What Lies Ahead in Spring-Summer 2017

So many ideas, so little time. I can’t even begin to predict how the next several months will go, but I have high hopes and several things I’d like to accomplish. For starters, my second book, Sunlight, Coffee & Roses (SC&R for short), has turned into something totally different from what I had initially thought it’d be. Instead of a collection of short stories, it is blossoming more into a novel. I went through a serious period of writer’s block, especially after I finished Reflection in the Music. Then again, I’m not sure I’d call it writer’s block. I was just tired. The experience of writing and self-publishing was more emotionally and mentally and physically draining than I had anticipated. Add to that my everyday responsibilities and I had to take a step back from working on my second book and even updating this blog as frequently—I never stopped writing, though. What’s funny is I’ve had ideas for all types of poems, short stories and other books, but couldn’t seem to sort out my thoughts for SC&R. I had a deadline that I set for myself to finish this book last November, but as it is April, I’ll just take my precious time and aim for mid-summer. That seems like an appropriate time for a title such as Sunlight.

I am continuing to update my book review blog, http://letarawritesbookreviews.wordpress.com with more book reviews. My goal with that is to do what I already enjoy doing, read books and talk/write about them, and also help some really awesome authors gain exposure. Be on the lookout for more reviews and great authors in the near future!

As a result of the most recent review I published, CoEd by James Fant, I was able to make a new author/blogger friend who was also kind enough to leave some feedback on my book. Check out what he had to say:

I enjoy reading stories about friendship as a friend is truly a precious commodity. The group Whodini recorded a song called Friends and the chorus sings, “How many of us have them?” If you are blessed to have a friend, just one true friend, then you are rich. But if you have two or more people that you can truly call friends, well you are in another tax bracket all together. You’ve struck oil, found gold. Reflections in the Music, a Novella by LeTara Moore, deals with friendship between three women. Will their treasure appreciate over time? Or will it depreciate under the immense pressures of life?

The novella introduces Pea, Sherri and Melissa and gives you a sense of their personalities as well as their interaction and growth, which is basically the crux of the story. I loved the way LeTara referenced music in her prose. I pulled up Minnie Riperton’s Inside Me as I read because Melissa was listening to it. Then the story led me to another Riperton tune: Baby This Love I Have and I realized two things – 1) Q-Tip of A Tribe Called Quest sampled Minnie Riperton heavily, and rightfully so because her music is dope and ahead of its time; and  2) LeTara Moore is a music head just like me! She teaches readers about the history behind Purple Rain, the movie and album. I never knew that Vanity was supposed to be the leading lady (although I’m glad things worked out like they did because Apollonia…good gracious! Apollonia!!!). The novella motivated me to learn more about R&B history.

I loved the friendship between Pea, Sherri, and Melissa. How they come together in times of need (even when that need isn’t explicitly expressed…no spoilers). I also loved the way that LeTara didn’t try to end things with a neat and pretty bow. We may not like to admit it, but sometimes things don’t end neat and pretty. They end how they need to end, I guess. Hopefully with people gaining strength and insight and learning from their mistakes.

I would’ve liked to see more dialogue in the story. There were long blocks of narration that I believe could’ve been relayed differently via the characters actually speaking to each other. Also, I wanted to see a deeper development of each character. However, this is a novella so perhaps the length constrained the space necessary for LeTara to dig deeper into why Sherri was so vain, why Melissa was such a prude, and why Pea would be reluctant to tell a special man in her life something vitally important. Maybe Ms. Moore will expand each story in subsequent novels. If so, I’d love to read each expansion.

https://jamesfantbooks.wordpress.com/2017/03/24/reflections-on-friendship-review-of-letara-moores-reflections-in-the-music/

As always, thank you so much for your continued support. The likes, shares and comments are greatly appreciated and give me so much encouragement to keep moving forward.

Fall/Winter Goals, Books, Updates

Hello to my beloved readers! My post frequency so far this month hasn’t been on the same level as previous months, but I’ll continue to post new material at least weekly. In my self-publishing/blogging journey so far, I have learned so much and taken on more than I realized I was capable of handling. I spent a considerable amount of time promoting my blog before I published Reflection in the Music, but when it came time to really start pushing and focusing on the book, the majority of my time went into self-promotion, which totally wore me out! Let me say, when you’re trying to network and read other blogs/books/articles and leave feedback and share/retweet/repost you can quickly lost track of time and not have any time left to work on your own projects, if you’re not careful. So for the past couple of weeks I’ve been mentally trying to regroup and focus on my next project I plan to release in the coming weeks, Sunlight, Coffee and Roses.

This next book is a collection of short stories and poems, which I’ve been building up for the past few months, but as I sit down to arrange and edit the stories I’m finding that I’m not as satisfied with them as I initially thought and feel the need to write totally new material. It’s probably just me adding unnecessary stress onto myself and the stories are great just the way they are. Still, I had intentions of releasing this book at the beginning of October. It is now mid-October, which means I’ve missed my self-imposed deadline. If I had made it, that would’ve meant that I released two books at roughly the same time, which was a tall order. LeTaraWrites is a one-woman show and my title aside from indie author and blogger is also mom and employee, so time is a commodity I must use sparingly and accordingly. I have early to mid-November in mind for the potential release date, which I have every intention of making. My goal is to have both books published by the end of the year and I’m halfway there.

I’ve also begun work on a project I intend to release in early spring 2017 entitled Drive, which you can read a few samples by going to the category entitled ‘Drive’ on the side of the page if you’re viewing this on a computer—you’ll have to scroll a little ways towards the bottom of the page if you’re viewing this on a mobile device. It’ll be my first novel, as Reflection in the Music is a novella—a short novel, and I’m sure it’ll be even more torturous to write than my first book was. Call me a masochist, however, because I wouldn’t have it any other way. The writing is actually the easiest part, of course. The real torture comes in the publishing arena; designing my book covers, designing the book interiors, finding test readers, expanding my social networks, etc.

I have a slew of ideas for books to keep me busy for quite some time and I look forward to seeing how those seeds blossom. I also look forward to the day when this blog is no longer only a labor of love, but that I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. I spend about as much time maintaining this blog and creative writing as I do working my job, but that’s what you do when you want to pursue your dreams. Although it certainly is work, it is work that I can easily get lost in because it is something I care about. It is work I don’t mind doing because I feel as though I am putting my talents of which I am aware to use, as well as discovering new talents I never knew I had. Ultimately, that’s what this is all about. I’d love to get rich from writing, but experience is what I value more than monetary gain—though I’m definitely trying to earn a living, make no mistake.

As I push forward, I take with me the feedback I’ve received on Reflection in the Music so far, which has been mostly positive, and I create more work for you to consume. I’ve been praised for my character development and my ability to project my characters and ideas, which is what I was aiming for. I love a good character-driven book, and that’s exactly what I strive to create: characters that readers can get to know and relate to.

Just because I’ve been sharing these on all of my social media sites, I feel it is definitely appropriate to share them here—screenshots of feedback I’ve received from various parts of the web about Reflection in the Music. Feel free to check out the excerpts I have posted and order your digital and/or paperback copy if you feel moved to read the rest of the story.

Reflection in the Music e-book – $1.99

Reflection in the Music paperback – $9.99

I’ve said it in previous posts, I’ll say it in this post and I’ll say it in future posts: Thank you for taking the time to read anything I write. Thanks especially to those who purchase anything I create. You don’t have to invest your time and you certainly don’t have to invest your money into me or my work, but I am so grateful that you have for I cannot succeed in this without you. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Jump Into the Equinox

From the book Sunlight, Coffee and Roses:

Beads of sweat rolled down the side of her face and instantly cooled her when the crisp autumn breeze kissed her face. It was the first day of Autumn. The season of her birth as unpredictable as she was, when the weather would some days mimic summer and other days confuse her mental calendar because of the cold. She could sit back and admire the beauty of death as the leaves on the trees changed colors and fell to once more become one with the earth and fertilize the next season’s blossoms. More

My Current Book Release

I’ve chosen to take a more difficult road, forgoing selling my books through the major retailers and instead selling them directly. It is for both financial and personal reasons I have chosen to do this. For one, I want to have as much creative control over my work as possible. Secondly, I’d like to have as close of a connection to my supporters as I can over the internet. By selling my books direct, I know a little about who buys my work and the people who buy my work know a little something about me. My eBooks are available as .epub and .pdf and my paperbacks will be autographed. Hopefully, if you have decided to invest in my career, you’ve already had a chance to read through some of the pieces I have published on this site and are familiar with my style. FYI, I like to say a lot in a few words, so you can expect my books to be quick but powerful reads. If you’re a member of Goodreads and you’ve read anything written by me, please leave a review or leave a little feedback in the comments below. Are you ready to buy? Just click on the link below to visit my bookstore or visit the My Books tab to order a paperback.

http://payhip.com/letarawritesbooks

My current eBook release: Reflection in the Music

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Download for $1.99

Purchase the paperback for $9.99

Melissa is lost and hasn’t the first clue of where to find herself. Pea can’t let go of her past mistakes, which is suffering her present and future. Sherri thrives on her vanity, but even the most vain finds herself falling short. Jane just wants to start over and make amends, but how does one mend a broken heart? Life has a funny way of connecting the lost and confused. Some mistakes are meant to be made and some wounds aren’t meant to be healed. Some wounds don’t want to heal. Despite the shortcomings and differences, these ladies find themselves all singing the same tune. Beauty, passion, art, fear and love all had their hands in the composition of the ladies’ song—a song that reveals the deepest layer of each one’s being.

Read excerpts here.

To view my other books click here.

Upcoming Projects September/October 2016

I’ve been writing since I can remember. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the idea of writing full-time and potentially being a starving artist. I strayed away, but I couldn’t stay away. Some days ideas fill my head and I can’t function until I pick up a pen and a sheet of paper. I officially had my first novel idea in 2012. I started, wrote more than 20,000, then let life get in the way. I’ve written some other things since then; blog posts, SEO articles as a ghostwriter, poetry and short stories. Last year I became fed up and engaged in much prayer and reflection to figure out what the heck I was doing with my life and what kind of example I was setting for my young daughter. One year ago in October I got the wake-up call and opportunity of a lifetime that prompted me to take steps towards using my natural-born talents as a writer. Should I pursue slam poetry? Maybe I should start a blog. I already had blogs that I had abandoned…why start another? Maybe I should just get back into the habit of writing, period. Well, it seems only fitting to announce the release of two completed projects during the month that I officially began my literary pursuit. The first is my debut novel (technically a novella) Reflection in the Music. Here’s a little synopsis: More

Taste

From the book Sunlight, Coffee and Roses

It was calling my name. So I got it. Bite after bite I just couldn’t get enough. It took me to a place of euphoria. A high which cannot be described for there was nothing to compare to. That kind of feel good that melts in your mouth but not in your hands. That kind of feel good that leaves you feeling guilty. That kind of feel good that you must sweat out to rid from your body the remnants of its essence. It consumed me as much as I consumed it. Without it I experienced withdrawals. I was addicted. It had taken over my life. It was my best friend and my worst enemy. It had to be off limits to me because he it wasn’t mine to consume. He It was not a part of my budget/caloric intake. He It was so good to me…but not good for me. But here I am with it instead of him. Spoonful after spoonful. Trying to satisfy a hunger with something not suited to satisfy it. Close, but not quite.

sunshine-coffee-roses-cover-1-resized-1800x2700-09-12-2016

Pre-order the paperback

Craving

Enjoy the View

From the book Sunlight, Coffee and Roses:

In and out. Inhale. Exhale. She stopped and opened her eyes. She had pushed herself to her physical limits by running as fast and for as long as she could until her body would no longer allow her to move. It started as a simple power walk around the neighborhood and progressed into a jog. Before she knew it, she was lying in grass in a park on the other side of town. There was something liberating about her daily walks. Some days she felt the urge to take off running. On this day she did. Her feet hurt. Her thighs tingled. Her heart pounded so hard in her chest she thought it would burst. It felt like her breath would never be restored. So she lay there. Staring up at the sky. Appearing to passersby as someone simply admiring the clouds on a partly sunny day. In reality, she knew she had done exactly what she should not have: moved too fast. As her senses calmed, she learned that if she knew nothing else, she knew her limits. Always being one to rush into things, she jumped headfirst into jobs, relationships and broken promises. Still, lessons went unlearned. Patience is a virtue, or so she had heard. Stop and smell the roses. Enjoy the view. She had ran so fast and so hard beyond what she was capable of doing. Not only testing the waters, but drowning in them. Now she had no choice but to enjoy the view.

Slowly

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