Getting to know your Community: A Chat with Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman, Director of The Virtuous Women, LLC

On August 17, I had the opportunity to speak at The Author’s Workshop, a community event held by The Virtuous Women, LLC in Lithonia, Georgia. The event brought together local authors who shared their publishing experiences and why they chose to write with the community. The goal: to inspire those who may have a story to tell but not know how to do it. I met some wonderful people that night and decided to share a bit more about the organization to those of you in the Atlanta, Georgia area who may be interested in joining in future events.

Let me share a little bit about the organizations director, Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman.

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman is a Special Education Teacher with the Dekalb County School System. She currently serves as the Department Chair of the Special Education Department. Dr. Harris-Coleman has over nine years of experience working with special needs students. Prior to working with the school system, she worked for the Department of Juvenile Justice in the capacity of the statewide transfer coordinator where she was responsible for the assignment of students to specific learning campuses throughout the state

TVW Pic

MJ:  Welcome, Dr. Harris-Coleman! I’ve visited your blog site and see the idea for your organization stemmed for a get together with your family. How did that turn into reaching out to the community?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  It went from a chance to get to know the newest member of our family, my sister-in-law, into a big event when one of my sisters who helped plan the party invited over 20 friends. In turn I invited a few people who own small businesses. We had jewelry, massages, and a few more things available for the guest. In the end we had over 60 people squeeze into my home. By the end of the night, people were asking when was the next event. We prayed on the matter and decided to do it again. We found a location to hold it in. Later, I began researching the term ‘virtuous women’ and discovered it had to do with health and wellness, which has become what we strive to promote with each event.

MJ: That is amazing! What is the general message or goal of the organization and how long have you been around?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  We officially had our first event in June 2013 which was on Women and Safety where the Dekalb County female officers came out to share safety tips for shopping, going on vacation, and home. July we did a Taste of Dekalb which featured different food vendors. The latest event was The Author’s Workshop. We are looking to reach more than the men and the women in the community, and strive to provide events that are good for the entire family as well. Our focus is on how to better the whole body, mind, and spirit. Each event is geared towards these themes.

MJ: How does your organization assist the community and its businesses?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  We help small businesses by inviting them to participate in events where their product compliments the event theme. The interaction with members of our organization gives  them the opportunity to test out their business ideas to see if it’s worth pursuing, and if it is, allows them to reach a customer base.

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The Author’s Workshop Participents: (From left to right) Dr. Harris-Coleman, Coach William “Buck” Godfrey, Studio Stefanie, Twala Meju, Earline Buchanan-Pitts, Terrance Ross, M.J. Kane

MJ: What has been your most memorable event?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  The last event held, The Author’s Workshop which was co-sponsored by Barnes & Noble. We had a lot of positive feedback and have been asked by those who were not able to make it ask when the next event will be held. Learning the truth behind why authors write was very touching. It’s not the same as reading about the author on the back of the book. I also enjoyed watching the children’s reactions and how they were in tune with what they learned.

MJ: I must say I really enjoyed being a part of that event and am happy you invited me to participate. You know I will happily do it again in the future! Are you looking for volunteers? If so, how can they get in touch with you?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  We appreciated having you! And yes, we are always looking for volunteers! Those interested can call  404-820-9210, or reach me by email at beverly@thevirtuouswomen.com. We need volunteers to assist with vendor set up, signing up potential members, and greeting members at events. Communicating with members and vendors between events would be a huge help as well.

MJ: You host events monthly and feature the calendar of events on your webpage. How can a vendor or someone interested in becoming a member find out more information?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  Visit the website for detailed information for membership and to sign up as an event vendor. We encourage people to become members for as little as $10 per month. We have been hosting one monthly event, but are looking to do events twice a month. Joining as a vendor gives you the option to host an event at the location as well. Keep an eye on the calendar to keep up with the events. More information is available on the website, or people who are interested can contact us by phone or email for more information.

MJ: Are you looking for sponsors?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  Yes! Anyone interested can contact me at the above information.

MJ: What is the next upcoming event and how can people find out more information?

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman:  In September we will be focusing on relationships. We have been blessed to have Life Coach Robin May come and speak to the group about Women and Relationships. We would like to incorporate vendors that are geared towards the event theme; so again, anyone interested can contact us via email or call.

MJ: Dr. Harris-Coleman, it has been my pleasure speaking with you today, and I applaud what your doing to strengthen the community, and look forward to participating in future events. 

Dr. Beverly Harris-Coleman: Thank you for having me!

The Next Community Event:   

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

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#WriterWednesday- New Release- A Woman’s Worth by Chicki Brown

AWW REVISED FINAL COVER - Facebook size

School media specialist, Gianne Marvray, has been through the worst two years of her life physically and emotionally. After a battle with cancer and all it entails, she is finally ready to start living her life again. She wants to see new places, meet new people and experience new things, but she isn’t ready for the rollercoaster ride she’s about to embark on when she meets Las Vegas personal trainer and raw vegan foods advocate, Marc Stafford.

 After a four year absence, Marc comes home to Atlanta to attend a family celebration in one of his brother’s honor. He’s not thrilled about seeing his father, but he has promised his mother that he won’t throw off the family balance by being the only one of their six sons absent. All Marc wants to do is make an appearance at the event and spend a little time with his brothers. Little does he know that this is the night he will meet the woman who will forever change his life.

 EXCERPT:

“I wasn’t aware that you and Marcus knew each other,” Dr. Stafford said, eyeing his son from where he stood in the kitchen that opened into an enormous family room with an equally enormous fireplace facing floor-to-ceiling windows.

“We just met today, Daddy,” Marc said, giving an anxious glance into the spacious room beyond the kitchen. The two toddlers had made themselves comfortable on either side of a woman Marc introduced as Ramona, Vic’s wife. Heat filled Gianne’s cheeks when Ramona looked her up and down and said, “My God, she’s gorgeous, Marc.”

Gianne wondered why he didn’t bother to tell her they weren’t a couple, but he merely said, “And that’s coming from a former Miss Georgia. She’s responsible for giving old ugly Vic these cute kids.”

“Marc’s here!” Nick announced and almost a dozen pairs of eyes focused on them. Two equally good-looking men rose from the sectional sofa and rushed over to meet her.

“These are the two you haven’t met, Greg and Nick. Gentlemen, I’d like you to meet Gianne Marvray.”

She scanned the three men before her and silently thought that the fineness quotient in this one room was off the charts.

“Whoa. You’re looking real Vegas, man,” Greg said, giving the hair draping over Marc’s collar a playful flip.

Gianne didn’t miss the way Marc drew back with a quick jerk before he said, “Well, we’re a little more relaxed out west.”

Dr. Stafford shook his head and groused, “Too relaxed, if you ask me.”

Marc’s mother reached up and patted his cheek. “I love his hair long. It reminds me of when he was a little boy.”

“And people always mistook him for a girl,” Dr. Stafford mumbled.

His father’s comment seemed strange to her, since it was clear Marc had him to thank – or blame – for the wavy hair, only Dr. Stafford’s was cut short and brushed back from his face.

The air in the room crackled with a confusing mixture of love, admiration, jealousy, disappointment, and hurt feelings. Gianne couldn’t wait to learn more about them.

 Amazon     Nook

Coming soon to Kobo and Smashwords!

 

***Enjoy the sample! Let Chicki know by leaving a comment and you just may win a free copy of the book! ***

About the Author:

Shades of Romance Magazine 2011 Author of the Year, Chicki Brown has published six novels and one novella, all of which have made different Kindle bestseller lists.

A voracious reader since she was a child, Chicki grew up in New Jersey reading everything she could get her hands on. Now she concentrates on romance, women’s fiction and suspense.

Mother of two and grandmother of five, Brown was born and raised in New Jersey and now calls suburban Atlanta, Georgia home.

She can be found at any of the following sites:

Blog     Pinterest     Twitter     Facebook

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!  If you’ve enjoyed this post, sign up for the monthly newsletter by following this blog!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook    Pinterest     Instagram  Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

#WriterWednesday- Interview with Author Untamed!

 I met Author Untamed during book signing at my local mall and had to introduce her to you. It’s always a pleasure to support my fellow authors!

Untamed author pic

Welcome, Untamed!

What inspired you to write?

I was given a poetry assignment in middle school and I found it as a great way to release my emotions. From writing poetry, I began to develop short stories and eventually novels.

What genre do you write? Did you choose it, or did it choose you?

I write a variation of urban fiction which at its core is urban however it has elements of comedy and what I’ve heard of as a “slice of life” or real-life genre. I also write dramas and erotica.  All of my writing chooses me. I always write what it’s in my heart and my characters tend to take a life of their own so I let them go wherever they choose.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

 Hectic! I usually write early in the morning or late at night.

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

My character’s voices. I tend to allow my characters to have very distinct personalities and speaking voices. I’ve found it helps the readers connect closer with the characters of their choice.

Are you a pantser or plotter?

As an author, I feel as though you have to be a little of both because you have to at least know what you’re going to write about and develop some characters, scenarios and plots, but stories do tend to deviate from the original plan. As for me, I think I’m more of a plotter and my characters are the pantsers lol! I have a vision and then they go wherever.

Are your stories based on experiences based on someone you know, or are events in your own life reflected in the characters/stories you write? Can you share and example?

For the series I have out now, it is a combination of my personal experiences, people I know and situations that you hear about from day to day. For example, my books Never Again…No More and Never Again…No More 2 are about ladies who were teen moms and I was a teen mom.  My other novels are strictly pieces from the crevices of the mind of Untamed.

Do you have any suggestions to help new authors become a better writer? If so, what are they?  Once you’ve written your masterpiece, edit, edit, edit then get someone to edit and then have another editor check your edits and your editor’s edits.

Are you self-pubbed, indie pubbed, or traditionally pubbed?

 I am traditionally published through One Karma publishing.

What are your current projects?

Currently, I am editing the next book in my series.

Connect with Untamed on the following links: 

Twitter     Facebook     Goodreads     Library Thing     Blog/Website     Email

Book cover

Born and raised in Atlanta, Lucinda, LaMeka, Charice, and Trinity are best friends with very similar backgrounds. They have all fallen victim to the perils of teen pregnancy. After each one becomes love struck to the bitter end; they realize that their dreams, ambitions, and planned future must be put on hold. While they struggle to find themselves, each one tries to survive in the game called life. Once they find out that their consequences are a little costlier then they imagined, it’s the decisions they’ve made that creates their troubles.

BUY your copy today!

Amazon     Barnes & Noble     One Karma Publishing     Authorgraph

 

About the Author:

Untamed is an urban fiction author working for One Karma Publishing Company. She lives in her home state of Georgia with her devoted husband of twelve glorious years, three beautiful and spirited children, and an insanely loveable dog named Rocky.

Untamed first found a love of writing as a young child through her love of reading. It was the novel entitled, Coming of Age by Lorri Hewitt that truly inspired Untamed and became the flame that ignited her introduction to the pen and pad.

Untamed’s writing journey began twenty years ago at thirteen years old with poetry, spoken word and short stories. Throughout her high school and college years, she received many accolades for her writing ability to include the Coca-Cola Young Writers Award and honorable mention in the Sandhills Writers’ Conference.

Later, she began to develop her writing talents as a novelist due to her own personal life experiences. Best known for her gritty yet flavorful language, she embraced urban literature to bring about knowledge and support through real life, every day stories with highly animated and lifelike characters. Her powerful words and straight up, no-chaser verbiage delivers punches that will leave you screaming for more.

Writing is a passion to Untamed, believing that everyone has a story to tell, she proudly writes stories that not only entertain but relates to the readers on a very personal level.

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Thank you for stopping by! I love to make new friends. Got questions or comments? Leave a comment, or connect with me online!

MJ

About Me     Twitter     Facebook     Google+      Goodreads     Linkedin     Email

 

Thursday Feature: Never Again No More by Untamed

Book cover

Contemporary Fiction/Teens

Born and raised in Atlanta, Lucinda, LaMeka, Charice, and Trinity are best friends with very similar backgrounds. They have all fallen victim to the perils of teen pregnancy. After each one becomes love struck to the bitter end; they realize that their dreams, ambitions, and planned future must be put on hold. While they struggle to find themselves, each one tries to survive in the game called life. Once they find out that their consequences are a little costlier then they imagined, it’s the decisions they’ve made that creates their troubles.

BUY your copy today! 

Amazon     B&N     Authorgraph

Untamed author pic

Abour the Author

Untamed is an urban fiction author working for One Karma Publishing Company. She lives in her home state of Georgia with her devoted husband of twelve glorious years, three beautiful and spirited children, and an insanely loveable dog named Rocky.

Untamed first found a love of writing as a young child through her love of reading. It was the novel entitled, Coming of Age by Lorri Hewitt that truly inspired Untamed and became the flame that ignited her introduction to the pen and pad.

Untamed’s writing journey began twenty years ago at thirteen years old with poetry, spoken word and short stories. Throughout her high school and college years, she received many accolades for her writing ability to include the Coca-Cola Young Writers Award and honorable mention in the Sandhills Writers’ Conference.

Later, she began to develop her writing talents as a novelist due to her own personal life experiences. Best known for her gritty yet flavorful language, she embraced urban literature to bring about knowledge and support through real life, every day stories with highly animated and lifelike characters. Her powerful words and straight up, no-chaser verbiage delivers punches that will leave you screaming for more.

Writing is a passion to Untamed, believing that everyone has a story to tell, she proudly writes stories that not only entertain but relates to the readers on a very personal level.

Connect with Untamed on the following social sites:

Twitter     Facebook

Look for my interview with Untamed next month!

MJ