Friday, March 3, 2017

The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles by Casandra Charles Interview & Giveaway

About Book 1

Title: The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles: Lust and Lies
Genre: African-American/urban romance and drama
JR was young, single, making money, enjoying life and on top of her game as a successful event manager in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from Clark Atlanta University, she focused most of her life on her career, driven by the need to prove herself while working in a men’s field. Atlanta was all about keeping up with the Joneses and JR knew just how to do it. After seven years in Atlanta, she abruptly moved back to New York to be with her family when her dad had a near-death experience. During her move, she met Toni, a single, blue-collar, strong-minded guy who quickly swept her off her feet with his lies. 

Love was never on her mind, but Toni was different (she thought). Even though they were at two different places in life, JR let her guard down and welcomed him in. After only a few months of their long-distance relationship, things started to move really fast, making JR really nervous. Then the drama began as Toni suddenly moved in with her and she started uncovering the hidden secrets of the real person. 

As JR was coming to terms with the idea of Toni being in her life, she remained torn between him and her past in Atlanta. A past that included David, her on-again, off-again lover who was everything JR wanted in a man: well-educated with a successful career, good looks, and the drive to want more of everything that Toni didn’t have. However, even after two years of dating, their relationship was like oil and water: they just didn’t mix. As Toni’s real personality was revealed, David looked more and more like the safe place for JR. When her current situation started to heat up, JR began wishing she had her old life back. 

The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles: Lust and Lies is just the beginning as JR tries to find the right balance in her life; however, that happy balance is not so easy find, especially when it’s full of lust and lies.

About Book 2

Title: The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles: Secrets Revealed
Genre: African-American/urban romance and drama
Just as Jamie Reynolds, aka JR, stepped outside of her comfort zone and lets her guard down with Toni, she quickly understood why she had it up in the first place. Toni was nothing like he pretended to be, and after three years of his lies, JR finally had had enough and found the courage to leave. 

JR didn't have many friends and was so embarrassed at her life's direction she tried to pretend she was okay, but her true friends knew better. This included David, her past lover, who was happy she was back in Atlanta, but things just weren't the same between them. Maybe because JR was still legally married to Toni, as he refused to sign the divorce papers, or maybe because David's life was moving forward and JR's life had fallen backwards. 

This new JR was nothing like her old self. JR was once a strong independent woman, but now she can't even look herself in the mirror without falling apart. After years of lies and now emotional abuse from Toni, who refuses to let her go, she just couldn't hold it all in and finally her emotions started to get the best of her. JR tried to drink her problems away, which only made things worse, as she truly lost her direction. Then her life unexpectedly came crashing down after her friendship with Terry took a turn for the worse. One by one JR not only lost her old friends, but she also lost her way, which led JR to seek help. 

Jenny was JR's saving grace, and after diving deep into her past, she finally began to uncover the hidden secrets of the real JR. Secrets even JR hid from herself. As Jenny encouraged JR to let her guard down yet again and explore dating, she met Mike, a twenty-five-year-old young professional who was nothing like Toni. He was educated, had a thriving career, and truly supported JR even after watching the drama unfold between Toni and her, but he never ran, and JR appreciated his strength.

Lust and Lies was just the beginning as The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles continues and JR is faced with the newest chapter in her life, a life full of questionable memories into her past, present and future self.

Author Bio
Originally from Brooklyn, New York, with parents from Trinidad and Tobago, Casandra “CeCe” Charles graduated college with a BA degree in Mass Media Arts at Morris Brown College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she resided for many years. She later received her Masters in Adult Education and currently works in East Harlem for a local Not for Profit Organization. 

Casandra always wanted to write a book but hesitated for many years, as she suffers from adult dyslexia. She never allowed her disability to hold her back from anything, and she finally completed her first book, Jamie Reynolds Chronicles: Lust and Lies, in 2015 and now Secrets Revealed in 2016. 

She is the successful owner of Smell the Sunset, LLC, which is an umbrella company for Creative Encores, LLC, an event planning business, and What’s Good USA, a Good News website that highlights good news from around the United States and now, her newest adventure, is an author. 

Casandra loves to travel and explore as well as having a bucket list of places to visit a mile long. She lives by many mottos, but her favorite one is “Live Laugh Love,” which is also tattooed on her left arm to remind her every day to Live today, Laugh often and Love always.


  1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
Don’t think I have a clear answer because I guess I still don’t consider myself a “writer”. I have a creative imagination and I love a good story so I put my thoughts on paper, so if by doing this means I’m a writer then it started when I was in high school, lol.
  1. How long does it take you to write a book?
I am embarrassed to say, but my first book took over 10 years, (seriously). I often started then life happens so I would put it down. I started Lust and Lies in 2004 and didn’t complete it until 2015. But now, I find time to write and Secrets Revealed (book 2) was completed in 1 year so my goal is to complete Pillow Talk (book 3) and the rest of the series annually.
  1. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
I work a typically 9-5 job in Harlem and I love my day job. However, writing has become an outlet so I often find time to write after hours or on the weekend. I also enjoy writing on vacation.
  1. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if I have one but I’m a little old school so I actually print out my drafts and read all my proofs on paper. I just love to turn a page to see what happens next. I also mark my edits then go back to the computer to type them in. This process in itself can take a few weeks between 2 rounds of drafts but I love it.
  1. How do books get published?
I am self-published on Amazon and Create Space. Kind of easy once you do your research and/or have a good mentor.
  1. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
Life is the biggest inspiration in my writing. Also, I love to read a good drama series so I often put myself in my reader’s shoes to add a little something extra to my storyline. Since life can be a little messy, writing has become a stress reliever to me now and helps me to express what’s around me on a daily basis (reality).
  1. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
I started Lust and Lies in 2004 (24) and didn’t complete it until 2015 (35).
  1. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I enjoy living life so dining out, catching a movie and of course traveling. Life is too short to spend it in one place.
  1. What does your family think of your writing?
I guess I never really asked. I know my parents never read my books and I am ok with this, lol.
  1. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
I was clueless on the process so nothing was surprising.
  1. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles is a 5 book series, I have completed 2 out of the 5 and I wish I can say Lust and Lies (book 1) is my favorite since it was my first and took the longest but I really enjoyed writing Secrets Revealed (book 2). Even though I haven’t complete book 4 “Too Good to Be True” (working title) I think this will be my favorite because it’s the closest to home.
  1. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
Don’t stop, keep writing. Also, find a mentor or support system. This was very helpful for me. Finally, technology is a blessing and a curse but in this case use it to your advantage and don’t be afraid to Google “how to be a better writer” and remember not everything works for everyone. So find what works for you.
  1. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I try to stay on social media (Twitter and IG) TheJRChronicles and (Facebook) The Jamie Reynold Chronicles (shameless plug, lol). Again, technology is a blessing and a curse so I enjoy reading what my readers thinks about my book series. I’ve even named character after my followers. The biggest comment I often get is the wait, they wish my books came out sooner instead of having them wait another year. Sorry, but I will work on this in the future.
  1. Do you like to create books for adults?
Yup, I am inspired by the many strong African American woman who hit the bottom and rose to the top, the fighters that never gave up on themselves or their happiness. The incredible woman in my life including myself all has an amazing story and I love and respect them for it. They inspire me to follow my dreams and do the unthinkable sometimes (close my eyes, step out on faith and just jump). I don’t think I would have the same connection with non-adult readers.
  1. What do you think makes a good story?
Life… is the best story. Both Lust and Lies and Secrets Revealed are from the same motivation of telling a story from so many different points of views.
  1. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
My mom wanted me to be a lawyer but I quickly went a different direction. In high school I wanted to be an actress then I enjoyed behind the scene better. This led me to go for my bachelor’s degree in Mass Media Arts, then I ended up going back to college to get my master’s in education. I think I am good now, lol.
  1. What would you like my readers to know?
Interesting question, I want to readers to know that everyone can usually relate to my series. It may not be their story directly but we all can relate. I love to write about real life and who knows maybe my series will have a happily ever after.

Facebook: The Jamie Reynolds Chronicles
Instgram: TheJRChronicles
Twitter: TheJRChronicles

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