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When Characters Say Too Much or Too Little October 1, 2014

Filed under: Author's Voice — Winona Rasheed @ 9:38 pm

Originally posted on Shannon A Thompson:


I have a couple announcements today. First, I would like to thank The Opinionated Woman’s Musings and Books for Fun for nominating for the Lovely Blog Award. I nominated six blogs on my Facebook page to keep it going!

In other news, P.S. Bartlett interviewed me, and we discussed my writing process as well as how my works differ from other words in my genres. Check it out by clicking here. I also did another interview with The Examiner, but I will be talking about that today. So let’s get to chatting!


When Characters Say Too Much or Too Little

This is actually inspired from one of my latest interviews. If you haven’t had a chance to read my interview with The Examiner, here is the link, but in case the link doesn’t work, we spoke about topics in Take Me Tomorrow that…

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10 Things Authors Worry About

Filed under: Author's Voice — Winona Rasheed @ 9:36 pm

Originally posted on Shannon A Thompson:


The next section of my interactive poetry series on Wattpad has begun! You can read the first poem – The grave of my teenage daughter – by clicking the link. Remember to vote, comment, and/or share for your chance to be mentioned during my next YouTube video.

In other news, Star-crossed Book Blog reviewed Take Me Tomorrow, and she included excerpts and viewpoints on the characters. Read the full review by clicking here, but here’s a small quote, “Noah was a mystery that I enjoyed unraveling. He was broken, dark and even though he never showed it, I couldn’t help but feel as though he was suffocating from having the weight of the world on his shoulders.” Click here to check out Take Me Tomorrow on Amazon.

10 Things Authors Worry About:

One of my more popular posts has always been Being a Writer: Pros…

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Here to Stay!

Filed under: Author's Voice — Winona Rasheed @ 8:50 pm

Earlier I was trying to post and for some reason, the wrong covers kept showing up on Facebook as my sister books, books for young adults. I don’t know why that kept happening. I tried to fix it, but you know me and techie stuff. It just drives me nuts. So here’s another post showing the two books together as they should be.  I hope you enjoy these great reads.

Another Sugaberry

Another Sugaberry


Book 2 of the Ella Rose Saga with an Excerpt.

I mentioned earlier that Ella Rose wanted me to continue her story, after all she is older so she is experiencing new things and new situations as she faces her challenges as a hearing impaired high school student. Her strength and determination shines just as much in “When Silence is Not Golden,” as it did in “Broken Voices.” I call these my sister books because they go hand in hand. Are you by chance ready for the prom, or at least thinking about it? Do you have your eye on a special date? See how Ella Rose and her best friend prepare for this special occasion and find out how Ella faces her challenges and one irritating and jealous classmate who tries to ruin it all. Does she succeed? You will just have to read the book to find out. But, I will let you read a little excerpt to get you hooked.

When Silence is not golden, ebook cover 2 Where can you get this book? Amazon of course!

Excerpt: When Silence is Not Golden

Ella was filling the pages with her thoughts when she caught sight from the corner of her eye, the yellow flashing light blinking in the corner of her room; the alert signal paging her to come downstairs. Ella closed her journal and hurried out of her room and down the steps. All the while, wondering how long the yellow light was blinking to signal her that she was wanted.
“Have you been paging me long, Mom? I just noticed the light blinking,” Ella said with a raspy sounding voice when she entered the room. Victoria Abbott turned around to face her when she entered the kitchen like a playful little cat.
“No, not long, but you would have heard me call your name if you would wear that hearing aid,” her mother said, using her fingers and voice to speak to her daughter.
“I refuse to wear that thing! It’s ugly and it looks too obvious having that big brown thing sticking in my ears.” Ella’s fingers moved swiftly and with eloquence when she gave her mother a response. “Besides, I can’t hear you from downstairs, even with the thing on. They are not that strong, you know.” This time, Ella’s voice could be heard as she plopped down on a stool at the kitchen island. She already sensed a sermon was coming her way.
“Well, you might not want to wear them at school; I can understand that, but when you are home and around family, you should so that you can get use to it. I want you to hear us when we are speaking to you.” This time her mother did not sign, instead she spoke normal, letting her daughter read her lips. “You’ve had it for three months now and you barely wear it. You will never get use to it if you don’t start wearing them.”
Ella read her mother’s mouth movements and responded with a stiff lip, her voice sounding edgy with irritation. “I am getting along quite well without it.” Ella’s voice was cracking as she spoke. “I don’t need to get use to the darn things. I know how to get by. Heck half the kids at school still aren’t aware that I have a hearing problem because I know how to use my other senses to my advantage. I’ve had years of practice.” Ella was hoping that her words would sink in. “Besides, I like to wear pretty earrings too much to have that brown contraption sticking out of my ears taking away the earring effect. It doesn’t make me look or feel good or normal,” she said shifting her body in the seat to find a more comfortable angle. She let out a heavy sigh in desperation before continuing. “I want the pleasure of being normal like everyone else. And not only that, it’s irritating and annoying, like walking around with giant cotton balls in your ears. If you don’t believe me, you should try it… see for yourself. See how irritating it is.”
“Well, I can see there is no need trying to get you to see my point right now, even though having you hear us speaking to you when you are home is what makes thing seem normal for me around here,” her mother said. “But, sometimes Ella, you can be as stubborn as an old mule when someone tries to tell you something for your own good. They say teenagers think they know everything.”
“Well, I am a teenager who has her own mind and will power, you know. I am my own person.”
“Well, this discussion is closed for now; you can take that mind of yours and that will power and set the table for dinner. Your father will be home soon.”
“What did you say Mom? I can’t hear you,” Ella Rose said with a giggle, making light of the subject matter and situation as she lifted herself from the stool.

The Sister Books side by side

When Silence is not golden, ebook cover 2

Another Sugarberry Book

Another Sugarberry Book


Take a Book Peek Inside Broken Voices

I am sure enough on a roll today…catching up with my blogging and book talk.

Broken Voices is my first book that I have written for young adult readers. I am proud of this book because of its theme or subject matter that deals with being different and living with a disability; accepting it and coping with it, especially as a teenager. This story comes to life and Ella Rose is so real as she faces her challenges; she made me continue her story in Book 2. So I will be talking about that as well in another post. But here is a taste of what is going on inside the pages of this book.

Broken_Voices_Cover_for_Kindle Take a peek inside this book by reading the excerpt provided. Get hooked on this book.

Broken Voices Excerpt

Ella looked at herself in the full-length mirror hanging on the back of her closet door. Noticing the slight disarray, she tucked the beige blouse into the waistband of her brown tweed, pleated skirt. The corners of her mouth turned down at the sight of her brand new school uniform. “I am not feeling this,” the 13-year-old said, shaking her head at her appearance. “These drab colors and this uniform make me look like I am going to a scout meeting instead of high school.” She was matching from head to toe, including brown, knee-high socks, a tie, vest, and a brown sporty tam to go with the regulated school outfit. “What were they thinking when they concocted this fashion statement for 9th graders? This is the most uncouth dress code ever, just downright unfashionable!” The words tumbled as though she was talking with mush in her mouth, for her voice was distorted and inaudible. It was like her voice box was disconnected from the muscles in her throat. However, safe in her room, she felt free as a bird talking, for she knew what she was saying and she didn’t feel embarrassed at how she sounded. “They would never wear anything like this to school in Savannah Georgia.”
Before, she could wear the colorful dresses that she loved, or wear her favorite patched jeans with a tee shirt if she wanted. But not anymore, the new school had a strict dress code. They wanted everybody to be the same. All students had to appear equal and uniform. Everybody had to feel that they fit in; whether you were black, white, rich, or poor. However, for Ella, she knew it was going to take more than a regulated uniform for her to feel comfortable and normal, because she wasn’t like everyone one else. She had a handicap and she already knew that kids tend to frown at those who are different.
Thinking it over and speaking aloud the words trickled from her lips. “Being deaf and having speech difficulties would be hard to play off amongst a bunch of strangers.” She wasn’t sure how she would accomplish this without seeming like a snob.
She placed the brown hat on her head and tilted it to the side, trying to add a little coolness and flair to the drab outfit. Not liking the way she looked, she began to complain. “Oh I can’t wear this! Grandma always said that a hat makes a lady look dignified, but this one makes me look like a dork!” Feeling terrible with the way the hat was looking on her head, she snatched it off and tossed it on her bed.

“Hats are for church going and special occasions. Besides, I prefer pretty hats that are girlish looking, big and floppy, because that’s how you do it when you are from Savannah, Georgia.” She began to sway back and forth in front of the mirror as though she was dancing. A smile appeared on her face as she thought of her old home and her old school; she picked up her favorite yellow big hat with the tiny red rose buds around the rim and placed it on her head. She had worn this hat with a yellow, lacy dress to the mother-daughter luncheon at the Silent World Academy, a school for the deaf. She wore it then and she wore it again the day she graduated from the 8th grade.
Standing at the mirror, she was like a Myna bird, talking up a storm, just like she did when she went to the deaf school in Georgia. There she felt normal; her speech problem didn’t embarrass her or make her feel inadequate, unusual, or weird. It was not out of the ordinary seeing students speaking through sign language or writing notes to communicate, or speaking with a voice that sounded strained. But, it was going to be different and difficult now, for her biggest fear was being amongst the normal kids with voices and ears that work. How was she going to communicate with them without feeling uneasy?
Ella flopped down on her bed; she lay across it with her hands folded under her chin as she stretched out on her stomach, her floppy hat still on her head. “I hate going through this; being different sucks! I just won’t go! Why should I?” She uttered. “The kids aren’t going to accept me because I am not normal anyway. They are just going to tease and make fun because my voice is strange, but I can speak! I am deaf, not mute like a fish and I can read lips, because I am not blind as a bat!” Feeling defeated, she just couldn’t understand why her handicap would be a problem for others when it wasn’t a problem for her. She accepted it, now why can’t they? Why can’t kids just be nice to one another she thought? That’s what’s not normal. It’s not me! It’s them!


Book Talk Chatter: Kumani

Filed under: Author's Voice — Winona Rasheed @ 5:51 pm
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Well guess what, I am going to be a chatterbox today because I am here talking about my children’s book, which I am crazy about. Today’s book title topic is Kumani: A New Home for Her Cubs. You remember this book don’t you? I’ve talked about it enough. You might have the first edition of this book. However, the 2nd edition has a new look….a brand new cover and this is the one we are going with. And this is the one that is sold on I just love Amazon, wanna know why?…Because all of my books are there for young readers and teenagers. Actually, my books are for all ages, because grandparents enjoy reading great books to their grandchildren. I can see them now reading this lioness tale to their grandchildren while even they enjoy the written word on the pages.

Kumani_Cover_for_Kindle I am going to give you a sneak peak inside the pages of this book, once you read the excerpt, you tell me if it is a worthwhile read. Do you want to read more? If so, you will just have to purchase the book from Amazon.

Kumani: A New Home for Her Cubs.

In a jungle far away lived a lion that was gloriously magnificent looking. Her silky, short hair was golden and looked like the color of wheat growing in the countryside on a sunny afternoon. However, this particular lioness, in all her glory, had a weak roar that seemed too gentle and soft. Her roar did not scare the other wild animals of the African jungles of her home in Botswana, which is located in Southern Africa.
Although her roar did not intimidate any of the other wild animals, she did have something that was unique and grand, and that was her size. She stood twice as big as the other lionesses in her pride. Her huge muscular body looked as though it could do some serious harm to anything or anyone that tried to intimidate her or tried to take advantage of her cubs.
However, it was not her roar that had worried her. This lioness did not like being wild; and this, is what made her different from the other lions. She did not care to live among tigers and zebras, and she did not particularly care to be sharing the land with the hyenas, wild dogs, and coyotes either; especially with her three little cubs who were too curious and free spirited.
They were too young to be concerned about all the perils. Just like small children, they liked to romp around and explore their surroundings too much, not paying any attention to the dangers of the jungle. When it came to being wild, the lioness wanted no part of it, and she especially did not want any part of hunting, which goes with the territory of the jungle’s wildlife. The thought of hunting down food was too degrading for her. After all, she was a lioness, and in her mind that meant something regal and grand.
Why should she have to hunt when there are male lions around that could do this work? She already knew the answer to that. It’s the way things are if you are considered wild and if you are a female lion.
Momma lion, whose name was Kumani in her pride, took good care of her babies. She was an excellent mother. She protected them with passion, always keeping a watchful eye on their whereabouts. She did not like them to get too far away from her in their risky adventures. Wherever she went, she made sure that her cubs were nearby or, at least, in the company of her cousins.

One evening, after coming in from a not so successful hunt, Kumani stretched out on the ground feeling quite sad and miserable. She did not bring anything back for her cubs to eat as it was that time of the year when food was scarce. This worried the lioness because she knew that if she, and the other female pride members, failed to bring home food for the group it could present a big problem for her cubs. Not only could their cubs starve to death but also the male lions who watched over their pride might eat them.
Kumani knew what it was like to lose a cub because one of her cousins had lost one — to a coyote. It was her poor cousin Sunni and she became distraught for months afterward. Kumani vowed never to experience such torment if she could help it.
“Do you like hunting?” Kumani asked one of the other lionesses who also returned without anything to eat.
“Of course I do,” replied the female lion, whose name happened to be Sheba. “I just don’t like it when the food is not plentiful.”
“Well, I hate it!” said Kumani. “I am not meant to hunt.”
“That’s because you are strange.”
“Why do I have to be strange just because I do not like to hunt?”
“Because, it is what we do,” said Sheba. “We females are the hunters, or in our case, the huntress. We provide for the family.”
“And when we can’t provide, like tonight, then what?”
“We just wait and try again tomorrow,” said Sheba. “We have to have patience.”
“I believe there is something better, and I want something better,” said Kumani.
“Like I said, you are strange,” said Sheba. “That’s not our character.”

“It may not be your character, but it is certainly mine,” said Kumani. “I am a lioness. My cubs and I deserve better. I believe a lioness and her cubs ought to be regal and treated as such.”
“What is a regal lion, my dear,” said the older lion not wanting to laugh.
“If our brothers or any male lion can be called kings of the land, it would only be befitting for us lionesses to be called queens. And queens shouldn’t have to hunt for their own food.”
“Where do you get all this faulty information?”
“I got it from Bantu, the African Parrot. He tells me everything. He is the one that told me that I should be a queen.”
“Bantu is such a silly bird. How can you trust anything he says? If you ask me, he is a little coo-coo,” said Sheba.
“He is not coo-coo! He is very wise,” said Kumani defending her feathered friend. “He talks about everything and I think that is amazing.”
“You may be a little coo-coo too for listening to that silly bird,” said Sheba. “And why do you assume you are going to do better? You will always have to hunt!”
“I’m not sure,” said Kumani as she began to think. “All I do know is that I must leave these jungles for my own sake and for the sake of my cubs.”
“Leave and go where?” asked Sheba who was getting a bit concerned.
“I don’t know, yet. But there must be some place in all of Africa that will be safe and hunting free for me and my cubs. We do not have to stay in Botswana,” said Kumani as she held on to her dream.

“You are living in a fantasy my dear,” said Sheba as she licked her paws. “Your dreams are way too high.”
“Well, I am going to make my dreams come true, Sheba. You just wait and see. One of these days before too long, my cubs and me will be gone. We will be far away from here.”


Tips before you self-publish September 23, 2014

Filed under: Author's Voice — Winona Rasheed @ 7:40 pm

author winona:

I treasure this woman’s words.

Originally posted on Catherine Burr:

booksI can’t even tell you how impressed I am with writers who have taken control of their literary careers and are publishing themselves; whether it be with newfound publishing companies that they have set up or via their own name.

Technology is changing so quickly, that the tools are available like never before within online bookstores, like Amazon and Barnes and Noble, to help you create covers, design the interior, even check for spelling errors!

But, in your fantastic enthusiasm, one tiny piece of advice I’d give is to remember that publishing is a business, it’s not an after school assignment or a hobby. Publishing should be treated as a professional business, work with professionals, don’t skimp on your editing or covers. Don’t trust a “critique group” for your editing. Even though sites like Amazon allow you to make your own covers, which is fine, however, if you want your…

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