Tag Archives: books

Meet the Insider: Valinda Miller

By Tiah ShortValindapromo.png

VaLinda Miller has been with the federal government for 30 years and has worked both domestically and overseas in financial and administrative capacities.

Originally from Washington D.C., VaLinda has resided in Charleston, SC for 15 years, since the financial area of her agency relocated to Charleston. In addition to her volunteering to work with libraries in DC, Virginia, Maryland and other states, she is currently on the Board of the Friends of the Charleston County Library and Friends of the state of South Carolina Library.

In May of 2014, she purchased The Booksmith in Seneca, SC. She plans to retire in the next two years from the Federal Government. She is a regular blogger that heavily promotes Library and related causes, she has one beautiful daughter Kendra and loves her mixed-breed dog Tommy.


Meet the Insider.

Tell us about your bookstore. Your name and position. Where you are located and what genres do you carry?

The Booksmith is located in Seneca, South Carolina and has been around for 25 years.
We sell all genres – Fiction, non-fiction, Christian, African American, South Carolina history, USC and Clemson books/items, cookbooks, teen, kids, etc. We also sell jewelry, holiday decorations, scarfs, puzzles, board games, coffee, tea and biscotti.

VaLinda Miller and I am the owner. I purchased the store in May 2014.

It is 3 and half hours from Charleston, SC, 2 hours from Atlanta, 8 miles from Clemson University, and 45 minutes from Greenville, South Carolina.

What inspired you to launch your bookstore?

I attended a class in Florida called “Owning a Bookstore Workshop Retreat” by Paz and Associates. I attended it on a whim not knowing if I could afford a store or run an online store. The company suggested I look into The Booksmith since it was close to where I live.

Can readers purchase books from you online?

Not yet. Our website should be up in one week. We are blessed that we have a USPS Post Office inside the store where we can mail books directly to the customers.
What authors have you worked with and which one did you enjoy the most?

We have worked with a few local authors:
Billy William “What the Girl At The Picnic Said”
African American Author – Joyce Galloway Mece – The Sad Apple Tree
Dottie Frank
John Stamp – Shattered Circle

We enjoyed John Stamp’s mystery books.

What type of books do your customers enjoy most?

Best seller listings, SC History, mysteries and fiction.

How do authors and publishers contact to you for book signings and to pitch their books for placement in your stores?

Facebook, twitter, Instagram, email or visit the store

What has been one of the challenges of running a bookstore?

One of the biggest challenges is not enough money. I had planned to retire when I purchase the store, a year later, I realized that I could not afford to. Over the past year I have made many changes from the previous owner and cut back many unnecessary expenses in order to keep the store running. It is also hard to work a full time and part time job while being updated by my manager (who is doing a fantastic job) on a daily basis and I trust her.

If you had any advice for authors and publishers, what would it be?

Don’t submit or publish a story without someone other than friends/co-workers reviewing your work. Another review always adds value to the story. Do not invest a lot of money using other services without doing your own research into them. Don’t write with the ideal that you are going to become rich. Write because you love to write. Write your own story from your heart. Writing is a skilled enhanced over time and not the first book will be knocked out of the park.

If you had any advice for future book sellers, what would it be?

Do not borrow money. Yes, it may seem unrealistic and crazy, just don’t borrow. I have been in this business for two years and in the first year I listen to publishers, the previous owners and others on how I need a credit line to order books.

It does not work. Here is an example. You place an order for $500.00 worth of books or sideline items on January 1. The bill is due January 30. Will you have the money on January 30 to pay it in full? What about rent, utilities, payroll (the biggest expense), water, advertisement, etc. Will you make enough money in 30 days to pay those expenses as well as the $500.00 worth of items purchased?

Buy with cash. If it does not sell by the allotted time you want, return the items back to the vendor (and watch that deadline too. Many vendors have a deadline on when an item can be returned and the discount may be lower and you have to pay for shipping).

Watch you MONEY very carefully – every single day and please avoid borrowing.

Please share with us how authors can contact you via email and social media.

Email – valinda@thebooksmith.com or kenval89@gmail.com

Facebook – thebooksmithsc

Twitter – @TheBooksmithSC

Instagram – thebooksmithsc


tiahnewTiah Short is the Founder of Urban Literary Review and CEO of DC Bookdiva Publications, Find her online at dcbookdiva.com.




ULR FEATURE: A is for Anorexia: Anorexia Nervosa Explained by EM Farrell

Anorexia has the highest mortality rate of all psychiatric illnesses. This book gets inside the mind and the body of anorexics in order to demonstrate, that although it is hard work, they can recover and have a better life.
This book is for parents, families and friends of anorexics. It is also for psychotherapists, counsellors and for you, if you suffer from anorexia.
Em Farrell has worked with eating disordered patients for over 25 years. She is a psychotherapist, teacher and author of Lost For Words; The Psychoanalysis of Anorexia and Bulimia.
This books shows you that the primary motivator in anorexia is not to be thin. It is rather an addiction to the emotional and physical impact of self-starvation. Em Farrells shows you how and why this happens. Deep, deep down it is about an attempt to deal with unmanageable, uncontrollable feelings and thoughts that the sufferer is not usually aware of.
• Find out the history of anorexia
• Find out the facts and figures about anorexia
• Find out what anorexics eat
• Find out how anorexics survive
• Find out what the symptoms are
• Find out what happens in the mind of an anorexicOnce you know you can:
• Discover how to help your anorexic daughter or son
• Discover how to help yourself if you are the parent of an anorexic
• Discover how to help yourself if you are anorexic
• Discover sources of help for when you have reached your limit
• Discover hope and compassion and help the anorexic recover and have a better life.

• Get an inside view on working with anorexics in the consulting room

If you are a parent discover the reasons why your child might have become anorexic and discover how to help him or her recover.

Book Review
“In as much as you can love a book about such a difficult but pervasive subject, I loved it and found this book to be very helpful in understanding more about the world of Anoretic sufferers. It is very easy to read and grasp, more so than many books on the subject. It gives insight with words from patient’s mouths, and offers hope in a way that I have rarely seen. It does not minimize the difficulty of recovery, but details steps that have worked with compassion and thoughtfulness. Including the family in the search for wellness can be key. I found I even understand my own issues with food more clearly and thoughtfully. We can all learn from this book.”– Amazon Reviewer
About the Author
Em Farrell is a practicing psychotherapist, author and teacher. Some of her greatest challenges have been working with eating disordered patients. She set up a centre for women with eating problems in London, UK back in 1989. Her first book was Lost for Words:The Psychoanalysis of Anorexia and Bulimia. She then decided she wanted to write a series on eating disorders for a wider audience. She wanted to explain what anorexia, bulimia and compulsive eating are, why people get them, and what they can or can not do about these disorders. She offers a free monthly webinar, which you can find out more about at http://www.abcofeatingdisorders.com.

Did You Miss Real is Back w/ Seth Ferranti and Eyone Williams Tonight?


About Tabi Bonney

Tabiabuè Bonney, better known as Tabi Bonney, is a Togo-born, Washington, D.C.-based rapper. He is the son of Itadi Bonney, an afro-funk musician popular during the 1970s in Togo and West Africa.[1] Bonney achieved recognition in the Washington metro area with his radio singles “The Pocket” and “Doin It,” which featured Raheem DeVaughn. Bonney started a clothing line called Bonney Runway; he has also directed and produced music videos for several artists including friend and fellow D.C.-associated rapper Wale

Listen to the Show Now!

ULR Daughter of the Game 3 by Kai


When hate and revenge rain down like lava spewing from a volcano, even the Waters can’t extinguish the fire.
Ricardo triggered a war with plans to snatch the Waters’ empire from Armand, but just like a match dropped in the dry woods, no one can control the explosions that ultimately tear across the city and his family. While Pete executes revenge, Armand is left gathering what’s left of TW2: Monique and Michelle. As secrets tumble out, and the threat of elimination becomes a reality, the Waters wage a final war that will cost them everything. This time, it’s every man and woman for themselves. Game Over.
Book Review
I enjoy this author and her writing style. I like her attention to details and loved the conclusion. Great series love Armand although Monique can be a bit ridiculous, dumb, naive, holding things in when she should just explain the circumstances, he loves her anyway. – Milan, Amazon Reviewer

Available On Kindle and in Paperback!

Available on ebook and in paperback!

US: http://amzn.to/1F4YZK3
CA: http://amzn.to/1BCTbsj
UK: http://amzn.to/1Cpwqt4

‪#‎ulrfeature‬ ‪#‎authorsonabudget‬ ‪#‎urbanliteraryreview‬ ‪#‎daughterofthegame‬

Authors On A BUDGET – Literary Feature – $15 ON Sale Until April 15th!

Sample Literary Feature: http://wp.me/p1OyvB-qw
Sample Literary Feature: http://wp.me/p1OyvB-pT
Reserve Now! http://bit.ly/1MwgAzM



Searching for Rebellion: Two Indie Authors Form Edgy Publishing Company

Tony Nesca and Nicole I. Nesca have one question – where have all the fearless artists gone? Unable to find a mainstream publishing outfit that suited their taste for grittier writing, the Nescas formed their own – Screamin’ Skull Press.


Creators like Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs and Lucien Carr courted debate and made careers out of pushing the proverbial envelope with their poems, books, music and other creative expressions. Living on the fringes of society was considered to be more exciting and fulfilling than conforming to the mainstream.

Authors and married couple Tony and Nicole Nesca feel connected to that Generation through their own work, and their innate understanding of what it means to be artists whose work cannot be deemed ‘conventional’ by anyone’s standards.

Currently writing, editing and publishing their works through their self-publishing venture, Screamin’ Skull Press, Tony Nesca and Nicole Nesca have both cultivated individual styles but have the same mission.

“To be frank, we see too much pushed out into the world today that is bland and formulaic,” says Tony Nesca, whose unique, humorous and lyrical sixth novel, ‘Hobo’ is out now. “Every other book is a rip-off of another rip-off. The bookstores are packed with these endless vampire stories and dystopian fairy tales. Where is our Anais Nin? Our Hunter S. Thompson?”

Screamin’ Skull Press exclusively publishes the works of the Nescas, and along with ‘Hobo’, released Nicole I. Nesca’s collection, ‘Kamikaze White Noise’ this year. Raw, electric and with a free flowing mix of prose and poetry, the companion pieces are explorations of sexual freedom, art, death and love.

“We knew that mainstream publishers wouldn’t have the courage to publish the kind of work that we want to create,” says Nicole Nesca. “It’s interesting – sometimes we wonder, could Charles Bukowski find success in today’s market? It’s as if bravery is a dirty word in literature. Fearlessness, to me, is everything to a writer. Although we have our own styles, I think that’s one thing that Tony and I saw in each other when we met – that drive to find truth and peel back the layers in our own work.”

“I think we first fell in love with each other’s writing,” says Tony. “Which was a fitting beginning to our story.”

Tony Nesca and Nicole I. Nesca have published 18 distinct works through their Indie Press, and their journey toward a more rebellious future for literature continues

For more information about Screamin’ Skull Press, and for details on Tony Nesca and Nicole I. Nesca’s individual works, please visit their website: http://screamingskullpress.blogspot.ca/

About the Authors:


Tony Nesca was born in Torino, Italy in 1965 and moved to Canada at the age of three. He was raised in Winnipeg but relocated back to Italy several times until finally settling in Winnipeg in 1980. He taught himself how to play guitar and formed an original rock band playing the local bars for several years. At the age of twenty-seven he traded his guitar for a Commodore 64 and started writing seriously. He has published six chapbooks of stories and poems (which he used to sell straight out of his knapsack at local dives and bookstores), six novels, four books of poetry and stories and has been an active contributor to the underground lit scene for twelve years, being published in innumerable magazines both online and in print.


Nicole Nesca was born in Ohio. She developed a love of music, painting and writing early on and continued that love throughout her adult life. While living in Canada, she completed her first three works of poetry and prose collected in the anthology piece, KAMIKAZE WHITE NOISE., and her latest release of poems, Diamond Scarred Alley. She has been published in several E-Zines and has been a part of two anthologies.


Tony Nesca  stalekisses@hotmail.com

ULR Feature: INDISCRETION by Tonya Lampley

One careless night and a man’s life is changed forever.
Damon Harris wants a better life than the one he’s currently living. He has a penchant for trouble and a trail of mistakes behind him, but inside he can feel a greater call urging him on to the man he knows he can become. He marries the ideal woman in hopes it might settle him down. But change is hard. Stuck in a self-created prison where the only warden is himself, he’ll do just about anything to break free.

A few drinks, a beautiful girl…was it worth it?

Purchase on Kindle

Purchase in Paperback

About the Author


Tonya Lampley is a Cincinnati based fiction author writing on life, love and the journey. Her debut novel is titled A Taste of Love and was a 2012 NIEA finalist. Her second novel is titled Indiscretion. To learn more about Tonya and her works or sign up for her newsletter, please visit http://www.TonyaLampley.com.

Penned for IPhone, Puts Those Dreams of Being a Famous Author in Your Pocket

“Penned creates a community around writers of all kinds – it is a fun and beautiful way to share stories, opinions, and true tales along with a photo from your phone.”


Penned offers a newly redesigned platform for writers and bloggers to create and share their work on-the-go, while allowing them to interact with others who have similar interests in writing. Whether you are a novelist, poet, song-writer, fan fiction enthusiast, or blogger there is always something you can gain from the app. In this user-friendly and interactive setting, members are able to produce, discover, and share works with the mobile world.

In Japan, mobile story writing has had huge success producing some of the country’s top selling novels in recent years. Yet to find mainstream success in America, Penned hopes to change this mobile writing phenomenon. Penned is more than merely a mobile portal for writers to share their current creations, but aims to be an additional platform of social media. It is strategically positioned in between the more casual-post networks like Twitter & Facebook and longer form writing venues such as Fanfiction.net or publishing an eBook.

Feature Highlights:

  • Post a story accompanied by a cover image
  • Add chapters as you go and let your story unfold into a novel
  • Post to the most popular categories or create your own
  • Add & edit stories straight from the website
  • Connect with your friends and reading audience with comments on each chapter
  • Follow other writers and keep up with their work
  • Easily share to Twitter and Facebook

Penned is available as a free app in the US, but it is also available worldwide in several languages. It is currently in the AppStore, but is coming very soon to the Android market.

Please visit http://www.penned.me for more details.

Penned, a social writing community that help users to engage with their audience and gain a following.