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How I Felt Defeated and Came Out Stronger 
by Lacey D. Northington

It was like I was dreaming the noise of the fire alarm going off and the soft tap on my shoulder. But it was not a dream; I opened my blurry eyes to see a woman standing over me. She was standing there crying, shaking, and her clothes were disheveled.

“I’m so scared.” She said, standing there with her eyes darting around like she was following a gnat around the room. I opened my eyes and looked around the room to try to grasp at what was happening. My mind raced a mile a minute, egging on a major headache from the dead sleep I awoke from.

“It will be okay,” I tried to assure her, but she kept rattling on like a manic that was off her meds.

  “I don’t know what to do! I’m scared,” she said. Still trembling like a leaf on a windy day. I sat up from my bed that was made up of yellow grooved foam, as the mattress, and thin white sheets that were so rough, it felt like a cheap roll of tissue paper. The blaring fire alarm had finally stopped. The nurse entered our room to tell us that it was just a false alarm. My roommate was still in a panicked mood. She walked over to her bed and sat Indian style, with her hands in her mouth, like she was biting her nails.

I’m so scared they are coming to get me.” She continued, “I’d jumped out of my two story window because they were after me.” I was confused, and I just wanted to go back to sleep like I was dead again. Instead, I let her continue to ramble on.

“Look! Look!” she said as she pointed to a freshly made scar on her arms. Quite frankly, it looked like she had a visit from Edward Scissorhands.

 “Aw, it will be okay,” I tried to reassure her to no avail.

 “No, it won’t!” she said.

“Why?” I’d asked. My roommate said these words that had me frightened me the rest of the night.

 “Because I am a Schizophrenic and I haven’t taken my medicine in three days!” With her readily admitting her medical condition, I sat straight up in my bed and vowed that I was not going to go back to sleep. I sat there like a soldier, lying in wait for my enemy to cross my side of the battlefield. Watching roommate rock back and forth, I pondered three things: Why was I given a roommate that was a non-medicated Schizophrenic? Where was the nurse with my roommate’s medicine? And how in the world I’d let my life get so out of control that I was placed in a mental institution?

 Being in a depressed state is like having a dark cloud over your head constantly. I remember that day when I wanted to end it all. I stared at my reflection in the mirror, and I saw a girl that was at her wits’ end. Her clothes were wrinkled from lying in the bed for two days, her hair was cut off, and her eyes were red and puffy. Looking away from my reflection, I looked in my left hand where I had placed pills that I was going to take. The pills would end it all right then, but something was stopping me from doing the unthinkable. I was like a Gemini; I had a good side and I had a bad side. The bad side wanted me to take those pills, but my good side told me to call and ask for help. My good side wanted me to see the brighter days ahead, but the bad side was outweighing the bright side.

 I looked at my reflection again and said a prayer begging God for his grace and mercy to get me past this pain and heartache I was feeling. It was like he answered my prayer because I picked up my phone and called my sister. It was midnight and I feared she was asleep, but I pressed the numbers in my phone and she picked up right away. I could not get the words out of my mouth quick enough; she told me to unlock my door and that she was coming to get me. She wanted me to go to the hospital. I felt relief when I poured my heart out to her. It felt as though my heart was being pulled by a ton of bricks.

When I sat on the couch in the hospital, in what you would call ‘The Living Area’ I saw many faces that were sad just like mine. There were teenage faces, middle-aged faces, and elderly faces. We were all here because we could not handle our lives anymore. What stood out to me the most was a woman who looked like she was in her late-thirties to early-forties. She had curly blond hair and was the same size as me, skinny but shorter in height. She reminded me of a 1930’s Hollywood actress. She was constantly crying, morning to evening, her heart was broken. Her son lost his life to serve our country so we could have our freedom. There was another patient that was with me who experienced a traumatic childhood with sexual and physical abuse. I looked around the room, and I felt that my situation was nothing compared to their stories.

I remember going back to my plain little room and saying a prayer to God that I was going to get through this depression. I consistently prayed day and night, and all the hate, pain, and sadness were slowly removed. This story was two years ago; I can finally say that I am happy with my life. Some people keep stories like these a secret because they are afraid to be labeled as a ‘crazy’ person. I tell my story to give people hope, hope to stay alive because no matter how big you think the problem is, it is smaller compared to others.

Lacey D. Northington
Lacey is a writer, diarist, essayist, and an aspiring screenplay writer. She has been writing in diaries, consistently, since she was ten years old. Her favorite author is Anais Nin, who inspired her to keep diaries and may have them published in the future. Lacey is also a proud mother to her nine year old son and they currently live in Springfield, Tennessee.


by D. A. Sears

There are approximately 2.2 billion children who live and play in the global village we know as Planet Earth. We are connected to each of them. And they are connected to us. They are our children – the heart and soul of our global village. Their melodious laughter, incessant inquisitive banter, and irrepressible enthusiasm is infectious and inspiring. We feel their joy. The village – our global village – would be a desolate place without them. Can you imagine living in a world devoid of laughter, joy, and irrepressible enthusiasm?

Yet, we allow approximately 1 billion children in our global village to live in poverty.  We allow 640 million children in our global village to live without adequate shelter. We allow 400 million children in our global village to live without access to safe water. We allow 270 million children to be denied access to health services. And every year, death silences the melodious laughter, incessant inquisitive banter, and irrepressible enthusiasm of approximately 1.4 million children – our babies -- because they do not have access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation in our global village. 

How will living in poverty and not having access to adequate shelter,  safe drinking water, and adequate sanitation shape these children’s perception of the world outside of their immediate environment and their place in it?  Will they see a world that offers unlimited opportunities? Will growing up in abject poverty without access to adequate shelter, safe drinking water, and adequate sanitation shatter the souls and break the spirits of these children – our babies – and the global village’s Next Generation of Husbands, Wives, Mothers, Fathers, and Leaders?

Then there is the issue of the education of our children – the heart and soul of our global village. 
The number of children throughout our global village who are not attending school is shocking and tragic. At least 67 million primary school-age children are not attending school. Approximately 45% of these “out of school” children live in sub-Saharan Africa and approximately 24% of “out of school” children live in South and West Asia. Forty percent of “out of school” children in South and West Asia were previously enrolled in school but dropped out of school at some point. 

In Arab states, “out of school” children number approximately 5.8 million; 2.2 million “out of school” children exist in North America and Western Europe; Central and Eastern Europe estimates that its “out of school” children number 1.1 million; East Asia and the Pacific has approximately 8.3 million “out of school” children; and approximately 2.8 million “out of school” children can be found in Latin America and the Caribbean. It is estimated that at least 72,000,000 children of lower secondary school age are “out of school” and approximately 10,000,000 children in sub-Saharan Africa drop out of primary school each year. 

The village suffers when its children – its heart and soul – are allowed to languish in poverty, live without adequate shelter, safe drinking water, health services, sanitation, and not attend school or drop out of school We must rethink how we can provide access to economic opportunities to the parents of the children in our global village who are impoverished. We must build and adequately maintain sewage treatment plants that will pump out unhealthy and deadly waste materials and water treatment plants that pump in water that is safe to drink, cook with, and bathe in throughout our global village. It is imperative that we create accessible and affordable health resources and support services. We must look at why so many of our children – the village’s heart and soul – are not going to school or are dropping out of school. 

Let’s resolve the issues that prevent our children from attending school and staying in school. Let’s rethink how we are educating our children. Are we providing them with the skills they will need to become productive and successful adults in a global marketplace that is driven by information technology? 

Now, take a minute to think about yourself. When you were born, you were the heart and soul of the village. When the adults of the village gazed into your probing and sparkling eyes, they saw hope and the promise of a new day. You were loved. You were nurtured. You were valued. But what if your entire journey from childhood to adulthood had been spent living in poverty, without adequate food and shelter, and no access to safe drinking water, health services, and adequate sanitation. Would you have matured into a purpose-driven, productive, and successful adult? Would you go through life being angry or happy? 

Would you have a sense of direction or would you spend your life wandering around aimlessly? Would you be a vibrant, trusting, forgiving, and loving person? Or would you mature into an emotionally and spiritually detached adult? Would you be an asset or a liability to the village? Would you even exist?!

Shouldn’t our children – the village’s heart and soul – experience the same intense caring, nurturing, and mentoring that you enjoyed during your journey from childhood to adulthood? Don’t they deserve to feel protected, loved, and valued?

Connect with the Author
D.A. Sears, 2012 International Men's Day - United States Coordinator  
Member, International Men's Day Coordination Committee  
Member, University Council for Fatherhood and Men's Studies Program at Akamai University 

Father:  Short Story 

by H.H.Fowler 

“I wish I’d known my father,” she says. She often says it. I observe the longing in her eyes and the slump in her shoulders.

She’s a dear soul who deserves my most compassionate response. But I’m not certain how my words would affect her this Sunday afternoon, as it is Father’s Day – the day the rain falls with a vengeance and adds gloom to her sense of lost. She cries, which breaks my heart, as I listen to her describe what it feels like to be without a father.

I now have a deep desire to identify with her pain, to switch place with her and to carry her load, which drags me through the rafters of my mind and into the attic of my soul only to discover I couldn’t feel what she feels. She had heard me tell my father I loved him and had thanked him for being in my life. 

I conclude in my heart, as I watch her wipe her tears with the back of her trembling hand, that fathers are important and a mighty pillar of strength to their children. Their presence, as well as their absence in the home must have some measure of impact. In my email box this morning I received a succinct message from a friend, which simply says, Happy Father’s Day, Jack, and beneath it was an inscription from Proverbs 17:6, in which I must have read a dozen times. The glory of children is their fathers.

My eyes water as I think about my eighteen-month-old son, who trots behind me from room to room, giggling as his tiny feet endeavors to catch up. He embraces me and says, “Dada”, in that sort of ‘I-really-love-you’ kind of way. In his little mind I wonder how much I mean to him. I wonder as he grows if this fascination would remain. I’m suddenly aware that I can help shape his destiny. I’m suddenly aware he trusts me and that whatever decision I make will somehow affect him. 

I kneel in front of her and gently wrap my arms around her waist, feeling a drop of her tears cascading down my neck. She is pregnant with our second child. I feel a sense of obligation, a sense of pride, and love, which grips my soul so tight I feel as if I’m suffocating. She feels it too. She knows that I will be there for them, come what may, I will not abandon my family.

So kudos to all the fathers who are making it work; despite the odds against them!

© 2010 All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author, H.H.Fowler. This short story is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

Books by Author  H.H. Fowler

Church Boyz - Book 1 (Rod of the Wicked) by H.H. Fowler

Buy now: 

Church Boyz - Book 2 (When Things Go Wrong) by H.H. Fowler
Buy now: 


The Watchman
by Rachel L. Smith

“But if the watchman see the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet to warn the people and the sword comes and takes the life of one of them, that man will be taken away because of his sin, but I will hold the watchman accountable for his blood as stated in Ezekiel 33:6.   As a single parent I am sometimes required to wear many hats such as mother, father, doctor, disciplinarian, and watchman. 


Ezekiel 33:6 describes a watchman’s duties as being one who warns others of impending danger. As parents we are called to ring the warning bell in many different ways. The first way I ranged the warning bell to my son by having the danger talk with him.  “You are going to scare him.” I heard from family, friends, and acquaintances told me.  
“He is going to become afraid of every one he meets!” Someone else said to me. 

But still I had the talk with my son. 

• I warned him against getting in the car with anyone who drives by and offers him candy or anything.
• I warned him against letting someone touch him in any place that his underwear covers.
• I warned him that I do not kiss him on the mouth neither should any one else.
• I warned him against, if he is spending the night with a friend, there is no reason that he should ever sleep in their parent’s bed.

The second thing I warned my son about, as a requirement of my position as a watchman, was to the battery theory. A battery has a positive and negative charge just like a pair of Jumper Cables. However in life the positive and negative charges are teaching children to do the right things or make the right choices. 

For example:  Let’s say that your child rides the bus, school bus, to and from school. One day he or she has to make a choice of helping to taunt another child or go and alert an adult to what was going on and take the risk of being called a snitch. The way that I would tell my son to handle this situation is to use a positive charge and pray about the negative, charge, they he may have to face and hope that he will come and talk to me about which decision he makes.

I have yet to find a job where I can work and still be able to keep an eye on my child twenty four hours a day. However, as watchmen, we can warn them against pending danger, so when they do have to make the choice between choosing a positive or negative charge- they will have mindset to pick the right one.

Meet the Author
Rachel L. Smith
is a forty nine year old single mother of an eight year old son. They live in North Carolina. She enjoys both reading and writing poetry. Her poems have been published in Nomad’s Choir and Spotlight on Recovery. She also has an article titled To My Sister’s In Christ appearing in the next issue of Spotlight on Recovery. Rachel also has a blog, about bullying, that you can read at: 

Move Forward! 
by H.H. Fowler 

How did I end up here? Have you ever asked yourself that question? 
Have you ever experienced being between a rock and a hard place? You can’t seem to go forward and you can’t seem to go backward. This implies that neither of your options is pleasant at the moment. In fact, it really doesn’t matter whether you choose the rock or the hard place, there is still going to be some pain involved in your decision. One way looks bad, and the other way appears to be worse.

In the book of Exodus, the Israelites were on their way out of Egypt after being enslaved over 400 years by the mighty Egyptians. They were on their way to freedom. Could you imagine the torture of a people that had been oppressed, mistreated, used and abused, beaten and killed; their identity lost, almost forgotten for 400 hundred years, to be given an opportunity to escape, only to have things go wrong, and having to find themselves locked between the Red Sea and the pursuing Egyptian army? They could have easily turned right or left, providing there were no mountains blocking them. Obviously, this created a panic-stricken atmosphere. The Israelites felt as if their hope had been dashed and their only option was to fold up and die.

At times, life has a way of pushing us into circumstances that will cause us to feel this way. Right now you may seem wedged between a rock and a hard place, but the divine command is to move forward. That was the command God gave Moses for the people. He told them to stop crying, and march forward! Moses said that the Lord will fight for you. 

What does it mean to move forward?  It means to keep on believing in yourself, your dream, your vision, the plan God has for you, despite how despairing your circumstances appear. Despite the odds that have piled against you. It is the purpose of God that you fulfill your divine destiny. God wants to gain glory out of your life. As He’d told Moses, “I will gain glory for Myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD.”

I want you to know, my friend that the fight was over before it even started. The fight has been fixed in your favor and the outcome has been predetermined. The Lord of host is strong and mighty, and strong to deliver! The Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever! Just move forward in faith, trusting that God had already worked out everything concerning you.

© 2010 All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of the author, H.H.Fowler. This short story is used for promotional purposes only. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the publisher's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this promotional excerpt.

About H.H. Fowler
Conceived in the chills of Switzerland, Fowler's parents journeyed back home to the Bahamas where he was born and reared a Caribbean product. A cosmopolitan at heart, Fowler's interest in the power of writing was ignited at the impressionable age of thirteen, awarding him the opportunity to share his furor with his family and close friends. His first poem, inspired by his Literary teacher was published at age fourteen by a recognized publishing company in Washington D.C.

He's a graduate of Remmington College in Tampa Florida and was elected to deliver the graduation speech for the Bachelor program. Most of his reading and writing experiences have been immensely touched by noted prolific writers such as, Agatha Christie, John Grisham, Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim Lahaye. He now introduces his new novel, "Church Boyz".

Fowler's favorite activities, besides writing and reading, include playing the piano, traveling, and meeting new people.  "I am fascinated by storytelling, and how characters develop into people I feel as if I've known all my life."   Visit his website: 

Books by Author H.H. Fowler

Church Boyz - Book 1 (Rod of the Wicked)  by H.H. Fowler
Buy now: 

Church Boyz - Book 2 (When Things Go Wrong)  by H.H. Fowler
Buy now: 


Depressed Soul
by Rachel L. Smith

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of the water falls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.” (Psalm 42:9)

Unlike a lot of jobs parenthood does not require any years of prior experience which can lead to a lot of pent up stress. Being a single mother who is trying to hold on to herself-in the process-can adds to your all ready mounting stress level.

I became a mother at the age of thirty nine at a time when I was deep in to practicing self preservation. Working twelve hour shifts five to seven days a week, eating whenever or what ever I wanted to, leaving and coming whenever I wanted to, and had a small nest egg in the bank. 

Then suddenly I had become responsible for another life. This meant that I had went from being only responsible for not only my daily needs but also the responsibility for my sons feedings, diaper changing, mindset, and –the most daunting responsibility- his beliefs and his self assessment.

We have all been in situations like David. For one reason or another we find ourselves feeling sad or in deep depression. We may not be able to change that we are in the midst of an emotional roller coaster. However we can change how we deal with continuing on with our lives and breaking through the fog.

From an early age I was taught how prayer, having a private conversation with God, not only help you sustain yourself, but how it can also help you to sustain your sanity. By letting you release all of your worries and into god hands so that you can begin to see the light or path that you are currently on.

Have you ever thought of having a private conversation with your spirit?  In Psalm 42:11, David asked his soul the following question:  “…Why my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me...?” 

Then, in the same verses, David tells his soul what it needs to do to begin healing itself: “Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.”  The next time that you began to feel overwhelmed with the stresses of first time parenthood, take a few seconds and have a private conversation with your soul.

About the Author
Rachel Smith
is a 49 year old single mother who lives with her eight year old son in North Carolina. She enjoys reading and writing, but not arithmetic. The main goal that Rachel wants to accomplish through her writing is to inform people about the power that prayer can have in everyday life. Her writing has been published in Nomad’s Choir (poetry), Spotlight on Recovery (poetry and article), and The Cleveland (North Carolina) Chronicle (article). She also writes a blog titled The Observer which you can read at 




"I know you by name and you have found favor with me." Exodus 33:12 (NIV)

When actors and actresses audition for a part, the director conducts what are known as 'call-backs.'  At that point either the performer gets the part or it goes to somebody else.  You know you've  'got it made,'  when the director offers you the part without even auditioning for it.

Well, God doesn't need to do auditions and call-backs.  That's because He's already designed a role just for you. Nobody else could possibly fill it or meet the requirements. You're a 'designer original' with a PhD in being yourself! Even if others were to study you endlessly, they still couldn't be you.

When God says, 'I know you by name and you have found favor with Me,' it means He's already chosen you for a particular role. So be careful about responding to any other call except the one that comes from Him, because good ideas aren't necessarily God ideas!

Since God designed you with all the built-in qualifications you'll ever need, you don't have to compromise your convictions, pull strings, drop names or do special favors.   The part is yours because you were born for it! That also means you need never be jealous of or intimidated by anybody else, no matter how talented, popular or successful they are. In God's eyes there are no other contenders. You're it! You're the only one who can fill the slot, because He created it with you in mind. Isn't that a nice, secure feeling?


Why were you born and created by God?  Can anyone fill your specific role and purpose in His kingdom? What are your unique talents, strengths, and abilities granted by God? Alternatively, are you attempting to be someone other than who God made you to be? Are you twisting and turning yourself inside out until you fit with the "in crowd"? Are your actions causing great detriment to your spiritual and emotional growth?

Saints, only you!  Only you can fill the specific plan, purpose, and will of God. You are custom-built and our Master's greatest work. God ensured that no one but you can fill your shoes. He made you unique, special, and precious in His sight. He foreknew your exact time in history and divine reason for existing on earth. As we grow in the knowledge of God, let's reject the notion that we should be like this person or that. 

Let's embrace the man or woman that God made us to be. Finally, let's praise God for allowing us to be Potter's "clay" so that we ultimately reflect His image in the finished product fashioned by His hand.

Your Sister in Christ,

Author Unknown to Me
(This came to me as an unsigned email forward. The message was so powerful that I had to share!)


Fear of  Yourself
by Rachel L. Smith

Read 2 Timothy 1:7

Thought For Today:   “For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them.”

In 2 Corinthians 10:1,  Paul speaks of his timidness. He says “…even though I am timid when face to face with you, but bold toward you when away.”

This is the exact way I felt through out most of my child hood, adolescent, and part of my young adult life. The thought of having a one on one, face to face, conversation with someone would literally cause my tongue to stick to the roof of my mouth. But, when I was by myself the things I wanted to say would play on a continuous loop inside my mind.

Occasionally it would cause me to ask myself, and sometimes God: “Why can’t the words I that are in my mind come out of my mouth?” I would also ask myself:  “Why do I fear talking one on one with someone else face to face?”

2 Timothy 1:7 revealed the answer to me. It says: “For the Holy Spirit, God’s gift, does not want you to be afraid of people, but to be wise and strong, and to love them and enjoy being with them.” 

2 Timothy showed me two things. First: That the fear of confrontation with others was a fear that I held onto because I was comfortable being the shy and quite girl. Secondly it showed me that in order for me to grow I first had to begin letting go of my old insecurities in order for my new self could began to take form.

This topic came up again when my son joined our church youth choir. The first time that he had to stand in front of the church to sing, he literally looked like a deer stuck in the headlights. Although I wanted to run into the choir stand to soothe him and take away his fear. But instead I held back.

Because the fear that I, as an adult has, is completely different from an eight year old boy who is just starting to come into himself.  If I faced his fear for him now he would not know how to handle his own fear or stressful situations. As an example what if one day he has to stand in front of his class to make an oral book report. With him going into the third grade this could occur sooner than later.  By letting him stand on his own in the choir stand one day he will be able to stand on his own in front of a classroom or boardroom.

About the Author Rachel L. Smith
Rachel L. Smith
is a 49 year old single mother who lives in the Carolinas with her eight year old son. You can read her blog The Observer at  She has an article and poem that has been published in Spotlight on Recovery. She has also had a poem published in Tribe magazine. 



First Things First: Learning to Love God & Self 

I have seen far too many African American women emotionally wrecked because the love relationship they've invested so much of themselves into—ended. The reason being, it started out on all the wrong reasons. The contemporary single woman of today is armed with the wrong thoughts, actions and second-hand information on how to have and keep a love relationship that will hopefully blossom into a marriage. (Sadly, too many single black women are given baby showers and not enough bridal showers).

Taking a brief look at history, we learn that women have suffered from the atrocities of a dominant male society from practically every culture in the world including the U.S. These atrocities gave birth to misogyny which without a doubt planted seeds of low self-esteem, insecurity and self-exploitation in young and mature women alike. 

Again, with just that brief examination, it is imperative that women are nurtured to love themselves and to TRULY love themselves, they must accept God into their souls. When we enter into a relationship—a love affair—with Spirit (God), we embrace ourselves thereby embracing the Divine Feminine. (Anyone, men and women alike, seeking a spiritual path to God must embrace the Divine Feminine). But for now the focus is on emotionally and psychologically wounded women who need to understand the wisdom and beauty of the Divine Feminine within them-- these are the daughters of the living God. 

One of the many attributes obtained through prayer, meditation and growth on the spiritual path to God is knowing how to discern the difference between a healthy, exhilarating and humble love of self versus a vain, conceited self-indulgent love which is not really love but an insatiable lust to fill a void. We must do some serious soul searching, introspection and reflection...and that may require opening up some old wounds and letting them bleed for a moment. This symbolic “bloodletting” is forgiveness. 

Some of us feel that if we refuse to forgive certain individuals, they will reap their karma much sooner. We could never be further from the truth. The spiritual law of Karma will prevail—you need not worry yourself about that. When we engage in healthy introspection and reflection, we seek to learn from our past mistakes and experiences, our souls are cleansed and with that cleansing comes a peacefulness—the peacefulness Jesus Christ spoke of that 'transcends all understanding.' But until we honestly forgive ourselves and the pain inflicted on us by others, we will NEVER be able to give or receive wholesome love. 

Meet Magdalena Allen
is a spiritual/motivational coach and writer.  She is a TV/print commercial model. She lives with her husband and two children in Maryland. She can be contacted via email at: 


I Am Not a Christian Author
I'm an Author Who Happens to Be Christian 

by  D. Lamar Jackson

Since becoming a professional writer 6 years ago I have always thought of myself as a Christian author/playwright. A few weeks ago I was informed by my publicist that I should not call myself a Christian writer anymore but instead call myself a Contemporary Author. I was confused because I make it a point to put Christ in everything I write. The goal with my writing is to uplift and inspire my audience. I want my audience to have a closer walk with God. Also, if they are not saved that my words will touch their heart so they will want to give their life to Christ. 

The publicist informed me that because I have some cursing and a few intimate scenes in my upcoming book "Winters' Summer" that I could not call it Christian Fiction. That's the bad. The good is that if I call it Contemporary Fiction that it broadens my audience bringing both Christian readers and non-Christian readers into the mix. She's told me that it doesn't mean I can't put Christ in my books which is a huge relief. I love Christ and am grateful He died for my sins. 

I'm also a realist and want to be true to life for Christians in today's world. I hope that through my books my audience will see how we can still live a Christian life in today's sinful world. I also want to show how we are all tempted to things we shouldn't and sometimes we fall prey to temptation. Even if we fall prey to temptation it doesn't mean we are condemned and heading to hell. It just means we failed a test and we will have to deal with the consequences.

After my conversation with the publicist I know realize that I may not be a Christian author I am a Christian who just happens to be an author. Which is fine with me as long as I can reach souls for Christ.

Meet the Author
D. Lamar Jackson
was destined to be a successful author from a young age. His mother saw something special in him when she saw him acting out stories by himself, playing every character. She told him to write his stories on paper and that’s where his journey began. After taking his mother’s advice he began writing short stories. In his teenage years he wrote poems, songs, stage plays and screenplays. However, his first love remained novels. His stories deal with temptation and forgiveness. His passion for writing comes out in all of his stories. Writer is not what he does it’s who he is.

Connect with D. Lamar Jackson online: 
Twitter Link:!/dlamarthewriter 
Facebook Link: 


Submitted by D.A. Sears

Editor of In Search of Fatherhood®: Transcending Boundaries

Close your eyes. Tap into your imagination. What do you see? Do you see your street, your neighborhood, or your city? Vacant lots once filled with unhealthy and unsightly debris have been transformed into gardens that yield colorful and fragrant flowers and an astounding variety of edible vegetables. During the week –- on school days – the doors of every church, synagogue, mosque, and temple are open at seven o’clock in the morning.  Members of the congregation are busy preparing and serving a healthy breakfast to children who would otherwise go to school on an empty stomach.

No longer are the children on your street, your neighborhood, and in your city going to school hungry and unable to concentrate on their studies. And members of the congregations escort the children to school to make sure that they arrive there safely and on time. 

Weekly community council meetings bring together neighbors, concerned citizens, health care professionals and providers, social services professionals and providers, Fatherhood Practitioners and Advocates, ward leaders, block captains, legislators, legal professionals, law enforcement professionals, educators,
school administrators, grassroots community organizations, business and religious leaders, and social entrepreneurs to discuss and resolve issues of public safety, economics, education, Fatherhood, positive male role models, and physical and mental health. 

*What do you hear?*  Listen closely. Men and Women on your street, in your neighborhood and in your city are talking about how the rehabilitation of boarded-up and abandoned houses and storefronts have helped to eradicate blight, reduced crime, attracted jobs and businesses, and created a nurturing and safe environment that is conducive to positively shaping the minds and souls of our children – the future – our bridge to the future. Do you hear the songs of happiness that the children on your street, in your neighborhood, and in your city are singing – songs that replace the nightmarish sounds of deadly gunfire? 

*And what do you feel?*  Hope? Love? Compassion? Tranquility?   Is this a dream?  It should be a new reality for you, your children, your neighborhood, and your city. While it is true that communities and cities throughout our global village are beset with a plethora of challenges, these challenges are actually opportunities in disguise. The Universe is tapping each of us on the shoulder and whispering: 
Rethink! Rebuild! Renew!”

We must "rethink' how we are preparing our children – the Emerging Keepers of the Planet – for their future.  Are we programming our children for success or for failure?  Are we teaching them, through our words and deeds, how to channel negative energy into positive energy; peacefully resolve conflicts; and constructively deal with anger, pain, fear, disappointment, and rejection? 

Do we teach them simple arithmetic and how to read and write before they are enrolled in pre-school education classes and regular school?  Are we introducing them to foreign languages, music, and art? What life lessons are we teaching our children about compassion, decision making, collaboration, loyalty, and integrity?

Contrary to popular opinion, our children –our future– our bridge to the future – listen to everything we say. But they are also watching us to see if we are “walking the talk”, particularly when it comes to what we say our expectations are for them. For example, we expect our children to go to school and learn and to excel academically. That’s what we tell them. We also tell them why they need to do this: If they go to school, learn and excel academically, don’t drop out of school, and graduate from high school, they will have a future – they can get a job or go to college. 

But are we attending the PTA meetings, going over our children’s homework every evening, making sure they are studying for tests, arranging for tutoring of our children in subjects they are struggling with, motivating them and engaging them in daily conversations about what is going on in school, and making sure that the School Board and our children’s principals and teachers understand that we are holding them accountable for providing our children with a quality education and a learning environment that is free from bullying and violence? If we are not doing any of these things, what message are we really sending to our children about how much we care about their education? 

More importantly, are we giving our children something to aspire to?   When they travel to and from home and school, do they have to worry about being the victim of random and deadly gunfire? As they look around the streets and the neighborhood business corridors, what do they see? Do they see thriving communities and an economic oasis that will supply them with careers and jobs? 

Can they say to themselves, “Okay, if I continue to get good grades, learn as much as I can in school, and stay in school and graduate, I can work in one of the neighborhood businesses – I can work in and be successful in my own neighborhood. Or I can start my own business right here where I grew up and provide jobs for people in the neighborhood! I have a future here. I can see it. I can even raise a family of my own in the neighborhood where I grew up – where people mentored me, nurtured me, and loved me. I don’t have to leave to be successful.”  Now isn’t that what we really want? Isn’t that what the village really needs?

Doesn’t the village need its children – whom it nurtured, mentored, and loved – to return or remain in the village to care for and protect its most vulnerable members – our babies and our Elders?

We must rebuild the village. Let’s create Community Councils that bring together key stakeholders – you, your neighbors, health care professionals and providers, social services professionals and providers, Fatherhood Practitioners and Advocates, ward leaders, block captains, legislators, legal professionals, law enforcement professionals, educators, school administrators, grassroots community organizations, business and religious leaders, social entrepreneurs, and our youth. 

Community Councils can identify and work to resolve the key challenges that exist in the village –blight, housing, education, economics, health – physical and mental, crime, violence, Fatherhood, and positive male role models. They would create and  implement action plans and partnerships that would set in motion, for example, the rehabilitation of abandoned houses and vacant storefronts;   attraction and retention of responsible homeowners and business owners to the neighborhoods; mandatory academic enrichment programs and anger management and conflicts resolution training for all children; equal access to preventive health care and medical and parenting resources and support services; and the monitoring and enhancement of the quality of education provided by educators and school administrators in neighborhood schools and
the academic performance of children attending these schools.

We must renew our faith in each other; our ability to make the impossible possible; and our commitment to our children – our future –our bridge to the future.

About the Author
D.A. Sears, United States Coordinator, 2012 International Men's Day 

EDITOR, In Search of Fatherhood®: Transcending Boundaries 

BOOK: In Search of Fatherhood: Transcending Boundaries
International Conversations on Fatherhood 
D. A. Sears (Author) 

Book Description
In Search of Fatherhood®: Transcending Boundaries is a "straight no-chaser" exploration of the issues and questions that Married Fathers, Single Fathers, "Stay-At-Home" Fathers, "Long-Distance" Fathers, Divorced Fathers, Custodial Fathers and Non-Custodial Fathers throughout our global village struggle to resolve on a day-to-day basis. 

Through essays and interviews, Stephen Baskerville, Ph.D., Muhammed Nasser Bey, Randy L. Collins, Leonard Dantzler, Warren Farrell, Ph.D., Dale Fraza, Thomas R. Golden, LCSW, the late L.T. Henry, Thomas Hoerner, Gary A. Johnson, James Kennedy, Thomas Lessman, Alvin F. Poussaint, M.D., Martin G. Ramey, Almas Jamil Sami' and Joep Zander speak from the depths of their souls about the roles and responsibilities of Fathers and the universal search for answers that Men who are Fathers from all walks of life have embarked upon. They suggest to us what our young men need as they make the journey from childhood to manhood.

In Search of Fatherhood®: Transcending Boundaries also identifies organizations that provide Men and Fathers in Australia, Canada, France, the United Kingdom and the United States with resources and support services.  In Search of Fatherhood®: Transcending Boundaries also contains a "Recommended Reading" section that identifies books that explore a myriad of issues directly and indirectly related to Fatherhood.

Purchase In Search of Fatherhood®: Transcending Boundaries 
ISBN-10: 141343777X
ISBN-13: 978-1413437775

Message From D. A. Sears the Author
In Search of Fatherhood®:  Transcending Boundaries is a reaffirmation of Fatherhood. It is also the reaffirmation of a vision of a Forum For Fathers that was conceived by my mentor -- the late L.T. Henry, an author, classically trained jazz musician, photojournalist and sales and motivation trainer. 

It was Mr. Henry's belief that Men and Fathers were engaged in a silent and never-ending search for answers about raising children, moving their families forward and the significance of their roles in our families ... in our communities ... and in our world.    Mr. Henry died before he could transform his vision into a reality -- a vision that I have resurrected through In Search of Fatherhood®: Transcending Boundaries. It was the least that I could do for a Man who had done so much for me. 


Learning to Tap Into Personal Power 
by Kerri Herndon

Kerri Herndon, affectionately known as Coach Kerri, is a Life Transformation Coach and Christian Counselor. Through her weekly podcast, books, and seminars, Kerri gracefully shares spiritual insights to assist others with discovering the spirit-soul-body connection to live emotionally balanced lives.  Her witty tips and simple truths provide transforming power that will guide readers and listeners toward making consistent, purposeful choices.

This morning as I cleared my family room removing the remnants of last weeks celebration, I began to reflect upon this past year and the phrase “Personal Power” whispered in my spirit. The whisper turned into an echo which began a stream of thoughts which resulted in a simple truth; each of us were born with power to conquer and fulfill. A power that enables us to not only create goals, but to accomplish with extraordinary success for whatever we put our minds to do. 

A power so great, that if harnessed produces personal success to do works beyond our limitless imaginations. 

The poet Hafiz beautifully delivers the message of the “birth gifts” provided:
There are so many gifts still unopened from your birthday. There are so many hand-crafted presents that have been sent to you by God. The Beloved does not mind repeating, “Everything I have is also yours.” There are so many gifts, my dear, still unopened from your birthday.

Between taking care of family, social obligations and the steady demands of our careers, it is easy to become overwhelmed and find there is little time to discover your own personal power. Once this delegate balance begins to dissipate, stress and feelings of being overwhelmed can gain entry access into your soul. 

These fugitives drain your desire, ambition and drive to begin the journey of developing your power of potential. They stealthily enter leaving traces of thoughts that suggest one or more of the following:

* I can’t
* I am too stressed
* I am not intelligent enough
* I’m to tired
* I have no energy
* No one will listen to my ideas
* I don’t know my purpose
* What should I do with my life
* Maybe I’m just not good enough
and unfortunately more.

One of the many oracles of God that provides hope and refutes any thought that is contrary to us having “personal power” to accomplish is found in Exodus 35:35.   The writer informs us that, the Lord has provided wisdom to know how to make all kinds of “things”, and to devise all kinds of new “things”.  I highly suggest reading the Wycliffe Bible version of the passage of this scripture.

Personally, I have embraced the truth that from birth, a seed was deposited within which has the mechanics for success, prosperity, joy, happiness and completion for all manner of tasks and work. When we find ourselves “stuck” unable to clarify our goals or finish tasks that would keep us on target with completion dates, it is vitally important to begin to uncover what core thoughts are corrupting your personal success.

This “uncovering” begins with surveying your heart to identify the real culprits of your feelings of being overwhelmed or stressed. Your heart has it’s own nervous system, or brain in the heart, containing around forty thousand neurons.  This heart-brain can sense, feel, learn, remember, and process information (Armour 2003; Armour and Kember 2004). 

Research has found that there are more nerves going from your heart up to your brain than from your brain to your heart (Cameron 2002). When you feel worried, frustrated, or stressed, your heart’s rhythmic pattern becomes irregular and chaotic pulling your heart brain out of sync. So what does this mean? Your thoughts have the ability to create internal havoc and chaos which will manifest in self sabotaging behavior and a host of unwarranted physical symptoms. Acknowledging core thoughts and perceptions will assist you and be a guide to restructuring your beliefs to bring sync to heart and life.

Gateway to Your Personal Success

What have you allowed in and not taken the time to throw out?  Could it be other peoples perceptions of you personally and professionally which has caused anxious thoughts and behavior? Or is it the unsatisfying feeling of unfulfilled dreams and desires that have created the “it’s too late syndrome” which need to be thrown out. Traumatic experiences and events can also trigger painful memories for some leaving them emotionally unstable to receive the gift and promises of transformation for personal success.

Have you truly cleared the debris and the packaging that at one time may have been beautifully wrapped, but now has expired and must be thrown out due to contamination?

I do know that all of us have a force of power inside that is tremendously great, yet many people are not living the life that was promised to them to fulfill. This could be a direct result from allowing your soul to become toxic thus clouding your ability to fully recognize your birth gifts. For others, it could be a lack of balance and not taking the time seek and develop your gifts. Remember, there is always danger in comparing your gifts with others and under estimating the value of your personal gifts. Both of which result in never attaining the fullness of the power within.

Before the new year begins, let’s determine to unwrap your gifts and develop each one with intention and determined focus. Begin by applying three simple truths that will revolutionize the way you think, you act, and what you will do next in your life.

Keys to Unwrap the Power Inside:

1. Principle – Who are you? What do you stand for? What does your character say about you?  Your mouth can say anything it wants but your actions, tell the truth. That brings me to my next point, actions. What are you about? What is your attitude, does it reflect the opposite of who you say you are? In order to begin to tap inside of yourself, you must do some self reflection and discover the principle things you stand for.

Gal 5:22-23, psalm 15:1-5, Micah 6:8, 1 Timothy 4:8, Proverbs 28:6, Romans 5:3-4, Psalm 1:1-3 

2. Purpose – Why are you here? What makes your existence different than mine or anyone else? What is your personal mission, if you could change anything in this world, what would it be? Discover yourself through your own eyes, not someone else – and allow your purpose to shine to lead you to the path of self discovery which ultimately will assist you in tapping into your personal power source.

Exodus 31:3, Ecclesiastes 2:26, Romans 11:29, 1 Corinthians 1:5, Romans 12:6-8, James 1:5, Romans:8:28, Jeremiah 29:11

3. Performance – How do you conduct yourself? Are you a high achiever? Or are you stuck in between? In between what – the halfway point of failure and success. The halfway point is called Mt. Mediocrity. How many of us get stuck there and feel as if we are caught? Begin to visualize through writing down who you are and except the fact you are a designer original and you were created with a principles, values, and purpose, which through your performance places you in the crowd of effortless high achievers. The I can, and I do crowd, the soaring eagles, not slothful pigs.

Psalm 20:4, Proverbs 6:3, Proverbs 3:5-6, Isaiah 48:17, Psalm 32:8, Exodus 15:13

Begin each day with the end in mind. Start  the day with being accountable to yourself. Read each key and thoughtfully meditate upon each one of the scripture references. Spend time meditating each day and affirm powerful truths to your heart to regain balance and alignment. 

Remember this simple truth, you already posses the power inside of you to propel you into destiny. Unwrap your gifts today and receive a harvest of an abundant future.

About the Author
Kerri Herndon
, affectionately known as Coach Kerri the Life Transformation Coach is a Motivational Speaker, Radio Talk Show Host, Entrepreneur, author, and founder of one of the fastest growing organizations dedicated to empowering women of all ages.    Her B.A. Biblical Studies and M.A. in Christian Counseling coupled with an unflinching and honest understanding of today’s woman, enables her to skillfully assist others with indentifying the root causes of their personal dilemmas.

Coach Kerri's  specialty lies in assisting women with breaking the barriers of limitations and achieving emotional wholeness.   Living by the mantra of "Create the life you love", Coach Kerri implements this truth into powerful coaching programs that equip women with eliminating fear and stress and bridging passion to purpose.

Remaining true to her powerful message of transformation, in her recently published book, "Simply Me - Taking Off the Mask Through Effectual Prayer",  she provides practical self-help tools along with spiritual insight that explains how traumatic experiences such as depression, rejection, abortion, attempted suicide can alter the course of destined purpose.  The book poetically illustrates the personal life experiences of Kerri additionally providing powerful deliverance prayers and accountability exercises.

Coach Kerri's testimony and life-transforming messages share the miracle working power of God and how He is able to use all our baggage for His greater purpose. She is a walking representation of the WORD at work and has made it her life mission to allow the Holy Spirit to use her to impact the lives of others. Her inspiring stories and personal reflections have made her a highly respected and sought after speaker with women’s groups, conferences and churches.   Website: 


Coming Home 
by  Stacy Hawkins Adams

Award winning author, columnist, speaker and writing coach Stacy Hawkins Adams has released her next novel, Coming Home. 

If forgiving your ex-husband was easy, everybody would do it.  Brent had cheated on Dayna and coldly said goodbye to her seven long years ago---dashing her hopes of having children or growing old with the love of her life. Working hard to make herself successful as a hospital executive, Dayna has moved on, finding comfort in a new dating relationship with a faith-filled colleague, Warren. But when Brent resurfaces on her doorstep at just the wrong time, Dayna's heart threatens to come unglued. Why is Brent asking for forgiveness now? 

And why are he and his new wife, Tamara, interested in reconciliation with Dayna?  The unbelievable answers in Coming Home begin to surface as Brent boldly asks Dayna to support him at the most crucial time of his life. While Tamara's heart brims with guilt, both women will discover what it means to reach beyond pain and baggage to love unconditionally, leaving the consequences to God. 

To learn more about Stacy's exciting new book, please visit 

Purchase Coming Home 
Series: Winds of Change 
Christian Fiction & Literature 
ISBN-13: 9780310333982 

Meet the Author
Stacy Hawkins Adams
is a prolific writer, whose works include both fiction and nonfiction books and contributions to several anthologies.  Stacy's six nationally-published women’s fiction novels weave social issues and themes of faith and personal growth into creative plots. Her nonfiction book gives women practical tips and inspiration on how to connect more deeply with God.

Stacy's novel, Dreams That Won’t Let Go, was a 2011 Library of Virginia Award finalist, with the likes of books penned by John Grisham and Jan Karon.   Stacy’s fourth novel, The Someday List, maintained a steady presence on the Essence bestseller’s list throughout 2009, and soared to #7 on the Kindle bestseller list.

Stacy’s first nonfiction book, Who Speaks to Your Heart?, serves as a devotional guide for busy women from all walks of life seeking to deepen their faith.

Before becoming an author and freelance columnist, Stacy served as a newspaper reporter for fourteen years, primarily at the Richmond Times-Dispatch in Virginia. She currently writes a freelance parenting column for the Times-Dispatch and received the 2011 Media Award from the Virginia Association for Early Childhood Education for the informative and insightful subjects she tackles. She also pens a faith-based column for an online teen girls’ magazine,

Stacy Hawkins Adams is a member of the Advanced Writers and Speakers Association (AWSA), James River Writers and CAN (Christian Authors Network).

She operates a group coaching service for aspiring authors called Author In You, through which she provides personalized motivation and guidance to fiction and nonfiction writers seeking to complete a manuscript. She also teaches writing courses as an adjunct professor at the University of Richmond.

When she is not writing, speaking or coaching, Stacy devotes considerable time to promoting child advocacy as a writing and marketing consultant, and community volunteer. Among the honors she has received for these heartfelt endeavors are the YWCA of Richmond’s 2011 Outstanding Woman Award and Style Weekly magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 recognition in 2010.  Stacy, lives in a suburb of Richmond, VA. with her family.

Introduction to Lessons On Church Folk
Volume 1 & 2

by Antoinette Marie Davis

Lessons on Church Folk Volume 1  is a fictional book packed with quotes and stories that tell of the various attitudes and behaviors of many fictional church members. Even though these stories are fictional, each scenario can occur at any church. No church is exempt from any of these situations. This book will make you laugh, cry, smile, frown, and it will make you more aware of your surroundings as you attend church. 

Overall, Lessons on Church Folk Volume 1  was written so that people are able to see that every church has issues and troubled people with personal character flaws. Even when you switch churches, you will see some of the same issues that you saw at your previous church. In any event, the church is a hospital where people come to get help for their issues. Only God can free us from the things that constantly stress us out. Life will be stressful but giving your stress over to God will allow you to be free to experience the love and happiness that he desires for all of his children.

This book will discuss issues such as:
* Love
* Gossip
* Death
* Cheating
* Marriage problems
* Parenting
* Abuse
* Divorce

Purchase Lessons On Church Folk - Volume 1 
by Antoinette Marie Davis
ISBN-13: 9781936780938 


Lessons on Church Folk Volume 2
by Antoinette Marie Davis

Lessons on Church Folk - Volume 2  is the second installment in the Lessons on Church Folk series. This fictional book follows various church members as they experience many emotions and feelings in their everyday life. All of these stories are fiction but any church member can fit into one or many stories. In any event, this book is an interesting read because it will give you a chance to follow these characters as they went from experiencing hard times to experiencing triumph in Christ. 

Lessons on Church Folk - Volume 2  was written so that people can see that church members of any faith are the most unique group of people around. These members come to church with various issues and they aim to let go of their issues through prayer within the community of believers. 

But the question is:  Do they hand their issues over to God?   Do they hold on to them so that they can handle them on their own? In life, it is always better to hand over your issues to God because you cannot handle your issues on your own. Overall, we need to accept the fact that we are humans and we all make mistakes. But even when we make mistakes, we have to know that God is always ready and willing to forgive us of our sins.

This book will discuss issues such as:
• Hatred
• Emotional Abuse
• Suicide
• Physical Abuse
• Depression
• Illness
• Marriage
• Teenage Pregnancy
• Church Leadership
• Lifestyle Changes
• Relationships
• And much more!

Purchase Lessons on Church Folk Volume 2 
ISBN-13: 9781936780969 

Purchase both Lessons on Church Folk Volumes from Antoinette Marie Davis
ISBN#:    Volume 1: 978-1936780938,     Volume 2: 978-1936780969
Vol. One-  and  Vol. Two - 

Lessons on Church Folk Volume 1 & Volume 2  are books that are packed with quotes and stories that tell of the various attitudes and behaviors of many fictional church members. Even though these stories are fictional, each scenario can occur at any church. No church is exempt from any of these situations. These books will make you laugh, cry, smile, frown, and it will make you more aware of your surroundings as you attend church.

Genre: Fiction, Christian.   Primary Subject Matter:  In the books, I wrote about suicide, depression, marriage problems, divorce, hopelessness, love, dating, trust, etc.   I write about these issues because these issues are going on in our churches.   Sometimes, people do not know how to handle them when they come along.   People should buy this book because it will help them to see that God can bring them through any and every situation that they will encounter.

About the Author
Antoinette Marie Davis
is a native of Michigan.  As a child, Antoinette enjoyed working with math problems and she often spent lots of time so that she could figure out the solution to the problems.  Over time, this love for math led her to pursue a career in mathematics.  She has had many role models who have encouraged her to pursue her goals and dreams of becoming a Mathematics Professor. 

In any event, Antoinette enjoys teaching mathematics because it gives her a chance to show students that they can learn math in a way that they can understand it.  Teaching helps her to expound on the math lessons that she has learned throughout her college years.

She is an alumnus of Lake Michigan College, Oakwood University, and Wayne State University. She has earned an Associate of Arts Degree in Secondary Education, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Mathematics, and a Master of Arts Degree in Applied Mathematics. Davis currently serves as a University Instructor while she pursues Doctoral study in the area of Instruction/Administration with a specialization in Mathematics Education.


by D.A. Sears

Words evoke images and emotions. Words have energy and power. They fire up our imagination and have the capacity to shatter our souls and break our spirits. That is why we should choose our words carefully. So, why am I talking about words?

One evening, after completing an 11-hour day at the office, I jumped on a bus and headed for a dinner meeting. A woman, in her early 20s, and her son, who appeared to be a little over a year old sat next to me. The little boy looked up at me with curious eyes and gently tugged the sleeve of my coat with his small hands. I smiled and greeted him with a warm “Hello.” His mother admonished him for bothering me. I smiled again, this time at his mother, and said “It’s okay.” The little boy squirmed in his mother’s lap and again gently tugged at the sleeve of my coat. “Your son is adorable,” I commented to his mother.

She glanced down at her son, and then informed me: “He likes to fight. He fights all the time”. Was she issuing a warning or simply making an observation? “He does? Really?” I responded. The little boy’s mother remarked: “Yes. He’s evil!” And she was not joking when she dropped that interesting piece of information on me! For a moment, I was stunned. If she was describing her son as “evil” to me – a stranger – and in public, what was she saying to him behind closed doors? When I looked at her son, I saw a little boy who was curious, highly intelligent, playful, and keenly intuitive.

Although her remark seemed innocent on the surface, the young mother did not understand that by uttering the word “evil” to describe her son – especially, in his presence – she was inadvertently programming her son for failure. More importantly, her words will subconsciously determine how she nurtures and shapes his mind and soul. Yes, what she says about her son also affects her, too! Think about it! If you are defining your child to a perfect stranger as “evil”, just how much unconditional positive nurturing can you give to someone whom you feel is “evil”? 

Now, don’t get it twisted. I am not judging this woman. I am sure she loves her son. But certain questions do come to mind. Does she understand the power of her words? Does she understand that her son desperately needs positive affirmation and that she is her son’s first female role model? 

Is there a direct connection between the little boy’s propensity to fight and his mother’s constant description of him as being “evil”?  The woman’s son decided to get my attention again. He stretched out his hands in my direction and looked at me. Just for the record, I did not call out the young mother on her parenting skills. I smiled, looked directly into her son’s chocolate brown eyes, and in a warm and soft voice told him: “You are a good little boy, aren’t you? You are going to be a good little boy, aren’t you? You are going to be a good little boy for your Mother, aren’t you?” 

I was quickly approaching my destination. As I rose from my seat, excused myself, and exited the bus, I wondered if the power of my words had subliminally provided the little boy with the positive affirmation he so desperately needs. Did he understand that I was really telling him that he is not “evil”? Had I illustrated to his mother how she can utilize the power of her words to program her son for success?

We must use the “power of our words” to build bridges of understanding, heal broken spirits and shattered souls, inspire the uninspired, and strengthen and empower our families and our communities. Let’s resolve to use the “power of our words” to positively shape the minds and souls of our children – our babies – and the Emerging Keepers of the Planet. Our children – our babies – are our future – our bridge to the future. It is a bridge and a future that we are building through the “power of our words” every day. Think about it!

Power of Words Update:
This article received so much praise from the Black Pearls readers! Here is the author's response to all the wonderful comments:

From D.A. Sears:   I cannot take credit for how I handled the situation or my understanding of what was really going on with the young mother and her son. The credit goes to my mentor, the late L.T. Henry, Queen Mother Falaka Fattah, the CEO and Founder of the House of Umoja, Inc. who has positively transformed the lives of over 3,000 African American male youths in the City of Philadelphia. 

Queen Mother Falaka Fattah who with her husband negotiated a peace pact among 400 gang leaders in the City of Philadelphia in 1974 which ended years of bloody and deadly gang violence (the peace pact is known as the Imani Peace Pact.) 

All of the young men who signed the Imani Peace Pact in 1974 kept their word -- they never picked up a gun and committed an act of violence. Since 2006, I have worked with Queen Mother Falaka Fattah as a member of the House of  Umoja, Inc.'s Faith of Fathers Peace Campaign Steering Committee and I have learned so much from her. 

Then there is Almas Jamil Sami' of Sohaja Publishing Company who helped me answer a burning question that I had in 2000. And that question was: How is it that so many of our young men who are 17, 18, 19, and 20 are being taken out of our community and housed in juvenile and adult correctional facilities in such startling numbers and there is no outcry from our community? Jamil schooled me. 

There was also my Uncle -- my eldest and favorite Uncle who amazed me for so many reasons. His brilliance, his pride in being a Man of African descent, his deep knowledge of African and World History, his wisdom of the ages, patience and unconditional love coupled with the fact that all of the young men in our community respected him -- whether they had any close personal interaction with him or not. What really amazed me was the fact that the young men in the community who were known as "hoodlums" or "thugs" who had a reputation for assaulting and robbing people, respected him. 

What was even more amazing about my Uncle was that he could speak their language -- he was up on the "slang" that they talked. So, when the would walk up to him with respect and say, "Hey, what's happening Pop?" He would break out in a slight swagger and say, "Hey, ain't nothin' happening, Jim". And the "hoodlums" and "thugs" would talk to him and say among themselves, "Wow, Pop is cool!" I am able to "The Power of Words" because of these individuals.

My heart, my soul, and my spirit tells me that we can and we will rebuild the village! I am witnessing some amazing things in our community in Philadelphia!  Despite the difficult days that we find ourselves in, I have hope. If our Ancestors had hope despite the degrading and horrendous conditions they had to endure, I can have hope, too.

Written by D.A. Sears, 2012 International Men's Day - United States Coordinator 
Member, University Council for Fatherhood and Men's Studies Program at Akamai University 

P.O.  Box 3885,  Philadelphia, PA   19146-0185 USA





Home Is Where the Hell Is
By Alicia Singleton

“Mom boozed it up a lot. She didn’t care. We’d get into it a lot. It seemed like it would be easier on my own.” “My mom does meth. She kicks me out every morning and tells me not to come home until after dark. I’d rather be about anywhere than home.” 

“My grandpa started touching me when I was young. It kept going to more serious stuff. I told, but nobody believed me so when I was old enough, I bailed.” These aren’t lines from a movie or dialogue from a novel. These are real life accounts of youth and teen runaways. These are their daily nightmares. These are the reasons they run. 

•  Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth runaway per year.

46% of runaways and homeless teens indicated that conflict between them and their parents or guardian was a  major problem.

Over 70% of runaway and throwaway youth were estimated endangered. Physical and sexual abuse at  home or fear of abuse upon return were the most common endangerments experienced by youth.

The Child Protective Services Agency reported an estimated 872,000 children to be the victims of child abuse  or neglect.

22-44% of runaways and homeless youth’s parents abused drugs or alcohol leading to domestic violence and  conflicts.

The suspense thriller, Dark Side of Valor, delves into the harrowing world of teen homelessness. The novel’s heroine, Lelia Freeman, runs away from her alcoholic, verbally abusive mother. Lelia’s fictitious life of homelessness and tragedy are the real life experiences of many American teens. 

Sexual abuse and violence related to parental alcohol and drug abuse are two of the most common reasons youth and teens run. Many organizations, such as the National Runaway Switchboard, Children of the Night and Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity, aid runaway and homeless youth and teens with life skills, job training, counseling, college assistance and safe living environments. 

Meet Author Alicia Singleton
Alicia M. Singleton, an award winning author, was born and raised in Philadelphia. The Howard University graduate embraced the written word at an early age. She credits this to her loving older. Alicia resides in Maryland with her wonderful husband and son. Still an avid reader, Alicia is currently at work on a new novel. Visit her website at

Living with a Spirit of Gratitude

By Dr. Daryl D. Green

William Banks went to a black college. William's college had a rich tradition of graduating outstanding citizens. His professors were highly respected in their fields. He had a wonderful social life, surrounded by black college football, fraternity parties, and late night breakfast at Denny's with friends. After graduating from college, William got a great paying job with lots of responsibilities. However, William never gave anything back to his university. Why? He only thought about a) being cursed out by rude admission workers, b) the number of times the financial aid office lost his loan information, c) the numerous scandals by college administrators, and d) the hassle associated with trying to graduate on time. William never got over those negative college experiences. He never returned.

Sadly, our society has forgotten how to be appreciative. The holidays are no exception. Many people are too busy running the rat race to say, "Thank you." I remember sitting in a Sunday School class of young students during my college experience at Southern University. I remember one student saying how ungrateful he had been toward his parents. I also felt guilty. My parents bought me my first car while I was in high school; most students did not have cars. I had envisioned receiving a brand new car. Well, I didn't. I got an old 1973 Dodge Charger. I was disappointed. 

But, I fell in love with that old car which I later called "The New Wave Cruisemobile." My car was far more dependable than most automobiles. I remember never having said "thank you" for my car - I had also taken my parents for granted. Our society doesn't teach us that being appreciative is a virtue.

Developing a spirit of gratitude separates an individual from the rest of the pack. This attribute is all about character. Gratitude can be defined as the quality of being thankful; it is a readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness. In the fast pace of industrial living, people aren't saying "thank you" to anyone. Most people feel they deserve any kind act done for them. In fact, a selfish society creates a generation of ungrateful children. Consequently, our children grow up with this huge expectation of social pampering. Why else would a) waiters expect tips without good service, b) students expect good grades without the effort, and c) couples want great relationships without any communication. All of these unrealistic expectations make "thank you" less important.

A New Attitude
It is easy to see how people such as recent college graduates, can be discouraged with the current economic recession. According to the U.S. Labor Department, only 47.6% of people aged 16 to 24 had jobs last August. 
In the current economic climate, individuals need a spirit of gratitude for a competitive advantage. Some young people may call this strategy too old-fashioned. 

Yet, fools shun wise counsel. In my book, Don't Be An Old Fool: Common Sense & Gratitude, I mock popular culture which provides solutions that don't make common sense. In my world, I define a fool as an individual who is unwilling to listen and heed wise advice. When you show someone some gratitude after they assist you, that individual will likely continue to help or do more for you. However, if you are ungrateful, many times people will not do any more for you. 

Here are some things you can do to help produce this act of kindness:

1) Count your blessings one by one. Give God thanks.
2) Tell your parents "thank you" for their support.
3) Give back financially to your university.
4) Visit past teachers who have contributed to your good character.
5) Support high school and college alumni organizations.
6) Send your church Sunday School teacher a greeting card.
7) Thank the person in your community who serves as your role model.
8) Thank the public servants in your area (such as garbage collectors, police officers, postal workers, fire fighters, etc.).
9) Recognize and praise past coaches who have helped you.
10) Say something positive to your minister who contributes to your spiritual growth.

As the economy continues to spiral downward, people are looking at various ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. The holiday season is the perfect time to add some gratitude into the character-building process. If a person is honest, he or she can probably think of at least one person who has helped him or her in some way. It's easy to get into a trap of only looking at the negative side of life. Can you afford to acknowledge these acts of kindness, no matter the size? Make your holidays the best ever! Spread your appreciation across your community. Showcasing a spirit of gratitude can be very rewarding and can transform an individual's situation.

© 2011 by Daryl D. Green

About Dr. Daryl Green: 
Dr. Daryl Green
provides motivation, guidance, and training for leaders at critical ages and stages of their development. He has over 20 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, you can go to or  

The Contributor has no connection to nor was paid by the brand or product described in this content.



Throwaway Kids: A Shameful, Human Tragedy
By Alicia M. Singleton

Throwaway Kid (thro ?-wa' kid) n  1. A child or teenager rejected, ejected or abandoned by parents or guardians and lives on the street. No one likes the term. The definition is more repugnant. The reality of children coming home from school to find their parents and younger sibling have moved out, youth dropped off at the mall, still waiting, days later, for their parents to return, teens aging out of foster care only to be tossed out onto the streets, is more common place than once thought. 

• Over 50% of youth in shelters and on the streets reported that their parents either told them to leave home or  knew they were leaving but did not care.

• 50% of adolescents aging out of the foster care and juvenile justice systems will be homeless within 6 months  because they are unprepared to live independently, have limited education and no social support.

• Over 25% of former foster children become homeless within 2 to 4 years of leaving the system.

• Most throwaway teens reported being forced out because of extremely high levels of conflict with parents, the  family’s lack of money or room, the teens’ pregnancy or the teens’ homosexuality. 

The suspense thriller, Dark Side of Valor, delves into the harrowing world of teen homelessness. At the age of 17, the novel’s heroine, Lelia Freeman, is homeless and surviving the deadly streets of Los Angeles. Lelia’s fictitious life of homelessness and tragedy are the real life experiences of many American teens. 

Many organizations, such as the National Runaway Switchboard, Children of the Night and Ambassadors of Hope and Opportunity, aid homeless youth and teens with life skills, job training, counseling, college assistance and by supplying safe living environments. 

Meet Author Alicia M. Singleton
Alicia M. Singleton,
an award winning author, was born and raised in Philadelphia. The Howard University graduate embraced the written word at an early age. She credits this to her loving older. Alicia resides in Maryland with her wonderful husband and son. Still an avid reader, Alicia is currently at work on a new novel. Visit her website at




Rid Yourself of Procrastinating Ways in 2012

by Daryl D. Green

Can you afford the same procrastinating ways in 2012?  Why aren't you pursuing your dreams? At some point, we have all procrastinated, not wanting to move on an action. You say, "Now is not the right time." Yet, you take no action. People have different motivations for taking action. Taking action means taking risk. Taking risk may cause you fear. This process creates self-doubt. Self-limiting beliefs are doubts that you create about your abilities. They cause you to feel inferior. You feel like you don't deserve the best. You allow others to set your expectations. When you think like this, there is no way to win. You create negative ideas that you aren't smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough, connected enough, creative enough, or powerful enough. "I can't" becomes your motto. This article discusses how to overcome procrastination in 2012.

The Impending Landslide
With the current economic situation, people can afford to procrastinate on critical actions. Employment and sheer survival may be at stake. In August of 2011, America posted no job gains. This economic slump is historical since it's the first time since World War II that the economy has shown precisely zero net job creation for a month. Retail, manufacturing, information services, and construction all lost jobs. With over 15 million people unemployed in America, individuals must be internally motivated.

Most people want to accomplish something in life. A new year could spark a new beginning; however, it gives most people time to make excuses for unfulfilled dreams. The more you repeat these self-limiting thoughts, the more you become trapped in your ways. Remember the definition of insanity: "doing the same thing that you always do and expecting something different to happen." That's a crazy way for anyone to live. Some people get caught up in this vicious circle. For example, look at the vicious cycle of New Year's resolutions. Are you one of these procrastinators?

Yet, the economic climate speaks against such procrastinating ways. Samuel Johnson said almost two centuries ago, "When a man knows he is to be hanged in a fortnight, he concentrates his mind wonderfully." You need to wake up. Procrastinators try to put off until tomorrow what they should do today. However, you can change and move in a new direction. The following suggestions are offered to overcome procrastinating habits:

** Identify where the task is in terms of your priorities.
** Create a motivation for taking action.
** Develop a plan for seeing your task through.
** Set a deadline for completion.
** Break the activity down into smaller components.
** Reward yourself after each task.

In 2012, individuals must rid themselves of negative habits that prevent their success. Therefore, a person can't wait any longer to change his or her unproductive actions. Tomorrow is not promised to you. Now is the time for action. All it takes is a little act of courage on your part. Individuals need to stop waiting and move. One speaker said, "There's a fork at the end of the road. What do you do? Take one." You have now approached the busy highway of life. Can you afford to slip back into the same procrastinating ways of the past? The answer should be 'no!' Individuals can start today by ridding themselves of these procrastinating ways in 2012.    
© 2012 by Daryl D. Green

About Dr. Daryl Green 
Dr. Daryl Green
provides motivation, guidance, and training for leaders at critical ages and stages of their development. He has over 20 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, you can go to or   

He writes on contemporary issues impacting emerging leaders in a variety of sectors (businesses, societies, global communities, etc).   His helpful resources can be located at: 


Starting Your Family History Project
by Expert Author Debbie Brodsky

When I talk to people and encourage them to begin thinking about doing a family history project, they all seem to have a similar reaction... they have no idea where to start or what to ask.

If you often feel the same way, I'd like to share a solution to get you away from this fear. You want to know my secret for coming up with great story topics? All you have to do is engage your inner young child. You know, the one who was constantly curious about everything when you were four. For those who have ever been around a preschooler for even an afternoon, you know all about the constant questions. The what-s, the why-s, the how-s! This is the perfect attitude to have when starting a family history. Be curious and start to ask those same kinds of questions.

Take this mindset and then start thinking chronologically. If you are interviewing your Mother or Grandmother, for example, start by asking questions about her parents or what it was like growing up. I often try to put myself in that person's shoes during that period of time and try to imagine what it would be like to live during that time and how things might have been different from today's world.

If chronology doesn't fit with your personality, another option is to pick a significant event in their life and focus on the details of that. For example, if your Grandmother was one of the first female doctors in a mostly male world, I might start by asking, What made her choose this profession in the first place, knowing it wouldn't be easy? Why a doctor and not a nurse? Or if your parents grew up during the Depression or World War II, ask them what it was like growing up during that time period? How did it affect everyday things like going to school or buying groceries?

If you have trouble coming up with questions, I always recommend that people brainstorm with other family members. Everyone in your family sees things through a distinct lens and therefore will offer a unique perspective and different questions.

Whatever you do, don't get overwhelmed and bogged down by "the right" question to ask. There are no right or wrong questions. It's all about getting people to share and express themselves. When you remember this is your ultimate goal, you'll realize there are no bad questions. So start getting curious!

About the Author Debbie Brodsky
DMB Pictures
is a boutique video production company specializing in producing broadcast-quality personal stories for families, non-profits and small businesses. The company opened its doors in January 2006 led by Debbie Mintz Brodsky, a three-time Emmy Award-winning television producer with more than 20 years of experience.  Visit us at http://www.dmbpictures.comOriginal Article Source



No Ordinary Noel 
by Pat G'Orge-Walker 

(Listen to the BAN Radio Interview with Ella Curry and Pat G'Orge-Walker)

Christmas—a time of giving. But how about receiving? In Pat G'Orge-Walker's hilarious new novel, a small-town congregation will need every miracle in the Book to rediscover the real reason for the season . . .

Even feisty prayer warrior Sister Betty has never seen the kind of trouble brewing at Crossing Over Sanctuary church. The financially-struggling members have until Christmas day to pay off millions in debt to The Cheater Brothers' Piece of Savings Bank. 

 Reverend Leotis Tom refuses to accept any of trustee Freddie Noel's sinful mega-lottery winnings. Instead, he hopes bickering church mothers Bea Blister and Sasha Pray Onn's money-raising schemes will provide heaven-sent rewards—while he renegotiates with God. 

The only way Sister Betty can help Freddie Noel save his beloved church is to open the reverend's eyes to his congregation's history of wildly unholy—but profitable—secrets  and stay two steps ahead of the mothers'  "Geriatric Mafia."  Between scandal and near-disaster, Sister Betty will need all her faith to prove that blessings in disguise are blessings nonetheless. . .

No Ordinary Noel by Pat G'Orge-Walker 

EXCERPT:  Chapter Two - Fall 2010 

A few days after the Halloween madness crept off the radar, there was a new holiday buzz all over Pelzer. Like most of the country, Pelzer townsfolk were broke. They faced turkey-free dinners and severe Christmas giving challenges. 

However, from the schoolyard to the junkyard, with the jailhouse and churches in between, they still held hope for the upcoming holiday. 

They snatched down their pumpkin front door decorations and got ready for the Thanksgiving and Christmas madness. Some folk were brazen and heathen enough to have a Tom Turkey figure in a manger with a huge Santa on the front porch. The Santa even had a sack of toys thrown over his back, and a Bible in his hand. 

Pelzer folk never allowed reality to derail their delusions, and the Mothers Board determined the tradition should continue. When it came time for the quarterly meeting, the first Saturday in November, craziness and chaos tore down the WELCOME sign and moved in. 

Extraordinary times called for extreme measures, and no one more extreme than the Mothers Board fit the bill. It was time for the bickering fundraising heads of the board to rumble. They shared the war-mongering crown: cantankerous Mother Sasha Pray Onn and incontinence-plagued Mother Bea Blister. With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming soon, it was time to put into play one of the fundraising schemes they'd hatched. 

Their plots seldom worked, but like most old hens, they just kept on hatching them. 

Early on, Bea and Sasha had asked for volunteers to aid in their latest sure-to-be fiasco, but only three members signed up. Those three forced labor workers, all either over or in their sixties, were Elder Bartholomew "Batty" Brick, Brother Leon Casanova, and Trustee Freddie Noel. They came aboard because Sasha and Bea had threatened to spread untruths, beat the crap out of them, or stuff laxative-laced meals down their throats. 

Elder Brick had already served time and didn't need the rumors. Brother Casanova was scared of Bea's violent nature and Sasha's entire Hellraiser family. And malnourished-looking Trustee Noel just needed a hot home-cooked meal from anywhere with or without a laxative. 

The weather held out the Saturday morning of the meeting. There was just enough of a chill in the air to chill out the old folk. The five seniors arrived at Crossing Over Sanctuary church with a combined five hundred years of senility, irregularity, and illusions of holiness. 

The head of the Finance Committee, Elder Bartholomew "Batty" Brick entered first. Fellow committee members Brother Leon Casanova and Trustee Freddie Noel entered next. The men then escorted Mothers Sasha and Bea into the fellowship hall. They went to the rear of the hall and sat at one of the large tables. 

The five already knew why they were there. Months ago, Bea and Sasha, referred to as BS, had suggested to Reverend Tom holding a Seniors Prom as a fundraiser. More recently, when Elder Brick slipped up and told Sasha that the church's intake had slipped dramatically, she'd suggested they come up with more ideas beyond just selling tickets to the prom. 

"Okay," Sasha announced. "Batty, you lead us in a word or two of prayer so we can get started." 

Elder Batty Brick jumped up quicker than his arthritis normally allowed. The overweight, tall, olive-complexioned man with snow-white hair winced. He dropped his head, clasped his hands, and blurted as if he were preaching, "You know our hearts, Lord." He let one hand sweep over their heads. "We come asking that You take our few fishes and stale crusty bread ideas and help us make some money with them." 

All raised their eyes and palms toward the ceiling, and added, "Amen." 

"We don't hafta read the minutes. We can just move on." The suggestion came from Mother Bea Blister. 

Bea had been the Vice President of the Mothers Board for more years than she could remember. She'd also been Sasha's rival for anything she figured Sasha wanted. In her late sixties, so she said, Bea was a statuesque woman. She had a severely arched back, an extra hundred pounds, was dark as a sun-ripened raisin, and just as wrinkled. 

She made her wishes known on her way out the hall to the bathroom. She'd felt an urge to go since she'd left home. Since there were men at the meeting, and she wasn't too sure if she could depend on the Depend she'd worn, it was as good a time as any to take care of business. The last thing she wanted was to be embarrassed, and definitely not with blabbermouth Sasha present. 

By the time Bea returned, she found the other four seated just as she'd left them. "What did I miss?" 

"When did you leave?" Sasha asked. She'd never tell Bea that she'd held up the meeting until she returned. There was no fun in that. 

That set the tone for the rest of the meeting. 

"I think we should sell T-shirts," Sasha suggested, "We'll have ones printed for the men, GOT AN XTRA BLUE PILL? For the women, ME & MY BREASTS R SOUTHERN GALS." 

Sasha's suggestion caught Brother Leon's attention. Up till then, he'd been dozing. He leaned forward, his brow furrowed. His seventy-year-old cinnamon-colored cheeks appeared full as if he'd stowed away a few nuts instead of sitting among them. "Ahem," he said as he pulled on his gray handlebar moustache to give his coming words more weight. 

"As I see it"—he looked around to make sure all eyes were upon him—"this hall holds about five hundred people comfortably. Since we're having a throwback to the fifties, sixties, and seventies dress theme for the prom, I'm sure most won't need to do anything but look in their closets and grab something to wear. Afros, conks, platform shoes, we all got some old clothes somewhere." 

"Bea can wear what she wore last Sunday." Sasha chuckled. Her tiny parentheses-shaped legs spread and, of course, she'd forgotten her underwear again. 

"And Sasha can just wear what she's wearing now," Bea shot back, "except she can add drawers." 

One moment Sasha's knees were open and the next the springs to Sasha's knees shut hard enough to crack a bone. She grabbed her cane and was about go Darth Vader on Bea. 

Brother Casanova jumped between them, "Ladies, please. Don't make me hafta use my Taser!" He'd heard that line on television and was glad it worked. He shook his head and sighed at their pettiness as they retreated. "Anyway, we're supposed to come up with ways to make money without going over the five-hundred dollar budget. Won't it cost most of that to get the shirts printed?" 

Sasha didn't like her idea challenged, and she could almost feel her tight gray bun tighten. It threatened to cut off the oxygen to her brain, but she remained cool. "Of course, I already thought about that," she lied. "Bea is gonna handwrite every word on every T-shirt." 

"What the ham and cheese!" Bea's spine almost straightened as she shot forward, her fists balled to strike. "Oh, forget a Ta—" 

Sasha quickly cut her off when she added sweetly, "Bea has such lovely penmanship. Why should we pay for something that will have less quality?" 

Bea's fist stopped in mid-air. She hadn't gone to college, but when Sasha put it that way, how could she refuse? "I do have good penmanship," Bea said with as much sincerity as an old con artist could muster. "How many T-shirts would we need?" 

Elder Batty started counting on his fingers and when he added both knees to the count, he said, "Bea, I think we've sold about one hundred and fifty tickets with about two hundred more promised." 

From the end of the table, someone spoke up and offered a semblance of common sense. "We do remember the Seniors Prom is the Saturday after Thanksgiving, don't we? That's less than a month away. It won't leave us much time." 

Everyone turned to face Trustee Freddie Noel. Until that moment, they'd not heard a peep from the tall, lemon yellow, skinny man with squinty brown eyes, and a sharp nose that looked like a carrot stick. Not only was he very tall, but extremely unattractive. In his mid-sixties, he was so thin, he'd almost had to pin his pants to his skin to keep them up. 

"It'll be enough time if we're not distracted," Elder Batty Brick replied. "So you can pencil that in your notes as a done deal." 

The trustee shuddered a bit. He knew that Elder Batty Brick had only mentioned the word pencil because behind his back folks called him "Number two," saying he resembled a number two pencil with a chewed eraser. 

"That reminds me," Brother Casanova added, as he turned to Trustee Noel, "we haven't assigned a job to you for that night." 

"Let him take the coats," Bea snapped. 

Bea always dismissed Trustee Noel because he didn't fit what she looked for in a man, a congregation member, or a potential helpmate. He was too thin, too poor, and she didn't think he could stand up to the job of giving her what she'd need. "Unless you're bringing a date or plan on having any fun, I don't think you'd mind taking the coats, would you?" 

Before the trustee could respond Sasha added fuel to the fire, "He's celibate. Everyone knows he ain't never been married. I've never seen him dance and if he could, I'm certain he would. He ain't trying to have fun." 

"Well, I'm certain he'll celebrate when he's no longer a celibate." Somehow Elder Batty Brick thought he'd helped the reclusive trustee, especially when he added, "I'm sure he's just waiting on a woman who'd have him." 

As usual, the trustee's manhood always fed the gossip fire and if he wasn't weird enough for their chatter, he had a bad habit. The trustee had a sprig of silver hair resembling a half moon that peeked out from the crown of his head. Whenever he was nervous, which was most of the time, he twirled that sprig. When they finished berating him, the top of his head look like silver twigs. 


Excerpted from No Ordinary Noel by Pat G'Orge-Walker. Copyright © 2011 by Pat G'Orge-Walker. Excerpted by permission of DAFINA BOOKS. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site. 

Purchase No Ordinary Noel by Pat G'Orge-Walker 
ISBN-10: 0758259662 
ISBN-13: 978-0758259660 

Download to Kindle, HERE
ISBN: 0758259662 

Download to Nook, HERE
ISBN-13: 9780758274342

About the Author
Pat G'Orge Walker
(pronounced Gee-or-jay) - is in a league of her own. This accomplished Christian author and comedienne has an amazing mind and talent for turning her observations of church life into gems of sidesplitting humor. It is her own special gift from God that enables G'Orge-Walker to depict the often ridiculous antics of church folk without subverting the Good News or watering down the potency of its message.

Pat G'Orge-Walker is a 'kept woman' whose life is held firmly and safely in God's hand. Mercy and compassion season every word spoken or written by Pat, who makes her story palpitate in the hearts of people who readily relate to victory over adversity.

The First Lady of Gospel Comedy forges a successful career as author and comedian. She has paved the way for many others in both fields. Pat's storytelling is likened to Zora Neale Hurston's folklore documentation of American culture and church life in literature.



The Power of Forgiveness
by Adrienne Thompson

In the summer of 1997, I found myself in an impossible situation. I was twenty-four years-old, and had been married since I was sixteen years-old to a man I thought I could not live without. We were the parents of three children: a nine year-old daughter, a seven year-old son, and a five week-old daughter. After a pregnancy which entailed nine entire months of miserable sickness and after enduring years of my husband’s periodic and sporadic disappearing acts, and after learning that he had been having an extramarital affair, he left me.

Although I felt it coming, saw it coming, and knew it was coming, I was still in shock. I didn’t have a job and I had no idea what I was going to do.  So to say that I was hurt and afraid would be an understatement.

I was grieving for my marriage and for the loss of the family I’d always dreamed of having. I was the product of a broken home, and I’d done everything in my power to prevent my own divorce. I was depressed and I felt alone.  In a lot of ways, I was alone.  After all, who else did I know in my position? No one.  Here I was, a single mother with children who needed me.  In essence, I was all they had, but I was in no condition to give them what they needed because I was so full of pain, so full of hatred.

Yes, I hated him.  I despised him for throwing me away and for not loving me the way I’d loved him. I detested him for not being everything I’d dreamed of since my childhood.  I was embarrassed and I was a failure because of him. Oh yes, I hated him. 

And I told him so on more than one occasion.  He’d call to talk to the kids, and I’d hang up in his face or cuss him out. I told him to die and go to hell so many times I lost count.  And I meant every word of it. I hated him and I wanted to hurt him. I wanted him to feel what I felt. I wanted him to cry, and ultimately, I wanted him to suffer.  But buried deep within my desire to punish him was a desire to punish myself.  As much as I hated him for leaving me, I hated myself more for failing to make him want to stay.

And so it went on—this relentless vendetta.  I kept the hate campaign going, oblivious to the fact that my children and I were suffering more than he ever could.  After all, he’d moved on with his life. He’d remarried and had another child. While I continually engaged in self-destructive behaviors and subjected myself to horribly unhealthy relationships, he moved on.  I became a major people-pleaser as I searched for love and acceptance when all the time, there sat my children, loving me unconditionally, accepting me for who I was, and needing my love in return.

My life finally started to turn around when my son began to attend church with one of his teachers, and then he decided to get baptized. Standing next to the baptismal pool, watching my son take such an important step, shook something inside of me, and for the first time in several years, I began to attend church regularly. I listened to the sermons and the songs, and the words began to penetrate my heart. It didn’t take long for a big revelation to hit me. I finally realized that all the years of hating my ex-husband had been a huge waste of time and that I had been very wrong to behave as I had.

I looked at my children and clearly saw that they needed him and that maybe, just maybe, my behavior and attitude towards him had played a part in the distant relationship he shared with them. I was not accepting total blame for the situation, but I understood that I’d played a part in it. So I reached out to him. I apologized, and guess what?  So did he!  I asked him to become a bigger part of our children’s lives, and he did.

Now, this is not a fairy tale.  So, I’m not going to pretend that everything became some perfect scenario.  It didn’t.  But it got better and better.  Once I realized that it takes two to make and break a relationship and that the expectations I’d placed on him had been unfair and impossible to live up to, I forgave him, and I forgave myself.  I saw us both as we were and still are—human. Not perfect, but imperfect, as God made us.

We are actually friends now and we talk often. We have real conversations that don’t even involve our children. We just talk like two adults. He’s even said that my change in attitude showed him that anything is possible. With God in the equation, I have to agree. Anything is possible, even forgiveness.

About the Author
Adrienne Thompson
is a divorced mother of three who resides in Arkansas. She currently works as a Registered Nurse. Her first published novel, Bluesday, is available at or For more information about the author, go to:

  Three Tips for Artistic Life Design
By Delaina Miller

We all have the potential to dream and create our realities

When picking out the marble that he used to create David, Michelangelo said he could see/envision David in the stone. As a result he was able to create his vision of David using his imagination. Artists use their imaginations so that they can play with their creations. Their abilities to imagine and then project become a vital part of their artful designs. But artists do not just create sculptures, paintings, photos, etc of random images. Artists depict life and life's potentials. They use a hybrid of reality and imagination to create these works of art.  We can do the same when designing our lives. We all have the potential to dream and create our realities. We just need to look at our lives through our artist's eye, and get to work.

Finished Product and the End Result

The first step is to follow Michelangelo's example and look at our lives from a perspective as if our accomplishments had been achieved. Think about what do want your creation to be? Imagine that someone is introducing you: how do you want to be introduced, who do you what to be introduces as, what are the accomplishments you want to be known for, what is the legacy you want to leave behind? Look at the ideal finished masterpiece of you, what do you see? Use the answers to these questions as your guide to see your "David" in the marble.

Imagine Your Medium

Now that you have a clear vision of what your life looks like, imagine all of the ways that you can sculpt yourself. You are already a work of art, the point of developing yourself as a masterpiece is to become your best "you" by your standards. Remember you become the best you by not chiseling or molding yourself into someone else. But rather you sculpt your interests, abilities, and passions into the perfect you; while bearing in mind we are not striving for a flawless you. Your "flaws" are attributes to the perfect you. I am sure the Michelangelo saw flaws in David but he also realized that those flaws are what made David, David.

What are your interests, what are your abilities, and what are your passions? These are the main questions to help you find your medium, the materials, the masterpiece "You" will be created from. Use your own visions of how you would design your life and you as your masterpiece. This will allow you to really let yourself feel the emotions of fulfillment, happiness, and craft your true character.

Create Your Vision

Create and recreate your vision of you. If your medium is writing, then find ways to write as often as possible and find support groups. Whatever your medium is, visualize yourself doing activities in your medium that further shape, mold, and polish "You."

In order to make your visions realities, you may need to develop your skills. Visualize the tools you will need to create "You."   Do you need to go back to school, maybe community college, to build your skills?  For example, if your medium is writing find a local writer's guild you can join so that you get constructive feedback.

While you are creating the vision of your masterpiece, there are other artistic elements to remember. You are designing your life and the masterpiece "You,"  you need to let the art evolve and grow. Just as artists listen to their art for guidance, listen to yourself so that you are sculpting the true you. When you feel like your original vision is no longer satisfying, change your direction. Also when you run into complications see these as learning opportunities not as reasons to give up on your masterpiece.

Other vision elements are to change your perspective and to have fun. It is important stand back and look at your masterpiece from all angles. By so doing, you will be able to see yourself in 3D, lifelike, and from someone else's perception. Also, and perhaps most important, have fun. You are designing your life you want your life to be fun, so that you can enjoy it. So don't allow the functions of design to weigh you down.

When designing your life imagine and think like an artist. See the finished product in your artistic mind's eye and chisel away the extra weight (emotional baggage) that does not belong in the ideal sculpture of you. Take into account that you are already a work of art you are just polishing your attributes to shape yourself and life into a masterpiece. Allow yourself to use your artistic abilities to imagine and envision your full potential.

Tuning into your real desires and dreams can be hard with all of the noise we hear every day. We all need a place that allows us to meditate on our individual dreams. 
At Tune In 2 Life we are passionate about helping you stay focused on your goals and ambitions. Discover more ways to tune in to your life at:  where we offer advice and pull from the collective wisdom of others

About Delaina Miller
Delaina Miller
is an Independent Information Professional that takes great pleasure in helping others through her writing and research.  She is the author and coauthor of many blogs.  
Her interests include: empowering others, writing, marketing in Social Media mediums, art history, home improvement, traveling, wine, poetry, and photography.  Article Source 


All About the D. R. A. M. A.  
by Jody Day

I'm a sucker for an acronym. Don't you just love a handle that you can remember when you need it? Here's one I needed for this fact of life: DRAMA.

We all have it, drama. Or course, we don't start it (ahem), but we sure bob in the wake of it when someone else does. It can be pretty disconcerting and disrupting, discouraging and stressful. So I was thinking about it and the Father blessed me with a handle. Hope it helps you, too.

D = Do your best to calm the waters.  What's the best way to do that? Stay out of it and don't talk about it. "Without wood a fire goes out; without a gossip a quarrel dies down." (Proverbs 26:20) and "Like one who grabs a stray dog by the ears is someone who rushes into a quarrel not their own." (Proverbs 26:17) If the drama directly involves you, then add:

R = Rest in your position:  your biblically based, Holy Spirit led, prayed up position.  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3: 5-6) You may find in your praying that you have played a part in the drama, the cause of the trouble. If so then add:

A = Acknowledge your wrongs.  Confess, repent, ask forgiveness and make restitution if need be. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness."(1 John 1:9). If that doesn't diffuse the situation, then add:

M = Maintain your peace.  Don't let the drama be yours, mine, and ours. If folks persist in living in upheaval, then let it be theirs. "You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you." (Isaiah 26:3) In any case, add:

A = Always forgive.  Whether they ask for it or not, always walk in an attitude of forgiveness. Matthew 6:14:  "For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you."

Remember, however:  "Walk with the wise and become wise,  for a companion of fools suffers harm."  Proverbs 13:20.  (Birds of a feather...uh huh.)

Every theatrical production starts the same way. Someone creates it.  Don't let it be you.  "...make it your ambition to lead a quiet life:  You should mind your own business..."  (1 Thess. 4:11) Now there's a novel idea!

About the Author
Jody Day
is a freelance writer based in West Texas. Her passion is showing the love of Christ through poems, devotionals, articles and books. Her works are published in Mature Living,, and The Old Schoolhouse.   Article SourceCHRISTIAN WRITERS 
Copyright 8/30/2011. All Rights Reserved. 

Intimate Conversation with Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Cheryl Lacey Donovan is a nationally recognized evangelist and public speaker. As founder of Worth More than Rubies Ministries, Cheryl has become one of the nations leading conference presenters. A noted author and internet radio personality, she has influenced the lives of thousands of women in the U.S. and abroad. Cheryl’s calling to inspire, motivate, & educate others is evident as her passion to help women discover their authentic purpose and destiny comes through in her books, CD's and devotionals.

Women What the Hell are You Thinking Now? 
Transform Your Thinking to Transform Your Life
by Cheryl Lacey Donovan

Join Author and Evangelist Cheryl Donovan as she discusses her new book Women, What the Hell are You Thinking Now? This series of discussions is designed to help individuals identify the strongholds in their lives and tear them while seeking to live the abundant life God intended.

BPM: You are an Evangelist and ordained Minister of the Gospel. What prompted you to write this book for women?
Over the years, I’ve shared many of my experiences and testimonies of things that happened to me and others I cross in my daily profession as a medical instructor .I originally wrote a similar book about two years ago which addressed some of those issues but in this book, I tackle them head on with practical applications for implementation. I actually had no idea my mess would someday be a message for others. That’s the Holy Spirit for you. He brings things full circle in your life. Many of us are experiencing a spiritual disconnect in most cases. We believe our problems are carnal rather than spiritual. You want to do the right thing but are confronted with situations that are counter intuitive to all your values, cultural and spiritual, and you have to balance them all. It’s tough. So I wrote Women What the Hell are You Thinking Now? to help women get through the tough days with grace and know that God loves them and is with them no matter what.

BPM: What life lessons have you experienced personally that have nurtured and shaped who you are today?
Christians are not immune to the vicissitudes of life. Understanding this reality has helped me cope with the setbacks and unexpected pitfalls I’ve faced. Jesus said we’d have them in this world but to be of good cheer because he’d overcome the world (John 16:33). That’s the good news. Christ is with us He never leaves us or forsakes us.

BPM: What insight does the book give readers on life? 
The book encourages the reader to look inside themselves for the changes they want to see. A transformed mind leads to a transformed life. 

BPM: What are some of the common mistakes, or mis-informed choices that prevent women in developing spiritually, or building positive relationships?
We allow others to define us. Who we are and who we should be rather than looking to the creator for the answer. Many of us have an unction or yearning inside about who we are and what we should be doing to build the Kingdom but we allow the enemy to lie to us and convince us otherwise. We forget that with Christ we can do all things and that he can take the foolish things and confound the wise. We are more than conquerors and we shouldn’t allow fear to consume us.

BPM: What are you hoping women will take away from your book, i.e., personally, emotionally, and/or spiritually?
I want women to understand how important they are to God. The Kingdom of God lives within in each of us. Therefore, we already have everything we need to operate in our God given purpose. Once we get that we can truly experience the abundant life God intended for us to have.

BPM: How do you avoid the temptation of interjecting your own morals, value system or ministry in your writing?
I try to be real. I try to be transparent. I use myself, my story to connect with the reader. I'm not trying to save people with my writing; I'm simply trying to share God's love without shoving religion down their throats. I want readers to be inspired and come away encouraged. 

BPM: What has been your most difficult hurdle to leap? Marketing, promotions or gaining media exposure, etc. How can EDC Creations and our readers help you?
Mainstream media exposure is probably the most difficult aspect of marketing. It can be hard to keep track of news stories trends, etc. with which your book has something in common. Yet, this is the most effective way of getting interviews in print as well as on national media programs.

BPM: How has your writing style evolved over the years? What stimulated your growth the most? We are here to shine the spotlight on your new book, but what's next?
I'd like to think it's more thought provoking and more meaningful to the reader. Again I connect with them through my own story so I believe it's more real and effective at reaching the reader. My next book is No Test No Testimony: What Happens When All Hell Breaks Loose. It discusses the fact that just because you're seen as a "leader" in the faith based community it doesn't mean that you don't go through trials and tribulations that can upset your world. But in the end as the title reflects there is ultimately a testimony for the masses. 

BPM: Do you have plans to write other devotional/spiritual books?
I plan to continue traveling the country ministering to women and I will continue writing books of inspiration including devotionals, journals, and other inspirational material. Anyone wishing to contact me can do so at  They can also visit the website: http://www.worthmorethanrubiesministries.org

Women What the Hell are You Thinking Now? 
Transform Your Thinking to Transform Your Life 
by Cheryl Lacey Donovan

• Book Review
Cheryl, you speak with authority, wisdom, and experience. Your book is certain to breathe life into those who feel beaten down by circumstances. Your strong yet loving words will draw women of all ages and stages to the power and peace that only our Risen Lord can provide. He has spoken through you. Thank you for being an obedient messenger. In Christ's love and warmth. 
~ Jory H. Fisher, JD,  

• Primary Topics Discussed
You have to clear the clutter and get on with your life. You have to learn to forgive not only others but yourself. When you harbor fear it grows into bitterness, anger, and resentment. Ultimately the only person this hurts is you. We have to let go of all the bad feelings and emotions that keep us in bondage. 

2.)  If you transform your thinking you'll transform your life. Our thoughts turn into words. Those words turn into actions. Ultimately all of this becomes a self fulfilling prophecy. Therefore, we must strive to maintain a positive attitude and positive thoughts so that our outcome will be successful.

3.)  Be truthful with yourself. Many of us hide behind masks. Masks not only shown to others but to ourselves as well. Being truthful with ourselves helps us to identify those things that keep us from living an abundant life. In this way we can begin to forgive yourself and others. 

4.)  Identify opportunities for growth even in life's most mundane moments. You already have everything you need to live a life of victory. Use it.

Purchase at Amazon Today!
Now available on the Nook and Kindle
Genre: Christian/Inspirational
ISBN-10: 0982967268 
ISBN-13: 978-0982967263 

Behind the Pen: Meet Kimberla Lawson Roby

New York Times Bestselling Author Kimberla Lawson Roby has published fifteen novels which include LOVE, HONOR, and BETRAY, BE CAREFUL WHAT YOU PRAY FOR, A DEEP DARK SECRET, THE BEST OF EVERYTHING, ONE IN A MILLION, SIN NO MORE, LOVE & LIES, CHANGING FACES, THE BEST-KEPT SECRET, TOO MUCH OF A GOOD THING, A TASTE OF REALITY, IT’S A THIN LINE, CASTING THE FIRST STONE, HERE AND NOW, and her debut title, BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, and which was originally self-published through her own company, Lenox Press. 

Her novels have frequented numerous bestseller lists, including The New York Times and those in USA Today, The Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Essence Magazine, Upscale Magazine, Emerge Magazine, Barnes and Noble,, Wal-Mart, The Dallas Morning News, and The Austin Chronicle to name a few and both BEHIND CLOSED DOORS and CASTING THE FIRST STONE were #1 Blackboard bestsellers for four consecutive months in both 1997 and 2000. BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was the #1 Blackboard Best-selling book for paperback fiction in 1997. 

Each of Kimberla's novels has dealt with very real issues, including corruption within the church, social status, gambling addiction, infidelity, single motherhood, infertility, sibling rivalry and jealousy, domestic violence, sexual abuse, care giving of a parent, racial and gender discrimination in the workplace, sexual harassment, overweight issues, and female illnesses to name a few.

Kimberla resides in Illinois with her husband, Will. Her sixteenth novel, SECRET OBSESSION, will be released on Tuesday, September 6, 2011.

BPM: Wow fifteen books and most true top-sellers! The sixteenth, Secret Obsession is incredible! Can you see any of your books being optioned for movies?
Yes, and actually, CASTING THE FIRST STONE has been optioned for film as well as ONE IN A MILLION.

BPM: Kim, what makes you powerful as a person and a writer? What drives you to write?
When it comes to writing, I am completely inspired and driven by my wonderful readers who continue to support each book I release. I am also very inspired by the real-life issues that many people experience, and I enjoy writing about them in a fictional format.

BPM: What is your daily writing schedule like? How long did it take you to complete the book? Did you write many drafts?
When I'm writing the first draft, I literally try to write every single day until I finish it and then I go back and work on rewrites and revisions. By the time I submit my manuscript to my editor, I've written an outline, first draft and then another draft, and then I still make edits on a third copy before finally sending it in.

BPM: Do you insert your own characteristics in your writing? 
Yes, there are times when a character may prefer eating at a certain restaurant or he or she may have strong opinions when it comes to certain subjects, and this is when I sometimes incorporate my own likes, dislikes, feelings, etc. In general, though, my characters are totally opposite of who I am as a person.

BPM: What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author?
What I've realized is that, to a certain extent, I tend to be a people pleaser because Lord knows I work very hard to please my readers as much as I can. My reading audience is extremely important to me as a whole, so my primary goal is to try to satisfy them versus worrying about the overall industry.

BPM: Besides the creative process, what is the most gratifying aspect of being a writer?
The most gratifying aspect of being an author is connecting with my readers on a personal level. Whether it be through email exchange, Facebook, Twitter or in-person at events, meeting and conversing with my readers brings me great joy.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
Learn the craft of writing, remain true to yourself (don't try mimicking anyone else's writing style), and definitely learn everything single thing you can about the "business" of publishing. Also, do all you can to market and promote your work.

BPM: What's the most important role writers play in today’s world?
For me, it's all about telling the truth, even though I write fiction. What I always try to do is write about real-life issues without sugarcoating the storylines. Sometimes that can mean writing about pretty controversial and/or taboo topics, but I truly think writing these kinds of stories are very needed and appreciated by many readers.

BPM: What do you think of the increasingly gratuitous sex in literature? 
Well, for the most part, I try not to focus on what anyone else is writing, but what I will say is that a few years ago, I decided to no longer include graphic sex scenes or profanity. In some of my earlier books, I'd never included more than a word or two here or there and only included a couple of tasteful sex scenes anyhow, but ultimately I decided it wasn't even necessary to include any profanity or graphic sex scenes at all. Many readers have categorized me as a Christian Fiction writer, but in reality, I am simply a Christian who just so happens to write fiction. The other important thing is that I don't want to write anything that might hinder my relationship God.

BPM: Finish this sentence- “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...” 
It represents the truth and a ton of reality, and readers will always be able to learn from the mistakes my characters tend to make. My hope is that my work will encourage readers to make much better choices in life than many of my characters have, so that they won't have to experience such dire consequences.

BPM: Introduce us to your latest book, Secret Obsession and the main characters. What genre is the book? On Kindle or Nook?
Secret Obsession is African-American, Mainstream, Contemporary and Women's Fiction. Yes, it is available as an e-book for both Kindle and Nook.

Paige Donahue has always resented her sister, Camille. As children, Camille got the good grades, friends, and their parents’ love, while Paige received hurtful criticism and no real affection. Now, as adults, Camille lives in a gorgeous home with her husband, Pierce, and their two beautiful children, while Paige is stuck in a small condo she can barely pay for. But enough is enough, and soon—by planting seeds of doubt in Camille’s and Pierce’s minds—Paige’s plan of stealing her brother-in-law begins to work perfectly. Until Pierce makes a stunning decision and drives Paige to an even more desperate scheme…

BPM: Who are the major players? What are two major events taking place?
Paige Donahue and Camille Montgomery are the main characters. Paige schemes her way into sister and brother-in-law's life and does everything she can to turn them against each other. Another major event is when Paige fakes being raped.

BPM: What insight does Secret Obsession give readers on relationships? Has your view changed since completing your book?
Because the story is about two sisters who grew up together and how one feels as though their parents treated the other sister much better, it shows how siblings can literally grow up in the same house but have a totally different recollection of how life was for them as a family. And yes, after writing this book, it really made me wonder if my brothers and I would answer certain questions exactly the same about our childhood or if we would all have very different responses.

BPM: How do you see your writing evolving from here?
I'd really love to continue writing about real-life social issues, even those that might be a bit more controversial than what I've written about in the past.

BPM: What's more important: critical acclaim or popular success amongst the readers? 
I would definitely have to say popular success amongst readers, because in the end, it is my readers who I truly want to satisfy. They are the folks I am constantly thinking about when I'm writing my novels. 

BPM: Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases. How may our readers follow you online? 
I'm working on a new novella right now, and next year on May 1, 2012, the 9th novel in my Reverend Curtis Black Series will be released. The title is THE REVEREND'S WIFE. 

Readers can contact me at:,  and at


Stop Whining and Get Moving
By Chuck Goetschel 

Okay, I admit the title Stop Whining and Get Moving may be a bit harsh... but it's time I rant for a moment... Everywhere I go, people are whining about how bad things are. I'm hearing all the tragedies, failures, and doom and gloom forecasting.

First off, I get it. The last three years have been brutal... I have my own set of stories I could share. It's not fun to lose a home. It's scary to lose a job or business and wonder how you're going to make it. It's awful to literally worry about how you're going to provide for your family. That part I get. Completely. And, I'm not here to minimize or invalidate how serious the situation is.

I also understand how exhausting it can be under the weight of difficult circumstances. Ever wake up in the morning feeling just as tired as when you went to bed... I know.  However, what I also know is that the one thing that nobody can take from you is the way in which you look at things and whether you CHOOSE to focus on what isn't or whether you CHOOSE to focus on what can be.

Now, I know nobody wants to hear about focusing on a positive future when you're marinating in daily drama. Let's face it, misery loves company. People would rather compare wounds than put it all aside for a moment and dream again. But, let me ask you... aren't you ready to move on to a new season?

My former mentor used to tell me when coaching people: "Kick 'em when they're down... it'll bring the fight back out in 'em!" Now, granted he was a Vietnam Vet, Navy Seal and Olympic champion so he was a bit on the strong side but he did have a point. We all have more fight in us. We just need to tap into it and there comes a point when the help of empathy isn't nearly as effective as a swift kick in the rear.  So, consider this your kick!

Here's 5 Steps you can take:

1. If you've got a mess, clean it up. Be proactive. With your finances - Get specific on where you stand and start working whatever plan is appropriate. Even if it's ugly at the moment, chaos and confusion on top of things always makes it worse. Get clear - get organized - and get on a plan.

2. Put your eyes back in the front of your head. Make a solid decision to start looking forward. Enough focus on how it used to be... Sure, I liked the days when our home prices kept doubling, everyone refinanced and used their house as a great big ATM machine. That was fun! Not so smart, but fun! Enough focus on the current struggles. Yes, take care of them, but STOP focusing on them! START looking ahead. DREAM again. Imagine for a moment...a future that takes your breath away.

3. Get creative. A brilliant and very wealthy mentor of mine once told me, "You never have a money problem. You only have an idea problem." If that's the case, then the bad news is you've just been stripped of all your excuses since it's now about your creativity. However, the good news is that you no longer need to be at the mercy of circumstances. You can choose not to participate in bad economic times. How? Get creative. What are you passionate about? What are you good at? Most importantly, what problems could you solve for other people?

4. Get Moving. As I mentioned, I understand how exhausting it can be under the weight of difficult circumstances. But, it's time to mentally get out from under there and get moving. As Will Rodgers once said, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." It's time to get into motion! I know you don't feel like it. But, you don't like feeling stuck either. So, get up, dust yourself off, and get moving! Besides, motion tends to create emotion. It will get easier as you go...

5. Connect with the living. It's been said that, "The average man dies at age 21 and is buried at age 65."  The world has always been full of the walking dead - those who have given up on their dreams and are merely existing. Today more than ever, people have lost hope. However, I encourage you to seek out the living! Connect with other people who are moving on like you. Then, share ideas. Create a mastermind group. Joint venture. Fuel each other. Make it happen!

Well, I admit... I feel better :) I needed to get that out.If you've already been motivated and moving, good job. If not, now is the time for you to get back in the game!  Your future is calling!

About the Author
Chuck Goetschel
Author, Speaker, Coach, Social Media Marketer 
Are you living your passion? Use my step-by-step strategy to give you a unique way to clearly define your passion and live it through personal branding, personal development and social media strategies.  Article Source

Motivating Yourself in 5 Easy Steps

By Delaina Miller 

We all struggle to find the energy we need to make our dreams a reality. Yet there are many easy and fun things you can do to motivate yourself into action. In this article I share five ways that I motivate myself and others.

Take the five or ten minutes of your snooze time to do two things. First, think about all of the things you are grateful for in your life. If you wake up feeling a little grumpy and cannot think of anything to be grateful for start with your bed.

Second, envision your day. Start with the tasks you are not excited about, ticking them off of your list quickly, and then envision all of the things you want to accomplish. When that alarm goes off, jump out of bed because you are all fired up to get on with your day.

(The key to both of these assignments is to feel good about your life. As the warm glow begins to rise in your heart, focus on it and how good you feel. )

It is a basic law of physics that a body at rest stays at rest but a body in motion stays in motion. Most people do not like exercise, so don't exercise, play! Allow yourself to feel like a kid again and just play with movement. Dance or invest in a rebounder and jump. Kick your legs out and feel the air rush around your head and play. You will find yourself bouncing, twisting, and doing high leg kicks you didn't know you could do. Before you know it, you will have cleaned out your lymph nodes, worked up a sweat, and all with a big grin on your face.

Because many of us are auditory learners affirmations can be used as personal validation as well as motivation tools. We need to hear good things about ourselves and expecting others to fill this role is unrealistic. It might seem ridiculous the first couple of times you do it but before you know it these positive declarations will become personalize positive feedback.

Mentally affirmations are healthy because they allow us to validate ourselves. As you are telling yourself such things as: "My challenges are opportunities to grow," you are giving yourself positive reinforcement. After all if you are not in your own corner then who will be?

A smile, a favorite scent, and 'feel confident' clothes are at least three things we can wear that make us feel motivated. The most important of these items is a smile. Yeah a smile, try it right now even if it is forced, make your lips curl in an upward position and hold it, keep holding it. Did you just chuckle at yourself? Good that is the whole point. People cannot stay sad with a smile on their face. Even if that smile felt forced it just motivated you to chuckle at yourself. So pull up that frown, spritz yourself, and wear your favorite outfit and say out loud "Look out world here I come to rock you off your axles!"

Believe it or not sharing is a great motivator. We have all felt that empowered feeling that floods us when we have done something that helped someone. When we are helpful we feel good about ourselves and that feeling motivates us to help more.

The world's inhabitants all have one great equalizer - time. It is what we do with our time that makes us different. Yet that realization is not always the motivator we need to feel motivated. Therefore we must find ways to inspire ourselves through our visions, our actions, our words, our inspirations to motivate us into action.

About the Author
Delaina Miller
is an Independent Information Professional that enjoys helping others through her writing and research. You can read more of her motivational ideas and tips at: http://tunein2life.comArticle Source  


HIRE POWER: How to Find, Get, and Keep a Job 
by Andrea Foy

Hire Power is a how-to guide that steps you through the process of landing the job you want—yes; want—to knowing when to leave for better opportunities. Geared toward the workplace neophyte, this book provides insight for the experienced employee too.

In  Hire Power  you will learn:
** Basic business etiquette 
** The elements of a resume 
** How to complete an application
** Appropriate and inappropriate attire for an interview 
** How to deal with coworkers, bosses and customers 
** How job performance can lead to great appraisals and promotions

Purchase HIRE POWER by Andrea Foy
Author Website: 
ISBN-10: 0981743692 
ISBN-13: 978-0981743691 

Winner of the Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards
Dan Poynter's Global eBook Awards is proud to announce the 2011 Winner in the Careers/Employment category: Hire Power: How to Find, Get, and Keep a Job. If one-third of your life is spent at work, why not make it enjoyable? Hire Power is a how-to guide that steps you through the process of landing the job you want—yes; want—to knowing when to leave for better opportunities. Congratulations to Andrea Foy!

About the Author
Andrea Foy
is an author, speaker and coach. She conducts workshops and seminars on topics such as: Women in Management, Leadership Skills for Women, Professional Presentation Skills, Self Esteem, Assertiveness, Diversity, Leadership Skills and Business Etiquette. Ms. Foy has been certified by the Professional Woman Network as a Professional Coach and Diversity Consultant.

Ms. Foy’s knowledge of business and professionalism comes from over 20 years of customer service experience working for companies such as McDonald’s, Sears, Delta and USAir Airlines, American Express Financial Advisors, Sharkey’s Modeling and Talent Agency the Federal Government. She is a member of Professional Women’s Network and the National Black MBA Association. 

Among her many accomplishments, Ms. Foy has authored her first book, has a Bachelor’s in Communications from Wright State University and is working on her Master’s Degree in Business and Technology specializing in Management and Leadership from Capella University. She is also an Advanced Communicator with Toastmasters International.

Broken by Patricia Haley

#1 Essence bestselling author Patricia Haley takes sibling rivalry to a shocking new level as one man tries to heal his broken family in this compelling series based on popular biblical stories. 

Broken the 3rd Book in the Chosen Series
Don Mitchell is certain the Lord has a plan for him to reconcile his family, when his younger half brother, Joel, suddenly resigns as CEO of their father’s company. The gesture comes after Joel has nearly sent the enterprise into bankruptcy. Don’s first order of business as newly appointed head of DMI is to bring his estranged older sister home. It isn’t easy. Tamara has been running from the past for years. But once she is home, she plans to claim her rightful place in the multimillion-dollar family ministry—no matter what it takes or who gets hurt. 

Joel, meanwhile, is regretting his decision to step down and is doing everything in his power to resume his path to greatness. As Don finds himself waist-deep in the corporate mess Joel left behind, his love life is also in flux. He must balance a complicated friendship with Abigail, his right-hand woman at DMI, with a budding romance involving his beautiful business partner in South Africa. Just as Don begins to realize that forgiving and forgetting may be his greatest weapon, a terrifying ordeal rocks the family to its core, and they must turn to God and to one another for the answers. 

Broken:  Excerpt from Chapter 3

They were gone and Tamara could breathe easy again. She'd reclaimed her space. The walls were no longer closing in. She heated a teapot, replaying the words exchanged during the visit. Mixed emotions filled her. Madeline was her mother, an undeniable piercing reality. She was born to love her, but that didn't mean she had to like her, not with her constant pushing and attempts to force Tamara to accept the Mitchell family on Madeline's terms. Madeline made it hard to like her, but it didn't stop Tamara from loving her. Seeing Don was comforting, honestly, seeing her mother was too. 

She poured the water into a cup, constantly replaying the words like a recorder set on repeat. The anger had vanished and a pinch of loneliness was setting in. Having her family there wasn't so bad, she thought, taking a seat on the small sofa. The phone rang but she didn't answer, unwilling to release the warm feeling she was experiencing toward her family. It was rare, unexpected, but well received. The euphoria forced her to rethink her decision about going home. The more she reflected, the less eager she was to push her mother away. She had to forget the whole idea. When Don first asked her to consider returning home, there was interest. Seeing how distraught her mother was changed her mind. She wasn't out to crush Madeline, not really, although there were times when the pain carved deep in the pit of her soul cried out to be shared with the perpetrator. Andre clearly was her rapist, but he hadn't been alone in crafting the destruction within her mother's mansion. There were many contributors who helped create the perfect environment for hell to dwell on earth. 

The phone rang so much that it wasn't readily noticeable to her anymore. Whether it was Don, Madeline, or Remo didn't make a difference. Her brief slice of euphoria was certain not to last, but she'd cling to it for as long as possible by blocking out the sounds, tastes, and smells around her. Tamara was simply trying to survive. 

The phone wouldn't stop. Caving to reality, she snatched it up, consumed with frustration. "Remo, what do you want?" 

He spoke in English mixed with Italian. His dialogue was as random and confusing as his actions. He spewed demand after demand at her. The frustration she felt at the beginning of the call quickly converted to tension. 

"You can't walk away from me. We are for life. I won't let you go so easily with my heart." His ranting was fueled by escalating rage. She could feel the heat. 

"I'm not going to let you control me anymore. I can't do it. We're done, Remo. You have to accept this. It's over for good," she said, mustering her courage but not sure how he'd accept her betrayal. 

"We can't solve this on the telephone. I need to see your face when you tell me these things. The telephone won't work. I can jump on the rail and be in London by afternoon. I'll see you. Ciao," he said, and disconnected. 

Tamara held the phone, unable to move, scared. She hadn't told him her new address. How did he know? she wondered. Probably the same way that Madeline had, by hiring a private investigator to keep track of her, selfishly violating her space. Her thoughts swirled out of order with no continuity. She jumped to her feet, realizing that getting out of the flat was critical. Remo was unpredictable and she couldn't take a chance on letting him catch her. She scurried around the tiny space desperate for a plan. Peering at her checkbook and the cell phone again, she realized she didn't have much choice. Maybe it was time to go home. Her brother had made the offer and she couldn't discount it this time, so long as her nonnegotiable term was honored. Her mother couldn't be anywhere near Detroit or the state of Michigan, just to be safe. Mother wasn't a physical threat like Remo but her ability to orchestrate emotional despair was just as deadly to Tamara. 

She fumbled through a small stack of papers on the two-seat table and stopped when she got to her checkbook. Seeing the equivalent of a $1,314 balance was sobering; she couldn't run too far with that amount. A plane ticket alone was around $600, which didn't leave enough for an apartment deposit and the first month's rent. Tamara plopped down on the sofa sleeper, fingering through her hair, searching for answers that weren't falling from the ceiling, no matter how she stared. There was only one option. As much as she hated the notion of going home to Detroit under duress and to her dysfunctional family, it didn't compare to the trauma that could come from Remo running around somewhere out there ready to do her harm. 

Tamara removed her luggage from the wardrobe. She checked the time, careful not to let two hours catch her in the flat. Remo was definitely on his way, taking every possible shortcut to get to her. If he was going to be there in a few hours, she had to be out in one. Twenty minutes had already evaporated while she was calculating the remaining dollars in her skimpy account. Although she desperately needed help, Tamara was not going to let Madeline or Don know the full extent of her troubles. 

She scrambled to get packed, constantly peering out the window and keeping a tight grip on every second. Clothes were scarce. Carrying excess from town to town had grown exhausting, and each move shaved away some of her belongings. Upon leaving France, she'd opted to bring only the two pieces of free checked luggage allowed on her flight to London. After ten or eleven moves, Tamara was sure she was at the core of her existence and only had items of value remaining. She looked around the room, a stark contrast from the plush accommodations that enveloped her childhood. Tamara stuffed the suitcase, not quite able to get in all five pairs of pants, eight shirts, her jacket, and her underclothes. She'd only take along one of the larger suitcases, plus the smaller knapsack as a carry-on. The other suitcase, along with a few shirts, would have to be sacrificed and stay behind. What else? she thought, looking around, combing the room while simultaneously keeping track of the time. Forty-five minutes gone. Her nerves were flaring up. Remo couldn't be taken lightly. She had to hurry. Suitcase zipped, knapsack latched and tucked under her arm, she was ready. Tamara opened the door and began pulling it shut. Wait. She rushed back in and snatched open the wardrobe, dropping the knapsack. She didn't have her passport. 

Tamara rustled through the papers and trinkets left behind. She got to a huge clasped envelope and breathed a sigh of relief, drawing in a long stretch of air and slowly releasing it. She pressed the envelope to her chest. This represented the grand sum of her independence: passport, birth certificate, a copy of the first check she'd received for one of her paintings, and her Swiss bank account details. She extracted the papers partially, checking to make sure none were missing. Focused on her travel documents, her key to freedom, Tamara was unprepared for the photo at the bottom of the stack. She looked away, letting her bottom plop down to the floor. There was the family photo taken at Disney World with Dave, Madeline, Tamara, and her three brothers, Sam, Andre, and Don, right before her father left them. She held it, peering at the strangers on the paper. She was five years old when it was taken. The memory was raw, like it was yesterday. The time represented one of the rare moments when she recalled being happy, safe, and normal. The rest was a blur. Tamara shoved the papers and photo into the envelope. Fifty-five minutes gone. Time had run out. She dashed out of the flat with her suitcase and knapsack. Move number twelve was under way. She'd feel more secure when the plane was taxiing down the runway and there was no sign of Remo on board. 


Reprinted by Permission
© 2011 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the author, Patricia Haley. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

About the Author
is the award winning, Essence #1 bestselling author of eight faith-based novels, including her latest series with Broken, Destined, and Chosen . She’s a full-time senior project manager with an engineering degree from Stanford University and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago . She is a born again believer and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Patricia lives with her loving husband, Jeffrey, and their beautiful daughter in the Chicago area. 

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•ISBN-10: 1416580646
•ISBN-13: 9781416580645

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Intimate Conversation with Patricia Raybon

Patricia Raybon is an award-winning author of life-changing books that help people heal. She is the author of  The One Year God's Great Blessings Devotional, a Christian inspirational nonfiction serving as a daily guide to 52 virtues that God blesses.

BPM: Tell us about your journey becoming a successfully published author. How did you initially break into the publishing industry? What road did you travel? 
I started my career as a newspaper journalist, writing for The Denver Post. I covered news and crime, that sort of thing. Over time, however, I specialized in writing “human interest” articles on people trying to figure out life, family, work, love and how to cope with it all. Now I wrestle with those questions in books. 

BPM: How exactly did you first get published? 
After working at newspapers for 12 years, then teaching journalism at the University of Colorado at Boulder, I started writing and selling personal essays to national publications—USA Today, USA Weekend, the New York Times Sunday magazine, NPR Radio and others. With that exposure, I got my first book deal with Penguin Putnam for my book on racial healing, My First White Friend. Several book agents asked to represent me, in fact, after reading my personal-experience essays in national magazines. So that national exposure was a big key to moving me from writing for magazines to writing published books. That was 15 years ago. With my two latest books, I now have four published books in print. 

BPM: What are your goals as a writer? Do you set out to educate? Entertain? Illuminate? Inspire? 
I write to learn. Then I share what God is willing to teach me. With my memoir on racial healing, My First White Friend, I set out to learn how to forgive. The surprise? First I needed to forgive myself. From there I learned enough to fill a book. 

Then with my second memoir,  I Told the Mountain to Move, I set out to learn how to pray. I grew up in church but didn’t have a clue what prayer was. Then my husband got sick and almost died—right in a low point in our marriage. So he needed a prayer warrior and a wife who loved him again. Writing that book saved my marriage and my husband! Readers tell me that book did the same for them. My First White Friend came out in 1995. But people still read it to find racial healing. The same is true for Mountain on healing prayer. I give talks all over the country now on both prayer and forgiveness. Writing to learn has made all of that possible. 

BPM: Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in your deciding to become an author? 
I’ve been writing stories since I learned to read as a first grader. Then in third grade, my classroom teacher—Mrs. Laura Smith at Columbine Elementary School in Denver—asked me if I wanted to “be a writer.” I piped up: Yes! So she looked at me and said, “well, you are.” What a beautiful dream to give to a child who loves to write. In fact, when my first book came out, I invited Mrs. Smith to be my special guest at my first book signing at The Tattered Cover Book Store in Denver. I introduced her to the crowd and people stood and gave her a standing ovation. She has since passed away. But what a privilege to honor her that way. Her belief in me as a writer started me on my journey. Then my parents took it from there, always supporting my writing dreams. They never doubted I would be a writer. What a wonderful gift for Black parents to give a Black child growing up in the Fifties. I will be forever grateful to these beloved people for believing in me. 

BPM: What books or authors made a difference in your life? 
I love the classics. For memoir writing, for example, I love James Baldwin, Wallace Stegner, Tobias Wolff, Frederick Douglass—just to name a few. For fiction, I’m still learning from Charles Dickens, Eudora Welty, Toni Morrison and others. Among faith writers, my favorites are Richard Foster, Eugene Peterson, Philip Yancey, Ann Spangler and so many others. 

Overall, however, my No. 1 favorite book is the Holy Bible. If I were ever lost on a deserted island, the Bible would be my first and last choice in reading. However, my favorite book of fiction, hands down, is Alan Payton’s extraordinary South African novel, Cry, the Beloved Country. It’s a pretty much perfect story, perfect novel, perfect drama and perfect morality play. The amazing thing is that Payton wrote it in only a few months. I love that because when writers have something truly important to say, nothing will stop them. That was true with this book and it remains my all-time favorite. 

BPM: How does your faith inform and inspire your writing? 
It inspires me, first, to keep going. To stay with it. To finish the writing. To stay in the race—and if I fall out of my lane, to get back in it. This going the distance is central to the theology of Christianity. We follow a Savior who didn’t turn back, not from his calling—or even his crucifixion. In my own life, as a writer, the example of Christ inspires me to stay in the game. I love that about my faith. 

Secondly, of course, my faith inspires what I write. My focus is spirituality, regardless of the topic. I did a piece on cleaning my windows with my daughter for The New York Times Sunday Magazine, but the focus was on finding God’s light in virtuous things. My faith is my life. As a writer, I aim to show that connection. 

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book? 
Figure out who you are. Your writing voice lives in that identity. In fact, your different identities—and everybody has several, depending on your life and where you are in it—is where your writer’s voice resides. I’m a journalist, yes, and I have written in that voice many times. But I’m also a wife and mom, and I’ve written and sold scores of personal essays about the complications and challenges of those relationships. In fact, my second memoir, I Told the Mountain to Move, is on prayer, but I wrote it as a wife—because the story takes place when my marriage is at a low point and, at the same time, my husband was critically ill. I had to learn to pray for my husband—but also learn again to love him—and write about it. Married Christian women really relate to that book! 

BPM: Introduce us to your book, The One Year God's Great Blessings Devotional. What genre is the book? On Kindle or Nook? 
God’s Great Blessings is a daily devotional exploring the godly virtues that God blesses. But which virtues? I decided to find out while reading through one of those One Year Bibles and discovering how passionate God is for blessing His people. The other deep surprise was that blessings are conditional—tied to the way we live. So it’s true: “God don’t bless mess!” 

So I started studying those character traits that, in fact, God will bless. Then I wrote them down. Over time, I had enough to fill a book. I pitched the idea of a devotional on virtues to Tyndale House, which published my book on prayer, I Told the Mountain to Move, and they gave me the green light. Then made it part of their One Year® brand, adding it to that product line. The result is my new devotional, the One Year® God’s Great Blessings Devotional. It’s a daily guide through 52 virtues that God blesses—with one virtue a week. So it’s paced right. Also, readers can dive into the devotional on any topic. One friend started in October, focusing on Wisdom. An artist friend of mine started in September, focusing on Creativity. You can start where you need your answers. 

And, yes, it’s on Kindle. All my books are. 

BPM: Are any devotionals from the book borrowed from your world? 
Many are—because first-person writing is my deep strength. In fact, a lot of aspiring writers run from who they are—and what they’re dealing with in life. But our stories reside in those places and spaces. Own up to your life! Walk in it. Write it! 

BPM: In writing your devotional, how much research was required, if any? 
I first had to read the whole Bible—every page. I mean, as a lifelong Christian, and as an author, I’d written a few one-day devotionals for the Upper Room and other magazines. But I’d never written an entire book of devotionals. But this time, by persistently reading my Bible—the entire book this time—I ended up with a published book, a manuscript that a publisher wanted to publish. Behind it all, to be honest, was my desire to receive God’s favor and blessings. But how does that happen? I searched the Bible and the path to blessings was challenging, but it wasn’t hidden. So I decided to write about that path. The devotional format is a good one for this book because it’s a daily journey. The road to blessings unfolds day by day, at God’s pace. I needed to learn that. 

BPM: What message do you want your book to share? 
That godly character matters--to God and to the success of our everyday lives. It’s about substance over style and flash. We’ve heard so much preaching about speaking our miracles and calling out demons and so on. But if you’re not living right, none of that matters. In fact, the Bible is practical. It teaches basic virtues like hard work and courage, persistence and perseverance, honesty and thrift. It says that modesty makes a woman beautiful. And that discipline, by controlling our tongues, leads to long life. And that living with love leads to prosperity. This is practical stuff, right there in God’s Word, and godly character is the key that unlocks God’s blessings when we live like this. I pray others will see that there is power in seeking this wisdom, then in living it. 

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book? 
Make time for God. Then listen to Him. Then follow the path that God blesses. After all, why spend a lifetime trying to figure out how to receive God’s favor, and walking in our own way—when all we have to do is follow His chosen path? Then teach that path to our children, families and loved ones. And that takes commitment. But most devotional readers know that. So in my household, for example, in the mornings, my husband and I will often read from the Bible and talk about the lessons and wisdom—then pray together. This is new for us. We’ve been married 35 years. I regret all those years we didn’t pray like this. But you start where you are. And, thank God, we’ve learned the value in getting up early and seeking God together. It’s good for our relationship and for our family. 

BPM: What insight does the book give readers on relationships? 
Love God well. Then we’ll love each other better. I’ve been married for 35 years and this wisdom is still true. Start with God. Everything else good comes after that. 

BPM: Share with us a brief excerpt from one of the most powerful chapters. 
Here is the devotional on the virtue of Listening, written for January 1--the first day of the year.  It’s inspired by Proverbs 1:8-9.  (“Listen, my child…”) 

It’s dark, cold and early. But I’m excited. On this morning, the most important thing I have to do is hear from God. And not just a little bit. I want to hear without limits. Isn’t that what we’re all saying today? That we want to blessed by God this year. So we can bless God without limits? 

So I sit, like you, Bible in hand—the first chapter of Proverbs staring up at this new year –looking for some life-changing secret on how to help God make such blessings happen? 

Instead, Proverbs offers a gracious and quiet word: Listen. It’s not a suggestion. It’s a plea. Spoken tenderly. Even kindly.   “Listen, my child…”   The writer, King Solomon, seems to know most of us don’t listen well.  We wake up talking, our voices rattling around in our heads, hollering first and hearing second. 

But Solomon says stop. 

Step off the loud, rusty, ragged treadmills of life. This fresh year, he says, turn from our noise – all the emotional chatter raging in our minds or spewing from other people. And turn it off. 

Listening is serious business, to be sure. Listening to God’s Word, implanted by God’s Spirit in our hearts,  “has the power to save your souls,” says James 1:19-21.   Why?  “My sheep listen to my voice,” Jesus answers. “I know them, and they follow me.” 

When we listen, “I give them eternal life,” Jesus promises, “and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me.” (John 10:27-28) 

Listening is serious business, to be sure. When we listen to God, He knows us. As we silence ourselves, our prayers don’t perish. God may hear us better. Plus, He grants us eternal life. I’m ready to try that this year. Quiet my heart. And my mouth? Then look what I’ll discover: God is speaking. 

A good listener is not only popular everywhere, but after a while he knows something. 
--- William Mizner 

BPM: How much does “word of mouth” has play into the success of your book? What grassroots strategies have you used to spread the word about your book? 
Somebody once told me that authors sell books one person at a time—with every person you meet. I’m trying to live like that. So I try to share, one by one, with people about my books. I can be an introvert and stand back, not promoting myself or my books. But God says speak up! This pushes me out of myself—standing up to talk about my books and what God has planted in me. After all, if not me—who? If not now—when? What I learned is this: Bragging on my book-writing blessings is really bragging on God. 

BPM: Share with us your upcoming book releases. How may our readers follow you online? 
My next book comes out on Nov. 1, so it has been a busy year.  Bound for Glory is a beautiful gift book honoring African American spirituals and featuring the art work of renown calligrapher Timothy Botts.   He is a white man who wanted to test himself on illustrating the lyrics of 52 well-loved African American spirituals.  

Timothy wrote reflections on 26 of them and asked me to write poetic verse on the other 26.  As well, each color spread in the book highlights a Bible verse that speaks to the spiritual song on that page.   So, in a way, it is a devotional guide, too.  And it’s gorgeous. A beautiful book about an amazing legacy.  
To learn more about all of my books and my life as a writer, please visit me online at: 

BPM: Thank you, Patricia Raybon, for sharing a little bit about yourself, your journey and your book with our readers! 

The One Year God's Great Blessings Devotional by Patricia Raybon

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Intimate Conversation with Sharel E. Gordon-Love

Born and raised in Plainfield, New Jersey,  Sharel E. Gordon-Love started writing at the age of six, winning immediate recognition for her essays and short stories. Her first nonfiction work, “Is There Hope for the Black Male?” was published by Black Child Magazine in 1994. 

Certified in Microcomputer Technology and Business Administration, Ms. Gordon-Love graduated from Berkeley College of Business in 1993. She is currently a student at Ashford University pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. 

A licensed evangelist in the Church of God in Christ, Sharel and her family attend New Reid Temple C.O.G.I.C. in East Orange, New Jersey. There she serves on the Administrative staff, Youth Department, and Women’s Department ministries.   Ms. Gordon-Love resides in North Plainfield, New Jersey with her family.

BPM: Tell us about your journey becoming a successfully published author. Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in your deciding to become an author?
The person that was heavily influential in deciding to become an author is my late father, Ronald A. Gordon. He would always encourage me and pass out my flyers introducing my first published novel on his job, making sure to tell anyone he knew or met (even for the first time) that his daughter is a writer.

BPM: What is your definition of success? 
The definition of success for me is being able to effectively help someone else by what I do, say or how I carry myself as a woman of God. It can never be measured by the material things I might be able to obtain, but by a life that has been encouraged and quite possibly changed.

BPM: Has your writing style evolved over the years? What stimulated growth the most? 
My writing style has matured over the years, and what has stimulated growth the most are the events that have occurred to change me as a person. There are things that I could not write about ten years ago due to lack of understanding or simply ignorance, but because I have taken the time to gain knowledge and understanding, I can convey these messages when I write better.

BPM: What are some of the benefits of being an author that makes it all worthwhile?
The benefits of being an author that really makes it worthwhile is the people that I have met in this industry. There are so many who are so forthcoming with advice and help in so many ways, and count it not robbery to share what they know to help me along this journey.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
My advice is to first know that you truly have something to write about, and do not try to follow someone else's journey because I believe that we all have our own personal path to follow. Make sure you gain as much knowledge as you can, and try to hang out in places where literary is promoted in order to meet and network with people who will definitely be valuable to your journey.

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? 
Initially breaking into the publishing industry was a journey in and of itself because I had no real knowledge as to how to go about it other than to surf the web for publishers who were seeking manuscripts and submitted my work according to their guidelines. The very moment I decided that I was tired of sending sample chapters and query letters, I was contacted by my previous publisher who wanted to read the full manuscript and ultimately published my book.

BPM: Introduce us to your book, The Putting Away  and the main characters.  On Kindle or Nook? 
The characters in The Putting Away are the same friends in my first novel, When He Calls, with the exception of one, who have maintained their friendship over the years. The main character, Denise, is dealing domestic violence with a man she lives with and is not her son's father. Her friends, Tonya and Lisa, have their own take on the situation, but Denise finds herself in a situation that she either does not want to get out of, or cannot seem to understand she needs to get out of. 

Denise is my favorite character in this book because she goes through so many emotional ups and downs while trying to find her way. She is stronger than she gives herself credit for, and she has a slick mouth. The Putting Away is a Christian Fiction novel that is available on Kindle and Nook.

The Putting Away (Christian Fiction)
Denise, a single mom, has finally met the man of her dreams; one she can settle down with. As a bonus, he is the perfect partner to help her to raise her son, Amir. Bernard loves Denise with all of his heart, and other than his weekend drinking binges, he’s a pretty good man. The break up to make up scenario makes it all better and pacifies Denise every time.

Tonya and Gary are dealing with trust in their marriage and must come to terms with major issues that are adversely affecting their family as a whole. Finding their way back to the loving arms of one another has proven to be a difficult task.

Will Denise continue to allow abuse to shatter her life? Will Tonya stop making excuses for the man she loves? As every act of abuse takes away a small part of them, will there be nothing left to take?

The Putting Away is a heart-wrenching, yet formidable tale of how the power of God can heal any situation, even those that are put to the test.

BPM: What inspired you to write this book? Why now? Ever experience writers block?
My own experience with Domestic Violence is the driving force behind writing The Putting Away because I am no longer ashamed to talk about it as it pertains to my life and the effect it has had on me. Even though it has been a long time, I have met so many women and men who can benefit from what I know about the subject. I have experienced writer's block, but I believe it is because my characters may not be 'talking' to me on that particular day.

BPM: Are any scenes from the book borrowed from your world or your experiences?
There is a scene in the book with the violence between the main character and her boyfriend that escalated to a dangerous level and her son intervened. This did not actually happen, but I put my oldest son in this little boy's place and wrote what I believe my son wanted to do, if he were able.

BPM: In writing your novels, how do you develop the plot? Did you have difficulty keeping the story on point? How much research was required, if any?
Developing a plot has not been difficult for me so far because I usually know what I want to happen overall. Keeping the story on point is not very difficult either because I see my stories as movies in my head, and that helps keep me focused. I had to research the laws on Domestic Violence in the state of New Jersey because the setting is in a fictional city in New Jersey.

BPM: What particular scenes from the novel will grab readers and  stimulate spirited discussions?
In the scene when Denise's friends find out that her boyfriend had put his hands on her and her defense and excuses as to why she had the situation under control. Tonya's pregnancy and her husband's reluctance to heed his mother-in-law's request to be with her daughter when she gives birth, and when Denise's son intervenes when her boyfriend attacks her.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message enclosed?
I want to reach women everywhere who are in a violent relationship and feel that there is no way out.

BPM: What should readers DO after reading this book?
Find out the laws concerning Domestic Violence where they live and support the cause for the fight against it. If they know someone who is going through it, pass on that information and try to help the best that they can, keeping in mind that the person's life may be in danger, or they are afraid to leave for fear of what the abuser may do to them. 

BPM: What insight does the book give readers on relationships? 
The insight the book gives readers is how the abused person feels while they are in a violent relationship, the emotional and mental roller coaster that seems will never stop. It is not always as easy as, "Girl, you just need to pack up and leave that sorry man!"

BPM: Share with us a brief excerpt from one of the most powerful chapters.
Here is a brief excerpt that a reader told me will stay with her for the rest of her life: "Taking a deep breath, I pick up the royal blue bathroom carpet and matching toilet seat cover, and head back down the hall to the bathroom to give it a facelift. Maybe, that’s what I need too; a spiritual facelift...As I did this, I think about how is the mopping is symbolic of what I need to do with myself; get down to the nitty gritty with things and clean myself out." 

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
For women, I want them to understand that they are worthy to be treated as the beautiful women God created them to be, and that under no circumstances should they tolerate being abused in any aspect for any reason. To the men, they are to respect women, period. They do not have the right to control women mentally, physically, or spiritually.

BPM: Will the digital age or social media usage change the face of publishing?
I believe the change due to the digital age and social media has already begun. The introduction of the Kindle, Nook and other eReaders, it is easier to download a book to read as opposed to taking time to go into the store or order them online and wait for them. However, the love of feeling a book in hand may hold it off for a while.

BPM: How do feel about selling digital books vs. selling in a brick and mortar store? What impact do you think electronic book sales will have on black authors? On indie authors? 
As much as it might be easier to sell digital books, I am finding that there are people who love to browse the book stores, sit a while and read while enjoying a cup of coffee. The impact on black authors will depend on how it is marketed and the availability of a physical book vs. digital books. Some books are not available for eReaders, so if someone wants them, they will have to get them the traditional way.

BPM: What has been your most difficult hurdle to leap? Marketing, promotions or gaining media exposure, etc. How can EDC Creations and our readers help you?
The most difficult hurdle for me has been gaining exposure. Because EDC can reach so many, that will be a great help, but the most help for me would be for those that you reach will be so kind as to tell others about me and my book.

BPM: How much does “word of mouth” play into the success of your book? What grassroots strategies have you used to spread the word about your book? 
Word of mouth plays a great deal into the success of my book because if a reader enjoys the story, they will tell their friends about it and encourage them to buy a copy. I have used the social media, emails and local bookstore opportunities to get the word out about my book.

BPM: Share with us your latest news. How may our readers follow you online? 
There is a new book in the works for 2012, and I am working on revamping  a ministry, Inspirational Literary Works, LLC, that was started in 2007. This company was formed to promote literacy, raise awareness for social and health issues such as HIV/AIDS, Domestic Violence and more, as well as a conduit for authors, poets, singers, liturgical dancers and others, to promote and share their works and talents. We are looking to be moving forward for 2012.

BPM: Thank you, Sharel, for sharing a little bit about yourself, your journey and your book with our readers!

The Putting Away  by Sharel E. Gordon-Love

Genre: Christian Fiction 
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Let Go of Hurt and Pain - Live Your Best Life TODAY!
by Tamara Angela Grant, Author and Life Coach

Why should you let go? You've been hurt before and you would like to think that the person that hurt you actually cares enough to feel bad about it. 

Truth is, most people don't intentionally hurt you, and some of the hard feelings we feel are based on our own perception of the situation vs the reality of the situation and what the other person actually intended. Our temperament and our experience shapes our perceptions and our perceptions are the lens through which we view life. 

There are times when you are intentionally victimized ie being robbed, assaulted, or abused. And those instances are unfortunate and also shape the way that we see our lives.

The good news is, you don't have to hold on to all of that hurt and pain. You're not supposed to hold on to it. It may feel comfortable to hold on to it, like a badge of honor. It eventually becomes a crutch. "I've been hurt before, so I don't have to be faithful in relationships." "I've been hurt before so I don't have to give my all or form strong relationships." "I've been hurt before so I can hurt other people."

None of that is true. You've been hurt before, but you don't have to wallow in the pain. Pain is a short term need. It serves to help you protect yourself briefly. You touch a hot stove, you feel the pain of the heat to notify you to move your hand. But did you realize that there is pain involved in the healing process? While that burn is healing, there will be some pain, some scabbing, some peeling until there is new skin.

Isn't that amazing? You too can come through pain in the same way. There will be pain, scabbing, peeling, but in the end, you should come out a new person. A person ready to let go of the past and live life in the present. Learn to forgive not for the other person's sake, but for your own. Letting go is not a sign of weakness, it is a vision of strength. 

Peace and Blessings,

Tamara Angela Grant, Author and Life Coach
Follow Tamara on Twitter: @tgrantlifecoach

Live Your Best Life by Tamara Angela Grant
Purchase your copy of Live Your Best Life the ebook for only $2.99 and discover more tips on how to let go of hurt and pain, live life passionately, and find balance. Purchase here today:  

Serenity and Strength Consulting
Local Business · Atlanta, Georgia
Tamara Angela Grant of Serenity and Strength Consulting, seeks to assist you in unlocking your keys to success. Coaching is not counseling or giving advice. As your life coach, I will assist you in removing barriers in your personal relationships, career path, and intrapersonal relations. Visit our website today for more details: 

Like Serenity and Strength Consulting at Facebook


Of  Mothers, Daughters and the Wounds That Shape Us…
Written by Anjuelle Floyd
View original blog

Injury to the mother-daughter relationship rents a profound wound, and gives rise to serious strain between both daughters and mothers.

Does my mother love me?

Why does my daughter hate me so much?

Why doesn’t she love me? A question often asked by both daughter and mother.

And for the daughter, “If mama doesn’t love me, when who will? Or who can?”

These questions and more along with the associated feelings of worthlessness, anger and ultimate hurt, usually possess an ancestral quality.

The emotional trauma that both mother and daughter experience and inflict each upon the other stands rooted in a history of tense relations between the mothers and daughters from generations past in the family.

Bringing awareness to the fact they live embroiled in a larger we of interactions that came before them offers the first part of healing.

“Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”  Psalm 51:5

The iniquity in to which all women and men are born contains the hurt and pains of past generations, words wrongly spoken, acts committed without concern of affect, hatred born and nurture out of a love, we hold for those with whom we sleep, live and eat, and that is greater than that which we hold for God and ourselves.

Sin lies in our refusal to acknowledge how much we hurt.
One can argue whether we as humans are correct or wrong in living and loving as we do, or whether the adoration we hold for those who hurt us so deeply, even approaches actual love.

One truth remains. 
We hurt terribly and it pains us immensely when those we hold in high esteem, fathers, mother, husbands, wives, brother, sisters, etc. do not accept us as we are, shaped and molded by the aches and emotional pains borne by the bodies and souls of those who came before us.

No relationship evidences this more than that between mothers and daughters.
Without the love, unconditional and forever promised, by the woman whose body and soul portaled our entry into this world, we daughters are condemned to forever walk the earth, our living, thoughts and actions reflective of that of a motherless child.

No amount of degrees, financial and/or physical achievements can give what only a mother’s kiss and hug accompanied with the words, “I love you, my daughter, forever,” provide.

It is at this point that in saying these words, mother and daughter become mother for the other and daughter of both.

And so the healing begins.


Black Pearls Community Discussion:

When was the last time you hugged your daughter?
When was the last time you told your mother how much she means to you?
How often do you stand before a mirror give yourself a pat on the back and smile back?

About the Author
Anjuelle Floyd
is a wife of twenty-eight years, mother of three, licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in mother-daughter relations and dream work. As a graduate of Duke University, she received her MA in Counseling Psychology from the California Institute of Integral San Francisco. She has attended the Dominican Institute of Philosophy and Theology Berkeley, California, and received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College, Port Townsend, Washington. She has also received certificates of participation from 'The Hurston-Wright Writers’ Week' and 'The Voices of Our Nations Writing Workshops'.

Anjuelle host’s a BlogTalk Radio discussion show with artists, entrepreneurs and authors, that broaden our understanding of the creative process, address the importance of family, and highlights the impact of books in our lives. The radio show is called 'Book Talk, Creativity & Family Matters'.

A student of Process Painting for the last decade, Anjuelle has participated in The Art of Living Black Exhibitions 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 held at the Richmond Art Center, Richmond, California.

Anjuelle Floyd facilitates writing groups and provides individual consultation of fiction projects. She also gives talks on the 'Need for Family' and the 'Writing Process as a Path towards Self-discovery and Healing'.

When There is No Faith…
by Jamila A. Grant Davis

A wise man suspects danger and cautiously avoids evil, but the fool bears himself insolently and is [presumptuously] confident. Proverbs 14:16 AMP

All of you have seen the news or read in the newspaper about the recent flash mob attacks. Young people, as young as eleven years old, are physically and verbally attacking innocent people. When asked why they are doing this, many of the youth are replying that they are bored or because it is fun.

What is happening to our youth? Why are they so apathetic to human suffering and often full of rage? I believe it is the absence of the role that Faith has traditionally played in the black community specifically, and the entire world as a whole. When Faith is absent, that affects parenting, that affects the family structure, and that also affects mental and emotional peace.

Our Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ has been a sustaining part of the fabric of our culture as African Americans. Our Faith, when activated, holds families together, helps raise children, and sets the standards for everything; from how we dress to how we speak. 

The Word says that “These evil people, who refuse to hear My words, who walk in the stubbornness of their hearts and have gone after other gods to serve them and to worship them, shall even be like this girdle or waistcloth, which is profitable for nothing,” Jeremiah 13:10 AMP. We have turned away from God and turned away from our traditions. We cannot put more value in clothes, cars, jewelry, video games, and money than we put in God, personal relationships, kindness, peace, and love. There are some vital things we need to get back to. 

This is the first generation of children who were not “made” to go to church, not “made” to have a “curfew”, and not “made” to follow rules. We need to set boundaries for our children, and even for ourselves. In order to save our children, it starts with us. We have to teach them about God, give them structure, inform them of the consequence to their actions, provide discipline, and most importantly, we as adults have to model what it means to be truly Saved. 
We have to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk! We have to let God into our hearts, our families, our finances, and every area of our life. It’s not too late, we can start today!

About the Author
Jamila A. Davis
, formerly Jamila Grant, was born in Portland, Oregon in 1977. In 1995, Jamila began attending The Ohio State University, where she graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Interpersonal Communication, and a Minor in Fashion Merchandising/Textiles and Clothing. Since 1999, Jamila has been working in the fields of Public Relations, Marketing, and Communications, and currently is the Assistant for Membership Development/Strategic Evangelism for Bright Hope Baptist Church.

Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church is the place where she met her husband, Sharrod Davis. They married in March of 2009. Jamila became a step-mother to three boys, ranging in ages 4-11. 
Jamila is loving and devoted to her family and friends, and is constantly striving to grow deeper in her relationship with Jesus Christ. One of her favorite scriptures is Romans 8:37-39 (King James Version)

Contact Jamila A. Davis


Un-forgiveness: A Deadly Force 
to Resist If You Want a Fulfilling Future 

by Ngozi Nwoke

Everyone often gets the opportunity to be mistreated, hurt, annoyed but what you do afterwards is what matters. Life is too short to allow this deadly force called un-forgiveness to ruin it for you.  "The hatred you're carrying is a live coal in your heart - far more damaging to yourself than to them." 
--Lawana Blackwell

To err is human; to forgive is divine, they say. But we have been given the power to forgive. The power of forgiveness is awesome because of the immense benefits to the one who forgives. It is all about what you want in life and how far you want to go. Un-forgiveness is a force that has the power to influence, affect or control you and your future negatively.  When a person understands the effect of this deadly force, a red light flashes on the heart when un-forgiveness comes knocking on the door. This force is so deadly that it has ruined many relationships, careers, businesses, led many to their sick beds and many to their early graves.

Why you must resist un-forgiveness
It gives your offender the power to hurt you-Any time you remember the offence or see the person or even hear his/her name mentioned, you will get angry or be emotionally worked up. And if the offender is aware of this effect on you and he is a bad one, he may choose to add to the injury with more offences.

Your health is affected-  When your anger is boiling; it increases your heartbeat, tightens your muscles, and causes aches and pains. And may lead to more serious medical issues if not checked on time.

Reduces your ability to focus-  Un-forgiveness has the power to disrupt the harmony of the brain waves, making you less able to focus and think clearly. This can lead to poor decision-making, which is not good for your future!

It impedes your progress in life-  When you are holding down someone, you too will go nowhere. This is the case with this deadly force. When you hold someone down in your heart, you are actually imprisoning yourself too.

It plants a seed of what you hate-  A seed planted will produce fruit after sometime. Un-forgiveness harbored within you will grow to produce same in you. You will find yourself doing exactly the very thing that was done to you (that you hated) to someone else.

This deadly force drains your energy, wastes your time for more profitable ventures. Un-forgiveness shows you are weak because forgiveness is the attribute of the strong. Embrace the power of forgiveness and avoid the effects of this deadly force. Why give yourself all the stress for something or somebody that is not worth it.

"It really doesn't matter if the person who hurt you deserves to be forgiven. Forgiveness is a gift you give yourself. You have things to do and you want to move on."  -- Real Live Preacher!

What other reasons do you have for resisting un-forgiveness?

About the Author
Ngozi Nwoke
is a teacher and a counselor. A product and distributor of love. She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy God's love and fellowship for more fulfilling life. Want more fulfilling life? subscribe for free email updates today. Original Article Source, FaithWriters Site here. 


Dog the Bounty Hunter Meets 
Braxtons Family Values in Summer Novel

A Good Excuse to Be Bad by Miranda Parker 

"Angel is a good girl in a fast paced, kick butt, bad boy chase, sexy thrill-ride. Can't wait for the next man hunt."  - ReShonda Tate Billingsley, A Good Man is Hard to Find  (Simon & Schuster)

Smart, gorgeous, and too tough for her own good, bail recovery agent and single mom Evangeline Crawford moved to the burbs for a quiet life. Fortunately, it’s not turning out that way…

Angel has to admit she’s feeling restless. The only excitement in her new life is her schoolgirl crush on the town’s new pastor, Justus-too-Hot-to-be-Holy Morgan. But a fateful encounter and a job gone wrong at Club Night Candy in underground Atlanta is about to change all that… 

Soon, Angel’s trying to save her divazilla twin sister from her big mouth and a scandalous murder charge, and probing a church cover-up—with none other than Justus by her side. But Angel has one more pressing concern: will Bella be ready for kindergarten? Only time will tell for this bad girl gone good whose days are once again far from boring—and hopefully far from numbered…

About the Author
Miranda Parker
is the author of the Angel Crawford Series. After graduating from college, she began working as a features editor for various magazines and spent many years as a publicist for national recording artists, actors, ministers, and authors. However, writing fun, feisty, redemptive bad girl gone good stories is her passion. She resides with her family in Georgia. Join her adventures at 

What Others Are Saying about 
A Good Excuse to Be Bad by Miranda Parker

"Angel is a good girl in a fast paced, kick butt, bad boy chase, sexy thrill-ride. Can't wait for the next man hunt." 
--ReShonda Tate Billingsley, A Good Man is Hard to Find (Simon & Schuster)

"Miranda Parker’s Angel Crawford is lively, determined, and she's also one heck of a bounty-hunter. This story comes alive with feisty yet feminine women, a sublime yet sexy pastor, amusing chat, and lots and lots of conflict. Fast-paced and entertaining, like Angel, this debut accomplishes everything it sets out to do." 
--Rhonda McKnight, An Inconvenient Friend (Urban Books)

"Beautiful, brainy, bail recovery agent Angel Crawford's halo may be slightly askew, but her fun and breezy story will keep you smiling and turning pages. Don't miss this sassy, debut novel by the exceptionally talented newcomer, Miranda Parker. It'll be love at first read." 
--Claudia Mair Burney, The Amanda Bell Brown Mysteries (Simon & Schuster)

 "Miranda Parker’s debut is deliciously fun! It has the perfect amount of intrigue, romance, action and all-out girl-power! A Good Excuse to be Bad will give you a good excuse to let the dishes pile up in the sink! You won’t be able to put it down. Fantastic read!"  
--Tiffany Warren, The Bishop’s Daughter (Grand Central Publishing)

"Miranda Parker's writing draws you in from the very first page and won't let you go until the very end. A Good Excuse To be Bad, is well-written and expertly executed with colorful characters who feel so real you think you know them. This story is a definite winner! I REALLY enjoyed what I read. I love the way she romances a sentence--the obvious love affair she has with words makes the story spring to life with delicious flavor. This story is different and exciting and readers are going to love it. I know I do!" 
-- Trice Hickman, Unexpected Interruptions (Platinum)

"This novel has been a long time coming, and there will be many more knock-outs from Miranda Parker—one of the brightest authors on the horizon." 
--Creston Mapes, Author of Dark Star and Nobody (Random House)

A Good Excuse to Be Bad by Miranda Parker 
•ISBN: 0758259506
•ISBN-13: 9780758259509

Purchase at  Amazon
Purchase at  Barnes & Noble

Promise Of Forever Love by Vanessa Miller 
Second Chance at Love Series

Ever since the death of her husband almost two years ago, the church that Yvonne Milner pastored with him has been losing members and money–fast. When the board decides to find a new senior pastor, Yvonne determines to hang on to her position and do a better job of shepherding her flock. She's neither ready nor willing to hang up her minister's robe just yet.

Just before a pivotal meeting of the church board, Thomas Reed steps back into her life. The handsome, world–renowned motivational speaker was her husband's best friend, and, as a widower, he knows the pain she's going through. With his help, Yvonne fights to stay in the ministry, trusting that God has great plans yet for the church. 

When a threat of a different kind targets the church, as well as her daughter, Yvonne is grateful to have Thomas standing by her side. But when long–buried emotions arise in their friendship for the first time, Yvonne hesitates, not wanting to betray her husband or break her promise to love him forever. Will her passion lie forever buried in the past, or can she let it live again?

Editorial Review from Library Journal
Yvonne Milner and her husband shared more than just a marriage. They shared their calling to preach. Following her husband's death two years ago, Yvonne has been the lone pastor to their church. Unfortunately, that has not been going so well, and the church has lost members as well as income. 

When the board decides to hire another pastor to oversee things, Yvonne is determined to keep her job. Enter Thomas Reed, her husband's best friend and a widower himself, who joins Yvonne in her fight to keep her ministry. When old passions begin once again to flare, Yvonne must decide whether her husband, and God, would want her to have a second chance at love. 

VERDICT This well-written, character-driven story will please fans of this series (Yesterday's Promise; Love for Tomorrow) and earn Miller new readership among those who enjoy the African American Christian Fiction of ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Victoria Christopher Murray.

About the Author
Vanessa Miller
is a best–selling author, playwright, and motivational speaker. Her stage productions include Get You Some Business, Don't Turn Your Back on God, and Can't You Hear Them Crying. Vanessa self–published her first three books and, in 2006, signed a five–book deal with Urban Christian/Kensington. Her first book with Whitaker House, Yesterday's Promise, released in Spring 2010 and is the first book in the Second Chance at Love series. 

Vanessa holds a degree in organizational communication from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. She is a dedicated Christian and a devoted mother who also serves in her church as an ordained exhorter. Vanessa lives in Dayton, Ohio. 

Promise Of Forever Love by Vanessa Miller 
ISBN-10: 1603742093 
ISBN-13: 978-1603742092 

Check out Books by Vanessa Miller 

Long Time Coming by Vanessa Miller
Promise Of Forever Love by Vanessa Miller 
Love For Tomorrow by Vanessa Miller
Yesterday's Promise by Vanessa Miller


by Shevelle Ford

Are you feeling OVERWHELMED? Has the new year be­gun but you just can’t seem to get it together? Are you tired of EVERYONE pulling for your attention? Do you want to stop the juggling act, but just can’t seem to figure out how? Does the mere thought of all that you have to do today, exhaust your brain cells? Are you a hairpin away from telling EVERYONE, "SHUT UP" and “LEAVE ME ALONE”?

IF you answered YES to ANY of these questions, help is just a click away… 

Wearing many hats is not easy! Having to be wife, mother, sister, confidant, friend, teacher, nurse, cheer­leader, errand-girl, and whomever or whatever our loved ones need us to be can be quite overwhelming. How do we keep our sanity? 

I’m Not God, I’m Just a Woman, is a must read for both men and women alike. This book is by far NOT your typical self-help book. It was inspired by the Holy Spirit to help every woman recognize that she is not God; therefore, she cannot be everything to everyone at the same time. Combining practical everyday life scenarios with a twist of entertainment and drama that will keep the reader seated between its pages. Loops of laughter, turns of tears, and elevations of enlightenment will even peak the curiosity of the non-reader. 

The primary focus of this book is to help every woman prioritize her life; so that in the midst of everyone pulling for her attention, she can still manage to keep it all together! Visit my website for an excerpt or to place an order at:  SHIPPING IS FREE! 

Visit my website at:  to see what others are saying about I'M NOT GOD, I'M JUST A WOMAN...LIFE CHANGING! 

An excerpt from I’m Not God, I’m Just a Woman…

So many times in life as women we find ourselves wearing many different hats, playing many different roles, quite often at the same time. In the midst of being mother, wife, sister, confidant, cheerleader, housekeeper, errand-girl, teacher, nurse and whomever or whatever our loved ones need us to be, we have a tendency to lose touch with who we are. 

Nearly eight years ago God gave me a revelation of how much responsibility rests in the care of a woman. It was a mind-blowing experience that happened one Sunday evening; actually it was the day after I preached my first sermon. I was lying on the sofa, enjoying the luxury of a quiet moment, when out of nowhere everyone started screaming for my attention. My daughter Trinity wanted something to eat, my son A.J. wanted to nurse, my husband was calling me for something, and my mother-in-law was knocking at the door. Feeling so overwhelmed, not being able to decide who needed me the most or what to do first, I began to yell, “I’m not God, I’m just a woman!” 

Then in a very meek almost defeated voice, out of my mouth I could hear these words, “I can’t be everything to everyone at the same time.” For a moment it seemed liked the whole world stopped spinning. They all looked at me as if to say, she can’t be serious, she’ll be whatever we want her to be. Recognizing that those vultures were not about to have any sympathy for my moment I got myself together and did what was needed. 

Later that night God began to tell me, “Yes, you are just a woman; you are neither omnipresent nor omnipotent.” He reminded me that I was created in the image and that I wasn’t the image. Ultimately He shared the importance of me needing to know how to prioritize my life. Enlightened to the fact that I was not a lone ranger and that so many women felt the same way I did, overworked and underpaid. Always having too many irons in the fire and always attempting to master the juggling act just to make it through the day. He gave me an assignment that night to write this book, but my body was drained both mentally and physically. I was very disobedient, because I didn’t have the energy to obey Him. I felt like Peter, James, and John when they were in the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus asked them to watch for him just one hour. (Matthew 26:36-42) Their spirit was willing but their flesh was just as I was, weak. 

Several weeks after that night, He would wake me up very early in the morning, and I could feel His Anointing present in the room for me to write, but my flesh was in control. I would just lie in my bed and wrestle with only the desire to do God’s will. After many sleepless nights, I decided to put forth an effort. Getting up with pen and paper in hand, I remember telling God, “Okay, here I am, tell me what you will have me to write, in my quest to help my sisters out,” and He would not say a word, dead silence. Ain’t it funny when we decide to obey God, we act as if we’re doing Him a favor. We have a tendency to forget that we need Him to continue to speak life and direction that we may continue to walk in His perfect will for our lives. Ignoring the fact that God was not speaking, I decided to get started anyway. I jotted down some ideas of what I thought this book should be about, and believe me when I say that they were my ideas, not His (God’s). 

Finally, I reached a point where I was so frustrated because I couldn’t sleep; as a result I was always irritable. I could hear these thoughts in my head constantly, but was unable to transpose them to paper. Knowing that I couldn’t go on living like that and realizing that something had to give, I attempted to do what some refer to as, “Calling God on The Carpet.” Yes, I began to have a little talk with my “Daddy,” or should I say a monologue because I was the only one talking. I pleaded with Him for another chance to say yes to His will for my life; reminding Him that He knew better than I, all that I had to do. My plate was full! He had just given me a vision to start a business, my husband had just started pastoring a little Baptist church, and I had to be his biggest, and in most cases, his only cheerleader. I had two kids that were 20 months apart and had no family near me for support. 

My mom and dad lived over two and a half hours away and my father was very ill, so I would travel home weekly to help care for him. As if all of that wasn’t enough, I had just accepted the call to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I had no experience in writing; let the truth be told, other than the Word of God, I hated reading. My list went on and on because you can do that on “the carpet.” That is your opportunity to lay it all on the line. I must admit that my God is truly a gentleman, not once did He interrupt me. He allowed me the opportunity to get everything off my chest and still did not speak anything different than what He told me at first, “you need to prioritize your life.” 

For some reason I expected Him to say something different, maybe it was just me.  But I had just had a tantrum (eyes swollen, nose running, head hurting, the works)  and I wanted to hear;   “daughter I understand,”   “it’s going to be okay,”   “don’t worry about it,”   “we’ll try later,”  but not my God, the exact word He had given me before is what He spoke again.   I promise you it was as if something phenomenal happened that very instant, the Word was the same but I was different.   The switch was turned on, my eyes were opened, and I was able to see, for the first time, how hectic my life was, and realized the true need for some sort of order. 


Book Review for Evangelist Shevelle Ford ~  I’m Not God: I’m Just a Woman 

Evangelist Ford has managed to write one of the most interesting self-help and motivating books of being a woman. Women always have a tendency to attempt to be the ”superwoman” and we have such a hard time saying no. Evangelist Ford manages to give us examples of her life in which she has tried to be the super human. You witness the transformation of Evangelist Shevelle Ford trying not to sometimes follow what the Holy Spirit is leading her to do and how so much harder you life can be if you do not follow the message. 

In reading this book, you learn that we are human and not God. She writes that it is okay to say no and not feel guilty. As I read and laugh at her stories, I could relate and testify to some of the same situations she wrote about. The book is very well written and very unique because the references to Bible verses and the real life scenarios were so easy to understand.

I’m Not God; I’m Just a Woman” is not just another self- help book that just tells you what you need to do. The title alone is enough to grab your interests and you will not be disappointed. The book is a little short and it makes you yearn for more of Evangelist Ford’s message. I hope there is a part two of this book.  --  Reviewed by Karen Waiters, Sistahs of Urban Literature Book Club

About the Author
Evangelist Shevelle Ford
is an aspiring author and co-founder of Higher Grounds International Worship Center, where she serves as CEA (Chief Executive Administrator). She is married to Bishop Joseph "AJ" Ford, founder and Senior-Pastor of Higher Grounds International Worship Center, and they are the proud parents of two children, Trinity and Joseph Anthony (AJ). She is a native of Phoenix, LA. The tenth of ten children of the late Rev. Dr. Percy Murphy Griffin and Irene Williams Griffin. 

Shevelle is a graduate of Xavier University in New Orleans, LA; there she received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Pharmacy. She not only ministers the Word to the spirit-man, but she also has a pharmacy ministry that offers free home delivery of prescriptions to patients throughout the state of Louisiana. Higher Grounds Pharmacy Ministry has faithfully served the elderly, home bound, economically disadvantage, and others since April 1998. 

Shevelle is a Captain in the United States Army and currently serves as an Inactive Ready Reserves (IRR) officer. She loves to cook and desires to open her own restaurant, if God sees fit in His perfect will for her life. She recently published her first book entitled, I’m Not God; I’m Just a Woman.  Shevelle is a firm believer of  "letting God be God,"  with an intense love for the Word of God. Her desire is to help others enhance their relationship with God, currently serving as a mid-wife to aide others that are giving birth to their kismet. Ministry is her passion, and at this juncture in her life, she has committed to preaching the Word of God full-time. 

Purchase the book from the author's website at:


Picture This…A Happily Ever After Story Framed by You!
by Lakia Brandenburg

What is your perception of marriage?  Did you grow up believing that marriages came from a fantasy world of bliss?  Did you realize that someone told you a tall tale when you woke up from dreamland? 

In a true story, Lakia shares her personal journey on redefining how she viewed marriage and the love shared in it.  Her perception of marriage was soiled by the fantasy of the wedding day not to mention the many marriages that had “gone bad.”  But through her very own once upon a time story, she was able to create a picture perfect marriage based on imperfections. Do you desire to have bliss, love, and happiness in your marriage?  You no longer have to fantasize about it…you just simply have to create it to be your reality. 

You will discover how:
·Perceptions of marriage are flawed due to other peoples’ relationships and experiences.
·Developing a clear purpose for getting married will redefine your own views on marriage.
·To embrace your imperfections and those of your potential spouse to create a picture perfect marriage.
·Creating your happily ever after marriage can be a reality!

Excerpt: Perception of Marriage 

For any woman to become a beautiful bride, it has proved to be an overbearing, daunting task. I mean, really, an induction into The Wives Club involves spending six to 12 months (and in some cases two years or more) of metamorphosing into a raving bridezilla.  She travels up and down the weight rollercoaster, experiences high levels of stress, and nearly has a nervous breakdown all to plan an overly priced, one-day celebration? 

The bride-to-be flashes her soon-to-be role on a bedazzled top as she plans to create her royal day. There’s so much to do. She has expectations to meet. She perceives her wedding day to be the most important stage in her life.

After making some final decisions on the venue and menu, she then goes three rounds of eliminations to see what lucky individuals will make the final guest list.

In the end, she invites everyone: her childhood friends; associates; distance relatives; all of her coworkers—to lessen the chance of hurting someone’s feelings or leaving them out; friends of the bride and groom’s parents; oh, and the acquaintance she hasn’t spoken to in five years.
All for what? For her invitees to create a gossip column the moment they tip-toe out to dictate how elegant, how hood-rich, or even to mimic the actual classical story she attempted to re-create?

The perception of “getting married” is truly flawed; nevertheless, I still love weddings. They bring out the most sentimental feelings. They make me feel so sappy inside. It never fails. There’s just something about seeing the spotlight on the bride-to-be and then catching a glimpse at the groom.
It’s priceless. 

For the bride, the pieces of her dream have finally fit together. She strolls down the aisle, with each step getting closer to her posed statue of art. (Regardless if I could sense that the love shared between the two was authentic or if they were tying the knot for convenience, I would still feel genuinely happy for the couple.)

For many, the day that a woman says “I do” is a great accomplishment. It’s such a joyous occasion to see two people come together to become one. For the bride, she’s making a bold statement in front of an audience of friends, loved ones, and acquaintances that she has found her prince charming. 

In the presence of their invited guests, the engaged couple stares deeply into each others’ eyes. Flashbacks – of the good and trying times that brought them to where they stood on this very day – race through their heads.

For the invitees, they’re witnessing before them the magic of love. But to the pair, spurts of nervousness, doubt, and confusion overshadow their minds. It’s cold feet.
Everyone told them that feeling this way was normal. It was considered totally natural for the bride and groom to entertain a serving or two of these thoughts. But by the time the pastor, in his baritone voice bellowed ... 

“Dearly beloved ...”
... the thoughts of uncertainty are quickly swept under the rug – either that or they’re expected to be ignored; at least that’s what the one wearing the glass slipper is thinking. The pastor continues ...

“… we are gathered here today. …”
As the bride closes her eyes for prayer, she remembers this perfect moment envisioned some time ago. 

She remembers it like it was yesterday:
As she spent time with her girlfriends, she would daydream about this special day. She knew that she wanted to feel like a princess while experiencing all the perks of being a part of a pretend royal court. Thousands of dollars would be spent on the elegant wedding dress that she would wear only once. From her head down to her wrist, she would be draped in her shiny best friends. She would look absolutely stunning. The day would be all about her.

Now, here they stand: He, in a rented white tux. She, in her designer vintage gown. Both, ready to make a vow to live in holy matrimony.
Holy? Like pure before God and separated from all wrongdoing? The handsome couple couldn’t possibly understand what they were promising. Were they really prepared to endure this new life of the unknown? If so, this would discount the unforeseen years of struggling to keep the marriage working, wouldn’t it?

Instead of enlisting in what married veterans considered to be boot camp, they would be enjoying the bliss that the story portrays, right?  But that’s not important right now; we’re at a wedding.


Reprinted by Permission
© 2011 All rights reserved. Book excerpt reprinted by permission of the publisher. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author's written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offence. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only. Share a link to this page or the author's website if you really like this sneak peek.

Picture This … A Happily Ever After Story Framed by You is available at:;  Non-fiction (Marriage/Relationships)

About the Author
Lakia Brandenburg
is an accomplished writer and educator with a heart for love and relationships. She's written for Gospel Today and has freelanced for top national magazines such as Upscale! As an educator, she is devoted to building healthy relationships in and out of the classroom where she teaches and mentors 7th grade boys. Her rapport and unique approach to teaching her “distinguished gentlemen of purpose” earned her a nomination for Teacher of the Year. 

Intimate Conversation with Andrea J. Dixon

Andrea J. Dixon is the insightful author of She Wears It Well: 12 Essential Qualities of God’s Contemporary Single Woman. She is a dynamic speaker and visionary educational leader in the public school system. Ms. Dixon is the president of By Divine Design Enterprises, a multifaceted company that endeavors to inspire, envision, innovate, and empower through her writing and speaking with the purpose of leaving a legacy of information literacy for generations to come. Andrea was empowered to write her literary debut based upon her faith-filled years of experience as God’s Contemporary Woman while single. 

BPM: How did you initially break into the publishing industry? What road did you travel? How do you feel about self-publishing? 
Breaking through to the self-publishing industry was not as difficult as I anticipated. It all began with my attendance at a writer’s workshop on the self-publishing process several months before I began my writing project. After submitting the manuscript to the U.S. Copyright Office, I was referred to a self-publishing company by a successful published author whose advice was well-taken. From the time the manuscript was completed until the final product was available for distribution was about a 6-month time-period that was at times frustrating, challenging, exciting, and exhausting, but in the end rewarding. I believe that the self-publishing route is the most cost-effective strategy for the aspiring writer because of the ownership it affords the author; depending on which company you choose to produce the book for you, as much as 95% of royalties can be earned by the self-published author. 

BPM: Tell us about your journey to becoming a successfully published author. Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in you deciding to become an author? 
My journey to becoming a successfully published author began a decade ago when I had a divine idea to sit down and write a book on the subject of faith. Although that manuscript was never completed; it awakened the potential of a hidden treasure buried deep inside of me just waiting to be discovered. Years later, that strong unction resurfaced for me to write again; intuitively I knew it was now time to write with the pen of a ready-writer. Once the topic of the book was solidified I immediately began the writing process which developed into a strategic plan for writing the book within a 90 day time period from beginning to end. 

The end result has been a self-published literary debut that has blessed every woman in any season of life whether she is single, married, divorced, or widowed. One of my favorite authors is Michelle McKinley Hammond, and as I would read her books, I often thought to myself: “One day I am going to write great books, too!” Her conversational writing style has greatly influenced my decision to become an author. 

BPM: What is your definition of success? Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow on your journey? 
My definition of success is the attainment of clearly established goals in life. It doesn’t matter how great or small those goals are- if you put forth the effort to write the vision and make it plain for you and others to see, coupled with a solid plan of action- it will come to pass! Even setbacks, detours, disappointments, and delays factor into the success equation because it is in the difficult times that your goals become your source of strength to keep pressing forward until you reach an expected end. 

Perhaps one of the most successful people in my life whose clues I have traced like a detective to solve a mystery is Dr. Donna L. Houpe, the first lady of Harvest Church International in Kansas City, Missouri. Mrs. Houpe is a phenomenal woman whose godly attributes can be found in my book. As an educator, author, entrepreneur, and powerful woman of God, Dr. Donna L. Houpe has left behind clues of excellence, grace, confidence, wisdom, creativity, and integrity. As I have followed her steps the pathway has lead to divine destinations on the road to success, and the journey still continues. 

BPM: A legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. Finish this sentence…” My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…”
My writing offers a legacy of inspiration, empowerment, and innovation through relevant messages that connect with readers to propel them forward in their living, giving, loving and serving others. The sole purpose of my inspirational writing style is to leave the behind the imprint of information literacy so that readers will utilize my literary works as a valuable resource that imparts, informs, and inspires them to reach their fullest God-given potential, promise, and purpose. It is my hope that the next generation will read my books as a source of strength and encouragement to face the storms of life with confidence and grace, and a spirit that overcomes any circumstance. 

BPM: What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author? 
Since becoming a published author, I now realize the life-giving power contained within my words, and that your gift truly will make room for you and bring you before great men. This means that all the godly attributes that are celebrated in She Wears It Well will make room for me as a self-published author…Excellence will make room for me, Creativity will make room for me, Integrity will make room for me, Faithfulness will make room for me…and bring me before great men who open doors for me that lead to destiny fulfillment. I now understand that as I operate within my gifting, destiny-defining events happen suddenly with effortless ease all because I was born for this! 

BPM: If you were not a writer, what would you be? What are you passionate about, besides writing books? 
I cannot think of anything else I would rather do than write because of the freedom and flexibility it affords me as I transition into becoming a full-time writer. In the meantime, I am very passionate about making an impression on bright young minds as an intuitive educational leader in the public school arena. I am very energetic about imparting into the lives of others through public speaking engagements that navigate people toward the course of destiny fulfillment with a clear sense of purpose. 

BPM: What are some benefits of being an author that makes it all worthwhile? 
There are several benefits to being an author. A strong sense of purpose is the greatest benefit for me personally as I share my gift with the world and fulfill God’s calling for my life. Inspiring others through my writing is perhaps the greatest reward especially when people share with me how they connect with the message and the characters of the book as well as the 12 essentials qualities that can be easily applied to everyday life. What makes it all worthwhile for me is the idea that for generations to come She Wears It Well will be a distinctive brand of its own that speaks for itself in celebration of godliness as the attribute that every woman should aspire to wear as her most valuable accessory.

She Wears It Well: 12 Essential Qualities 
of God's Contemporary Single Woman 

by Andrea J. Dixon 

Just how does she wear it well? With all the pressures of life that a single woman must face, there comes a point where her focus must shift from outward appearances and accomplishments to the inner person which is the essence of who she really is as God's woman. It is this careful introspection that enables godly character traits to be developed in you from the inside out, having lasting value. 

This book is written for every contemporary single woman who desires to find her total fulfillment first and foremost as God's woman. Whether single by choice or circumstance, these twelve essential qualities such as: faithfulness, creativity, excellence, and strength are attributes every single woman can wear better than expensive make-up, fancy attire, or even a sassy pair of shoes. 

Each of the twelve essential qualities is featured in its own chapter with a discussion of its relevance and importance in modern times from a biblical context, followed by a profile of a woman in the Bible who wears it well. Every chapter concludes with a practical application of how the quality can be cultivated so that the contemporary single woman can realize her fullest God-given potential. The art of wearing these twelve essential qualities is critical to your being satisfied with who you are and where you are at this glorious season in your life. 

Purchase Your Copy Today
•ISBN-10: 1936198010
•ISBN-13: 9781936198016
Publisher's Website:


Hey!  It's YOUR Life...Get Discovered! 

by Louella Jamersons

Often times when looking for a mate the opinions of family, friends and sometimes peers weigh heavily on the decision to be made.  If you haven't had an opportunity to check out one of the older movies  "Something New" starring Sanaa Lathan, I encourage you to rent it, purchase it or just watch it.  I think it is a brilliant portrayal of the decisions many singles face today, particularly African American women. 

Although, many do not do what Sanaa did in the end...make the decision for HER life and her future, thus missing out on a life of love and happiness.  Multicultural relationships are on the rise today, and not because it is some novel idea or fad.  On the contrary, it is because singles, especially African American women, are beginning to think for themselves and make decisions based on what is best for their own lives.

While, we love and appreciate the input of family and friends, ultimately the choice of who to enter into a lifelong relationship with depends on you. What is more important to you in a relationship an individual's skin color or the weight of their character and their level of integrity? That is the all important question Sanaa had to answer in "Something New", as she realized her happiness was in her hands and her hands alone. Fortunately, she made the right choice based on the person and not the person's skin color.

We need to get past the notion of marrying "outside" our race. The notion of dating or marrying outside of one's race is honestly a really asinine myth. There is only ONE race...the HUMAN race of which we all are a part. When will we get that? God made us all the same; He just put us in different color houses. 

A number of statistics reflect that Black Women are five times likely to never marry than white women. Well over 40 percent of African American women have never been married and the more money they make or the more successful they are, the less likely they are to marry.  If they are to believe the statistical tabulations Black Women are in serious trouble. 

I believe black women have more choices and more options that they need to avail themselves of and open their hearts and lives to accept. Statistics should not be allowed to predict their futures. Sadly, there are thousands of wonderful, loving, caring, intelligent Black women of all ages and backgrounds who have prepared themselves for the probability of living out their lives alone.   In my estimation, this is a huge mistake for so many Undiscovered Treasures to resign themselves to never being discovered simply based on the unavailability of only ONE segment of the entire male population.

We get into a whole other kind of thing for those Black women who are waiting for the 'right" Black man to enter their life.   Wait! Wait!! Wait, before you react, I am in no way saying or implying that there is anything wrong with waiting for a Black man or desiring to be in a relationship with the right one.  That is your decision and yours alone.   Now, I thought the goal of marriage was to find someone you want to be with, who wants to be with you, with whom you share life goals and interests and you just LIKE being with one another.  If that is still the truth why should the individual's skin color matter? 

I've read quite a few articles on the subject of black women "dating out", which refers to black women dating white men or outside of there race. What a crazy myth!   
How can one date or marry outside of your race if there is only ONE race in the first place? I believe God fixed it that way for a purpose, probably because He really doesn't care who you marry when the color of their skin.

What you really want is someone you can trust and really feel good being with, someone who wants to be with you for you, and someone who has the kind of heart and spiritual character you will want to spend your life with.  In my book, Undiscovered Treasures: God's Take On Multicultural Relationships, you will discover what a wonderful Treasure YOU are and how God has an equally wonderful Treasure for you to discover or waiting to discover you. In reading the book you will see how easy it is to position your heart and life for His treasure that awaits you. 

My challenge to you, my single brothers and sisters, especially African American Women, is to write your OWN script for your future! 
Don't let family, friends, peers, statistics or even yourself prevent you from having the love, the happiness and the future that you long for because of a man or woman's skin color. Ask God to help you position your heart and life to see, know and accept the man/woman who is waiting to discover all of the beauty and wonder that lies within you.

Go for the character and godly qualities within not the skin color without. Aren't you tired of waiting?

About the Author
Louella Jamerson
is a member of Higher Dimensions Ministries in Flint, MI., is Resource & Referral-Media Director; Teacher/Trainer. Written articles for The Michigan Banner, JIA mag, Embracing The Rain E-mag, LIVE e-mag, WOW e-mag, Village Groit & more. Visit:  
Article Source: WRITERS     

Intimate Conversation with Shana Johnson Burton

Shana Burton is the author of Suddenly Single First Comes Love, Flaws and All, Catt Chasin’. (Urban Christian/Kensington Publishing.) She is bestselling author and a two-time nominee for Georgia Author of the Year (2009 Best Fiction- First Comes Love, 2011 Best Fiction- Flaws and All). She resides in Georgia with her two children. When she is not writing, she can be found gardening, dancing, or reading. She is currently working on her fifth book, Flaw Less, which is a sequel to her bestseller Flaws and All. Flaw Less will be release in Fall 2012.

BPM: Tell us about your journey becoming a successfully published author. Do you have anyone in your life that was heavily influential in your deciding to become an author? 
I've been writing since I was around four or five-years-old, and I've always known that I wanted to be a writer. I didn't always know how I was going to get there, but writing is the only thing that I've ever done consistently and not gotten bored or lost interest in it. As a child, I wrote and illustrated a little series of books. As I got older, that evolved into writing chapter novels and writing for my schools' newspapers, literary magazines, and yearbooks. I did stop writing for about seven years. During that time, I was focused on my marriage, my children, and teaching. 

Since I picked up the pen again in 2005, I haven't been able to put it down. I guess God's favor has been on me since I started writing books.  I wrote my first book, Suddenly Single, in about six months. I didn't take that long for me to find an agent. Once I did, she secured my book deal in a week or two. The rest is history.  This is not to say I didn't suffer through my fair share of rejection letters, disappointments, and setbacks. However, when you're determined the way I was, you don't let those things discourage or stop you.  "No" becomes your motivation to come back stronger and better the next time.

BPM: What is your definition of success? 
I don't measure success strictly in terms of money. To me, success is having wholeness in every area of life. This includes a strong relationship with God, a healthy relationship with your spouse and children, being sound in mind and body, being successful on the job, and loving yourself. 

BPM: What books or authors made a difference in your life? 
The book that has made the biggest difference in my life is Their Eyes Were Watching God. It is my absolute favorite novel, and it's taught me a lot about character development, creating dialogue and a voice for my characters, and overall good writing. I can't say enough about this book or the incomparable Zora Neale Hurston.  Author Mary Monroe also made a huge difference in my life. When I first started out, she was the first author to reach out to me and give me great advice about publishing and staying encouraged. She's awesome! We did a book-signing together last year, and I felt so honored just to be in her presence. 

BPM: What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author? 
I've realized that I'm not as shy as I thought I was. It takes a certain level of arrogance to write a book, have it published, and expect people to spend their time and money on what you have to say. You also have to be willing to put yourself out there, to sell your books and, to a certain extent, yourself to strangers. You can't afford to be shy, literally or figuratively.

BPM: What are some of the benefits of being an author that makes it all worthwhile? 
The main benefit for me is being able to touch so many people. I receive emails from people all the time telling me that my books encouraged or inspired them in some way. I had one that said First Comes Love actually saved her marriage. That's better than any review I could ask for!

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book? 
I would advise anyone who wants to become a published author to learn as much about the craft as possible, from writing style to marketing and promotion. I would also encourage them to join a writers' group or seek writing mentors. 

BPM: If you were not a writer, what would you be? 
I'm very passionate about helping people, so I'd probably be a teacher, which is what I still do in my 9-to-5 life. I also love to talk, so I wouldn't rule out being a talk-show host.

Catt Chasin' by Shana Burton
Head research and development chemist Jamal Ford has narrowed his love-life down to a science through the creation of his 30-Day Dating Plan, a guide intended to weed out the drama queens, gold-diggers, and baby mamas from his ideal: a part goddess, part sex kitten, and part Stepford Wife mate. The shallow, fun-loving 33-year-old knows he’s one of Charlotte, North Carolina’s most eligible bachelors, and he won’t settle for anything less than the trophy wife of his dreams. 

Catherine “Catt” Cason has never let scheming co-workers, her loving (but overbearing) father, or her full figure slow her down. The brilliant formulating chemist takes being labeled “the cute fat girl” in stride as she fast-tracks her way to a top position with her cosmetic company, Telegenic. While she would enjoy the love of a good man, Catt refuses to risk her career or her heart being broken again just to have a warm body at her side. Besides, why settle for the love of an earthly man when she is the fiancée of Christ?

When Jamal is paired with Catt to launch a new product for work, it’s loathe at first sight. She thinks he’s arrogant and incompetent. He thinks she’s a sanctimonious kill-joy. What each believes they want may not be what God knows they need. In this game of love, rules don’t exist, and no heart is safe. The Lord is speaking, but will they all be too caught up in their own agendas to listen?

Order Catt Chasin'  by Shana Burton
Download:  eBook edition
ISBN-10: 1601627912 
ISBN-13: 978-1601627919 

Intimate Conversation with Ivette Attaud

Ivette Attaud, a Harlem, New York native and former Fort Bragg Army wife, has been a survivor of domestic violence and abuse for over twenty years.   Ivette served on the Battered Women’s Justice Committee of  Voices of Women Organizing Project in New York as well as contributed research regarding law guardians to their report Justice Denied: How Family Courts in NYC Endanger Battered Women and Children

She received a Certificate of Completion in Victim Assistance Training from the New York State Office For Victims of Crime; has received numerous awards for speaking at high schools and colleges; created and facilitated a domestic violence and abuse training for Chaplains called Healing The Body Before The Spirit and talks to teens in various high schools about dating violence and their internet footprint. 

Ivette Attaud, publisher, a gifted author, highly sought-after motivational speaker and domestic violence expert, developed Healing The Body Before The Spirit, a domestic abuse educational workshop for the faith-based community.   She has written numerous articles, including a recently-published article entitled Surviving the Loss of a Child for Spotlight On Recovery Magazine. More information can be found online at:

Domestic violence affects two to four million people alone in the United States including teenagers and 54% of parents admit they haven’t spoken to their teen about dating violence or healthy relationships.

Video Interview with Ivette Attaud:   Surviving an Abusive Relationship: How do you break the chains of an abusive relationship?


Healing Touch TV Show with Host Dr. Gina Miller (Part 1)

My Life My Soul, Surviving, Healing And Thriving After An Abusive Relationship is an honest and graphic true story of  Ivette Attaud’s dating relationship as a teen and how it quickly manifested into a destructive, violent and psychologically abusive marriage.  Ivette puts a face on domestic violence as she describes how she was able to break the emotional and psychological chains of her abuser.

Ivette recounts vivid memories of growing up as a Jehovah’s Witness; her experience with dating violence; her battle with depression; a suicide attempt; the loss of her infant twin daughter to a domestic violence assault and re-victimization by the New York City family court system, including actual documents!   In the first part of this three-part series, My Life My Soul, Surviving, Healing And Thriving After An Abusive Relationship:  Part 1 – Surviving, Ivette lays bare the life-long difficulties those in abusive relationships face.

BPM:   Ivette, when did you begin writing? When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was born and raised in Harlem. I started keeping a journal about 10 years ago to release some of the emotional pain and trauma I had been dealing with since I left my abuser and to leave something for my children so they could gain some insight as to what I went through and maybe help them deal with their issues when they became adults. I didn't consider myself as just a writer; I considered myself a person with an important story to tell.

BPM:   Do you see writing as a career now?
Yes, I do. I am a true entrepreneur at heart! I launched My Life My Soul, The Unspoken Journey of Life After Domestic Abuse to raise awareness about domestic violence and abuse and also launched MLMS Publishing to release my first book.

BPM:   What inspired you to write your first book, My Life, My Soul? How did you come up with the title? Who designed the book cover?
I wrote this book as a way to cope with the loneliness and isolation that is felt by survivors of an abusive relationship, and to deal with the grief of losing my child as a result of the abuse. I experienced writer's block frequently, as this is a difficult topic to write about. Over 15 years ago, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of the abuse, and one of the primary symptoms is re-living the trauma. It took me 10 years to write this because I needed to deal with the book setting off my triggers. 

When I was invited to speak in public about my experience and scores of people approached me with positive feedback and shared their experiences with me, I believed that my book could help a lot of people. When I saw the statistics on teen dating violence, I included my experience with that as well.

I designed the cover myself to show that real freedom does exist for the survivor when they break the emotional and psychological chains of their abuser.   My Life, My Soul - Surviving, Healing And Thriving After An Abusive Relationship: The title is a reflection of the physical violence and psychological abuse that threatened my life and the spiritual abuse that jeopardized my soul; and that leaving an abusive relationship is about breaking the chains that bind you.

BPM:  What insight does the book give teen readers on relationships?
The whole book is based on my experiences. I didn't want my book to be a glossed-over version of an abusive relationship. I wanted it to be as real to the reader as it was to me, so there is graphic language in the book. Not because that is my writing style, but because that is the true nature of domestic violence. 

The book gives the reader insight on what a person in an abusive relationship goes through. It also helps the reader understand the isolation that survivors of relationship abuse go through. And, more importantly, that you can live a happy and fulfilling life after an abusive relationship.

BPM:   What was the hardest part of writing your book?

As a result of the abuse, I was diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. One of the symptoms of PTSD is re-living the experience. Writing this book meant that I re-lived the experience over and over again, including when I lost my daughter. Although writing this book will help a lot of people, it set off my triggers, which I have learned to manage. That is why it took me so long to complete it. But, the more I wrote, the easier it got to deal with and that meant I was on my healing journey.

BPM:   Did you learn anything from writing  My Life, My Soul and what was it?
We go through things in life for a reason. I was able to take a negative and turn it into a positive so I would be in a better position to heal and help others. I learned a lot about myself and what constituted an unhealthy relationship. I was also able to see how I’ve grown psychologically and emotionally from my teenage years, all the way to adulthood. Understanding where you’ve come from is crucial to knowing where you’re going. I also learned that I have a very powerful gift for helping people past obstacles in life that may be holding them back from achieving their goals. So, I am also a Personal Life Coach.

BPM:   What messages in your book, My Life, My Soul, do you want readers to grasp?
The book contains several messages: it inspires and gives hope to the survivor who is currently in or who has left an abusive relationship so they know they’re not alone; it’s an example for the families and friends of the survivor to know what NOT to do and say; it’s for parents and teens who want to know about the red flags of an abusive relationship and it’s for the professional who works with those who have experienced domestic violence and/or abuse. The reader has a birds-eye view of what the daily reality is like for someone going through an abusive relationship, whether you are a teen or an adult. I remember what my thought process was like as a teenager. I believe there is always something to learn from someone else’s experience.

BPM: In writing your book, how much legal research was required, if any?
I still have the court documents I received when my abuser took me to court. When I decided to publish this book, I went to family court to review my family court file and see if there were any additional documents in it. To my surprise, there were court documents in my file that I knew nothing about. I decided to include those documents in my book.

BPM:  Now, let’s talk about the publishing industry. How did you initially break into the publishing industry? What road did you travel?
I initially decided to use a subsidy publisher some months ago.  But the publishing industry changes so quickly, and more self-publishing resources became available to me, that I decided to fund the publishing of the book myself.  It is a common myth that if you use a subsidy publisher, and they offer you a marketing package, that they will market your book.  Their goal is to make money from the author. Regardless of the publishing method used, it will always be the author's responsibility to market the book themselves. I decided to independently publish because I am a true entrepreneur at heart (it runs in my family), and I love the challenges of running my own business. 

BPM: How do you feel about self-publishing? How do feel about selling digital books vs. selling in a brick and mortar store?
It depends on what the author defines as self-publishing. I prefer the term Independent Publisher. It could be a subsidy publisher, or completely funding the publishing of the book yourself. The traditional publishing industry is slowly changing their bias against self-publishers. The choice between selling digital books vs. selling in a brick and mortar store goes back to the first question - what your goal is for writing your book. Both still require a lot of hard work on the part of the author to get their book in either channel. My Life, My Soul will be available in print and as an e-book in order to make the book available to everyone. 

I want to re-emphasize that understanding your goal for writing your book is important.  If you want to independently publish your book, you need to understand how the industry operates.  For example, if an author plans on publishing independently out of his or her own pocket, and is working hard to market and promote that book, just know that all your hard work may be in jeopardy. I have seen many self-publishers disillusioned by the publishing industry because they don't make much money from the sale of their books. That is because while selling online is an important part of marketing and promoting your book, if they've listed their book at online retailers, they will undercut the author's price by selling their books at a discount. 

BPM:  Awesome advice!  Do you have any more advice for other writers?  Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
There is a story inside everyone and someone will definitely benefit from what you have to say.  I would advise anyone wanting to publish a book to do ask themselves the following questions: Why am I writing it and what are my goals? What results do I want to see from publishing this book? Am I ready to take on the challenges of publishing it myself and not use a subsidy publisher? What do I expect from a subsidy publisher? Do I have the resources to market this book? Do I want to make $1-2 dollars in royalties for my book, or do I want to keep more money in my pocket?

BPM: A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time or culture to another. Finish this sentence- “My writing offers the following legacy to future readers and new authors... ”
To blaze new paths in your writing and publishing journey and to not be afraid of the challenges. I am happy to say that after 10 years of writing and two years of promotion, that My Life, My Soul – Surviving, Healing & Thriving After An Abusive Relationship – Part 1: Surviving, is now available to make a difference in someone's life!

My Life My Soul tells readers things that someone in an abusive relationship, whether it is your loved one or friend, won’t tell you. It contains my deepest thoughts and feelings from when I first entered an abusive relationship at 16 through to an abusive marriage as an adult. I have included actual court documents as proof of how my children and I fell through the cracks of the systems designed to protect those in abusive relationship.  You can view the book trailer and purchase the book at 

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. How may our readers follow you online? 
Readers can follow me on Twitter - @ivetteattaud  or on Facebook. They can also email me directly at 

Domestic violence is devastating. Understand how to better help a friend or loved one.
Purchase My Life, My Soul - Surviving, Healing And Thriving After An Abusive Relationship, Part 1: Surviving on

My Life, My Soul - Surviving, Healing And Thriving After An Abusive Relationship 
Part 1 – Surviving by Ivette Attaud
US $15.95; Nonfiction;   ISBN-13: 978-0615440613 
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Christian Health: Tips for Handling a Healing Crisis 
by Rhonda Jones

 As you begin to uncover, excavate, and release physical, emotional, and spiritual debris from your inner and outer being many people often experience what is called a healing crisis. This is time during the healing process when toxins that have been hidden or buried in your mind, body, and spirit begin to come to the surface and you feel like your life has been hit by utter chaos or confusion. When that happens you are in the midst of a healing crisis. You have come face-to-face with your demons, you have exposed them, you have brought them out of the darkness and into the light and it can feel like an emotional roller coaster, a heavy weight, a physical illness or weakness, negative thought and emotions, and utter craziness. 

Our inner being and physical bodies can resemble the rooms, closets, and storage space in our home. Because of busyness or other responsibilities we may not give much attention to the conditions of our physical space. When we tidy we'll put items in draws or closets without much thought to it. We'll throw mail and paperwork in baskets or on top of the shelf. We'll store unused items in the corner or pile them in the garage. Throughout most of the year, in order to keep our home tidy and to create an assemblage of order, we find places to put our staff until we have time to carefully go through and arrange each item. We may throw a few things away here and there, but sometimes that takes more time and energy than we have and it's sometimes easier to sweep it under the bed.

Then the day comes that you decide to do a spring-cleaning. It's time to go through the closets, drawers, boxes, corners, and shelf's to alleviate your home of unnecessary objects and clutter. This is a big job and you know it. It could take days, even weeks.   As you pull items from here and there, your home begins to resemble one of the homes on "Hoarders."   There is stuff everywhere as you decide what to keep, store, and get rid of. 

Within minutes neatness has turned in disarray as you remove items from there temporary places to do a deep and internal cleaning of your home. For months, maybe even years on the surface, your home appeared tidy and organized, but in reality you had a lot of hidden junk, most of it you didn't need, wedged into those hidden and unseen places, and now you're ready to eliminate them. As you at your home in this state of crisis, it can be quite overwhelming. You may even wish you had left it all alone, but as you deal with each object, one by one, and as your home becomes clean and organized, you begin to feel free and empowered, as though each item disregarded or consciously stored removes an unconscious burden or heaviness. 

In the same light, when you begin to clean out or heal your inner and physical being, your mind, body, and spirit are also thrown into a state of uncomfortably, disarray, and confusion. Often during these times, pain in the form of old hurts, fears, memories, buried emotions, and in the case of physical cleansing, toxins (pesticides, chemicals, waste) are released from your bodily tissue and rush into the physical or emotional blood stream. 

Although you may be tempted to stop the process and return to your old habits, you need to know that a healing crisis is necessary part of inner and outer restoration. And although it can be quite overwhelming, and even fearful, it is the path to true freedom, spiritual health, and physical healing.

Here are a few tips to help you when in the midst of a healing crisis? 

1. Don't be alarmed. Whenever we begin to clear out our physical or emotional junk, we begin to release toxins that may affect our mental and physical condition. Understanding what is happening can eliminate any fear and keep you progressing toward your goals. 

2. If you are experiencing an avalanche of emotional pain or past hurt, use meditation or deep breathing to dissolve any strong toxic feelings. Begin by breathing into the area you feel the tension most or imagine yourself breathing these pains and hurt right out of your body. 

3. Take frequent walks while repeating a mantra or sacred word that will take your attention away from any negative thoughts or emotions. A great mantra is the name "Jesus." God said I will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on me." 

4. Know that this will pass just as quickly as it came. You may have several days of feeling in a major funk, and then wake up feeling lighter and freer as these emotional toxics been released. 

5. Meditate on or read the word of God for encouragement and inspiration. Play spiritual music, sing, and dance before the Lord. 

6. Journal your thoughts on paper. Journaling helps to get them out of your head and allows you to process what's going on. Turn your writing into a prayer to the Lord and thank Him for his faithfulness and covering you with his blood. 

7. In the case of physical toxins are generally released through a fast, drink plenty of water or diluted fruit juices. The fruit juice will help to dilute the effect of the toxins that are entering the blood stream. 

8. If you're feeling physical symptoms, rest, relax, watch an inspirational movie or do some light exercising like Christian yoga or stretching. 

The other side of a healing crisis can be physical health and emotional freedom. Understanding that anytime you begin to work on your inner being or physical health you potentially enter a transitional period where your body or spirit is throwing off the old in an effort to experience physical and emotional well-being. Knowing the signs of a healing crisis can reduce fear and keep you from giving up prematurely and losing all the progress you have made.

About the Writer
Rhonda Jones is the creator of 25 Christ-centered meditation.   Read reviews of top Christian Weight Loss Program at . Visit  
Article Source: WRITERS 

80 Proof Lives (YA Fiction)
Debut Novel by Felicia S.W. Thomas

Felicia S.W. Thomas is the author of 80 Proof Lives, her debut novel, which was released in February 2011 and published by Amani Publishing, LLC, in Tallahassee, Florida.  Felicia holds a B.S. degree in Journalism from Florida A&M University, and a Juris Doctorate degree from Florida State University. Felicia practices Unemployment Law.  She is also an editor, as well as a freelance writer.  Felicia currently lives in Quincy, Florida, with her husband and three children. S he is hard at work on a sequel to her debut novel and other creative titles.

80 Proof Lives (YA Fiction)
Primary Subject Matter: Coming of age, cautionary tale that touches upon many issues young adults struggle with today.

80 Proof Lives is a young adult novel set in a small, southern town where graduation is optional but a life of despair seems mandatory. This is the story of Fla (rhymes with clay), a 15-year-old girl who is brilliant but ignorant that she's supposed to be somebody great, because her emotionally abusive, alcoholic mother stifles her dreams and forces her to work for Miss Lipstick, the queen of the bootleg business and the local madam. 

While working for Miss Lipstick during the summer of 1976, Fla learns why some people live inside a liquor bottle, as well as some life-changing information about herself that could plunge her into an 80 Proof life, or break that bottle hanging over her head to become somebody great. 

~~ Now on the summer reading list for Crossroad Academy Charter School ~~ 

80 Proof Lives Book Review
Fla's plight is handled expertly by author Felicia Thomas in her ground-breaking new book 80 Proof Lives. The reader is moved to cry or to celebrate with Fla as she determinedly makes her way through her fifteenth year of a cruel life.  Finally, Thomas brings the reader up short with an unpredicted plot twist that explains a great deal and may cause the reader to thunk herself upside the head and ask, "Why didn't I see that coming?" 

The author ties up loose ends and brings the novel to a satisfactory close.  While closure is good, this reviewer still wonders what lies ahead for Fla and can only hope that this is the first in a series that follows Fla into what will undoubtedly be an interesting adulthood.  -- Liz Jameson, Reviewer


Purchase from Amazon, GO HERE>
ISBN-10: 9780981584775 
ISBN-13: 978-0981584775 
Target audience: 13 and older


UNTOLD: The New Orleans 
9th Ward You Never Knew 

by Lynette Norris Wilkinson 

New Orleans native Lynette Norris Wilkinson gives a glimpse into the lives of 16 Hurricane Katrina survivors from the Lower 9th Ward where she grew up. UNTOLD: The New Orleans 9th Ward You Never Knew. Some of the first images you saw of New Orleans under water during Hurricane Katrina were the mangled houses and cars, and drowned bodies of the people from the Lower 9th Ward. Before Hurricane Katrina, few had even heard of this close-knit, predominately African American community nestled less than five miles from world-famous Bourbon Street . The author says, “I watched it all unfold on TV from my home near Dallas that morning. As the waters rose, my heart sank. This was my home, my neighborhood, my people. How could I not use my gifts to tell their story?”

UNTOLD allows the reader to:

• Find out the history of the area before it became the Lower 9th Ward
• Find out how the Lower 9th Ward may be connected to area movie producer Eugene T. Calongne 
• Peek into the lives of 16 residents, share their memories, feel their faith, see how they survived, and find out where they are now

Sure, other books have been written about Hurricane Katrina survivors, but this one is different. Here’s why: UNTOLD focuses specifically on the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans.

• UNTOLD features survivors of all ages, men and women.
• UNTOLD seeks to shed some positive light on a very dark time.
• UNTOLD, approximately 100 pages, is an easy read but packed with powerful stories.
• The author grew up in the Lower 9th Ward community. The book is not written by an outside source.

The Lower 9th Ward remains devastated—still—but it is struggling to survive. Proceeds from this book will be donated to organizations that are helping the residents of the Lower 9th Ward recover.

Purchase the book from Lynette Norris Wilkinson  

The Christian Walk by Doris Washington

Each day I would like to take the Christian Walk, 
To remember what Jesus was all about.
Each day I would like to be an example of His Grace,
To be honest, sincere, and true.
To give more than receive.
To offer my hand to someone without question.
To always seek in my heart compassion, tolerance, 
And understanding.

Each day I would like to take the Christian Walk,
To take responsibility for my wrongs.
To not judge others for their shortcomings. 
To be more forgiving, 
To stand tall with Love when I see wrong.
To find peace when all seems not at peace, 
And to pray at all times with a humble heart.

Yes! I would like to take the Christian Walk,
Carrying Love in my heart always.

 Copyright (c) Doris Washington, April 2011. All rights reserved.


Catt Chasin'
by Shana Burton

In the game of love, who's really in control: the one doing the chasing or the one being chased? 

Chemist Catt Cason is about to find out in Catt Chasin'  (Urban Christian/Kensington Publishing). Catt is a brainy and beautiful chemist, who takes being labeled the "cute fat girl" in stride. She refuses to let her weight, scheming co-workers, or anything else stand in her way. Catt has it all...except a love to call her own. 

Jamal Ford is a notorious playboy who Catt gets paired up with for an assignment at work. When the two meet, it's loathe at first sight! She thinks he's incompetent and arrogant; he thinks she's needs to get a life-- and a man! When work leads them on a three-week road trip, Jamal finds himself drawn to the feisty, head-strong chemist and blurs the lines between business and pleasure. Catt is great, but is she enough to make him a one-woman man?

To the outside world, Eldon James is the kind, spiritual youth minister that any woman would be proud to take home to Mama, but no one suspects the dark side that he manages to keep hidden from the masses. When he sets his sights on Catt, he doesn't mind making a deal with the devil to get exactly what he wants. Will Catt fall prey to his evil intentions?

Jeremiah Cason is Catt's well-meaning but overbearing father. He is determined to see his daughter married and happy whether she likes it or not. Will his interfering land Catt the man of his dreams or put her in a situation more dangerous than any of them could have imagined?

The chase is on, but what determines the winner when love games have no rules and everyone is too caught in their own agenda to ask?

Excerpt:  Catt Chasin' by Shana Burton
Chapter 7

“You don’t want my opinion, Jamal. No, you just want me to smile, say yes, and do as I’m told like some kind of mindless waif.”

He frowned. “Why do you always act like there’s some kind of conspiracy going on? Respect the chain of command like everyone else.” He swiped the test tube away from her.

“Hey!” She snatched it back.

Jamal retrieved it again. “I want to see what you’ve been working on. Gotta make sure you haven’t been slackin’ off in my absence.” He took a whiff of the product. “Did you create this by yourself?”

“It’s just something I’ve been playing around with. I’m not asking for a critique yet,” clarified Catt in an attempt to squash his latest round of rejections before he fired them off.

Jamal smelled it again. “I like it. I want Oni to take a look at it.”

She beamed with pride. “So I’ve finally created something you like?”

“Two things, actually. I’ve been doing a little work on one of the fragrances you started on that I thought had some potential. Here, check this out.”

She inhaled the invigorating scent. “I love it. It’s clean, not too flowery or overwhelming.” She sniffed it again. “Very feminine.”

“Let’s try a little bit on you.” He dabbed a few drops on her wrists. “How’s that?”

She stretched out her arm to him. “You smell it, and tell me what you think.” 

He took her hand and lifted her wrist to his nose. “It’s sexy and seductive.” He flashed her a smile. “Or maybe it just smells that way on you.” He daubed some on her neck and leaned into it. “I especially like it right here.” 

Catt’s head was starting to swoon with his being so close to her. “Maybe we should call Oni and tell her the good news,” she suggested in a futile effort to distract him or herself. 

He wrapped his arms around her waist and pulled her to him, burying his face in her neck.

She was taken unawares, paralyzed into submission. “Jamal, what are you doing?” she squalled.

He lifted his head. “Research.”


“Yeah, this is how I conduct my analysis.”

Catt pushed him away. “Your methods are very unconventional…and extremely inappropriate!”

“Don’t get your dandruff up. It’s not anything personal. I’m just trying to determine how this fragrance affects men when it is worn by a beautiful woman.”

She was still flushed. It was undeniable: Jamal Ford definitely had a way with women. “And what was your conclusion, Mr. Ford?”

He arrested her with his gaze. “Once again, the data was inconclusive.”

Catt composed herself and slipped a lock of hair behind her ear. “For future reference, please don’t mistake me for one of these lovesick women throwing themselves at you around here. Your charm is wasted on me.”

Jamal jotted something down on his clipboard and laughed a little. “Whatever, Catt… you know you liked it.”

Catt rolled her eyes. “You’re so smug. It’s infuriating.”

He turned and addressed her head on. “Not smug, just sure of myself.”

“I believe the phrase you’re looking for is full of yourself.”

“But that’s what you love about me, isn’t it?” asked Jamal with a wink.

“Try loathe about you.”

“You know what I love about you?” he went on, “I like it when you squint your eyes and your lips get all pouty like that. It’s kind of sexy.” 

She could feel heat rising to her face. “I don’t think this conversation is appropriate for the workplace. Besides, I’m a Christian. I don’t like engaging in conversations and acts that compromise or contradict my faith.”

“Chill out, Catt. It was a joke.” Turning his back to Catt, Jamal began shuffling papers attached to his clipboard. “Dang, don’t they do that where you come from?”

Catt put her hands on her hips and looked at him squarely in the face. “Why do you do that?”
“Do what?”

“I mean, one minute, you’re acting like my drill sergeant and the next…”

He set the clipboard down. “The next what?”

“I don’t know. It’s like you’re messing with my head or something.” she blurted out and huffed. “Just forget it.” 
“I believe the word you’re looking for is flirting,” filled in Jamal. “Does it bother you—the flirting, I mean? Do you like it?” He pressed against her. “Do you want me to stop?”

Her head started spinning again. “Jamal, we can’t…”
“Can’t what…this?” He leaned down and set his lips above hers as if he was going to kiss her. Fumes from an overheated beaker caught his attention and he immediately broke away from Catt to attend to the overflowing beaker behind them. 

A thin cloud of smoke hovered above him. He smiled back at Catt. “You see what you do to me? That was a close one,” he said, pouring the scorched mixture down the drain.

In more ways than one, thought Catt. 


Order Catt Chasin' by Shana Burton
ISBN-10: 1601627912 
ISBN-13: 978-1601627919 
Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Christian Fiction

About the Author
Shana Burton
is the author of  Suddenly Single First Comes Love, Flaws and All, Catt Chasin’. (Urban Christian/Kensington Publishing.) She is bestselling author and a two-time nominee for Georgia Author of the Year (2009 Best Fiction- First Comes Love, 2011 Best Fiction- Flaws and All).  She resides in Georgia with her two children.  When she is not writing, she can be found gardening, dancing, or reading. She is currently working on her fifth book, Flaw Less, which is a sequel to her bestseller Flaws and All. Flaw Less will be release in Fall 2012.

Connect with Shana Johnson Burton Online

Intimate Conversation with Stephanie L. McKenny

Stephanie L. McKenny is the author of Clutch Your Pearls, Girl! – Sister Wisdom to Protect Your Heart. She is a native of New Jersey but now lives in South Carolina with her family. She is also the owner of a self-publishing company called, J & J Publishing. J & J Publishing aims to assist authors with publishing their books in a timely and efficient manner at a minimal cost. 

BPM: Where are you from? How did you start your writing journey? 
I am originally from NJ, but I now reside in South Carolina. My writing journey began when I was a young girl. I used to make up stories and then as I grew older I began to write many devotionals that had to do with some of my past experiences. I then created my first book from a women’s workshop that I used to do. 

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? What drives you to write?
I write because I believe that I’m inspired by God with ideas to write about. The impact that I want to make on the reader is to challenge them, inspire them, bring exposure to various topics and entertain them as well. 

BPM: Finish this sentence- "My writing offers the following legacy to future readers..." 
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers…to bring awareness that will help remind them of their value and to help others recognize that they can still excel beyond opposition. 

BPM: Introduce us to your book, Clutch Your Pearls, Girl! and the main characters.
Clutch Your Pearls, Girl! – Sister Wisdom to Protect Your Heart shares a heartfelt message to women about the importance of valuing their worth along with bringing exposure to healthy and unhealthy characteristics in men and in relationships. Each chapter is filled with pearls of wisdom to reflect on. So many women are casting their pearls before swine (Matthew 7:6) that a message of recognizing their value is necessary. 

BPM: Why was Clutch Your Pearls, Girl! so important to create? 
This really was the first book that I actually felt compelled to write. After reading Matthew 7:6, the Lord began to deal with me about how women, including myself, were often casting our pearls before swine. We were settling for mistreatment in relationships just to have someone in our lives. I realized then that some women didn’t recognize their value nor did they recognize that they were being ensnared by unhealthy relationships. So the words began to flow from my heart onto the paper. 

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book, Clutch Your Pearls, Girl!
For my latest book, I want readers to walk away with a sense of enlightenment. I want them to walk away thinking that the book empowered them and helped them to recognize either what they were doing right or were doing wrong in the areas of relationships. 

BPM: What would you say has been your most significant achievement with this book? 
Being able to encourage women to recognize their work has been the most significant achievement. I’ve also been give the opportunity to speak on various blog talk radio shows and others have helped to promote my book. I’m really thrilled to partner with someone that has opened the door to have the Clutch Your Pearls Radio Show on Fridays at 8:00 p.m. EST at 

BPM: What can we expect from you in the future? 
I will continue to write. I’m currently working on the second book of the Clutch Your Pearls, Girl! Series. I’m also putting together the Clutch Your Pearls Singles Getaway in September 2011. I’m also working on finishing a few novel ideas that I have as well. 

Clutch Your Pearls, Girl! – Sister Wisdom to Protect Your Heart
by Stephanie L. McKenny  (order books)  (blog)  (publishing company) 

Intimate Conversation with Melissa Dorsey

Melissa Dorsey is a first time author who is currently working to complete her degree in Early Childhood Education Administration. Melissa is a wife, mother of two, and a dedicated staff member of Fulton County Schools. She is originally from Mississippi, but she currently resides in Alpharetta, GA. 

Melissa enjoys spending quality time with her family, but still finds time to write. She is currently working on her second book entitled, The Grass after the Rain; scheduled to release in December 2011. For more information and updates on Melissa Dorsey visit:

BPM: Mrs.  Dorsey is here to discuss her new book and her road to publication, welcome her and please share her story.  The Grass After the Drought by Melissa Dorsey is an inspirational story about a young girl who has to overcome major adversity, at a very tender age. After leaving Chicago, and a drug addicted mother, Melissa is taken to live with her grandmother in Mississippi. 

Away from the drugs, crime, violence, and poverty; Melissa is faced with a much more difficult task. She has to accept the fact that she is invisible in the eyes of her family.  Starved for love and attention, she finds comfort in the form of drugs, alcohol, men, and sex.  With her life spiraling out of control, Melissa does the only thing that she knows how to; she turns to God for guidance.  With her mother up to her old tricks, Melissa is forced to step up and assume responsibility once again.  After years of heartache and pain, she finds what she has been searching for all of her life.

BPM: What have you realized about yourself since you became a published author?
I’ve realized that I have something inside of me that the world needs to know about. My words have the power to impact lives in a positive way, and that’s exactly what I am going to do for the entirety of my life.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
The best advice that I can give to aspiring authors is to do their homework. The world has changed, and there are so many avenues that can be taken in order to publish a book. Knowledge is the key to success.

BPM: If you were not a writer, what would you be? 
If I were not a writer I’d definitely work towards opening and directing my own youth center. I adore children, and I feel that I am obligated to try and save as many of them as possible from going through some of the same experiences that I have. 

BPM: Do you honestly believe that your book, The Grass After the Drought, can inspire young people to change their lives, thus bettering themselves?
Absolutely. People will feel hope when they read my story. It makes me feel good and full of hope to know that others have made it through their hard times in life; so I know that others will share these feelings too.

BPM: You being a motivational speaker for troubled and at risk youth, what would you say makes a great speaker?
In order to be a motivational speaker you have to be outspoken. You can’t be afraid to speak in front of any crowd. You have to have confidence in your abilities. It’s essential that a speaker have extensive experience with the issue that they are speaking on. It’s impossible for me guide you down the right road if I’ve never traveled that road. I had to change and reinvent myself to save myself. 

BPM: What is your definition of success?
I’ve always believed that before success is achieved by anyone it has to be clear what success means to that particular person. Unless you have a clear picture of success, it’s impossible to work towards it. For me success is about following through with my goals to the best of my ability, giving back to my community, and being a great wife and mother. My success is not measured by how much money I’ve made this year; it’s measured by how many people I’ve reached this year.

Author Website: 
FOLLOW Melissa on Twitter:  @MelissaDorsey1
LIKE on Facebook:  

The Grass After the Drought by Melissa Dorsey
•ISBN: 1612860249
•ISBN-13: 9781612860244

Purchase on  AmazonPowells Barnes and Noble

Intimate Conversation with M. Ann Ricks

M. Ann’s upbringing in Elizabeth, NJ was quite structured. She is forever grateful to her parents for their prayers and close reign over her young life. Their seemingly ever-present influence and strong inducement for her to know God, attend church and participate in every possible youth auxiliary kept her from elements that would have swallowed her whole. Although recognizing Christ’s importance during her youth, M. Ann didn’t consider Him as her “everything”.  Writing was always a “hidden” love. When she resolved to reconnect with the Master, the aspiration to write was unearthed and she became confident that it was her gift. As her need to know God on a personal level increased, her desire to write became stronger and strangely, to her surprise, a need. 

After receiving the needed confirmation from the Lord, she arrived at the conclusion that writing is the path that God has placed her on. She is determined to tell the world how wonderfully awesome Jesus Christ is and can be in our lives if we just allow Him to be. She is honored to be used by God to spread His message with the stories she creates with the leading of the Holy Spirit, knowing that He will provide her with the words that will draw all men to Him. 

M. Ann is a graduate of Rider University and lives in Bear, Delaware with her loving husband and two handsome sons. She is also the author of THE SON and has just completed her third novel, THE BLOOD DONE SIGNED MY NAME.

BPM: Introduce us to your book, Awesome Wonder: The Gift of Remembrance.
Awesome Wonder, is a Christian Fiction novel that takes a look at the duplicity of the “church” through the eyes of the heroine, Paige Covington as it brings to light the hypocritical stigma that has attached itself to the “church”, specifically the African American church. 

Many people are looking for answers and believe they can find those answer in the church. Unfortunately, the failure of those who "talk the talk" to "walk the walk" has kept many from a true relationship with Jesus Christ. In many instances, the people that we aspire to be or hold in high regard because of their position in the church or “supposed” knowledge, disappoint, and we find that they are not the Christians that we thought they were. Unfortunately, this may result in the babes in Christ that now feel misled, to retreat from Christ with the misconception that all Christians are bogus and that Christianity is a sham. Awesome Wonder tells an honest, triumphant and relatable story of how God never stops loving his child as the Holy Spirit speaks to us to remind us of His unending and unfailing love. It confirms that the relationship between God and man is what is most important and that man should not be used as a barometer for Godliness and holiness. 

Paige Covington knows there's a God and had accepted Christ as a young girl but witnessing hypocrisy and un-Christ-like behavior by the people in her church and family has caused too much pain resulting in her turning back on the love of Jesus. Memories from her youth begin invading her psyche and to make matters worse, she begins to hear a voice. The voice sounds familiar and tells her things as those memories and truths are exhumed. Hurt, confused but searching for answers, she decides that too much has happened. There have been too many disappointments and too many lies. Key people in her life have made it clear that there doesn’t seem to be any honor in being “Christ-like”. She hasn’t any idea that she is chosen as all children of God are. Will Paige allow the word that has been hidden in her heart provide the answers to all of her questions and give her the peace she so desires? 

BPM: What inspired you to write this story?
Awesome Wonder is a novel that I believe that I had to write because people need to know, “Not everyone who says to Me,  ‘Lord, Lord,’  shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’  And then I will declare to them, 
‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”  Matt. 7:21-23. 

Every other day we are hearing about a  “fallen” man of God or  “so-called”  people of God spewing scripture and then living a lifestyle that is not honoring God behind closed doors. People are missing God because they haven’t seen Him in the people that are supposed to know Him. 

Now more than ever, true believers need to be walking epistles of the Lord Jesus Christ and live holy. It is up to us, true believers, to be the real example of the love of Jesus Christ. We can’t shout Hallelujah in church one minute and then curse someone out right after service. Many are saying that Christians are phony and fake because of what they see. Believers and true followers of Christ have to understand their responsibility to live a life that is Christ-like. Someone who is unsaved or unfortunately on their way to hell may be depending on not what we say but how we live. We don’t want to cause anyone to fall because of our misdoings but day in and day out the curtain is being pulled back to show the ugliness of the “pretenders” of Christianity. 

Believers have been called to reconcile others to Christ and the only way we can do this is to live a life that is exemplary of the God in us. We can’t let traditions or religion dictate to us. The world is watching and we should be the “ people” that right the ship and point them in the direction toward Christ! Many realize that there is a void in their lives and are trying everything but God to fill it; just like Paige. The world is full of Paige Covingtons.  A career, possessions or material things won’t make someone feel complete or whole. Only God can fill the void. I pray that when reading Awesome Wonder, the Holy Spirit begins to speak and the reader will dedicate or rededicate their life to Jesus Christ as that is my ultimate goal; augmenting the Kingdom of the Most High God.

BPM: Who did you write this book for? Why?
Awesome Wonder was written for the man or woman who has been hurt by “so called” Christians. I want to encourage someone through my novel, who has turned their back on Jesus because of the lack of true Godliness being exhibited by people in Christendom and in the body of Christ. That man or woman needs to know that regardless of what the world is displaying, God is in control and He does expect His people to walk, talk and behave just like Him. They need to know that there were hypocrites, liars and false prophets when Jesus walked the earth and Jesus warned us about them. If they existed over 2000 years ago, they will most assuredly exist today, even in our churches and families but we can’t let their behavior and their misrepresentation of God cause us to miss out on the truth and reality of Jesus Christ. 

There are lives that are broken and people are walking around without hope, not believing that Christ is THE ANSWER because many in leadership have falsified Christ by the way they treat one another. There are lives that were eager to learn about Jesus Christ or were sold out for Christ but are now damaged, angered and even spiraling out of control because the people that they thought were the embodiment of Christ-like living have disappointed them, resulting in the disillusionment of who Christ is. People in Paige’s life seemed to be the epitome of Christianity but once she saw the truth behind the mask, she was spiritually injured like many people that I have known throughout my life.

Those wounds don’t heal easily and they begin to effect other aspect of one’s life especially when a real desire and zeal to learn more and be more like Christ is/was genuine. In Paige’s situation, it began to take a toll on her marriage, the relationship with her siblings and even her own child because at the core, something was missing. Awesome Wonder was written to tell the world that God has nothing to do with the foolishness one may see when watching the news but He is the God who is faithful. He is the God that sent His son, Jesus, to die for the world. He has nothing to do with crazy ministers that steal money from their parishioners or sleeps with the church secretary. God is LOVE and wants people to know Him in spirit and truth. Believe Jesus Christ through His word, not the world. “And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”

BPM:  What sets your book apart from other books in your genre?
It seems, “ it is, what it is” has become the statement of the year. Christians for some reason have accepted and adopted that lingo and in doing so, have allowed all matter of un-Christ like behavior to find a home in the house of God and sadly enough, into their lives. No, It is NOT ,what it is. 

The world is hurting because many don’t know Jesus; not really. They think they do but really don’t. Awesome Wonder sets itself apart from other Christian fictions novels because it allows the reader to understand that many seem to think and really believe that they are Christians because they are saying and doing all of the right things; giving to the poor, visiting the sick, etc. This is done while people are watching. Who are they behind closed doors? Sadly, there is a stark contrast. Many Christians can quote every scripture in the Bible but will not demonstrate the love God to their own wife or husband or even children. It is all a show? For many, it is. No one is talking or writing about how we are losing our African American youth or youth in general. As soon as they are able, they refuse come to church because of all that they’ve witnessed when growing up in the church. They have seen the lying and backbiting. They have heard adulterous innuendo and observed unforgiveness. 

Paige, is an example of the generation that has decided that Jesus was not all He was cracked up to be. Awesome Wonder, like no other novel, shines the spot light on the damage that can be done when hypocrisy is allowed to run rampant in the house of God. People are no longer being fooled by the “Sunday Saint.” Those who think they want to know Christ are being wooed by the enemy because the church and leaders in the church can’t or won’t exemplify holiness. Whether anyone believes it or wants to write about it or not, people are falling away from Christ because of the misrepresentation of Christ in the church. Traditions and arguments when not “rightly dividing the word” has caused many to walk out on God. Awesome Wonder looks at the church, it’s leaders, family and its impact on one’s life. 

Awesome Wonder stands alone as it Illustrates the damage religious insincerity and unChrist-like behavior can cause while interweaving the everyday realities of life. It is a novel that is daring those who love Christ to stand up and be real. It is welcoming those who want to know Christ or reconnect to Him but have been hurt to not to look at the world but look to Him. Awesome Wonder says blatantly what no one else in the genre has said, “It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.” Psalm 118:8.

BPM: What was the most powerful chapter or scene in the book for you?
The most powerful chapter in Awesome Wonder for me was when Paige finally receives revelation. After years of not going to church regularly, she decides to visit a friend’s church at her husband’s request. Believing she knew exactly what she would encounter because of her church history, she was initially pessimistic. To her surprise, she experiences more than she bargained for as the truth of God becomes abundantly clear to her. It’s as if the minister was waiting for her to visit so that he could speak directly to her and situation. The message communicated by the minister becomes all too personal and enlightenment commences. The word of God is opened up to her like never before and this causes her to rethink her entire relationship with God. Had she any right to feel the way she did for so many years? Was she guilty of the same behaviors as so many others? 

Her issues with God become something that she must now contend with after hearing the truth. The truth begins to set her free but it would be up to her to accept the freedom. The scene is very emotional and it allows the reader to not only hear the word of God but also become a part of Paige’s psyche as she listens to what she may have already known but refused to hear from God. The Holy Spirit has been talking to many of us for years because we have accepted Christ but have fallen away. The word of God, when presented to us, has a way of making it all too clear that God has been there all time, whispering that He is just waiting for us to return to Him, our first love.

BPM: What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Firstly, one must believe in their gift and talent. In this industry, it’s easy to say “forget it” or “this is not for me”. Know that rejection is part of the process but persistence is the key and faith unlocks the door. 
I have learned that what God has started in me, He is obligated to finish and I will be successful. If you believe that you have something to share that will change lives, then write and believe in yourself and gift that you have been given. Understand that it isn’t the money that will satisfy you. It will be the opportunity to speak into the lives of others and make a difference.

Lastly, be cognizant of the fact that everyone doesn’t have your best interests at heart. Many are in this industry, even Christian Fiction, to make a buck; plain and simple. Surround yourself with people that you can trust and who believe in you and your passion. Most importantly, don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t…. because you can!

M. Ann Ricks contact information:
With regard to M. Ann Ricks Literary Creations, LLC links…the one that may be used is simply my website address and it is:    M. Ann Ricks’ e-mail is:  and may posted as well should anyone desire to contact me for literary dialogues, speaking engagements or simply to dialogue about my novels.  M. Ann Ricks’ novels may be purchased via the website and or at any literary establishment, i.e.: Borders, various bookstores Amazon .com and the like.

Sober, Responsible Men and Fathers Please Apply 
by  David Miller

Historically, the role of Black men and fathers has been minimized by mainstream media and marginalized by society. Media assaults on the images of Black fathers have been well documented over the last 25 years. While several television examples of responsible manhood and Black fatherhood can be cited, including Sanford and Son, Good Times, The Jeffersons, The Cosby Show, Roc, The Bernie Mac Show and Everybody Loves Chris, the vast majority of images depicting Black fathers are devoid of any social or political responsibility as well as allegiance to our families. 

Television shows like The Game, produced by actor Kelsey Grammer who starred in Frasier, continue a long legacy of portraying Black men as irresponsible and incapable of maintaining healthy relationships. The fallacy of shows like The Game is they fail to provide balanced perspectives of Black family life and culture. While The Game is merely entertainment to most, it continues to perpetuate destructive images about Black life and culture. Several parallels can be made to Zip Coon, a caricature that emanated from the Antebellum South. Zip Coon, an exaggerated figure, was created to depict Black men as lazy, easily frightened, chronically idle, inarticulate and unable to reason or comprehend.

The Game, which was thankfully canned by the CW Network, was subsequently picked up by BET as a result of millions of fans displaying outrage over its cancellation. Sadly, The Game debuted on Jan. 11, 2011, with more than seven million viewers glued to the tube. It saddens me that so many people – undoubtedly most of them African-American – got so outraged over the cancellation of a stereotypical television show when, by contrast, I bet if you go to any PTA meeting at virtually any school in this country you’d be hard pressed to find many African-American parents in attendance. 

While the media plays a large role in shaping public discourse, our daily actions as men and fathers must be questioned. Indeed, we cannot be absolved of our culpability in some of the problems we face. According to a report disseminated by the National Fatherhood Initiative, the federal government spends about $100 billion annually on programs, policies and services related to absent fathers. The report, “$100 Billion Dollar Man,” is a glaring indictment of father absence and the toll it has on the larger family.

A growing segment of the population has become accustomed to not recognizing Black men and fathers as husbands, caregivers, and sober, responsible and spiritually guided men who are courageous pillars of their communities. 

At some point, reclaiming the essence of responsible fatherhood in our community must become an agenda item. In fact, I argue some point is now! If the current trends continue, the alarming rates of violence and high-school dropouts among Black men will continue to plague low-income communities. It doesn’t take rocket science or an advanced degree from Harvard, Yale or Princeton to see the effects of absent fathers on the emotional, physical and spiritual essence of Black boys. 

These challenges have been well documented by endless reports, documentaries and talk shows. However, the long-term effects of 24 million children who go to bed every night without a hug or kiss from dad can account for a great deal of the drama and trauma impacting the hood daily. Legendary rappers like Tupac, Biggie, Eminem and Jay-Z have all echoed the unresolved pain that comes from being part of the “absent daddy club.” There’s no doubt that growing up without a father leaves an indelible impression on young boys. Jay-Z’s epic, “Song Cry,” is an emotional trilogy about the struggles young males endure when they grow up with an absent father. 

This phenomenon must change if our communities are serious about raising healthy boys who will grow up to become responsible and productive members of society. With an alarming 72% of Black babies born to single, unwed mothers, the plight of our community has for many years rested on the shoulders of mothers, grandmothers and social service agencies. 

We sincerely believe that fatherlessness in America has become the most pervasive social issue confronting society. Any examination of life in urban America reveals that fatherlessness was a problem 25 years ago and has surpassed “epidemic proportions.” The issue of fatherlessness, while it impacts all families regardless of race, class and religion, is devastating within Black communities. 

Fatherlessness along with economic depression, social isolation and the prison industrial complex has created a “love deficit” within our community. Want evidence? Ride throughout the vast majority of urban communities in the U.S. and you’ll see the by-product of fragmented families: Blocks of vacant buildings, gang graffiti, young men standing on street corners doing nothing or selling drugs and evening news segments highlighting violence resembling the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and other occupied regions of the world. Double-digit unemployment, astronomical recidivism rates, diminishing life expectancy and rates of HIV/AIDS are crippling a large segment of Black men. 

It is my hope that we get serious about repairing, reclaiming and resurrecting Black families. It is highly unlikely that urban communities will see any prolonged community changes unless they make families a key component of a renewed vision. The vision to produce healthy families is an individual as well as a community responsibility. A community focused vision, measured by healthy families within communities, can produce safe schools and highly productive children and youth. 

Changing the conversation about Black boys, Black men and especially Black fathers can improve our communities’ perceptions. This conversation usually focuses on the deadbeat dad and the “body count,” or the daily news (print and TV) depiction of the number of young Black males killed each day, each week and each month. Seldom do we see stories about the growing numbers of single dads who are raising children, but according to the U.S. Census bureau there are 13.7 million single parents in the United States who are raising 21.8 million children. A growing percentage of these single dads are Black males who are committed to responsible parenting. 

Forging ahead we must look at fathers as serious men who are understanding, compassionate, nurturing and who have an overarching responsibility to family and community. It is time we create a new standard of accountability for fathers, one that clearly delineates minimum standards for male behavior and acceptable values and mores for fathers. Through a new standard of accountability, we can create definitions for manhood, masculinity and responsible fatherhood.

Finally, our challenge will be to create a world where 100% of our sons have an active relationship with their father or a father figure. The new frontier for Black fathers will require bold strides to ensure that every child receives 8,760 hours of love from his or her father. This is equal to support, love and guidance from their father 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. 

About the Author
David Miller
is the co-founder of the Urban Leadership Institute a social enterprise based in Baltimore, MD. Miller is also the co-founder of the Raising Him Alone Campaign ( an effort to support single mothers raising male children. Young Fathers- Changing Fatherhood (Video Diary). Changing Fatherhood (  is part of the Raising Him Alone's Campaign effort to reconnect fathers.

Intimate Conversation with Cathy Finch White

Author Cathy Finch White was born and raised in Panama City, Florida. She moved to Tampa to attend school at Tampa University. After years of working in the medical field, Cathy began pursuing a career in business management and sales. As a strong believer in the idea that education starts at home, Cathy taught her three children the joy of reading through constant visits to the library and book stores.

After the birth of her grandson, Cathy worried about a generation of children only interested in video games and movies. She began a goal of reaching out to all children to show them that reading can be fun as well. Her first book, Anna Learns to Play the Violin was released in September 2010.  Cathy's unique style of illustration and writing has quickly launched her into a well known name within the YA reader community. She hopes to reach households around the nation with her stories of children and the valuable life lessons her characters learn. Cathy's next book is scheduled to be released in July of 2011. Visit the author's website for a fun, young reader experience:

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? 
I believe having confidence in myself and my able to be a great story teller makes me powerful.

BPM: Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration? 
My greatest inspiration is my mother. At an early age she taught me that reading could be fun. Like her, I taught my children how much fun reading can be. I want to teach other children how fun reading is. 

BPM: What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author? 
I’ve realized how much I enjoy reading to groups of children. Young children are so much fun to be around and the things the concepts they think of makes me laugh. 

BPM: What is the most rewarding aspect of your career? 
I think the most rewarding aspect of my career is knowing that I’m a part of something that is bigger than myself. Helping children learn that reading is fun can help produce the next generation of doctors or even a president of the United States. 

BPM: When you have completed a project, how do you celebrate?
I have wonderful children who support me in everything I do. They normally take me out to celebrate and keep inspiring me to continue to write. 

BPM: Introduce us to your book, Anna Learns to Play the Violin. What genre is the book? 
Anna Learns to Play the Violin is a YA fictional story about a 9-year-old who wants to learn to play the violin like her older sister. She becomes mischievous in her determination and learns a valuable lesson that most young children can relate to. 

BPM: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people or experiences? 
This story is a portrayal of real people. Children can relate to the lessons learned by the main character. I want to reach children ages 4 to 8. My message is to show parents the importance of teaching children that they can do whatever they set their minds to. 

BPM: What are some of the specific issues or problems addressed in this YA book? 
Anna took something from her sister without asking. Children learn through the actions of these characters to how important it is to respect their sibling’s belongings. Older siblings also learn to forgive their younger brother or sister as well as sharing. 

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
Anna is a 9 year old girl, who loves music but does not know how to play an instrument. Anna decides to learn to play the violin and realizes that playing an instrument takes a lot of practice. Parents and young readers can see how persistent Anna is when it comes to playing the violin and how practice makes perfect.

I want children and their parents to enjoy reading. My message to parents would be to find out what types of stories get their children excited to read about. That’s what makes reading fun. Parents can purchase the book at: 

BPM: Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases. 
My second children’s book will be released in June 2011.  Readers can read excerpts from the book and follow me online at:  

Intimate Conversation with Pamela D. Rice

The lure of enticing words has always captivated Pamela D. Rice. Pamela found a natural progression and flair for expressing herself through illuminating words. Known for her stimulating and thought-provoking views, Pamela gives a voice to victims who suffer in silence. It is her desire to bring light to the social ills of domestic violence and its reach beyond all racial, cultural and socio-economic class. Through inspirational prose, she is destined to heal the human soul.

BPM: What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author?
I have truly learned the meaning of patience. I sent out queries for two years before I was picked up by Peace In The Storm Publishing. When you receive rejection after rejection, you really have to believe in your heart that there is a reason to keep trying to get your message out to the masses. 

BPM: What is the most rewarding aspect of your career? 
The most rewarding aspect is getting phone calls, emails, or meeting ladies and men who tell me that my book helped them leave a violent situation, or helped them along the road to recovery. I have always said it’s not about the sales; it’s about reaching those who need help.

BPM: If you were not a writer, what would you be?
Although I have a full time job as a Lab Manager at an Oncology Clinic, if I were not a writer, I would want to be a Psychologist. I want to know the “why” behind the behavior.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
The library should be your best friend. When I decided to write, I had no knowledge of how to get started. The library was a great source for every topic that I needed to research. Also, using Publishers Marketplace helped me find publishers geared towards the genre that I wrote. Finally, sitting in on Kendra Norman Bellamy’s writing class helped me immensely. Although I have so much more to learn, following this path helped me greatly.

BPM: When you have completed a project, how do you celebrate?
I celebrated the completion of my first book by going out to a romantic dinner with my husband. When I finish my next novel, I plan on taking a weekend mini-vacation.

BPM: Hot Seat- Share with us ONE detail about you or hobby readers would enjoy.
I love to cook. I enjoy trying out new recipes, letting my family and friends sample, and posting the photos on my Facebook page. 

BPM: Introduce us to your book, The Sunday Morning Wife. What genre is the book? 
The Sunday Morning Wife Introduction (Christian Fiction): The old saying is true. You never know what’s going on in someone else’s home.

From the outside looking in, Yolanda Clarke appears to have it all. She’s a beautiful woman, and her husband, Timothy, is the pastor of BrightStar Tabernacle. Timothy is easy on the eyes as well, often being told he resembles Harry Belafonte. They seem to have the perfect life. But, looks are certainly deceiving.

Yolanda has become a puppet on a string, totally controlled by Timothy. While everyone at church thinks he walks on water, Yolanda knows the person behind the mask. His constant verbal tirades, physical and emotional abuse has become unbearable.

In walks Andre Hunter. He’s the type of man that can make any woman forget all her troubles. His chocolate skin, pearly whites, and beautiful smile enthrall Yolanda. She has never entertained the idea of infidelity, but the abuse and lack of intimacy at home makes her adulterous affair justifiable in her mind. Andre gives Yolanda everything she’s missing at home- respect, conversation, and passion behind closed doors. But, Andre is hiding secrets of his own.

Will Yolanda finally climb from the abyss of despair she’s lived in with Timothy and move to a brighter tomorrow with Andre? Or will she forever remain “The Sunday Morning Wife?”

BPM: What compelled you to write The Sunday Morning Wife?
I wrote this book after witnessing a horrific scene on my way to church one Sunday morning, hence the title. There was a man driving his car with one hand and punching his wife in her face with his free hand. My husband and I pulled alongside to offer help, and the driver noticed us, and stopped hitting her. They looked like they were dressed for church. The female passenger never looked up to acknowledge us. I was so upset, and I could not stop thinking about it the entire service. I came home and wondered how many other women lived behind a mask every Sunday. 

BPM: Take us inside the book, The Sunday Morning Wife. What are two major events taking place?
Timothy loses it when he becomes privy to some information regarding Yolanda, and he plans on killing her. However, he gets his just rewards when a confrontation between him and Andre gets ugly, and he ends up dying a violent death.

Yolanda has to dig deep within the recesses of her soul to pray when the doctors give her unfavorable news about her son Donovan. She refuses to give up, and goes into prayer warrior mode, believing that God would perform a miracle and spare her son’s life. 

Timothy, the antagonist, is a vile man whose congregation thinks he walks on water, but his wife knows the man behind the monster. He has done despicable things to her, but is only concerned with having her money and his dreams of a mega church.

Yolanda, the protagonist, is a puppet on a string at the hands of her abusive husband Timothy. She is afraid of him, and hesitant to tell anyone what goes on behinds closed doors, fearful what people would think. Her journey to self- discovery takes place when a handsome stranger named Andre shows her how a man is supposed to treat a woman.

BPM: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people or experiences?
My characters are all fictitious. I used my imagination to come up with the most horrible experiences that I thought would happen in a violent relationship. I thought some of the violence may have been over the top until I spoke to women who read the book. Some of them had experienced much worse that I could have ever imagined.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
I want to reach every woman, man, girl, or boy that is being or has been abused. This is a subject that is not readily talked about, especially in churches. Often swept under the rug, I hope to shed light on a trend that is quickly reaching epidemic proportions. Domestic Violence is the number one crime in South Carolina. Almost every event that I have attended to date has had victims of abuse present, and they could not wait to tell me their story. Finally, we must realize that domestic violence is not restricted to a certain class. I have met many well to do women who were victims.

BPM: Share with us a quote from one of the most powerful chapters.
Yolanda could hear that Timothy’s voice had dropped a couple of octaves, and surmised that he had calmed down a little - a good sign for her.

“And, this is the second time I’ve spoken with you about your loud breathing.” Timothy continued, “I work hard every day, and when I go to bed, I expect to have a little peace and quiet, without someone breathing heavily down my neck. It’s probably because you are so fat. Not one of my friends’ wives is as big as you. If you wonder why our sex life is suffering, look in the mirror. Your body disgusts me.”

BPM: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
February 2011- The Sunday Morning Wife ranked #1 on the BCCN Independent Bestsellers Fiction List

The Sunday Morning Wife was nominated for Breakout Author of the Year by the African American Literary Awards Show in 2010. 

The Sunday Morning Wife has appeared in the Top 100 on the Black Expressions Best Seller List. 

My next novel, The Monday Night Mistress, will be released Summer/2011. Visit my website for a sneak preview: 

BPM: How can our readers reach you online? 
All of my social networking sites and my email address may be found @:


Intimate Conversation with Evangelist Tiffany Easley

Tiffany Easley a born administrator and leader is from Lexington TN. She earned her Baccalaureate degree in May 2002 from Tennessee State University and her dual MBA from American InterContinental University in August 2006. Tiffany was licensed as a minister January 8, 2006 under the leadership of Howard E. Jones, Jr. and ordained in December 2009. 

As Tiffany continues to walk out her God-ordained purpose she has began to embrace the scroll anointing that God has placed upon her and has released Psalms of My Spirit (2002), a collaborative work in 2009 entitled Victorious Living For Women with her chapter entitled, Refreshing Wind in the Midst of Your Storm. She is currently working to release her second personal literary work entitled Victorious Affirmations for Women (December 2010) and her second collaborative literary work entitled Victorious Living for Mothers (May 2011). As an evangelist Tiffany embraces the opportunity to share/teach others about their ability to “reign in victory” with God as their commander-in-chief. 

She is a visionary who takes a hold of the need to see the best in everyone and help them identify their god-given gifts/abilities and unfold their divine purpose. Tiffany’s personal mission can be summed up in the following statements: Fearfully and wonderfully made, created in the image and likeness of God. I have been charged to impact the world with the message of Victory, one life at a time! I have been empowered to touch the lives of others by embracing their area of brokenness (assisting them to birth new life from their brokenness). 

Tiffany will encourage and empower women to Reign in Victory through encouragement/empowerment sessions, book projects, and workshops/conferences development, operating under the auspices of (TRE renee’, LLC) and Pursuing Victory Ministries, a non-profit entity; instructing all people that it is the Lord their God who goes with them to fight for them against their enemies to give them victory (Deuteronomy 20:4). Tiffany is sharing the message that “We are destined to win” with everyone that she comes in contact with. Be sure to follow Tiffany!

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? 
I am a powerful person because I was created by God and fashioned in His image. My writing is a reflection of God’s anointing on my life.

BPM: Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
God has blessed me with many mentors. My mom serves as my mentor in many facets. She has always encouraged me to dream, to love myself and others. God has also blessed me to develop a mentor/men tee relationship with Minister Celeste Kelly. This awesome woman of God nurtures and encourages me on a weekly basis. She has helped me to navigate through the journey of truly developing a writing lifestyle. 

I find my inspiration in “life” and through my relationship with my creator Jesus Christ. I often look at the difficulties I face as an opportunity for the gifting of God to me made complete in and through me. 

BPM: Success leaves clues, whose clues did you follow on your journey?
I have followed the clues of many on this journey. My mother (Virginia), my Spiritual father (Pastor Howard Jones), my spiritual big sister, Rev. Sondrea Tolbert, and my spiritual mentor Reverend Celeste Kelly.

BPM: What have you realized about yourself since becoming a published author?
I have realized that I was born with the gift of writing which was placed within me by God. Through my writing others are impacted, encouraged, and empowered to live victoriously.

BPM: What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?
The most rewarding aspect of my career, is the ability to write with freedom while shifting paradigms.

BPM: Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
My advice for people seeking to publish a book; is simply Just do it! Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen. You can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.(  Philippians 4:13)

BPM: Finish this sentence- "My writing offers the following legacy to future readers..." 
"My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... embrace life’s journey for it is the beginning of your story.

BPM: Introduce us to your book and the main characters.  On Kindle or Nook?
Victorious Affirmations For Women” (VAW) raises awareness to God’s daughters that they are victorious in ALL things. This book encourages and empowers its readers through 25 affirmations that will become God’s rhema (living word) as they speak each one of them into the atmosphere.

 After reading and speaking the affirmations and receiving them by faith, the book provides reflective questions for its reader to serve as a faith/spirit activator. It is the desire of the author that women will be empowered to impact their world as a victorious woman living a life a Kingdom Lifestyle. The main characters of VAW are the readers as the book gives personal affirmations to speak over your life. VAW’s genre is spiritual encouragement and at this time it is not available on Kindle or Nook.

BPM: What specific situation prompted you to write Victorious Affirmations For Women?
This book came into existence after participating in a group collaborative project entitled, “Victorious Living for Women; shortly after penning my chapter, entitled, Refreshing Wind in the Midst of Your Storm, God gave me a personal scripture about my life testimony. He simply said, For the Lord your God is the one who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies to give you victory, Deuteronomy 20:4.5. 

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
It is my prayer that I reach the heart of women and encourage them to ignite the flame of victory that is burning within each of them.

BPM: What are some of the issues addressed in Victorious Affirmations For Women?
Victorious Affirmations for Women addresses positive self-esteem, individuality, and personal empowerment.

BPM: Share with us a quote from one of the most powerful chapters.
You are called, get up and answer the call of God for you never know where it will lead you.

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
It is my desire that readers will gain the understanding that they have been affirmed by God and have the ability to speak victoriously over their lives and the lives of others.

BPM: How can our readers reach you online? 
Readers can reach me on-line at one of the following: 
Follow us on twitter: 
Like Us on Facebook: 

Tiffany Easley: Evangelist, Visionary, Author
Visit  to blog with us 

Intimate Conversation with Riisa Renée 

Grounded by a strong faith, Riisa Renée is passionate about inspiring others and believes that her primary duty is to love - in words and action. Through challenge and triumph, Riisa’s history and education enable her to combine training with personal experience in this pursuit. Daily, Riisa grows to understand how every stage of her journey was carefully designed to equip her for her present ministries as a mother, author, speaker, minister and an entrepreneur.

BPM:  What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? 
The power of my words flow from the strength of my passion and the depth of my love. I write from my heart and I speak from my heart with passion and conviction. I always endeavor to be transparent and sincere in my writing and in my life because I have come to understand that it’s not about me. 

If I can help one person with my willingness to share the lessons I have learned in life and love, then I have come one step closer to fulfilling the purpose for which I was created.

BPM:  Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
Though it may sound cliché, my greatest mentor is my mother. She has always been such a beautiful example of grace in the face of adversity, unwavering faith and unconditional love. I admire her strength and her gentle spirit and the way they coexist without any dissonance or pretense.

My two children are my greatest source of inspiration. In teaching them I learn so much about life, about love, and about myself. They have an uncanny knack for making the most unwittingly profound statements that completely transform my appreciation of simple truths that I have previously only half-heartedly acknowledged. These three relationships are a huge catalyst for my constant pursuit of growth and positive transformation.

BPM:  What is the most rewarding aspect of your career?
This one is easy! Words cannot describe the deep sense of gratitude I feel whenever someone contacts me to tell me that my book or some words that I have spoken have impacted their lives. Since Breaking the Silence was published, I have had a number of people approach me to say “Thank you for telling my story!” I have had many more inform me that the book inspired them to: forgive themselves; to have conversations with loved ones that they had been too afraid or ashamed to have, ultimately leading to healing or a restored relationship; to feel like they were not alone in their experience or in what they were feeling.  I often say, “no pain without purpose”. There is no greater reward than knowing that my words have been a blessing or encouragement in the life of another – for that is the purpose for which my work is intended.

BPM:  Do you have any advice for people seeking to publish a book?
Do your homework: There are many publishing options out there. Make sure the one that you choose is the right fit for YOU.

Network: There are many published authors out there who have successfully gone through the process and are surprisingly gracious to neophytes like myself. Use their experience and wisdom to make an informed decision. 

Persevere: Delayed does not mean denied. If you are passionate about your purpose and confident in your calling; work to pursue your dream with excellence, guard against dream-killers and be confident that “in the fullness of time” your dream will be fulfilled.

BPM:   Hot Seat- Share with us ONE detail about you or a hobby readers would enjoy.
Since childhood, I have harbored dreams of being on Broadway. In fact, I came close to majoring in music in college only to chicken out in favor of something “more practical” , fearful that I wouldn’t “make it”. I revisited my singing dreams briefly in the late ‘90’s and actually appear on an album produced by a Grammy-winning recording artist/writer/producer including lead vocals on one track. Perhaps one day I will feel inspired to revisit that dream once more; but for now, I will stick to the Praise Team at church and reserve my Broadway-inspired performances to the privacy of my shower and the confines of my automobile.

BPM:  A Legacy is something that is handed down from one period of time to another period of time. "My writing offers the following pearls to future readers..." 
It’s all about LOVE! A life of LOVE is a life worth living. You, by virtue of being born are exceptional and worthy of love. Despite any shortcomings or shortfalls that life inevitably brings, love allows us to forgive ourselves, learn from our mistakes, and move on using our mistakes as an opportunity to help someone else. A life of LOVE is a life worth sharing. There is no greater demonstration of love than to forgive ourselves enough to share our lives with another. There is no greater gift than LOVE. 

BPM:  Introduce us to Breaking the Silence
On Kindle or Nook?

Breaking the Silence is a compilation of lessons that I have learned in my quest to love and be loved. I speak from my heart and detail some experiences I have had in relationships, the choices that brought me to critical decision-points in those relationships and the consequences of those decisions. 

I make no attempt to rationalize or justify my decisions, nor do I pretend to understand the thought processes, motivation or intent of the other parties whom I describe in the book. I do however, try to give the reader a glimpse into my heart and the emotions I experienced in each situation described. I am also very intentional about bringing a Biblical perspective to every lesson that I have learned. The lessons I share are simple and powerful because they are rooted and entrenched in the timeless wisdom and principles of the Holy Bible.

As for genre, Breaking the Silence has been described as an “inspirational memoir”. It is a non-fiction account of snapshots of my life paralleled with Biblical principles taught through snapshots of the lives of prominent Bible characters. Breaking the Silence is also available in e-book format on Kindle. 

BPM:  Take us inside the book. What are two dramatic or major themes covered?
A dramatic and major theme in my life as described in Part I of the book centers around my decision around remaining celibate or embarking in relationships that challenged the foundation of my belief system. These experiences challenged my faith and forced me to confront the what and the why of my personal faith.

Another dramatic theme and without question amongst the most dramatic events of my life is detailed in Part II of the book where I discuss my thoughts, emotions and decision-process through the experience of unplanned pregnancy. Here again I offer a glimpse into my heart and mind as I grapple with my principles and my faith on my continued journey to love and forgiveness.

BPM:  Is this a actual portrayal of real people or experiences?
Breaking the Silence is non-fiction, the characters are real, though the names have been changed to protect the privacy of those mentioned. The experiences are mine. Each story that I describe in Breaking the Silence  is my lived experience, with the exception of course of the Bible stories that I use to make illustrations.

BPM:  What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
I actually get this question a lot. As I mentioned before, I frequently say, “no pain without purpose”. Throughout some of the most difficult moments in my life, many of which are described in this book, there were people who were standing in the shadows, unbeknownst to me, watching my struggle and rooting for me in silence. When I eventually emerged on the other side of my trial battered and exhausted – yet victorious – I would hear comments like “I was praying for you” or “I saw you going through, I knew you would make it”, or my personal favorite, “I went through the exact same thing. I was hoping you would be alright”. 

In those moments I would always wonder, where were these people in the midst of my struggle? Why couldn’t they have offered these words of encouragement when I actually needed them? Better yet, if you saw me headed for destruction – why not give me a heads-up in the event that I would listen to your words and avoid the situation altogether?

Bottom line, we all have our own reasons for keeping our private battles to ourselves. I get it. But I have experienced enough heartache to know that I wouldn’t wish the emotional pain I have felt on another human being. It was following what I still refer to the darkest period in my life that I vowed that I would not be “that person”. I made a vow to the Lord that I would not keep silent if ever I had an opportunity to share my heart as a means of helping another. My pain would not be without purpose. When I first felt compelled to write Breaking the Silence, I wasn’t certain if it was just for me, or if I would attempt to publish the book. The more I opened my mouth, the more people began to express the impact of this testimony and the need that existed among their family and friends. With that I began to feel an increasing sense of urgency to share this message of forgiveness, healing, hope and LOVE with as many people as possible. And here we are today, one step further on a journey of love and purpose.

BPM:  Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
Breaking the Silence is written for young women who have not experienced the pain and pitfalls of counterfeit love out of season. I candidly share a first-hand account of what can potentially happen when something so beautiful is distorted as a means of providing information needed to make an informed decision.

I write to women who have experienced heartbreak and made choices for which they are finding it difficult to forgive themselves. I share my experience and my journey to love and forgiveness to demonstrate that you do not have the right to hold yourself hostage when in fact you are loved and forgiven.

Beyond that, Breaking the Silence is for anyone who knows people who fall into one of the above categories – male or female. I write from the female experience because that is the only perspective I know. I have been instructed however by several men who have read the book that Breaking the Silence speaks to men and women alike. That said, I hope to reach anyone who could use some encouragement in their quest to love and be loved.

What BPM:  are some of the specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
Breaking the Silence rips the cover off of the taboo topics of sex, single-parenthood and abortion among saved singles. It is a story of hurt and hope, failure and redemption, self discovery and the power of LOVE.

Share with us a quote from one of the most powerful chapters.
“I even found myself on the outside of a one-sided relationship before I understood you must love yourself enough to recognize that you are worthy of the love you seek. When we allow our hearts to be trampled in the hopes that we will one day win the affection of the one we love, we are giving permission to others to treat us poorly. We are saying to the object of our affection and reinforcing within ourselves that we are not worthy of the same level and quality of love that we are willing to give. When we develop the habit of suppressing our misgivings and pushing aside our feelings for fear that we might come across as “holier-than-thou,” when we extinguish our light so that its brightness does not offend others, we continue to reinforce this behavior, not only in ourselves, but also among others who learn from this example.

I encourage each of you to take the time to discover who you are and the greatness that lies within you before you begin to seek out a romantic relationship. Take the time to become a woman of excellence before trying to find a good man. Spend at least as much time developing your character as you do your curves. For those of you who do not believe that you are excellent and that power, passion, and purpose reside within you, you don’t have to take my word for it:

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake I am still with you. (Psalm 139:13–18)

This is what your Heavenly Father, your creator—the creator of ALL things—thinks about you! I encourage you to reflect on this and allow this to be the measure by which you compare any other message—internally or externally generated—about yourself. Again, my sisters, in all love I admonish you to LOVE: Learn your Own Values and Excellence.” (from Chapter 5, Let’s Talk About Love, p.63)

BPM:  Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
No matter who you are or what you have experienced, God desires to arrange the story of your life in such a way that the end will be far greater than anything you could ever have imagined. Why? Because of His incomprehensible love toward you. It’s all about LOVE! It always has been – before the foundations of the earth – and it always will be – throughout eternity. The answers you seek are found in love, the healing you need is found in love. The love you desire and so desperately long to give is enabled, empowered, and actualized by His Divine Love. After reading Breaking the Silence my prayer is that you would be so assured of your Creator’s love toward you that you experience an overflowing demonstration of love that compels you to openly share it with others.

Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
Breaking the Silence was featured among the top 100 non-fiction books of 2010 in the Conversations LIVE book club and magazine! To hear audio clips of radio interviews and for upcoming engagements, connect with me online.

Breaking the Silence is also available for purchase through all major online retailers.
ISBN-13: 978-0984196579
Cover design by Rakeda Rianna Sharber  

How can our readers reach you online? 
You may reach me through either of my websites, or connect with me on Facebook or via my new blog: Single, Saved, Sexy, Celibate!

For ministry, booking and contact information:  
Official website of Breaking the Silence:  

Interview hosted by Ella Curry, Black Pearls Magazine
Visit our website today for more author interviews:


My Prayer For You 
by Doris Washington

I pray His Love will shower upon you each day. 
May His arms surround you,
To encourage you through your travels,
To comfort you when you need a friend,
To guide and sustain you through the most difficult times.

May you find joy as the morning comes.
And may it stay with you as the sun goes down, 
To hold you to the new day at the break of dawn.
I pray His Love shower upon you each day 
Of your life.
May His Love be with you always.

My Prayer For You copyright (c) Doris Washington, April 2008. All rights reserved. 
(Excerpt From Faith, Hope & Love Poems of Inspiration By Doris Washington) 

About the Author/Poet
Doris Washington is a spiritual writer, author, poet, and disability advocate who resides in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania with her husband and son John. Doris takes the inspiration from her poetry from an unfortunate incident that involved her 18-year-old son with autism, and two police officers in December 1993. This incident impacted Doris' life greatly. She was empowered to advocate for a statewide program for police officers to be aware of and recognize persons with special needs. And it was through this period of Doris' life her writing began. 

Her son is her inspiration to write. She has written over 450 poems about her closeness with God, spirituality, autism awareness, inspirations, positive thinking, social issues in our world, and greetings. She is an entrepreneur of DORIS' POEMS. She does poetry readings at nursing homes, and residential home facilities, churches, and the community. Her poems continue to inspire many. 
Her desire hopes that her poetry will be an inspiration for the world. Visit her website, here.

Connect with Doris Washington
Poet/ Spiritual Writer/ Autism Disability Advocate 
Author of A Blessing, Caring & Sharing and Faith, Hope & Love 


Intimate Conversation with Jacqueline Moore

Jacqueline Moore is a Christian author who offers spiritual words of encouragement daily on her website at  She has contributed to several anthologies and is the 2009 African American Literary Show romance author of the year for her first novel, “Serving Justice” under the Peace in the Storm imprint.

"Serving Justice" by Jacqueline Moore -- Christian Fiction 
What happens when a prominent and successful Chicago Judge falls in love with her driver? Angela Jenkins decided as a child that she would become a lawyer. Fighting injustices perpetrated against those who could not or would not fight for themselves ran like passion through her veins. Growing up, Angela was taught that putting God first in her life, respecting the rights and choices of others, and working hard, were the most important things a person should strive for. While in pursuit of her law degree, Angela meets Rhonda, Theresa, and Darlene who are there reaching for the same goals. Over the next two decades, an unbreakable bond forms and friends become sisters. 

Angela finds the more successful she becomes, the more she begins to lose her connection with God and starts conforming more to the world, than to the word of God. When love enters her heart, she must decide if having a relationship is more important than what others, including her friends, have to say. Angela is forced to look at what’s important in her life and has to choose between allowing others to shape who she is or conforming to what God wants her to be. 

Ella:  Jacqueline, tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite?   
I would say Tony. Tony is the epitome of what I believe most women look for in a man. However, I do show that Tony is flawed as we all are. He made some really crucial mistakes in his past but rather then succumbs to the errors of his past; he overcame them and learned to move on. I believe when we look for relationships we tend to overlook someone because they are not perfect and I want the reader to ask themselves are they too judgmental and can they learn to move on and look at those things in their lives that are most important. 

Ella:  What inspired you to write this story? 
A question a very good friend once asked. “The question was “Why is it that professional women won’t even give me the time of day?” Now this friend just happened to be a very successful business owner who dressed like his employees, blue collar. Women took one look at him and made assumptions about him and what he did for a living. Had they taken the time to get to know him, they would have discovered so much more about him instead of automatically assuming that he was beneath them. That and I got tired of women saying that they couldn’t find a good professional man. How about just a good man? 

Ella:  Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp and share? 
There are actually several. The foremost lesson is that we have to stop listening to the world around us and seek out that still small voice within; the voice of God. Success is futile when it’s not tempered by the word of God. We all make mistakes but we serve a God of a second chance. Finally, each of us needs to examine our reasons for believing in the things we do. Do we serve the greater good, our friends or ourselves? 

Ella:  What sets your book apart from other books in your genre? 
My book is a love story that just happens to have several Christian messages. People can relate to the characters because I don’t color them holier then thou. I write from the heart and from the emotional frame of mind of the characters and I relate my stories to real live situations. 

Ella:  What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author? 
If writing is your dream; don’t stop, keep going. Perfect your craft and find outlets for your work. Don’t let rejection or criticism deter you. Keep in mind that everyone won’t like your work but that’s okay. When you find your niche, you will find your acceptance. 

Ella:  Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. 
2009 was a whirlwind year for me. “Serving Justice” is available at several bookstores including borders where I did several signing and met so many wonderful readers. I had the pleasure of going on my first cruise this year “Cruising for Christ” with Kendra Norman – Bellamy and participating on my first authors panel as a result. 

In  September 2009,  I traveled to New York for the first time to attend the African American Literary Show award ceremony where I won an award in the romance category for “Serving Justice.” I am currently working on my next novel “Caught in the Middle” which will be available from Peace in the Storm Publishing in May of 2010. 

You can find me online at Facebook, Myspace, Twitter, LinkedIn, and on my website  and   I can also be reached via email at  and at 


Prayer Still Works
Help Heal the World 

I am a child activist and I am about to put prayer back into public schools across the country. One little lady took prayer out of public schools all over our country and I am the little lady that is going to put it back. 

I volunteered in the Newark public school system for nine years. I know that our children need some serious protection, from themselves in many cases. I am going to appeal to the hearts and minds of the parents. My children are all grown and I have no grandchildren as yet. People ask, so why do you care about the schools? 

These children are our future. The way things are going, we are not going to have much of a future if someone doesn't do something. Everyone is standing around waiting for someone else to do something. I am getting old and I don't have anymore time to wait on someone else, I have got to do something.

When they took prayer out of public school, I was 12 years old. I was a hurt little girl, because I did not believe it was going to happen. I felt like the great leaders of the time would not allow this to happen. Then I realized that they were to busy to think about the children and how they felt. Through many years as an adult I can not understand how a democratic country that is now 85% Christian, and probably more then, could allow this to happen. The fact that an Atheist, that is now not even the whole 15% and was probably even less then was allowed to do this, that makes it even worse.

People of God we have got to let this country know that prayer still works, because it does. 
Any one interested in helping me can call me at, 201-776-9872. Missionary Caroline McGhee.

Article originally produced for Inspirational Insights Newsletter
, published by Sharon R. Wells, Founder & Editor of Angel Wings Publications, LLC, view the Newsletter here

Note from the Editor:  Inspirational Insights is a free monthly subscription that provides positive energy through spiritual articles, books, poetry, music, events and information to our readers. It is our goal to inspire, empower and encourage you to live your very best life.  

We guarantee that you will be motivated and encouraged!  Life's challenges can be discouraging and weigh you down. Inspirational Insights will feed your spirit and lighten your load. I hope that you will allow us to be a valuable source of inspiration and a beacon of light. Thank you for your support and always be inspired!

Sharon R. Wells, Founder & Editor of Angel Wings Publications, LLC

Angel Wings Publications, LLC

Dirty Lies in the Name of God 
by Harold D. Anderson

Corruption, deception, dirty lies, bribery, and crime all intertwine in this compelling book that will surely absorb readers from beginning to end…

The Reverend Isadore Hicks, a notorious philanderer and also pastor of New Bethel Baptist Church on Chicago’s Westside, has been bribed for a hundred-thousand-dollar incentive by a real estate investor to convince some 300 homeowners, most of whom attending his church, to make way for the state-of-the-art development—the creation of the Westside Pavilion. The Reverend is also propositioned by a beautiful young woman, a hooker hired by the developer to destroy his credibility. But this leads to the murder of the woman and the arrest of the Reverend. 

David Jason is an attorney who is now struggling in private practice in Chicago and desperate for a headline-grabbing case. He learns of the Reverend’s arrest and sets out to solicit this potential client despite the fact that success in becoming the attorney of record has the very real potential of destroying his newly established idyllic family. He has found a life with his long lost love, Cheryl, and their son, David Jr., who was the result of a high school pregnancy that had been kept a secret from David for twenty some years.

Cheryl, the estranged daughter of Reverend Hicks, was banished from the Hicks family 25 years earlier for becoming pregnant as a teen, and has never had any contact with her former family since then, having endured tremendous hardship as a single mother prior to her reunion with David, nearly two years earlier. She understandably has a deep rooted hatred for the family and strenuously objects to David becoming involved with the case.

Soon, David and his young assistant will begin their quest for the truth about the hooker’s death while the developer and his partner are swiftly moving to convince the church congregation to sell their property. 

More intriguing truth will be uncovered, more surprises will be revealed, but where will the dirty lies which punctuated the lives of the Hicks family for so many years conclude?  Find out as the whole story unfolds in Dirty Lies in the Name of God.

Meet the Author, Harold D. Anderson

Harold D. Anderson
grew up on the Westside of Chicago in the neighborhood of Lawndale. He attended Farragut High School where he was active in a number of school activities, most notably the Drama Club, where he gained his love for the theater and acting which eventually led him to Los Angeles after college. During high school he not only edited the school newspaper, the Farragut Scroll, he was also the founding editor of the Model Cities RAP, a local newsletter geared towards educating the community through youth participation in civic affairs. 

After high school, he attended the University of Illinois at Champaign. Despite a double major in History and Political Science,  he nevertheless had the time and desire to actively participate in what was then called the “revolution”.   It was during the tumultuous times that engulfed many universities and colleges during the late 1960 are that he took up writing again.   This time his focus was on the social changes of the day.  Combining his skill as an actor with his fiery poetry, he traveled from campus to campus reciting his poetry to college audiences who were eager to become involved in counter culture and the protest of the American foreign policy in Vietnam.  The uplifting civil rights movement and protests certainly shaped his writing during this period.  After graduation, he went west to California where he has lived for 38 years. Professionally, he has enjoyed a successful career as an insurance executive. 

An avid reader, he resumed his creative writing as a hobby, the result of which was his first novel, Friendly Enterprise. He followed that success with his latest endeavor, Dirty Lies in the Name of God, a continuation of the David Jason series, whom he first introduced in Friendly Enterprise.

He lives in Los Angeles with his wife of 33 years, has two wonderful children and two grandchildren.

Dirty Lies in the Name of God  by Harold D. Anderson
Defending a community leader accused of brutally murdering a prostitute, David Jason has to confront demons of the past that may very well destroy his family. With the clock ticking towards the sensational trial, matters are further complicated when a former client seeks legal assistance after being victimized in a horrific rape attack. Much is at stake in this engrossing tale as the seemingly unrelated events twist themselves into a formidable challenge for the Chicago attorney.

Read Excerpt from Dirty Lies in the Name of God
ISBN 10: 1-4568-4055-X  (eBook) 
ISBN 10: 1-4568-4053-3  (Trade Paperback 6x9) 

Intimate Conversation with Jessica A. Robinson

Jessica A. Robinson is a fresh, new author from Ohio. She's also one-fourth of a national Hip-Hop group named Carnival who's slated to release their sophomore CD in 2009.  She has always been an avid reader but came into the wonderful world of writing by accident. Upon losing her father when she was ten to pancreatic cancer, she began journaling as a form of therapy. The emotions and thoughts expressed on paper turned into short stories and continued to evolve from there. 

Coming from such a rich background in the church of having twelve ministers in her family, she writes about the things she's went through and the things people have gone through around her. Her spiritual heritage was the breeding ground for her very own genre, "Church Dramedy."  Jessica A. Robinson pens an infectious and addictive tale of a woman who is living a double life. Full of twists, turns, and surprises, Holy Seduction is a groundbreaking tale of infidelity and drama in the church.  Holy Seduction;  Genre: Church Dramedy  (Church, Drama, Comedy); ISBN: 978-0981963105 

Ella:  Tell us about your new book.  Introduce us to the stars of Holy Seduction.
Thirty-five year old First Lady Denise Tate is a woman who has it all. She is living the life most people dream of; a beautiful house in the suburbs, luxury cars, shopping sprees, and a husband, Randy, who is ready and willing to keep her laced in nothing but the best. Even though she has everything a woman could ever want, she's still not satisfied and firmly believes she can have her cake and eat it too. 

Randy Tate has his work cut out for him as the Senior Pastor of Oakdale Baptist Church, the largest in Youngstown Ohio, yet, he humbly embraces the challenge. Denise has more time on her hands than a clock and she uses this and her endless cash flow to her full advantage. In addition to playing the good, little, church wife, First lady also juggles three other men on the side. She executes the game with such expertise - effortlessly, until one of her lovers decides to flip the script on her. 

Relentlessly determined not to be found out, Denise decides not to admit a dark secret that has the power to destroy her cozy life as she knows it. Eventually, all good things come to an end and the wrath of God is delivered that will haunt her for the rest of her life. Holy Seduction's premise is this; you may play the game well, but, remember there is always someone who plays the game better than you. 

Lies, Drama, and deceit are front and center in this novel with a plot so sneaky and so seductive you'll swear it's a sin.

Ella:  Who was your favorite characters? Why? 
Well in Holy Seduction the main characters are Denise and Randy Tate. Randy is the Pastor of Oakdale Baptist Church which is a very large church in Youngstown, Ohio and he truly has his work cut out for him. Denise happily claims her throne as the First Lady and enjoy all of the perks that come along with it. If I had to pick a favorite character it would definitely be her, she's the woman you love to hate and I had a wonderful time creating her. She will be the one that makes you want to throw the book across the room and keep reading at the same time.

Ella:  Are your characters from the portrayal of real people? 
There are certain characters that are definitely inspired by real people. I can say that Randy has alot of attributes that my late father possessed while Denise is purely a figment of my imagination! She's so evil and I don't know anyone like her (however there are a few people who come quite close) LOL 

Ella:  What was the most powerful chapter or scene in the book for you? 
The most powerful chapter in my book is in chapter 20 when Randy finally discovers that the life he has built with his wife has all been shattered by her lies and deceit. It stands out to me the most because sometimes we can be so in love with a person and how our relationship appears to be that we can ignore important warning signs that are right in our face. Love has a way of making one blind to the truth and this chapter is so identifiable with so many people who may find themselves in the same situation. There have been numerous people including myself who have been involved in something that you thought was right and one admission can reveal that it was indeed all wrong.

Ella:  Do you write full time? Describe your writing schedule for our readers. 
No I don't write full time. My writing schedule is pretty consistent. I write all the time. Sometimes there isn't enough hours in the day to get a little writing in when I work so I make sure I write on my lunch breaks.

Ella:  What do you like to do when you're not writing? 
When I'm not creating my next masterpiece, I like to read books, write music, and travel across the country with my group Carnival. My next book "Pretty Skeletons" will be released in early 2010.  

Never Give up on your dreams because they will come true!

Author Jessica A. Robinson


"Holy Seduction" - In Barnes & Noble and Borders NATIONWIDE!!!

Stay tuned for "Pretty Skeletons" coming early 2010!!!


Intimate Conversation with
LaShawnda Jones

Join me in welcoming LaShawnda Jones author of My God and Me: Listening, Learning and Growing on My Journey to Black Pearls Magazine.  In 2000, Ms. Jones was selected as a full-figure model for the Ebony Fashion Fair, a traveling fashion show.  The Ebony Fashion Fair is a non-profit division of the Johnson Publishing Company based in Chicago, Illinois.  During the nine month tour,  Ms. Jones traveled to over 170 U.S. cities, as well as several cities in Canada and the Bahamas. 

In 2004,  Ms. Jones started a business, Jazzy Media LLC.   Jazzy Media was set up as a publishing company with the goal of publishing an annual full-figure fashion calendar, posters, gift cards and her literary works.  Jazzy Media is dedicated to exploring women issues in the female voice,  from the feminine perspective.  Ms.  Jones published VoLux Full-Figured Calendar in 2005 and 2007.  She published her first volume of poetry, Fantasies: A Metamorphosis of Sexual Attraction in 2005.  In 2007, she published her second volume of poetry, Clichés: A Life in Verse.   She is also one of the contributors to Go, Tell Michelle!,  a collection of letters honoring First Lady Michelle Obama.  Ms. Jones is currently compiling a collection of blogs on spiritual development for self and relationships for publication. 

Early in 2008,  Ms. Jones joined amNewYork as a blogger for their politics blog, Politirazzi.  amNewYork is a free daily newspaper with a 300,000 plus circulation in the metro New York City area.   Ms. Jones covered the 2008 presidential campaigns, primaries and election.  She posted numerous pieces highlighting her take on the high profile spectacle.  She has maintained her blogger status since the election.

Ella:  Introduce us to your book and the message within.
My God and Me: Listening, Learning and Growing on My Journey is a collection of snap-shot narratives of my life, concentrating mostly on the years I underwent a spiritual transformation. A few years ago I moved to New York City from Milwaukee, WI. Alone. No family, no friends and no job. I learned without a doubt how to trust in the Lord. I did odd jobs around New York City for six months. I have no idea how I was able to feed and shelter myself. But I had a place to lay my head every night and not one day passed that I wasn’t well fed. The Lord provides! My God and Me is full of illustrating stories of how He holds me, guides me, teaches me, provides for me and loves me. It not a story of lack, it’s a story of how I’m being prepared to reap a spiritual abundance!  

Ella:  What motivated you to create this book now?
My God and Me is derived from blogs. When I started blogging in 2006, my only intent was to be entertaining. My goal was to promote my VoLux Full-Figure Calendar. My early posts were about plus size fashion, body image and self-esteem. Somewhere in that mix, my exploration of my self-esteem exposed a struggle with my self-confidence. Did my strength come from my physical connections or my spiritual connection? The deeper I dug for the root of my insecurities, the more I desired a deeper connection to my Source. I describe this struggle in detail in Self-Image is Everything, a piece in my book.

I blogged for three years. Throughout that time I didn’t have a complete picture of my transformation. During the fall 2008, I realized I had nearly one hundred blogs. After categorizing them, I had enough material for three different books. But I wasn’t interested in publishing just any three books. I wanted to publish something that said something… that spoke to people. Truthfully, I had no idea what was in the midst of those one hundred blogs.

The Holy Spirit led me to create My God and Me. That’s truly the only explanation I have for what has been delivered through me. There was no conscious effort on my part to come to the finished product I came to. The cohesiveness of the message is amazing to me. It’s like I wrote it from beginning to end, when in actuality it was pieced together from different stories throughout the years, from various areas of my life.    

 Ella:  Who should read this book and why?
My pastor’s wife read an advanced copy of My God and Me and wrote this note to me when she completed it: This is EXCELLENT!! Your writing is a gift from God. There is something in here for all Christians - single, married, male, female. I love you even more!"    I agree.  

I also believe there’s something in there for non-Christians. This book is about seeking…. Seeking love… meaning…purpose… acceptance… satisfaction. It’s about life. It’s a very Christian book in the sense that I use Biblical scripture in nearly every piece. But it’s more spiritual because the message is all encompassing.  

Ella:  What impact will this book have on the community?
I think this book will bring people closer to their true selves. It will encourage a personal honesty and transparency. When we are able to be more truly ourselves, we are able to be more present in our relationships. Better relationships improve our quality of life.

 Ella:  What issues in today's society have you addressed in the book?
The destruction and life complications for victims of rape and sexual exploitation are addressed. Women who completely give up their lives for their husbands and/or children only to develop a corrosive resentment because of their decision are profiled. Our relationship with our bodies and how our ideas of perfection are shaped by family, friends and society are covered. Overall, finding a balance with our humanity and spirituality is the primary theme of My God and Me.

 Ella:  Who did you write this book for? Why?
After I completed the book, I wrote A Blessing for My Daughters which is the first piece. My daughters aren’t yet born. I wrote this book for the future. For everyone who is here now to sow into their futures.   The blessing is a synopsis of the lessons I’ve learned up to this point. My desire is to share my knowledge and perspective with others so their walk will be eased and enriched in some way.

 Ella:  Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp and share?
We have a responsibility to share our humanity. We were created as receptacles and vessels of love. We need to love each other.

 Ella:  What sets your book apart from other books in your genre? 
Many Christian and self-help books are telling you how to improve your life. Do steps one, two, three and your life will be perfect.  Most of them create the illusion of a conclusion.  

There is no conclusion to my book, but it’s complete. There’s no theory on what’s right, but there’s evidence that all things work out for the best. My God and Me is a series of stories that contribute to a larger picture. It’s a book detailing the process of one individual’s growth. My growth. That’s not to say your growth and evolution will be the same. But in the process I am open and honest about how I dealt with all the changes my life and relationships have gone through thus far. It’s a book about human frailties becoming supernatural strengths when covered by the love of God. My God and Me is a book of examples.  

Ella:  What was the most powerful chapter or scene in the book for you?
Better Than You Should Be. I struggled over revealing certain things in that piece, but it’s probably the one narrative in My God and Me that explains and ties everything else together.

 Ella:  If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything?
It’s not mine to change. I realized early on that I am a vessel and I am quite awed by the message that has been delivered through my experiences.

 Ella:  What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Write. Get critiques. Re-write. Improve. Follow your dreams. If your dreams don’t fall in line, create opportunities to bring them to fruition.

 Ella:  Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
My God and Me: Listening, Learning and Growing on My Journey is currently available on, retailing for $15.00 USD. I am actively seeking events to participate in and invitations to read and discuss my book at your special function. I also facilitate self-esteem workshops, incorporating anecdotes from My God and Me.




Intimate Conversation with
E.N. Joy

E.N. Joy is the author of Me, Myself and Him, her debut work into the Christian Fiction genre. Formerly an Essence Magazine Bestselling secular author, when she decided to fully dedicate her life to Christ, that meant she had to fully dedicate her work as well. She’s launching her second Christian fiction work, She Who Finds A Husband, February 2010. 

E.N. Joy writes children's and young adult books as well as Christian fiction for adults. The executive editor for a Christian fiction imprint and a magazine columnist, she is currently working on a young adult series entitled The Soul Sisters. E.N. Joy lives in the midwest with her husband and three children. When she's not writing, she enjoys praise dancing and reading.

Ella: What current projects are you working on? 
I have a series titled “The New Day Divas Series.” The first book of the five book series is titled She Who Finds A Husband (February 2010). This first book of the series reads like a soap opera in print as it goes deep-way deep-into the lives of some real church folk and some real Christian folk. It's serious, it's humorous, all while hitting taboo subjects in the gut. No stone is left unturned in these diva's lives. The second book is titled Been There, Prayed That (June 2010). The third book is titled Love, Honor or Stray (December 2010). The other two will be released in 2011. This project is one that definitely glorifies God in every aspect, but still manages to display in a godly manner that there are “Church Folks” (church fiction) and then there are “Christian Folk” (Christian fiction) and come Sunday morning, they all end up in the same place.

Ella: What made you go from writing secular works under the names Joylynn M. Jossel and JOY, to writing Christian fiction and children’s work under the names E. N. Joy and N. Joy? 
That’s an easy one word answer; God. God has always been there keeping, watching over and protecting me, but it wasn’t until I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior did I acknowledge just how much God loves me. Now I live to glorify Him in everything I do, including my writing. So I’m now not only proud to be a Christian, but proud to be a Christian fiction author.

Ella: Please introduce us to your new Christian Fiction title, She Who Finds a Husband.
What was the pastor of New Day Temple of Faith thinking when approving the creation of the New Day Singles Ministry? Better yet, what were its members thinking when they joined? 

Doreen, lovingly known as the Church Mother of New Day, thought that when she presented the idea of the ministry to the pastor, it could serve as a foundation to empower, encourage, and enlighten the church’s single members. But when only women join and Doreen learns that all these women want only one thing out of the ministry—help in finding a man—her mission goes astray.

She Who Finds a Husband is what you get when you combine some Divine, some Independent, some Virtuous, some Animated, and some Stoic personalities all in one setting—DIVAS! Dig into this soap opera in print as the women of New Day Temple of Faith Singles Ministry set flight to include men in their future, not realizing that the past is what’s keeping them bound.

Ella: What was your first Christian fiction title? 
It’s titled Me, Myself and Him. It came out March 2008. It’s about a woman who is trying to live in the word while holding onto the hand of her live in boyfriend, who is in the world. When the story begins, neither the main character or her boyfriend are practicing Christians. The story shows the struggle between an unsaved couple, when one partner begins to fall in love with Jesus.

Ella: What was your first children’s story? 
My children’s’ story is titled The Secret Olivia Told Me. It was published September 2007. In February 2008, the American Library Association gave the book a Coretta Scott King Honor for illustration. Scholastics Books purchased the book club rights, and the book is on tour across the country at various schools for book fairs.

Ella: What is the difference, if any, between writing secular fiction and Christian fiction? 
There is a big difference. Now, instead of outlining and figuring out in which direction I want the story to go, I simply get in God’s word, get in God’s face, ask Him what He wants me to do, what He wants me to say, what He wants the message to be, then I take dictation from the Holy Spirit. 

Ella: Do you ever stray from what you think God is calling you to write? 
I try very hard to keep my mind clear; to make sure I’m in tune with the Holy Spirit when I’m writing. But I’m going to tell the truth and shame the devil; I’m human, so just like in every day life, when it comes to my writing, I do sometimes allow my flesh to rise up and do it’s own thing. I have written things that I thought the reader might want to read without consulting the true author. Do I get convicted for it? Yes, via readers’ emails and reviews…and some of them, unlike God, have no mercy. So I try my best to stick to ghostwriting…Holy Ghost writing that is.

Ella: Is writing a full-time job for you? 
Yes, well, actually, I have two full-time jobs (three if you count taking care of my family). I write full-time and I edit full-time.  I’m the acquisition editor for Urban Christian (  ). I’m also the editor for the “Sinner Series”, which includes the titles Even Sinners Have Souls (Nikki Turner, Noire, Chunichi), Even Sinners Have Souls Too (K’Wan, Michel Moore, Victor L. Martin) and Even Sinners STILL Have Souls (Kiki Swinson, Karen Williams, Brandi Johnson).

Ella: How may our readers connect with you online?
My website is:  
The email address is:

Purchase  She Who Finds A Husband (New Day Divas)

Intimate Conversation with Pamela Chapman

Pamela Chapman, author, motivational teacher, self-esteem life transition certified coach, and blog talk show host is founder and president of iAscend Programs, LLC , a limited liability company.

iAscend’s mission, as a web-focused service, is the empowerment of women, and their children, by showing them how to break through their perceived limitations and maximize their potential and purpose while nurturing their esteem. 

Ella:  Introduce us to your book, Heaven’s Hell, The Beginning. 
I am interested in empowering, in particular, women who are going through challenging life-transitioning whose self-esteem is being challenged in the process. My book, Heaven’s Hell, the beginning speaks to that.  Heaven’s Hell, The Beginning is a powerful, spiritual book based on the real-life experience of its author…Nissi Clark (a pseudo name). 

The novel depicts the life of a young girl who experiences domestic violence in her home. While depicting the fear, abuse, and the pain, this powerful novel also breathes hope, healing, and inspiration between its chapters using New Living Translation scripture, affirmations and declarations. Subliminal messages of hope and healing are spread throughout the pages. True-life journal entries are incorporated. The book digs deep into the soul asking life-changing questions provoking life-changing thought. Either you learn about yourself and why you do the things you do or don’t do; or, you understand why that friend or family member behaves the way they do. It is both entertaining and life-changing and leaves its reader craving more.

Ella: What issue, person or thing inspired you to write this book?
Domestic healing is my passion. Domestic violence numbers are increasing in our community and something is still very wrong. I know what it is to be the product of low self-esteem and low self-worth due to the violence—always needing validation. I found myself in twisted relationships not just with men, but I found myself in very sick life relationships. I am now healed, but there was nothing there to assist me in my healing. At least, I wasn’t aware. I believe when we speak truth into the real “hell” of a situation and infuse light, the darkness will subside and the problem will dissipate. I believe Heaven’s Hell, The Beginning does just that.

Ella: What impact will this book have on the community?
Domestic violence is at the forefront of our community. There isn’t a week that doesn’t go by and we don’t hear something about it. Heaven’s Hell is not just a story about victimization, but a book of healing. The series will assist women in turning their adversities into victories. The author share’s her journal pages as an adult. You realize how her child-hood victimization perpetuated the struggle, the low self-esteem and low self-worth regardless of her accomplishments, achievements or letters behind her name. This book gets its readers thinking about their behaviors and triggers the desire for real healing.

Ella: The cover of Heaven’s Hell is quite unique. Share the inspiration for its cover.
Heaven’s Hell is divine in all its creation. I had asked my very talented son to create the cover. After one year of attempting to create a cover depicting a woman burning in hell, he and I both were quite frustrated. Nothing met his satisfaction. While visiting me last Thanksgiving, I chided him to come up with something before his returning to California. He bought new water colors and after two days of failed attempts, I grabbed his paint brush and started throwing down water colors onto his art paper. As I threw down the colors, my son, Jamal, saw her manifesting. He said, “Mom, there she is.”  He then outlined her features and hence, the subtle picture of a woman in hell.

Ella: What was the primary quest in publishing this book?
My primary quest was to assist in the healing of the nations, in particular, the women and the children of all nations on all economic levels.

Ella: Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp and share?
I want my readers to realize they are precious, they are jewels made in the image and likeness of an all powerful Creator and they are good. He desires all of us to live happy, abundant, and prosperous lives. You can turn your adversity into victory and be true over-comers not just in talk. I want them to know our Creator believes in them and so do I.

Ella: What sets your book apart from other books in your genre?
Heaven’s Hell is a fictional, self-help trilogy. It depicts real-life pain; it entertains, it heals, and leaves you wanting more. The second book, Heaven’s Hell, the Journey, due to be released in 2010, continues the saga but deals with the adult life of twisted love relationships, life relationships, and more self-loathing. Heaven’s Hell, the Redemption speaks of just that…the redeeming of the lost soul in its main character. The main character finds true love by loving herself first and the story infuses the pain of her healing. The journal entries from the two earlier books catch up to her present-day adult life in the third book. Heaven’s Hell, is a powerful, life-changing entertaining trilogy. A workbook can be purchased along with Heaven’s Hell, The Beginning—the novel.

Ella: What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
Find a great editor. Editing is everything, but don’t let anyone change your voice or your style. Speak your heart, live your dream, and never, ever give up!

Pamela C. Chapman, CTACC, CDVS
iAscend Programs, LLC

PURCHASE @   or  
Live Talk Show:  

Heaven's Hell: The Beginning by Nissi Clark  is available now

Shackled for Life by Shelia E. Lipsey

Molestation, sexual assault, mental abuse, emotional abuse, rape-all subjects that many of us hate to talk about. We don’t want to think about it; we don’t want to say the words. We certainly don’t want to discuss it over dinner. But when is enough enough? When can it be brought out in the open? Why do some people blame the victim as if it’s their fault for being violated?

I know the subject is tender. It’s heart wrenching to hear about especially if it’s happened to someone you loved, or worse – if it’s happened to you. In the first book of My Son’s Wife trilogy, Francesca Graham has been shackled for life mentally, emotionally and physically because of the dirty secrets she has carried around since childhood – that of being molested and sexually assaulted. Because of what happened in her life, Francesca reinvents herself into a person that is not liked by many, judged by all and condemned by the church, including her own mother. Life is like that sometimes. 

There are people walking around every day in this world who are shackled for life because of the evil actions of another individual forced upon them. Because of their hurt whether physically or mentally, the victims often feel ostracized and unable to deal with what has happened because they are too afraid to bring it up for fear of being looked down upon.

In My Son’s Ex-Wife: The Aftermath, and the second book in the My Son’s Wife trilogy, Francesca Graham still lives with the pain of her past in more ways than one. Yet, Francesca, like many abused people tries to live her life in spite of the damage that was inflicted on her life. 

Many victims don’t make it. They end up doing to others what was done to them. Some people in the church seem to believe that it’s something that can be ‘shaken off’ and a person can just forgive and forget. But it’s not that simple. God understands the hurt and the pain. I believe God understands that it takes time for healing to take place in a victim’s life. It takes time to regain strength to move forward. It takes time for the shackles that have been placed around the victim’s life to be released. What choices will Francesca Graham make as she tries hard to deal with her hurtful past? Will she find the strength to move forward like some victims of sexual assault manage to do, or will she continue to be shackled by hurt and heartache over her life like still some other victims do? 

It’s not always easy being the person you are, and when you have been victimized and criticized and judged because of something that was not your fault, it makes it even harder for the shackles to be released. It takes love and understanding. It takes compassion and acceptance. It takes the love of God to bring forth deliverance.

Read Author Shelia E. Lipsey’s second book, My Son’s Ex-Wife: The Aftermath, at a bookstore near you and available now at online  e-tailers, including,, and more.

Meet the author
Shelia E. Lipsey is a multi-award winning Christian fiction author of four novels and one nonfiction book. She is the founder of The Word According to Shelia, a monthly column featured in a variety of formats and blogs online.   Email:   Her latest Christian fiction novel, Beautiful Ugly is  available nationwide.  Check out the books by Shelia  on Amazon today.



If I Could Go Back In Time 
by Electa Rome Parks

 “Life gives us brief moments with another...but sometimes in those brief moment we get memories that last a life time...”

I have always heard and been told that one should never live life looking backwards. It's not productive. Never live in the present, looking towards the future, with woulda coulda shouldas  pulling you back. Always embrace your future and live in the moment. That's where your energies should go.

However, I must admit, sometimes when just the right oldies song comes on the radio, I become nostalgic and remember when. In that moment, I am taken back. It's amazing how a song can take you there---back in time---where you remember, and can almost feel what you were doing and who you were with at a moment from your past. And you smile because the memory makes you happy; it's almost like reliving it. 

I've experienced a normal, middle class existence, just like most people, and sometimes I wonder, if even for a few seconds, what it would feel like to revisit my past. Even if it was only for an hour, or a day, with the knowledge I have now, to revisit various events and significant moments from my youth and young adulthood. 

Wouldn't that be absolutely amazing?

I've had my share of good, bad, joyous and tragic moments and they have all blended together and made me the person I am today. I have learned many life lessons. I'm the conclusion of all the moments and events I've experienced in my past. We are all products of our past. A summation of events.

If I had a magical wand and the ability to time travel, I would go back to these major points in my life.

• a day when I had terrific fun with all my female cousins that I grew up with
• the day I turned 13 (finally a teenager)
• the day I turned Sweet 16
• a visit with my mom
• I'd revisit the moment I fell in love for the first time
• the first time I became a woman
• turning 21
• college graduation
• first day on a real job
• my wedding day
• birth of my son
• birth of my daughter
• reunion with all my deceased relatives
• first book deal
• ???? (the ones yet to come)

The really great thing is that with God willing, I'll have many more special moments in my life.  Life goes by so quickly.  It's a shame that some people don't embrace it before it's too late.  Memories. . . the fabric of life.

About the Author
Electa Rome Parks
lives outside Atlanta, Georgia and is the best-selling author of seven acclaimed novels, The Ties That Bind, Loose Ends, Almost Doesn't Count, Ladies' Night Out, These Are My Confessions (anthology), Diary of a Stalker and her latest release True Confessions. 

Dubbed a "book club favorite," avid readers have embraced Electa's true to life characters that tackle prevalent and heavy hitting issues that take them on an emotional roller coaster. Electa is currently following her passion and working on her next novel and first screenplay.


To find out when and where Electa will be in your area, check out her website at:  or  

To share your thoughts with Electa regarding her work or to schedule an event, 
please e-mail her at  

Check out True Confessions by Electa Rome Parks
Preview at
ISBN-13: 978-1601622396 



How to Overcome a Dysfunctional Family Legacy

By Dr. Daryl Green



Are you dealing with negative vibes in your family? Do you feel like your being held hostage by your family dysfunctional behavior?  Unfortunately, no one has a perfect family.  In fact, there’s probably some dysfunctional behavior in everyone’s family tree; most people are too ashamed to admit it.  Confusion can destroy a close-knit family.  In this situation, the word “family” primarily refers to your extended relatives (brother, sister, aunt, cousin, etc.).  Communication usually breaks down--feelings get hurt.  Disharmony can happen to any family. In fact, this situation can be created either by individual choices or by the decisions of others.  You can see it created through many ways:  selfish sibling, drugs taking control, dependent relatives, money-stricken friends, or toxic relationships.  Can you think of others?


Many issues can cause family confusion.  Many people tend to react to their gut feeling without thinking through the consequences.  Don’t believe these personal decisions only impact you.  No, short-term choices can leave a legacy of total disasters.  Do you need examples?  Take someone else’s loved one?  Threaten to kill someone?  We live in a society where no one wants to wait and develop a real relationship.  People prefer to generate quick “soap opera” relationships to shield their insecurities.  There are unintended consequences.  In 2000, former NFL star Derrick Thomas died from injuries suffered in an auto accident. Thomas had fame, fortune, and a bright future.  He probably hoped to leave fans a legacy of outstanding memories. Unfortunately, this was not the case. It stands as another American tragedy. He left seven children from five different women and no will.  While Thomas earned more than $30 million in his football career, his children will long remember the legacy of dysfunctional family memories. Therefore, individual actions can contribute to the level of dysfunctional behavior in families.


Some family members can also create family disharmony. A small dose of confusion can spread like a wild fire in a family.  You can always find at least one person looking to generate “mess” in a family.  What will start it this time?  Family property?  Money?  This person will not let the problem die down; he is not content until there is a big explosion.  The results are generally not positive.  In our own family, we have seen family members fight over property.  There is generally lots of anger and hurt feelings.  Often kids are caught in the middle, left to carry on this confusion (even when they don’t understand the cause).  While many involved in these types of situations are left empty, some people thrive on this negative energy and seem to get enjoyment from it (the more trouble, the better).  They celebrate disharmony.  We call these folks “troublemakers” or “instigators.”  Here are some suggestions for improving these situations:


· Recognize the potential problem.

· Deal with the problem immediately.  Don’t wait.

· Determine the root cause.  What is the situation really about?

· Determine who really needs to get involved.  Do you need to broadcast the problem to everyone in the family?

· Find common ground and create a win-win situation, if possible.

· Keep your cool.


Building a strong family bond takes commitment.  It’s easy to get sidetracked by “he said, she said” ordeals.  It takes courage to look beyond the surface problems to determine the real root cause.  You have to be stern in your beliefs…and committed.  You need to focus on what’s critical for your family.  Make every attempt to live at peace with everyone.  Determine to make yourself a peacemaker and don’t allow yourself to be conquered by negativism.  Stand Tall.  Embrace your relatives with positive vibes. Effective individuals want to build harmony in their families. Start today before it is too late!


© 2009 by Daryl D. Green


Dr. Daryl D. Green writes on contemporary issues impacting individuals, businesses, and society across the globe.  With over 18 years of management experience, Dr. Green’s expertise has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, you can go to  or



Blacks: Our Kingdom, Our Power, Our Glory

There's a portion of the  black race which faces severe  financial struggles, but they don’t have to suck the life out of our lives; causing us to hate our entire existence as black people.  We need great support systems in place to help us maintain our physical, emotional, mental and moral, spiritual health.  It’s necessary that we continue to keep the faith and work, work, work doing something to help ourselves.

Hopefully, there can be business connectors, business minded people with common interests, who desire to work together to make improvements for the betterment of all concerned.  Businesses need more Black Inclusions Without Other Races’ Exclusions.

We are our brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.  If the haves can spend a few dollars more and provide for someone else, or to drive an extra mile to patronize small businesses, their presence and numbers will count, where small business people won’t succumb to helplessness and hopelessness.

Can we get blacks to face the truth of how we have been targeted for extinction, then to declare wholeheartedly that extinction won’t be happening?  Some people are happy when blacks murder blacks.  Then there are killers in gangs.  Other destroyers that work slower are: fattening foods, liquor, drugs, sex, diseases, high interest credit cards, and etc.

Blacks are stereotyped_ prejudged, pre-numbered, pre-labeled, and ready for fingerprinting to be put in prepared cells at any given moment.  The truth is, some of these actions are prejudices related.  Still, we cannot feed from the hog pens and wallow in do-do, then expect to be accepted as if we are pure in heart.  Respect comes with a high price tag, but blacks can afford to pay it, if we want do.

Regardless of the belief that, “If it ain’t white, it ain’t right,” there are some blacks who live their lives according to another more prosperous  rule, believing that “Being Black is a Good Thing.”

Blacks’ weaknesses and strengths are being laid out in the open where they can be viewed for self- examinations, for the remodeling and renewing of the old.  Making connections with the Spirit can help to get to the root of blacks’ purposes for being here on earth.

Oh, if the black race would only seek to understand just how rich our people were, and still are today!  Blacks have always been smart, rich, and strong.  Slavery poured out its stench and covered the truth, causing blacks to feel like they were nobody, who are inadequate, unless they are under the yokes of somebody whose skin is white.  “Being Black Is A Good Thing!” Yea! Yea! Yea!

Blacks have “SOME” buying power, but the need further teaching on what to spend money on. So many of them are following the ways of old, buying cheap to have more to see, eating the fattest and cheapest meats, paying for the lowest and getting the least.  Putting quality down, cause it does cost more.  It’s time to ingest daily, large doses of Knowledge and Power that only comes from the Truth.  Truth brings Freedom. 

 Where cometh the Financial Power that is needed to dispel the darkness of night and turn the light switch to “ON,” to reveal the excellence and giftedness of the waiting dreamers crying out to be known?  Won’t somebody provide the financial backing and be back supporters, to shield against falls, or to carry the weight as seed sowers to reap good, ripened fruits?

Just how well do blacks communicate financially?  Money does talk, but how many blacks are taking part in the conversations, understanding the language?  Money’s language is best heard through sowing and reaping.  Don’t spend everything.  Pay tithes, save and invest. 

Planting seeds into Black’s futures can help them jointly reap harvests multiplied, to relinquish dependence on handouts.  Help them to be instrumental in financial balancing, and to move out of the shadows, to become masters and rulers of their own lives to become leaders instead of followers.  Won’t you incorporate blacks with character into your businesses, and give them the opportunity to succeed and reproduce?

Without the help to rise up, who will give definition to black lives?  What doors will be slammed in their faces?  What will be the measuring stick to qualify or disqualify them in jobs, status, strength, and value to society? 

 You are invited to become mountain climbers and mountain movers—by daring to dream big, set high goals, and take risks.  Enlist the help of other mountain climbers who are knowledgeable.  People who can’t stand heights can help to provide the equipment.  Learn what your capabilities are, and fill them.  You can be a lifter upper, even if you speak words of encouragement and the power of prayer. 

God’s making a call for the Black Illuminated Visionaries to report to duty with your flashlights.  However, you need to get connected up to the True Power source, “The Light,” isn’t battery powered.  You’ll receive an anointing to be twinkling stars, to light the path for travelers who are yet immature. Won’t you help them to come closer to “The Light,” for the future illuminated visionaries, to proclaim by examples that “Being Black Is a Good Thing?”  God didn’t make a mistake in his creation, because some of us will fulfill our God given purposes on this earth. 

 Whomsoever will endure the temperature of this detoxing message, may feel welcome to use it for tasting, eating as a snack, or served as a meal.  I DO NOT speak EXCLUSIVELY to blacks, but EXPRESSIVELY to blacks. I hope that MY people will have an ear to hear, to be first partakers in correcting our wrongs, trashing our garbage, and passing on our inherited strengths. Let my people be there for the demolishing of the ruined-down, the up-building and rebuilding of lives on lasting foundations. We can turn the negatives into positives, adding something worthwhile to be multiplied and divided back into society.

Hopefully, the words from a black person will help them to take notice, believe that “Being Black Is a Good Thing,” and behave accordingly.

It’s time for black’s to strive to live financially debt free.  But there is a much larger debt that the black race owes, which can never be marked, “Paid In Full.”  This debt is to black families and to the race as a whole.  This day is the day to RE-REMEMBER that “Charity begins at home and spread abroad.”  We do owe each other!!!

Many black people believe that the white race  robbed us of our kingdom, our power, and our glory, and that it cannot be replaced by man.  I believe that we must forgive to heal, to move forward, and say goodbye to the pain.  We will continue to remember OUR history that we created together.

 Our prayer is as Jesus taught:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.  
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For THINE is THE kingdom, and THE power, and THE glory, forever.  Amen.

For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:  But if you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. (Matthew 6:9-15)

What say you?  Share with the author  your thoughts and opinions on this article by emailing us here.

Written by author Lola M. Booker.  Copyright 2010. All Rights Reserved.

10 Greatest Novels for Nurses

Guest Contributor Roxanne McAnn

My name is Roxanne and I work for a company that maintains a website on Nursing schools called We recently published an article called "10 Greatest Novels for Nurses"  that I thought would fit perfectly with readers who love medical themed stories and for nurses who want to relax with a good book. I would like to share the 10 books below.

One great way to escape the pressures and stresses of nursing school ( or work is to read a great novel. These literary works, featuring nurses and health care facilities, will provide you with a much-needed dose of fun and fantasy while reminding you why you chose the profession in the first place. So if you want to re ignite your passion for nursing or just spend a wonderful evening kicking back, check out one of these amazing novels.

1. The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje. 
This prize-winning novel was made into a prize-winning movie, but that doesn't mean the literary version still isn't worth checking out. In it, readers will find a story about four entangled lives during the last weeks of WWII. At the center of the drama is the mysterious English patient being cared for by nurse Hana, a man whose memories slowly reveal a tale of love, betrayal and redemption.

2. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway. 
If you've never read this literary classic, it's never too late to start. Set in WWII, the story follows a young soldier named Henry, based loosely on Hemingway's own wartime experiences. When he becomes injured he finds himself falling for the elusive nurse Catherine, a complicated and tragic figure. If you're looking for happy endings, this might not be a good choice, but if you want a moving portrayal of men and women coming to terms with life, both the good and the bad, then pick up this read.

3. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. 
This book is an incredibly popular read among nurses. Why? The main character, Claire Randall, is a nurse herself serving in the British Army during WWI. But this is no traditional novel, as it blends elements of fantasy, romance, historical fiction and legend to tell Claire's tale. In it, the happily married Claire finds herself suddenly transported back in time where she meets and falls in love with another man. Torn between her two loves and two centuries, Claire's story is one of passion, pain and intrigue that's sure to keep you reading page after page.

4. The Thin White Line by Craig DiLouie. 
While the panic associated with avian and swine flu turned out to be overblown, the reality is that a pandemic illness could hit and wipe out entire communities at any time. This novel takes a look at what could and quite possibly would happen if such an epidemic were to hit Canada. It is a fascinating takes on both the personal and political ramifications of such a disaster and is a great read for any nurse with an interest in infectious disease.

5. The Healer's War by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough. 
Drawing on her own experiences, Scarborough creates the fictional Kathleen McCulley in this novel, a nurse on a tour of duty at China Beach in Vietnam. Dealing with not only healing the battle wounds of soldiers but her own ambivalence towards the enemy, the racism of her charges and her own personal battles. While the novel is set on the field of battle, nurses in any profession will recognize the courage it takes to keep it together in such a stressful situation.

6. The Glory Cloak: A Novel of Louisa May Alcott and Clara Barton by Patricia O'Brien. 
If you were inspired to become a nurse by historical greats like Clara Barton, you'll love this fictional take on her life and work that unites her with the author of the classic novel Little Women. The story follows Alcott and her fictional cousin Susan as they help join the war effort by becoming nurses, encountering the battlefield legend Barton in the process. Blending love, history, friendship and betrayal, the novel is at once engrossing and enlightening about life and work during the turn of the century.

7. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey. 
Think you've got a real piece of work for a coworker? He or she is likely nothing compared to the tyrannical Nurse Ratched in this classic novel. Kesey's portrayal of a fictional insane asylum garnered him international acclaim and numerous awards, and the book is still worth a read today. The story centers on Patrick McMurphy, a mental patient who antagonizes his nurse and upsets the daily routine of the other patients, but not without just cause. It is a frank look at the state of institutional care and a must-read for anyone working in psychiatric nursing.

8. My Name Is Mary Sutter by Robin Oliveira. 
Set in the Civil War, a young midwife leaves home in this novel to seek out the medical experience she wants in order to help her become a doctor. Readers will find that she gets what she wished for, with vivid descriptions of medical treatments common at the time that would seem like torture or mutilation today, showing just how far we've come with medical advancements.

9. Cherry Ames Nursing by Helen Wells. 
This collection of novels was geared towards young girls when it came out in the 40's through the 60's and meant to inspire them to a career in nursing. The young girl the stories center on is at first a student nurse but later becomes a full-fledged professional, all while she solves mysteries, stands up for herself and is a fully independent woman. The novels are surprisingly feminist for their early publication date, and while they contain some nursing stereotypes are still fun, inspiring and entertaining reads for anyone working in the field.

10. No Other Medicine by Gail Ghingna Hallas, RN PhD. 
Titled after the quote, "the miserable have no other medicine but hope," this book takes a harsh look at the corruption, ineptitude and downright cruelty that can take place in the medical profession. The author is a nurse herself, which helped her create a nice variety of fictional characters that are richly developed and true to life. While the story was written in the early 70's, many nurses will sadly recognize that many of the issues she addresses are still prevalent in hospitals across the nation. A riveting, compelling (though depressing) novel, it's a great read for anyone with a passion for health care and patient rights.

About the Guest Contributor
Roxanne McAnn
, is a freelance Writer and Blogger. Roxanne regularly contribute to the  which discusses about topics on Medical Education, Nursing Students life, College life, Career, Research, and Medical Technology.  Roxanne would love to connect with the readers who have enjoyed these books or would like more info. Please feel free to send her your questions, comments or suggestion to:


From Mental Welfare to Mental Wealth
By Lucille O’Neal; Foreword by Shaquille O’Neal

Lucille O’Neal was born into a Christian home in Dublin, GA. She spent her childhood, adolescent years and early adulthood in the Central Ward of Newark, New Jersey. She often speaks of the spiritual foundation and lessons taught by her mother and grandmother as the source of her courage and inspiration for parenting. Lucille refers to them as two of the most humble and strong women she has ever known. As an active mother in the lives of her four adult children and a grandmother of fourteen, she takes her role of parenting and grand parenting very seriously!

WALK LIKE YOU HAVE SOMEWHERE TO GO  speaks to women of all ages who have struggled to understand how she fits into the world. Lucille courageously tells the deeply personal, at times heartbreaking, journey of the girl who experienced the pain of being an outcast and the stigma surrounding being an unwed teen mother. Yet, in due course, that same girl evolved into a woman of immeasurable substance, faith and spirit…and with no regrets. Says Lucille, also lovingly referred to as Big Lou: “These days, when I go to bed at night, I sleep on the sheets of satisfaction, the pillows of peace, and the cushions of confidence…I am rich in so many ways that have nothing to do with money, which only serves to explain the happiness I have regarding my mental wealth today.”

Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go
Excerpt from  Chapter Three -- Man About Town 

Light dawns in the darkness for the upright; he is gracious, merciful, and righteous. -Psalm 112:4 (ESV) 

My grandparents, Cillar (Mama) and Hilton O'Neal (Papa), were like a wrestling tag team in my life and in the lives of all my relatives and anyone else who knew them. They could deliver a serious one-two punch that could blindside you and knock you out before you ever knew what hit you. Although they worked quite effectively as a pair, it was without a doubt my grandfather's hovering presence that kept us all honest and on track. To know Hilton O'Neal was to respect him. He was a man who carried himself with a purpose and a plan no matter where he was. A physically striking man at a little over six feet tall, his deep, dark, chocolate complexion was as smooth as a newborn baby's skin, and boy, could he dress. Spectator shoes, perfectly pressed zoot suits, and fedora hats were his signature pieces, and he wore them with style and pride. My grandfather was one bad brother! 

As a child, I viewed my grandfather with both awe and fear, never fully comprehending what it must have been like to be a black man full of confidence and swagger in those trying days. This was a time when African Americans were considered less than human, attacked by police dogs, and forced to sit in the back of the bus. Looking his best was the one way he could consistently show the world that he was a proud, full-fledged human being-no matter if the law disagreed. Many African-American males did the same during that time in an attempt to prove to the outside world that they were worthy of respect. It saddens me to see many of our young men today dress so sloppily, with sagging pants and an overall unkempt appearance. I often wonder if they truly understand how their ancestors, like my grandfather, took so much pride in looking their best and what it meant to them to be viewed as respected citizens. Presenting a well-kept look afforded them the chance to be at least recognized in a world where they were often dismissed. 

My grandfather also had other talents that went against the grain of what African Americans were supposed to be capable of doing in those days. Though he worked in construction during the day, laying bricks and dry-walling alongside his brothers and other family members, he had a sharp mind for business and owned several properties, even a neighborhood tavern and bar. His keen business savvy meant there was always food on our table and that we never went without-even during the days of profuse poverty for blacks. While my grandfather was too humble to talk about his own endeavors or his advanced entrepreneurial skills, his middle brother, Chappell, enjoyed nothing more than sitting in a big chair and detailing the early exploits of the O'Neal family for hours on end. "Uncle Chap," as we affectionately called him, was the self-appointed griot (African storyteller) of the family, and while his tales kept us quite entertained, we weren't always certain they were completely true. 


Walk Like You Have Somewhere To Go by Lucille O'Neal 
ISBN-10: 159555307X | ISBN-13: 978-1595553072 

Excerpted from Walk Like You Have Somewhere to Go by Lucille O'Neal and Allison Samuels Copyright © 2010 by Lucille O'Neal. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Lucille O’Neal is the President of the Mothers of Professional Basketball Players, Inc. and the Southeast Director of the Odessa Chambliss Quality of Life Fund. She has appeared on numerous television shows, including Oprah, Live with Regis and Kelly, Good Morning America, and The View. Lucille returned to school as a woman in her 40’s to earn a bachelors degree in business administration at Bethune-Cookman University and a masters degree in organizational management from the University of Phoenix. She is the mother of four children and 14 grandchildren.

Allison Samuels is an award-winning Newsweek national correspondent who has been with the publication since 1996. Samuels is the author of Off The Record (Amistad/HarperCollins), which details the behind-the-scenes stories of her interviews with celebrities such as Denzel Washington, Kobe Bryant, Halle Berry, Michael Jordan and Bill Cosby. Her first book Christmas Soul (Jump At the Sun/Disney) was released in 2003. Samuels has been a frequent contributor to National Public Radio, CNN, MSNBC, and many others.

Intimate Conversation with Connie May Fowler

New York Times bestselling writer Connie May Fowler is an essayist, screenwriter, and novelist. She is the author of five novels, most recently The Problem with Murmur Lee, and a memoir, When Katie Wakes. In 1996, she published Before Women Had Wings, which became a paperback bestseller and was made into a successful Oprah Winfrey Presents movie. She founded the Connie May Fowler Women With Wings Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to aiding women and children in need. Connie lives in Florida.

Ella: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your new book, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly?
I was reading up on pre-Civil war Florida history and discovered that when Florida was a Spanish territory, women could be property owners and slavery was outlawed. But Spain and the United States signed an agreement that would change all of that. The Florida Purchase Treaty of 1819 guaranteed that the United States would lay claim to Florida in 1821. With a stroke of a pen and strike of a clock, suddenly all women and blacks would have their rights stripped away. That haunted me and I walked around with that kernel in my head for a few years before I sat down to write the novel, which takes place in 2006 but is populated with ghosts. 

Ella: Take us inside the book. What are two major events taking place?
The book tracks a day in the life of Clarissa Burden, a woman who wakes on the Summer Solstice with the knowledge that her life must change because she is wracked with spousal death scenarios and writer’s block. Concurrent with her story is that of Olga Villada. Villada and her family are ghosts, their souls unable to move on from the place where they were brutally murdered. Their stories converge, resulting in a startling and life-changing chain of events.

Ella: Who do you want to reach with your book, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly, and the message within?
I think this book will have a broad appeal. The book, at its core, is about freedom—individual and universal—and it’s wrapped up in a story that is both comedic and dramatic. I think readers of many ages and races will identify with the struggles of Clarissa Burden and Olga Villada.

Ella: How will reading your book shape the readers lives?
One, I hope it will make readers laugh even amid a few tears. But if there is one message I want readers to gain, it’s that how easy it is for the course of history—the course of one person’s individual day—to go suddenly very, very wrong. There are bad people in this world—sometimes bad people have all the trappings of kindness—and they are capable of terrible things. So we have to be vigilant for ourselves and for one another. Casual prejudices and ordinary meanness can, in the blink of an eye, become lethal. So we have to learn to be pro-actively kind and relentless protective of our rights.

Ella: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
Women’s issues, race, personal empowerment, marital relations, Florida history.

Ella: What was the most powerful chapter in, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly?
I think that once Clarissa decides—in a fit of rage—to kill her husband, this book takes a major turn and all the chapters that follow are highly entertaining, shocking, and ultimately satisfying.

Ella: Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases.
I recently wrote a story for Slate’s online women’s site DoubleX about how the Haitian earthquake has severely impacted their women’s movement. How Clarissa Burden Learns to Fly will be in stores April 2, 2010.

Ella: How can our readers reach you online? Share with us your online contact info.
My website is  I blog at Readers can also follow me on Twitter and friend me on Facebook, where I’m very active.  There is also a Facebook fan page for How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly.  In March, in honor of Clarissa and those pesky spousal death scenarios that haunt her, I am launching the Clarissa Burden Postcard Project in which I will be asking readers to anonymously send me one secret they cannot tell their spouse or partner.  The secrets can be silly or serious, and will be posted on my website.

Purchase How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly today 
ISBN-10: 0446540684 | ISBN-13: 978-0446540681

Intimate Conversation with E. Marie Sanders

Having been born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, E. Marie Sanders claims to be a mixture of southern hospitality with northern know-how. The stories she told in classroom grabbed her reluctant readers’ attention and guided her toward putting the stories on paper. 

She seeks to grab the reader in the very beginning and continues to build momentum throughout the story in order to make the reading experience a joy. 

BPM:  What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? 
To be completely honest, what makes me powerful as a person and a writer that I acknowledge that I’m just a vessel God blessed with various gifts, including writing. I’m walking in my purpose, and there’s no greater feeling, nothing more powerful than doing what one knows one was created to do. 

BPM:  Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
In regards to writing, I have no tangible mentors within the profession, but I admire writers such as Walter Dean Myers, Paul Laurence Dunbar, and August Wilson, just to name a few. As for finding inspiration, the students I had the privilege to teach inspire me. The youth I get the chance to minister to on a weekly basis inspire me. God, who gives me all of my ideas and drives to do all that I do, inspires me. Real life situations that plague our various communities inspire me. 

BPM:  Introduce us to your book, To K(no)w Avail and the main characters. 
To K(no)w Avail  is a fictional tale of two young people, both Christians, who struggle with a mutual attraction to one another while striving to do their best in all areas during their freshmen college year.  Avail’s experience with the opposite sex never proved to be what she felt she needed in life, but it never stopped her from hoping for better. Shortly before she begins college, she starts dating Donovan, a high school senior who possesses every endearing quality that she desired in a suitor; he even agrees to wait to engage in sexual activities until they married. 

Not realizing the power of attraction and the difficulty with long distance relationships, Avail goes to Whitaker with wide eyes full of hope, eventually seeing the breathtaking Kyle. Also from Pittsburgh , Kyle attended a private boarding high school out of state. With all that freedom, he took advantage of it with the ladies even though he had Celeste, his long-term girlfriend waiting for him at home. He always questioned his shaky dedication to her and wanted to break up with her, but Kyle never did. Once he experiences the culture of Avail, he decides it's finally time to break up with Celeste and move on to a greater quest. 

Eventually, Avail and Kyle acknowledge their feelings, both privately and to one another, and attempt to deal with significant others waiting at home. Interference in various forms serves Avail and Kyle problems that they may not be able to face together. 

BPM:  What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book?
A reason I started writing novels has to do with the literature/classics that we teach in school. I appreciate what's included in most standard high school state curriculums. However, the average student who is not thinking about college, who does not have a clue about the difference between a Montague and a Capulet, gets into the classics. It takes an extraordinary teacher to pull rival gang members into reading Romeo and Juliet in the same classroom and get them to see the result of the fighting families and have them apply it to their situation. I did it for 12 years... but I also told them stories of things that happened to me in high school and college, connecting it to the literature. 

Of course, I used dramatics to draw them into the stories, but all were authentic and true. One day, one of my students told me (in addition to the thought that I need to go to Hollywood and become an actress!), "Mrs. Sanders, you should write books. I don't even like to read, and I'd buy your books! What a push that was! If I remember correctly, I went home and wrote that night clear through the next morning... and I took the next day off from work. I finished the first part of  To K(no)w Avail that quickly and decided to start using what I wrote as lessons for writing in the classroom and to teach critical literary elements my students had to master for the state test. In the beginning, I had no idea how the story would shape up, but eventually, it began to evolve into what it is now.

BPM:  Who are your favorite characters? Are your characters a portrayal of real people?
I don’t know if I can pick favorite characters because, really, I love them all! Each offers their unique personality to the telling of the story. Avail strives to do the right thing but finds keeping a vow more difficult than she thought. Kyle wants to leave his doggish behaviors behind in order to step up to a new conquest but struggles with his former ways. Though Celeste is mental, her past violent outbursts are really twisted expressions of love. Donovan’s kind heart won’t allow him to hurt anyone’s feelings. Camden ’s flirtatious ways proves her persistence and Grey remains honorable though he wants to make a move that could destroy a couple. 

When it comes to the possibility of these characters being a portrayal of real people, I have to laugh at myself! As I wrote the book, of course I “casted” people in my life as those characters, and the characters I mentioned above have been shaped and formed around them. With that being said, I do want to emphasize that  To K(no)w Avail is a fictional work. There’s too much imagination in here for it to be nonfiction!

BPM:  Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
From an educator’s point of view, I want to reach reluctant readers of all ages. Sometimes, I feel like reading for enjoyment is going out of style, but recently, electronic reading devices have renewed the pastime, at least it has for me. From a general point of view, I hope the book speaks to those who can identify with Avail and Kyle’s story and, perhaps, offer some guidance. Sex does not have to be an automatic part of a pre-marital relationship, but so many people have the notion that it’s necessary. 
If I had to guess which groups would enjoy this book the most, I would have to say 16 to 30 year olds, those who may be able to reminisce about their college years, and any Christian who may experience or have experienced similar struggles Avail and Kyle encounter. 

BPM:  How will reading your book shape the readers lives? 
Every character in the book has some type of trait that may confront the reader about his/her behaviors, be it positive or negative. I would like to think that the characters in my book are relatable, and that through one or two of them, the reader will be able to pick up something positive and, just maybe, drop something that’s negative in his/her life. 

BPM:  Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
It is my hope that youth and adults alike will get the idea that sex, especially pre-marital sex, does not have to be a requirement of a social relationship. I want readers to know that self-control can keep them out of trouble. I think there are too many stories out there that display that we should give into our desires and indulge in whatever we want to at the moment. Where are the stories for those who want to hold off from sex but have to deal with a sexual past? Where are the stories where lusts don’t dictate what a person does? There are a few out there, but they are outnumbered by the pieces that promote sex. 

BPM:  What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
I believe the story’s relevance and realistic nature distinguishes it from other books. It’s one of those reads that moves quickly enough to keep the reader engaged even though it’s long. Also, To K(no)w Avail is written from two different first person point of views instead of a third person omniscient or singular first person point of view; that way, the reader sees two sides of one story.

BPM:  Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases. 
It’s my sincere hope that To K(no)w Avail will be available for print and digital purchase via, Amazon Kindle and all its digital applications by mid August 2010. I’m in the process of finishing up minor corrections that I’m catching here and there. 

BPM:  How can our readers reach you online? 
The readers can stop by  anytime. There, they will find a free preview of chapter one of the book! I encourage everyone to sign the guest book, join my mailing list, and, if you do, click on the Facebook Like button.  Periodically, people on the mailing list receive messages from me about the book before I update the website.  I look forward to hearing from everyone, and thank you in advance for your support.

Connect with author E. Marie Sanders
Skype: emarie.sanders
Facebook: E. Marie Sanders

To K(no)w Avail by E. Marie Sanders 

ISBN-10: 1451538588 


Intimate Conversation with R. Jenkins-Oliver 

R. Jenkins-Oliver was born and raised in McIntosh County Georgia. She is the oldest of four children, and is a graduate of Todd-Grant High School , Margaret M. Washington, and Brunswick College . She has worked for the FBI, as a health care professional, and was an entrepreneur. She has appeared in several industrial and feature films. 

BPM: Introduce us to your book, 1878 the Life and Times of Henry Forest. 
1878 is based on the life of Henry Forest, who lived during the late 1800’ until the mid 1900’s. The fourth son of a farmer, Henry was born in 1878 on a farm in Georgia . He and his brothers were raised to be hard-working and responsible men, to marry and raise their own families. 

Henry married a young woman named Mollie, with no farm of his own; he decided to work for another farmer in Dexter. Shortly after Jack Johnson won the heavy weight championship of the world in July, 1910, racial tension ignited around the country. Henry gets involved in a fight with a number of white men who made racist comments about blacks with the rise of the Klu Klux Klan. Wanted by the FBI and afraid of getting killed, he moves to Eulonia and assumes the name Robert. He spent the rest of his life living in fear for his life and the life of the family he left behind. 

The main characters in the book are Henry, John, Joe, Viola and Hettie. The book is written in a mixture of Geechee and Gullah dialect which is still spoken in the area today and almost entirely in dialogue. 

BPM: What make you powerful as a person and as a writer?
I think what makes me powerful as a person is that I’m proactive, an empathic listener, respectful, I’m willing to support and network with others. I plan ahead and I always have more than one plan. I welcome criticism because there is always room for improvement. And most of all I commune with the Holy Spirit every day of my life.

I consider myself a powerful writer because my writing was inspired by a higher power. I would have never thought in my wildest dreams that I would have ever written a book and become a published author because I have never challenged myself to be a creative person.

BPM: Who are your mentors? Where do you find you inspiration?
I find my inspiration in my faith. My mentors are people who encouraged and inspired me to trust in my faith and to stay focused on my goals in life. 

BPM: Take us inside the book. What are two major events taking place in the book?
The book depicts what life was like for Henry and his family in both the early and later years of their lives. The stories talks about faith and the trials, tribulations that the family went through, and how they pulled together to survive the hardships in life. Henry’s distrust of the justice system, and his fear that he and his family would be killed was a major issue.

BPM: Who were your favorite characters in 1878 the Life and Times of Henry Forest?
My favorite characters are Henry, Ben, and Joe. Henry was a hard working man who lived for his family; he was determined to survive. He made a decision that haunted him for years, but through it all he never lost his faith in God.

Ben grew up before reconstruction, and he knew that a colored man only chance for survival was to keep his opinions to himself and to stay out of trouble. He loved his grand children and he told them stories about what could happen if they didn’t stay in their place.

Joe was a man who opened his home to Henry while he worked as a sharecropper to earn a living for his family. Over the years Joe became fond of Henry and treated him like a son. 

BPM: Are your characters from the portrayal of real people? 
Yes the story was based on facts. Most of the characters are the families’ real names, however, there are a few fictional names in the story used to portray real characters. 

BPM: Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... 
My writing offers the following legacy to future readers...My writing offers the reader a glimpse of what life was like for so many African Americans before us, and what they had to endure in their lives to survive the injustice they received. 

BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write the book?
The Holy Spirit placed it in my heart to write the story. I think the reason the Holy Spirit gave the vision to me to write the story was because there were whispers about Henry’s life as a young man, but in later years at a family reunion, the secrets came out that he had a different life and identity before he came to Eulonia. 

Once I received the missing parts to the story, I had no idea where to start the story. That’s when I started having the dreams about people that I never knew. In the dreams I heard their voices and saw their faces. That’s why the story is written almost entirely in dialogue and in dialect.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
I think the story sends a message to Americans that we as a people have made many achievements together in racial relations and we have freedom of speech in the 21st century especially when compared to the era when this event happen in the early 20th century. However, we can be encouraged that improvements are being made in spite of what’s going on behind closed doors. 

BPM: How will reading your book 1878 shape the readers life?
I think the story invites the reader to experience a vivid and engaging bird’s eye view of what life was like for African America during the dark period in American history. The experience can stir up personal feelings of joy, pain, suffering and despair as the reader enters in to the world of the characters. 

BPM: What is the most powerful chapter in the book 1878?

The most powerful chapter in the book is when Viola and Hettie met while working at a motel in Eulonia, and the two of them discovered that they grew up hearing the same story about one of their family members. 

BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject? 
I think that Henry’s story is unique because there were so many who found themselves in a similar situation and didn’t survive because they were murdered before they could get their day in a court of law to tell their sides of the story before a jury of their peers. 

BPM: How can readers reach you online?
Readers can reach me via email 

Buy books:  or web page http://www. 
Also,  readers should be able go into bookstores and order the book.

Intimate Conversation with Barbara Peters

Barbara Peters is a Follower of Christ since 1992. She is a native South Floridian, and the fourth of six children. She graduated from the University of Miami with a Bachelor’s and a Master’s Degree in Nursing in 1982 and 1992 respectively.  She married Patrick in March of 1983. They have been blessed to parent their two sons, Adam and Bryan, into adulthood.  Her book, Adulterous Heart, was released in July of 2009. 

Ella:  What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? 
As a healthcare provider for over 28 years, I see some of the extremes of life close up – disease, illness, death, sadness, psychosis, etc. It gives me the perspective of not skirting important issues too much and worrying about being politically correct. People are dying from very preventable causes. Why avoid the issues just because they are “hot,” if addressing them compassionately will save lives?

Additionally, I have seen and heard of people dying whether young or old, sick or well. Life is too short to focus on the trivial. There is an urgency to wrestle with the important complexities of life. Someone’s quality of life may depend upon it.

Ella:  How much of what you write reflects on your outlook on life?
A great deal of what I write does reflect my view on life. For instance, Adulterous Heart is about intimate relationships and the thoughts we may have that precede them. The book is a direct reflection on my philosophies regarding life. It shows many of the ideas I believed and acted upon. The twist comes when my beliefs are pitted against, or go head-to-head against God’s perspective on the same ideas. The often stark difference between what I believed and what God says is true, is also presented. Though it was very uncomfortable writing the book, I understand that intimate relationships affect all of us profoundly. My hope is that what I learned, will give someone out there a solid foundation on which to build intimate relationships that thrive. 

Ella:  Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
The Holy Spirit is my most faithful mentor. There have also been genuine Christian friends (a couple of handfuls) who have come along side me during this journey in life and have been faithful to speak truth, encouragement, and repeatedly lift me up in prayer to God. 

My brother Daniel wrote and self-published his first book before me. He definitely inspired me to not just rely upon the conventional press if I wanted to get this work into print. He walked me through much foreign territory in self-publishing.

My biggest inspiration is definitely God. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, and His awesome Word, He has turned my world upside down. Conversely, news reports of families falling apart, people dying, seeing first-hand the proliferation of voluntary diseases spurs me on toward initiating the uncomfortable dialogue about what we believe and what is true. 

Ella:  What do you think of the increasingly fortuitous sex in  literature? 
While I cannot address this question by referring to a specific work, I would like to address it from the standpoint of a topic discussed in the book. If by fortuitous we refer to accidental or by chance, then we perpetuate the belief that life is always being done to us, and we have no control over certain voluntary events. 

While there are cases of people being forced to participate in sexual activity, being intimately involved with someone is usually not accidental. As discussed in the book, there are many thoughts, beliefs and ideas that precede the scenario that we may manipulate into reality or allow to be manipulated into reality. 

Entertaining the thought that it was accidental or happened by chance may increase the aura of romance (and makes for great fiction), but it also increases the lack of responsibility for one’s part in something that usually proves to be unhealthy emotionally and physically. It perpetuates the deception of self in the area of intimacy I wrote about in Chapter Seven of the book.

Ella:  Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... 
It points the reader to the one true source of life and health in matters of the heart, God and His Word.

Ella:  Introduce us to your book, Adulterous Heart,  and the main characters. 
Adulterous Heart is about the hidden thoughts that precede our intimate relationships. While the book focuses mainly on affairs of the heart played out in the mind, it addresses the thoughts and desires that compel us to respond.

Ella:  Who are your favorites? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people?
My favorite characters in the book are the faithful ones like Daniel featured in Chapter 21; and Isaac and Rebekah featured in Chapter Five. They are real people spoken of in the Bible that lived in amazing surrender to God.

Ella:  What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write Adulterous Heart?
After realizing that I was repeatedly struggling with obsessive thoughts in emotional relationships, God began opening my eyes to the roots of my thoughts and feelings. A recurring and frightening thought came to mind—write about it. As I fought against the idea for months, God continued showing me the truth and transforming my heart and mind. I relented when I realized that I may not be the only person struggling with the issue of relationships of the mind, and what God was teaching me might also be a lifeline for someone else. Though sharing my “hidden” imperfections is most uncomfortable, what my healing may do for someone else is more important. All writers are not experts in their topic of interest; some are just sojourners sharing the paths they have traveled.

Ella:  Take us inside Adulterous Heart. What are two major events taking place? 
The book has three main foci.  First,  it presents some of the extreme outcomes of unhealthy relationships taken from real news stories, personal journals, and the Bible.  Secondly, the thoughts behind those deadly outcomes are put on the table, dissected and analyzed.  Thirdly, a more excellent way to heal and create healthy relationships is laid out as plainly as the writer was able.

Ella:  Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
The book is written to women—college aged; young adult; middle-aged; and old-aged. It is written to mothers and grandmothers who influence what their children and grandchildren think and pursue. The book is written to those who say they believe in God and yet oppose Him on what He directs for our lives. It is for those who think that the Bible has nothing to say about life and love in our current culture and time.

Ella:  How will reading your book shape the readers lives? 
My own words will probably have little effect. My prayer is that the multitude of pointing to and incorporation of applicable Scripture will pull up weeds and plant good seed that will bear good fruit. 
Only God can do that.

Ella:  What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
The book addresses some of the popular false philosophies many of us believe and teach to others. They are philosophies like:  follow your heart;   love is…;    good girls don’t…;   my sexuality is my business or reproductive rights; and a host of other ideas that are untrue and have not stood the test of reality. Regardless, they sound good, and have been passed down to many even though they produce disease, illness, and death.

Ella:  Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book?
I would like the reader to gain the understanding that there is a best way to live and love; to gain the insight into an intimate relationship with God above all else; to gain the ability to rest while getting to know God; and to gain the skills to be an instrument of blessing to others (family, friends, and strangers) instead of a stumbling block or instrument of destruction.

Ella:  What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject?
Many writers portray themselves as the expert on a topic and present their nonfiction works in a somewhat detached manner.  The Achilles’ heal is not theirs to grapple with, they are there to help you as an unaffected observer.  The issue of affairs of the mind was mine to grapple with during the writing of the book. I was led to write about the topic not as an over-comer, but as one who was being walked towards victory. I could not assume the smug detachment that I felt many writers have about matters of the heart. God called me to share the process, not just the finished product.

Ella:  Share with us your latest news  or upcoming book releases.
In the next few months, I will be available to initiate the dialogue with audiences around the country on these sensitive matters of the heart. I want to ask and explore through Scripture—what do we believe regarding love and desire? Why do we believe those things? What have been the outcomes of these beliefs? Do they agree or disagree with Scripture? And, will we take the opportunity God is giving to help us and heal us?

Also, I am working on a children’s book, slash parent guide on Head Lice that should be out by the end of the year.   I have also begun setting up a small, independent publishing business to publish not only my writings but also those of family members under the name of Hiawatha Books. It is named after my dad who definitely introduced to us a love of reading and learning, and introduced us to God.

Ella:  How can our readers reach you online? 
Currently, I can be reached by email at   Additional information about the book can be located at  ; at; as well as  and  by searching the title,  Adulterous Heart

Intimate Conversation with Ammanuel Moore

New to the world of fiction, acclaimed writer and communications professional A.C. Moore brings unique, exciting and tasteful stories to reading lovers.  A.C.  likes to describe his writing style as fresh storytelling with a keen ability of building intimacy and interaction between his readers and his characters. As a Christian, husband, and father, he prides himself on including plenty of detail, yet keeping his stories free from obscenities and unnecessary pursuits.

Growing up and now working in the Baltimore / Washington DC Metropolitan area, A.C. discovered his dream of becoming an author early in his childhood. A fan of creative writing courses and assignments, he flourished in school and began to apply his talent in the work force. 

Countless published writings and awards followed him throughout his education and career.  A.C. graduated from Morgan State University in Baltimore and earned his Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications. He has since worked in several writing, public relations and marketing environments.  Currently, A.C.  is pursuing a Master’s degree in Communications from Johns Hopkins University.

BPM: What makes you powerful as a person and a writer? 

What makes me powerful as a writer is that I can create an entire world from thought. I spoke at a conference once and talked about the spiritual side of writing. Writing gives me a sense of how God must operate. To be able to create a world, characters (with flaws and all) for a reason, purpose and story, is God-like. Also, to know the outcome, when the characters obviously do not and when they go through struggles that ultimately benefit them or work toward a larger good, it makes you wonder if perhaps we struggle from time to time or deal with our shortcomings because of a story that’s being written. Think about it. 

BPM: Who are your mentors? Where do you find your inspiration?
I’ve been fortunate to land jobs after college that have allowed me to write and publish my works in various channels. Currently, I write a newsletter for more than 1.2 million customers. Before that, I worked as a Marketing Director for a weekly newspaper I would write for that publication all the time and prior to that I worked for a nonprofit Communications Department, where I wrote everything from newsletter articles to press releases, speeches and other correspondence. My mentors have been all the people throughout my career. My inspiration is Tyler Perry, President Barack Obama, Joel Olsteen, 
Jay Z – they have reached the top of their game and are still pushing forward. I love that.

BPM: Finish this sentence - My writing offers the following legacy to future readers ... 
The legacy of honorable success. I am a self-published author, but have been offered the chance to be picked up by an agent and potentially a publishing house if I made my book more “ethnic” by that they meant more cursing, more sexual detail. I chose not to take that path. I have three daughters, a wife and mentees that look up to me for various reasons. I want to make this climb without sacrificing my character and values. I don’t knock those that write more graphic novels, but I believe there are other stories to tell and there is an audience that really want authentic stories without choice words and descriptions. So the legacy I want to leave behind is honorable success. 

BPM: Introduce us to your book, Even Angels Need Miracles.
Even Angels Need Miracles is a Christian Fiction that centers two main characters Aalon, a guardian angel and Erin Crawford, an attorney from Baltimore.  While the book has some Christian references and overtones, it’s not religious or preachy. It’s actually written to be entertaining and fun. 

Aalon has served as a guardian angel throughout his entire existence. He’s experienced and wise, yet his latest human assignment proves to be a difficult challenge. Crime, substance abuse and mistreatment of others have put his human on a very destructive path. Daily, Aalon watches over him and protects him from dangers seen and unseen – but not without frustration. When his human assignment sets out to murder his girlfriend, Aalon tries to stop him and actually causes his death. This is the first time in history an angel – guardian angel no less – has ever “killed” his own human assignment. To make matters worse, the devil stumbles upon the aftermath and decides to bring Aalon to trial and have him sentenced to the same fate he suffered millenniums ago. While just about every angel has turned their back on Aalon, a few angels stand by his side – one in particular, Athyna, travels to Earth to seek the help of a human. This is where Erin comes into the picture.

Even Angels Need Miracles is a mystical journey that takes readers from Earth to heaven and hell, and through a rare plot, explore the complexities of sacrifice, redemption and values. Through the lives of these main characters and others, readers should be able to see bits of themselves and ask questions such as what kind of character do I embody when faced with a difficult situation? Can my values ever change without the feeling of compromise? And are the lives and well-being of the unknown ever worth a steep sacrifice? 

BPM: Who were your favorites? Are your characters from the portrayal of real people? 
My favorite writers include Walter Mosley and James Patterson. I also like Joe Shuster and Jerry Siegel, for their creation of Superman, who is one of my favorite characters in literature - if you consider comics to be a part of the literary world. One of my goals in writing is to create characters that readers fall in love with, idolize and have the ability to outlive me and my writing. I’m sure my characters portray qualities of real people in my life, but a bit here and there. 

BPM: What specific situation or revelation prompted you to write your book? 
This is my second novel. In 2004, I wrote a romance entitled Always Room for Dessert. It was a romance novel that dealt with a woman marketing consultant and her client who was a chef/restaurant owner. In the book he cooked for her as a way to court her and I thought it would be interesting to share the recipe with readers. It was an idea I had way back in high school and wrote it in my late 20’s. The response was very welcoming. Many people asked me for another and I decided there were plenty of romance novels out there, but not Christian Fiction from a black male author. So let’s see.

BPM: Take us inside the book. What are two major events taking place? 
The death of the human at the hands of his own guardian angel and the engagement between the angel and Erin. Two others that have to be mentioned however is the exchange between Aalon and the Devil and the Devil and Erin in court.

BPM: Who do you want to reach with your book and the message within?
I want to reach readers who have ever thought they made a mistake so bad that they thought there wasn’t a solution. This angel has made what is considered the ultimate mistake and while there are consequences that come with the mistake, there is also a solution to the matter- albeit difficult, a solution nevertheless. I also want to reach anyone who is interested in reading a unique story. A story written by an author that values clean literature without sacrificing authenticity.

BPM: How will reading your book shape the readers lives? 
This book will shape readers lives in that it will give them an opportunity to see how real problems that are bigger than the reader can actually be solved with a little help. And sometimes that help comes in an unexpected form. Furthermore, it’s possible that help can come from someone who normally should be receiving help.

BPM: What are some of their specific issues, needs or problems addressed in this book?
Again, the importance of sacrifice – even if to benefit unknown beneficiaries; after all, we are all connected in some way. The book also really teaches us that even the impossible can be overcome with help and faith. 

BPM: What was the most powerful chapter in the book? 
Probably right around chapters eight and nine. In eight, Erin is approached by the angel, desperately trying to convince her of the magnitude of the situation. As a reader you can see how difficult this will be. In chapter nine, the devil receives Aalon in hell to be held there until the end of the trial. Every angel in heaven just knows that the devil is going to torture and maim him to his heart’s content, but instead the devil does something out of character –by the end of the chapter readers can see just how smart and cunning the devil is, which shows just how much of an uphill battle Erin has if she is going to face off against him in the court.

BPM: Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book? 
Ultimately, an entertaining story - one that will encourage them to tell others about the book.

BPM: What do you think makes your book different from others on the same subject? 
In most angel / human relationship books, it’s usually the angel providing help to the human. In Even Angels Need Miracles, the help is coming from the other direction. It’s unique. While it passes along some moral sprinkles to readers, it does it not through preaching, but clever storytelling.

BPM:  Share with us your latest news or upcoming book releases. 
I’ll be participating in book fairs and conventions across the country over the next several months. Check my web site,  for details, but also – this book ends in a way that begs for a sequel and I plan to introduce the guardian angel again. 

BPM:  How can our readers reach you online?,, and I also have a fan page on Facebook. 

A.C. Moore,  Author of Even Angels Need Miracles and Always Room for Dessert
Information about my books can be found at 


Intimate Conversation with Jewell R. Powell

Jewell R. Powell, affectionately known as ‘the Marriage Coach’ is an entrepreneur, inspirational teacher, and author of  Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith. Jewell is passionate about helping couples have a ‘happily ever after’ marriage. She graduated from VCMI Ministerial Training School and is working towards a Masters of Divinity degree from Regent University . 

Jewell R. Powell shares her spiritual journey and shows you how to have a ”happily ever after” marriage, in her book Marriage 101: Building a Life Together by Faith.  “Till death do we part.”  These words are said about 2.5 million times each year. But, despite couples’ best intentions and attempts to stay true to those vows, many—almost half!—end up in divorce. What’s going wrong? 

That’s what author Jewell R. Powell asked when she found herself four years into marriage, sitting in a bedroom alone and on the brink of divorce. Desperate for answers, Powell dove deep into her faith. She searched the Scriptures for instruction on how to save her own marriage—and was surprised by what she found. 

That was nine years ago.  Today, her marriage with her husband is better than ever—thanks to the eight surprising truths she uncovered during that period of intense study and soul-searching. Her book Marriage 101: Building A Life Together By Faith digs into those eight biblical truths and reveals how applying them can transform even the worst of relationships. 

Ella:  Hello Jewell. Tell us about your passion for writing. What drives you?
My passion is not for writing. My passion is for helping people. Therefore, I am driven to write. 

Ella:  Finish this sentence- My writing offers the following legacy to future readers... 
Faith, Hope and Love. I want people, whether adults or children (I am a children’s writer as well) to experience God in a greater way after reading my books. 

Ella:  What motivated you to write this book? What can readers expect?
I share a story many know all too well. Whether in their own lives or in those of close family and friends. It’s a story about a marriage in trouble. I take you on my spiritual journey—of how my husband and I went from being engaged and enthusiastic to being frustrated and separated. I share the real issues that plague most marriages and the many challenges we faced. I share the disappointment I felt, looking at what was supposed to be “happily ever after.” But I also share how Lewis and I were able to rebuild our relationship and the lessons learned along the way as I implemented biblical truths from searching the Scriptures. 

Ella:  Who would this book really "speak to" and why? 
Marriage 101 is not for everyone. I believe it is for those who desire to go to the next level with God. It is time for Christians to stop just going to church and become the church – people experiencing God through you no matter where you are. 

Ella:  Ultimately, what do you want readers to gain from your book? 
The story is a parable of Sleeping Beauty. As you know, Jesus spoke in parables hidden messages. I want the readers to understand that the message is not so much about marriage, but more about how to become like Him. It is a transformational process. Once you become a better Christian, you will be a better wife, mother, friends, etc. 

Ella:   Name 3 things that it takes to have a successful marriage, in your opinion? 

1: Renew YOUR mind you can have a better relationship. Think on the positive things about your spouse and do not concentrate on the present situation. 

2: Change YOUR behaviors and perception to have better relationships requires YOU to do something different. Doing the same things but expecting different results is INSANITY. I know most of you have heard the saying, “You can’t change others, but you can change yourselves.” Therefore, you must be the change you want to see in your marriage.

3: Work YOUR marriage.  In other words, marriage is work. Successful couples understand that they have to make their marriage a priority and they do something everyday to acknowledge it. You only get out of it what you put into it – deposit love daily. 

What can we expect from you in the future? 
Traveling and teaching the eight biblical truths the Lord spoke to me. Holding marriage conferences and seminars to not only help those who are having trouble but helping keep those who already have great marriages strong. 

Ella:   Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. 
Marriage 101 was the Award-Winner in the Religion: Christian Inspiration category of the National Best Books 2009 Awards, sponsored by USA Book Best Books and the Marriage 101 Journal was a finalist.  Marriage 101 is also listed as the #1 Bestseller list on  I have a four (4) book mini-series coming out in December 2009 that covers marriage topics we all face:  Sex & Intimacy, Communication, Parenting, and Finance. 

Contact Info & Links for Jewell R. Powell 
Personal website:  

Marriage 101 Radio Talk Show  

Intimate Conversation with Paulette Harper

Paulette Harper is a bestselling author, Christian Inspirational Speaker, Licensed Minister and workshop facilitator. Paulette is a sought after speaker with a passion to lead people to a clear and precise understanding of how life challenges can become one’s ultimate source of victory. Paulette Harper’s literary achievement includes her first published non-fiction inspirational book: That Was Then, This Is Now This Broken Vessel Restored (Tate Publishing & Enterprises) Co-Author for Victorious Living for Women, (Suber & Pullins Publishing) Paulette resides in Northern California.

Ella: Introduce us to your book That Was Then, This Is Now .
How could God have a purpose for me amidst this mess? Why do such bad things happen to good people? If you’ve recently asked yourself these questions, Paulette Harper’s That was Then, This is Now has the answers. Struggling to recover from a broken marriage and disappointed dreams, Paulette Harper gropes for meaning and understanding, and through her searching, God reveals Himself to her in ways she never before imagined possible. By sharing her struggles with transparency, she illustrates how a heart attitude of surrender allows God to use a broken vessel for His ultimate plans of glory.   (Genre: Non-fiction Inspirational; ISBN-13: 978-1604625547 )

What was your primary quest in publishing this book?
My primary quest for publishing That Was Then was out of a desire to share with the masses that life’s problems no matter how difficult can be overcome and conquered by having a strong spirit to endure. I wanted my life to be an example of a survivor. Although everyone will not read my book, it is a book full of inspiration, encouragement and one that will empower the reader. 

Who should read this inspirational book and why?
My book That Was Then, This Is Now was written for those who are facing some of life challenges. Those readers who are having a hard time coping with changes in life from divorce, the lost of a love one, financial hardship, unemployment and so forth. That Was Then, This Is Now will minister to the hearts of readers by sharing how one can overcome those difficulties by trusting and having faith in God. 

What was the most powerful chapter or scene in the book for you?
I believe chapter three Identifying Strongholds is the most powerful chapter in That Was Then, This Is Now. I say that for several reasons. First, in that particular chapter I’m open, honest and transparent about the issues I faced while going through my divorce. Some of those issues almost cost me my life. Suicide, depression, oppression and low self esteem greeted me everyday for almost two years. The desire to die outweighed my desire to live many days. I had to recognize that what I was experiencing could only be conquered by faith and the Word of God. I give biblical examples with supporting scriptures that helped me turn what I considered a tragedy to triumph. 

What is the best piece of advice you would give to an aspiring author?
One of the tips I would give new authors is to be patient. Connecting with your audience and branding yourself will take time. Especially for new writers the market is flooded with books for readers to choose from so by keeping this in mind you must be able to patiently wait your time to shine. If writing is your passion you will continue promoting and marketing your books even when it appears like no one is buying. 

Share with us your latest news, awards or upcoming book releases. 
I have one title coming out in the summer of 2010 called “Completely Whole”. Completely Whole will be release through my own publishing company Thy Word Publishing. I’ll be working on another anthology with Victorious Living for Women entitled “For Moms” will be released right in time for Mother’s day. “For Such a Time as This” is set to be released in 2011. I will be conducting workshops beginning in Jan.  Keynote speaking engagement, book signings and all events will be posted on my website. 

Awards for That Was Then, This Is Now This Broken Vessel Restored 
That Was Then, This Is Now This Broken Vessel Restored (Tate Publishing & Enterprises) has been ranked consecutively for months on the Top 50 Black Christian Book Distributors Independent Publishers Bestsellers List for Non-Fiction, a finalist in the Religion/Religious Non-Fiction category of the 2009 Next Generation Indie Book Awards.

Contact information for Paulette

Social networks:  

International Women’s Literary Festival

In celebration of international women’s literature,  five women writers from various regions of the globe discuss the voice and role of women past, present and future, on the page and living life as only women can.  The International Women’s History Literary Festival is sponsored by Enoch Pratt Free Library and the Antigua & Barbuda International Literary Festival.  Listen to the panel discussion here today.  Click here to open the player.


Elizabeth Nunez, Anna-In-Between
 (Akashic Press)

Dolen Perkins-Valdez, Wench 

Tiphanie Yanique, How to Escape From a Leper Colony (Graywolf Press)

Connie May Fowler, How Clarissa Burden Learned to Fly (Grand Central Publishing)

Iris Gomez, Try to Remember 
(Grand Central Publishing)

Linda A. Duggins, Director, Multicultural Publicity
Hachette Book Group (moderator,  in photo)

Righteous Pride 
by Stanley Hasegawa 

As men, our righteous pride begins with our pride in God. We don't want to be proud of God just in our hearts, we want to let everyone know how proud of God we are. I believe that the Psalms 44:8 passage also shows that there is some kind of connection between being thankful to God and boasting in him. It seems to me that boasting about ourselves and being thankful to God tend to be mutually exclusive:

"But the one who boasts must boast in the Lord." (2 Corinthians 10:17)

" that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'" (1 Corinthians 1:31)

"In God I boast all day long, and we will continually give thanks to your name." (Psalms 44:8)

"Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring forth." 
"Let another praise you, and not your own mouth; someone else, and not your own lips." (Proverbs 27:1-2)

Scripture shows that there is a place for pride in the life of a Christian. There is such a thing as doing good work and having righteous pride in ourselves. Galatians 6:4 explicitly calls each one of us to examine and evaluate our own workmanship. By implication, Galatians 6:4 also calls for us to do excellent work and take pride in our work. God just doesn't want us to compare ourselves to others in order to feel superior to them. Such comparing and judging lead to sinful pride and sinful boasting. Righteous pride in self pertains to spiritual matters (progress and joy in the faith), as well as earthly matters. 

"Let each one examine his own work. Then he can take pride in himself and not compare himself with someone else." (Galatians 6:4)

"And since I am sure of this, I know that I will remain and continue with all of you for the sake of your progress and joy in the faith, so that what you can be proud of may increase because of me in Christ Jesus, when I come back to you." (Philippians 1:25-26)

Finally, we are to take pride in each other. We have to be careful here. We are to take pride in each other, not because of outward appearances, but because of what is in each other's hearts. The stereotypical ideal for a "trophy" spouse just won't cut it. We are to take pride in our spouses and friends, not because of their beauty, intelligence, fame, possessions, or accomplishments, but because of what is in their hearts. What we can be proud of in each other must pass this litmus test: is it something we will be able to boast of to Jesus Christ when he comes again? 

"We are not trying to commend ourselves to you again, but are giving you an opportunity to be proud of us, so that you may be able to answer those who take pride in outward appearance and not in what is in the heart. (2 Corinthians 5:12)

"For who is our hope or joy or crown to boast of before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not of course you?" (1 Thessalonians 2:19)

About the author Stanley Hasegawa 
I am richly blessed in my marriage. I have two grown children. I am semi-retired. I have been a computer programmer, systems analyst, househusband and home school teacher. I love to walk, talk and eat, and write short articles about devoting our lives to Jesus.   >> Original Article Reprint Source 


What Is A Christian Woman?

By Doris Washington
A Christian Woman praises the Lord through her trials,
And through her joys.
She looks for the good in others.
She forgives a thousand times over.
She makes no list of wrongs.
She opens the door to understanding.
She listens and hears with love.
She finds peace through the suffering,
And the pain.
She lives her days blessed.
She never forgets her family commitments.
She speaks truthfully her opinions with
Kindness and resolve.
She lives with compassion no matter her circumstance.
She prays with a humble heart,
Without ceasing,
And always with Faith.
A Christian Woman is a doer,
And believer of the Word.
She's always giving of her heart.
What Is A Christian Woman?  copyright (c) Doris Washington, April 2004. All rights reserved.



There’s Character in Your Words

Proverbs 23:7a  For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: This is such a powerful scripture found in the Bible in the book of Proverbs. Read or speak it slowly: “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he. 

Our words are powerful. They are like a two edged sword. They can spout forth positive words over our lives, and the lives of others, or the most vile and negative words, so much so they can surprise even us when they pass through our lips. Our words can build up or tear down. Our words have the power to destroy minds or to give hope when others feel hopeless. They can speak victory or failure into a person’s life. Words, once said, can never be taken back. That’s powerful! 

Words can reveal what is in our hearts. Not only can words have a profound effect on others, but the words you speak over yourself can have a profound effect on you. I have been guilty numerous times of speaking negativity over my own life. I am saddened when I think of precious time I lost thinking and speaking that I was less than the woman God created me to be. My words often were fulfilled in my life, thus I took unnecessary turns and made unwise decisions because of what I spoke. Many of us don’t realize that what we speak has ramifications and repercussions. I have seen it too many times in the lives of others, as well as in my own life. 

I thank God that I have come to understand that I am worthy. That I do matter to God. I have come to fully realize that God truly does not make junk! Everything He does is good. Every good and perfect gift comes from God, my friends! That means that I am good because I have been created in the image of God. It also means that you too are good because you are also made in His image. Therefore, speak goodness into your life and into the lives of others.

We are sometimes too hard on ourselves. As for me, I have finally been coming to terms with the lack of forgiveness I’ve had over my past mistakes and mishaps. God is not a God of condemnation. He is a loving and forgiving God. Why then have I beaten up on myself, talked about myself, belittled myself and then not forgiven myself when I messed up? It doesn’t make me a heroine when I do such things. It only makes me feel that much worse. But when I see myself the way God sees me, then I can forgive myself like He forgives me. Knowing this, I now refuse to think less than highly of myself. 

I now refuse to look down on myself. I am formed, shaped, created, in the image of God the Father. I am His girl. I am His creation.  I believe in my abilities. I believe in my strength. I believe in my God given talents. I believe that good things are coming my way. I believe that greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world.   I believe that God has made me special. 

If you don’t already, then start right now believing that you are God’s best.  You are God’s special creation. Don’t focus on your imperfections, your mess ups, your hang-ups, but focus on the wonderful, special, kind, anointed, loving, compassionate person God has called you to be. Believe that all you seek to do will prosper. Believe that you will reach far and that you will excel even farther. Believe that all you do will be done for God’s glory. Believe that you are an over-comer, that you are victorious, that you are beautiful, handsome, loving and loveable. Believe that anything you set your mind to do, if you seek God, believe that you will have what you ask. Let your heart hold good thoughts toward yourself. Let your tongue speak greatness about yourself. I’m not talking about boasting and being overly conceited. I’m talking about having faith that the good that pours from your mouth shall come to pass. 

Matthew 12:34-37  states, “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad; for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers, how can you, being evil, speak what is good? For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart. The good man brings out of his good treasure what is good; and the evil man brings out of his evil treasure what is evil. But I tell you that every careless word that people speak, they shall give an accounting for it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

God is not playing around when He speaks! His words are exact and true. I don’t know about you, but I want to bear good fruit. I want to be known for my good reputation, for good character, for speaking good over people’s lives, including my own life. I want God to look on me and see that the fruit that has come forth from me is God-driven, not self driven.

I sincerely ask you to take a look at yourself. Examine yourself. Examine the manner in which you treat yourself. Have you noticed that God’s word says, “Love your neighbor as you love yourself?” How can you, me or anyone do that if we do not have love for ourselves? I don’t know about you, but I desire to love others and that means that I must start by loving myself. Love yourself. Treat yourself well. Encourage yourself. Speak victory over yourself. Speak good things over yourself. Let your light then shine so men may see your good works and magnify God. After all, There’s Character in Your Words!

Meet the author
Shelia E. Lipsey is a multi-award winning Christian fiction author of four novels and one nonfiction book. She is the founder of The Word According to Shelia, a monthly column featured in a variety of formats and blogs online.  Blog 
Email:   Her latest Christian fiction novel, Beautiful Ugly is  available nationwide.  Check out the books by Shelia  on Amazon today.

You Are What You Eat-A Little Humor
by  Rhonda Herring Dent

As a mature woman, I can really relate to, “You are what you eat.” I can remember not to long ago I could eat whatever I wanted to eat and never got bigger than a size 8/10. If I gained a pound or two it was never in the mid section area. Grant it, I did not have a completely rock solid stomach after my last child, but it was nothing to worry about. I would always get, how do you keep your stomach so flat and your weight down so nicely? I would smile, remembering my secret, my little pooch, and say, “I must have a high metabolism or something.” What I ate didn’t matter even in most of my forties. It didn’t matter what time of day I ate or that I ate a huge piece of chocolate cake after dinner. It didn’t matter if I went for seconds on any dish. It was wonderful. It is over. Now at my current age, the new forties, I’ll say, I have to watch everything I put in my mouth. I can look at a piece of cheesecake, two pounds.

Can you imagine what a woman that has never had to diet in her life is going through at this time of my life. This food war has been going on for almost a year now. With all the other things going on with me, premenopausal issues, I must say it has been extremely hard. I am dealing with hot flashes, night sweats and possible mood swings, well I shouldn’t say possible, just check with my husband to confirm that. The hardest thing for me is this food/eating thingy. Just thinking about not eating makes me want to eat. Having to eat right makes me want to eat all the wrong things. Some days are better than others. It doesn’t help that my doctor keeps telling me the importance of eating right, at my age. I know all that and believe me I know he means well. I looked at the list of health problems he said I could possibly avoid just by eating right. I know and I agree with him. But, someone needs to tell my mind. 

The thing that puzzles me the most is that the older I get the more connected to eating I become. I have discussed this with my girls and even with random women on the street, in the malls, in restaurants and even in elevators. It seems that I am definitely not alone and most women are so eager to talk about it. It doesn’t make it easier knowing that other women are going through the same thing. Bottom line, the older I get the more I enjoy eating. Several years back and beyond I ate to live and know it seems I live to eat. I know, it sounds cliché right? It’s true. Before I never desired textures, crunchy, smooth or desired salty, spicy, etc. I just ate because I knew I needed to. Now I am graving things that I have never graved before. I am worst than any pregnant woman. 

The funny thing about it is I do not remember anyone warning me about this. So, I make it my business when ever it is appropriate and whenever I see a younger woman with her nice small waistline to “warn her” about what she has to look forward to when she gets “my age.” I am sure I need to check my motive in doing this. They always look at me with disbelief and laugh. That was probably me back then and I dismissed it with disbelief and a smile, as well. 

Now everything is about my weight and health. I hear things like shop on the outside of the grocery store because the majority of grocery stores are set up with the whole, unprocessed foods on the outside of the store and the processed items are on the shelves on the inside of the store. My cart automatically head for the inside isles. There are new programs like the Smart Choice Program that aim to highlight foods in stores that are healthy and the Life Time Fitness Nutrition Philosophy that say that the majority of food people consume should come from whole foods. I won’t even mention the countless diets out there. It is confusing, stressful and it makes me hungry just trying to keep up with it all. 

Don’t get me wrong, I know the importance of good nutrition and learned that early in my life. Previously, I’ve never been on a diet in my life. This year I have tried two already. Just when I think I have made up my mind to leave sweets alone, eat more fruits and veggies, we have a pot luck at work or my husband says, “Hey honey, let’s go out to dinner tonight.” It is a conspiracy, I know it, I know it….to get me to give up my girlish figure……Okay, Uncle.

Seriously, we are what we eat and we definitely need to eat right, get plenty of rest and exercise. Our health is one of the most important things we should be concerned about these days. So, eat right, get plenty of rest and exercise (now that’s another story all in its self). 

I’m getting there and soon and very soon I will get to my proper BMI. 


Author Rhonda K. Herring is releasing her new book, Ever Changing. She gives a bold account of spiritual development and growth that led her to look within herself for the strength and courage to make a difference in her life and in others. Her journey takes her readers from childhood, to adulthood, to purpose.

Rhonda Herring lives in northern Virginia and is a Senior Program Analyst for the Department of Defense. She has been with the Department of Defense for more than twenty-two years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, majoring in Accounting, and a Master’s degree in Public Administration.

Ever Changing is the story of how one woman submitted herself to God’s will and how He sustained her in her darkest moments. She describes the intimate details of her relationship with God and how He transformed her life. Based on the beloved  “Serenity Prayer”  that was instilled in the author as a young child. How she learned the true meaning of the prayer and how it sustained her through her trials and tribulations. She finds the courage to change the things she can and the “wisdom” to know the difference. 

Ever Changing was written for those who do not understand why they are going through difficult times and experiencing constant changes in their lives. It is for those who are seeking the wisdom to identify the things they can change and to be wise enough to leave those things they can not change to God. This testimony teaches self-acceptance, acceptance of others and the acceptance of change with the understanding that unless God sails the ship we are afloat.

Ever Changing: Inside Outward by Rhonda K. Herring
Author's Website: 


Fight the Good Fight by Shelia E. Lipsey

As I thought about the two main things we focus on during today- Breast Cancer and Domestic Violence, I trembled. They are two horrific events that can transform the lives of women, men, spouses, children and families. 

Breast cancer attacks the human body of mostly women.  It has specific purposes which include an aim to take us out, to put us down, to make us feel ashamed, to wreak havoc in our bodies until we give up and give in. It causes our immune system to weaken and sometimes it saps our strength and frightens us like nothing else ever has done before. It forces itself upon us; it doesn’t ask permission to enter and take up residence inside of our breasts. It even has the audacity to move outside of our breasts and into our lymph nodes with a vengeance. It is cruel and it even disfigures many of us. Oh my! What a wretched attack. Breast cancer was reduced by 2% in 2009 but that’s not enough. The flip side of this is that African-Americans are still 40% more likely to die of breast cancer than white women in the U.S.  (Daniel J. DeNoon, WebMD Health News). 

There is not an actually known cause for breast cancer but studies show that it happens mostly in women over age 50. There is also a greater risk of a woman developing breast cancer in a family where a sister, mother, daughter has battled breast cancer. Breast cancer can also occur in men.

 There are also studies that reveal breast cancer is higher in women who drink alcohol regularly, obesity, and diets high in fat. I learned these contributing causes after my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer several years ago.  Since then, I have had an aunt and two first cousins to succumb to breast cancer, four cousins are still battling breast cancer as I write this. It is a serious disease. It is time for more people to stand up, speak out, take care of their bodies, and take out this dreadful, sometimes deadly disease. To those who are breast cancer survivors, I commend you for your courage. To those who have died because of breast cancer, I commend you for fighting the good fight. 

Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.   1 Timothy 6:12 (NIV)

The next horrific event that we bring awareness to is domestic violence. 
Wikipedia defines it as follows, “Domestic violence, also known as domestic abuse, spousal abuse, child abuse or intimate partner violence (IPV), can be broadly defined a pattern of abusive behaviors by one or both partners in an intimate relationship such as marriage, dating, family, friends or cohabitation. Domestic violence has many forms including physical aggression (hitting, kicking, biting, shoving, restraining, throwing objects), or threats thereof; sexual abuse; emotional abuse; controlling or domineering; intimidation; stalking; passive/covert abuse (e.g., neglect); and economic deprivation  (” 

Being a domestic violence survivor, it is one of the most debilitating, the most inhumane offenses that exist. It can destroy a person’s self-image, self-esteem, and self-worth.  Domestic abuse can ruin the futures of all that it touches. I am one that is a survivor, one that can testify to its terrible, lifelong effects. There are others who did not get that chance because domestic violence can also kill.

Domestic violence continues to rise. It does not care where it strikes or whom it strikes. It occurs to women and men, children and infants. It can be found in the homes of the richest and those who are poverty stricken. It has no racial barriers and therefore Blacks, Whites, Hispanics, Native Americans and all races are privy to its vial and vicious attacks. It murders and maims. It destroys families and scars children for life. Like breast cancer, domestic violence has one main objective: to destroy.   He will rescue them from oppression and violence, for precious is their blood in his sight. Psalm 72:14 (NIV)

Meet the author
Shelia E. Lipsey is a multi-award winning Christian fiction author of four novels and one nonfiction book. She is the founder of The Word According to Shelia, a monthly column featured in a variety of formats and blogs online.  Blog 
Email:   Her latest Christian fiction novel, Beautiful Ugly is  available nationwide.  Check out the books by Shelia  on Amazon today.


Teaching Your Teen Independence 
By Audrey Okaneko

Many children leave home when they hit the age of eighteen. They may be going off to college, entering into the military or they might even be taking a gap year and leaving home to explore the world.  Whatever it is your children plan to do when they graduate college, it's up to us as parents to work with them during their teen years to teach them independence.

Both of my girls learned to do laundry at a very young age. It was actually their mother turning clothes pink or shrinking them that led to them learning this skill. However they did both come away learning how to use both the washer and dryer and knowing what the various cycles meant. They both even know how to troubleshoot stains.

Both of my kids also learned the art of cooking. When kids are young they can begin helping out in the kitchen. As they get older they can be responsible for creating entire meals. My older daughter very often said, "Mom, come watch me make this and make sure I'm doing it right."

Since we've always had family dinners and holiday celebrations at my house, both of my kids have learned to cook for just four, but also how to cook for twenty-four. They can plan out a menu, shop and then prepare a meal.

Money management is another skill I believe teens should have when they hit eighteen and leave home. Money management can be taught by example but also by showing your kids the choices they have through their childhood. Kids and teens can make choices. Do they want to go to the movies with friends or buy a new CD? There's only enough money for one or the other.

If your child is in school, he/she will have friend problems. Someone will be mad at them or they'll be mad at someone else. Teach them the skills to solve these problems. Use "getting involved" as a last resort only if you feel harm may come to your child. Both of my kids changed friends, had spats and had their feelings hurt over the years. When these things happened, we'd discuss and problem solve.

Teaching your children how to make decisions is a skill that they'll use throughout their entire life. They'll use this skill to become independent and then to continue growing in that independence. Truly a gift that will last them a lifetime.

About the Author
Audrey Okaneko is mom to two girls. She can be reached at  or visited at    Article Source  

Key Symptoms of Teenage Depression and Teenage Stress 
By Kinjal S. Shah 

Increasingly common problems that teenagers face are teenage depression and teenage stress. Whilst a lot of the problems like drug abuse, eating disorders and teenage problems like ADHD, learning disorders, short height etc can ultimately result in depression; there are other factors, which can cause depression. 

These factors could be related to family or personal relationship stress, excessive academic pressure at school or home, bullying at school or even depression caused due to hormonal changes in the body. It is extremely important to recognize this problem at an early stage as teenage depression and teenage stress are the biggest reasons for teenage suicides or self-harm. In some cases it could also lead to reckless behavior  or violence on part of your teen. In most cases of depression the sufferer experiences low teenage self-esteem or a lack of confidence, which can severely impair a teenager's future growth and success.

Below are some of the symptoms that can help you recognize if your teenager is suffering from teenage stress or teenage depression.

Physical Characteristics: You can tell that your teenager is suffering from teenage depression or teenage stress if they often feel hopeless and angry, cry a lot more than usual, are constantly worried, lack energy and always feeling tired, suffer from insomnia, lack appetite, feel restless, show a complete lack of motivation or enthusiasm and stop doing things they used to enjoy. Similarly if they constantly complain of unexplained aches and pains like stomachache or headache, without any medical cause, it could also indicate stress or depression.

Social Habits: Another common symptom of teenage depression is avoidance and withdrawal from relationships and friends. Your teenager might try to avoid going to school as the teachers are too strict, or they do not have friends, or others make fun of them. They may also try and avoid other social gatherings and prefer to spend and increasing amount of time alone. Teenage stress can also be manifested in the form of reduced overall communication and introvert behavior.

Performance: Your teenager could also show complete lack of concentration and try to find reasons not to do their homework or avoid school when they are suffering from teenage stress. In these circumstances it is crucial to probe if they are having a bad experience at school which is causing them excessive stress.

In most cases teenage depression is either the trigger or a result of some of the other teenage problems. Hence you need to understand the symptoms of all other teenage problems like eating disorders or drug abuse to understand the root cause of depression. When looking out for symptoms it is therefore important to look at all of them together, rather than individually, so you can get the best understanding of the state your child is in and can take corrective action if necessary.

In the book "Solving Teenage Problems" all the possible teenage problems, their causes and symptoms have been discussed in detail. Along with this exercises are provided so that parents can understand the severity of problem they are facing and then work through various tips provided to deal with these problems.

About the Author Kinjal S. Shah
The author is a successful marketing executive in a large consumer goods company and a mother of two boys. She has had a rough ride in the past two years and has successfully saved her family from the brink of disaster by working on her parenting techniques.   She specializes in parenting tips. 

You can access her free report "New Parenting Style" or buy her book "Solving Teenage Problems" on  or check your "Parent Stress Intensity Quotient" on   >> Original Article Reprint Source


Are We Poisoning Our Kids?
A Synopsis on Children Health 

By Shashank S 

Take a look at this scenario- Parents promise their child that if he/she gets good grades, they will reward him/her with a 'Large Hamburger' or an extra-large pizza.

Let us be honest. How often do we parents feed our children with Colas, burgers and pizzas? Since generations we have been poisoning our children with these food stuffs. Did I say poisoning? In my conversation with parents, I have come across excuses such as 'they love desserts', 'my child craves for pizzas' and so on. Children are not born with love for pizzas or donuts. They learn about these only when we expose them to TV commercials and/or munch on such items in their presence.

It is not quite possible to completely avoid children from developing interest in unhealthy food stuff like French fries and pastries. However, with a little guidance and patience, we can control the eating habits of our kids. Remember healthy breakfast is the first step towards improving children's health.

By gorging on junk food, elders foster unhealthy eating habits in their offspring. 
No doubt that the American Journal of Pathology, in one of its articles, claims that kids consuming American diet show early stages of atherosclerosis by the age of three. For those who are not familiar with the medical term atherosclerosis, it is artery damage caused by fatty streaks. Don't you think that by allowing our kids to eat such fatty diets, we are slowly killing them?

We become what we eat. If we eat fatty foods we become obese. At present, the United States is reeling with Obesity Epidemic. Obesity, especially among the teenagers, is growing at an alarming rate. More and more kids are falling prey to heart diseases. What is the reason behind this? Our carelessness? Or our ignorance?

The concept of balanced diet needs to be brought back. We must teach our kids the importance of eating healthy. There is no shortage of information pertaining to healthy food and eating habits. The need of the hour is to expose our children to such positive information instead of letting them watch commercials of colas and pizzas. TV commercials, on one hand, develop craving in our kids for junk food, and at the same time, show them beautifully sculpted bodies of celebrities, and develop frustration in them.

Look around and you will see that most healthy children eat healthy food. Parents and teachers should work towards educating children with the numerous benefits of a healthy breakfast. What can we do to save our children? Parental involvement is the answer. Ensure that your child leaves home only after consuming a healthy breakfast. Educate children about the harm done by junk food.

Our ignorance has poisoned the taste buds of our next generation. We never miss a TV commercial of McDonalds or Pizza Hut. But do we pay attention to the articles that claim how harmful can such food be to the health of our children? The irony is that we tend to ignore articles backed by scientific evidence, and believe in marketing gimmicks having no 'science' in them. We do not have any right to take 'health' away from our kids. We are parents, not butchers!

About the author Shashank  S
The Author brings over 6 years of e-learning and online tutoring experience. Having a deep understanding of pedagogy and child psychology, the writer has developed numerous strategies to improve e-learning and online tutoring for Grades K-12 and higher through various techniques that question the conventional ways of instructing. 

Website:    Article Source   

Your Day Is Coming by Shelia E. Lipsey

To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven.
This is taken from a well known passage of scripture, Ecclesiastes 3:1 King James Version to be exact. I have found this verse to be true with each moment that passes in my life. There was a time when I felt like I would never reach the pinnacle of success that I have achieved in my literary career. There were times I would cry and ask God, “When is my time?” I have learned through living that there is a time for everything, even when it comes to the ordinary things of life. Even when it comes to my writing, there is a time for everything. 

I often dream of doing great and marvelous works. I have a desire to help others achieve their dreams and provide the resources they need to help them accomplish greatness. I believe that my time has arrived. It is my season to see the desires of my heart come into fruition. Not only has God blessed me to be a writer, but he has blessed me to be an award winning author of Christian fiction books. The desires of my heart are constantly being met, but not in my time. They are being met because it is my season. My season is now. I see doors opening and I see pathways being stretched before me. I am closer than I think. 

If you are an aspiring author, I encourage you to remain full of hope. I encourage you to keep moving in the direction of your dreams. I encourage you to learn and study the craft of writing. Read what you want to write. If you desire to write fiction, read fiction. If you desire to write nonfiction, read nonfiction. If you desire to speak, listen to successful speakers. Learn your craft. Many of us ask for certain things to come forth in our lives, but we don’t want to do the work that is required to bring dreams into the state of reality. 

Your desires, your dreams, your life’s goals, your hopes, are achievable if you first of all: Believe. Believe that what you desire is possible. Believe that your day is coming. Believe that you are closer than you think. 

Next: Work. Work toward achieving your dream. Research, learn, study and do not give up. Work hard at what you want. Work hard for what you want. Network with others who are willing to share information with you. Work on your dream as often as possible. Work on being the best that you can be. Work. Work. Work.

Have Passion: Passion is what will drive you to never give up. Passion will push you toward seeing your dreams and the desires of your heart come to pass. Passion will ignite the fire within you to move in the direction that leads you on the road to success. Without passion, your dreams, your desires and goals will die. Keep Passion in your life, even when you don’t see anything happening. 

Applaud. Applaud others for their accomplishments. Do not be envious or jealous of those who are already at the place you’re trying to reach. Applaud them because that means you have a chance to make it too. When I see someone else who has ‘made it’ then I know that God will do the same for me. If I am jealous and angry, mad or envious over the success of others, then I null the chances of my success. Always seek good for others and good will return to you.

Your desires may not come when you want them to, and that’s all right. They may not come when you expect them to. So what? All you have to do is believe that to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. Believe, work, have passion and applaud others because your day is coming. As a matter of fact: "You're closer than you think."


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Founder & Editor In Chief Black Pearls Magazine