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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Meet Author Toshia Shaw, AAMBC Blog Tour



Synopsis:
Shauna, Dawn, and Felicia are best friends who are bonded as “partners in crime” while trying to survive in Las Vegas, Nevada aka Sin City. Their friendship quickly begins to unravel when Jeffrey, Dawn’s fiancé, enters the picture. Although happy for their friend, Shauna and Felicia quickly begin to question the validity of their friendship when they aren’t allowed into Dawn’s new picture perfect life.

Desperate to keep her old lifestyle a secret from her fiancé, Dawn comes up with an elaborate scheme to make sure she weds Jeffrey at any cost, but Jeffrey attends a bachelor party where he meets, and instantly falls for, the naive and beautiful Shauna, and he and Dawn’s relationship becomes compromised. When dealing with matters of the heart, all bets are off.

Felicia is caught in the middle, and when it proves too much, she goes against her better judgment and becomes lost in her own world where promiscuity and drug abuse become the major players in her life.
Each girl is dancing on the stage of uncertainty. When the curtains are drawn and the neon lights go dim, who will wind up with the standing ovation?

High Stakes, sometimes when you gamble a little, you wind up losing it all.

Excerpt:
Dawn took a bite of food, looked toward the door, and almost choked. Dawn could feel her heart dropping into her stomach with the force and swiftness of a fallen airplane. She could not believe who she was seeing enter the restaurant. She watched Felicia saunter in with an older, white, balding man. She wore her usual long wig and a beautiful red and white Valentino dress, undoubtedly a gift from one of her tricks, such as the man she was with. The back of Dawn's neck was growing warm and she felt her eyes growing bigger by the second.

No, this can’t be happening to me—not now, not tonight! she said to herself.
"Dawn, darling, is something wrong? You don’t look well." Mrs. Mathers patted Dawn’s hand.

"Baby, you all right?" Jeffrey rushed to his fiancée's side.
High Stakes

"Umm, I suddenly feel ill. I'm just going to excuse myself and go to the ladies' room."

As Dawn stood up, she and Felicia locked eyes.

What were the chances that she and Felicia would end up in the same restaurant? Dawn thought she might die. What in the hell was Felicia doing at Tres Jazz? She escaped to the restroom to collect herself. There was no way she would stay in that restaurant when the past was right up in her face. She splashed cold water on her face and began to dry it with a paper towel, and when she looked up Felicia was standing behind her.

"Fancy meeting you here. Are you and future hubby here on a little date?" Felicia asked with a curt look on her face. She knew that Dawn's seeing her there would ruffle her feathers.

"Felicia, what are you doing here, and who is that guy?”

Felicia walked to the other side of Dawn to primp in the mirror.

“Don’t tell me he's one of your tricks," Dawn said with a condescending look.

Felicia stopped brushing her wig and turned to face Dawn. She was tired of the whole façade Dawn was wearing, acting as if she didn’t know anything about tricking.

"Look, I am here to eat, and I prefer the term 'date.'" Felicia pulled out a tube of lipstick and began to reapply. "Don’t call him a trick. He is too paid to be one of them. Oh, and, Dawn, tricking is something you should know a lot about. You seem to be performing a lot with your man out there."

"Whatever. I am here having dinner with my fiancé and his mother. We were just about to leave, so I'll call you later this week."

Dawn tried to make it clear, without saying the words, that she did not need Felicia's lowlife self butting all up in her business, trying to come over and introduce herself to Jeffrey.

"Oh, in other words, I need to stay clear of your table?" Felicia stepped up to Dawn and stared her in the eyes. "Don’t worry, Cinderella. I won't spoil the ball for you and Jeffrey. I'm sure he doesn’t want to know that his fiancée is a cheap, two-dollar hoe!"

Felicia infuriated Dawn, and she was about to tear the wig off her bald headed body when she realized she was above her now. She didn’t have to resort to her type of behavior.

Felicia noticed the hesitation on Dawn’s part.

"What's wrong, Dawn, you scared of a little tiff?"

Dawn did nothing but stare at Felicia square in the eyes, she did not flinch or dare to breathe heavily. A slow smile crept onto Felicia’s face. She looked Dawn up and down, dismissed her with one hand, and turned on her heel to leave.

As she was about to leave, Felicia added, "Remember, girl, you can take the bitch out of the ghetto, but you can't take the ghetto out of the bitch!" With that remark, she turned and pranced out of the restroom.

Dawn pulled herself together and walked back to the table calmly as if nothing had happened. She looked at Felicia out of the corner of her eye. Felicia winked at her, undoubtedly toying with her emotions.

Biography:

Toshia Shaw is a poet and writer hailing from Las Vegas, Nevada where she resides with her husband and two children. She holds a Bachelors degree in Human Services and is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration in Health Care Management. She sits on the board of Nevada Youth Alliance, and she is the Executive Director of Purple Wings Organization; a non-profit directed at deterring at-risk young ladies from the sex industry of Las Vegas, Nevada. When Toshia isn't writing she loves spending time with her family.

Interview with Toshia:

Where were you born?
I was born in Joliet, Illinois, but raised in Memphis, Tennessee.

Education background?
I graduated from Trezevant High School in Memphis, TN., earned my Bachelors in Human Services, and I am currently pursuing my Masters in Business Administration with a concentration in Health Administration.

What's your inspiration or who is?
I draw inspiration from my children; my three year old daughter, and 14 year old son. They both inspire me to be and do my best. I want to be the example instead of just talking about striving to do and be more.

As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
Actually, as a child I made up my mind that I wanted to be an author. I would get lost in the world of books as early as seven years old. My parents would have to make me put them down. I would read books in one day, stay up all night if I had to. I just loved the art form of making words form a work of poetry, or a story. I see it as art. Whatever I went through I recorded those feelings with writing.

Did you ever think you'd ever become an author?
Yes, I always knew I would one day get the opportunity to share my creative writing with the world. Although, life took me on other paths I have never forgotten my first love which is writing.

How long does it take you to write a book?
Well it depends on what I am writing. It can take anywhere from one month to one year.

When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I remember entering my first writing contest at the age of seven where I took first place. I got the chance to meet a famous Chicago Bear football player. I will never forget that book; I entitled it, Cindy and her Maracas.

Whose writing do you admire most?
My favorite writer of all time would have to be Toni Morrison. I admire the writing style of Akosua Busia however, she has only written one book that I know of. I am sitting on the edge of my chair waiting for her next work. I will always have a strong connection with Terry McMillan’s characters because they are so easy to relate to.

What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
Basically, I don’t get any sleep! I have a full time job, in Grad school, and a family so the only time I get to work on my craft is late at night or early in the morning before anyone rises.

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