Friday, 4 April 2014

Blog Tour + Interview + Giveaway - Accused by Yasmin Shiraz

Find the tour schedule here.

Title: Accused – A Retaliation Novel #2
Publication Date: January 9, 2014
Publisher: Rolling Hills Press/ Still Eye Rise Media
Author: Yasmin Shiraz

An easier and more peaceful life seemed to be destined for Ahmed and Tashera when they left Washington, DC and entered Georgia Atlantic University.  But when Ahmed is accused of a crime that he didn’t commit and begins to be tried in the media, his popularity plummets, his self-esteem suffers, and his dreams of playing college basketball disappear.

Meanwhile, there is a serial rapist on campus who has been attacking freshman girls at record numbers and forcing them to keep silent. As Tashera learns about the girls, she begins to close in on the rapist. But is the attacker too crafty to be caught? Will the state prosecutor ignore key evidence to instead focus on the fame that comes with convicting a high profile basketball star?

Tashera is beyond stressed as she divides her time between trying to find enough evidence to clear Ahmed while at the same time stopping the rapist who roams the campus of Georgia Atlantic.  Ahmed and Tashera’s journey into a new life away from home is more challenging than they ever thought that it would be.


About the Author

Yasmin Shiraz is the author of The Blueprint for My Girls as well as The Blueprint for My Girls in Love. She is an empowerment speaker and program developer who has delivered programs and keynotes based on her books.

She is the author of the ALA's Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers selection, Retaliation. She has spoken at over 100 colleges nationwide on topics such as empowerment, black history and hip hop culture.

She is an award winning film director as her film, Can She Be Saved? won 4 film awards including Best New film.

When not writing books, she produces documentaries for her company, Still Eye Rise Films.

Author Links: 

When did you start writing?

I started writing in journals as a pre-teen and wrote my first book of poetry at 19. I've been writing for my entire life.

What makes you want to write?

I like writing great stories and meeting new characters, then sharing them with the world.

Do you ever get writer's block and what do you do to get over it?

A few years ago, I suffered from a bad case of writer's block. I had never experienced it before.  There were many things going on in my life and I couldn't bring myself to sit down and write. But, I found a book that helped me get over it. The book is called, The 7 Secrets of the Prolific: The Definitive Guide To Overcoming Procrastination, Perfectionism and Writer's Block by Hillary Rettig.

Do you have a special way of going about writing?

I believe that I write from a well and the more that I fill the well, the more that I can write. Filling the well consists of me having new experiences, traveling, trying new food, etc. I spend much of my time trying something new. Those things inspire my writing.

What are your hobbies? 

Going to the movies, rollerskating, playing the piano, painting.

How did you choose the character names for Accused?

Two of the main characters came from the book Retaliation and so their names were already selected. But, I put a lot of thought into the name of the antagonist, Brandon Royal.  Because he was going to be such a menacing character, I wanted him to have a name that people would trust. True Sociopaths are outwardly friendly and are able to get people to trust them easily. I wanted to give Brandon a name that would convey the same thing.

Who is your favorite character in Accused?

Tashera is my favorite character because she has overcome negative situations from Retaliation to become a positive force in Accused. I also love the fact that she loves helping people. I love helping people so she's always close to my heart. 

Where did you get the idea for Accused?

I had been sitting in my office and the thought for Accused shot across my mind like blinding light. I heard, "I didn't do it," in one voice. Then, I heard, "They won't catch me," in another. I immediately thought, "Oh no, Ahmed's been accused of something." "Somebody is raping girls on campus," was the theme in my head that finally sat me down and guided me through the Accused outline.


What was your favourite part of writing Accused?

I enjoyed writing how quickly that electronic media can accuse and convict an innocent person. I think that part of the book is so accurate. When Ahmed was accused and before he could even be arraigned, people had already convicted him. That's real. 

Do you have any works in progress?

I'm working on the 3rd book in the Retaliation series. Its called Initiation.

What are you currently reading? 

How To Market A Book by Joanna Penn.

What is your favorite book? 

I have lots of favorites, but I read You Can't Keep A Good Woman Down by Alice Walker when I was younger and it ignited something inside of me. It made me want to do more as a person.

Who is your favorite author?

I have lots of favorites.  I hope I can list more than one.  

Maya Angelou - Her poetry speaks to power.  Still I Rise is my favorite poem of hers.

Stephanie Myer - She made me like vampire stories. I had never read a vampire story before Twilight. I don't care what people say or don't say. I love Stephanie!

James Patterson - Alex Cross. What more can I say?

K'wan - He writes urban fiction. He paints stories that literally rip your heart out. 

What is your favourite film?

Lots of favorites... I still watch The Bodyguard and Twilight as if they were just released yesterday. But also, Boyz N The Hood -- It was such a powerful story. 

What is your favourite TV show?

The Good Wife

Quick-fire questions:

Chocolate or ice cream? Chocolate
Paperback or ebook? Ebook
Dogs or cats? Dogs

Go out or stay in? Go out

Summer or winter? Summer

Four winners will receive an ecopy of Accused - open internationally.
One winner will receive a paperback of Book 1 (Retaliation) and an ecopy of Accused (Book 2) - open to US residents.

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