current series by then. LOL! Whatever happens, I’ll work hard to accomplish my dreams.

12.     Do you have an official website?

13.     Where can we find you on social media?

Facebook, Twitter, and Mailing list.

14.     Where can we find your books?

My books are available in print and ebook.

The Wild Life Buy Links: Nook and Kindle.

Check out ‘The Wild Life’ on Feed Your Need To Read