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Friday, March 30, 2012

Book Review: Guilty By Association by Pat Simmons

Guilty By Association by Pat Simmons

Review by Tavares S. Carney

Now That We’ve Found Love

As a youngster, Kevin “Kidd” Jamieson grew up desiring, yet lacking, the dedication time and attention of a father. Having lived with his younger brother, Aaron, and mom, Sharon, Kidd faces a dramatic shift in the lifestyle he is accustomed to upon finally meeting his other siblings and extended family. Throughout the novel, readers will find Kidd facing many challenges. These challenges include deciphering between genuine love and acceptance versus guilt driven hand-outs, finding love, and feelings of obligation to his younger brother and mother and more.

When I first began the novel, I found Kidd to be a man acting like a kid, thinking that he needed to get out of his own way. I was happy when Kidd finally allowed his Jamieson family to step in, encouraging and motivating him to strive for more out of life. Initially, this arrangement was met with much opposition. I liked the way the author showed family dynamics of the Jamieson clan and, in my opinion, Ms. Simmons does a great job of allowing Kidd to wear his heart on his sleeve when it comes to his feelings of not having grown up with his biological father.

Other characters in the story, Grandma BB and Eve, provided comic relief and an emotional breakthrough, respectively. I often found myself laughing at Grandma BB and rooting for Kevin and Eve.

This is a good read and I would definitely consider another selection from this author.

Review by Tavares S. Carney

*Author solicited review.

For more on the author, please visit:

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

When Rain Falls by Tyora Moody

When Rain Falls by Tyora Moody

Review by Tavares S. Carney

Past Meets Present

In her first novel, author, Tyora Moody, introduces readers to Candace Johnson, a recent widow and mother of two children, and her best friend, hotshot defense attorney, Pamela Coleman. Having suffered painful losses early in life, the two friends share an unbreakable bond. As the plot unfolds, readers learn of Candace’s grief, and how it affects her interactions with others, as well as Pamela’s secrets, and how those secrets ultimately, affect the livelihood of not only Pamela, but the people around her as well.

I was immediately engulfed in the storyline, finding myself unable to stop wondering what happened in the past and what was going to happen later in the story. Supporting characters Darnell Jackson, Beulah, Mitch and Yvonne Harris, Serena, The Colemans, Aunt Maggie, Avante and Hillary help move the story along. I found myself prematurely accusing more than one of them of some type of wrongdoing before learning some truths. I absolutely loved Beulah’s support to those around her, and while I grew to like Pamela, I did not necessarily agree with everything she does in the novel. I also came to understand Candace and Maggie’s relationship and am sure several readers will empathize.

This is definitely an interesting read. I cannot rightfully label this book Christian fiction alone because suspense and mystery also looms. While the author weaves spirituality throughout, I can fathom readers who typically do not read in the Christian fiction genre enjoying this particular selection.

Some of the topics that surface in this novel include life after loss, crime and punishment, police brutality, adultery, revenge, surrogate parenting, forgiveness and friendship. Unlike any other Christian fiction novel I have read, I am already anticipating the next release in the Victory Gospel Series. What does the future hold?

Review by Tavares S. Carney

*Advance copy received for review.

Interview with Tyora Moody

When did you have your first inkling that perhaps you’d like to become a writer/an author?

I can remember writing short stories in high school and college, but it seemed to be something I grew out of mainly because I started to pursue more of my love for design. The desire to birth a story returned in 2006.

Have you always written in the format you are writing now? For example, have you written or do you write novels, poems/poetry, short stories, sketches, film and/or theatre scripts, song lyrics, magazine articles, etc.?

For the 10 years, I mainly wrote nonfiction pieces likes devotions, bible studies and how-to articles.

When did you first share your writing publicly? How was it received?

I have had good response to my nonfiction writing over the years. In 2010, my short story, Birthing Pains, in the anthology, Home Again: Stories of Restored Relationships became my first published work of fiction. The anthology and my short story was well-received. It was a very encouraging experience especially since I wasn’t sure I could write a short story within the required word length.

Do you write full-time? If so, was writing your first career? If not, what did you find particularly easy and most challenging about becoming a full-time writer?

No, I wish. I’m an entrepreneur, so I spent quite a bit of time during the week running my small business. I used to be more of a weekend writer. Now I’m finding I have to slow down on projects so I can write more during the week. With a book deal comes a contract and deadlines to ensure your book is released on time.

Have you yet to encounter adversity and adverse opinions? How do you deal with adverse opinions and views to your work?

Not yet. I would take any view of my work as an opportunity to grow.

Did you attend any workshops/conferences to assist you in honing your craft? If so, which ones?

Yes, I attended a few writer’s conferences. In 2006, I attended the Blue Ridge Mountain Christian Writer’s Conference. I only had may be ten-fifteen chapters of When Rain Falls written at the time, but I decided to enter the writer’s contest. I won second place with my first forty pages. That gave me the motivation to continue the story.

In 2010, Tiffany L. Warren offered pitch sessions at the Faith and Fiction Retreat (check it out this year in Texas at I decided to attend and pitch to the four editors. It took a few months to hear back from anyone. There were two rejections, but December 2010 was an answer to a prayer. I’m deeply grateful for the opportunity and finally being able to share When Rain Falls with readers.

Anyone else in your family a writer or have other talents?

I have heard of members of my family who have attempted to write a book. I’m not sure if they completed the book. I think I’m the first one to publish a book.

Any one or more people have a great influence in the person/talent you are today?

My tenth grade English teacher was very instrumental in helping me develop a love for creative writing.

If you could take one book with you to a deserted island, which would it be?

The Bible. Plenty of wisdom, inspiration and stories wrapped in those 66 books.

If you could take 5 CDs with you to a deserted island, which would they be?

Okay, that’s a hard one. Probably a CD each from CeCe Winans, Israel Houghton and Yolanda Adams. I love Christian Hip Hop, so I would have to change up a bit with some Trip Lee and Lecrae. LOL!

What famous person would you like to have dinner with? Why?

You probably heard this before from plenty of other writers, but probably Oprah. Mainly because I know she is a bookworm and loves literature.

Would you like to collaborate with anyone on a novel? How do you feel about collaborations?

I don’t know. It’s been a journey writing one by myself. I would consider it if an opportunity was presented to me in the future.

In 5 words or less, describe your character.

Quiet, but bold. I think all my life people mistake my quietness as shyness. I like challenges!

What is your website?

Readers can find me online at:

What other projects are you working on?

I’m currently working on the second book in the Victory Gospel Series. The next book in the series, When Memories Fade, will be released March 2013.