Thursday, January 19, 2017

Lessons on Book Covers and The Book Industry Part One

There once was an aspiring model. She studied the icons, such as Naomi Campbell and Tyra Banks. She dreamed of her face being everywhere and waited for the opportunity.

While she waited for her chance at fame, she took tons of selfies. She took so many selfies that she had pictures for days. Professional headshots? She didn't need one of those because they were all over her social media and in photo albums in her home. Finally one day a company needing a model for their brand new watch was scrolling through Instagram when she saw her photos. She was perfect for them. They called her in, took several photos of her wearing nothing but the watch, and then paid her.  She was excited because it was her first official chance at being a model and the company was excited because after putting together the ad for the watch, they would sell the photos to a stock photo company.

Actually I don't know the story of the model behind the photo. However, I knew that the perfect person to be on the cover of my own book was me. I also knew that deep in my heart it was a bad idea to listen to anyone else that was trying to change my creative vision without knowing my creative vision. I let someone talk me into changing the cover of my very first book, Woman Manifested: A Poetic Tale, anyway. They promised me that the cover was what was keeping the book from reaching a larger audience.

Numbers afterward determined that was a lie. Changing the cover did nothing for the sales. I still had to hustle the same as before to get the book in people's hands. I had to convince my friends how important it was to actually support me by purchasing and reading the book. Only a few did and it had nothing to do with a cover. I had to convince my family members to help me move a few books. Surprisingly a few people I've been associating with alone purchased, but again that had nothing to do with the cover. They purchased because they saw a brand new struggling entrepreneur taking a leap into a new world. The only people who actually loved the cover was the person the put the book's name on the photo, his girlfriend, and some random woman online that kept saying the girl in the photo was pretty. The random woman loved the cover, but not enough to buy the book.

Now that I have that rant out of the way, people's reactions were not why I changed my photo back to the original one with me in my club dress and a blue drink. I changed it back because 500 other people were using that same girl as the cover of their books too. Not one, not two, but somewhere around 500 people have been convinced that this beautiful brown skinned woman is the best possible person to put on the cover of their very uniquely written books. Okay, I'm exaggerating a little on the amount of times I've seen her face on someone's cover, but it's still way too many times.

Now when it was first discussed that I use the photo, I was told that it would be more appealing to people. Now I'm realizing it only appealed to other writers.

I guess you can say this post is a continuation of a re-introduction of myself. Hi, I'm an established online author. With a tedious work schedule that helps pay my bills, I've been branding my books on the world wide web. People ask for realness and that's what I give to them in my writing. I've learned in the last year that authors are paying for book covers that millions of other people are already using,  paying for reviews from people who don't even read the books they talk about, and paying for ads on websites that people don't even bother to click on. Oh, and after all of that they still struggle because writing is not one of the more highly appreciated arts in today's society.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Less Than 24 Hours...

A week ago I did something out of the norm. I replied to a Facebook message from a man and agreed to meet him.

It all started on a Tuesday night when I screenshot a post where a Facebook friend described wanting a relationship where her man talked highly of her like Barack Obama talks about Michelle Obama. I posted the screenshot in two groups. In one of them I received likes. In the other some guy responded about how not all women deserve that treatment. Somehow my replying to his comment led him to comment on some of my pictures and request me. After sending the request he started messaging me. The message led to exchanging phone numbers. Then we started talking on the phone.

Honestly it happened so fast. He was commenting, complimenting, and I barely said anything back. I had glanced at his pictures when he first commented on the post. He wasn't my type look-wise, but looks aren't a deal breaker. After exchanging numbers, we immediately started talking. He had a lot of questions. It was like he was trying to get to know everything about me in a matter of seconds. He was saying so much that before I knew it he was talking me into meeting him the next day.

After getting off the phone my head was spinning, but before I could think straight he was texting me.  Like any other hormonal male, he wanted a picture but I shut that down and didn't think much of it. Instead the text conversation ended and I put him out of my mind until the next morning.

I woke up to one of those good morning texts. It seems like every man feels the need to send those texts as soon as they meet a woman so I wasn't shocked. I replied back to it because it's nice to do so. However, a few hours later he was asking if I was available at a certain time to do lunch with him.

Remember how I said he tried to slip in the nude photo request the night before? Well, the lunch date was okay until the very end. We met at a place called Hobbit Cafe. He looked just like his online pictures. I didn't feel good or bad about the eating part. It was enjoyable to eat somewhere new. Afterward he wanted to go for a short walk. That was okay too. I didn't feel a spark with him, but I enjoyed the company. Then it was time to say goodbye.

Instead of just saying our goodbyes and leaving, he wanted a hug. I said okay to the hug, but instead of a regular ass hug he picks me up like a father picks up their kid. It was weird as hell and I was absolutely ready to get away from him.

Even though I enjoyed the date, I was tired of him for the moment but he didn't get the memo to give me time. A few hours later he was texting me. In the text conversation he brought of the awkward hug where he picked me up. I said it was uncomfortable, but he thought it felt just right. Then he was calling me soon afterwards.

In that last conversation he did most of the talking. I was tired of talking for the moment, but I didn't feel like being rude until he asked the weirdest question.

This man asked me if I shave. Then he went on to talk about waxing and how he shaves his balls and he prefers a woman that shaves her area. I was shocked and excused myself off the phone soon after. Even though I went into an awkward silence at first, he never noticed. He just kept talking.

Okay, about the sex question some people say a woman knows if she's going to have sex with a man as soon as she meets him. But I've learned that a woman's mind can change the longer she gets to know a man, so its best not to jump to conclusions right away.

Soon this will feel like a figment of my imagination because the guy blocked me on Facebook. Maybe he was embarrassed that I didn't feel the same way as him emotionally, maybe he just wanted sex, or maybe I did something wrong that he didn't mention.

But this was all in less than 24 hours. I'm actually glad I went. I needed a man, any man, to help me get my feet wet in the dating pool again. He was my start. I hope he's not my end for 2017. Would you have accepted a date so soon?

P.S. I'm an established author now. Make sure you purchase my books Woman Manifested: A Poetic Tale and This Is For The Lover In You on Amazon now.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

The Final Lie ( Searching For My Star's Book Feature)

Author Obsession has completed her Love Ain't Shh Series with The Final Lie. First there was Cracked (Book One) which featured a beautiful woman in an unrepairable marriage and a split personality looking for revenge on the people who ruined her happy home. Then came Secrets In His Closet (Book 2), which contains more broken relationships that'll leave your mouth open. Before we fully taken in the intensity of the first two books, The Final Lie will be available in February. Read the excerpt below and prepare your mind for this good book that is coming soon.

Excerpt from The Final Lie  

It always begins and ends the same. She comes home after being away for over twenty-four hours. I ask questions that I already know the answers to. She changes the direction of the conversation to something more comfortable for her. I press on because I refuse to be deflected from what weighs heavy on my mind. She curses my life; I bite my tongue; she walks away, smug with the illusion that she’s in control, and I… I tame the fire; never releasing the smoke. Never exploding, until today. Today, she has made me a killer.

“Look at me.”

Her lip trembles. “No.”

“Look… At… Me!”

“No! I can’t!” She fixes her eyes on her rapidly rising breast. They are large, perky and distracting, which makes all the difference now. I am going to kill her, and she knows it. She can feel it in her bones. Her promiscuous ways have finally caught up with her. I love my wife, but she is a slut, and I am fed up with it.

“I asked you nicely, so now I’ll help you,” I say, grabbing her by the chin and forcing her to glare up at me. I make sure to lean close enough for her to see the ache in my eyes. I am hurt, tired and past a breaking point. Her facial expression says, I’m sorry, I love you. I silently counter with, unfortunately, it’s too late. I close my eyes and rest my forehead against hers. The breeze from her nose chills the sweat that streams down my face.

I kiss her furrowed brows and then smack her across the cheek. “I want to know, and this is the last time that I’m going to ask you, is it true that you’ve had not one, not two, not three, but four abortions?”

Her contorted face slowly turns to me. “Baby, I told you… that email had to be a mistake…”
Smack! I drop my hand to my side and stare at the blood in the right corner of her mouth. Lying is like breathing to her, and I’m over it.

Her whimpering snaps me back into reality. I’m wounded and vengeful. Without a shadow of a doubt, she must pay.

“You see? I try to give you one last chance to tell the truth for once in your goddamn life,” I say as I step over her lover’s limp body. I killed him without hesitation; I bashed his head
in with my sledge hammer and tossed him to the floor alongside his brains. I smile down at him and give him a pat on the shoulder. “I bet, old buddy, old pal never thought that he’d die naked in a motel room with a whore.”

I followed her to this motel and gave the two them some time to enjoy their sins one last time. It was quicker than I expected though. Twenty minutes after entering their room, she came out for some fresh air. I guess Heart O’Chicago motel was just like all the others; a spot for secrets and quickies.
I shoot another disgusting look towards her. “No need to look so sad baby, you’re about to join him soon,” I say, snatching a sock from the dead man’s foot and plugging it into my wife’s mendacious mouth.

“It was Tulio today, Victor yesterday, Cordell the day before, Ashton the day before that,
Andre, Daryl, Michael, Kyland…” I recited over one hundred men’s names while dousing her hair and face with lighter fluid. “And last but not least, Mr. Landon London. How I hated that arrogant bastard the most. I’m glad Kinnan offed his ass.” I cock my head to the side and frown. “Oh. You’re wondering how I know the names of every single man you’ve ever cheated on me with? You thought I just knew about the ones from the phone tap? Well, honey, keep on wondering, because I’m not telling you shit!”

I strike the match, shielding it from the tears falling from my eyes. “I loved you Saisha. I loved you with everything I had. You are my wife. I cherish you. There was nothing in this world that I wouldn’t have done for you… but you played me. Repeatedly, one infidelity after the other. You disrespected our marriage and me as a man. I was nothing but a safety net for you. In me, you found a man that could provide you with everything you wanted, as well as cherish the very ground you walked on. You knew that you would be my weakness, my kryptonite, so you jumped at the opportunity to control and ultimately ruin my life. I offered you a chance to make peace with me, a chance to die with a clean slate, but you still choose to lie to me. Two hundred and sixty-six! Two hundred and sixty-six lies Saisha! Well guess what, baby? That last one was really the last one.” I stand over her with the match quivering in my trembling hand. “Fuck you Saisha. Fuck you and these vows.” I sit the match at the ends of her long black mane and watch the flames climb.

Ebook~ 2/2/17
Paperback~ 2/25/17

For a limited time Searching For My Star will be featuring books from authors across the internet. Make sure you stay tuned for more posts like this and make sure you are reading.

Also check out Woman Manifested: A Poetic Tale and This Is For The Lover In You: A Tale of How Love & Lust Can Cut Deep by Lashuntrice on Amazon.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Matrimony (Poem)

Matrimony (Poem by Lashuntrice) 

My sincerest apologies, I mean it
I'll admit it, the thought of love makes me pathetic
I'm 30 still never been a bride at a wedding
Guess the idea of never saying “I Do” doesn’t sit with me well
It’s not your fault love escapes me, still I chase it
Cause I'm selfish and I need you to myself
Tryna see you be free, but don’t wanna see you happy without me
And when I fail over and over again all I can do is cry
And you don’t seem to care
Cause when I enter your city, you leave with pride
I'm sorry, and I'm staring at your comments
Fearin' it's gone always be me sharin' you with all them
Wrong, how dare I say ignore them?
But I’m selfish so I’ll always say fuck them
It's easy, you know to fight temptation
Out here, you know my feelings are strong
Never run away from your heart
Giving you my all, even my writing is all about you 
I'm right
And I'm promisin' you better than those hoes
Although friends sayin' let him go
It’s you I want
I can’t give up now. I can promise you forever 
And if forever ends, there’s another forever that we can still be together

Make sure you go purchase a book by me at:

This Is For The Lover In You

Woman Manifested: A Poetic Tale 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Allow Me To Re-Introduce Myself

Allow me to re-introduce myself.

Hello, my name is Lashuntrice and my hustle is convincing strangers to read what I write. Why strangers? Well, it's all because there are four different versions of me. Here's a little bit to help you understand the different versions of me. I have four separate versions of myself.

There is the family version of Lashuntrice. The family version shows up at events, speaks a little, and then sits in a corner and waits until it is over. The family version of Lashuntrice gets asked questions and then usually gives short answers. Everyone understands she is single and that she spends most of her time working. That is also all they care about.

Then there is Lashuntrice the friend. She spends a good amount of her time wishing she could hang with friends. All three of her die-hard friends live far away, so she usually ends up doing everything alone. She has cordial friends that live in her area. Every once in a while she'll accept an invitation to hang with one of them. If she extends that invitation, it is usually rejected so she tries her hardest not to extend invitations to hang out. While she hangs out by herself the majority of the time, she is quick to pick up her phone and call people. She gets annoyed by unanswered calls and texts. Although she should just remove the people that ignore her out of her phone, her big heart keeps trying to keep the communication going anyway.

It almost sounds like I have split personalities, doesn't it? Well, I don't. I just have to become a different version of myself with everyone I deal with. Even when it comes to men, I transform.

The lover Lashuntrice absolutely hates the version of love that has been created for people around her age and below. It's this repetition of Netflix and chill and it gets old. However, sometimes she settles for the repetition. She listens to the guy, gets a couple of moments of pleasure, and ends it before it gets messy. Then she goes a year, maybe more, before she says yes again.

Then there is the writer known as Lashuntrice. The writer has always struggled with getting the family, friends, and lovers to care about what she writes.

Now that you've learned a little about me, let me tell you about the issue I've discovered. It's really exhausting trying to become a different person everywhere I go. That is why I'm working on making all of the versions of me become one. That way everyone will know what they are in store for.