Preparing for Track and Field at the 2012 Olympics

By Denise Turney

Let me start off by saying, “I love track and field.” I’ve loved the sport since I was 10 years old. This is the time of year when track and field, especially at the professional level, is in full swing. Of course, this year we also have the 2012 Olympics which kick off July 26, the day when the Olympic torch is scheduled to be lit at London’s Olympic Stadium.

Track and Field 2012 Olympic Trials

The air is filled with anticipation, nerves, great expectation and excitement. National Olympic trials are already causing a stir. For starters, sprinter Yohan Blake beat fellow Jamaican, Usain Bolt, in the 100 meters at Jamaica’s track and field trials. Of course, both sprinters raced their way into the Olympic Games. It’s just that few people expected anyone to beat Bolt, an international favorite in the 100 meters. As reported in The Guardian’s June 29, 2012 “London 2012 Olympics: Usain Bolt Beaten by Yohan Blake at Olympic Trials” article, Blake was clocked at 9.75 in the 100 meter finals during the trials. Impressive.

The women’s 200 meter trial sprint was a scorcher, Allyson Felix barely edging out Jeneba Tarmoh by running a blazing 22.297 seconds. Trials for longer distances were held later in the week. One of the more challenging distance events is the steeple chase, a race that demands stamina, mental strength and flexibility and an undefeatable will. During the Oregon trials, Emma Coburn was clocked in the steeplechase at 9:32.78, a time that was almost three seconds ahead of second place finisher, Bridget Franek, who crossed the finish line in 9:35.62. The field events were no less impressive.  Consider this, Jill Camarena-Williams took the top spot in the women’s shot put, throwing 62 feet and 10.5 inches.

Running for Olympic Gold Medals

Earlier at the United States’ track and field trials in Eugene, Oregon, 400 meter runner Kirani James (coached by former Olympic gold medalist and Hall of Fame college coach, Harvey Glance) ran down the final turn and home stretch alongside LaShawn Merritt. Unfortunately, James had a false start and was disqualified. Both runners were impressive, Merritt more so of the two.

This is the time of year Raymond Clarke, the main character in Love Pour Over Me, lives for. Running and winning championships since middle school, Raymond is an Olympic hopeful. His athletic career takes flight during the time when athletes like Carl Lewis, Edwin Moses, Evelyn Ashford and Mary Decker Slaney dominated the sport.

A gifted and talented middle distance runner who set records at the national indoor track and field championships, Raymond knows how to hold his own. He’s tough and resilient, unafraid of a challenge. He also loves to run, crisp air pumping through his lungs, his legs stretching out fast and smooth across the pavement. Running sets his mind at ease, makes him feel free. Even now I know, had he been born at a different time, he would have made the 2012 Olympics.

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!

More about Books – Starting on a New Novel

By Denise Turney

I was almost finished editing Love Pour Over Me when I started writing my next novel. Looking back, I think that’s the way I’ve always managed the creative side of my writing career. The process keeps me from getting too attached to the book I’ve just finished writing. This, in turn, allows me to keep moving forward, ready to receive the next fiction story that surfaces within me.

Writing the first draft of a new book is fun. It’s also the most challenging part, especially considering the fact that I’ve learned how to cut the fat out of a story without feeling like I’m taking blood from myself. Oh, the despair, the dread I felt years ago when it came time to start editing and cutting away at a story I’d spent months laboring to pull together. Although I can’t confirm it, I imagine that most authors struggle with this part of the writing process.

As I’m experiencing with my next book “Gada’s Glory” (working title), I feel exhilarated while I’m creating a new book. It’s so much fun! The process is pure – purely creative. There’s no need to focus on marketing, promotions, etc. during this process. I don’t have to spread the word about a new novel I’m creating because it’s all mine . . . for now.

It’s like being in a laboratory, trying this and that, creating intriguing characters and placing them in challenging and/or rewarding scenes. In time I start rooting for one or more characters and disliking other characters. Amazing how this happens considering the fact that I’m the one who’s creating all of the book’s characters. Oddly, with Love Has Many Faces (sold out) a character I loved (Leslie Fletcher) was absolutely hated and despised by readers. That was a first for me. Leslie made a lot of mistakes, many of which deeply hurt innocent people, but she evolved and awakened by the end of Love Has Many Faces; however, readers were not up for dismissing her prior mistakes.

Which brings me to another point I love about starting on a new novel . . . I love working with emotion! It may well be my biggest payoff as a book author – hearing from readers, especially readers who are emotionally charged about a scene or character. I love when that happens!

Malcolm (Raymond Clarke’s father) is the guy who pulls loads of emotion out of readers in my recently published book, Love Pour Over Me. Unlike Leslie, readers come to see Malcolm differently by the end of Love Pour Over Me. Guess I got a little better at allowing characters to evolve and awaken. That or Leslie struck a nerve in readers and wouldn’t let go.

But that’s me . . . what are your favorite parts of a novel? What makes a story a winner for you, the type of book you simply can’t put down? Is it the plot, dialogue, an intriguing setting . . . Just what is it about a book that keeps you turning the pages?

I’m sure you can tell; the rewards of writing are a plenty! I love to write, to create stories that pull emotion up within readers like you! Gotta tell you, as a reader, you make my life’s work wonderful! Thank you!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!


Book Clubs Make Reading Great Books Fun

By Denise Turney

Libraries, schools and bookstores are traditional places members of book clubs meet at to examine, explore and discuss great books. These avid lovers of great non-fiction and fiction stories also meet at each other’s homes. Attend one meeting as a new member and you’ll clearly see how passionate active members are about literature.

Key benefits you receive when you join a book club are friendships and the chance to celebrate a shared passion with likeminded people. You can also travel to other parts of the world, enjoying the sites and sounds of foreign lands during the day and authors reading from their bestselling novels at night. In fact, some book clubs like the Cushcity, Unputdownables and Explorations book clubs, host cruises for their members. During cruises authors not only read from their books, they also hold face-to-face question and answer discussions with book club members. While you’re at sea don’t be surprised if you strike up one or more lasting friendships with some of your favorite writers.

For me a true gem gained from joining book clubs is the chance to dive into the heart of a story alongside other avid book readers. I always learn something about a character, scene or plot that I didn’t notice before. It’s like watching a movie twice and picking up images and sounds that slipped past you the first time you watched the movie.

Other benefits you can gain when you join (and actively participate) in a book club include:

  • Learning about great books you may not have heard about on your own (my first book, Portia, got a huge lift this way!)
  • Buying books at discounted rates if your book club buys books in bulk
  • Opportunities to meet authors in person during special club meetings
  • Chances to spread the word about great books, perhaps even assisting in the launch of a talented writer’s career
  • Ability to write articles and/or book reviews on books you read (and get paid for it!)
  • Another reason to continue building your digital and/or print book collection!

If you’re looking for a book club to join, consider checking with your local library or bookstore. You can also join online book clubs listed at websites like Goodreads,, B& and Some of the larger, more widely known book clubs are Oprah’s book club (she’s bringing it back!),, Black Expressions, History Book Club, Doubleday Book Club and Romantic Times Book Club.

P.S.:  If you’re a book club president or the member of a book club, please email me. I’d love to connect with you and offer you special deals on my books. Oh, and you’ve gotta know that I’d love to visit your club in person, share laughs, have fun with your club members and talk about my books Love Pour Over Me, Portia, Long Walk Up, Spiral and Love Has Many Faces!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!

Blog Tour

LovePourOverMe Ebook

Wednesday, July 20, 2012, the blog tour for my new book Love Pour Over Me kicked off! You better believe I want you to join me on the blog tour. It runs from June 20, 2012 through July 17, 2012. I’m doing interviews, blogging and more!

When you visit stops along the tour, please be sure to post comments and hit the share buttons (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon) on the tour stops so you can share information about tour stops with your family, friends and other book lovers!

And hey! I’m giving away two free copies of Love Pour Over Me at each stop, so remember to enter the book giveaways! Specific dates and stops on the blog tour are:

June 20 – Introduction at VBT Cafe’ Blog

June 22 – Words I Write Crazy

June 25 – Mass Musings

June 27 – Cindy Vine

June 29 – Nita Bee’s Buzzin’ Web Blog

July 2 – The Book Hoard

July 5 – Mocha Girls Read

July 10 – Books, Books and More Books

July 12 – MK McClintock’s

July 14 – A Book Lover’s Library

July 17 – Law Reigns

See you on the tour!  Thanks!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!

2012 NBA Championships

My first musing is about the 2012 NBA Championships.  As a native Ohioan I am elated for LeBron James and the Miami Heat!  I’m happy that LeBron kept moving forward, persevered, and got his ring this year!

Even with his massive talent and athletic gifts the road to the championship for LeBron James wasn’t smooth. He played his heart out in Cleveland but, while there, didn’t have enough pieces to win it all. What he endured after deciding to go to Miami was unlike anything I had ever seen a professional athlete experience. Athletes who’ve committed crimes didn’t seem to get punched in the face as much as LeBron James did. But he endured. He stayed open and made necessary changes . . . changes that paid off.

The road to the 2012 NBA Championships remind me of the road to success in many other areas of life. It’s not always smooth as you ascend to the top, but it’s so worth it. You may have to work harder than you ever thought you could. You may have to remove some things from your life as if making room for the new great things that are knocking on your life’s door, asking you to let them in. You also might get criticized for mistakes, assumed or real, that you make. At times you might feel as if you’re aiming for the top all on your own. Keep climbing. Keep striving. Keep your eye on the prize. If you do, the payoff just might surprise you!

Before I close out this blog post, gotta tell you, I also like the Oklahoma City Thunder (love Russell Westbrook’s game and energy). Those guys are going to be around for years to come, making for great NBA playoff and NBA Finals series. Akin to what LeBron James did, I appreciate how the Oklahoma City Thunder overcame challenges and criticisms to reach the level they reached this year. As a former track and cross-country runner I know the loss stings, but they’ll be back. LeBron experienced eight years of losses before he got his ring. Hopefully, the guys on the Oklahoma City Thunder realize that and can see LeBron’s win as a vision of what they will experience.

Now I’m waiting to see what Eli and Peyton Manning will do after the NFL season kicks off. I’m also hoping that Michael Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles give their supporters something to cheer about! Sports . . . don’t you love it!

Thank you for reading my blog. To learn what happens to Raymond, Brenda and the other characters in Love Pour Over Me, hop over to, B&, and get your copy of Love Pour Over Me today. And again I say – Thank You!

Welcome Friends

Welcome to my personal blog!  I create so much content (e.g. blogs, articles, research, copywriting) for creatives and small business owners that I decided to sit myself down and write a personal blog. It’s kind of an offshoot of my online diary which I started at nearly eight years ago.

I’ll be blogging about books I’ve read, stories I’m creating and book signings and interviews I’m conducting. I’ll also share my thoughts about movies and music I’ve recently taken in and enjoyed. If you love jazz as much as I do, feel free to kick back and enjoy links to some smooth jazz while you’re here.

For your ease, you can also open my blog in a separate window while you enjoy exploring more of and learning even more about my books. I provide a brief overview of my books right here at my blog (check out the “My Books” link at the top of this page). However, excerpts and more detailed information on my books are available right from the main page of

Again – welcome!  I’m so glad you’re here!

Key Links:

Chistell Main Page