You are now entering the world of my thoughts.

This blog is my diary of works in progress. The only way a writer can improve upon her skill is to practice, practice and practice some more. Here, in this place of quiet peace, I pen to paper my thoughts and creativity. Welcome to my world.

Copyright © 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013 SN Taylor, All Rights Reserved

Friday, August 28, 2015

Blog Tour: The Legacy Human by Susan Kay Quinn

Sigularity
Legacy Human Cover  The Legacy Human by Susan Kay Quinn

What would you give to live forever? Seventeen-year-old Elijah Brighton wants to become an ascender—a post-Singularity human/machine hybrid—after all, they’re smarter, more enlightened, more compassionate, and above all, achingly beautiful. But Eli is a legacy human, preserved and cherished for his unaltered genetic code, just like the rainforest he paints. When a fugue state possesses him and creates great art, Eli miraculously lands a sponsor for the creative Olympics. If he could just master the fugue, he could take the gold and win the right to ascend, bringing everything he’s yearned for within reach… including his beautiful ascender patron. But once Eli arrives at the Games, he finds the ascenders are playing games of their own. Everything he knows about the ascenders and the legacies they keep starts to unravel… until he’s running for his life and wondering who he truly is. The Legacy Human is the first in Susan Kaye Quinn’s new young adult science fiction series that explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world… and how technology will challenge us to remember what it means to be human.
Praise for The Legacy Human “This book is Hunger Games (without the violence or controversy) meets Divergent.” “This story is so intense I felt I couldn’t get a proper breath.” “Science fiction with philosophical depth!”     Duality BridgeThe Duality Bridge What does it mean to be human? Elijah Brighton is the face of the Human Resistance Movement. He’s the Olympic-level painter who refused an offer of immortality from the ascenders—the human/machine hybrids who run the world—in solidarity with the legacy humans who will never get a chance to live forever. Too bad it’s all a complicated web of lies. Worse, Eli’s not even entirely human. Few know about the ascenders’ genetic experiments that left him… different. Fewer know about the unearthly fugue state that creates his transcendent art—as well as a bridge that lets him speak to the dead. But the Resistance is the one place he can hide from the ascender who knows everything the fugue can do. Because if Marcus finds him, he’ll either use Eli for his own nefarious purposes… or destroy him once and for all. The Duality Bridge is the second book in the Singularity series and the sequel to The Legacy Human. This thrilling new young adult science fiction series explores the intersection of mind, body, and soul in a post-Singularity world.
  SusanAuthor Susan Kay Quinn Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the Singularity Series, the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, and the Debt Collector serial, as well as other speculative fiction novels and short stories. Her work has appeared in the Synchronic anthology, the Telepath Chronicles, the AI Chronicles, and has been optioned for Virtual Reality by Immersive Entertainment. Former rocket scientist, now she invents mind powers, dabbles in steampunk, and dreams of the Singularity. Mostly she sits around in her PJs in awe that she gets to write full time.
  legacy human   $25 Blog Tour giveaway $25 Blog Tour Giveaway $25 Amazon eGift Card or Paypal Cash Ends 9/6/15 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com eGift Card or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway

EXCERPT - The Legacy Human (Singularity #1)
“I will buy it from you.”
“Um…” I’ve missed something, but I’m not sure what. “You already own it.”
“You would not be looking to sell it, if you didn’t need the money.” Her voice is soft with compassion. “And I can’t bear to part with any of your works. It seems a fair exchange. Do you agree?”
Embarrassment flames my face, but I can’t afford to say no. “Yes.”
She rewards me with a dazzling smile that sweeps away my embarrassment. “Good! I’ve already transferred the untraceable chits to your account.”
Untraceable. She’s already figured out the money’s going toward something illegal. And yet she’s breaking the law, no questions asked, all because it’s what I need and she wants to keep my art. She’s always been generous, always given me exactly what I need, effortlessly and with grace, but this… I don’t have words for this thing she’s doing for me. I don’t believe in angels, but if I did, Lenora would have to qualify.
I am so hopelessly lost when it comes to her.
I concentrate on handing the painting to her, resisting the almost overwhelming urge to touch her. Hug her. Make some excuse to get closer. It shames me to want something from her that no decent ascender would give. A pet can kiss its master, but the master won’t kiss back. Not the way I want her to. Lenora is buying my art because she’s kind and decent… and all my base human brain can think of is putting my hands on her.
And how soft her ascender lips would feel.
“Thank you.” My words are hushed. There’s shame in my eyes, so I drop my gaze to the floor.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Author Interview: Karimah Grayson


Today's interview is with Karimah Grayson, author of The Shoulders On Which I Stand.

Karimah recently began writing in the little known genre of Muslim fiction and looks forward to sharing the Muslim American experience with the world.


Can tell us a little bit about yourself and your book, The Shoulders On Which I Stand?

My name is Karimah Grayson. I have been married for more than 25 years and am the mother of four. I also have two grandsons. Currently I’m a Social Science teacher for high school. I live in Broward County, Florida. I’ve been Muslim my entire life. I grew up in Philadelphia at a time when all the Muslims knew each other.

“The Shoulders On Which I Stand” is my debut novel. It chronicles a time in the life of Daria Van, who is a US History Teacher. While teaching, she teaches more than the standard history provided in the textbooks. She ensures to include all of the ethnicities of the country. However, her principal doesn’t like that she is going outside of the textbook and causes a lot of turmoil for Daria. On the home front, she finds out her husband takes a second wife. While she doesn’t mind that he took a second wife, she does get upset when he disrespects her and his second wife.
Daria begins receiving threatening calls and cars following her and her children. Because she doesn’t know what to do, she turns to her brother who’s been on the run for more than twenty years. This story takes twists and turns of emotions and different situations. I cannot tell too much more because it will be a spoiler alert.


What inspired this story?

What inspired the book were the various stories that I’ve read through the years of teachers being fired or disciplined for teaching African-American history beyond what I termed, the African-American History Trinity (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and Harriett Tubman). I imagined what it would be like if a principal went beyond his means in making someone stop teaching something he disagrees with.

Highlight some of your achievements and challenges while working on your book.

While working on my book, some of my achievements were improving my showing versus telling. Also, I decided to go the independent publisher route and by doing that I found various entryways into marketing my book after it was published. On the other hand, some of my challenges while working on the book were working on description of characters and settings. I found myself doing a lot of research on character development and setting development to work through those challenges.

Describe your writing style in ten words.

I write the story first and then edit the story.

Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.

Five positive words that describe me as a writer are determined, excited, enthralled, tenacious, and serious.

Thank you so much, Ms Grayson, for taking time out of your busy schedule to share your writing journey with us.

Want to learn more about the author and her books? Visit her at:
Her website.
Her email: authorkarimahg@gmail.com.
Her facebook page.

Her Amazon author page


Monday, July 20, 2015

An Interview with Author, Saadia Faruqi



Today's interview is with Saadia Faruqi, the author of Brick Walls: Tales of Hope and Courage from Pakistan. Ms Faruqi writes fiction, teaches cultural sensitivity, blogs about religion, and organizes interfaith events. You can learn more about Faruqi on her website: www.saadiafaruqi.com




Can tell us a little bit about yourself and your book Brick Walls? 

 I am a Pakistani American writer, speaker and interfaith activist residing in Houston, TX with my husband and two young children by the grace of God. Professionally I am a grant writer, and by vocation I am an interfaith organizer, speaking about interfaith and Islamic issues at a variety of venues in the Greater Houston area. In 2009 I published a research-based book on grant seeking, and for the last decade or so I’ve been writing non-fiction about cultural and religious issues. Only recently did I somehow get the urge to write fiction, hence my debut fiction title “Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan.”

Brick Walls is a collection of short stories based in my birth country of Pakistan. It is a fictional account of characters living in Pakistan, but the situations they find themselves in are very real. Each story in the collection focuses on a specific obstacle the characters find in front of them – be it poverty, terrorism, gender discrimination, police harassment, political turmoil, ageism, and so on. These are the brick walls the characters face, and the stories are about how they deal with these walls. It is a unique look into the everyday lives of Pakistanis, and how they deal with the problems they face.

What was the inspiration behind the book? 

 During my training, when I would speak about Islam or interfaith topics, I would often be asked about my life in Pakistan. Americans know a lot about Pakistan thanks to the news, but most of that information is very biased. They read about bombs and terrorists and violence, but they never see the beauty and charm of Pakistani culture. All these questions made me realized that a depiction of Pakistani life was much-needed here, and that readers would be very interested in learning more about the daily accomplishments and struggles of the Pakistani people. So I decided to write a fictional account based on the reality of that country.

Highlight some of your achievements and challenges while working on Brick Walls. 

My biggest challenge was to decide which topics or themes to write about. I wanted to show a wide variety of situations that Pakistanis undergo, but I didn’t want to go overboard. So I had to choose very carefully which issues I would write about, and which to leave out. I also wanted to make sure I included a variety of characters, male, female, young, old, rich, poor. My biggest achievement I think was being able to find the correct mix of characters and story lines that really make the book all-rounded without being overwhelming or preachy. I have received wonderful feedback about this aspect of the book and how it appeals to so many different readers.

Describe your writing style in ten words. 

Writing stories of cultural importance in a conversational literary style.

Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer. Engaging, dedicated, passionate, informal, and thoughtful.


Thank you so much, Ms Faruqi, for taking time out of your busy schedule and sharing your writing journey with us.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Freedom to Read Giveaway Hop! 7/2-7/9


Welcome to the Freedom to Read blog hop. 


This hop is co hosted by BookHounds and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. 

For this hop, I am giving away a copy of Brick Walls: Tales of Hope and Courage from Pakistan.

Rules: Fill in the rafflecopter below. :)
This time around, my prize is for US residents only. Sorry. :( 
You must also be 18 +




About the Book:


Brick Walls: Tales of Hope and Courage from Pakistan is a heartwarming collection of short stories filled with larger-than-life characters and the seemingly impossible challenges they face. Be captivated by these fictional depictions of everyday Pakistanis who struggle with poverty, violence, corruption and abuse, yet rise from the ashes stronger and more enduring. There is Asma the lackluster seamstress, Faisal the would-be terrorist, Javed Gul the Pushto rock singer, Farzana the cantankerous grandmother, Nida the ten-year-old girl with a cricket obsession, and many more. Together they form a rich mosaic that showcases the beauty of Pakistan, her culture and her people.





a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, May 25, 2015

Book Giveaway: Sandcastles & Snowmen



Title: Sandcastles & Snowmen

Author: Sahar El-Nadi

Publisher: FB Publishing, June 1, 2013

Summary: A reflective journey of one woman's search and
rediscovery of her faith and spirituality.

Review:  Click on the following link to read the review for Sandcastles & Snowmen

Giveaway: One copy of Sandcastles & Snowmen



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 23, 2015

An Interview With Author Yasmin Mogahed


Today's interview is with the author of Reclaim Your Heart, Yasmin Mogahed.  She is a freelance writer and international speaker. She also hosts Serenity, her show on One Legacy Radio.


Greetings and Welcome. Please tell us a little bit about your book, Reclaim Your Heart.



Reclaim Your Heart is a book about freeing the heart from the chains of worldly life. It talks about healing, about coping and about redemption.



What was the motivation behind writing Reclaim Your Heart

My own life experiences and the lessons I was learning along the way about love, loss, pain and God.


I had the wonderful opportunity to hear you read "I Prayed for Peace Today," at the Seattle IlmFest 2015. What inspired you to write that poem?

A very difficult personal challenge that I had no control to alter. It made me realize how powerless I really am, and that all power belongs to God.



Can you share with us your publishing journey? What were some of your greatest challenges and how did you overcome them?

My biggest challenge was finding the right publisher, as I faced an incident of attempted fraud during my initial search.



Do you have any other projects/books you are working on now?

My next project is a collection of my shorter quotes insha Allah.



When you are not busy writing or teaching classes or giving lectures, what do you like to do?

Spend quality time with the people I love. I enjoy deep conversation and really great humor.



Which of the poems in your book is your favorite and why?

I think it would be "I prayed for peace today" because of how raw that sentiment was.


And for our final question:


As I mentioned before, I attended the IlmFest conference in Seattle and the theme of the conference was Balance, balance in every aspect of our lives, Currently, we are seeing a lot of turmoil in Muslim communities, whether it is in the home, at work, school or with dealing with the public at large. If you had one piece of advice for the Ummah, to heal and grow from these struggles, what would it be?

Stay close to God, nourish your heart with His constant remembrance, and love Him more than anything else.


I would like to thank Ms Mogahed for taking time out of her busy schedule to share her book and insights with us.

Read more about Yasmin Mogahed book and our review of this title on Goodreads.



Member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators