Thursday, December 31, 2009

Love Found Me

I am excited about my new inspirational suspense, Love Found Me! If you have not ordered your copies, please do so, and then drop me a line. Best to you and Happy New Years!

Mike Montgomery once lived the American dream. Gainfully employed, beautiful home, and a wonderful loving wife. Growing up in a loving family whose faith was unbreakable was his source of strength. Mike's faith would one day be shaken after losing the love of his life in an unexpected tragedy. Mike thought he would never love again until he meets Sheila Lawson. Everything about Sheila made him want to love again. Could he risk his heart again?

Sheila Lawson, a woman’s health advocate was strong and independent, yet something was missing in her life. Immersing herself in her work, she vowed off any relationships. Sheila would find her self-made decree shaken when she meets tall, dark, and handsome Mike Montgomery. There is an evil lurking in the shadows. Mike and Sheila will have to unite to overcome evil forces trying to keep them apart. Will their love be enough to see them through the testing of their faith?


Nov 20, 2009 Dream 4 More Book Reviews rated it:

Read in December, 2009
Vanessa Richardson delivers an electrifying, undeniable love story between two people who do not believe it is happening immediately before their very eyes and their hearts beating at a rapid rate. Their first encounter speaks for itself.

We first meet Michael and his twin brother, Bryan, and see their agape love for one another regardless of their different lifestyles, paths, and personalities. Then, we see Shelia Lawton, who does not want to go back in the house of God with her bes...more Vanessa Richardson delivers an electrifying, undeniable love story between two people who do not believe it is happening immediately before their very eyes and their hearts beating at a rapid rate. Their first encounter speaks for itself.

We first meet Michael and his twin brother, Bryan, and see their agape love for one another regardless of their different lifestyles, paths, and personalities. Then, we see Shelia Lawton, who does not want to go back in the house of God with her best friend and colleague Rayna Peterson. These ladies met at college and remained friends since. We see Rayna go from graduating in Political Science/Pre-law major to wanting to become partner at Hudson, Fist, and Hudson law firm. Shelia majored in Sociology is now working as a Domestic Violence Counselor.

Vanessa captures the readers attention from the Prologue, where you do not want to stop reading in one-sitting. I enjoyed reading every character in the book, also seeing love electrifying over the emotions and souls of the characters--where I can picture them in my mind as if it is a TV series on Lifetime. I cannot wait for the sequel. This is a must-read, especially if you love inspirational-suspense (or Christian Fiction, Contemporary Romance).

Dream 4 More Reviews,
Adrienna Turner
5 stars--Wooed Us!

I shared this article with Tyora Moody, I wanted to share it here with you! Enjoy.

Author and poet Vanessa Richardson shares her testimony about being diagnosed with a rare disease, Catamenial Pneumothorax. Resources are included after the article.

The year: 1999 – Age: 24 – Am I forsaken?

“Ms. Richardson?”

My name being hailed pulled me from my quiet appraisal of the handsome soap opera star I was watching on the small television in the waiting room.

Standing I approached the X-ray technician and my heart plummeted. In his eyes was that of concern. I recognized the “look” as I often time gave them, when offering comfort to someone in pain.

“Hi. Ms. Richardson?” The technician queried.

I offered a weak nod. I was tired and just wanted to sleep for years. The technician concerned eyes hastily scanning my face should have been an indicator that something was amiss.

“Have you been in a car accident recently?” he softly questioned.

I was shocked by the question. “No. I have not.” I breathlessly replied. Not impart to fear, however. It was a strange occurrence; as of late, I had been experiencing chest pains and could hardly breathe. Talking had become a chore for me and I was exhausted all the time. All these symptoms prompted my emergency room interview with the hospital technician.

“Ms. Richardson you have a collapsed lung.”

Reeling from the announcement, I slumped against the wall in disbelief. I was certain I had misheard him.

“Your right lung is down 100% and it is covering your heart. You must be admitted.”

A bevy of nurses ushered me to a bed. I was given a hospital gown. I was given an IV and was placed on oxygen. All the while, I was in a state of shock and disbelief. I had never been hospitalized in my life. I had a collapsed lung! I was overwhelmed with myriad of questions. How did this happen? Am I going to die? What was the procedure to curing a collapse lung?

I was not in an accident. I do not spoke and I was not heavy into sports. These were all the entities associated with a collapse lung. I was diagnosed with a Spontaneous Pnuemothorax. This is when the lung collapses with no apparent reason. The treatment was a chest tube insertion. My hospital stay was seven days. I would like to say this is where my story ends. However, it was only the beginning. From 1999 to 2005, I’ve had a total of ten chest tubes and a major lung surgery.

My diagnoses changed spontaneous pnuemothorax to that of catamenial pneumothorax. This condition is difficult to diagnose as it is so rare here in America.
What is Catamenial Pneumothorax?

This is when a woman has her menstrual cycle and her lung collapses with in 42-72 hours. About 2%-5% of women suffer from this health issue. Here is when I had to step out on faith. My last recourse was that of a hysterectomy. I was single and had never had children. I felt alone and forsaken. Is it true that good guys finish last? I have no choice in the matter. Should I give up in the face of this great travesty?

The Year 2009 – Age: 35
The Certain Ones: You’re not forsaken. You’re Chosen for Purpose.

At an early age I had made a vow to God to refrain from premarital sex until marriage. I journaled from age 16 until present day. I wrote of how I wanted to one day get married and have kids. So this setback threw me for a loop. Yes, I wanted to have children but I also wanted to be healthy. I was tired of the pain. It seemed I slept and awoke with pain. What was I to do?

Here is my testimony. I did have the hysterectomy. I suffered a loss and dealt with it. The road was not easy for me as I dealt with the issue of infertility. I realized I had a purpose. God’s purpose for me: To encourage women who are experiencing sicknesses and/or infertility. I was tried and emerged dignified. My lesson learned: Happiness is a choice that we make. I decided that I wanted to be happy; so I pursued it. My journey has not been an easy one but I made it. I have written a non-fiction book titled The Certain Ones. The certain ones will find the hidden doors leading to happiness and success. Although I may not be able to physically conceive a child it does not mean I can never be a mother. There are other options. God plans for me were different, yet wonderfully perfect. God knows my name and He knows yours, too!

Resources about Catamenial Pneumothorax
Catamenial Support Group –

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Aspiring Writers: Do Not Sell Your Soul for Publication

Author Stacy-Deanne offers up some great advice for up and cominga author's she was kind enough to let me post it here. Check out what she has to say.

Stacy-Deanne is an awarding-winning novelist of mysteries and thrillers. She's been in the writing industry for twelve years. Her latest novels are published by Simon and Schuster. Stacy was featured in 2006's "Literary Divas: The Top 100+ Most Admired African-American Women in Writing". She was born, raised and resides in Houston, Texas.

I decided to write this article because there is a slight trend that has started to annoy me. I felt it my duty to warn newbies about certain practices and to remind them to use their best judgement. New writers have high hopes and dreams that are easily preyed upon by those with more power or knowledge. This has left many writers heartbroken, depressed and contemplating just how much they should continue their path to publication.

The answer is you should never give up despite any setbacks. I’ve had setbacks, every published author has. Every new writer will. Some things we cannot control but there is a lot that we can. I’ve written this article to remind writers that you have value and you are just as important as anyone else is. I hope this inspires confidence and you take my words as you see fit.

On your journey to publication your eyes will be open to many things. What I’ve listed below are some you might have never thought of but should pay attention to. Be smart, cautious and responsible in all of your choices. You might find yourself in some of the situations I am about to outline below. In case you do, I’ve offered some heartfelt advice.

Never Be or Act Desperate

The main problem with aspiring writers is that they are so desperate to be noticed. This is a very bad thing to be. You never want to be desperate. You should always work hard and create the best book you can, but you shouldn’t ever be desperate for anything. Desperation leads to horrible choices that you’re most likely to regret. Hold onto your confidence, believe in your work and you’ll see you’re good enough to resist desperation.

Be Careful of Agents and Publishers Who Ask for Extensive Revisions Before Offering You A Deal

Be careful of agents and editors who make you jump through hoops before giving you a contract. A lot of newbies are revising their work to the point of no return because of the suggestion of an agent. I’ve known some that have worked with agents and pubs for as long as a year, thinking they were "in the door". At the end they were rejected and to me this is the cruelest kind of rejection there is. It’s fine if an agent or editor gives you tips along with a rejection. But it’s much different when someone makes you believe you will soon be a client or an author on their roster and months later you’re not.

This is a big thing newbies need to recognize and signal out while searching for agents and publishers. Personally, I wouldn’t ever sign with someone who asks me to "change" my entire book before they offer me a contract. That means that they didn’t like my work in the first place. If an agent or editor really likes your work they are going to offer you a contract based on what you’ve sent them period. It’s common to do revisions after you’ve signed a contract but chopping up your work on hope is not smart and is another sign of desperation.

If you find yourself in this situation, you should openly communicate with the agent or editor and make sure they are seriously considering taking you on and get all the details. You need to value your work and if you do not agree with something you should speak up. Do not be afraid that you’ll risk possible agent representation if you don’t act on someone’s suggestions. If an agent really wants to sign you, most likely they would have offered a contract before tying you to obligations. Why would you want to work with someone who led you on for months then dumped you in the end? That’s a sign of how they do business and you might not need that type of agent as your own.

Go For The Best From The Beginning

While searching for agents or editors, don’t be afraid to query the big guys. In fact you should. I also suggest querying the big publishers even if you don’t have an agent. Yes, we all know big pubs don’t want unsolicited manuscripts but believe me, they won’t reject an author if they see talent. If you’ve exhausted your search for agents and want to start querying pubs, go for the best first. Most publishers say "no unsolicited" materials to cut down on traffic. If they find a jewel in their slush pile they aren’t going to ignore it. Sometimes rules can be broken. If you are thinking of doing this, it’s best to find out the name of a specific editor before sending your work. It never hurts to try right? Remember that a lot of big pubs have imprints that do not require agents. Even if you decide to try the publishers on your own do not give up on agents for they can help you build a solid career.

You should have the same mindset when searching for agents. Go for the best and don’t shortchange yourself. Resist that mouthwatering temptation to take "the first offer". Make sure you really want to work with an agent or editor who is offering you a contract. Too many newbies sign up with the first agent who’s interested without any hesitation. Just because they have offered it doesn’t mean they are the one for you. This is why agents call writers before offering them representation. They want to see if you’re a good fit for them. You should do the same. Always remember you have a choice.

You Deserve Respect

If you treat others with respect then you deserve it back. Do not let anyone make you feel afraid to communicate with them or make you feel you need to suck up. Agents and editors are people just like writers with different personalities and emotions. If you are afraid of someone then that is a big sign that you don’t need to begin working with them. You should only work with those who make you feel comfortable and not intimidated.

Publication isn’t owed or rewarded. It’s deserved if you’ve put in the hard work. The same thing goes with respect, kindness and dignity. Do not sell your soul to the devil for publication. Nothing in the world is worth that. You have the right to make a choice. You can say no if you don’t agree with someone or something. You’re a human being just like everyone else. You deserve to get back whatever you give.

You can visit her sites to learn more about her and her books.