Vallory Welcomes Poet – G.P.A.

All About G.P.A.

  • Where are you from? I am from Chicago, South side specifically.
  • Tell us a bit about your family.  My family is the best team I could be on, better than the best Lakers,Bulls, Patriots,etc
  • What is your favorite quality about yourself?  The best quality about me is that I am relentless in my efforts.
  • What is your least favorite quality about yourself? My tunnel vision can lend itself to neglecting other things.
  • What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why?  “The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled…” Keyser Souza. I like this quote because it is ominous and from one of the greatest movies of all time.
  • What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? I am proud of being the father of a beautiful, young woman who is about to be a teacher. And I can be called “champion”, Moth Storytelling Champion.
  • What is your favorite color? My favorite color is blue but black on a beautiful woman.
  • What is your favorite food? My favorite foods are pizza,chicken wings,and French fries.
  • What’s your favorite place in the entire world? There is no place like home.

 Your G.P.A.’s Journey into Writing

  • How long have you been writing? I have been writing seriously since 2007.
  • What inspires you to write? Beautiful women and life experiences inspire me to write.
  • Do you intend to make writing a career? Writing Poetry, reciting Poetry is my life.
  • Have you developed a specific writing style?  My writing style is brevity but full description with the use of extended metaphors.
  • What is your greatest strength as a writer? My greatest strength as a writer is that what I say everyone can get.
  • Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what do you do about it? Writer’s bock is a myth,a trick the mind plays.

 G.P.A.’s Current Work

  • Can you share a little of your current work with us?

been called beautiful liar
honesty says that is true
epic loneliness and longing made me write poetry perceived perverse
but believe when poet admits he thought of you in each syllable,each word,each verse
know woman that i love you more than my love for poetry
know that when a tear falls,never let it reach your cheek
apologetically apologize for harsh words or actions in your presence ever i have to speak.
want your satisfaction so surely that will not stop until nectar touches your toes
yes, and orgasmic flood
ask me if these words be spoken true,then will sign unwritten document in blood
inhale your love,exhale more love to you
your approval i so relish
instead you think i embellish
and call me
a beautiful liar

  • Did you learn anything from writing this piece? Women, especially Sistas, want to see action behind the words.
  • How can we purchase your work?  www.iblowyourmind.net

The Writer’s Life

  • Do you write under a pen name and why? G.P.A.(Greatest Poet Alive) is my pen and performing name because one needs separation from his regular life, similar to Bruce Wayne and Batman. Plus, I am the best…ever.
  • What books have most influenced your life? Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger, The Jester by James Patterson, Sweet mangos by Kottyn Campbell, and the Norton Anthology of Literature my Dad gave me are books that influenced me.
  • Who is your favorite author and why? My favorite authors are Dean Koontz,James Patterson,and Carl Weber.
  • Where do you see yourself in five years? I see myself performing Poetry on a TV show, in a movie, and haven written a romance novel.
  • What are your current writing projects now? I am finishing Revenge of the Orgasm.
  • Do you think the market for poets will improve or decline in the coming years? Poets, the original denotative term, must become innovative and support one another in order to facilitate survival then success. Otherwise, the genre of spoken word will run us out. I am fortunate because I write and perform well.
  • What are some general tips for giving a successful poetry reading?  I believe a Poetry reading should be interactive, have a host that has personality and engages the audience, not allow the participating Poets to run the open mic by disregarding the rules, and the Poetry set needs rules of etiquette.
  • What are some of the most common mistakes at poetry readings?  As stated above, the worst thing a lot of Poetry Readings do is that the host allows a Poet or Poets to recite several works and not having a limit of poems And what is worst is not enforcing said limit if there is one.
  • What are the best and worst mediums for publishing poetry? The best way to publish Poetry books is to do it yourself or find a local , small publisher. Otherwise, most of the publishers have exorbitant fees that outweigh the possible gains of having a published work.

 The Silly Question

If you could ask one question of anyone (living or dead, real or fictitious), who would you ask, what is the question and what do you believe is the answer?

If there was one question and one person I would ask it to, it would be Maya Angelou. And I would ask her,”What do you think of my work?” She would say,”My child, it is always a prudent thing to speak so everyone can understand you.”

Black Friday Blog Hop Winners!

Thank you to everyone who participated in the blog hop. This was a fun way to spend the day! Now on to the winners!

The Vallory V Blog Winners are:

Marlena F.

Angela C.

Becca F.

(Check your emails, ladies)

The Grand Prize Winners are:

Kindle Fire Winner:
Angela Heart
$75 Amazon Gift Card:
Emma D.
Swag Pack:
Kim Brooks
Congrats to all the winners and thanks for making my day!

Happy Shopping Black Friday Blog Hoppers!

Happy Shopping!

I don’t know if this is the official greeting for Black Friday, but it makes sense to me. Since I’m not a participant in the after Thanksgiving ritual, I think I can plead ignorance and use it anyway!

So Happy Shopping to those of you who are braving or have braved the crowds today.

I prefer to shop online in my pajamas with a cup of coffee and a slice of pie. It’s still a lot of work on my part – multiple tabs, address books, gift wrapping choices. Whew!

When I’m done with my virtual shopping expedition, I’ll wander over to the sofa and snuggle up with a book and hopefully more pie. But for those of you who may have to stand in a checkout line or try to remember where you parked while icicles form on your noses, I’m giving away a few prizes today!  This offer is also good for those who are reading this from the sofa.

Three random commenters will receive a special edition paperback copy of A Miller Tradition, the Amber and Kevin Christmas short, so you can snuggle up with a book after shopping, a $10.00 Starbucks gift card so you can get your coffee as well and an electronic of copy of either In the Moment or Music for Her Soul, so you can read if you’re in the passenger seat!

Or if you’d like to wait for your electronic copy, Cheers will be released in December  2012.


About Cheers

As a successful Sales and Catering Manager for the posh Hayden Court Hotel located in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, Darcey St. Claire is absolutely thrilled to be working on New Year’s Eve.  The commission and bonus, she’ll receive from the two day Guidry Construction event will not only fund her spring trip to New York City, but buy a cute pair of shoes for the plane ride!

Her enthusiasm quickly turns to barely disguised irritation when Vincent Guidry arrives hours early for his scheduled check-in, demanding access to his suite.  After he slashes the budget for the event, not even the crystal blue eyes of the former quarterback can quell the anger surging in her chest.

That is until he walks into the Chat Noir where she is trying to regroup after her irksome day.

In the private enclave known as the Cristal Room, Vincent willingly lights up Darcey’s New Year’s Eve and just may have lost his heart to the young woman who isn’t looking for anything serious.

Just tell me your Black Friday participant level and leave your email address:

Full participant – sunrise to sunset shopping

Limited participant – only going out for a few items

Non-participant – at home raiding the fridge

Winners will be announced tomorrow and chosen using Random.org!

Visit the other Black Friday Blog Hoppers to win other fun prizes. Remember the more times you comment, the better your chance at winning one of the grand prizes.

1st Grand Prize: A Kindle Fire or Nook Tablet

2nd Grand Prize: A $75 Amazon or B&N Gift Card

3rd Grand Prize: A Swag Pack that contains paperbacks, ebooks, 50+ bookmarks, cover flats, magnets, pens, coffee cozies, and more!

Please note all grand prizes are international, with the EXCEPTION of the 3rd Grand Prize (this is for US participants only)!

 Good Luck and Happy Shopping!

Vincent Guidry…Part II

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are enjoying your day so far. I’m getting this post in before I’m needed in the kitchen or Uncle Etienne’s Irish Coffee begins to take effect…

As you remember I was interviewing Vincent Guidry, former NFL quarterback for the Oklahoma City Stallions. As I said before, the questions were pretty pedestrian. The things the readers already knew – LSU quarterback, NFL quarterback and prominent Baton Rouge businessman. So the next question flowed out of my mouth without any thought.

VV: It has been speculated that your recent upswing in charitable giving is related to your interest in running for governor in next year’s election. Is this true?

VG: This is one those questions, I’m not going to answer. Except to say that the people of Baton Rouge are and have always been important to me.

VV: (Running for governor? What? It dawned on me then why I was conducting this interview. I’m not a reporter. I just like looking at cute guys. Eddie was counting on my innocence to get some answers. I started to read through the questions.)

VG: Is there anything else, Ms. Vance?

VV: (I’m searching….Questions about Morgan Fitzhugh and Xavier Loving’s role in the upcoming campaign.) Uh…uh…

VG: I do have another meeting to attend. It has been a pleasure meeting you. (A quick handshake and he’s gone. I’m sitting there wondering if I just broke a story!)

I called Eddie and told him everything. He wasn’t as excited as I was, but this is going to be a story that I’ll be following. I just may become Vallory Vance, Political Reporter.  Your very own Christiane Amanpour!

Coming December 14, 2012!

Cheers

As a successful Sales and Catering Manager for the posh Hayden Court Hotel located in New Orleans’ famed French Quarter, Darcey St. Claire is absolutely ecstatic to be working on New Year’s Eve.  The commission and bonus, she’ll receive from the two day Guidry Construction event will not only fund her spring trip to New York City, but buy a cute pair of shoes for the plane ride!

Her enthusiasm quickly turns to barely disguised irritation when Vincent Guidry arrives hours early for his scheduled check-in, demanding access to his suite.  After he slashes the budget for the event, not even the crystal blue eyes of the former quarterback can quell the anger surging in her chest.

That is until he walks into the Chat Noir where she is trying to regroup after her irksome day. In the private enclave known as the Cristal Room, Vincent willingly lights up Darcey’s New Year’s Eve and may have lost his heart in the process.

Vincent Guidry…Part I

I got a call from Eddie Bordelon this morning. He wanted to know if I could make a quick trip up to Baton Rouge today for a freelance writing gig, since I was visiting New Orleans for the holiday.

I said no. The fifty dollars for the assignment would only be used to buy gas and pecan logs. It wasn’t worth it. He tried to sweetened the deal with a detailed description of the assignment – the chance to meet the developer of The Northern Bluffs. The twenty-three acre development is supposedly the premier example of the new urbanism movement in the South, combining office, living and entertainment spaces into a single cohesive design. In essence, a village within a city. Interesting. But not interesting enough for the 90 minute drive.

Then Eddie gives me his coup de gras! (I’m enjoying being back in the Crescent City.) The developer is Vincent Guidry!

I’ve had a crush on him since the first time he stepped on the field as quarterback for the Oklahoma City Stallions! Local boy done good and so freaking good-looking it just wasn’t right.

No wonder, I ended up sitting in an anteroom. All the buildings had a similar look so I didn’t know if I was in living or office space. The room itself was all white – white walls, white fluffy rug, two armless white leather chairs. (There weren’t any kids running around in here.) The only color in the room was from a shadow box on the far wall, showcasing memorabilia from Vincent’s days as quarterback for LSU.

I was tempted to look, but the heavy steps over the marble floors kept me in place. And the large man with crystal blue eyes had me squirming in my seat and fumbling with my recording equipment. Thank you, Eddie!

Vincent Guidry: Ms. Vance, it’s a pleasure to meet you. (His hand practically swallowed mine.)

VV: (Y’all know I was scrambling for words. Luckily, Eddie already had the questions printed. All I had to do was ask. I didn’t even have to write anything down.) Thank you. Let’s get started.

VG: Before we do, I didn’t receive my copy of the questions prior to this interview. (He has a deep southern accent that lifts his declarations into questions.)

VV: (I scan the questions quickly. It’s all the regular stuff – football, business, charity work.) I’m sorry. Eddie was supposed to send the questions over. But it is pretty pedestrian.

VG: Okay. If there’s something I don’t want to answer, I won’t.

VV: (One look into those baby blues, twinkling below his dark brows and everything’s fine with me.) That’s fine. Let’s just get started…

Check back with me tomorrow and find out how my interview goes awry. For once it isn’t all my fault.

A Miller Tradition – A Christmas Short

Yes, I’m just as bad as the stores!

I’ve been so surprised and excited about the popularity of my novella, In the Moment. It has changed a lot since its first publication in March 2012 as a 6000 word short story. Now it is available on both Amazon and Barnes & Noble as a 13,000 word novella.

If you’re not familiar with the Amber and Kevin saga, it began with a flash fiction piece entitled Rainy Day Surprise which details an afternoon encounter between the two lovers.

Then came the ever growing In the Moment – the story of how these two got together in the first place.

Now there’s A Miller Tradition. This flash fiction piece is available on Goodreads.

I’ll also be giving away print copies as part of the Black Friday Blog Hop on November 23, 2012 so make sure you stop by for your chance to win!

So what’s next for these two? Yes, there will be a full length novel available in 2013. I’m very nervous about this project because I want to get it right. Amber and Kevin deserve the best!

Author’s Note:

For the readers who have asked about Heather and Keith. They’ll have a hot short available in Summer 2013. I’m still working out their details because Heather is a handful!

Happy Reading!

Pirates…Not Captain Jack Sparrow At All

In my novel My Lord Ax, third entry in the Lovers of Leonesse series, the hero and heroine don’t get along, not a bit.  As explained in the blurb:

When the king of the Nords wishes to end the generations-old war with a marriage between his daughter and the Purdhan ruler’s son, VicomteFrançois faces a problem:  His son is only seven years old.  Then His Majesty comes up with a clever solution…

He betroths his illegitimate son and warlord, Ax, to the Nord King’s daughter, and peace is ensured…except for one minor detail…

Neither Ax nor Princess Astrid want to get married, especially to each other.

Axel thinks his bride is a spoiled, pampered, and inconsiderate little chit.  Astrid considers Axel a rude, crude, uncouth barbarian. She’s determined their marriage will never be consummated and so far, her trusty dagger has kept the randy young warlord at bay.

So here we have two people, at odds before they marry, and even more so afterward. Any advances Ax makes, amorous or otherwise, Astrid spurns.  The few times she begins to see him in a halfway friendly light, he goes and does something completely stupid to spoil it all and they’re again back to Square One.

So what does all this have to do with pirates?  And well you might ask that.  It’s like this…

There’s a shipwreck, so…enter the Raiders of the Seas…but they may be a disappointment.

They’re not handsome and rakish like Cap’n Jack—far from it—nor are they  hired by the government to be privateers, as Jean Lafitte and Captain William Kidd were, neither are they comically vengeance-seeking like Captain Hook. They’re just plain mean and looking for victims.

Their clothing was  odds and ends. Two were wearing nothing but

ragged braes, barefoot with no hosen. They were barechested

and sun-darkened, arm and faces mottled with blue

tattoos. Axel recognized those marks. It signified two

were Tezpari, one of the southern Venitani tribes, fierce and

savage warriors. Another two were from a different tribe,

bodies adorned with red symbols and gold rings piercing

ears and nostrils.

 The fifth man was different altogether, and even Axel,

who thought he knew all the tribes, was startled. The man

was black-skinned, his body unmarked except for a number

of chains and beads encircling his neck and a single golden

hoop dangling from each earlobe. He seemed to sense Ax’s

surprise, for he smiled slightly, revealing teeth filed to

points.

The sixth man, standing in front of them, was the only

one completely clothed, though his garments were shabby

and bore evidence of having been worn for a long period, as

did his boots. They were so dirty, their original color was

barely discernible.

All were armed, daggers at their belts, swords in hands.

The pirates fly their very recognizable flag, the jolie rouge, which Axel recognizes and gives him a bit of a warning before they land.  Most of us know this as the Jolly Roger, the black flag with the skull and crossbones, but it wasn’t always black. That flag has changed quite a bit before becoming the comic Halloween piece we know and love.

In the 17th and 18th centuries, privateers flew a version of the flag of the country under which they were hired, usually with some sigil indicating death, a skull or a skeleton, on it.  Gradually, black flags began to be used, with each privateer embellishing it with his own personal insigne. One, tied to the gallows on which its crew was executed in 1723, had a “Portraiture of Death, with an Hour-Glass in one Hand, and a Dart in the other, striking into a Heart, and three Drops of Blood delineated as falling from it.” Edward Teach, known as the pirate Blackbeard, used a black flag with a skeleton holding a sword pointing at a red heart. Pirates also had their own individual design for the flag.

When the War of Spanish Succession ended in 1714, many privateers found themselves no longer needed and thus turned to piracy in order to continue plying the only trade they knew. When they changed from being “paid pirates” to freelancers, the flag, the most obvious indication of their status, changed along with them.

The first official notation of the skull-and-crossbones on a flag is found in a December 1687 entry in a French logbook, in which the captain states, “And we put down our white flag, and raised a red flag with a Skull head on it and two crossed bones (all in white and in the middle of the flag), and then we marched on.”  By the time the red flag became recognizable as the sign of a pirate ship, the skull and long bones (femurs) were added to indicate those flying ship would give no quarter (no mercy) to any other it encountered.  Captain Richard Hawkins, captured by pirates in 1724, noted that his captors flew a black flag with the figure of a skeleton stabbing an hourglass with a spear.  He also brought to the public’s attention that if they flew the black flag, they wouldn’t kill, while the red flag indicated no mercy would be given.  As stated, his captors flew a black flag so he lived to tell the tale.

As for the name itself? It’s believed the name Jolly Roger is a corruption of jolie rouge (French for pretty red) which was the color of the flag flown during a naval battle to indicate no mercy was to be given.  Later, this was combined with the quarentine flag (black) and the symbol of death (skull and crossbones) as a distress signal, to lure other ships seeking to assist what they assumed to be a stricken one, into close enough range to be boarded.  It’s been suggested that Jolly Roger is a play on the words Old Roger, which was a term for the devil, as in the poem about 15 men on a dead man’s chest.  Since this was taken from a fictional sea chanty in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island (1883) and later made into a poem, “Derelict” by Young E. Allison (1891), even though it features the words, “Drink, and the devil had done for the rest,” it’s a little late to be the source. Another theory is that since “roger” was an Elizabethan term for beggars and because Sea Beggars was an epithet used for Dutch privateers, that’s where the name came from.  Another rare one is that a17th century Tamil pirate Ali Raja gave his name to the flag.

Take your pick.  They’re all relatively feasible.  I chose the first explanation.

The pirates Ax and Astrid face fly the Jolie Rouge, so the reader can imagine what fate awaited them when those men landed on the beach.

Whatever the origin and whichever flag was flown, the purpose was to frighten the victims into surrendering because it indicated they were outlaws.  It was doubted if mercy would be given, in any case.  Because pirates were hanged if captured, they would receive no mercy from the Crown, so a captive could expect none, from either the black flag or red.

EXCERPT:

They burst onto the beach, Axel shielding his eyes as

he looked across the water at the ship. The sun was so bright

reflecting off the waves that for a moment, he was dazzled,

seeing nothing but bright splinters of light. He blinked,

focused, and made out the colors of the flag flying from the

mainmast. Red, black. Oh no. Axel’s mouth tightened.

“Fetch me that spy-glass, would you, sweet?” He made

the request as quietly as possible. No need to frighten her

until he was certain of what he was seeing.

Obediently, she ran to the cave, returning with a small

telescope that had been Captain Luwes’, another item

retrieved from the sea. Axel took it, opened it full-length,

then put it to one eye, closing the other. Immediately, the

image of the ship rose up to meet him, and the flag. It was

red, as he’d thought the black spot in its center a skull.

“Le crane noir…oh Goddess…” Axel lowered the spy

glass. Behind him, Astrid was feeding green leaves to the

fire to make the smoke more noticeable. Without turning

around, he said, “Astrid. Stop. Douse the fire.”

“What?” Though she looked up, she didn’t stop what she

was doing.

“Douse the fire,” he repeated. Dropping the spy glass, he

turned and pulled her away from it, taking the remaining

leaves from her hands and tossing them away. He began

kicking sand onto the blaze.

“What are you doing?” She reached out to stop him.

“Don’t, Ax, you’ll put it out. They’ll think they didn’t see

anything and leave.”

 “Good.” He bent, using his hands to scoop sand, didn’t

stop until the fire was successfully smothered, and only a

faint wisp of smoke trailed upward. “We’ll at least be safe.

That’s a Venitani flag, Astrid.”

 “I don’t understand.” She knew little of Venitania except

that it was a kingdom further south.

 “The ship’s a pirate corsair and they fly the jolie rouge.

That means they don’t take prisoners.” He retrieved the spy

glass. This time when he looked, he saw a long boat being

lowered over the side. “Shit! Come on.” Pushing her toward

the trees, he went on, “Head for the other

side of the island where I put the raft I’m building.”

“What about you?” She looked back and he hoped she

wasn’t about to be stubborn. They didn’t have time for an

argument.

“I’ll follow in a few moments.” He didn’t wait to see if

she obeyed but dashed into the cave. His boots lay near the

trunk. He pulled them on, checking to make certain his

dagger was in place. Then, he retrieved his sword from the

trunk, strapping it around his waist. Picking up his spear,

Axel ran from the cave. As he followed his wife through the

trees, he marveled at how heavy the blade felt against his

thigh. Strange, how a man forgot the sensation, though he’d

worn a sword most of his adult life until this past year.

Broken shrubbery, dislodged leaves and pine needles told

him exactly which way Astrid had gone. A two-year-old

could’ve followed the trail she left as she ran and Axel was

certain the pirates wouldn’t have any trouble, either. Still, if

they could get to the raft before the corsairs made it ashore…

Ozean, please send your waves to slow that boat.

 (Quotations above are taken from Wikipedia.com entries on “Pirates” and “Jolly Roger.”)

My Lord Ax will be available from Class Act Books after November 15: www.classactbooks.com

Giveaway: One commenter will receive a pdf copy of The Kings’ Swordswoman, Book 1 in the Lovers of Leonesse series.

 Author’s Bio:

Toni V. Sweeney was born some time between the War Between the States and the Gulf War.  She has lived 30 years in the South, a score in the Middle West, and a decade on the Pacific Coast and now she’s trying for her second 30 on the Great Plains.  Her first novel was published in 1989. An accomplished artist as well as writer, she has a degree in Fine Art and a diploma in Graphic Art and produces videos as well as writing.  Toni maintains a website for herself and her pseudonym Icy Snow Blackstone, and has been associated with the South Coast Writer’s Association, the Pink Fuzzy Slipper Writers, several other writer’s loops, myspace, Facebook, and YouTube. She has currently had her 34nd book published.

Connect with Toni online: