Saturday, February 25, 2012

REVIEW: Whats Wrong With Me? By Daree Allen

Title:What's Wrong with Me?
Author: Daree Allen
 Publisher: Kharacter Distinction Books

WHAT'S WRONG with you? Nothing!

Have you ever wondered, "What's wrong with me, is my butt too big, my hair not straight enough?" or "Will my BFF or boyfriend still like me if..."

Today's age of everything goes media messages and in your face sexuality has led to many teen girls grappling with self esteem and self worth. As a woman who lived through it and a mother with a teen daughter, I answer these questions and more, offering self empowering building blocks designed to strengthen your inner truths in the face of relationships with yourself, others, and God... so you can learn to love the skin your in, realize your dreams, and make a positive impact on the world.


"...takes the reader on a poignant journey of self discovery that can help young women move toward empowerment." 
Kisha B. Holden PhD, Morehouse School of Medicine

"Daree Allen is a shining example of what happens when a woman learns to love herself and steps into her own power and confidence. Daree's book shares her personal journey with humor and inspiration. Girls can find their own path to personal growth by applying Daree's lessons to their lives."
Lisa Nicole Bell, Award winning filmmaker, author, social entrepreneur

"Dynamic author Daree Allen dares to go there with teens in her inspiring piece, What's Wrong with Me? She does parents and educators a favor by opening a dialogue on the universal challenges that young girls will often secretly face that can ultimately build or destroy dreams. Pick up a copy of this book and arm a young lady with the key that unlocks a successful life."
Denene Millner, New York Times Best Selling author and editor of MYBROWNBABY.COM


I know that us women don't like telling anyone our age, BUT I'm 28 years old and I wish I had read this book when I was 18. What's Wrong with Me is  a book that any young women can relate to. Its easy to read and even though the message behind everything written in this book hits very close to home, its done in a manner that even if you don't like people telling you the truth, you just can't put the book down. Daree Allen is a very talented writer and I hope that she continues to publish more books. A lot of the advice that was given in this book, is advice that I wish I would have gotten along time ago. Daree doesn't just "preach" to you about what to do or not to do, she's giving you advice based on personal experiences not only from her life, but also experiences from her close friends. I found myself underlining so many areas of the book, I even underlined an entire paragraph at the beginning of the book because I found it to be very important. 

I DO NOT read self help books. I dont. But there was something about this book that I felt like I should. Best choice I could have made. I enjoyes every part of this book and recommend it to every mom with a young girl, preteen, teen and anyone in between. I think it will definitely do them good.  5 of 5 Hearts!! 

Friday, February 24, 2012

Interview with author Daree Allen

I'm more then thrilled to get to interview Daree Allen, author of the amazing book "What's Wrong With Me?"

Daree, thank you so much for allowing me the chance to interview you. I really enjoyed reading your book, and can't wait to read any others you might have on the way.

My first question:
Was/Is there anyone who you'd say has supported you and been there through think and thin?

Over my lifetime, the first people who come to mind are my mother and sister. I mentioned in the book how much their support meant to me as I became a single mom.

If you had to do it all over again, would you change (remove or add) anything in your book?

I worked on this book off and on for two years, and I believe I produced the best work I could at the time. There were so many things I left out of the book, but I may do a revised version in the future, adding my own experiences once I have begun raising my daughter as a teenager (she is only 8 now). What I will change with my next book is the way in which I approach the publishing process. I will form a more solid team and give myself more time to create the book without feeling pressured or not having a plan B if there is an issue with one of my service providers.

I wrote the book with teen girls in mind, and I have heard from teen girls that read it quickly (couldn't put it down), and enjoyed it. I'm also hearing a great response from women in their 20s all the way to their 60s (mothers, grandmothers and childless women alike), who also strongly relate and identify with the concepts in the book, especially regarding relationships and self-esteem. I've also gotten great feedback from women who say that the Reflections Journal (which contains workbook-style questions) is something they can use right now, even without having read the book. I firmly believe that the issues I discuss in the book that are not resolved when you're young follow you and often cause bigger issues into adulthood and that's probably why it is resonating with women everywhere.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

In this book I tell a lot of personal stories, and they're not always flattering, but that's the point. I'm just relaying messages from my past to teach. I don't divulge information just for the sake of shock value.  I love bring up "taboo" subjects, or that people know is present but don't want to admit (e.g., the proverbial "elephant in the room." Denying that an issue exists does not delay or erase its effect. Once you expose something negative, it starts to lose its power.

I want to connect with people and be relatable, and the way I do that is by sharing pieces of myself that are relevant from a teaching/coaching perspective. I want them to see that I'm a real person that overcome some things, and I'm not ashamed to talk about it. I can admit my mistakes because I grow from them. That's how we all learn. I can't come from a standpoint of, "That's beneath me," or a platform of perfection. Everyone talks about "keeping it real," and I do just that. I'm pretty transparent and when I speak about my personal business to make a point of helping others, people respect me for it.

Do you have any current project, and if you do can you tell us alittle about it?

I am writing another nonfiction book that focuses on the perspective of single Black fathers in America. There is so much emphasis on single mothers in the Black community (which is fine—I am one and I identify), but I want to bring Black families together for those who want that. The Black community is struggling so much because of broken homes.  I want to tell the single dads’ side of the story, through the many voices of the real Black America. If you are interested in contributing via an interview, you can contact me at for more details.

Daree I like to thank you for such a great interview, I honestly enjoyed reading your book and hope that readers enjoy it as much as I did.

Just being able to share is a blessing to me and I hope the book brings hope and inspiration to all who read it. Connect with me on the following sites:

Daree Allen is an authorpreneur, young adult esteem advocate, speaker, and goal-getter in Atlanta, GA. She has published articles on a variety of topics as a freelance writer and blogger, and is the author of the new teen mentoring book entitled, "What's Wrong With Me?" in which she discusses her own childhood dealing with self-esteem, premarital sex, family and personal relationships. Find out more about her work at and

Sunday, February 12, 2012

REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY: Blue Sky Days by Marie Landry

Title: Blue Sky Days
Author: Marie Landry
Publisher: Marie Landry
Format: Ebook
Release date: 1.17.12


A year after graduating from high school, nineteen-year-old Emma Ward feels lost. She has spent most of her life trying to please her frigid, miserable mother - studying hard, getting good grades, avoiding the whole teenage rebellion thing - and now she feels she has no identity beyond that. Because she spent so many years working hard and planning every moment of her life, she doesn't have any friends, has never had a boyfriend, and basically doesn't know who she is or what she really wants from life. Working two part-time jobs to save money for college hasn't helped her make decisions about her future, so she decides it's time for a change. She leaves home to live with her free-spirited, slightly eccentric Aunt Daisy in a small town that makes Emma feel like she's stepped back in time.

When Emma meets Nicholas Shaw, everything changes - he's unlike anyone she's ever met before, the kind of man she didn't even know existed in the 21st century. Carefree and spirited like Daisy, Nicholas teaches Emma to appreciate life, the beauty around her, and to just let go and live. Between Daisy and Nicholas, Emma feels like she belongs somewhere for the first time in her life, and realizes that you don't always need a plan - sometimes life steers you where you're meant to be.

Life is wonderful, an endless string of blue sky days, until Nicholas is diagnosed with cancer, and life changes once again for Emma in ways she never thought possible. Now it's time for her to help Nicholas the way he's helped her. Emma will have to use her new-found strength, and discover along the way if love really is enough to get you through.


Blue Sky Days. What can I say? I'm not lying when I tell you that I'll read just about any genre of books, but my favorite is paranormal. You might be asking yourself why I'm telling you that, and the answer is very simple. It's because after reading this book, I might have to change that to romance. :)  Blue Sky Days is a beautifully written love story that flows with such fluidity that you'll find yourself "flipping" (it's an ebook) through pages with such ease that you won't want to put it down. Marie Landry did an amazing job not only with with putting the book together, but also with creating her characters. Each and everyone of them are people who are easy to relate to. Oh, and I must say, I loved the way Marie was able to tie in the title of the book into the book itself. Genius!

Emma Ward gets good grades, has never had a boyfriend, no friends, no social life, she does all her homework and doesn't get into any trouble. But after all the hard work she's done, she realized that she doesn't know what she wants to do as far as college is concerned. She realizes that no matter what she does, her mother will never show her any type of appreciation and now she feels like she needs to get away and find herself. The best way to do this, is by taking a break from everything (including her mom) and moving in with her aunt Daisy for some time while she tries to figure out what she wants to do when she decides to go to college.

In the process of finding herself, what she ends up finding is a group of friends who turn into the family she never had and always wanted. She also learns to believe in love at first sight. BUT... What happens when that love is put in jeopardy? Is love really as strong as people make it out to be? What about the broken mother/daughter relationship? Will they be able to put it all in the past and just start over?

I loved this book, plain and simple, and I know you'll love it to. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for more books from Marie.

5 out of 5 hearts.

Okay, now its giveaway time!!
This is the first time I use the Rafflecopter, so I'm really hoping that you wont have any problems using it.

Saturday, February 11, 2012


Today, I am more then excited to present or guest host: Marie Landry. She has written a lovely book Blue Sky days, and I hope you all get the chance to read it.

Guest post  Who Tilly Campbell-Ward is NOT based on…

After reading Blue Sky Days, I’ve had people tell me they genuinely hate Emma’s mother, Tilly. That’s good…that’s what I wanted. If you feel genuine emotion toward a character, then I feel I’ve done my job as an author.

Tilly is self-centred, snobby, and a poor excuse for a mother. A good deal of Emma’s struggles come back to her dysfunctional relationship with Tilly—always trying to please her, never living up to her impossible standards, feeling like she wasn’t loved or cherished or any of the things a daughter should feel.

So who, you may ask, is Tilly based on? Well…I can tell you who she’s not based on: my own mother. My mum was so worried that people would think Tilly was based on her. She didn’t want people to think that she was a cruel dictator of a parent when she’s actually the complete opposite. It actually became a bit of a joke with us, so when I wrote my dedication, I made sure to put it out there for the world to see: “…and Mum, thank you for being the complete opposite of Emma’s mother!”

My mum is truly nothing like Tilly Campbell-Ward. Tilly came almost entirely from my imagination. I found it more of a challenge to create a completely fictional character and to let my imagination run free coming up with the nasty, biting things she said to Emma. As a writer, I like a challenge; my mum is my best friend—one of the kindest, sweetest, loveliest, most generous people on this earth—so it would have been too easy to write a character like that. Not to mention the fact that the story would have been much different if Emma had had a supportive, loving mother!

Now, when I say that Tilly was ‘almost entirely from my imagination’, I did take qualities here and there from people I know—mothers or mothers-in-law of my friends, and just maybe a particular family member of mine who shall remain nameless but has a number of the qualities that make Tilly such an unlikable character. Inspiration really does come in all forms!


Thank you so much for lettimg me be part of such a great tour. This is really a great book.

First off, I'd love for you to tell us a little bit about yourself.

Well, I just turned 28 in December. I live in Ontario, Canada, and I’ve been working as a freelance writer since 2009. I’m passionate about writing, music, reading, and blogging. I have a book blog called Ramblings of a Daydreamer where I post book reviews and other bookish-themed posts. Blue Sky Days is my debut novel.

Was writing always something you wanted to do? Or was there something else and you just kind of fell into writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember; it’s always been my dream, and I was determined to do it professionally in one form or another. I figured I’d have to do something else before I could be a professional writer, but I couldn’t really think of anything else I wanted to do, so since I love children, I became a preschool teacher and then a nanny. I enjoyed it, but knew it wasn’t something I wanted to do forever, so I committed to writing full-time.

What inspired you to write this book?

A lot of things, really. I had quite a few ideas for a story, and realized they would fit well together. I always knew I would work cancer into a story somewhere because my dad had leukemia when I was little. When a friend of mine was diagnosed with leukemia several years ago, the idea for Nicholas being diagnosed with cancer formed fully in my mind and I just started writing.

Did you have to do any type of research?

Not as much as many other authors. I was already quite familiar with leukemia since my dad was sick for two years, but I did do a bit of cancer research to make sure I got my facts straight. I also had to do some research about the construction business for Nicholas’s job; my editor actually helped me quite a bit with that.

If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?

Oh, that’s a hard one! My mum has often joked that we should write a story about our lives and call it Survivor because we’ve both been through so much, but we’d have to label it fiction because nobody would believe it was true. Other than that, I might name it after my blog, Ramblings of a Daydreamer.

What advice would you give aspiring writers?

Never ever give up. If you want it bad enough, don’t let anyone discourage you or tell you that you can’t do it. Dream big and believe in those dreams. Believe in yourself. Work hard. Hone your craft. Be passionate. Do it because you love it, not because you hope to get rich.

What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?

A typical day for me starts anywhere between 9 and 10am. I work from home, so I get on the computer almost right away and do my check-ins - email, Facebook, Twitter, blog, etc. Then I get to work and start writing until lunch time. After a short break, I get back to it until dinner time. I’ll usually take a few hours to read and watch TV, but then I get back to it and will be on the computer sometimes as late (or early) as 3am. I do try to set goals every day because I find it helps me work better. It’s usually a minimum word count, or sometimes sometime as simple as ‘finish chapter X’.

I'd like to thank you for such a great interview, and I hope to be able to do it all over again with any upcoming work you might have. I must say, that I also truly enjoyed the guest post. I had my own thoughts and feelings about Tilly, so getting to read more about her was nice.

Thank you so much for having me here Sarita, it’s been a pleasure! I appreciate your support so much, and I can’t wait to return to talk to you and your blog readers about future projects.

Well everyone, I really hope you enjoyed both the guest post and the interview. If you come back tomorrow, I'll be holding a giveaway.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Random Topic

To all my followers, if you'd like the chance to win an Ipad 2 or even a Kindle Fire. Follow the link below.  Let them know I sent you in the rafflecopter form and maybe we could both be winners!!