Posted in event, interview, my books, News

What’s Happening at The Venue

Interview with Christina Howerin

Today I’m with Christina Howerin, the host of the upcoming Valentine’s Popup Vendor Event at the newly opened, The Venue, Main Street, Aurora. Hello, what are you hoping to accomplish with this first vendor event?

Christina:  Hello, thank you so much for being a vendor and this interview!  I recently joined the Aurora Leadership Counsel, and was trying to find a fun way to help local vendors and attract people to come see some of the talent we have here in Aurora.

Sherri: You have several jobs and a couple of independent businesses; how do you juggle everything plus serve on several community organizations?

Christina:  Juggle is the magic word… lol   I work 40 hours weekly for Pamlico County DSS in the food stamp dept.,  I have a vendor booth at The Backyard Bee’s in New Bern,  I recently changed beauty companies.  I am now with VIC Beauty from California and I am also with Park Lane Jewelry.


Sherri: What is the name of your business?

Christina: I was thinking of nicknaming myself Backwoods Barbie.

Sherri: I love it.

Christina: After getting the coffee mug, it just fit.

Sherri: The Venue is the Chamber’s new venture. Are you part of the Chamber of Commerce? Who is handling The Venue rental?

Christina:  I have not yet added the Chamber of Commerce to my “Juggle list” yet.  I will hopefully be doing that soon.  Denise Bonner (252) 670-3711 is a member and she handles the Venue.

Sherri: The town of Aurora has had a bit of a revival lately. It is so good to see the community coming together to make changes. You’re a part of that change.

Christina:  Thank you!  It’s so nice to see people coming together. I invite everyone to come out to any of the Aurora Leadership Council meetings.  Aurora events and happenings can be found on  Make sure to sign up for the “Community Life” newsletter also!

Sherri: I’ve invited my fellow writers from the Pamlico Writers’ Group to bring their books to the Popup Event. Who else is going to be at The Venue?

Christina:  I started the vendor adventure with my former beauty company about a year ago.  I have made some awesome and talented friends.  There will be MT’s Cupcakes, Ms. Mary Jenkins, & Funnels of Love,  we also have Scentsy, East Coast Customs,  2 Creative Sista’s, handmade wood crafts, purses, towels, jewelry, Colorstreet, Tulaxii,  a wide array  

Sherri: You were talking of doing other events; what else do you have in mind?

Christina:  I plan on trying to have a popup once a month.  Next month is set for March 12th. Vendors can sell their items and/ or have a yard sale table.  Space is limited, so first to pay gets a spot.  If interested, please contact me (252) 375-0915 to be added to my Facebook group of vendors.

Plus Pure Romance representative, handcrafted items and jewelry designer, Bridgett Bonner

and more…

Don’t miss this holiday event at The Venue. Find great gift ideas or something for yourself.

I’m so excited to be included in this event.
Posted in Creekside Cafe, interview

Chatting with Alison Paul Klakowicz

Welcome Alison Paul Klakowicz to Creekside Cafe. I guess I should say, welcome home.

Alison: Yes, I was born and raised in Beaufort County, North Carolina. My family lived in Aurora from my birth until we moved to Washington when I was nine-years-old. My parents grew up in the Aurora area (Campbell’s Creek and Core Point).

Sherri: I used to hang out at Campbell’s Creek a lot. I remember running through fields and tromping through the woods.

It’s good to have you with us today. Join me for a cup of coffee. I understand you are addicted to it to.

Alison: Yes, COFFEE!

Sherri: You call Beaufort County home but its not your home at the moment.

Alison: I lived in Washington until I left for East Carolina University following graduation from Washington High School. Upon graduation from ECU, I moved back to Washington for a few years and worked as a reporter for Washington Daily News and then was employed with Beaufort Co DSS (Department of Social Services) which was the start of a career in human services. I moved to Wilmington and went on to work in the mental health field for several years. I moved to Fayetteville, ten years ago and worked as a Rehabilitation Counselor for North Carolina Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and earned a master’s degree from Southern University, Baton Rouge, Louisiana. A few years ago, I choose to leave my career in human services to focus solely on my creative pursuits.

Sherri: Are you writing full-time, now?

Alison: I am currently marketing my children’s book which takes a lot of time and energy. I started a podcast in May 2018 called Hodge Podge on Anchor

( to promote my writing and record my journey in pursuing my dreams and to inspire others to do so. I am now dabbling in the blogging world:

Sherri: I’d love to hear more about your podcast. How did you get started doing the podcast?

Alison: So, my husband came home one day last spring and told me I needed to start a podcast. I thought he was crazy. But there was a new, easy way to podcast from an app on Anchor right from your phone. I downloaded the app, hit record and the rest is history.

Sherri: It sounds like you’re busy. Are you married, have children? Does this effect your writing?

Alison: I married my Green Beret and Philadelphia born and bred (cheesesteak lover) husband, Adam, nine years ago. We have one son, Mak, who is seven and in the first grade. He is our pride and joy. We are a military family. My debut children’s book, Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck, was inspired by my son’s infatuation with monster trucks when he was a toddler and he would tell me every day he wished I drove a Big Red Monster Truck. So, YES. It has affected my writing… through inspiration.

Sherri: You mentioned a variety of careers, tell us how they have influenced your writing.

Alison: I’ve loved storytelling and reading books and poetry all my life. I developed a love of writing in high school when I was on the staff and Co-editor of my high school literary magazine. I went on to major in English at ECU 24 years ago. Loved studying poetry and creative non-fiction. From there, I spent some time as a newspaper reporter. I absolutely loved meeting people and talking to them about their stories. Feature writing was always my joy. Because I had a knack for listening to others and empathy for their life successes and struggles, I found myself in the helping profession. I learned so much about the people and world around me.

Sherri: How long have you been writing?

Alison: 27 years

Sherri: So, since you were born? What genre do you write?

Alison: I have a deep love of historical fiction and the supernatural. I have several manuscripts I’ve worked on over the years that I hope to complete and publish. All based on and inspired by my deep-set Eastern North Carolina roots.

Sherri: Do you have plans to write any other genre in the future?

Alison: I want to do it all! I also enjoy writing poetry.

Sherri: What is your latest project?

Alison: My focus at this time is Mommy’s Big, Red Monster Truck!

Sherri: What do you most enjoy about writing?

Alison: I love the art of storytelling. I believe we all have a story inside us.

Sherri: Even though writing is our passion, there are still aspects of it we dread. What do you despise about writing?

Alison: My inept attention span. I have a hard time sitting still and have so many ideas that it is difficult for me to concentrate on one thing!


Sherri: I’m not sure when you would find the time, but do you have any hobbies or interests besides writing? Do these show up in your writing?

Alison: I love gardening, being outdoors, bird watching, and pier sitting on the Pamlico River.

Sherri: If you are like most writers, you were a reader first, who are your favorite authors/genres?

Alison: I enjoy so many different types of genres. Good writing and storytelling does not follow one sect. Some recent favorite novels I’ve read are “Chasing the North Star” by Robert Morgan, “Where the Crawdad’s Sing” by Delia Owens, Suzanne Adair’s North Carolina influenced colonial mysteries, “Girl in Translation” by Jean Kwok and “Children of Blood and Bone” by Tomi Adeyemi.

Sherri: Alison, I’ve had a lovely time chatting with you. Before we go, give our readers a little insight into who you are.

Alison: I am a mother, military spouse, proud native North Carolinian, lover of the underdog, a fish out of water living in the Sandhills of NC, storyteller and lover of life. I’m tomato sandwiches and Duke mayonnaise.

Instagram: @alisonklak

Twitter: @KlakowiczAlison

Facebook: @mommysbigredmonsteryruck and @hodgepodgebyalisonklakowicz @nautigulcustomwoodart

Posted in contest, inspiration, my books, News

Fighting Like a Writer

My novel, Chrome Pink, is fiction. Unfortunately, cancer is not. Few of us haven’t had someone we know or love diagnosed with cancer. Many of us have had to watch someone we care about die.

In eastern North Carolina the cancer rate is higher than it is in the rest of the state. It is the leading cause of death in Beaufort County. At twenty four percent, we in Beaufort County have a higher cancer rate than the state’s average. We also have a higher rate of death from cancer, targeting males and especially, African American males. But cancer is the great equalizer. It cares not if you are rich or poor, old or young, black or white. Cancer affects us all.

In my novel, Chrome Pink, I have two characters dealing with cancer. My former agent dinged me on this but in my world, it would not be uncommon for one friend to lose her grandfather to cancer, while another’s mother is dealing with breast cancer. Chrome Pink’s first chapter opens with a funeral. Rae Lynne is devastated after the death of her grandfather.

The motorcycle Rae Lynne restores in this novel is to raise money for cancer research. The title, Chrome Pink, represents the motorcycle. The idea for the motorcycle came from a combination of people and events. My friend’s husband passed away and she gave his old motorcycle to my husband’s boss, her cousin. Because of the family connection, the boss was compelled to restore the bike as a tribute to his friend’s life. While the bike was not painted pink nor used to raise money for cancer, this was where the idea for restoring a motorcycle for cancer research came from.

I chose breast cancer because of its visibility and because several friends have gone through this frightening and devastating illness. We’ve all seen the pink ribbons, the tee shirts that say things like “Save the Tatas,” and the color pink is easily recognizable as being for breast cancer. I have trouble remembering what the other color ribbons represent but I have no doubts when I see a pink ribbon.

A pink Harley. The idea of using a masculine bike like a Harley Davidson and painting it such a feminine color made me smile. Most young people would think nothing of a pink Harley, but older dudes and hardcore bikers responded with, “Nah, that’s just not right. A Harley shouldn’t be pink.” It’s that reaction I’d hoped Chrome Pink would create. If people are talking, they’re aware. If they’re aware, then they’ll react. If we want a cure for cancer, we have to do all we can to make it a reality.

While Chrome Pink is a work of fiction, and the money Dana and Rae Lynne raise for cancer only in my imagination. I hope to use this story to help bring awareness for cancer research. I am raffling off a copy of Chrome Pink with a matching Chrome Pink (13 x 13) bag, candle, and “pink ribbon” jewelry to raise money for the Beaufort/Hyde Relay for Life. Tickets available for a $2 donation, three for $5. The drawing will be held on April 15th, 2018.

My novel isn’t going to change to the world but perhaps I can make a difference in one life. My only hope is that I can use my work to raise money and do my part as a member of my local Relay for Life team. Each team member must raise at least one hundred dollars, all of the proceeds go to Relay for Life and stay in Beaufort and Hyde Counties.

Together, we can make a difference.

Sherri Lupton Hollister

Chrome Pink

Southern Suspense/Thriller with a touch of romance and attitude

Posted in Book Review

Your Hand in Mine, We Will Go by Lynn Cavanaugh-Blades

Your Hand in Mine, We Will Go by Lynn Cavanaugh-Blades is a lovely story of faith and family. Set in small towns in North Carolina in 1964 we get a taste of nostalgia and a flavor of the south. Bringing to life familiar places in Beaufort County, it gives an insight into the life of seven year old Lynn and the choices she made that faithful year that impacted the rest of her life.
A story of fear and courage, love and faith and family. Like her favorite song by the Beatles “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, Lynn discovers that if she has faith in God, he will hold her hand and there is nothing she should fear.

I met Lynn at a Writers Read in Belhaven, she was there promoting her book. This is her first book and it has a lot of the history of Belhaven and Beaufort County as seen by the eyes of a child. Ms. Blades read a excerpt of her story to the group that night and I was so charmed by her characters, and her memories of them. This Faith-based story is a sweet account of learning to trust God.