LaShanta Charles was born and raised in the small town of Orangeburg, SC. She has always been an avid reader of all genres, but Urban / African American Fiction has always been her true love and is what inspired her to pursue a writing career. In high school, she began letting her classmates read the short stories that she would write and based off of their feedback, her passion for writing pushed her to become a published author. She published her debut novel, Lovely Lies, in 2013 and released the sequel, Lovely Lies 2, in February 2014. Currently she is preparing to release her third novel, Splitting Karma, along with other projects. In recognition of her work, LaShanta was named National Black Book Festival’s 2013 Best New Author and was nominated for 2013 Breakout Author of the Year through the African American Literary Awards Show. Lovely Lies was also awarded Most Underrated Book of 2013 for the Literary Scream Awards.
Welcome to Love Is A Drug, Ink LaShanta, it is so nice to meet you and get familiar with your work! Now that we’ve got your attention for a minute let’s get right into it!
1. Where do you get the inspiration to write?
I draw inspiration from just about anything, literally. For example, I just saw someone eating an apple – my current heroine will undoubtedly love snacking on peeled apples. I’m inspired by my surroundings, which are constantly changing, therefore I change as well.
2. When did you start writing, and was there a significant event that prompted you to do so?
I started writing while in high school, around the age of 15. I remember writing a “story” that literally never ended. I would pass it along to my classmates and friends for them to read and they would be enthralled and begging for more. I like to think that was my first following! I’ve had a beautiful relationship with writing since then.
3. What do you enjoy the most about writing?
I enjoy creation! I love when that tiny spark of embers becomes a full blown raging inferno of 80,000+ words. I love the struggle of developing complex characters. I love filling in blanks within my plots, answering questions enough to give you that “aha” moment, but not so much I give you every single detail and leave nothing to wonder. I love seeing a finished product, a work that I put my heart and soul into, knowing that someone somewhere will either love it or hate it and I’ll be fine either way.
4. What was the hardest part about writing your book?
The hardest part was editing. I wanted to make so many changes (I actually made quite a few); even after my book went to the editor I was still making more changes! Then to receive it back from the editor with critique and suggestions, it was like someone was deciding my newborn baby could only have blue eyes and not brown. It was by far the worst part of it all.
5. What do you like to do when you are not writing? What is your ultimate luxury?
I’m super lazy, so anything that requires physical effort is a no-no! I love to read and I love to eat; and I love to do it all at home alone – no kids, no husband, just me, my food and my books. This can also be applied to different settings such as a beach, an airplane, etc.
6. Tell us something funny about yourself that not a lot of people know about?
Hmm, I sometimes eat a spoonful of flour…can’t believe I’m sharing this! I’m pretty sure there’s some logical explanation for it and I should probably mention it to my doctor, but nope, I’m good.
7. Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
I love interacting with readers, so feel free to contact me and let me know how you’re doing or what’s going on with you!
Taylor Williams didn’t grow up with the loving parents, white picket fence, and a dog. She’s struggled to get where she is and knows that with all she’s endured, life can only get better. At 28 years old, she hails as one of the country’s top divorce lawyers and is ready to slow down and start a family with her husband. The only problem is he shuts her out and has treated her like everything but a wife since the night he came across her and his boss in a compromising situation. In spite of her innocence, she’s determined to make it up to him.
Isaac Warren is bad business; the kind of bad business that requires focus and determination in order to stay alive. It’s also the kind that caused him to shut himself off from serious relationships after the brutal murder of his fiancé three years ago. Now his cold exterior keeps him at bay from everyone except those he considers family and right now that list doesn’t have room for anything more than the occasional tryst and nothing more, especially not with the highly acclaimed lawyer he’s accidentally stumbled upon.
*This novel is only recommended for readers 17 and older*
Today is officially the last day of my November virtual book tour. If you missed it, it’s okay head over to the navigation and click virtual book tour 2014. All the blogs I visited this month are there where you can get info on what went down. I want to thank the blogs that took out the time to feature me this month! I also want to thank the readers who followed me to each blog. If you did you most likely entered in the giveaway! If you didn’t you still have time to visit the blogs but you’ll have to do it today!
This month was also National Novel Writing Month. Now I participated in NaNoWriMo last year but this year I couldn’t get it done. Womp womp womp lol. I know right. I’m always up for trying it again, I will never stop writing and the NaNoWriMo presents a challenge I believe all writers need every once in a while to sharpen up there writing skills. Even though this years challenge didn’t go down the way I’d hoped, all is not lost in writing land. There are so many stories circulating through this head of mine you wouldn’t believe it. I’m convinced I’m going to have to go back to carrying around a handheld tape recorder to make sure I don’t lose one detail of these stories.
So be it! Where there’s a will there’s a way. I hope your turkey day was grand. Hope your Christmas is even better. If you participated in NaNoWriMo tell me how your experience was and if you won! I’ve decided to start doing giveaways right here from this site. I’ll only announce the giveaway on this site and to the subscribers of my newsletter so in order for you to be in on it you’ve gotta stay up to date with me! I’ll let this post be the first! If you’ve never read the Trouble In Paradise series leave a comment on this post and promise to review it and I’ll pick someone to win a copy. That starts right now!
This November I’ll be kicking of my second virtual book tour and my 4th annual NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) for the next thirty days! Participating in NaNoWriMo is already a challenge within itself so being on tour will create an even bigger challenge, but I’m up for it! The virtual book tour kicks off on November 1st at AAMBC (African Americans On The Move Book Club) Join me as I blog hop and discuss the Trouble In Paradise series. Tag along, join the conversation and look out for contest and giveaways!
Trouble In Paradise starts in Memphis Tennessee with the lead female heroine Victoria Mathis packing up her apartment getting ready to move to Chicago Illinois for an internship with Banks Association for Relationship and Family Therapy. Victoria’s boyfriend Joshua Eubanks is traveling with her but first he decides they should have one more rendezvous in the apartment. No sooner then they get on the road Joshua’s ex Danielle Shumaker starts to throw shade their way. Danielle’s made up her mind that if she can’t have Joshua, Victoria can’t either and she flies to Chicago bringing all the drama. Things go from bad to worse as lives are threatened, relationships are destroyed, murder is emanate and new lovers arise.
The drama continues, Trouble In Paradise is a five book series. Part two is titled Vengeful Intentions and part three is titled For Better and Worse. Part four and five are still in the writing process and both are set to be released fall 2015. Tag along with the virtual book tour here. Find out more information about the series here. Visit my Amazon book store here. Visit my Barnes and Nobles book store here.
It’s that time again, For Better and Worse part 3 of Trouble In Paradise is available today on KINDLE! I hope you’re ready because I am! I can’t wait for the official discussion on the third part to this series. I have a feeling it’s going to be fun. To tease you a little bit below I posted an excerpt so once you finish reading it make your way to amazon.com and 1-CLICK!
For Better and Worse an excerpt;
“I’m going to be so fabulous in my wedding dress!” Victoria said, barely able to contain her excitement.
Shay shook her head up and down, “Yes, you are, and I’m going to be so fye in my dress. I can’t wait!”
They were riding down 75 North, going to Marietta. Besides the irritation she was feeling from Danielle’s call, Shay needed someone to confide in. Who better than her best friend? She turned the music down and looked at Victoria.
“What’s that look about?” Victoria asked.
Shay sighed. “I’m pregnant.”
Victoria swerved and straightened the car back on the road.
Shay clutched her seat belt in her hands and frowned at Victoria.
“Is that why you were looking so sour at lunch?” Victoria asked.
“Something like that,” Shay lied.
“Wow, that is big news. This is a good thing?” Victoria questioned.
“Is that a serious question?” Shay asked.
“Girl, you know I’m not trying to have no baby by Dantae. Not yet, anyway. We are not there yet. This relationship is fresh. I don’t want to start it off with a baby, that’s why me and Chelsea’s father are no longer together. When you really get to know someone and money is involved, things get out of hand.”
Victoria nodded, understanding. “Every man is different, honey. Dantae may not be like Chelsea’s dad.”
Shay pursed her lips. “Since when are men different? I mean, don’t get me wrong, not all men are the exact same, but they come pretty close.”
“Well, what did Dantae say?” Victoria asked.
There was a brief pause.. “I haven’t told him,” Shay said, putting it plainly.
“When do you plan on telling him?”
“Who said I was going to tell him?”
“What are you going to do when you start showing? I’m sure he’ll know you’re pregnant.”
There was another brief silence. “I’m having an abortion.”
Victoria’s eyes almost popped out of her head, her mouth hung open, and Shay had to grab the wheel to keep them in their lane.
“Have you completely gone insane?” Victoria asked.
“No, I haven’t. Girl, drive this car before you kill us both!” Shay said.
Victoria got off on exit 265 North Marietta Parkway. She turned left, driving under the highway. At the next light, she made a slight right into an Exxon gas station and put the car in park.
“Shay, why would you do something like that? Don’t you know how much pain you’ll be in after killing your baby? Girl, no! I have never heard you speak like this before, what am I missing?”
“I don’t want to have another baby out of wedlock, I just can’t do it. I have enough on my hands with my two girls. I just can’t raise another child on my own.”
“Shay, you haven’t even given Dantae a chance to prove himself. I mean, I know he can be immature at times, but girl, you have to at least give him the benefit of doubt. Don’t you love him?”
Shay shook her head. “I do love him, but what’s love got to do with it? Is he gone pay for day care, food, clothes, and help raise a child? ’Cause I’m trying to picture Dantae being that guy, and I just don’t see it.”
“Didn’t you tell me he dropped everything to go pick Chelsea up from school when you needed him? So what makes you think he wouldn’t drop everything to take care of his own child? You shouldn’t keep this from him. That would be so cruel.”
Shay was feeling some kind of way about Victoria’s words. She hadn’t told her friend so she could chastise her and make her feel guilty. The decision was made; there was no room for negotiation.
“Forget I brought it up,” Shay said.
“And how am I supposed to do that?” Victoria asked.
“Just don’t worry about it. I can handle my own problems.” Shay folded her arms and stared out the front window.
“Shay, don’t do that. You’re wrong for keeping secrets from Dantae. I thought you guys were starting off on an honest note.”
“Well look who has something to say about secrets. After all the secrets you’ve kept from Joshua, you have no room to tell me what I should keep and what I shouldn’t.”
Victoria narrowed her eyes at Shay. “Oh no you didn’t.”
“Oh yes I did,” Shay said, returning Victoria’s glare. “I thought I could get this off my shoulders, but you making me feel like I’m a little girl with no direction is for the birds.”
“You sure are acting like it. What makes you think I want to hear you talk about having an abortion after I lost my child last year? Are you crazy?” Victoria said.
“This is about me, Victoria, not about you! Why do you always have to make everything about you? I’m sorry you lost your baby in such a tragic way, but for one second, can you think about somebody else for a change?”
“How am I not supposed to think about my child, when you are talking about killing yours?”
Tears formed in Victoria’s eyes and ran down her cheeks. She was feeling very hostile with Shay. This was not the girl she grew up with. Sure, this was about Shay, but she had made it about Victoria when she talked about killing her baby. If Victoria had anything to do with it, Shay would be having this baby.
“I’m not trying to make everything about me. Excuse me if I cannot dig you going and willingly killing your baby! If you do this, I am going to tell Dantae,” Victoria threatened.
Shocked at the audacity of her words, Shay gasped and turned to Victoria. “You wouldn’t,” she said.
“Try me,” Victoria responded.
They stared at each other in a show down, neither one of them blinking. Victoria was not playing with Shay. She needed to smack some sense into her friend real quick before it was too late.
Shay was flushed all over. She opened the car door and got out, slamming it behind her. Mumbling to herself, she took off walking down the street. Victoria jumped out and chased her.
“Shay!” she yelled. “This is ridiculous. Get back in the car!”
Victoria picked up her speed to catch up with Shay. The last time she saw her move that fast was when Danielle was trying to kill them back in Chicago.
Shay was not trying to hear anything Victoria had to say. It was unfortunate that when she needed a listening ear, Victoria had treated her like she was the worst person in the world. That made her want to go crazy. All the crap she had been through with Victoria, all the understanding, all the sympathy she had, and this is what she got. Typical, Shay thought.
Catching up with her, Victoria grabbed Shay by the arm and swung her around to face her. “Stop acting stupid!” Victoria yelled.
“Acting stupid?” Shay said. “Vickie, you better let go of me before I do something I might regret later!”
Victoria folded her arms. “I’m not scared of you, Shay. I will not let you kill this baby!”
“It’s a good thing it’s not your choice then, isn’t it?”
“If I have to tie you down until you change your mind, I will.”
Shay rolled her neck and shot daggers with her eyes at Victoria. “I’d like to see you try that,” she said through gritted teeth.
“Why are you fighting this so hard? If it comes down to it, I’ll help you take care of the baby!”
“Yeah right!” Shay yelled. “Sure, you’ll keep it every now and then, but let’s be real. I stay in Memphis, Tennessee, and you stay in Atlanta, Georgia. It’s not like I can just come knock on your door and drop the baby off. I’m supposed to believe you are going to play the role of baby daddy?” Shay shook her head. “I don’t believe that, and I’m sure you don’t either. Do you help me with Chelsea? How about Dashia?” Shay waited for Victoria to respond. “Exactly, that’s what I thought, but I’m supposed to believe you’ll help me with this one. Girl, boo, get out of here!”
Shay snatched her arm away from Victoria.
“Look,” Victoria said. “At any time, you could’ve asked me for help. You know I would have!”
“How, Victoria? You’ve been too consumed in your own life with all the drama you’ve got going on to even pay attention to anything I’m going through. Then you have the nerve to be judgmental?”
Shay rifled through her handbag looking for her cell phone.
“I’m not being judgmental!” Victoria said.
Shay pursed her lips and rolled her eyes. “Whatever,” she said. She pulled her phone out and dialed numbers.
“Who are you calling?”
“Why don’t you worry about you, since that’s what you’re good at? I never should’ve told you anyway.”
“Shay!” Victoria yelled, but she was ignored.
“Yes, can I have a taxi come to the Exxon off exit 265 please?” Shay said. The dispatcher on the other end of the phone asked for specific directions. “That’s about as much as I can tell you right now, ma’am, I’m not from around here. I’ll flag ’em down when I see the taxi.”
In disbelief, Victoria yanked the phone from Shay’s ear.
“What the…” Shay responded as Victoria hung up the phone.
“Are you for real right now?” she said.
“Does it look like I’m playing with you?” Shay was mad. “You have some nerve, give me back my phone!”
Victoria threw the phone into the street. Immediately, two cars ran over it. They could hear the crush of the phone under the weight of the tires.
Eyes wide, Shay balled up her fist and took a swing at Victoria. She connected with her face just slightly, because Victoria moved. Shay swung again, letting out multiple jabs at her friend. Victoria held her arms up, blocking Shay’s assault, making sure to protect the rest of her face. Waiting for her friend to become tired was taking too long. Victoria finally reached out and grabbed Shay in a bear hug, wrestling her down to the ground.
As I finally put the finishing touches on my book there is sigh of relief. I’m excited, pumped actually this series has been a good one to write. As a writer I not only create the characters and their emotions, I have to deal with them like the reader does. Some characters get on my nerve like Danielle (the nemesis) but I still love them all in their own way. Now I can let them speak for themselves and tell their story and I believe you will love it. I write romance but I take pleasure in knowing that my stories aren’t your typical romance stories. They come pact with much drama, thrills, suspense, obsession and restoration. So along with the new release comes, another round of contest/giveaways so make sure you are subscribed and connected to my newsletter. Only readers who are subscribed can participate in this upcoming contest. If you’ve never read the Trouble in Paradise series then you should get familiar with the characters. Subscribe to my youtube channel to see previous and present book trailers. Coming up this month I’m participating in a black writer’s and bookclubs literacy festival. This event happens September 20, 2014 from 10am to 5pm. This is the original release date for the paperback version of For Better and Worse but the fact is it maybe available sooner! Yay! As for the Kindle and Nook version they will be available September 27, 2014. The Kindle version is available now for pre-order.
Coming out of hibernation, Danielle Shumaker has put behind her the pain and misery she’s caused Victoria and Joshua. Blinded by her selfishness her ultimate goal is still her main one. As far as Danielle’s concerned Joshua belongs to her, always has and always will. No amount of therapy can cure her love addiction and no matter what anyone says she will fight for him, even if she has to kill someone AGAIN.
Wedding bells are in Victoria and Joshua’s future, Victoria is excited to be Mrs. Eubanks. However, when she closes her eyes at night, Greg invades her dreams, the passion and love leaves her wanting more and waking with doubt about her upcoming marriage. How will she get over this man or does she even want to?