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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Six Questions with . . .Sonia Corley, makeup artist

S Sonia Diane Corley has the best makeup on Facebook. I'm in awe of women who can look natural and made up at the same time. It's an art. Corley, one heck of a makeup artist, is someone you should know to get that fresh look for your night on the town or that special day. 
          1. Your make up always looks amazing. How did you get into being a makeup artist?

I never really considered myself a makeup artist. I really just only did myself and a few friends if they asked me to. I guess I have always loved makeup and I can remember playing with my mother's green eye shadow and red lipstick when I was a little girl. My first lipstick was the green mood changing lipstick from Sally's and I remember taking my allowance money to purchase drug store liquid foundation when I was a senior in high school. I dove head first into makeup after i cut all of my hair off and went natural in 1996; because I didn’t want to look like a "little boy." My first professional experience was when I met these two beautiful sisters by the name of Shawny Thompson and Catina Thompson-Catherine. They are the founding members of Classy Curves. They had the faith in me to do their makeup application in one of their photo shoots when I was just a rookie in the business. With them having the faith in me to do their makeup in their photo shoot gave me the confidence to apply at MAC to become a makeup artist. Well, when I went there with application in hand the assistant manager kind of looked at me like i was crazy. I had no portfolio nor a resume and after I got shot down I was extremely discouraged. About three weeks after that I was at a MAC event at one of the counters and was bored out of my mind. The girls who work at the counter was extremely busy and I decided to help out by talking to some of the customers (running my mouth is what I do best LOL!) I got noticed by one of MAC’s Senior Regional Managers and the following week i got a call from the counter manager to apply for the job. Well, I almost didn’t take it if it wasn’t for my Sean Payton and my Greg sister Benita Corley and Tiffany Wilson. They yelled at me in the worse way after I almost shot the job down. To this day, I owe them much gratitude because without them I wouldn’t be doing something I love today.

2.      2. What are the products that you think every woman should keep on hand?

 Basic products are moisturizer for your skin type, mascara, eye liner, tinted moisturizer and pressed or loose powder.    
3. How do you know when enough product is enough?

Usually when I’m doing a makeup application, I usually investigate the look she is trying to achieve. If she explains to me that she doesn’t want to look like a clown and doesn’t want too much color I usually keep it simple and stick to neutrals on the eyes cheeks and lips. I apply a light foundation and a very natural look pressed powder. I’m not over the top with my makeup applications because i know i like to look as close to natural as possible. Usually when I’m doing it on myself it is usually to my satisfaction. I think one of the worse mistakes I can make on myself is applying too much blush.

4. What are your favorite products?

WOW! Are you ready for my top 1000 LOL! Believe it or not it is not eye shadow. My favorite products are blush. Blush makes you appear happy to other people and it makes your face come alive. MAC’s Mineralize Skinfinish Natural pressed powder; this product is ultra-natural looking and makes your skin appear to look like you don’t have on any makeup at all. It is soft it gives a radiance and it warms your skin up and gives it a soft glow. MAC’s cherry and chestnut lip pencils because I’m addicted to red lipstick. MAC’s fix + (fix plus) because it is holy water in a bottle. Fix plus sets powder makeup, calms down any itchiness that the skin may have, it calms down my oily skin, and it wakes the skin up. Each one of these products, I keep in my makeup bag in my purse. They are a must.

  5. Your eye makeup is flawless, what is your technique?

With anything practice makes perfect. You can’t make a perfect meal without practicing. I had the basics down because back in the 90's all I had was the instructions on the back of drug store eye shadow. I guess it was trial and error at first. When we got our MAC counter here, I would stalk the counter and ask the girls questions about how to apply eye shadow, reference books and magazines. But when I started viewing You Tube videos is when I got better with my technique. Also I use MAC's paints or paint pots as a base/primer. It acts as gesso or primer before you put paint like for example on a wall. If you don’t prime the wall then the paint will slip and fall the same goes for eye shadow. Without a paint pot my eye shadow wouldn’t look so pretty and last long.

 6. What cleansers do you use and what is your routine for keeping your skin smooth?

I have very acne prone and oily skin. My skin underneath the makeup isn’t so smooth. I only use Clean and Clear's antibacterial face wash morning and night and I use prescribed acne medication to keep my skin acne free.  I [also] use Aquaphor healing ointment to coat my face at night. It makes my face very smooth in the morning. If I use anything other kind of wash then it can be over drying or over hydrating and cause me to have breakouts.  Before I start with my foundation application, I use a MAC primer called Face Protect SPF 50 before I apply my tinted moisturizer and pressed powder.

Side Note: everyone skin is different and may require a different routine* so please see a skin care specialist to analyze your skin to see what products are best for your skin type.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Something unedited, unpublished. I have a question, how do you feel about a smoking heroine?

Vivian King knew her smoking days were over –and it wasn’t because she’d taken the last puff of the only Virginia Slim in her pack—because she would never get over the fact that she was climbing over a fifth floor balcony in a black leather dress. And she was scuffing purple leather boots beyond repair.
            Inside the plush apartment where she’d been bored out of her mind before taking the cigarette break, the was a party in full swing.  Old school rap music blasted so loudly that no one heard her banging on the glass door. And since the alcohol was flowing so freely, no one was paying attention to the one smoker who’d gone outside to feed her nicotine addiction.
            Swearing, Viv made the decision to climb down.  But where would she end up? As she slowly lowered herself on to the edge of the balcony below, she prayed that she wouldn’t fall in her sky high heels.  Swinging forward, she hopped on to the balcony to catch her breath. One floor down, four more to go. Obviously, no one was at home. She was happy. And they had nice patio furniture, which gave her a place to rest and examine the damage to her shoes.  Just take them off. You’re going to be safer climbing down bare foot any way, she told herself as she unzipped the boots. Why had she left her cell phone in her purse? Had she had it, she would’ve been able to call Karina. Then again, Karina had been with Jason Parker, the reason why they’d actually come to the party. Her call would’ve gone unanswered, more than likely.
            With her boots underneath her arm, Viv teetered down another balcony. As she leaned forward and hopped on this balcony, she discovered not everyone had gone out that night.
            “What in the hell?” a male voice boomed. Then the glass door slid open and Viv came face to face with the last man she’d ever expected to see again, her ex-husband Jovan Carlton. “Vivian?”
            “This can’t be happening,” she muttered, dropping her boots and shaking her head with embarrassment.
            “What are you doing on my balcony?”
            “It’s a long story and I had no freaking idea you were back in town or lived here,” she said.
            “You sure you’re not stalking me?” he said then laughed.
            “Go to hell, Jovan,” she said, slowly giving him a cool once over. In her dreams, he was fat, had shrank down to the size of a hobbit and grown horns. However, in reality, he was finer than ever, skin still smooth like ebony wood, his arms cut and that stomach flat. Even standing there in a simple tank top and a pair of cotton pajama pants, that man oozed sexuality. The same sexuality and sensuality that had attracted her to him five years ago.

Charlotte is one of the top 10 livable cities for readers

Charlotte, girl readers should love to live here. At least that's what says and I agree.

Book shopping in Charlotte is a common occurrence – 48 stores cater to the reading crowd. Make a stop in Park Road Books and you're sure to leave with something great and unexpected, thanks to a staff that receives high praise for truly being helpful, friendly and obvious fellow book-lovers.
Where to go: Park Road Books
Authors from here: Harry Golden, Cheris F. Hodges, Travis Jeppesen
Park Road Books is more than a book store, it's a living legend. I've signed there twice, and I have another one scheduled for Oct. 14 (and since you asked) at 6 p.m.
The staff loves books and that makes shopping there so much fun. With the closing of book stores, it's good to have this haven in the Queen City.

So, what is

The best places to live aren't always the biggest ones. You won't find New York City, Chicago or San Francisco on We're all about the great places in between the big cities. The staff of Livability has spent more than 20 years finding the good stuff in small to mid-sized communities all across America. The result? A resource of more than 500 of America's best places to live, work, play, explore and belong.

My crush...Mike Tomlin

I'm a die hard Dallas Cowboys fan. It's been that way since I was five years old, curled up on the sofa with my dad watching the games on Sunday. Back then, you had two choices-- watch football or shut up.
As a Cowboys fan, I was taught to hate the Redskins and the Steelers. Hating the Redskins is super easy. They are a poorly run organization and Dan Synder is a little jerk!
And for years, my Steelers hate was strong.
Then he came along:

Mike Tomlin, head coach of the hated Steelers is one fine man. And when he makes those angry faces on the sidelines, umm! I get such an inspiration to write.
I'm not a Steelers' fan. I especially dislike their quarterback with all of his alleged abuse of women and I never want them to win a game. But I do watch their sidelines just for a glimpse of Sexy Mike.
You can expect a Mike Tomlin-ish character to show up in a future book, short story or just more blogs about him. This is my crush of the moment. :)

I've become that old dude who punched me in gut in 1997

I opened my e-mail inbox today and my heart broke, in two pieces. College students email me all the time and I try to help them out as much as possible. When I was a Johnson C. Smith University student, I was surrounded by helpful professors and professionals like Herb White from The Charlotte Post, Cliff Harrington from The Charlotte Observer, Jeri Young--also from the Post and the second reader of my senior paper, and I can't forget about the best professor ever, Ms. Cassandra Wynn.

Ms. Wynn had a rule, she only sent students out into the real world who proved themselves in class. That meant writing well, meeting deadlines and attending class regularly. I don't know what's going on with today's students.

So, the email that inspired this rant was filled with misspellings (but you want to be a writer) and the student didn't tell me anything other than, I don't have a car. I don't even know what school this child attends. And, here's what really gave me pause, the student listed, and I mean listed a bunch of jobs that the student wanted help with. Many of them are outside of what I do. So, this child didn't do a brief Google search on me?

I didn't ignore the child, I did what was done to me once, I gave the student some tough love. I just hope it doesn't come off as mean as my first brush with tough love was. I still remember the editor at the Howard Job Fair who said to me: "You write boring. You wouldn't even be in contention for a summer internship at my paper."

Yep. That was in 1997. I would post his name, because I remember that too. In 1997, I was PISSED at him. I wanted to slap that old man. But I knew how to get my revenge; write better. I worked at it, worked hard. My professors and my internship editors noticed it. And guess what, I got a job in the same newspaper chain that editor worked for.
I hope my e-mail to this student is met with a can-do attitude rather than a "who the f*ck does she think she is?" attitude.

Friday, September 23, 2011

How the Goings and friends saga began

A lot of readers love a series. I know there are several I enjoy. AlTonya Washington's Ramsey's series, Brenda Jackson's Westmoreland series are just two.

But I never meant to write one. James Goings changed that. When I wrote Let's Get It On, it started with the idea of a hot shot NFL wide receiver getting stood up at the altar. Maurice Goings was born. Young, brash and used to getting his way. But he had broken one heart along the way, Kenya Taylor.
As the story came together, I had to give Maurice a conscious. Enter older brother James.

James has edge, James was the only person who could tell Maurice about himself  and James just wouldn't go away. When Let's Get It On ended, Betting On Love began. James needed his own book. I knew he needed a dynamic woman to help him on his journey to love.
I just didn't expect this heffa to have three best  friends. But I could -- in good faith -- send a single woman dealing with a break up to Las Vegas alone. Kandace, Alicia and Serena had to go with her.

If I weren't a writer and had all of these voices in my head, I'd be locked up some where. And rightfully so, but Kandace needed a vacation and found one in No Other Lover Will Do. Solomon Crawford came into my life and I have to tell you, I'm not done with the Crawfords.

And how can I forget about Serena Jacobs. She was that smart mouth friend who basically told me, chick, you are writing about me! Serena give me a lot to play with. Why was she so mean? His Sexy Bad Habit explained that attitude.
And then there's sexy chef, Devon Harris, who was once in love with Kandace. Solomon doesn't like him because he thinks this man still wants his wife. Umm, no. In March, Devon's story is going to be told in Recipe For Desire.

Alicia's talking to me and I'm working on her story. She works too doggone much, trying to prove something. but she is tired of being the third wheel.

So, until March, check out Maurice and Kenya's prequel, Maurice and Kenya . . The Beginning.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Do something: I'm writing a letter

September 22, 2011

Dear Southern Governors:

I am a daughter of the south, born in North Carolina, raised in South Carolina. I attended grade school and college in the south and spent my life working and living in the southeast. I’d call myself a GRIT if I didn’t think grits were the most disgusting food item in the world.
But I digress.
I’m writing to you about 11:08 p.m. Sept. 21, 2011. The night that Georgia possibly killed an innocent man,  Troy Davis. There was too much doubt surrounding his case, too many questions and not enough evidence. If this doesn’t spur us to review the death penalty, then nothing will.

Let’s be honest, the south has a bloody history of racism. My beloved state of North Carolina has played god with her citizens through the eugenics program that stopped hundreds of people for exercising their God given right to have children.
South Carolina celebrates the losing side of the civil war by flying the confederate battle flag—still in 2011. And Georgia added to her bloody racist past with the current killing of a potentially innocent man.

I’m asking you as a citizen, a voter, a taxpayer and an auntie—End the state sponsored killing of men and women. Stop the death penalty.

In North Carolina, 157 men and women sit on Death Row and more than half of them are African American. Yet,  black people only make up 12 to 13 percent of the entire US population. We’re not seeing a problem here?

In Texas, the family of James Byrd, the man murdered in a most heinous way, didn’t want to see his killers executed.
In fact, "You can't fight murder with murder," Ross Byrd, 32, told Reuters late Tuesday, the night before Wednesday's scheduled execution of Lawrence Russell Brewer for one of the most notorious hate crimes in modern times.
If the victim’s son feels this way, what does this say about the state of Texas and any other state that forces a prison worker to inject a person with a killing cocktail? State sponsored murder doesn’t bring the crime rate down. It serves no purpose.

The time to act is now. The death penalty is unfair, unjust and has no place in America and no place in the South. Don’t ignore your citizens cries for justice.


Cheris Hodges
And I do vote.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

I pledge allegiance . . .

I pledge allegiance to flag of the United States of America, one nation that kills innocent men under God. No matter the doubt, got to get that pound of flesh.

I pledge allegiance to the flag, of the United States of America, one nation, still judging a man by the color of his skin and not the content of his character. My country's tis of thee, a land with no liberty for people who look like me.

America, America, of thee I sing.

11:08, justice died. Troy Davis was murdered.

Six questions with. . .Author Ernessa T. Carter

Back in the 1980s, you couldn't watch a teen movie without red head Molly Ringwald starring it. Her most wide known movies has to be Sixteen Candles. I was never a fan of the movie, then I picked up the most amazing book, 32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter. I'm not going to lie and say I love the movie now, but Carter's book makes me thankful that SHE liked the movie and wrote this novel! This is her first book, but with the kudos she received, it won't be her last!

1. 32 Candles was an excellent novel. What prompted you to write it?

To summarize a Toni Morrison quote, there was a novel I wanted to read, and I wasn't seeing it. I was very frustrated with the way dark-skinned women were being depicted in literature. And I realized that if I wanted to read a somewhat funny, somewhat romantic women's fiction novel, in which a contemporary dark-skinned black woman was depicted as something other a complete sad sack and/or victim, then I was going to have to write it. Often when avid readers complain about not being able to find a book that meets a list of specific wants, I think that's the Universe calling them to write a certain novel.

2. You deal with issues of colorism in your novel, do you think that's still a problem in the African American community?

You know, I have no idea anymore. I haven't had to deal with colorism in a very long time, because I don't associate with the kind of people who would engage in it -- mainly because I don't have to. I'm not in high school, I work from home. I get to choose who I hang out with, and I'm lucky enough to hail from a family that doesn't truck with colorism. I often think of colorism as a young black girl's problem. If it's still seriously affecting your life after your mid-twenties, then you need to start dumping certain folks and situations. I can't speak for the entire African-American community -- all I can say is that it's not a problem within my chosen African-American community.

 3. What went through your mind the first time you saw your book on store shelves?

Yay! .... I hope it sells.

 4. Tell the readers what's next on the horizon for you?

I just finished up my second novel, THE AWESOME GIRL'S GUIDE TO DATING EXTRAORDINARY MEN, which is about four women (including Tammy Farrell from 32 CANDLES), living, dating, and careering in Los Angeles. Davie also has a small cameo. I'm hoping this will give fans a gentle wean off her, because she's not in the third novel, which I'm working on now.

 5. What have people told you that they've learned from Davie's struggle?
Mostly people have said that they find her mindset and ability to overcome inspiring. I'm really glad about that.

 6. How can readers get in contact with you?
Totally feel free to contact me: etc at 32candles dot com -- I love hearing from readers.

 Thank you so much, for the interview!
No thank YOU. I had a lot of fun answering these questions.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Vote for your favorite Shades of Romance authors!!

It's time for the 2011 Shades of Romance Readers Choice Awards.
For the past 11 years, LaShaunda Hoffman has been promoting authors through Shades of Romance, an online magazine that offers readers and authors to connect in a significant way. Hoffman is great at what she does and is a friend to readers and writers. I dare you to log on and not find a new author to follow.
Here are the 2011 nominees! Cast your vote by clicking the link above!

Voting for the SORMAG's Reader's Choice Awards are open. 

Please vote one time only.  Voting will close September 30th.


SORMAG Author Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

Nikita Lynette Nichols
Lawanna Lynn Campbell
Chicki Brown
AlTonya Washington

Romance Author Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

AlTonya Washington
Elaine Cantrell
Eve Cogdell
Beverly Taylor
Romance Book Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

A Good As The First Time - AlTonya Washington
Return Engagement - Elaine Cantrell
Cashmere & Silk ...Two - Eve Cogdell
Desires Of The Heart - Beverly Taylor

Fiction Author Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

Nikita Lynette Nichols
Chicki Brown
Jennifer Coissiere
Sasha Campbell

Fiction Book Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

A Woman's Worth - Nikita Lynette Nichols
Have You Seen Her? - Chicki Brown
Crossing Over - Jennifer Coissiere
Confessions - Sasha Campbell

Non-Fiction Author Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

Karyn Langhorne Folan
Cecil Murphey
Claudia Mair Burney
Lawanna Lynn Campbell

Non-Fiction Book Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

Don't Bring Home A White Boy - Karyn Langhorne Folan
When A Man You Love Was Abused - Cecil Murphey
God Alone Is Enough - Claudia Mair Burney
Is She Dead Yet? - Lawanna Lynn Campbell
Children/Young Adult Author Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

Artist Arthur
Frank Cottrell Boyce
Victoria Bond & T.R. Simon
Children/Young Adult Book Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

Manifest - Artist Arthur
Cosmic - Frank Cottrell Boyce
Zora & Me - Victoria Bond & T.R. Simon

Christian Author Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

Janice Jones
Beverly Taylor
Dana Morton
Korika Johnson

Christian Fiction Book Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

From Sinner To Saint - Janice Jones
Desires Of The Heart - Beverly Taylor
Touching The Clouds - Bonnie Leon
The Spy Who Saved Christmas - Dana Morton

New Author Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

Earnessa T. Carter
Jennifer Coissiere
Chicki Brown
Sasha Campbell
Poet Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

Brook Blander
Shereeda L. Bowers

Poetry Book Of The Year
Featured on SORMAG

Now That I'm Here - Brook Blander
Empowered For Purpose - Shereeda L. Bowers

Featured Blog Tour On SORMAG

My Mother's Child Tour with Dwan Abrams
Do You Still Do? What Happen Happily Ever After
Loved To Death Tour - Rosa Ferguson
For Those Who Stare At The Moon