All Up in My E-Reader: Back With a Vengeance!

Some of y’all know I had a little problem at the start of the year: I was (and to be honest still am) addicted to downloading books left and right. So I put myself on restriction and it’s been over seven months since I posted an update about what’s new in my Kindle. It hasn’t been easy, but time restraints kept me from feening too hard. Even with my self-imposed restrictions, my TBR list is stupid long. I just can’t resist a book with a good blurb and sale pricing. I feel about books the way most women feel about shoes: they give me all kinds of life. Brace yourself, I went a lil’ crazy. Peruse at your leisure and hopefully you’ll find something that sparks your interest!

Click on pics or title for preview via Amazon.


Replacement wifeTitle: The Replacement Wife

Author: Tiffany L. Warren

Genre(s): Literature & Fiction, African-American Fiction, Christian Fiction

Description: Atlanta’s most eligible widower isn’t looking to remarry–but for one woman, that’s a mere detail…

Five years after his beloved wife’s death, wealthy Quentin Chambers still hasn’t returned to the church or his music ministry. Even his home is now devoid of music, and without his attention, Quentin’s five children are out of control–until his mother steps in and hires him a live-in nanny. Montana is pretty, compassionate, church-going, and even has a beautiful singing voice. The children take to her right away, and soon Quentin finds his heart opening to faith–and love–once more. But not everyone loves Montana…

A “friend” of Quentin’s first wife, Chloe has been scheming to become the next Mrs. Chambers since the funeral. Now she’ll do whatever it takes to get rid of Montana–including blackmail, theft–and digging up a trouble making man from Montana’s past. But Chloe’s got secrets of her own, and the tables may turn with a twist she never sees coming…


Lyrical DarknessTitle: Lyrical Darkness: 11 dark fiction stories inspired by the music that rocks your soul

Authors: Multiple

Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Anthologies, Short Stories

Description: Discover the stories inspired by some of the greatest songs of all time. Dark fiction that will keep you turning the pages as you read stories influenced by songs like Satisfaction, Angie Baby, She Loves You, Maggie Mae, The Hotel California and more.

Dark stories inspired by dark lyrics that tell the tales hidden behind the popular melodies that are so familiar to us all.

Ten different authors bring you their literary visions provoked by their favorite song lyrics to create a chilling read you will not soon forget.


Once uponTitle: Once Upon a Sunday (Currently Free!)

Author: Renee Allen McCoy

Genres: Literature & Fiction, Short Stories, Inspirational

Description: The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance. –John 10:10, AMP

Good Friday started off as anything but that for Melinda Black. After losing her job and self-dignity, a series of events cascade her onto an emotionally charged roller coaster ride that drastically changed her life forever.

Will Melinda be able to handle the pressure when she stands to lose what’s most important in her life?

Once Upon a Sunday is an inspirational short story.


Guilty BloodTitle: Guilty of the Body and the Blood: A Short Story

Author: Melinda Michelle

Genres: Teen & Young Adult, Christian Fiction, African-American Fiction

Description: When a preacher’s kid becomes a preacher’s wife following traditions and religious practices she enters into a world she never bargained for. Going through the motions of being a wife and first lady, she loses sight of the truth. She’s had her fill of pretending and goes searching for more. But she soon finds out that unhappiness does not negate the Word of God over her life. One communion Sunday she eats the bread, drinks the cup and brings damnation to herself.


Shattered Dreams

Title: Shattered Dreams

Author: Tyora Moody

Genres: Christian Fiction, African-American Fiction

Description: In this heart-warming short story, meet wife and mother EUGEENA PATTERSON. Eugeena has always been the glue keeping her fragmented family together. When her teenage daughter is rushed to the hospital, Eugeena’s usual attempts to maintain peace in her family reach a breaking point. Will her troubled teenage daughter rip the family apart?

This short story is the prequel to the Eugeena Patterson Mystery Series. Readers can take a sneak peek of Chapter 1 from Deep Fried Trouble.


Didnt Mean

Title: Didn’t Mean to Love You (Serendipitous Love Book 2)

Author: Christina C. Jones

Genres: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Description: Vivienne is one of “those” people, the kind that believes in love at all costs. Broken hearts are a natural product of that, and Viv is used to dealing with it by simply ignoring the ache, and moving on to a new love. But this time, she can’t seem to shake the pain — until Carter comes along, handing out easy smiles and the kind of attention that makes her not feel so fractured after all.

Everybody knows Carter as this cool, confident, charismatic guy. He has a penchant for saying just the right things at just the right times, being just the kind of friend that’s needed in the midst of sorrow. But, as he and Viv embark on what was only ever intended to be a friendship, the idea of Carter as the “perfect” guy is challenged, and the real person could very well just be the next guy to break Viv’s heart.

Old hurts are unraveled, familial bonds are tested, and hearts are put on the line in this story of two people who didn’t mean to fall in love.

(please note that this book is a spin-off of A Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and does contain major spoilers for that title.)


Fall in LoveTitle: Fall in Love Again (Serendipitous Love Book 3)

Author: Christina C. Jones

Genres: Romance, Women’s Fiction

Description: Everybody knows you don’t marry the rebound guy.

And yet, that’s exactly what Charlie does. But once the husband is out of picture — kinda — she’s ready to leap forward with her life. She returns to the neighborhood she left, the business she missed, and into arm’s reach of Nixon — the reason she needed a rebound guy in the first place.

Other than rebuilding her life, Charlie has one main goal now that she’s back in the place she considers home: Stay as far away from Nixon as she can. But their long history, his magnetic charm, and a certain sense of unfinished business makes that much, much harder than Charlie thought.

Nixon is willing to own up to his part in their break up, but for Charlie, finding a place of forgiveness is going to take much more than that. She’s willing to take a chance on friendship — something they’ve had since they were kids — but falling in love again? That’s a whole different story.


New BeginingTitle: A New Beginning ( Blended Blessings Book One)

Authors: Michelle Stimpson, CaSandra McLaughlin

Genres: Christian Fiction, African-American Fiction

Description: Sometimes love doesn’t work out the first time. Or the second. Now in her third marriage, Angelia is hoping for her happily-ever-after with former pro-football player Darren Holley. But soon after they move into their sprawling mini-mansion, Darren’s new job as a high school football coach in a trophy-hungry Texas town consumes him, leaving Angelia feeling like a single mother to her two children as well as Darren’s twin diva-daughters. Not to mention the drama from Darren’s mother, who can’t get over the fact that her son has married a woman with so much baggage.

When Angelia confides in a few ladies from the local church, their nice, sweet, holy-wife advice may prove ineffective and too burdensome. Should Angelia cut her losses and get out before the ink settles on their marriage certificate, or will she finally learn the true meaning of marriage as she and Darren attempt to blend two very different backgrounds in the face of adversity and nosy church folk?


A New Beginning is the first book in the Blended Blessings series by newcomer CaSandra McLaughin and bestselling author Michelle Stimpson.

Stopping TrafficTitle: Stopping Traffic ( A Back to School Romance) (Love at the Crossroads Book 1)

Author: Pat Simmons

Genres: Inspirational, Christian Fiction

Description: Candace Clark has a phobia about crossing the street, and for good reason. As fate would have it, her daughter’s principal assigns her to crossing guard duties as part of the school’s Parent Participation program. With no choice in the matter, Candace begrudgingly accepts her stop sign and safety vest, then reports to her designated crosswalk. Once Candace is determined to overcome her fears, God opens the door for a blessing, and Royce Kavanaugh enters into her life, a firefighter built to rescue any damsel in distress. When a spark of attraction ignites, Candace and Royce soon discover there’s more than one way to stop traffic.


Stand your GroundTitle: Stand Your Ground (A Novel)

Author: Victoria Christopher Murray

Genres: African American Fiction, Christian Fiction

Description: From the #1 Essence bestselling and award-winning author Victoria Christopher Murray comes Stand Your Ground, a new novel about two women who are faced with the same tragedy.

A black teenage boy is dead. A white man shot him. Was he standing his ground or was it murder?

Janice Johnson is living every black mother’s nightmare. Her seventeen-year-old son was murdered and the shooter has not been arrested. Can the D.A. and the police be trusted to investigate and do the right thing? Should Janice take advantage of the public outcry and join her husband alongside the angry protestors who are out for revenge?

Meredith Spencer is married to the man accused of the killing and she sees her husband and the situation with far more clarity than anyone realizes. What she knows could blow the case wide open, but what will that mean for her life and that of her son? Will she have the courage to come forward in time so that justice can be done?

#1 national bestselling and award-winning author Victoria Christopher Murray’s Stand Your Ground is a pulse-pounding meditation on race, motherhood, marriage, and vigilante justice that will have readers spellbound until its shocking end.


Pay DayTitle: Pay Day

Authors: ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Richelle Denise

Genres:

Description: One little ticket is about to change their lives. . .
but is it for better or for worse?

When the office lotto pool lands the winning ticket for four friends, each will embark on journeys that change their lives forever.

After years of stringing her along, Terrance has reluctantly married his longtime girlfriend, Sheray. . . just days before winning the lottery. Now, that he’s a rich newlywed, the former playboy is dreaming of what life would’ve been like as a rich bachelor. When the money drives a wedge between them, Sheray leaves and Terrance learns the hard way to be careful what you wish for.
Angelique has been overweight since she was young. Despite her insecurities, her boyfriend, Marcus, gives her his love and affection without reservation. When she uses some of her winnings to get weight loss surgery, her new body and new attitude gets her some new attention, and could cost her the man she loves.

After twelve years of marriage, Janine’s husband announces that he’s leaving her for another woman. When she realizes he could possibly get a portion of her prize, she devises a scheme to keep it from him. But when her plan backfires, will she lose it all?

Raquelle’s life has just been turned upside down when she’s caught embezzling money, which she started doing to support her sick son. With a boss bent on making her pay, Raquelle is facing hard time and about to discover there are some things her lotto winnings can’t buy…or can it?
With a bitter former coworker lurking in the background, these friends are discovering their big payday will definitely change their lives…just not in the ways they expected.


Seek and HideTitle: Seek and Hide (Haven Seekers) 

Author: Amanda G. Stevens

Genres: Futuristic, Science Fiction & Fantasy

Description: Six years ago, the government took control of the church. Only re-translated Bibles are legal, and a specialized agency called the Constabulary enforces this and other regulations. Marcus Brenner, a new Christian, will do anything to protect his church family from imprisonment–including risk his own freedom to gain the trust of a government agent.

Aubrey Weston recanted her faith when the Constabulary threatened her baby. Now released, she just wants to provide for her son and avoid government notice. But she’s targeted again, and this time, her baby is taken into custody. If only she’d never denied Him, maybe God would hear her pleas for help.

When Aubrey and Marcus’s lives collide, they are forced to confront the lies they believe about themselves. And God is about to grab hold of Marcus’s life in a way he’d never expect, turning a loner into a leader.


FaithfulTitle: Faithful

Author: Kim Cash Tate

Genres: African-American Fiction, Christian Fiction, Contemporary

Description: Cydney Sanders thought she knew God’s plan for her life. She’d marry, have kids, and then snap her body back into shape by doing Tae Bo. But she’s celebrating her fortieth birthday as the maid of honor at her little sister’s wedding…and still single. Now her life is suddenly complicated by the best man. He’s the opposite of what she wants in a husband…and yet, he keeps defying her expectations. Starting with a lavendar rose–symbolizing enchantment–each rose he sends her reflects his growing love for her.

Cydney’s best friend Dana appears to have the perfect marriage–until she discovers her husband’s affair and her world goes into a tailspin. Then there is Phyllis–who is out of hope and out of prayers after asking God for six long years to help her husband find faith. When she runs into an old friend who is the Christian man she longs for, she’s faced with an overwhelming choice.

Life-long friends with life-altering struggles. Will they trust God’s faithfulness…and find strength to be faithful to Him?


What you wontTitle: What You Won’t Do For Love

Author: Keleigh Crigler Hadley

Genres: Christian Fiction, African-American Fiction

Description: Eden Price, an unlucky-in-love nurse finds herself in the midst of a heated love triangle. Globe-trotting missionary, Gabe Clark ignites her soul. Who doesn’t want a man with a connection to God? Hard-working, Nemo Gates speaks to her heart. His past has caused a rift between him and God and Eden wants to help him heal.

She ultimately chooses the man that makes her passions come alive but did she make the right choice? Eden’s marriage is blissful and the newlyweds are happy, when her husband stuns her with a desperate plea; to prove her love for him in the most unthinkable way – to help him die with dignity. What would you do for the love of your life?


SummertimeTitle: Summertime (A Novella)

Author: Adrienne Thompson

Genres: Romance, Time Travel

Description: J’Nay Walker is a talented singer, driven toward success by a promise she made to her late mother. One gloomy day, on the tail of some disappointing news, tragedy strikes, threatening not only to derail her plans, but to end her life. As a result, she soon finds herself on an unlikely journey, but is she ready for an unlikely love?


Whew! I told y’all I had a problem. Pray for a sista. :) What’re you reading?

Book Review: Mama’s Boy by ReShonda Tate Billingsley

I’ll admit that I’m a speed reader, but it’s rare that I finish an entire book in just a few hours. That’s what happened this past weekend when I devoured Mama’s Boy. Deets below!

mamas boyTitle: Mama’s Boy

Author: ReShonda Tate Billingsley

Genre(s): Inspirational Fiction, African-American Fiction

Summary:

When her son is in trouble, a heartbroken mother finds the courage and faith to save him, in ReShonda Tate Billingsley’s powerful family drama—a novel as timely as today’s headlines.

The breaking TV news rocks Jasper, Texas, to the core: a white police officer is fatally shot in a scuffle with three black youths—and a cellphone video captures Jamal Jones, the sixteen-year-old son of esteemed Reverend Elton Jones, escalating the tragic encounter. Now, as the national spotlight shines on a town already rife with racial tension, Jamal is a murder suspect on the run. And all of Jasper—even the Reverend’s congregation—rushes to judge the boy they thought they knew.

But Gloria Jones knows her son best, and she races to find Jamal before the law does—to the outrage of her workaholic husband. Once she finds him, she has to decide whether to turn him in or help him run. With ruthless prosecutor and Houston mayoral candidate Kay Christensen hungering to put another young thug behind bars, Gloria will face her biggest battle yet. And when long-hidden secrets and shocking lies come to light, throwing Jamal’s case and his destiny into a tailspin, all Gloria can do is pray that the truth—and a mother’s unconditional love—will be enough to redeem the mistakes of the past and ultimately, save her son.

My Review: 

Y’all know I’m all about spoiler free reviews, and this one is no different. The problem is that it’s hard to give a thorough review without giving away something. So bump thorough, all I can say is that you HAVE to read this book! It’s full of twists and totally unexpected turns. What starts out as one family’s problem quickly escalates into a tapestry of intertwined stories that would make Dr. Freud pause and shake his head. Billingsley took a hot topic (racial profiling/police brutality) and turned it on it’s head. This is not your typical racial injustice saga. This is an honest look at an emotionally charged societal problem from varying perspectives. Do yourself a favor, get the book and one for a friend, because you are definitely going to want to discuss this with somebody after you read it!

*Bonus*

Check out this radio interview with ReShonda via WLUV Radio Station!

What’s the last book you read in a matter of hours? What was it about the book that gripped you? Don’t keep it to yourself! Fellow nerds like me want to know. 

I was given a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review, which I freely give. 

National Book Club Conference in Atlanta!

Y’all, I have been on one. I traveled to Atlanta, GA over the weekend to attend the 13th annual National Book Club Conference and my little nerd heart must have expanded at least a dozen times! It was so much fun connecting with other authors and new readers. Here’s a quick re-cap of the weekend.

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We arrived in Atlanta safe and sound. I had to take a pic next to this welcome sign, even though I had been on the road for hours. Leave it to a car full of women to turn a 5.5 hour road trip into 10 hours. What can I say? We like to stop. :)

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My author/vendor badge!

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Me at my beautiful author table. Can you tell I was nervous? I got several compliments on how welcoming my table was. I think the candy helped. A lot.

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But when I busted out the cookies, things went to a whole ‘nother level. Just FYI, if you’re ever trying to market a children’s book, put cookies on your table. The kids just kept coming back for more. I was like, “Bring your mama next time!” Just kidding, I love the kiddies.

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These ladies made my day! They were my first customers of the day and they bought a total of 5 books! Color me happy. They even brought me a piece of homemade strawberry pound cake that was all of that and then some.

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I was able to attend one of the workshops with Victoria Christopher Murray and Eric Jerome Dickey. They have over 50 books between them and it was very interesting to learn about their process. I’ll post (and Periscope) more about that later.

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After the first day of the conference, me and my sisters headed downtown to the Sun Dial Restaurant & Bar. No pics of me, although I did Periscope. I was a sweaty hot mess! 72 floors up is HIGH! I think I may have had a minor panic attack. Smh…

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But why weren’t either one of my sisters afraid tho? Just me with my crazy self.

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Day 2. I’m tired as all get out from my late night shenanigans, but still ready for the day ahead! Can you tell how red my eyes were?

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Me and fellow author Melinda Michelle trying to get our selfie together. We’ve been cyber friends for months, and it was great to finally meet in person. Can’t wait ’til I meet the rest of y’all too. :)

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My A 1 since day 1. Sista C.J. was a great assistant and totally redeemed herself for her past slip ups!

Well, that’s all folks! If you have a love affair with books and love connecting with like minded people, I highly suggest you attend the National Book Club Conference.

Update: I had a cameo appearance in the conference video. I look like I’m having the time of my life at approximately 1:45 ish. Check it out!

What did you get into over the weekend? 

Author Spotlight: Berline Thenor!

Anyone in need of a life coach? How about some inspiration? What about a guideline for overcoming past pain and regret? Then keep reading to find out more about all of the above!


What’s your name or pen name?

My name is Berline Thenor.  I have no pen name. I wanted a pen name to sound all mysterious, but couldn’t think of anything so I just stuck with my name.

What are your genres?

My genres include Christian/Inspirational/Devotional/Self-Help for all.

What have you written?

I have written and published my first devotional called Birthing Purpose. I also write a ‘Weekly Inspiration’ that I send out via email.

When did you begin your writing career?

I started writing… well actually, I realized that it was a gift/talent I had in 2012. After coming through a real dark period in my life I realized that my ability to write was one of the things that had been birthed out of me and I fell in love with it. It wasn’t until 2013 that I started taking time to cultivate it.

Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How do you make time to write?

Currently, I am part-time. But soon and very soon I will focus on it full-time as I turn into a full-time life coach. I don’t necessarily have to make time because I am literally writing all day.  If a thought pops into my head I stop what I am doing to jot it down no matter how long it takes to get it out. If I am in the car I record the words on my phone and translate it into my notebook later. However, the majority of my writing I do late at night after I am finished with my day. I devote about five to six hours to just writing or editing.

What’s your writing process? 

My process is kind of weird or I feel weird when I get into writing mode. Seriously, I will open up my laptop or notebook and won’t start writing for another 30 minutes. After that I may write down a sentence or two and stop and then about an hour later my thoughts come together. That is when I find myself with my ear plugs in writing out everything that comes to my mind. Once I get it all out I leave it alone until the next day.

I write about six days a week.

My music choice is usually gospel. I like live music so I have created a playlist on YouTube to get me going. Something about live gospel music or live music from my favorite singer keeps me flowing as I write.

Do you keep a journal? If so, for how long? Do you find it helpful for your professional writing?

I keep something I call sort of like journal. It is a notebook that I write all kinds of stuff in. Recently I have been gifted some really nice journals that I have begun writing in, but I still love my notebook. When I run out of paper there I may just use the journal. No, it does not help my professional writing because the thoughts in my journal are about my journey and how I feel God is using me.

What’s your inspiration?

What inspires me is how I feel and sense God using me to reach others. I think its mind-blowing how He will download something in me to help someone else and I love it. I love being used in that way. Plus I love to help people and bring them to God so that they may release what is burdening them.

What kind of legacy do you expect your writing to leave?

I want my writing to lead people to get to know the God that I know and write about. I want it to help people begin a journey to get in touch with God and all that He encompasses.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

My best advice is to stay true to you and what God puts on your heart. Many times people will try to direct you in the path they think you should go, but you must stay true to you and your craft. Also, don’t get discouraged by seeing others authors in your genre; there is room for everybody, but not copycats so again stay true to what is in your heart.

What’s on your bookshelf or in your e-reader library?

As I think about my bookshelf I am not sure of how to answer because there are all types of books on there. I have  inspirational, relationship, fiction, non-fiction and self-help from writers of all genres. Plus, there are some I cannot mention because I may get a major side-eye.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on my second book on the nameless women in the Bible. I feel like we can learn so much from their stories even though we don’t know their names. Just like we can learn something from the women we meet daily. Even if we don’t remember their name we will remember their story.

Latest release and book blurb?

Birthing purposeBirthing Purpose

It is untouchable. It cannot be measured. It is consuming. It makes you feel things that you never thought you could feel. It will leave you speechless, unable to describe in words what it is. Every heartbeat sends it flowing into your bloodstream. Unaware of its next move, you lay awake at night hoping that you can keep it from growing deeper. In places that were once peaceful it finds you. It causes tears to flow from a place that is unfamiliar to you. It causes you to find pleasure in its affliction. It came with an agenda: steal your joy, destroy you, and kill the purpose within you. That ‘IT’ is called pain. It came without warning, but upon its arrival, instantly, it made its presence known by taking residence in every part of you. It came with a grave already dug to bury you. It will convince you that it is over for you, that you have run out of your portion of grace, and that God cannot save you. However, something far more powerful than pain is within. That something within is the life support that is sustaining despite the depths the pain reaches. That something becomes strength when weakness takes over. That something awakens out of the pain and refuses to let the pain be the end of the story, because there is more written. The pain brings purpose to life and before the pain claims the victory, purpose will fight to see the light. The discovering and birthing of purpose is the up side to the pain if pain does not win. When pain hits, it creates an opening within for God to fertilize the purpose that was planted within when we occupied the womb. God allows us to feel the depths of pain, not to the point where it kills, but to the point where it becomes the route through which our purpose is birthed. Through the tears of the pain, the afflictions felt, and battles fought, purpose journeys through that darkness to fulfill the task assigned to it. If you do not allow pain to kill your purpose and you get in touch with what it is awakening within you, then you will be able to birth your purpose out of the pain. It is time to let go of the pain and allow yourself to be caught by grace that will propel you into birthing your purpose.

Tell us about your main character? What actress or actor would you cast to play him or her in a movie about your book?

The book reads like a devotional, but it does have a main character and that character is pain. I know it sounds funny, but it is. It explores the depths of pain; the damage it can cause and cost of letting it win. If a movie had to be made regarding the emotions and actions of what someone goes through when their heart is broken and what they go through to try to escape the pain left behind I would want Keke Palmer to play lead.

How can we purchase your work?

My book is available on Amazon, B&N and all other online retailers.

How can we stay in touch with you?

On Twitter and Instagram: @bthenor

Facebook: Berline Thenor

My email address for inquiries and questions: bthenor@gmail.com

I am also a life coach for coaching: bthenorlifecoaching@gmail.com

I am currently working on getting my website together and when it is ready it will be posted on all my social media platforms.

Author Bioberline-thenor

Berline Thenor is writer, speaker and a life coach at Reaching Destiny, LLC- a company she started in 2014 to help others do just that: reach their destiny. Berline also writes out Weekly Inspiration which is sent out via email to over hundred subscribers. When she is not writing or coaching, she can be found in the gym working up a sweat.  She earned both B.S. in Psychology and MBA from Florida A&M University. She currently resides in Charlotte, NC.

 


Faith Simone says: My favorite part of this interview is when Berline reminds us to stay true to ourselves. I always say, “There’s only one me and no one can do it better!” I also love the part about learning from the experiences of others. 

HOW DO YOU TURN YOUR PAIN INTO PURPOSE?

 

I Was On the Radio Y’all!

Hey Peeps,

Just wanted to drop by and let you know that I had my very first radio interview this past weekend! I was excited and nervous and I’m pretty sure I said ‘um’ much more than I wanted to, but other than that I think I did okay. The host, DuEwa Frazier, was warm and engaging. She made me feel comfortable and asked some great questions; that helped tremendously. So, here it is!

Interview with Author Faith Simone on Rhymes, Views and NewsTalk Radio

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Shout out to Your Vision in Ink for obtaining this interview for me. Don’t sleep on the author services offered there!

OAN: I’m on Periscope y’all!!!! Well, technically I haven’t actually done a broadcast yet, but I am a registered user. For those of you not in the know, Periscope is a spin-off created by Twitter that allows users to stream live video to their followers. Think YouTube only live and much more casual. It’s like being invited into someone’s life for brief moments.

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So far, I’ve toured an English garden in the UK, saw a couple of live concerts and got schooled on some publishing tips. The one caveat is that the streams are only available for replay for about 24-48 hours. So if you missed it, well… you missed it.  I’ll do my first broadcast once I familiarize myself with the platform a little more. I’m all crunked about it (are the kids still using that phrase?) because the broadcasts are live and I’ll be able to interact with you lovely people in real time! You can ask me questions and send your comments while I’m on the air. Chile, I’m over here feeling all Jetson like and whatnot. Where’s my flying car, ’cause we are doing the dog on thang!

Get yo’ life and follow me on Periscope @FaithSimone2011

If you took time to listen to my first radio interview, first of all thanks! Do you have any tips for me? I have another radio interview scheduled in August. School me now so I’ll have some time to get myself together. 

How do you settle your nerves before doing something out of your comfort zone? Me? I have a come to Jesus meeting, A.K.A. pray like it’s my last time! What’s your one bad habit when engaging in public speaking? 

Book Review: Seasoned with Grace

I first discovered author Nigeria Lockley during a blog tour for her debut novel Born at Dawn. God was all in that thang, because she’s since gone on to become one of my top cyber buddies. So it is with great pleasure that I share with you Nigeria’s sophomore effort: Seasoned with Grace!


Seasoned with GraceTitle: Seasoned with Grace

Author: Nigeria Lockley

Genres: Christian Fiction, Urban Fiction, Inspirational Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Description: Sentenced to probation, thirty-year-old, supermodel Grace King must put her plans of transitioning into acting to extend the longevity of her career on hold. Desperate to keep a close eye on Grace and his job Grace’s ambitious lawyer, Ethan Summerville has her complete community service in the last place Grace wants to be. His church.

Instead of God, Grace finds a “chocolate drop” of a man–Brother Horace Brown. However, Horace isn’t looking for a supermodel. He wants his woman saved and sanctified, but Grace has never met a man who has been able to resist her. Will Horace compromise his faith for a taste of fortune, fame, and Grace?While Grace focuses on the pursuit of passion Ethan finds one director willing to take a risk and cast Grace in his debut film, but this role fits Grace all too well. Will this film revive Grace’s relationship with God and her career or bring her closer to destruction?

My Review: Grace is one of those characters that you love to hate. At least in the beginning. She’s vain, selfish, abrasive and a real piece of work. Grace is the type of woman you wouldn’t want to leave your man around. But once you find out why she’s the way she is, you find yourself rooting for her to come out on top, despite her obnoxious attitude.

Like the main character’s name and the title of the book, grace is a paramount theme in this novel. Grace is surrounded by supportive characters that show her exactly what her name means, whether it be through tough love, protecting her reputation (what she has left of it) or standing with her once her full story comes to light. All of the characters are flawed in some way, which in my opinion makes them more believable. I’m a sucker to Christian Fiction that dares to tell the ugly truth, and Seasoned with Grace does not disappoint!

Pre-order Seasoned with Grace here! It officially drops July 28th.

What’s the name of the last book you read with a character that rubbed you the wrong way? Did you eventually grow to care/understand him or her? Do you think books always have to have main characters that readers can relate to?

***I was provided an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review, which I freely give.***

This Then Is the Work of the Spirit

I like to consider myself to be a bit of a poet, so when I come across someone who clearly has the skill down to an art form I have to share their words with the world! I’ll start with you. ;) I hope you enjoy this poem by Louis Alan Swartz. It’s featured in his book of poetry entitled Constructed of Magic and Other Poems on the Immortality of the Human Spirit.


 

constructed magic
This Then is the Work of the Spirit
(Written for and dedicated to Carla Cohen)
You were sitting across from me,
That was the apparency.
Do you fully realize what you
Enabled me to see?
The depth of the aesthetic
You opened in me?
We stand in awe
As the spirit is freed.
In the little room
Faced to the south
Couldn’t believe the words
That came out of my mouth.
You listened beyond all
Imaginable listening,
Helped me see
A profound aesthetic that had
Always been part of me.
The depth of your listening
Has enabled me to hear
A music that has no sound.
This then, is the voice of the spirit,
It was always right there,
I was always right near it.
But before you listened to me
I just couldn’t hear it.
Bless you and the work you do.
This is the actual holy work.
The work of the heart.
The work of the spirit.
Thank you for listening to me
With such unearthly intensity.
There was truth
Right next to me
That for vast, vast eons
I couldn’t quite see,
An aesthetic that comprises
The very best in me.
You’ve helped me open this
For all of eternity.
For this, I cannot express
The degree to which
I thank thee.

Good poetry leaves much to be interpreted by the reader, and this poem reminded me of what excellent counselors do: provide a safe place for people to open their emotions and their eyes to the endless possibilities life brings. What’s your interpretation of this poem?
If you want to enjoy more poetry by Louis, click here!