Author: Olivia Gaines

My favorite book fairs

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There are book conferences.

Then there are family gatherings.

Welcome to IRAE!

Every year we gather in a warm city in Florida to meet, chat and refresh our souls. These are my friends. My family. The women who inspire me everyday to be the best writer I can be.

“People say, ‘What advice do you have for people who want to be writers?’ I say, they don’t really need advice, they know they want to be writers, and they’re gonna do it. Those people who know that they really want to do this and are cut out for it, they know it.” — R.L. Stine

I hope to see you at IRAE in April in Daytona Beach Florida.

Click here for more information.

Lost in the library: what to read next?

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National Book Club Conference ‘Book of the Year’ Award Winner

From her more than three hundred appearances for film and television, stage and cabaret, performing comedy or drama, as an unforgettable lead or a scene stealing supporting character, Jenifer Lewis has established herself as one of the most respected, admired, talented, and versatile entertainers working today.

This “Mega Diva” and costar of the hit sitcom black-ish bares her soul in this touching and poignant—and at times side-splittingly hilarious—memoir of a Midwestern girl with a dream, whose journey took her from poverty to the big screen, and along the way earned her many accolades.

With candor and warmth, Jenifer Lewis reveals the heart of a woman who lives life to the fullest. This multitalented “force of nature” landed her first Broadway role within eleven days of her graduation from college and later earned the title “Reigning Queen of High-Camp Cabaret.”

In the audaciously honest voice that her fans adore, Jenifer describes her transition to Hollywood, with guest roles on hits like The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Friends. Her movie Jackie’s Back! became a cult favorite, and as the “Mama” to characters portrayed by Whitney Houston, Tupac Shakur, Taraji P. Henson, and many more, Jenifer cemented her status as the “Mother of Black Hollywood.”      

   

When an undiagnosed menatl illness stymies Jenifer’s career, culminating in a breakdown while filming The Temptations, her quest for wholeness becomes a harrowing and inspiring tale, including revelations of bipolar disorder and sex addiction.

Written with no-holds-barred honesty and illustrated with more than forty color photographs, this gripping memoir is filled with insights gained through a unique life that offers a universal message: “Love yourself so that love will not be a stranger when it comes.”

What’s in My Writing Hopper

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Every now and then I want to write the darker side of human nature. I want to dig deep and cut away to bad men who want to be loved. That is why I wrote Blind Date. It was supposed to be a sweet love story, but then I opened a bottle of wine.

I’ve decided to go back to The Company and pull out the rest of the team. However, this time, I’m entering the darkness with a heart warming story of a man at a crossroads in his life and his next decision, will change everything. His code name is Stop.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” ― Maya Angelou

Every decision may cost you.
Join 20 bestselling and award-winning authors as they bring you action, adventure and drama in these 19 multi-genre stories that will keep you entertained even after you finish the books.
These stories run the gambit of the paranormal, other worlds, contemporary millionaires, military themed, alpha males, romantic suspense and even a touch of intrigue. There’s something for everyone and enough for all.
Pre-order your copy today.

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Finding inspiration while on vacation

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I write from a place that I know.

If I don’t know that place, I must go

to that place.

It is said, you never open a story with the weather. Look at that sunrise.

How can I not capture the hues and horizon in words?

I paint a picture with words.

Everybody walks past a thousand story ideas every day. The good writers are the ones who see five or six of them. Most people don’t see any.” – Orson Scott

I met him in Las Vegaas coming out of the Mirage Hotel. He easily, or rather a modified version of this wonderful man morphed into Pookie Jenkins in Bleu, Grass & Bourbon.

I needed to get away and have some downtime. The librarian and I left the building for a bit of fun in the sun in Nassau. I came back rested and relaxed with loads of new characters in my head and an adventure I will never forget.

Me on the beach in Cozumel. Yeah, I should have gotten my toes done, but in my defense, I was bitten by a spider on my writing retreat. Then the sand got on the nail polish…and the rest is just a lie. I was busy. I just didn’t have time to get my feet done.

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”- Sylvia Plath

Honestly, I got the spider bite at this cabin in Jasper, in Northeast Georgia on our Summer writing retreat. I think the moose is judging me. I can’t even remember where this place was exactly, but I know Siri and I turned down the wrong road. She was like, “Uh- Uh, Girlfriend. You need to turn around or become a statistic!”

Book signing tour for my latest work

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I think one of the hardest parts about being an author is actually getting out there and meeting the readers. Your first thought is what if they hate it? You can’t escape.

However, I have been blessed.

“I believe myself that a good writer doesn’t really need to be told anything except to keep at it.” — Chinua Achebe

From Florida, to New Orleans and home to Birmingham, I got out there and met the readers. I love you all. Thank you for letting me grow into the author I really want to be, and hopefully, I can grow into the writer I was meant to be.

“If the book is true, it will find an audience that is meant to read it.” — Wally Lamb

What I Am Reading: An American Marriage

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I just finished this book. It was a story. I can’t say it was gooAn American Marriage: A Novel (Oprah's Book Club 2018 Selection)d one or a bad one, it was just a story. The same story you would hear at any Thanksgiving, family gathering, or chit chat around the table at a repast.

The book is written from a first person point of view of the three main characters, which means there are no chapters, just Celestial, Roy and Andre. These are also the main characters. I only kept reading it in hopes that Roy would break out of prison and come home and kill Celestial. No such luck. However, let me sum this up for you the way you would hear it from your two cousins, Keke and Lashunda.

LaShunda: Girl, did you hear about Roy and Andre? Well, you know they went to college together up in Atlanta. Roy married that girl, Constellation.

Keke: You mean Celestial.

LaShunda: Whatever. Anyhoo, Roy caught a case and got 15 down in Folsom. While he was gone, Andre moved in on Constellation. Thing was…Roy got out early. He drove all night to Atlanta, and whipped Andre’s ass.

KeKe: Girl no!

LaShunda: Uhmm…hmm. Then got in his car and drove all the way back to Eloe. He didn’t even bother to sleep with Constellation, that’s how mad he was at both of them. Him and his Daddy own a barbershop now and Roy is with that girl Davina. I hear she notarized the divorce papers when Constellation finally sent them.

KeKe: Celestial. Her name is Celestial. Hey, after the divorce, did she marry Andre.

LaShunda: Girl Naw. She is pregnant with Andre’s baby, but they ain’t married. Roy is doing good too.

KeKe: Ain’t that something? (Pauses) Oh here comes Luella with them canned greens she tried to fob off as her own. 

Yep. That’s the whole story.

I was waiting for that moment when you could feel the author’s pain in the words. I longed to feel the agony of Roy’s pain, but it wasn’t there. at one point, I felt bad for Andre who had loved Celestial his entire life. Truthfully, I don’t think that girl even knew how to love herself.

The book made Oprah’s Book Club for 2018. My book club read it too. Who knows, you may enjoy it as well.

Let me know your thoughts if you have read this.


What I am Reading: Dangerous Curves Ahead

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WARNING: Dangerous Curves Ahead: BWWM Romantic Suspense (Dangerously Curvy Book 1) by [Allen, M'Renee]WARNING: Dangerous Curves Ahead: BWWM Romantic Suspense (Dangerously Curvy Book 1) Kindle Edition

He’s a dangerous criminal.
She’s dangerously curvy.
Together, will they sizzle or will they crash and burn?

Dean Collins wasn’t born evil. This cruel world turned him into the cold-hearted killer he is today. Death and destruction follows him everywhere he goes. So, when he crosses paths with the very sassy and very curvy food truck owner, Rain Delaney, he does everything he can to push her away.

But situations beyond his control keeps pulling them back together. It isn’t long before the darkness in his life seeps into hers and she ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now his enemies are after her. Staying away from her is no longer an option. To keep her safe, he has to keep her near him.
It’s sad that the safest place for her is in the arms of a killer.
A killer who has no intention of letting her go.

*This book is for those who love naughty alpha males and even naughtier alpha females.*

Have you read this?